“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1) We take so much for granted in life. We make our plans and we carry them out. We schedule things in advance, expecting tomorrow to be available. To a certain extent, modern life requires this, but the day will come we are reminded that we don’t know everything. We can’t account for everything. So we shouldn’t be smug, resting on the laurels we expect to receive tomorrow like we’ve already won today. Bragging about our plans for the future, taking pride in our goals and ambitions, is setting ourselves up forRead More →

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” (Psalm 143:10) David prays for instruction from God on how to do God’s will, and presumably what God’s will is to start with, at a time when he is being pursed by the enemy, who sounds more like depression than a human enemy in this psalm: his soul is crushed, he sits in darkness, his spirit faints, his heart fails–or he is overcome with dismay. David remembers first what God has done in the past and cries out to God to speak comfort to himRead More →

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,” (Psalm 95:6-7) To ears familiar with a certain chorus, the psalm’s transition here is as jarring as the stopping point is awkward and incomplete. We go from an upbeat worship tune playing in our heads to a solemn, perhaps even tuneless, warning not to harden our hearts against the voice of God. So what is the connection? We are the sheep of his pasture,Read More →

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) According to James, we are deceiving ourselves about what we believe in our hearts when we read the bible, known intellectually what it says, and go out and ignore it in practice. So how do we not turn away from this uncomfortable mirror and promptly forget what we looked like and keep on as we are? In our instant culture and world, we often react by habit and by impulse. If our habits are godly, that is great. If our habits are indistinguishable from our impulses, that’s not so great. Contrary to whatRead More →

“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5) This verse reminds us of the mystery–we don’t know how the spirit joins to the body, as we are knit together in the womb or otherwise, and we can’t always see God at work. We often don’t know what he is doing in our lives or others’ lives. But we can trust he does have a plan for us. The question is, are we submitted vessels? Are we driving andRead More →