Habakkuk was at his wits end. He was disturbed in his spirit. He had witnessed a revival in the days of King Josiah, but now the blazing revival had died. Since the death of the godly King Josiah, the people had turned away from God and gone back to their idolatry and ungodly lifestyles. God had used Josiah in such a powerful way to turn the nation back to God. He has torn down the pagan worship centers, rid the land of the gods of the surrounding nations, and cleaned out the house of the Lord. Habakkuk watched all of that change when Josiah was killed. The Temple wasn’t a place of reverence and worship any longer. The people were not concerned with God or one another. The hearts of the people had become full of arrogance, pride, and callousness. Pride, idolatry, lust, greed, violence, and injustice had moved into the city square and began rotting the foundation of the Holy City. Continue reading “Clinging to God in the Face of Confusion
Corrie Ten Boom was born in 1892 into a loving, Christian family in the Netherlands. Corrie was living with her older sister and her father in Haarlem when Holland surrendered to the Nazis. She was 48, unmarried, and worked as a watchmaker in the shop that her grandfather had started in 1837. Her family was deeply committed to the Lord and participated in the Dutch Reformed Church. Her father was a kind man who was friends with half of the city of Haarlem. Her mother had been known for her kindness to others before her death from a stroke.
Continue reading “What Will You Do In The Face Of Fear?
There is a storm on the horizon. The black, billowing clouds have formed and are raging in anticipation of wreaking havoc on its victims. The thunderous noise sends chills down your spine. There is no hiding, no turning back the impending onslaught of coming disaster, and fear grips your soul. Oh, the storm is not the kind forecast by weathermen on the nightly news. The storm is not a tornado or hurricane stirred by atmospheric disturbances, but the storms of life that rock our worlds and holds us hostage in the grip of fear and anxiety. The storms of the soul and heart are more powerful than any atmospheric agitation, more destructive than any tornadic test or howling winds of a hurricane, and strike at every heart and every home.
Continue reading “A Change Of Heart
I couldn’t have been more than 13 years old at the time. I lived down the street from Will Rogers Elementary School in Duncan, OK. Will Rogers was the hub of our neighborhood. Kids came from all directions to go to school at Will Rogers, the elementary school that I had attended before going to Duncan Junior High.
Continue reading “Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na!
We are living by faith. I can say this about all people today regardless of our religious preferences, our acceptance or denial of the existence of God, and without knowing anyone’s understanding of God’s Word. All people are living by faith. The question is, “What do you have faith in? In whom are you placing your faith today?” Are you living by faith in yourself? Are you a survivor — placing your confidence in your ability to survive the pitfalls, challenges, and trials of everyday life? Are you a good moral person — confident in your ability to do the “right” thing even when the pressure to take a short cut presses in on you? Are you a self-made man or woman? Do you look at what you have “achieved” in this life and stand in amazement at your brilliance, ingenuity, and passionate determination? Are you connected – having powerful and influential friends that you can call upon for most any need that you could ever have in life? Are you the captain of your own soul? Are you the master of your own fate? The 18th century English poet, William Ernest Henley, expressed this kind of unconquerable confidence when he wrote his famous poem, Invictus. Henley writes,
Continue reading “Instructions For Living: Live By Faith!
There have been so many times that I have run into problems, not understood what was going on in my life, or have been confused about what was happening to my friends or family members and have thought to myself – “Lord, if You would just explain all of this to me.” “If You could help me understand.” “If You would just make Your will known, then everything would be alright.” I don’t think that I am alone in having thought things like this or actually having said these things to God. I have heard many people say, “If only I could ask God,” or “I bet it was easier to have faith in Jesus’ day because He was there?you could actually see Him and what He was doing.” If you are among those of us who have believed that a skywriter carving God’s will in the sky would help in some way – Habakkuk would like to have a word with you. Today’s lesson will hopefully convince you that “faith” will always be “faith,” and not “hard, lab-tested proofs.” Let’s take a look at Habakkuk 1:12-2:1.
Continue reading “Waiting On An Answer
In A.D. 988 Prince Vladimir made Christianity the state religion of Russia. Throughout the last 1000 years the Russian church has had a rich history of great men and women of faith, wonderfully ornate and reverential cathedrals, and influence that spread beyond the borders of Russia?for a time. The time came when the church lost its influence, lost its courage, and succumbed to the pressure of governmental persecution and control. The time came when the church found it more prudent to avoid the confrontations, conflict, and contentious spirit of the leadership of the nation. That was the day the church began to die in Russia. The church leaders may have raised the white flag, but God’s plan was not affected.
Continue reading “You’re Not Going To Believe This!
Levi grew up in the Holy City of Jerusalem. His father was a merchant who peddled his wares on the city street while his mother took care of Levi, his two brothers, and three sisters. Levi’s mother was a woman of prayer and she insisted that her family go to Temple each Sabbath day to give praise and honor to God. Jacob, Levi’s father, went along to the Temple, and he observed the Sabbath. That was the problem for Jacob – he “observed” the Sabbath. He went along with his family, but he was on the outside looking in. Jacob didn’t see any practical value at all in going to Temple and calling upon a God that he couldn’t see. Jacob went along with his family, but in reality he was only counting down the hours until he could get back out on the street and make a buck.
Continue reading “Tuning Out and Tearing Down
The prophet of God was disturbed in his spirit. He had felt the revival fires that had visited Judah during King Josiah’s day fade from a roaring blaze to mere flickering embers. He had watched the Temple slowly become empty and the hearts of the people become full of themselves. Pride, lust, greed, violence, and injustice had moved into the city square and began rotting the foundation of the Holy City.
Continue reading “Habakkuk: Yet I Will Rejoice!”