Grief and Bitterness Blinds Us

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Genesis 42:36 (New American Standard Bible - NASB)
36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.”

Bitterness and grief can cut us off from life and not allow us to see what God wants to do. Yes wisdom is necessary but when grief and bitterness fill our hearts, especially years after an event, there is little room to see the provision of God. For as the story goes, Jacob is about to have his family reunited not torn a part. Oh that we might see life through the eyes of God and trust him for everything.

- Bruce 

Loop Hole in Finding Life

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Luke 13:24 (NASB)
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Don't we all strive to find the right way to God? Through all kinds of means and ways? That is what religion is. Man's attempt at finding God. God showed us one way and said if we can can do it, then we can have life. The only problem is that we can't. No one could. But in the middle of doing that, God had a loop hole in finding the right way. And a few found it. The loop he left open was faith. Trusting him alone with no amount of good. Then he made the way a little clearer through Jesus. Still that small crack is the only way. Clear and simple as it is. Faith in Jesus.

- Bruce 

Search for the Elusive Blessing

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Luke 12:15 (NLT)
15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

But do we not buy into that? We ask for blessing from God and believe that our richness is from him. We see that in others and judge them by that. On the flip side, if we do not have blessings, we feel we are not seen by God or enjoy the favor of his eye. It is not God's blessing we look for but wealth and "things". Battling greed is hardier than it seems. Wealth is more than blessing and things. But how the tangible trips us up. Can we find it? Do we want to find it?

- Bruce

Easy choices but not good choices

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Genesis 25:34 (NASB)
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

How often do we make decisions where we make light of what God has done for us? We choose the easy road, the one that is in front of us. We choose bitterness, anger, fear, lust, verbal outburst, worry, lying, hatred, coarse language, selfishness, pride, or self defacing because it is there. Right there. It is easy. Takes almost no thought. Maybe we are tired and don't want to think. Yet in choosing one of those easy things, we make light of God's gift to us. We don't choose his way. We grieve him. It is not the end of the world but it sure doesn't satisfy or do what we had hoped it would.

- Bruce 

Searching for Blessing or Suffering?

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Luke 9:22-25 (NASB)
22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?

As much as blessing is a promise of God, so is suffering. Yet we readily embrace the one and reject the later. Oh how we love to live in God's blessing. In wealth and ease and good health. Yet God called us to a life of suffering even as he suffered. It says he suffered many things. He would be rejected. Rejected, he was. Often by the leaders and people of his day. People were selfish. They only wanted him for what he could give. Healing. Free meal. A prayer over their children. Whatever. What do we want of Jesus? Are we willing to sacrifice all for him? Are we willing to lay down our life? Even if we don't get "blessings"?

- Bruce