Author Archives: Lisa Reyes - Page 2

Stirring Up Dust

Have you ever stirred up a bunch of dust? Sometimes, in cleaning, you may think you are creating a bigger mess rather than making things better. You begin dusting, vacuuming, and rearranging; and halfway through you wonder if this is really worth it. Turning to God and the Bible can appear to be the same way. You probably thought you were a pretty good person until you started reading your Bible. Then, you read about all these sins and come to a better understanding of how sinful man really is. Satan throws in the temptation to give up. There is that tendency to give up in the middle of a major cleaning task. Satan wants you to quit this spiritual overhaul as well. You are a major threat to Satan. He cringes at the thought of God continuing his good restorative work on you. No wonder he tempts us to give up so easily.

Thankfully, God gives us something to settle the dust – his grace. Grace teaches us that God does not expect us to be perfect. He knows we are human and will sin. He sent Jesus to die on the cross to take away our sins. He continues to work with us so that we will be holy and sanctified in his sight.

Have you ever been by a building that was never completed? There was a large structure near the mall in my hometown like this. We rode by it many times as we headed west from the mall to the road home. As a child, I would daydream about the business that would be there if completed. Many people give up on God before his clean up job is complete. They are like that building and are only partially constructed. One of my mother’s refrigerator magnet reads, “Be patient! God isn’t finished with me yet.” You need to be patient because God is not finished with you yet.

In a religious article I read a while ago, a lady made this statement, “People quit too easily today.” Her comment was in reference to the younger generation and divorce. I am ashamed to say that many of us are quitters like she said. Be faithful in your marriage. Even more so, be faithful to God. He is fashioning a masterpiece. You may feel like a jumbled mess right now, but let God finish his work. When your life is done, then and only then is God’s construction complete.

Written by: Jimmy Hodges

Morals: Walking with God

Last week, we considered that morality affects how we treat other people. This week, we will see that morals help us have a close relationship with God. All of these areas greatly affect how we act. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV).

When walking with God, the first thing one learns is to fear him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV). The fear of the Lord is respect and honor for the power and glory God has. There are people who believe in God, but the do not fear him. If you fear God, you keep his commandments. “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV). Walking with God reminds us that we should keep his commands. If we are disobedient, we know we will be punished with hell. Also we see that we are punished in this life by the harmful consequences of our sinful actions.

Secondly, the Christian learns to do good when he is walking with God. This is what God wants Christians to do. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Jesus is well known for his good deeds. They are recorded for us in the gospels. Christians are little brothers and little sisters of Jesus Christ. Other people should be able to recognize one as a Christian by his service through good deeds. There is a great blessing to be gained from serving others. God has done so much for us because he cares for us. When we walk with Lord, we want to love like he does.

Thirdly, those who walk with God want to bear fruit. Jesus talks about this in John 15. He says that he is the vine and the Father is the gardener. His disciples are the branches. He wants the disciples to bear fruit that will last. The grape vine bears grapes. The vine of Jesus bears his fruit – Christians. Are you involved in this fruit bearing process? You should be. Train your children in the Lord. Teach the people you know about Jesus.

Written by: Jimmy Hodges

Joseph’s Faith

Joseph was good at whatever he did. When his brothers were doing a poor job, he reported them to Jacob. (Genesis 37:2) Later, Jacob sent Joseph out to check on his brothers again. His reward was being sold into slavery. Of course, this was better than the brothers’ Plan A – to kill him. Potiphar bought Joseph as a slave in Egypt. Joseph was a good slave. Joseph’s master noticed and placed everything under his care (Genesis 39:4). Potiphar’s wife notices Joseph too. She propositions him. He says no. In her scorned fury, she tells Potiphar the lie that Joseph tried to take advantage of her. Potiphar had Joseph put into prison. (Prison is a sign of Potiphar’s favor. Wouldn’t most slaves have been killed on similar charges?)

Joseph is in jail. If he got stuck in a mental rut, he could have easily concluded, “What use is there in being good? I was a good son, and got sold into slavery. I was a good slave, and ended up in jail. Why should I be a good prisoner?” Surprisingly, Joseph’s stays on the same good path. He is a good prisoner. The warden puts Joseph in charge of the prisoners (Genesis 39:22). Later, Joseph interprets dreams for two fellow prisoners. The baker learns in 3 days he will die. The cupbearer learns he will be released in 3 days. 

Two years after the cupbearer’s release, Pharaoh has troubling dreams. The cupbearer tells the ruler he knows a guy in prison who is a good interpreter. Joseph is summoned. He tells Pharaoh the meaning of his dreams. Egypt will have 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine. Pharaoh is so impressed with Joseph that he places him over the famine relief project. (Genesis 41:39,40) When the famine hits, Joseph’s brothers go to Egypt for food. Then, Joseph and family reunite. Once dad dies, the brothers are concerned since revenge is a dish best served cold.

Joseph reassures them with this reply, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19b,20 NIV) Joseph had faith in God even in the darkest days. He was living Romans 8:28 before Paul had Tertius write it down. Joseph inspires us to keep the faith and do good no matter what. Wherever we find ourselves in life as the teenager who wants more responsibility, the young adult who would rather have another job, the middle aged who realizes ones marriage relationship is at an impasse, the retired who are struggling to find purpose, or the elderly adjusting to a new roommate at the nursing home; Joseph teaches us to keep trusting God and do good.

Written by: Jimmy Hodges


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