Many of the great figures in church history have kept a journal, and the church has benefited greatly from this window into their daily life (not as a voyeur, but to understand what spiritual greatness looks like in the mundane-ness of daily life).
We might ask ourselves why this note of commentary is included in the Exodus narrative. By this point in the book of Exodus, it has already been mentioned several times that Israel was suffering immensely at the harsh hand of Pharaoh.
It is important to recognize that this process of perception, interpretation, and conclusion has a significant impact on the way people experience life. Understanding this can have a profound impact on helping people walk through difficult seasons of suffering.
The underlying sin of self-injury is turning to self for relief rather than to God. The cutter tries to accomplish for herself something that only God can do. Sin’s deceitfulness lures the self-injurer on.
In order to accurately treat a sick patient, the doctor’s first goal is to determine what is causing the unhealthy symptoms. The root of the symptoms must be revealed. This is true for our physical bodies and it’s true for our spiritual lives.
Several times over the past two weeks I’ve been reminded of Mark 9:14-29, where Jesus heals the boy with the unclean spirit. There is much to digest in those 15 verses, but perhaps what has always moved me the most is the fathers cry.
If the church in the western world is really going to move away from the over-professionalized, hyper-therapeutic view of counseling, we need to see counseling more as part of the discipleship continuum rather than placing it on a separate plane altogether.
Often we start to think about what is happening to us and then start to get depressed over the lack of control we have. We start to spiral inward and imagine the worst possible scenarios increasing our despair and helplessness.
Have you ever been to someone’s home and from the minute you walk in you sense something is different? Our family went to visit some friends a while back and it made me rethink the meaning of fellowship and hospitality.
In the middle of the crowd was a very little boy, just knee-high to many of the men. You’d think he'd be terrified at that moment, aware of how small he was. You’d think that he’d be overcome by his limits, but he wasn’t.
If you’re to live productively in this broken-down world, it‘s absolutely critical that you humbly admit your limits as a human being and then live within them. The limits on our abilities are extensive and profound.
Maybe you’ve been thinking, “It seems exhausting just to maintain the status quo let alone working to make things in my life better!” Maybe God's street-level call of daily self-sacrificing love for God and neighbor has left you a bit hopeless and discouraged