We live in an age when technology and its practical and everyday uses are exploding. The fields of medicine, industry, finance, and especially communication are all being dramatically impacted by the use of technology. The cell phone and computer are chief among those innovations directly impacting our lives.
The fifth book in our New Testament records for us the powerful and amazing Acts of the Apostles. Many of the chapters read like an ancient book of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! In Acts 2:41, we read of three thousand being saved, baptized, and added to the church. In Acts 4:4, another five thousand men are wonderfully converted.
In January of 1655, the Duke of Savoy forced a cruel choice upon the Waldensians of the lower valleys in Italy—either attend Catholic Mass, or move out of the valley within three days. In the dead of winter, some two thousand people journeyed across swollen rivers, snow-buried valleys, and ice-covered mountains with traces of blood marking their trail.
The first chapter of Acts gives the account of Christ’s ascension. This passage also details our orders as we await His return. In verse thirteen, we see the eleven names of the most powerful men in the Bible. They had just witnessed the ascension of the Lord. They had gathered in the upper room.
I can’t tell you how many times I have emphasized the importance of God’s timing to someone. It has struck me over and over that God has good things for us at the right time. This is very evident in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
One Saturday afternoon after soulwinning, my family and I were making our way from our car into McDonalds. As we approached the front doors, another family was leaving. The dad stopped and curiously asked if we were Christians. I gladly told him yes and spent a moment talking to him about the Lord.
I remember throwing rocks into creeks and skipping them across ponds as a young boy. My brother and I would often compete in trying to make the biggest splash and the farthest-reaching ripples in the water.
Have you ever realized while driving down the freeway that you were going the wrong way? That five miles to the next exit seems like thirty as your mind begins to calculate the time you are wasting. That little gravel path in the median that is reserved for “official use only” looks pretty inviting, doesn’t it?
If you look around you will find plenty of reasons to worry. The trouble with worry is that it doesn’t seem all that harmful. The sun blasts cancer-causing rays. Air vents blow lung-clotting molds. Potato chips have too many carbs. Vegetables have too many toxins.
Our generation is relationship-conscious but not relationship-wise. In every heart there is a legitimate hunger to be close to someone—to love and be loved, to know and be known. People search online, in social groups, and too often in wrong places to find that one deep, personal and fulfilling connection.
Americans are not always good at remembering. We forget the sacrifices made for us so we can enjoy freedom today. We forget the blood, sweat, and tears of those who have given their all that we might have liberty.
History tells us Abraham found shade for his family under a grove of large oak trees known as the “Plains (or the Oaks) of Mamre.” The trees were situated at the top of Mount Hebron as it looked over the area known as Sodom and Gomorrah. This site became known as “Abraham’s Oaks.”
An 8:00 am flight out of Detroit, through Phoenix, to Los Angeles seemed simple enough. The airport was only fifteen minutes from the hotel, and after returning my rental car, I was two and half hours early—just like I had planned.
In early 2011, my health made it necessary to take some medical and rest leave. I knew that the Lord would use this time in my life to help me make significant mid-course adjustments. But far beyond schedule or administrative changes, the Lord gave me a full journal of scriptural insights regarding stewarding my life as a whole.
President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech in 1906 at the dedication of the office building for the House of Representatives in which he stated: “You may recall the description of the Man with the Muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward with the muck-rake in his hands; who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.”
I once read a sign in the lobby of a church that said: “When God speaks, He will not call your cell phone, so please turn yours off as you enter the auditorium.” I enjoyed that immensely but have also been convicted by its message. With all of the modern technology today ringing in our ears, I wonder if we would even recognize God’s voice if He did “call.”
God’s Acceptance Is All You Need and You Already Have it
You couldn’t be any more loved by God than you are right now. Does that statement strike a nerve of unrest with you? It’s absolutely true. We all love affirmation. We all desire significance and recognition. We all benefit from being encouraged by others. And yet, this silent struggle for approval can often become an over-riding motivation that keeps us on an unpredictable roller coaster of insecurity and instability.
In Philippians 1:20, Paul shared that his desire was to magnify Christ in his body whether by life or death. He wanted to live as Christ desired him to live, and if he had to die for Christ, then so be it. Either way, Paul wanted to live so people could see Christ in his life.
Sometimes we overcomplicate the Christian life. We develop formulas, lists, and philosophies, all of which may be good and helpful; but there is an overriding purpose to our lives, and it’s quite simple—do all to the glory of God.