Monday, May 6, 2013

too weird?

Written by Matt Lange

Romans 8:38-39
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

We live in a world of self gratification, selfishness, lack of discipline and respect. We see evidence of these things all around us and sometimes in our own homes. I find myself more often than not talking to the car in front of me because the person is not driving right (at least in my mind). I shake my head at how others think... because they don't think like me! I certainly would never wear those kinds of clothes or do that to my hair. Who needs another hole in their head by paying for someone to add jewelry? Expression through the form of tattoos are certainly for people on drugs or the worthless life forms.

How often we have judged others for the decisions they make for their lives.

I am reminded by these words from Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God. So, because this is true, should I let how someone looks, smells or what they do keep me from letting them see how God has changed my heart? After all, how how are my externals really so different from them?

I had a father tell me one time that I needed to tell his son that having a piercing was stupid. I responded by letting this father know, about the son, I didn't care if he wanted another hole in his head. It hasn't changed who he is.

Over the last two years I have struggled and fought on some days just to stay upright and moving. Some days I have used a cane, walker or even a wheelchair. People have given me "the look". When someone is in any way different, we have crazy thoughts or react weird.

Imagine how many crazy things Jesus while He walked on our planet. Yet He was always ready to share Himself with anyone--no matter how they looked or smelled. No matter their lifestyle. No matter how many demons were in control of them.

Are we?

Friday, May 3, 2013


“So David went his way; and Saul returned to his place.” I Samuel 26:25

I won’t suggest where you should read today. If you have been with us this long on Each Day in the Word, I’m sure you have your own reading schedule, or maybe not. My quiet time with the Lord and with my wife has been the nicest part of my day for a number of years now. It’s my time. I like to read and think, and sometimes pray. It is quite nobody’s business as most of the rest of my day is somebody else’s business. So, I concede you the same courtesy. Read where you would, as the Lord moves your heart.

This is my last regular devotion for Each Day in the Word, at least for now. The Lord has been more than good to us, but for an older man, or at least a man like myself, losing my job and then trying to figure out a new job has been tough. This exercise of writing 500 to 600 words that must be completed most days before I go to bed has been encouraging and helpful to myself. (By God’s grace, I hope you also have found some encouragement from it.)

Hardship forced my brain to intensely mull over the Lord's goodness and His desire for our good-ness, so I had many thoughts to share. Now that I am less anxious, less pressed; I miss reading. Writing this blog took up the time I had been able to use to read. Also, in my more peaceful state of mind, it takes me longer to come up with a new meditation each day.

We've had several contributors to this blog including my wife Roxanne, Eric and Steph Varghese, John Messerly, Bruce Haley, Bill Howell; Daniel Triestman and Matt Lange have contributed the most. Dan is one of my favorite thinkers. If I had to be stranded out in a desert island with just one other man, I think I would choose Dan, for he continually interrupts my conclusions. Any time I think I have “solved” a question, Dan rearranges my formula. Matt calls ‘em like he sees ‘em, and each day Matt is seeing things a bit more clearly. The Lord is doing a work in his life that is clear and observable. He has a heart for certain people that some of us can only have for our own families.

Thank you very much for reading. As you may have guessed, I have a passion for writing, but to write without having a reader would be a pretty empty passion.

I think I’ve already shared with you about every significant thought I’ve had, so in conclusion, I’ll share a thought I’ve already shared. Our Lord Jesus is the “amen, amen” God who is man. Amen means undeniable truth. It also means unmitigated faithfulness. Though everything and everyone is continually changing shape and direction, our Lord Jesus is totally real and sure—the same yesterday, today and forever. 

By the way, I may go back intermittently to writing on my first blog,  And hopefully others may continue to contribute to “Each Day in the Word.” Any profitable devotion that anyone sends me, I will post to “Each Day in the Word.”

I do plan to continue on with Henry Sardina’s biography—as soon as he sends me back the last chapter I sent him--which I think was around the 1st of March. His biography is at

am I attractive?

Written by Matt Lang

Read Isaiah 53 and Matthew 27

“He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2.

Nothing speaks to the evil of man’s heart like a bomb killing innocent people. On the other hand, nothing creates heroes like that same explosion. People come to the aid of strangers for no other reason than the fact they are human. Such acts of horror and goodness are not limited to those who do or don’t believe in God. These people on either side of evil do not care about what religion you belong to or the color of your skin. It doesn't matter what your background is or where you live. Evil has no discrimination.

So in that light, I present a question that haunts followers of Christ. While believing there is no kinder, more loving Savior than our Lord Jesus, what is there about ourselves that would make others want the Lord for themselves? How do we personally attract others to Christ? This is not a question of conversion, it is about attraction. After all conversion is not our job, it’s the job of the Holy Spirit.

When I was a young man I would look to see if a girl was attractive. There had to be something to special about her, something that stood out. As a husband I still appreciate when my wife looks and dresses nice. I believe that God also appreciates what is attractive. “And God saw all that He had made and it was very good” Genesis 1:31

It is no secret that I love to fish. As my son grew, I taught him everything I know about fishing. How to find the right weed cover, time of day, current flow, lure, speed to work it, size of bait, pocket of weeds to find. Each lake and day presented a different experience or challenge on how to catch fish. You had to adjust as the day went on. As a hunter there is an appreciation for the appearance of what you kill (harvest for the politically correct). The size, shape, color or even how they protect themselves are all things of attraction.

Attraction is a regular part of our lives. I’ve heard people say, "Looks are not important to me". I laugh to myself when I hear this. Sometimes I laugh out loud. Unless we are dead, or deeply depressed, part of being human is being drawn to what is attractive.

If we are normal, we spend time and effort to make ourselves attractive to others. We gussy up  for a job interview, a date, a wedding, a reunion or even a funeral. Then we get married and some of us suddenly forget to try to look attractive. As I go out the door my wife says to me, "You’re not wearing that are you?”
So how do you attract others to God? When the Lord Jesus was here on this earth we read, “He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2.

So how do we attract others to this God?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

bad circumstances

Read I Samuel 25 and Galatians 5

And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword. God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.” I Samuel 25: 13&22

Really? David, the man after God’s own heart, was going to cut in pieces every male of the household of Nabal and Abigail. Picture that in your mind. Imagine the slaughter of real human beings taken by surprise by this most godly of saints; this tender, gentle man who wrote the most sensitive poetry in all of Scripture. 

But though we today are rightly shocked by what David was about to do, nobody in his day or in his neighborhood expected anything else. Nabal, fool that he was, had gone way over the top in insulting the most powerful warlord in the neighborhood. His servants knew they would all be dead men. One was wise enough to tell his mistress about what had happened and she flew into action knowing what would soon take place. 

Fortunately for David, Abigail brought him to his senses. Somehow she knew he was more than just another warlord. As she met him coming in to have his bloody revenge, she said, “Now as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, He has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand.” I Samuel 25:26
David’s circumstances were not his own doing. He had no choice but to flee from Saul. The men that joined themselves to David were desperate men. They needed a leader and David had been ordained to be a leader of men. But his circumstances made it natural for him to respond in a most ungodly way.

Paul wrote to Titus that he needed to rebuke his Cretan brothers sharply. Why? Because they were Cretans, and Cretans are, “always liars, evil beasts, and gluttons.” Titus 1:12. 

Too often we put ourselves in circumstances that make a bad response the most natural response. A young couple who get engaged with the idea of getting married in one or two or three or six  or seven years in the future put themselves in a circumstance where it becomes natural for them to have an immoral physical relationship. A man (or woman) who takes a high pressure, high paying job, puts himself in a situation where he typically will have little time for his family and no time for the Lord. But, sometimes, like David, we end up in situations where sin is right at the door. Thankfully, Abigail came to David’s rescue. 

May we all be like David, willing to come to our senses when a brother warns us we are rushing into spiritual disaster. 

And may we all be like Abigail, courageous enough to plead with a brother who we see is in a situation where he will naturally fall into sin.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


written by Daniel Triestman

Read: I Samuel 24, Matthew 23

“I tell you, something greater than the Sabbath is here.” I Samuel 24:6

In America, every few years we see a peaceful exchange of power. Governors and representatives will lay down their authority and title in the interest of democracy. Even in America, however, these regimes changes are never seamless. There often remains some level of resentment or hostility between administrations and political parties. The losers are hardly agreeable, the winners are rarely gracious.

When God rejected Saul as king of Israel He ordered a change in power. The line of David was now to have an eternal kingdom in Israel. Saul seemed to fear that this Davidic kingdom posed a threat to the life and well-being of his family and descendents. Rather than abdicate the throne and beg for David's mercy, Saul decided to try to kill his political opponent.

David also seemed to be aware of the implications of this change of power. His response, however, was not to “beat” his political adversary, but rather to honor Saul, befriend Saul's son and marry Saul's daughter. David's circumstances, colleagues and claim to the throne all seem to suggest that he should react to Saul's aggression, However David was determined to do nothing to harm Saul. Although David had no reservations about challenging Saul's sin, he was obedient to the Lord's anointed for the Lord's sake. Yet despite David's best efforts to bring about this peaceful exchange of power, Saul would not allow for peace.

About a thousand years after Saul's kingdom gave way to the Davidic Kingdom, God called for another regime change -a spiritual regime change. God rejected the law and the Levitical sacrificial system and replaced it with the new covenant in His Son. Just as Saul attempted to kill his new king, the Jewish religious leaders sought the life of their Messiah. And just as David remained obedient to Saul, the Son of David subjected Himself to the Pharisees and the rule of the law.

It is amazing that after having numerous spears hurled at him and seeing Saul kill his friends, David was still able to find Saul as honorable. He called Saul “lord and king,” prostrated before Saul and even felt guilty in damaging Saul robe. As David said “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed.” David seemed to believe that even though God rejected Saul, to honor Saul was to honor the Lord.

The coming of the Messiah changes our relationship with the Levitical sacrifices and the Old Testament law, but it does not allow for a combative stance against the traditions of the Torah or the teachings of Judaica. David and Christ both showed honor to a failed administration for the sake of the Lord who anointed it. Likewise we should live our lives with a humility and deference to all knowing that by showing honor to kings, rules or philosophies, be they right or wrong, we may show honor to our Lord.
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