October 20, 2016

Job 20-22 - 
Zophar took his turn:  
How dare you insult my intelligence like this...The good times of the wicked are short-lived; godless joy is only momentary, the evil might become world famous...but still end up in a pile of dung...Such god-denying people are never content with what they have or who they are: their greed drives them relentlessly...As they run for their lives from one disaster into another...God will strip them of their sin-soaked clothes and hang their dirty laundry out for all to see...

There!  That’s God’s blueprint for the wicked---    
                
Job replied:  Now listen to me carefully, please listen, at least do me the favor of listening...

It’s not you I’m complaining to--It’s God.  Is it any wonder I’m getting fed up with his silence?  Why do the wicked have it so good?....Still, how often does it happen that the wicked fail, or disaster strikes, or they get their just desserts?  How often are they blown away by bad luck?  Not very often...

But who are we to tell God how to run his affairs?  He’s dealing with matters that are way over our heads...Naively you claim the the castles of tyrants fall to pieces, that the achievements of the wicked collapse...So how do you expect me to get any comfort from your nonsense?  Your so-called comfort is a tissue of lies.
                    
Once again Eliphaz responded:  
Are any of us strong enough to give God a hand, or smart enough to give him advice?... Do you think it is because he cares about your purity that he’s disciplining you, putting you on the spot?  Hardly, It’s because you’re a first-class moral failure, because there’s no end to your sins...

Give in to God, come to terms with him and everything will turn out just fine.  Let him tell you what to do; take his words to  heart.  Come back to God Almighty and he’ll rebuild your life.  Clean house of everything evil.  Relax your grip on your money and abandon your gold- plated luxury.  God Almighty will be your treasure, more wealth than you can imagine.                           

Matthew 18:1-18:20 - 
The disciples asked Jesus, Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”  For an answer, Jesus called over a child, whom, he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “i’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let along get like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.... 

Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse...You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your 20/20 vision from inside the fire of hell.  Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly....Look at it this way.  If someone has a 100 sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the 99 and go after the 1?  And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the 99 who stayed put?  Your father feels the same way.  He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.

If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him--work it out between the two of you...If he doesn’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of a witness will keep things honest and try again.  If he still won’t listen, tell the church.  If he still won’t listen, you’ll have to start all over again from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love....What you say to one another is eternal.  I mean this.  When two of you get together on anything at all and make a prayer of it, my Father goes into action.  And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.