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Devotional

The Christian Dismissal of Another’s Suffering

God sets up some things in the world to come about only through prayer. Sometimes he wants you to pray for your suffering. But often we just refuse to pray, dismissing our own suffering as trivial. We deny God’s assistance and refuse to hand over our problems to him thinking he has other suffering to worry about. Denying our own suffering, even when it is small, denies God the ability to comfort us. It is not selfishness to surrender all our burdens to the Lord. It is selfishness to assume God should not be bothered when he has told us to let him carry our burdens.
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Will You Take the 7 Day Family Challenge?

It seems like the majority of families that I encounter say that after faith, family is the most important thing in their lives. If that’s the case, then it makes sense that we would want to do everything in our power to intentionally develop our families into being, doing, and having our very best.

Although a lot of us are “doing ok” as a family —some better than others— I think if we’re honest, we all know deep down that we could do better, but it’s hard to know where to focus our attention to start.

That’s why I am so excited to share with you a great way to get your family focused on what really matters: the 7-Day Family Challenge from Ziglar Family!

Starting on March 27th, Mark Timm, CEO of Ziglar Family, and his team will be bringing to your inbox each day 7 leading experts sharing their proven, practical advice to help your family experience 7 specific “wins” in just 7 days! It is all completely free.
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Mathew 25: The ‘Luke, I Am Your Father’ of Scripture

Ask your average Star Wars fan the Darth Vader quote when he tells Luke about their relationship and you will more likely than not get “Luke, I am your father.” That is not actually the quote. It is really “No. I am your father.”

But over time, more and more people think it is the former. The movie Snow White has a similar one. You probably say it, “Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?” It is actually “Magic mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?”

In the same way, ask who “the least of these” is in Matthew 25:40-45 and you probably think it is the poor, generally. “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’” (Matt 25:45 ESV).

That is the common view today, but it is neither the most accurate view or even the predominate view in church history.
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But the Word Is Not Used

Christianity has boundaries. Within those boundaries there is movement and debate and even disagreement. But there are still boundaries beyond which there is only heresy. Rejecting the trinity is rejecting the eternal God. We no longer get to define orthodoxy. That was done long ago by the saints who came before us, many of whom suffered, were tortured, executed, or were exiled. Today, orthodoxy defines us, we do not define it.
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Merry Christmas

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)

Have you ever wondered what that angel song sounded like? Were the angels singing the sound of Beethoven’s Ninth with booming drums and crescendo surrounded by deep bass voices elevated by sopranos and altos? Or was it a concerto styled like Mozart or a lullaby from Brahms? Was it other worldly? Did it lift the souls or send chills down the spines of the shepherds who had to be told, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

Was the heavenly host composed of a choir? Was there a solo, were there instruments, did it sound like something we would know or appreciate? Maybe it was otherworldly. Perhaps it was relatable to the music of the day and would be something else entirely were it to happen today. Created in the image of God, mankind has a sense of aesthetic. We can tell when something is good or bad. I do not mean like a dog who likes the beef and carrot food, but not the chicken and rice food. I mean we know intrinsically that something, though it may not be to our personal taste, is beautiful and glorious. Music is one of those things.

The Heavenly Host sang. They related great joy and a miracle through a song in the heavens appreciable to the ears of mankind. We do not know the rhythm and meter. We do not know if there were soloists or instruments. We do not know how long it lasted. But we know the angels sang with great joy over the restoration of Immanuel. We had walked in the garden with the king then, after exile, could do it no more till then. God had come back and it was time to sing songs of joy across the heavens.
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Quote of the Day
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear"
- Martin Luther King Jr.