If you’ve been out and about much lately, you can’t help but notice the splendor of color that has been cast across the tree-lined sky. The various shades of yellow, orange, and red on display have been captivating.
What do you think about when you see these colors? Do you wish you could take a few days off for a color tour? Do you think about the need to rake the leaves in your yard? Do you have a renewed sense that it’s good to be alive?
Whatever else you may think about, I encourage you to think about this: In the beauty of all that color is the revelation of God and His glory.
We may find it hard at times to see the evidence of God’s existence, but He has not left us without witness. One of the strongest testimonies of His presence is through His creation.
The book of Psalms tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Ps.19:1-3).
Do you get the idea? The God who made it all, continually reveals Himself in what He has made. And it’s a message that can be heard by the whole world.
“You cannot preserve true freedom if you create a society in which freedom is not balanced by responsibilities and duties.”
~ Paul Johnson
If you are an ordinary person trying to do what’s right and do the best you can with your life, you probably have your moments of frustration. You wonder, “What’s the use?” No matter how hard you try, nothing seems to change much for the better. And as you look at others who do not seem to care about what is right like you do, they appear to be better off. You may even be tempted to go over to the dark side.
If you find yourself feeling this way on occasion, you are not alone. There are many people who at one time or another despair over whether doing what’s right and keeping their commitments in life is worth it.
Although this scenario is common, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. It should, because it creates a crisis that forces you to choose what direction you are headed with your life.
So what’s a person struggling with such thoughts to do? Keep going. Don’t quit. Keep looking to the Lord in faith. And here are a few things to keep in mind as you do. . .
First, remember that we live in a fallen world. It’s easy to get discouraged if you keep wondering why your life is not just the way you want it to be. But if you accept that we live in a world that remains filled with mundane activities, trials and temptation, you will be in a much better position to endure them with contentment.
The Bible tells us to run our race with endurance, to fight the good fight, to keep the faith, because it recognizes that life is difficult and that we will be tempted to lose heart. We need to recognize this as well if we are to endure.
The Bible tells us that children are a blessing (Ps. 127:3), but for those in the midst of parenting, it’s often wondered how this can be, as bringing up children is one of the most challenging tasks on earth.
When you first begin as a parent you don’t know much of what you are doing. Then, when you get some experience, the children you are working with are older and are much less pliable. Fortunately, along with the assurance that children are a blessing, the Bible also gives us the instruction needed so that the blessing the Bible speaks of would be experienced in our homes.
The clearest of these instructions says this: “do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph.6:4). This short statement about parenting has two parts. It tells us what not to do, and and what to do.
First, what not to do. Do not provoke your children to anger (or, as some translations put it, do not exasperate them).
There are a number of ways a parent can exasperate their children. Some of the most common ways include ignoring them or failing to communicate with them, acting hypocritically or having a double standard toward them, or being too harsh or lenient with them.
I love the book of Proverbs. How come? Because I need wisdom, and Proverbs offers it in abundance.
The Book of Proverbs was originally intended for young men who would grow to assume leadership positions. But it is beneficial for all, and it invites all to come and partake of it.
“Turn to my reproof,” wisdom cries, “And I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words known to you” (Pr.1:23).
Because you surely need wisdom, I commend Proverbs to you. Take one chapter a day, and you will get through the book in a thirty-one day month. If you do so with an attentive and faithful heart, you will be blessed with peace and joy – in addition to wisdom.
There are a number of themes in Proverbs that relate to everyday life. God and man, wisdom, the fool, the sluggard, friendship, words, the family, and life and death, are all themes that you’ll find through this book.
Dominant among these themes, of course, is wisdom itself.
But what is wisdom? One good definition is, “the right use of knowledge.” But if you take a closer look, you’ll find that wisdom has different shades that make it full and rich.