Last week I was at a high school conference where we learned about the story of Daniel. Daniel is an interesting guy. He is one of the only people in the Bible, besides Jesus, where his mistakes aren’t recorded. Throughout his whole story Daniel is portrayed as an upright guy that is following God in the midst of some pretty hard circumstances. The book of Daniel is full of story after story of how Daniel stood up for what was right despite the imminent danger that it would cost him. This is where the story gets really interesting. Each time Daniel or his friends were faithful in the midst of danger God spared them. From a fiery furnace to a lions den, when they stood for what was right, God showed up and saved them.
My grandpa, or poppa as I grew up calling him, has taught me many things over the course of my life. Those lessons didn’t come from words or a big teaching moment; they came from his life. His life spoke the love of Christ louder than words could ever express. Over the years I have learned many things from watching him. Here’s 5 of the biggest lessons I learned from him through my childhood and teen years.
Unfortunately in the world we live in you don’t have to wait very long for the next tragic event to occur. It seems with increasing regularity someone decides to commit an appalling act against people around them. The latest tragedy happened last night when Dylann Storm Roof entered a church and killed 9 in a twisted sense of patriotic justice. This has left many shocked and outraged. Many of us asking how a human could carry out such an evil deed.
Why do we need church? What’s the purpose? Maybe you are like me and you’ve speculated on the answer to those questions. I believe the answer to this question is hugely important. How you and I answer has ramifications on how we interact and connect with the church. Your answer will affect the kind of church you attend or don’t attend or if you even attend church at all. It’s an important question I believe Christians need to think about and take the time to decide themselves.
Confession time. I like to be in control of my life. Sure I have no problem saying I trust God and talking about how I will follow Him anywhere. However when it’s time to back up my words with actions I’m confronted with the reality that my words speak louder than my actions deliver. I suspect I’m not alone. In fact I know I’m not alone; the Bible is filled with examples. None more prominent then Peter.
We don’t need an expert to tell us that our world is screwed up; that should be apparent to all of us. It seems everyday there is a new report of corruption in the news. It’s way too easy to find a story of someone taking advantage of their neighbor or lying about their actions. The world is full of these accounts that all too often affect our own personal lives. It is clear how messed up our world truly is. But that doesn’t surprise me.