Milestones

Usually it’s not one great event that turned the person around. It’s a series of events, choices, commitments, and the daily discipline of obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Each of these are milestones in the overall direction of God’s will for your life. But all of them may not seem like they’re in that direction. In fact, you may be wondering what direction you’re headed.

Other milestones will clearly indicate a trajectory that’s in the direction you’re headed. These are nice, as they give you a sense of direction and purpose.

Some of these come as choices. This could be scary, as you’re afraid to make the wrong choice. It could lead you in the wrong direction leaving you to backtrack for months or years.

Whatever your situation, those milestones are crucial.

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Why don’t you do something, God?

God seems to be silent. Especially in the midst of tragedy and evil. We expect him to respond quickly when evil strikes. But no, there seems to be no response.

“From out of the city the dying groan, and the soul of the wounded cries for help; yet God charges no one with wrong (Job 24:12).

Doesn’t God care? It seems he is silent at the most crucial moments. As if he doesn’t care at all.

Job continues his rant about all the evil he has seen in society. One by one he lists each tragedy and points to the hopelessness he observed in society. And in the verse above, he makes a bold statement “yet God charges no one with wrong.”

Although God wasn’t the author of all that Job faced, he allowed it to happen. God has an ultimate, long-term plan that we are not aware of. The plan is not to destroy but to build. Our task is to remain faithful and to trust him.

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If I knew of nothing better

Then I suppose it wouldn’t matter if there is no sense of order. Maybe I would assume that lack of order is the appropriate order. Then I wouldn’t fight the “system” and try to create order in the midst of chaos.

I also wouldn’t worry about a lack of respect for fellow humans. It wouldn’t bother me that hatred is the way to win an upper hand. It would not bother me that violence is held in honor.

But I do know better. Jesus set the standard high. I can’t continue the way I’ve been going. Change has to begin in my personal life and then it has got to flow into my area of influence;

Things can’t continue the way it’s been going.

Yes. I know better.

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The careless attitude of Jesus

Or so it seems. It sounds so careless and aloof when he says “he who has ears, let him hear.”

I thought Jesus was full of mercy and compassion. I really thought he was driven by his compassion for those who are lost without direction for their lives.

But then I read the words “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This makes me wonder about his level of compassion. His words seem like an insensitive statement: “take it or leave it.” Several times during his teaching on crucial matters he says these words.

Jesus clearly realized that everyone will not accept his words. He wasn’t pushy about making people accept his teachings. They were to be accepted only by those whose hearts moved them. That’s why he said “he who has ears to hear let him hear. “

Although he wasn’t pushy, he was demanding (for those who accepted and followed). Jesus gave forgiveness of sins freely to those who believed in him. Yet he demanded total obedience. This was clearly not for everyone.

It’s only for those who have “ears to hear.”

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The other side of adversity

By now you’ve figured it out that it’s a given. Adversity is part of life as much as breathing is. It’s a fact that no one denies, and no one can escape.

But you may not have accepted the fact that on the other side of adversity, advancement awaits you. No, the purpose of adversity is not advancement. It just seems to follow adversity. It truly is the natural outcome of almost all adversity you will face.

So, should you seek adversity? No need. Just hang around and it will find you. But don’t fear. There’s advancement and acceleration on the other side of adversity.

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My weakness, my coolness

Being cool is definitely cool. And you want to be cool as often and as long as possible. Therefore, you would never think of sharing your weaknesses. In fact, your goal will be to hide your weaknesses.

But Paul said he will rejoice in his weaknesses. Now, that’s absurd. Ignoring, covering up, or even improving yourself are the common things you’d want to do. Yet there is a clear reason for Paul’s claim that he rejoices in his weaknesses.

For him, Christ is exalted and allowed to be in his rightful place. When Paul paints a clear and accurate image of himself, it is truly an image of weakness. Then only can Christ be allowed to do his awesome work.

The other reason is that you can quit faking it and be yourself. Of course, you don’t want to be obnoxious or rude. But you can be real. And the real you is the coolest form of you there is. By now you’ve figured it out that it’s a given. Adversity is part of life as much as breathing. It’s a fact that no one denies.

But you may not have accepted the fact that on the other side of adversity, advancement awaits you. No, the purpose of adversity may not be advancement. It just seems to follow adversity. It truly is the natural outcome of almost all adversity you will face.

So, should you seek adversity? No need. Just hang around and it will find you. But Don’t fear. There’s advancement and acceleration on the other side.

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The supermarket

It’s hard to know if we should continue to follow up when someone doesn’t show up for a few weeks. Sometimes they are sick or they’re going through a severe financial crunch. There are lots of genuine reasons for not showing up in church. In those situations, a follow up phone call is a welcome and refreshing feature.

Sometimes you get these weird excuses. Finally you get to know from someone else that they’re attending somewhere else. That’s fine, but just let us know. Others do the opposite and bad-mouth you on the way out and continue to do so even after they’re gone.

Sorry. We were just trying to help. Maybe we “helped” too much. Maybe we tried to be Jesus for them and to do the work that the Holy Spirit does. Maybe God doesn’t need our help. We probably should keep pointing to Jesus. I suppose a healthy, “Holy Spirit” gap is needed between us and the people of God.

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The fine art of chasing rabbits

Yes, there is no doubt that chasing rabbits ought to be declared an art. It doesn’t take much practice. Just look for the closest rabbit and begin the chase. Then when you are completely confused, your listeners will be even more confused.


Forget that rabbit when you see another one. Chase this one with all your might. People may think this is your destination, but don’t be so sure. Who wants to stick to one rabbit when there are so many more to choose from?

The next rabbit needs to be more unique than the rest. This is because the people may be catching on to your unique gift of rabbit chasing.

Finally, after multiple chasings you’ve got the people just where you wanted them. Utterly confused and wondering what in the world is happening. Now that you’ve got them to the destination you’ve set out for, just sit down.

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Setting yourself up to face trials

There is no way to guarantee that you’ll be successful in facing trials. But you can set a pattern that will get you pointed in the right direction. Thus you set yourself up to face trials.

Job set up a pattern of obedience and alignment to God’s ways.

“I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food” (Job 23:12).

Although the tragedy in his life is severe, he continues to hold on to his integrity. That was the pattern for him. That pattern of integrity gave him confidence.

“…yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face” (Job 23:17).

The pattern of obedience helped Job to stand and face his trials. The darkness in his life did not silence him.

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How to empty the cross of its power

It’s quite simple. Paul wanted to stay clear of that.

“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the Cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Cor 1:17).

The power of the cross works independently of human capabilities. The cross may appear to be an image of weakness, tragedy, and loss. But it is infused with the power of the Holy Spirit.

But when you try to support it with human elements of eloquence and a plethora of words, you will certainly empty it of its power.

Stand back. Reduce your words. Don’t “spice it up” for effect. Observe the power of the Cross working in amazing ways.

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