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Where were you?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’? “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and it is dyed like a garment. Light is withheld from the wicked, and their uplifted arm is broken. “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. “Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? “Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass? “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind? Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together? (Job 38:1-38, NRSV)

Where were you?

And really what can we do without the help of God? Nothing really good…

God has done so much for us, that doesn’t mean we will always understand the circumstances we or our loved ones go through, but God has it all under control.

And this passage reminded me of this song:

I thought up all the questions that my human mind could bring
And laid them out before the Lord and demanded a reason for these things
I asked about inequality and the success of evil men
But what was I to say to Him, when He answered with this question

Where were you when I split the sky and the sea
Where were you when I taught the lion to roar
Where were you when I made electricity
Fall from the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm
Where were you

And I had no response, I had no reply
‘Cause the One who spoke and is the truth opened up my eyes
And I laid my time of doubt at the feet of the infinite
But what was left for me to say when He answered with this question

Where were you when I split the sky and the sea
Where were you when I taught the lion to roar
Where were you when I made electricity
Fall from the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm

Where were you when I put stars in the sky
Where were you when I taught the eagle to fly
Where were you when I made that little child
Look just like her mom but she had her Daddy’s eyes
Where were you

Where were you
Where were you

Where were you when I split the sky and the sea
Where were you when I taught the lion to roar
Where were you when I made electricity
Fall from the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm

Where were you when I put stars in the sky
Where were you when I taught the eagle to fly
Where were you when I made that little child
Look just like her mom but she had her Daddy’s eyes
Where were you

Songwriters
TONY REFLEX / RIKK AGNEW

 

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passed through their midst

Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’”  And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way. (Luke 4:21-30, NRSV)

No prophet is accepted in their hometown.

Elijah healed those who were not Jews. Those who were not a part of God’s chosen people.

And because Jesus brought up these stories the people were enraged.

They wanted to throw Him off a cliff, but He passed through their midst…

How many times are we upset because of what someone else gets?

The healing that eludes us or our loved ones, but sets someone else free.

The promotion we get passed over for while our friend gets a new great job.

Is Jesus passing through our midst, trying to elude our attempts to throw Him off a cliff?

 

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gifts

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:1-12, NRSV)

I do not want you to be uninformed about spiritual gifts!

I don’t think any of us want to be uninformed about gifts. Don’t we all like getting gifts?

But really these are not necessarily gifts for us.

The gifts we receive from the Spirit are gifts to help show forth God’s love to the world. To allow God to use us to spread His mercy and love and grace to a world that needs to see it.

We get a gift to help the body, which we are all a part of, and each of us has a part to play. None more important than another. All parts are needed and there is no small job.

So use your gift to build up the body, and show His light to the world!

 

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questioned

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?—when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’? (Job 38:1-11, NRSV)

How would you like God to question you?

Gird up your loins like a man, because I have some things to ask you…

Who laid the foundation of the earth?

Who determined its measurements?

Or stretched the line upon it?

Who laid the cornerstone for it?

Who told the sea to stop?

Well there is an easy answer to this… Yet who would want to be questioned by God?

God is the answer, not only to all of these questions He asked of Job, but to life.

The meaning of life is not 42… The meaning to life is living the life that God has called you to live, and then when He comes to ask the questions there is no need to fear!

 
 

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Cosmic vending machine

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’ (Luke 17:11-19, NRSV)

How many times do you ask God to help you when things are going well in your life?

Are you there to say, “Thank you Lord for the many blessings you have given me. For my health and the health of my family. For my job and the many wonders from you in my life.”

Most of us do not seek out God when everything is good, only when we perceive we are in need do we run after Him. Only when we need something do we cry out, “Lord help me!”

Much like these 10 lepers, who were not included in society any more because of their disease. They were put out of the village. They had nothing. So they cried out. And Jesus healed them! All 10 of them.

They were all healed, but only one stopped to turn around and give thanks.

But think about it honestly, would you be one of the 9 or the lone one? Would you have stopped and gone back to God and said thanks! Or would you have gone on now that you have gotten what you want?

We treat God like a cosmic vending machine, going to Him in our need and not spending time to deepen the relationship. He loves you too much to let you suffer, but we can not use Him like a magical genie that will heal all our needs and never spend time with Him.

God is not our cosmic vending machine! Give thanks this day for all He has given you.

 

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On your side!

Jesus Stained Glass‘O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock for ever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God,  whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:23-27a, NRSV)

I wish that all of my words were written down and I was there with Jesus after my skin had been destroyed, and then I could in my flesh see God!

Job tells us of the resurrection of the body. That we will as we are stand before God because of what Jesus has done for us!

We will be able to stand before God because Jesus is on our side and He has done great things for us!

Praise be to God that He lives, and because He lives we too shall live!

Thank God today that He is on your side!

 

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rubbish…

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Philippians 3:2-12 ESV)

We can not brag about ourselves because we really have nothing to brag about…

Paul does, though, according to the text above. He has met all the criteria for being on the inside by his lineage. But this does not matter. You see everything that is not Christ crucified is rubbish.

Rubbish is an interesting word. Merriam Webster Online defines rubbish as:

1: useless waste or rejected matter : trash
2: something that is worthless or nonsensical <few real masterpieces are forgotten and not much rubbish survives — William Bridges-Adams>

The Merriam Webster Student Dictionary defines it as “useless waste or stuff that has been thrown away : TRASH”

So rubbish is trash or unimportant stuff. It is something that in the grand scheme of things does not matter. And Paul here is saying anything that is not Christ Crucified is rubbish, trash, adiaphora, stuff that does not matter at all.

All of your possessions and everything you have, your house, your car, your clothes, your cell phone, your laptop, your tablet… All of these things do not matter. How much time do we spend worrying about what other people are going to say about the things that don’t matter? How much money (which doesn’t matter either) and time and life do we spend on getting out look right, our home right, our car right… And we miss the boat.

Everything except Christ crucified is rubbish and Paul even goes farther than that and uses a word that is not any where else in the New Testament. The word is skubala in the Greek and is only found here in Philippians chapter 3 and Paul uses it for the power it would bring out in his statement. It is translated as rubbish or dung, or loss, or refuse but none of these get close to what it means to us in English. We would hear it in “the _____ hit the fan.” It is a slang word of Paul’s day for animal or human excrement  Paul uses this word here for the effect of what it would have been heard as, because that is exactly what everything is in contrast to Christ crucified. Christ crucified is the only thing that can save us. We can’t, our car can’t, our clothes can’t, our spouses can’t, our churches can’t, our pastor’s can’t, our money can’t, our jobs can’t…. Nothing except Christ!

And that is the point. Everything else is rubbish or dung as the KJV says… Everything is worthless crap compared to Christ crucified and what that has done for you!

 

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