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Do We Have to Go to Be Truly Faithful to God? Part 2

In yesterday’s edition of Life for Leaders, I talked about growing up in a church that lauded those who heard God’s command to “Go” and went. These heroes of the faith were the missionaries who went to a foreign land or the future pastors who went off to seminary in order to serve the Lord “in full-time Christian work.” The implications of this way of thinking were clear. The rest of us were not serving Christ full-time, or at least not in a fully committed manner. We were in some sense second-class Christians. God could be glorified in our lives, to be sure, but not quite as much as if we heard him say “Go” and literally went.

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Do We Have to Go to Be Truly Faithful to God? Part 1

During most of my young life as a Christian, it seemed like the really faithful disciples always had to go away. They were the missionaries who left the comforts of the United States for the hardships of life on the other side of the world. Or they were the businessmen who heard God’s call to go into the ministry, leaving behind a world of abundance for the austerity of pastoral existence. The best Christians were just like Abram because God told them to go and they went.

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That Doggone Trust Walk

Years ago when I was a junior high intern at my church, the leader decided that the group was going to experience a trust walk. The idea is simple. Half the people put on blindfolds and are guided around by the other half of the people. Then, after a few minutes, everybody switches. This means that every person gets to experience what it’s like to trust someone else. It’s not hard to see how this provides an apt illustration of our relationship with God.

I was enthusiastic about the trust walk until I got paired up with Toby.

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“Go!” With one word, God changes the life of one man and his family, and through them the whole world.

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No One Does Good! Really?

I remember when I first resolved to read through the whole Bible. I was in high school and it seemed like the godly thing to do. But, as I began making my way through Scripture, I kept stumbling upon verses that were unsettling to me. Sometimes what a verse described seemed abhorrent to me (Should I be happy when babies have their heads dashed on the rocks?). Other verses just seemed wrong (Should I always give to those who ask?). I believed that the Bible was God’s Word and was always true. But what was I to do with verses that seemed to be, well, false?

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Are You a Nimrod?

When I was a boy, I did not want to be a nimrod. In the community of my upbringing, the word “nimrod” was equivalent to “idiot” or “stupidhead.” If a friend said to me, “You nimrod!” that meant I had done or said something especially foolish.

Interestingly enough, the word “nimrod” did not originally have such a connotation.

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Where Do You Belong?

Where do you belong?

As you read this question, what first came to mind for you? Did you think of your family? Or did you envision you friends? Maybe your community? Where do you fit? In what relationships do you find love, meaning, and security?

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Are Covenants Relevant to Business Leaders?

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders edition, we focused on the covenant God established with Noah, his progeny, and, indeed, all creatures on earth. I talked about how covenants are like contracts, though distinctive in their binding and one might say “serious” character. We might talk about the covenant of marriage, for example. But we would not say that we established a covenant with someone to paint our house.

You may have wondered if the notion of covenants is relevant to today’s world beyond the church. Do covenants matter, for example, in the business world?

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A Distinctive Contract with God

Contracts. We all have them, by the dozens. In business, government, and in our personal lives, contracts provide structure and order for relationships that are essential to all of life. Contracts tell us what is expected of us and what we can expect from others. Without contracts, both explicit and implicit, our lives and our work would quickly unravel.

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Trusting God in Spite of Your Circumstances

There are times when it’s fairly easy to trust in God’s love, to rejoice in his salvation, and to sing because he has been good to us. I think of times in my life when I was overwhelmed by God’s blessings, when I could hardly believe how good my life was. My heart was filled with thanks and praise.

Yet, there are other times, aren’t there? Times when life is hard, when sorrow fills our hearts, when we wonder if God is even there for us.

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A Pointer to Christ

In many and varied ways the Old Testament points to the new, especially to God’s work in Jesus Christ. We think, for example of prophetic texts that promise salvation through God’s special ruler (Isaiah 9:1-7). Yet, beyond specific prophecies, Christian readers of the Old Testament see other kinds of pointers to Christ. One of these is found in Genesis 8:20-21.

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Do Our Actions Affect God’s Actions?

The sovereignty of God is one of the great mysteries of Christian faith. I’m certainly not going to sort it all out in one edition of Life for Leaders. I couldn’t do so definitively in a thousand! Today, my purpose is fairly modest. I want to help us pay close attention to one surprising verse in Genesis 8 so that we might see how this verse helps us answer the question: Do our actions affect God’s actions?

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