Lucky socks

A rabbit’s foot. Four leaf clovers. That one pair of socks. Good luck charms. Some people gotta have them. They believe that they bring them good luck. They think that they make them succeed. Baseball players are known for it. They have to follow the same routine, wear the same pair of socks, tie their shoes a certain way, etc. If they don’t, they might not play well. I don’t buy it though. Dude, you didn’t strike out because you wore the wrong socks today; you struck out because you swung at three straight pitches that were low and away.

Nevertheless, people get superstitious about stuff. They think these things bring them a blessing or something. Speaking of that, there was this family in the Bible that had a good luck charm of sorts. Except it wasn’t a good luck charm; it was the presence of God. And that presence caused some serious blessing in their life.

1 Chronicles 13:14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.

Those must have been an amazing three months! Sitting right in your living room is the ark of the covenant. In that ark was the presence of God. It was WAY more than a good luck charm. It was WAY better than lucky socks (and probably smelled a lot better, too). The presence of God brought blessing upon this home. It brought protection and provision. The presence of God, right there in the living room of the house. Wow!

You know what, though? You can have the presence of God right in your living room today. The Bible calls you a house in which the Spirit of the Lord dwells. All you need to do is invite Him right into the living room of your house. Invite Him to come and to stay. You will find the same blessing that Obed-Edom found. You will find peace that you didn’t know was possible. You will find provision and clarity and hope.

The ark of God in your personal living room. Imagine it…

Now, do more than imagine it. Receive it.

Put your socks in the laundry and put on the presence of God, instead.

 

Blessed by liars

Acts 21:27-29  27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

imsev115-031Don’t you just hate it when people make assumptions about you?  How dare they!  I mean, I would never make an assumption about someone else.  No, not me.  My assumptions aren’t assumptions at all.  They are facts.  I know what I am talking about.  Are you seeing the double standard here?  Assumption causes more headaches than I can keep track of.  It creates fights, drama, hurt, and misunderstanding.  And it’s all because someone made a claim without all the facts.

This is what happened to Paul.  He was trying to preach the Good News in Jerusalem.  He did everything he could to show them that he wasn’t there to cause trouble.  He even participated in one of their purification rituals.  But some dudes from Asia stirred up trouble.  First they threw out a bunch of empty generalities to get people riled up. Then they brought out the big guns: they claimed that Paul brought a Greek into the temple.  Their claim was a total assumption and their assumption was based on the fact that they saw Paul walking around town with a Greek.  That’s pretty weak if you ask me.

In Matthew 5:11-12, Jesus said:“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  I guess Paul had a great reward coming.  He was beat and arrested because of this false assumption.  But he knew that He was blessed.  He knew he was blessed because he was in the center of God’s will for his life.  He was preaching the gospel as he had been called to do.  He was living above reproach and made every effort to keep peace.  Blessed by liars.  That doesn’t feel like a blessing, does it?  But Jesus made a promise and a promise He always keeps.

*Have people made false assumptions about you?  Have they tried to trash your integrity and character?  Consider yourself blessed by liars, because great is your reward!