Knew Neither

Have you ever been overcome by a Scripture? A Scripture so inspiring or so convicting that it just stops you right in your tracks? 

That was my experience in daily Bible reading recently. We read God’s Word to know God, His purposes, and His ways. We read God’s Word to learn. We read God’s Word to be surprised too. A daily Bible reading plan, like those through YouVersion on your smartphone or computer, keeps you in the Word and allows God to speak. Even when you don’t expect it. 

So, there I was. Minding my own business. Reading through Judges. And chapter 2 verse 10 overcomes me. It jumped up, grabbed me, sat me down and started my mind racing. 

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10 NIV

Oh, no! That's the genertation of Joshua and the conquest of the Promised Land. That generation saw God do amazing acts and benefited from His gracious blessing.

What went wrong? Did they never tell their kids what God had done in their lives? Didn’t they seek to introduce their kids to a personal relationship with God? This younger generation didn’t know the God who calls them His own because of the shortcomings of their parents. What a tragedy!

It got even tougher as I thought about me. And you. And our generation. How am I doing? How are you doing? As parents, we love our kids. As Christ followers, we love all children. We want children to know God more intimately than we do. Thats our hope. But is it our prayer? Is it our practice?

We can not make children or young adults follow Jesus. But we can show them the way.  

We can love them through their challenging and changing years toward maturity.

We can pray for them all along the way. Every day. Or even moment by moment. Like breathing.

And we can teach them. Teach them with the Bible. Tell them with our words. Show them by our example.

Let it not be said that our children knew neither God or His great works.

Teach them. Tell them. That they might know.

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Hammer and Nail

I took my heavy canvas tool bag to church yesterday. Loaded up with various tools. A cordless drill with bits and drivers, a 2' level and his son the bullet level, pry bar, tape measure, a hammer, and even some sunflower seeds just to name a few items included.

Handing out tools illustrated my sermon, "His Heart, His Hands, His Voice," from 1 Corinthians 12.  I handed them to various church members unfortun... I mean "lucky"... enough to be sitting along one aisle.

At this point you are thinking, "I get free tools at Aaron's church?," or, "What happens next?"

To answer the former: I took the tools back once we applied the lesson to conclude the sermon.  They are tools because they are useful to me as they work together by my guidance.  That was the point.

The answer to the later.  It gets interesting.  

You know the claw on the backside of a hammer's head?  Not only can it be used for removing nails, but it is also effective for catching the mouth of tool bags and launching a hammer from a pastor's hands at unsuspecting congregants!

In one swift motion, I rocketed that hammer four foot high and four foot forward spinning toward a dear, ducking for cover sister.  A sister who was wishing she hadn't have chosen the aisle seat.

"Congregant Nailed By Pastor's Hammer In Sermon," the headlines would have read.

Would have.

Thankfully, it fell short of hitting her and landed on the carpeted aisle.  But the Onion couldn't tell it any funnier.  And surely Headlines on Leno surely would have featured that one.

It gets me to thinking.

When is the last time I was nailed by God's Word?

Am I opening myself to His Word regularly to hear from Him?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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Bread You Did Not Know

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had know, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 8:3.  Not an easy verse.  Not too pleasing to consider.  Might make you down-right angry.

 God did what?  To his own people?  Who He says He loves with an everlasting, covenant love?  And he did it why?  That mean, hard, inconsiderate thing?  Humbled?  Hunger?

You might be tempted to ask God, “What were you thinking?”  Or to give him a piece of your mind, “That’s not nice! How dare you? Your own people.”

Before we go off on God, let’s remember a few things: One, He is all loving, all knowing, & absolutely without flaw - no matter what we think; Two, we are NOT Him - no matter what we think.

When life doesn’t seem to be going my way.  When I have sown poor choices and begin to reap the consequences.  When I have simply fallen into unfortunate chance but still have to deal with the mess.  When I want to play the victim making it the fault of anything but me.  When I want to name someone else the villain making it their fault alone.  When in any of these scenes or more as a follower of Christ I want to doubt God’s goodness or question His plan I need to remember.  I need to remember Him.

Don’t forget.  Remember.  God is sovereign.  God does love me.  God does have a plan bigger than I can imagine.  God has created me to fill a special role in His plan.  God knows all my circumstances.  God feels all my sorrows.  And God can use everything in my life for His glory.  Will I let him?

When I am humbled.  When I am hungry.  When I am hurting in any way.  Will I turn to Him?  Knowing He has a plan and He will carry me through.

And did you notice what God did in the midst of their hunger to remind them of His love and power?  He did something no one had ever known before.  He fed them with manna.  Miraculous manna.  God used bread they did not know to teach them about a living bread - His Word - they did know.

So it is today.  It is His Word that sustains us.  Maybe you’re feeling malnourished.  If so, then this might be a good time to start a new Bible reading plan this year.  Or maybe a new daily devotional.  There are so many ways to engage God’s Word that we have no excuse.  Other than our heart and commitment.

Remember.  God uses everything in our lives.  Especially the hard things.  To show us His power, to teach us His provision, and to draw us closer to Him.  Are you humbled or hurting?  God is after your heart.  Turn to Him in faith.

Tandem is an easy, electronic way to engage God’s Word throughout your day.  With a schedule & by means you choose.  Email, text, even voicemail.  All customized to you.  All done well.  You’ll be blessed.

Leave a comment & let us know how you engage God's Word.  Or, share this post using the tools below, to encourage others.

Missing Meals


A simple Facebook status question this evening would have generated so many responses.  More than 20 at the time of this writing.

What's for dinner at your house?

That was my simple question.

From pizza burgers (that sounds real good) to quiche, from chili to leftovers.  Folks are serious 'bout supper.

A few observations:

  • Some of you, my friends, really need to have my family over for dinner because y'all are cooking good.
  • The Householders need some more dinner invites.  I mentioned one just like that already?  Sorry.  Not.
  • We ain't missing meals round here, are we?  On average, a Facebook status gets two or three replies. But dinner?  We folks got plenty to say about what we're gonna eat.
  • Would that I could be so hungry for the Word of God.  That I had a plan to consume it & passion to share it just like my dinner.  We, as Americans, & even as Christ Followers, are missing too many meals.

 Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

How do you get the Word of God in your life daily?  Please share a comment with your suggestions for others.

How Firm

If you know me, you know that I talk about faith.  Preach about faith.  Want to live faith.

Yet.  I am human too.  Full of sin & self-interest.  I need faith.  I need to live out faith.

And. My faith must be challenged.  Like a muscle.  It must be exercised progressively in order to grow.  It must be used regularly to prevent atrophy.

I've had a faith challenge of late.  And God, in His exceeding grace, answered today.  He will provide.  He will carry.  Why would I doubt?  He always does.  As J. Hudson Taylor said, "God's work done in God's way will never lack for God's provision."

Reveling in the exceeding goodness of God, the wonderful, old hymn How Firm a Foundation fell upon my heart.

Published in 1787 within John Rippon's Selection of Hymns, the first verse lays God's Word as the foundation.  Faith strengthening Scriptures fill the verses that follow.  Verse two is Isaiah 41:10.  Three is Isaiah 43:2.  2 Corinthians 12:9 is within verse four.  The fifth verse leans on Hebrews 13:5.

Be encouraged.  Be strengthened.  Be challenged.  As you read or sing.

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said,
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Do you have a faith story you'd like to share?

Maybe a favorite Scripture or quote about faith?

Post a comment to encourage others.