“A man may have many plans in his heart. But the Lord’s purpose wins out in the end.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Our family has been a enjoying studying selected virtues for the past year. In dedicated time at dinner, bedtimes, and in the car, we have been covered virtues such as discipline, patience, self-control, orderliness, conviction, among several others. While my wife and I strive to provide wisdom to our kids in our studies and discussions, we have to admit that the refreshing, pure, burden-free perspectives and “wisdom” that our kids unabashedly communicate is often some of the most valuable. A dinner discussion last week was one of those times:
We are currently studying hope for the month of April, which we define as “believing something good will come out of something bad”. In a dinner discussion, my “ice breaker” to the family was “tell us something you would like or want to do in the future?” After everyone shared, I was trying to pass along that we should always have hope in our lives, even if we are not troubled, hurt, sick, or sad. My 8-yr old son, Jack, then piped up and said “But Dad, there’s a difference between hope and simply wanting something. When we want something that doesn’t match what God is doing, doesn’t that makes us sad?” I was stopped in my tracks. Maybe Jack should lead our dinner sessions! I responded, “Absolutely right, Jack” and then I remembered and shared the aforementioned Proverb with the family.
The Challenge: In what ways are your plans as a husband, father, and/or worker interfering or contradicting what God may be doing in your life? Is a lack of hope, joy, courage, or determination tied to this contradiction? What new habits can you activate to steer back in line with God?
Author: Ryan Rimington
"You are the light of the world..." (Matt 5:14a)
In other passages of scripture Jesus called himself the Light of the World. But here in the famed "Sermon on the Mount" Jesus uses this phrase to describe his followers. Jesus knew that His time on earth was limited, and that He would leave His Spirit to empower His followers. He also knew that the prejudice, injustice, war, poverty, ignorance, apathy and tyranny of this world - the "darkness" - would not subside. He knew that those who follow Him must be THE light to this dark world.
Sometimes I feel like the light shines the brightest through me when I'm in church, but I hide it when I'm in the world. How backwards is that?! I am a follower of the only source of Light, and He's depending on me to shine it in the darkness. How about you? Are you the light of the world, or just a flickering bulb in the middle of a well-lit room?
Author: Mark Dwyer
Brett Lilly - Campus Pastor at Compass Church (95th campus), husband, father