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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

God Made Me to Make a Difference

In summary of Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Bottom Line:
We are renewed because of the redemptive power of Christ and what he did.  We can now fulfill what God our created us to do long ago.  To do good things in his name.

What this means to me:

God has made me who I am. I’m his masterpiece, his workmanship.  Through the redemption of my savior, Jesus Christ, I’m now able to do the good things he created me to do in the first place.  God calls me to a service far beyond anything I could ever imagine. He put me here on earth to make a contribution, not just consume resources.  God designed you to make a difference with your life. The Bible says, "God . . . has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 TEV) The "good deeds" are my service to the world. Whenever I serve others in any way, I'm serving God.  Every member of his family is to minister, not just pastors. Now that I am saved, God intends to use me to fulfill his purposes. God has a ministry for me in his church and a mission for me in the world.  Given this, I need to listen for his specific direction.  If I’m not hearing anything, I am to proceed with what I already know he wants me to do (serve others with the abilities he’s given me, take interest in their lives, live as an example/model, and bring God honor in anything I do.)  If I do this, then I will fulfill his His intention.  This will mean giving up my own agenda each day and seeking to do that which God would have me do.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

To Find Yourself, Focus on God

In summary of Matthew 10:39 it says, “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”

Bottom Line:
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it

What this means to me:

Each day I need to turn my focus from myself to turn it instead to Jesus.  Turning to Jesus and following him helps my overall purpose in life change.  I go after the things he is interested in (people.)  I do the work that he has already planned for me to do.  If I cling to my own life and own way, I will miss out.  I can look to Jesus as my example.  Jesus life was purpose driven, and he lived with priorities.  At the end of my life, I would like to say, “I did it. I used my life the way God wanted me. I may have had a rocky start. But I used the rest of my life the way God wanted me to use it. And I put him first.”  As a Christian, God should come first in my life. Everything else is second place. Scripture tells me, if I put him first, everything else will come into focus. God will help me with it.  The most counter-culture statement in today’s world is the first sentence of “The Purpose Driven Life”: “It’s not about you.” Everything in society says it’s all about you. All of the advertisements say it’s all about you.  God says the only way I’ll ever find yourself is by forgetting myself and focusing on God. Then I’ll not only figure out God; but I’ll also figure out me. That’s what it means to live like Jesus.  In summary, I need to give up myself and my own desires.  Turn my focus to Jesus.  In doing so I’ll find my true life, the one he intended for me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

In summary of Matthew 5:9 it says, “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.”

Bottom line:
You are blessed when you work for peace, this is how God want’s his people to be involved.

What this means to me:
God asks that I foster a spirit of cooperation instead of competing or fighting. My actions should be a model for others.  He asks that I help others in this way as well.  This is what God wants for me, as a member of his family.  So this means that when people disagree with me, God wants me to respond with integrity, humility, and civility.  Unfortunately, civility has become a counter culture value in our society. Some people are just not that polite to each other. They’re not civil with each other.  As Rick Warren says, “I’d like to see three things: the restoration of credibility in the Church, the restoration of responsibility in individual lives, and the restoration of civility in our culture so you can disagree without being disagreeable.”  These are crucial because Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Not the people who create conflict and division but the peacemakers, the bridge builders.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight” (MSG). To obtain God’s blessing on my life, so I need to learn how to be civil toward people. This is God’s intent for me. One of the most famous quotes of Jesus is found in Matthew 7:12: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (NIV). It’s called the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Rick Warren defines that word as “civility.” Civility is just treating other people the way you’d like to be treated, even if you disagree with them — even if they’re flat-out, dead wrong. Even if they’re fighting against you, you treat them the way you would like to be treated. That’s civility.  In summary this means that I need to treat others the way I would want to be treated.  I need to be careful about my attitude and demeanor.  When possible I should encourage and foster cooperation.  When I do this God says he’ll provide me with blessings.  This also means that I need to get over any hurt feelings, wantings to retaliate that comes so naturally.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Problem with Stuff

In summary of Matthew 16:26 it says, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”

Bottom line:
Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? There is nothing you can give to regain your life.

What this means to me:

It is no benefit for me to gain things in this world, yet in the process lose my soul.  There is no amount of money, nor any effort I can possibly do, to regain it.  Life is complicated enough without adding additional things to it.  The tendency is to keep adding more and more stuff into our lives. One of the big problem with stuff is, the more you have, the more it takes to take care of it all (you have to clean it, protect it, insure it, and repair it.)  It isn’t too long before the stuff I accumulate will dominate my life.  Our worldly culture values collecting and obtaining stuff.  But the Bible reminds us that life is not about things or stuff. Getting more stuff won’t make me happy.  God didn’t design me that way. I was never meant to keep collecting and collecting stuff.  Jesus modeled a very simple life. I didn’t see him collecting things. Instead He spent his time and energy on relationships — because he knew they were more important than all the stuff in the world.  Today I will consider that I don’t need to collect stuff to obtain happiness.  Collecting stuff will only side track me from what’s important.  I need to catch myself when I start dreaming about stuff and remember this.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

God Created Me To Serve

In summary of 2 Timothy 1:9 it says, “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”

Bottom Line:
God saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

What this means to me:

God is the one who saved me from the ultimate punishment of my sin.  He calls me to be one of his own people, with a life set apart for his purpose.  He did this, not because of something I did, or anything I would even deserve.  From the beginning this was all part of his plan and purpose.  He shows me grace through Christ.  In this grace I was saved, and as such, I have been gifted for ministry; to serve others. My ministry will use all of my talents, gifts, and abilities. God wants me to use those to help others. Every time I do, I’ll be doing ministry.  Ministry is really nothing fancy, scary, or supernatural. It's just helping others. Furthermore, my ministry is necessary in the church. I’m a part of this family. If I don't use my talents, I end up cheat others.  Likewise, when others don’t use their talents they cheat the congregation and myself.  Anytime I use my talents and gifts in the name of Jesus to help others, I’m ministering.  In summary, I need to use what God has equipped me with to help and serve others (this is what he created me for.)  When I do, I’m fulfilling his will for me.  If I refuse to use my talents or serve, I’m in essence cheating others and not living out God’s will.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

God Says I’m Valuable

In summary of 1 Corinthians 7:23 it says, "God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world."

Bottom line:
God paid a high price for you; so do not become slaves of others or the world.

What this means to me:

God paid a very high price to bring me back into a right relationship with him.  It would be a shame to let myself be subject/slave to the world or others.  There are are two things that determine value in life: One is what someone is willing to pay for it and the second is who owned it in the past.  As I reflect on these things, I can see that God has placed a high value on me, especially as it relates to what he paid to get me back.  I am something that he had, and due to my actions, I was lost.  The Bible reminds me that "You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him - be free now from all these earthly prides and fears" (1 Corinthians 7:23 LB).  Today, since I belong to Him, I focus on not letting myself be enticed or entangled by the worlds values or by others.  I will remind myself that my creator places a high value on me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

God Tells Me I’m Accepted

In summary of Romans 15:7 it says, "Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory."

Bottom line:
Accept one another, as Christ has accepted you.  Do this for the glory of God.

What this means to me:

I am to welcome and accept others, regardless of how I want to feel about them.  I do this because Christ has welcomed and accepted me.  When I do this, I bring glory and honor to God. I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to earn acceptance. I’ve wanted to earn it from my parents, peers, partners in life, from people I respect, maybe even from people I envy. This drive to be accepted is a deep drive that can influence the way I dress, what I drive, where I live and even my career.  I would pursue acceptance because I wanted to know that, I'm OK, and I'm accepted.  Acceptance does a tremendous thing for your self-esteem. The truth I need to remind myself about is that Jesus accepts me and that his acceptance is not based on your performance. I do not need to earn his acceptance; I do not  have to prove myself to him. The good news is that Jesus Christ, has already accepted me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

God is Watching Over Me and Will Use It for His Purpose

In summary of Romans 8:28 it says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Bottom line:
God causes all things to work together, for the good of those who love him.  They are his people, because that was his plan.

What this means to me:

In my life, God will make all things work together, for my good, cause I love him.  He has a purpose for me and I fulfill his plan.  Even when things are tough for me, God is watching over me.  “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever”  Psalms 23:6 NIV.  David's point is that only God's goodness will follow after, or pursue, him. No matter how bad, or evil, or difficult something seems, God will work it out for good.  It's one of God's great promises that he's given to all believers: We know all that happens to us is working for our good - if we love God and are fitting into his plans (Romans 8:28). The Bible says all things are working together for good -- not that all things are good -- but working together for good. There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in my life that God can't ultimately turn toward his purpose.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stop Trying to See the Future, Learn to Rely on God

In summary of Psalm 25:9 it says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Bottom Line:
He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.

What this means to me:

If I am humble (set aside my pride) and admit that I need a guide, God will guide me in what is right and will teach me his will.  This is a tug and pull process as I don’t always want to follow anyone else. I’m conditioned to going my own way.  I often get prideful in not wanting to admit I need direction. Sheep, by nature, tend to wander off the path. The Prophet Isaiah says, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6a NLT).  Another thing about sheep is that they have poor vision. They can’t see very far ahead. That’s why they need a shepherd. God made me so that you would not be able to see into the future no matter how much I tried. God did this so that I would depend on him.  Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (NIV). I’ve all made decisions that at the time seemed right but later on turned out to be wrong. Some paths will lead to dead ends and get me off track. That’s why I need to admit, “God, I need help” on a daily basis.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Taking Stress Out Of Decision Making

In summary of Psalm 23:3 it says, “He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”

Bottom Line:
God will renew my strength and restore me.  If I go to him, He will guide me along right paths.  If I follow his guiding, I will bring honor to his name.

What this means to me:

Stress comes when I have a decision to make, mainly because I’m afraid of making the wrong decision.  In this verse,I’m reminded that “He’ll guide me along the right paths.” I therefore handle the stress of decision-making by letting God guide me.  My problem with looking at his guidance is that I often look for the wrong thing when trying to find His will.  I will not find his guidance in a feeling, or even a recipe / formula to apply.  I’m not likely to see a magical sign.  When I look for guidance in that way I will miss God’s will.  I need to just take time to be with him, pray and look to his word.  God will be there, guiding me every step of the way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Respond to a Messed Up World

In summary of Hebrews 13:14 it says, “This world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.”

Bottom Line:
This world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

What this means to me:

The world I actively participate in, is not my real home.  I am like a foreigner in a different land.  My real home is where I’ll be in eternity and it will be a place where I’m dwelling with God.  While I’m in this world, I’m not part of it.  Unfortunately this world I do live in is pretty messed up. Given my status, this is how I will respond to it.  First, I receive God’s grace daily. The Bible says in Romans 5:17, “Through the sin of one man death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ” (GNT).  Secondly, I’ll remind myself that this place is temporary. I shouldn’t get caught up in this fallen world — the fashions and the values — because nothing I see is going to last. Everything is going to vanish one day. There are only two things that are going to last for eternity: God’s Word and his people. So I need to build your life on those things that are going to last.  This is all temporary. You don’t have to put up with the pain for the rest of eternity. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:14, “This world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven” (LB).  So pain will come my way. It’ll likely come my way, in some manner or another, every day of your life. But it won’t last.  One day in heaven all my pain — physical, mental, and emotional — will go away.  It is something I can count on.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Waiting is a Time for Preparation

In summary of James 5:7-8 it says, “7 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

Bottom line:
Be patient as a farmer would waiting for his crops to grow.  Don’t give up hope, the Lord is coming soon.

What this means to me:

I need to be patient like a farmer.  No crop grows overnight.  I need to plan and then wait.  In reality farmers don’t just plant and wait around watching TV.  After planting they are preparing for the harvest.  He’s cultivating, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and preparing.  When in a waiting period, I should use the time to get ready for his answer.  Patience doesn’t mean just sitting round, rather its a time for preparation.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Maintain Integrity, Depend On God’s Provision

In summary of Proverbs 16:11 and 10:22 it says, "The Lord demands accurate scales and balances;he sets the standards for fairness" and "The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it."

Bottom Line:
God wants us to be fair in our business dealings; he is the one who sets standards for fairness.  It’s what God gives that makes you rich.  What he gives comes with no trouble.

What this means to me:

God wants me to be accurate and fair in my dealings.  God is the one I should look to for the standard on what is fair and what is not.  I don’t need to try to make things happen in my own strength.  God has promised to meet all my financial needs.  I just need to (1) ask him for help; (2) learn to be content; (3) practice giving in faith; and (4) maintain my integrity.  God will not bless dishonesty on my part. If I want God's blessing on my finances, I need to be honest. I can't take advantage of others or a situation.  Any profit I make dishonestly will always bring trouble my way.  I need to remember that I will always reap what I sow. If I’m dishonest with others, it will be returned to me. If I think I haven't been caught, understand that the clock is still ticking. I cannot mock God and get away with it.  So I need to be honest with my finances and remember: "It is the Lord's blessing that makes you wealthy." (Proverbs 10:22 TEV)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Learning To Be Content With God's Provision

In summary of 1 Timothy 6:6-7 it says, "A God-like life gives us much when we are happy for what we have. We came into this world with nothing. For sure, when we die, we will take nothing with us."

Bottom Line:
Living for God with contentment is itself considered a great value.  We entered into this world with nothing and I’ll surely not take anything physically with me when I leave.

What this means to me:

Learning to be content and satisfied with what I have is truly a great gift.  It comes from living for God’s purposes and being thankful for what I have.  Its also a great relief from the stress and worry of trying to figure out how I would get everything I desired.  In scripture God promises to meet all my needs including the financial ones.  I need to first ask him for help and second learn to be content regardless of my situation.  It’s a great reminder that I brought nothing physically into this world and when I leave I won’t take anything physically with me. What comes this way in my life are all gifts of God’s goodness. God’s word teaches and encourage me to learn to be content. This notion of being content means that my happiness is not dependent upon my circumstances. I can have a strong tendency to get caught into "when" thinking: "When I get ... When I obtain.. When this goes away... or When I become debt free ... then I'll be happy!"   The problem with “when” thinking is I’ll never get there.  There is always something else I’d want. If I can learn to be content, then I can eliminate this trap.  "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can't take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content." (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NLT)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

God Provides; Its OK To Ask For Help

In summary of John 16:24 it says, "You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy."

Bottom Line:
Ask in His name and you will receive with joy

What this means to me:

As a follower of Jesus, I learn more each day as to what’s on his heart and this affects my desires to have the same kind of heart.  He gives me permission to ask using His name.  When I do (with the right motives) I will receive and my joy will be abundant.  I find an amazing, incredible and all-encompassing promise in Philippians 4:19 (NIV) regarding provision: "... God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  The first two words are: "God will ." It doesn't say, "He might meet your needs," it says, "He will meet your needs." It's written as a fact; God is staking his character and his reputation on it.  Then it says, "God will meet all. ..." It doesn't say, "I'll meet some of your needs." It says all.  He won't give me everything I want, but he will give me what we need. In addition, with every promise, there is a premise; there are conditions and requirements. When God makes a promise, he says, "I'll do my part and you do your part."   So I can ask for his help - Jesus says, "Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy." (John 16:24 NLT)   So at times I think if God knows all my needs then why do I need to ask?  What I find is that it is so that he can give.  He wants to give so that I can receive.  He wants me to receive so that I’ll be full of joy.  He wants me to be full of joy so that it reflects his influence in my life, which ultimately provides a positive testimony about the love of God.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Love is Always a Response to Love

In summary of 1 John 4:19 it says, "We love each other because he loved us first"

Bottom Line:
We love because He Loved us first

What this means to me:

God is the one who has initiated love first. He is concerned about every little detail in my life. He created me and then put together a plan to rectify me after I had gone my own way.  His real love for me, gives me a model to follow in loving others.  When I get stuck in a rut thinking how hard it is to love others, I only need to realize how much God loves me.  Love on my part will always be a response to love and God provides plenty of it.  God is a compassionate and caring father and He really loves and cares about me.  Today I will focus on the notion that God deeply loves me.  This should enable me to be able to love others in return.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Starting Point For How To Obtain Valuable Life Lessons

In summary of Proverbs 1:1-7 it says, “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young -- let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance -- for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline”

Bottom line:
The proverbs listed here are for to help you recognize wisdom and good advice.  They can teach you to live intelligently and how to be honest, just and fair.  They can make an inexperienced person clever and teach young people how to be resourceful.  These can even add to the knowledge of the wise and give guidance to the educated.  To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord. Stupid people have no respect for wisdom and refuse to learn.

What this means to me:

Solomon one of the wisest people of all times left these proverbs for me to learn from.  These reflect a lifetime of his learning.  They come from his desire to pass on the wisdom of lessons learned to all.  A constant theme is the linking of concepts of wisdom and that of discipline.  Solomon felt that to despise wisdom and discipline is to be a fool.  So, If I absorb them they will help me recognize real wisdom and sound advice.  They will illustrate and teach me how to live wisely, and how to be honest, just and fair.  They can make someone like me more clever and resourceful.  However, there is a prerequisite.  In order to get this knowledge I must a reverent fear of the Lord.  This means I need to take him seriously.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Learning To Invest In Others

In summary of Romans 15:2 it says, “We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.“

Bottom Line:
Help others do what is right, help grow their faith.

What this means to me:

A major goal in my life should be to help others do what is right.  I should help and encourage others to build their faith and thus become a people-builder.  This is a great gift that I can give to others that can last forever.  A key for me to to do this is to build them up using kindness on my part, giving them what they really need and not what I think they deserve.  I can use Jesus as my example.  Jesus did three things to build up the people in his life; he challenged, encouraged and spoke to them honestly.  He had challenged the people around him to be all God made them to be (not waste their lives.)  I too can challenge my family and friends to live beyond themselves and to discover their strengths / abilities.  I should look back and reflect on those who have helped me to discover my gifts and who had challenged me to develop and strengthen and use them.  I can play a critical role by helping the ones in my life as well.  I am ultimately meant to be a blessing to others.  Today I ask God to continue to guide me and help me be all he wants me to be and to make a difference in the lives of others.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Five Practical Steps for Handling Frustration

In summary of Isaiah 26:3 it says, “You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.”

Bottom Line:
The Lord gives peace to those who keep firm in their purpose and put their trust in you.

What this means to me:
If I can keep my purposes firmly in mind and keep putting my trust in him, he will provide to me perfect peace in what I do.  I came across a study this morning which suggested the following steps for dealing with any frustrations I might be facing.
  • First ask myself, "Did I cause it?" God’s word says, "A man reaps what he sows." (Galatians 6:7 NIV)   I can be frustrated by many things in life because I bring them on myself.
  • Next ask, "What can I learn from it?" Romans 8:28 says, "All things work together for good." (NIV)  There are many bad things in the world, but all things work together. God can even take the negative things and turn it them into positives if I will let Him. I can use irritation as an opportunity to become more like Christ.
  • Thank God in the situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In everything give thanks." (NIV) I don't have to be thankful for a bad situation. But I can be thankful in a bad situation. Frustration can be a blessing in disguise.
  • Turn the frustration into a funny, a humorous event. The Bible says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)  A sense of humor is God's antidote for anger and frustration.
  • Ask God to fill you with His love. Why? Because 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Love is not easily angered." (NIV)  Love is self-giving, not self-serving. I get irritated, because I think everyone and everything has to revolve around me. Love concentrates on the other person.

Jesus faced constant frustrations, but He never got irritated. He always made time for people. I can get so preoccupied with my own things that I forget that people are the priority in life.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tests Of Faith - When God Seems Absent

In summary of Job 23:8-10 it says, “8 I have searched in the East, but God is not there; I have not found him when I searched in the West.  9 God has been at work in the North and the South, but still I have not seen him. 10 Yet God knows every step I take; if he tests me, he will find me pure.”

Bottom Line:
I have searched for God, I know he is working but still I do not seem to be connecting with him.  Yet I know that God knows everything I do, if he tests me he will find me pure.

What this means to me:
There will be times when God’s presence may not be apparent. In his word, God has never promised that I’ll always feel his presence. In fact, God admits that sometimes he hides his face from me. This is a normal part of the testing and maturing of my relationship with God. It can be painful and disconcerting, but it is a vital to the development of my faith. Knowing this gave Job hope when he could not feel God's presence in his life. He said, "I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him. But he knows where I am going. And when he has tested me like gold in a fire, he will pronounce me innocent." (Job 23:8-10 NLT) When God seems distant, I can tend to feel that perhaps he is angry with me or possibly disciplining me for some sin. In fact, sin will disconnect me from intimate fellowship with God. Often a feeling of abandonment or estrangement from God has nothing to do with sin. It is simply a test of faith - one I must face: Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when I have no sense of his presence or visible evidence of his work in your life? Just like Job, I need to remember that God’s absence is only to test my faith in him when I can’t see immediate results.