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Saturday, June 6, 2009


D-Day! Sixty-five years ago, the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy and were met by torrents of German machine gun fire. Bullets shredded the air and mowed down thousands of Allied soldiers. Many lost their lives. Others sustained crippling injuries. A few survived and fought on. Bravery won the day, and turned the tide of World War II. Nazi Germany fell and freedom prevailed. June 6 is a day we should always commemorate.

I was eight and living in Canada on D-Day. My parents, my older brother, and I had left Scotland, my birthplace, by ship when I was three. Although I was very young during the Second World War, I still remember the radio speeches delivered by King George VI and Winston Churchill. They called upon their listeners to maintain firm resolve and a willingness to sacrifice.

Today, we honor those who carried resolve and sacrifice to the battlefield and procured our freedom. Many did so by paying the ultimate sacrifice. We salute them! They were “the greatest generation.”

Now, rogue nations and terrorists intend to destroy our nation’s freedom, and big government is chipping away at our personal freedom. However, resolve and a willingness to sacrifice can keep us free.

Freedom is more than a political ideology; it is a spiritual reality. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice—He died for us—to procure our freedom from sin, Satan, and eternal death. He said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Nuff said. I am going to display the flag at the front of our house.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Days of Our Lives

Several years ago, police pulled over a young woman who was driving around her neighborhood in reverse. When they pointed out the dangers of driving in reverse and asked why she had been driving that way, she explained she had recently purchased a high-mileage car and was simply trying to roll back some of the miles.

The longer we live, the more “mileage” we accumulate, but we cannot reverse the mileage. Hair dyes, hair transplants, tummy tucks, plastic surgery, and makeup may make individuals look younger, but they cannot take even one day off their age. Furthermore, we cannot accurately predict how long our life will last. But we can make every remaining day count for God. We can invest our moments in eternity’s stock. In the final analysis, what matters most in life is not how many days we put in but what we put into our days.

Moses, who lived to be 120, prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jonah's Pity Party

Jonah held a pity party and invited only himself, but the Lord crashed the party.

Jonah had lost face. His prediction that Nineveh would be overthrown in 40 days had not come to pass. Furthermore, he was extremely upset that God had spared the city. He was so distraught he wanted to die. He even asked the Lord to end his life. When the Lord confronted Jonah about his negative attitude, Jonah went out of the city, built a shelter, and watched to see what would become of the city (Jonah 4:1–5). Obviously, he was hoping the Lord would cheer him up by destroying Nineveh.

But the Lord did not destroy Nineveh. Instead, He prepared a plant and made it grow rapidly to provide shade for Jonah, much to Jonah’s appreciation. After all, it was blazing hot. But the next day God prepared a worm that attacked the plant, causing it to wither. Suddenly, without shade, Jonah whined and wished again for death (v. 9).

That’s when the Lord brought a halt to the pity party. He rebuked Jonah for caring more about his personal comfort than the destiny of an entire city (vv. 9–11).

Like Jonah, a believer may be more interested his personal comfort than in the spiritual wellbeing of others. If he loses a few creature comforts, he may host a personal pity party. What might the Lord do to shake a self-centered believer out of self-pity and shift his focus from himself?

Are you and I hosting pity parties? If so, we can expect the Lord to crash them—for our good and His glory.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jonah's Prejudice

It gets hot in the Middle East. Jonah was hot, very hot, after God spared Nineveh. His anger was white hot, and he sweltered under the sun’s intense rays. He fumed because God had spared the city. He complained, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish, for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm” (Jonah 3:2). He was so angry with God, he asked Him to end his life (v. 3). He reasoned he would be better off dead.

What was going on with Jonah? Why was he so angry and despondent? Apparently his theology was okay. Read his prayer again, and notice he correctly grasped God’s character. God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness. What irked Jonah was racial prejudice, that monster that has been ripping the human soul for centuries. He would have been quite happy to see God zap the Gentile Ninevites. He had run from the task of preaching to Nineveh because he didn’t want any part of their rescue.

I have known some people with a good theology but a bad attitude. Have you? They want God to save the lost, but they want to save only a certain kind of lost people. Oh, they don’t specify skin color, economic status, or social status, but their attitudes and actions reveal their prejudice. Their church may be located in a racially diverse neighborhood, but they would rather see their church attendance dwindle and die than do anything that would encourage people from the neighborhood to attend. I have even known some Christians who can quote John 3:16 from memory and donate money to missionary work, but they also use racial slurs.

Jonah was wrong to resent the grace and mercy God had shown to the Ninevites, and every believer today should renounce racial prejudice. Why not read Luke 10:25-37 and James 2:1-10 today?