July 22, 2014

Today you should read: Job 38

“He is right behind me, isn’t he?” This line has been uttered in many different films and TV shows over the years. Usually in the context of someone boasting or making fun of an authority figure or someone physically more imposing only to find that the person is right behind them listening to the whole thing. The offender is usually stricken with fear and regret of their actions. The once proud and confident boaster becomes humbled and begins trying to apologize or excuse the stupidity of their actions.

When I read today’s passage I could not help but visualize Job swallowing hard and trembling when he saw the God of the universe coming at him in a whirlwind. Can you imagine? Have you ever seen a tornado in person? They are awe-inspiring. Now imagine that it was coming at you and God’s voice is coming out of it with these words:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.”

At this point, if this was happening to me I would need a change of clothes. There is absolutely no way that Job had any sort of prideful thoughts at this point. I want to draw attention to the areas that God challenged Job in and what we can take away from this passage.

1. God gives perspective to Job.

Job had been trying to understand from a very basic and finite understanding of the universe. He shaped his understanding of his circumstances from tradition and laws. Yet, Job did not take into consideration the mystery of God. Basically, Job could not understand fully what was happening to him because he is not God. I think this is important for you and me to understand because all of us have a perceived reality of control. We think that if we do the right things, generally good things will happen and things will work out.  The actual reality is that we have no control and God controls everything down to our every heart beat (Colossians 1:17).

2. Trials give us an opportunity to see things from God’s perspective and produces wisdom.

Job had lived his whole life as a religious man devoted to God. Yet, when everything was taken away Job just could not wrap his mind around it. I am not putting Job down because I would not have been as patient as Job through this process I am sure. However, Job’s world was small and he could only make sense of life through the lens of his life. God questions Job from a universal perspective. I wonder how often we fall into the same trap. Do you think about God’s work outside of your own lens? Meditate on the following questions and see how God-sized your focus is.

Do you think about the work that God is doing in the lives of the people closest to you?

Do you think about how God can impact your city? How about the USA?

Do you keep up with world events and how God is moving in other countries and across the globe?

Do you pray regularly for any or all of these three areas?

Posted by: Chad Wiles

July 21, 2014

Today you should read: Job 37

Here’s how I would summarize Job 37 and Elihu’s discourse:

The God of Heaven and Earth is worthy of all praise from all people at all times.

Reading this chapter inspired me to call to memory some of my favorite verses of praise to God. I am going to list a handful below. In the comments section below, it would be great to have a chorus of praise from all Jumpstarters. Post a verse that reminds you of our praiseworthy God. Voice a prayer of worship in admiration of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let’s make today a day that is fixed on ascribing to the Lord the greatness due His name:

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2)

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. (Isaiah 54:17a)

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, (Luke 1:46-47)

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:3-4)

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25)

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:25-27 ESV)

Alright CPC, it’s your turn. I got us started… let’s keep this going all day.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

July 19, 2015

Today you should read: Job 36

This is the final time one of Job’s friends gives him advice about why all these things are happening to him. Elihu gives Job a long discourse on how God treats the wicked and the righteous and on God’s power and might. Elihu says things that are mostly true but he makes two big mistakes in this passage.

1. Elihu takes pride in his knowledge of God

In 1 Corinthians 8:1 Paul, in talking about knowledge, makes the statement (in the NIV) that “knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” In all major English versions of the Bible the idea that is portrayed is this:

Knowledge without love equals pride

Elihu is exhibiting no real love for his friend but rather desires to show off his knowledge of God. God’s desire for us is that our knowledge of Him results in a deeper love for Him and for people. When knowledge is our end goal we lose sight of what God really wants for us.

2. Elihu puts God in a box

We have to be careful to say that God can or can’t do something or that God would never do or not do something when it is not explicit in scripture. We also have to be careful to assume things about God and about our situation in life. We can’t always assume that because hard trials are in our life that we have sinned. That is the easy way out because all we have to do is repent and it all goes away. The truth is trials can come for a variety of reasons. They come because of our sin or someone else’s sin. They can come for our sanctification. They can even come just because, as is the case for Job. Elihu also tells Job that God gives those who are in trouble the reason why they are in trouble. This, as we will see in the end of Job when God answers, is not always true. Job asks time and again why he is dealing with all this and God never answers him on that question. God does not play by our rules and God is not obligated to respond to us. We have to remember that, even in our trials, God deserves and expects our reverence. Job and his friends lost that and God responds in just a few chapters and sets them straight because God does not fit in our box.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

July 18, 2014

Today you should read: Job 35

Not too long ago I remember seeing a story go viral on facebook about a girl who was asked to leave KFC because her scars and missing eye (from a pitbull) were scaring people eating in the fast food chain. People started sharing the story all over social media crying out against KFC accusing them to be heartless, insensitive and cruel. They were right in those accusations if only the accusations were true for that particular girl and situation. KFC did an investigation and have yet to find one security camera showing the girl and grandma to ever even enter into a KFC and they have now took down their website about it and refused to accept $30,000 KFC offered to help the girl with surgeries, etc. If anyone were to treat a 3 yr old girl in that way I would hope we would stand up against those people and call them cruel, insensitive and heartless because it is true but we have to make sure that the situation is true as well.

I read much of Job 35 and find myself agreeing with much of what Elihu is saying to Job. Elihu warns against believing one’s righteousness should grant favor before God. He later talks about God not listening to the prideful when they cry out to Him along with vain requests and foolish words. Both wise counsel that can be supported by surrounding Scripture. In fact, if you took this chapter alone without the 34 previous chapters and the remaining 7 chapters following it, you’d probably believe Elihu was doing a dang good job ministering to his friend. Of course the problem with Elihu’s advice is not that the advice isn’t true but that it isn’t true for Job much like the KFC situation mentioned above.

Have you ever given good Biblical advice to the wrong person or situation? I know I have. Sometimes I’ve assumed motives or jumped to conclusions when trying to help someone out and was humbled by God pretty quickly. Have you ever done this? Don’t allow this to become an excuse to not keep one accountable or speaking loving truth to someone’s sin but make sure when you do speak up that you speak up knowing all facts and motives to the situation. Sometimes that will take leading questions, patience and more prayer before doing so but it’s better then making truths from God into a lie by wrongly applying it to a situation or person.

Posted by: Erik Koliser