From: August 26, 2018
Scripture for today: Job 20:1-22:30; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 22:2-4
From: August 26, 2017
The Hebrew is literally, “The rich and poor meet…” What does this “meeting” imply? Perhaps it points to the human tendency to focus on the externals, such as wealth and material things, that often cause the rich and the poor to clash. Or perhaps it is an observation that the rich and the poor need one another. However, I like the idea that it points to the great leveling of the gospel that invites all to come to the cross on equal terms, namely, through repentance of the sin that besets rich and poor alike, and believing in Christ as the only means of salvation. It is this gospel that allows the poor to boast in their “exaltation,” and the rich in their “humiliation” (James 1:9-11). The ground is level at the cross. All who approach will recognize their common need. All who receive must recognize their common Lord, who is the Maker and Savior of us all.
From: August 26, 2016
Paul requested that the Corinthian church be in prayer for him and his fellow ministers of the gospel. This was a request for corporate prayers, which he called real “help.” The modern church often overlooks the help that is found in prayer, especially the combined and unified prayers of the many. Do you need help today? Ask the saints of God to join together to pray on your behalf.
From: August 26, 2015
Job’s friends kept challenging him to repent because their simplistic assumption was that since evil had befallen Job, he must have done something to deserve it. Yet, Job continued to claim that God had done him an injustice. He also questioned their hypothesis further, by asking why God would let the “wicked live and become old” and “mighty in power.” Job was wrestling with the problem of evil. Why do bad people get to enjoy good things? And why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God’s justice? Job is not the only person to ask these questions. We still struggle with them today. Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of understanding by hearing what Jesus said about this in the gospel of Matthew. He said that the Father “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). The truth is that God sheds His grace on all of us, even those who have made Him their enemy. Yet, someday an account will be given. And only those found in Christ Jesus will be saved.
From: August 26, 2014
We are often called to minister to others out of the very place that we ourselves have once suffered. The fatherless find comfort in the Father and grow up to care for the widow and orphan. The cancer survivor visits the chemo patient. The addict whom Christ has set free declares the good news to those still in bondage. This ministry would not be possible were it offered from our brokenness. It is possible because it comes from the overflow of comfort that we ourselves have received from God. Have you received this excess of comfort that flows first to you and then through you to others?
From: August 26, 2012
God gives us an excess of comfort in the places where we have suffered. Once we are comforted, we are able to comfort others who have suffered in the same way. Have you been healed of a deadly disease? Delivered from an addiction? Found peace after losing a loved one? Your greatest hurt may now be your greatest gift to others. Let God’s comfort overflow to those who hurt where you once did.
From: August 26, 2011
When God comforts us in our suffering and trouble, He gives an overflow, so that we have an excess of comfort for those who are hurting in the exact places we once were. Healed people help hurting people best.
From: August 26, 2009
Reading Job is challenging. Beginning like a narrative, it shifts into a kind of Shakespearian poetry/dialogue (More accurately, Shakespeare may be more “Jobian” than vice versa. After all, Job is the oldest book in the Bible and one of the most ancient in human history)
Reading these lengthy conversations, I grow impatient with the narrative’s slow advance.
I feel the same way when I read Hamlet or Macbeth. I suppose today’s action-oriented culture has caused us to lose track of the beauty of the give and take of human conversation.
But taking the time to read each day, I’ve noticed a cumulative effect. I can’t wait for God to speak. Both Job and his “friends” are speaking from their limited perspectives. As their voices drone on and on, the need to hear from God increases.
Perhaps the Psalmist had been reading Job when the Spirit inspired him to write: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psa 46:10)
I tire of human wisdom.