As If Your Life Depended on It!

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).

A friend went flying in a single engine plane over the Puget Sound on a beautiful summer day. While flying around the sites, the pilot was explaining to him what the different instrument panels were saying, what the different controls did to the plane, and why the pilot was manipulating the engine speed and the controls during the flight.

While the pilot was explaining all this, all my friend heard was, “Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah,” as he looked out the window at the amazing views.

Then, the pilot said to my friend, “You’ve heard all the explanation. You take the control!”

Whoa! Time out!!! WHAT???

At which time, my friend told the pilot he would love to try flying the plane for a moment, but the pilot would have to go through all the explanations one more time because when the pilot went through the instructions the first time, he did not realize that his life would depend on it!

I tell you that story because I wonder when the last time you read the Bible as if your life depended on it. No, not just your life, but your eternity and the eternal destinies of everyone around you!

That’s why God tells us, “Blessed in the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.”

God and Circumstances

“At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:12-13).

Get this:

  • Jesus just launched his public ministry by being baptized in the Jordan River.
  • While being baptized, God spoke to Jesus saying, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).
  • The very next thing that happens after the baptism and the amazing affirmation of how the Father loves the Son and is well pleased with the Son, is that the Spirit sends Jesus out to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.

Say what?!?!

God loved Jesus. God was pleased with Jesus. And God sends him out in the wilderness. There’s nothing out there. There’s no one out there. Not only does God send him out into the wilderness but God sends him out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan!

Say what?!?!

So, you’re telling me, you can be at the center of God’s will where God is absolutely delighted and pleased with you, and still find yourself out in the middle of nowhere being tempted by Satan?


How do you like that?

You see, you cannot determine whether God loves you or not by circumstances. You may not know it in the middle of nowhere, but you’re not alone there. God is there. You may not feel it in the wilderness in the midst of being tempted and tested by the devil, but God is absolutely thrilled and pleased with you.

Friends, please, do not allow your faith to be shaken by your circumstances. God is with you. God loves you.

There is never a there where God is not there.

And you can take that to the bank!

Love and Discipline

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens every he accepts as his son” (Hebrews 12:5-6).


What do you think of when you hear that word?

Discipline, rebuke, chastening.

Not on your list?

It’s not on the list for most modern day Americans either.

But God tells us that because he loves us, he disciplines us when we go astray. He rebukes us when we are wrong. He chastens us when we’re about to go astray.

Why does God discipline, rebuke, and chasten? Precisely because he loves us. He wants what’s best for us.

Our society lives under the illusion that God is a benign, soft-hearted, compassionate figure who just wants to do for us what we’d like to do for ourselves.

That’s insane. That’s not God. That’s a Genie. That’s a wish-giving ATM.

John Piper writes, “A child needs to feel profoundly secure, profoundly loved, cherished, and enjoyed, AND profoundly under authority. And those are not contradictory.”

What John Piper writes about children is also true for children of God.

We are, at the same time, profoundly loved, cherished, and enjoyed, AND profoundly under God’s authority and care because he loves us.

You can be absolutely secure in that.