Midweek Reflections

Much More

Read: Mark 6:1-13

We know from the gospel accounts in the New Testament that Jesus was a Carpenter and most likely worked alongside his father and others around the town of Nazareth.  Can you imagine having Jesus come to do some carpentry work in your home.  Scripture says that he was perfect so his handy work would have been perfect as well.  But Jesus was much more than a Carpenter.

In Mark 6 we see that the people had a hard time seeing Jesus for who he really was.  Along with his daily work he was also about the work of God.  Most likely the two went together.  Jesus was just as concerned about the people as he was the work he might have been doing for them.  Perhaps this is a good example for us to apply to our daily work.

Pastor David Jeremiah shares a story about a furniture store in Indiana named Purposeful Design.  David Palmer is the owner and he sees his company as more than a place to create custom furniture.  He sees his business as a way to help employees rebuild their lives from addiction, homelessness, and much more.  David shares Jesus with his employees and helps them to see how Jesus can bring change, restoration, and hope to their lives along with a paycheck.

Yes, Jesus was much more than a Carpenter.  He is our Messiah!  Our Lord and Savior!  In our daily work and relationships may we find ways to introduce Jesus and be an example of Jesus to those we employ or work alongside.  We are called to do much more than show up for work, we are called be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who need him in their life.

Make It Personal:  Think about your weekly schedule.  Whether you have a job, a family, or are retired you have been called and sent out to make a difference in the name of Jesus.  Who is God calling on you to reach out to this week?  In verses 7-13 of Mark 6 Jesus sends out his followers to share the good news.  Let’s go out and do the same.

Have a wonderful week,  Glen Rhodes

Worthwhile Wisdom

Read: Proverbs 10

A man once asked God, “What does a billion dollars mean to you who are all powerful?”

“Hardly a penny.”  God said.

The man then asked God, “And what are a thousand centuries to you?”

God answered “Hardly a second!”

Thinking he had God backed into a corner, the man then said, “If that’s the case, O Lord, then give me a penny!”  God replied, “Sure, just give me a minute.”

Perhaps you have heard that before?  I ran across it again recently online.  The idea behind that is that wisdom is not outsmarting God, wisdom is living in and with God.  Wisdom is being in Christ and surrounded by Christ.  Wisdom is eating and drinking from the feast God has prepared for us.  God’s Word is full of wisdom and the book of Proverbs has an abundance of it for us.

It’s hard to pick just one chapter of Proverbs because there is so much in each chapter.  These Proverbs of Solomon are short, one or two verse bursts of Godly wisdom. One verse will talk about how hatred stirs up conflict, but love conquers all wrongs.  The next might speak of how the fear (reverence) of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked come to nothing. Nothing in this world compares to the knowledge and wisdom of God.  Proverbs has it if you will open to its pages.

Make It Personal:  Spend some time this week in Proverbs and ask for the wisdom of God to be real to you and known to you.  Take these great nuggets of wisdom and apply them to your life as you head out the door.  Like this one, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

Be blessed this week,  Glen Rhodes

Stories of the Bible

Read: Deuteronomy 4:9-14

The past 6 months I have had the privilege and opportunity to teach a third and fourth grade class in our church primary department.  I love the way the children ask questions about the various Bible Stories we talk about.  Sometimes they are questions that I had not even thought about myself.  At the end of each class we spend some time doing Bible trivia and I’m confident this has helped them learn the many wonderful stories of the Bible and remember them for the future.

In Deuteronomy 4 the Lord leads Moses to encourage parents and the church to be sure to pass these many stories of God’s work and God’s truth in our world on to our children and grandchildren. In chapter 6 it says, “Take to heart these words that I give you today.  Repeat them to your children.  Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.”  Parent’s and Church how are we doing with this?

In a culture where Biblical literacy is falling fast we need to be extra vigilant at making sure we are reading, sharing, and talking about the stories of the Bible and the truth they hold for us.  There are many ways to do this but we must be sure that it’s being done.  Our culture is sending many mixed messages to our children these days and if parents and the church are not ready and willing to teach and talk about these things with their kids then they could be led astray.  Our church vision says that “we will guide our children to learn God’s Word and know Jesus personally.”  Parent’s and Church how are we doing with this?

Make It Personal:  When children are young they love to have Bible stories read to them.  Be sure you are doing that if you have very young ones at home.  As they grow older you will need to find other creative ways through media, video, and events to keep these stories alive for them.  The most important thing parents and grandparents can do is talk to them about these things and bring them to church.  Let them hear and see from you and the church how God works, what God does, and how Jesus is our Savior.

My prayers will be with you,  Glen Rhodes

It Changed Everything!

Read: Luke 22-24

There are various events in our lives in which we look back and say, “It changed everything!”  A marriage, the birth of a child, overcoming an addiction, a restored relationship, a commitment to Jesus as your Savior, and you add whatever else it might be for you.  As we look back we realize how a change sometimes caused life to look different, go different, and give us a different outlook.

What happened during Holy Week and at the end of that week some 2,000 years ago was the ultimate “It Changed Everything!” for our world.  Luke 22-24 captures the whole story from Jesus sharing the last supper with the disciples and washing their feet, to his betrayal by Judas Iscariot and the trial that followed, to his crucifixion where he died for the sins of the world, to his resurrection 3 days later in which he conquered death once and for all.

Lives are changed and transformed forever for those who receive Jesus and all that he has done for them.  Sin no longer has to grip us and keep us in bondage, guilt can be released, fear can be dispelled, and the joy and peace of God can fully be realized because of these events of Holy Week. How can we not remember, celebrate, and give thanks for these immeasurable blessings?

Make It Personal:  If some things in your life need changed right now I encourage you to look to the one who has the power to change them.  Jesus can help you to overcome what may look bleak, dark, and depressing in your life.  If you turn to him and allow his resurrection life to shing into those situations you too may look back and say, “It Changed Everything!”

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes

Your Refuge & Strength

Read: Psalm 91

Where are your thoughts dwelling recently?  Where is your trust in God?  How is your fear level these days?  For most of us, our thoughts, actions, and stress points are great indicators of our level of hope, our fears, and the peace we have about life.  Our prayer life can help greatly with keeping all of these in perspective and in line with God’s promises to us.

Psalm 91 is a great place to start if you need a reminder and confirmation of where your help can come from in the midst of difficult days. In fact, this Psalm can be read or recited as a prayer for yourself or someone who might need the assurance of God’s love, care, concern, and help.  God is your refuge, God is your fortress of strength, and God will cover you in times of trouble.

How wonderful are these words from Psalm 91:14-16 in the Contemporary English Version…

“The Lord says, If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe.  When you are in trouble, call out to me.  I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.  You will live and long and see my saving power.”  Great words and promises to apply to our life!

Make It Personal:  What thoughts have been weighing you down lately?  Thoughts often lead us down paths that distract us from these great promises of God.  Ask Jesus to bring healing to your thoughts this week and try to focus on the peace, joy, and strength found in the Lord.

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes

The Edge of an Abyss

Read: Romans 10:1-13

When I was growing up in Carlsbad, New Mexico our family would often visit the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  As we descended into the cave I would always be struck by one section that was called “The Bottomless Pit.”  You could not see the bottom and only your imagination could see how far the hole descended further into the earth.  It was a place no one wanted to go to find out just how far into the abyss it would take you.

Back in 1942 in the midst of World War II L. Nelson Bell wrote, “The civilization of which we are a part is perched precariously on the edge of an abyss.  This is obvious to all, whether in or outside of the church.”  It’s easy to understand why Mr. Bell would have felt this way during one of the worst world wars of all time.  It’s also easy to understand why many feel that way today as well with war, pandemics, politics, morality, and self-worship at such alarming levels.

This is why the hope found in Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life in heaven is so important.  In Romans 10 the apostle Paul mentions some of these same challenges that we face in this world.  He refers to an Old Testament image of “the deep” that is sometimes translated as the abyss.  He mentions that this is a place where our troubles here on earth will sometimes try to take us.  How are we saved from this abyss?  In verse 13 it says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Make It Personal:  You don’t have to fall into the bottomless pits of this world.  God has sent his Son Jesus Christ to save you from that abyss.  He wants to save you, deliver you, and help you through the often dark, confusing, and challenging troubles of this world.  In John 16:33 Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” Call on the name of Jesus and you too can be saved.

Find your peace in Jesus this week,  Glen Rhodes

Reflection Archives