Friday, October 11, 2019

Where Lasting Peace Can Be Found

Photo Credit: kavehfa
From New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp:

"Biblical literacy does not dispel all confusion and mystery from your life because while God reveals his will for you in the Bible, he does not reveal all the things he will do in your life for your good and his glory. God surprises you.

So you ask, “Where is peace to be found?” This question is answered clearly and powerfully in Isaiah 26:

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. (vv. 3-4)

This passage tells us where peace is found. It is never found in trying to figure out the secret will of God. It’s not to be found in personal planning or attempts to control the circumstances and people in your life. Peace is found in trusting the person who controls all the things that you don’t understand and who knows no mystery because he has planned it all. 

How do you experience this remarkable peace—the kind of peace that doesn’t fade away when disappointments come, when people are difficult, or when circumstances are hard? You experience it by keeping your mind stayed on the Lord. The more you meditate on his glory, his power, his wisdom, his grace, his faithfulness, his righteousness, his patience, his zeal to redeem, and his commitment to his eternal promises to you, the more you can deal with mystery in your life. 

Why? Because you know the One behind the mystery is gloriously good, worthy not only of your trust but also the worship of your heart. It really is true that peace in times of trouble is not found in figuring out your life, but in worship of the One who has everything figured out already."

(h/t to Randy Alcorn)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

An Allegiance Greater than Patriotism or Family

Photo Credit:
U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan
Taken from The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home by Russell D. Moore:
"Natural allegiances are strong, and strong for reasons designed by God. The pull of a fallen universe is to make those natural allegiances even stronger, into religions. There’s a parallel here with patriotism, since the word patriotism comes from the root of the word for father. It is natural to love one’s homeland. Patriotism is a good recognition of gratitude to God and to others for the blessings one has inherited as part of a country. Patriotism or nationalism when made ultimate, though, is ugly, violent, and even satanic. 
Those who are the best citizens of any earthly country are those who recognize that their citizenship in that country is not ultimate. There is a higher allegiance over the state. The problem with putting the nation—any nation—first, over the kingdom of God, is not just that such is idolatrous (the most important problem) but also that it is not, in fact, patriotic. Any state or tribe or village must have principles that transcend the body politic, and hold it accountable for its own ideals and aspirations. Where that is lost, one loses patriotism and sees it replaced with a cult. 
The problem with putting family first, over the kingdom of God, is that we, first of all, replace a living God with the worship of ourselves, and, second, we lose the ability to be the kind of people who can love our families. The same is true with family. Love for family is not only good but also biblically mandated. When love of family becomes ultimate, though, it becomes, at best, Darwinist and atheistic."
Moore, Russell D.. The Storm-Tossed Family (Kindle Locations 1079-1091). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What Is True For The College Freshmen Of 2018?

Photo Credit:
Each year at the start of the new school year Beloit College releases what they call the Mindset List -- a list of important facts, events and people which influence the worldview and perspective that this year's college freshmen class brings with them.

This year's list, which is made up for the graduating class of 2022, represents those students primarily born in 2000. This year's class is unique for me on a personal level as my firstborn child is entering the University of Florida as a freshman this fall.

As you can see, this year's list highlights advances in technology, significant world events, and the many ways that today's college students experience the world differently from their parents.

You can read the complete list here but I've included some entries below that I found particularly interesting:

  • They are the first class born in the new millennium, escaping the dreaded label of “Millennial,” though their new designation—iGen, GenZ, etc. — has not yet been agreed upon by them.
  • Outer space has never been without human habitation.
  • They have always been able to refer to Wikipedia.
  • They have grown up afraid that a shooting could happen at their school, too.
  • People loudly conversing with themselves in public are no longer thought to be talking to imaginary friends.
  • Investigative specials examining the O.J. Simpson case have been on TV annually since their birth.
  • Same-sex couples have always found marital bliss in the Netherlands.
  • When filling out forms, they are not surprised to find more than two gender categories to choose from.
  • Presidential candidates winning the popular vote and then losing the election are not unusual.
  • Parents have always been watching Big Brother, and vice versa.
  • They’ve grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on 9/11.
  • There has never been an Enron.
  • The Prius has always been on the road in the U.S.
  • They never used a spit bowl in a dentist’s office.
  • They have never seen a cross-town World Series.
  • There has always been a Survivor.
  • “You’ve got mail” would sound as ancient to them as “number, please” would have sounded to their parents.
  • Mifepristone or RU-486, commonly called the “abortion pill,” has always been available in the U.S.
  • A visit to a bank has been a rare event.
  • They have never had to deal with “chads,” be they dimpled, hanging, or pregnant.
  • Exotic animals have always been providing emotional support to passengers on planes.
  • Thumbprints have always provided log in security—and are harder to lose—than a password.
  • Robots have always been able to walk on two legs and climb stairs.
  • None having served there, American Presidents have always visited Vietnam as Commander-in-Chief.
  • There have always been space tourists willing to pay the price.
  • Mass market books have always been available exclusively as Ebooks.
  • Oprah has always been a magazine.
  • Donny and Marie who?
  • There have always been more than a billion people in India.
  • Films have always been distributed on the Internet.
  • Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon, and the coal sludge spill in Martin City, Ky., have always exceeded the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • The detachable computer mouse is almost extinct.

Please remember to pray for the 21 million U.S. college students that are starting classes over the next few weeks. They are part of a changing world...and they also have the opportunity to influence how the world changes.