Reading earlier (and trying to catch up a bit) I read the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26ff). The eunuch was reading from a scroll of Isaiah when Philip, having been guided by an angel, crossed his path. Philip asks the Ethiopian if he understands what he is reading and the eunuch replies, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” That is true of each of us. We can understand the words, the grammar, even the meaning to a degree. But, apart from the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, we will not truly understand the import, the deeper meaning, and the implications for our life and relationship with God. So, we ought to be reading prayerfully, asking the Spirit to be our guide into all truth. DW
Yesterday I read the familiar story of Jacob tricking his father Isaac into giving him the blessing that, by all rights, belonged to his elder brother Esau. Esau was, obviously, a bit angry. Genesis 27:41-42 says, “He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob.” Here’s what struck me for the first time: Esau ‘said to himself’ sound like he was carrying on an internal conversation with himself (don’t judge, we all do it). The next verse tells us ‘Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said.’ If it was an internal conversation, who overheard it and warned Rebekah? I believe it was the Lord or an angel of the Lord. The line of promise ran through Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob (Gen 25:23). Jacob’s scandalous behavior doesn’t negate God’s promise nor God’s protection. That’s good news for all of us! DW
Reflection from daily reading (1/12/19): Earlier this week I read through Genesis 25. One short phrase stood out to me – “And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife.” Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, was childless. But the way the sentence reads it seems that Isaac’s concern is for his wife, not just that he remains without an heir. He didn’t “pray for a son,” or “pray that his wife would conceive,” – he was concerned and “prayed for his wife.” Good challenge for us husbands – pray for our wives! DW
Today I was reading in Psalm 8 and struck not only by the awesome position God has place us (humanity) in, making us “a little lower than the heavenly beings,” but also the awesome responsibility he has given us. In the beginning, God appointed Adam as a vice regent over creation – to work and to keep it. This responsibility of exercising dominion over creation extends to us – “you have given us dominion over the works of your hands.” This rule is to be exercised with great care – it is the work of God’s hands we are stewarding, and it is to be patterned after God’s care for his world! That is an awesome responsibility. DW
Lord, grant me the ability to rejoice when trials come.
Give me patience to endure under the difficulty.
Allow me the grace to avoid bitterness that comes from hardship.
Provide me the wisdom to see your activity in my life and to believe you are there even when you seem invisible.
Grant me the faith to believe that you are working out everything for my good and that you will someday make all things new.
Last week I was listening to a podcast that I have gone back and listened to several times. This time of year tends to be very busy and I can get into survival mode. I’m sure many of you are feeling
ECC turned 40 on Sunday, May 1st, 2016! Here’s a slideshow looking back at 40 years of ECC!
Changed, Not Covered
Snow is a fact of winter here in Bloomington, but one recent snowfall was especially striking. Did you marvel like I did at the snow that sat so picturesquely on all the tree branches? Snow oftentimes blows to the ground, but this time it rested on the trees and covered them in a blanket of beautiful white. The beauty of God’s creation reminded me of God’s gift of saving grace and forgiveness:
People of God’s Blessing
In Numbers 6, God spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. This passage takes place in the second of 40 years of wandering in the wilderness after the Israelite exodus from Egypt. God told Moses to take a census, gave him instructions on how each