November 2, 2019

Today you should read: Job 42

In our passage today, we have 3 sections:

  1. Job repents for his foolishness and praises God (v. 1-6)
  2. God rebukes Job’s friends for their misinterpretation of Himself (v. 7-9)
  3. The Lord restores Job and his belongings (v. 10-17)

I believe we can take something away from each section:

  1. Understand that God’s knowledge is more than we can comprehend. There will be times in your life where you might ask God something like, “Why is this happening to me?” While we might not understand what He is doing, we need to trust in His ways. We should never question God’s authority and power, but instead humbly submit ourselves to follow Him, even if it does not make sense. Job learned this after he blamed God for everything.
  2. If the Bible does not make something clear, do not just assume something about God. Job’s friends were wrong in that they thought Job was sinning and that is why he was being punished. They did not have any evidence for their claims. Now if there are some gray areas in life, we can draw conclusions based upon what the Bible says and how God has revealed Himself, but we can never just assume something because we think it is right. 
  3. God is a good God. Once Job had repented, God forgave him and restored things to him. This is not an example of the prosperity gospel (if you do good then God will bless you). This is about God showing His faithfulness to someone who has a relationship with Him. God did not have to restore everything to Job, Job had already repented, but God did restore it because He is good and He loves him.

What an amazing ending to the story of Job! Through all the trials and sufferings, Job sees that the Lord is good in all times, and God even restores more to Job than he previously had. 

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice

November 1, 2019

Today you should read: Job 41

After Job challenges God a bit earlier, God responds in Job 38-41.

Where were you [Job] when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell me, if you know so much. (Job 38:4) God continues through chapter 38 and into chapter 41.

Can you catch Leviathan with a hook Job? (v.1).  A Leviathan was some sort of sea monster – possibly surviving from the days of dinosaurs in the depths of the sea.  Although we aren’t sure what it really looked like, God is challenging Job to catch one, reminding him that God created everything including the Leviathan – and He’s bigger than a sea monster.

God asks Job – will you put a noose around it or will it beg for mercy or work for you?  Will you make a Leviathan into a pet or give it to your kids to play with? Will you sell it to the merchants?  Can you hurt it’s hide with a spear or harpoon? No – you can’t Job and I’m way bigger than that!

You can’t manhandle its huge limbs or overpower its enormous strength.  You can’t penetrate is double layer of armor (like the back of a dragon).  Its scales are like rows of shields – they interlock and can’t be penetrated.  You can’t pry its alligator jaws open and its teeth are terrible. When it sneezes, it blows fire like a dragon and smoke streams from its nostrils.  No sword, spear, dart, or javelin can stop it (v.26).

Nothing on earth is its equal – it’s the king of the beasts (v.34) and God says and I made that.  I’m way bigger and much more powerful than the Leviathan and you’re challenging me Job?

God is calling Job out.  How often do we do the same thing?  Think of ourselves as in control of our lives?  We aren’t – God is. Psalm 100 reminds us of who God is and who we are – meditate on it today.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.  Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.  Know that the Lord Himself is God;  It is He who has made us, not we ourselves;  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

October 31, 2019

Today you should read: Job 40

Job 40 offers the key to suffering. This is the one thing most needed as we consider the problems in our life. That thing is P-E-R-S-P-E-C-T-I-V-E.

I abhor Christian platitudes in suffering. I recently heard an interview with John Townsend speaking of the 4 quadrants of what he calls “Relational Nutrients,” what people need in times of suffering or stress. These four things are what people need from another person. These quadrants are 1. be present, 2. convey the good (encouragement), 3. provide reality, and 4. call to action.

Very often we seek to provide reality and tell suffering people to do something, like Job’s friends. What we’re not usually great at is simply being present without speaking. However, when it’s time to speak, time to provide a dose of reality, the truth is for almost anything a person encounters, it could always be worse.

Many of us speak of suffering in light of what some jokingly call “first-world problems.” Several years ago, a friend had poor cell phone signal and cried out, “How are you supposed to work a smartphone without 3G?” That’s first-world problems. Most of our complaints and “suffering” fall firmly into this category. 

Other suffering is much worse, the kind that spans culture and time, the kind that Job experienced, that is true suffering. Even then, in almost any circumstance, it could always be worse. Outside of Christ, Job experienced the worst suffering that a human can endure. His response to the Lord’s question is worthy of our attention because we see a perspective on suffering that we will probably never have in our lifetime and suffering. 

As the Lord continues His response to Job, Job says, “I am of small account; what shall I answer you?” Here’s the reality, it does not matter the suffering we endure, on the day that we encounter the Lord, His might and majesty will leave us speechless. We cannot even imagine this moment, but for all the complaining we do in our lives, those words will be the furthest thing from our minds. 

The suffering we experience is real and it hurts. My issue with Christian platitudes is that we often push people past their hurt too quickly. It’s as if a month or two after the loss of a loved one, many of us look at a person and say, “You’re still upset about that?” Of course, we don’t say that verbally, but we forget that this person still needs attention and care. Our hurt hurts, and rightly so. Sin still reigns in this world and, as such, there is pain and tears. 

Job 40 reminds me of two different passages that we should reflect on today. First, Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Nothing we suffer will matter when our eyes see the glory of the Lord. Second, Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” This second idea brings to mind those folks who have encountered suffering and say things like, “I prayed and I can’t believe/trust in God because He didn’t answer.” Or, “Why did God let this happen to me (implied, because I’m a good person.” 

These statements, and the many like them, are not wrong. They simply lack the perspective of Job 40. Suffering tempts us with a distorted view of God—making our suffering bigger than He is. Read Job 40 and understand today, nothing is bigger than He is. 

 By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

October 30, 2019

Today you should read: Job 39

Up until chapter 38 God has been relatively silent throughout this whole process. This is hard for us to accept or understand but God often does His best work in the midst of silence. It forces us to depend upon Him, look to Him for wisdom, and run to Him in fear and awe. If we always heard His voice, we would never seek His face as David writes in Psalm 27:8-9. It is in these times that God exposes the lies and sin of our heart and what we are really depending on. Though Job sought to look to God, he did it imperfectly because he, like us, was an imperfect human being. 

God, out of love for Job, in chapter 38 spoke. This must have been incredibly comforting to hear the voice of God but incredibly convicting at what He said. He reminded Job that He was in control. He reminded Job that He was over it all. He showed Job that, though he was trying, some part of him was looking to Himself instead of God. 

God continues His monologue in chapter 39 as He continues to cite creation to show His sovereignty, wisdom, trustability, and transcendence, calling Job to look to Him and trust Him, not himself.

We looked at this recently at Center Point through the lens of Proverbs 3:5-8 where God tells us to TRUST Him, LEAN on Him, ACKNOWLEDGE Him, and to NOT be WISE in our OWN eyes but instead FEAR Him. This is the same thing that God is calling Job to do. This is simultaneously the hardest thing in the human experience and the most freeing. God is a Good Father. We can trust Him.

  1. How do you tend to take control of things going on in your life?
  2. What holds you back from trusting God completely?

By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College