Faith Matters - Current Posts

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Getting a Second Chance

When we make unwise choices and mess up, we can’t always count on getting a second chance to go back and do it right. But that’s exactly what happened to Jonah in the Old Testament. God gave him a second chance.
The first time around when God asked him to go warn the city of Nineveh to repent, Jonah had refused and run away. He ended up in the belly of a great fish with three days to think about it. Then God caused the fish to vomit Jonah up onto dry land, giving Jonah a second chance.
This time when God said, "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim… the message I give you," Jonah obeyed. He delivered the message, but his attitude hadn''t changed. Jonah still hated the people of Nineveh and didn’t want them to repent and be forgiven. He wanted them judged and destroyed. His ride in the belly of the fish had caused his behavior to change, but not his heart.
To Jonah’s dismay, his enemies in Nineveh listened to God’s warning, repented and were spared. Jonah was angry. He didn’t want God to give them a second chance. Jonah did the right thing but with the wrong attitude.
What about you? Don’t wait until you’re in a situation as hopeless as the belly of a fish. Decide right now to do what God wants you to do whether you feel like it or not. If God is offering you a second chance, say “Yes,” but do it with the right attitude!

Related Scripture: Jonah 3:2 -4:1

© 2007 Leith Anderson

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Power Corrupts

An old axiom says that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Very few leaders handle power well.
The Bible tells the story of Joseph, a young Hebrew man who was sold into slavery in Egypt because his brothers hated him for being their father’s favorite. In spite of the hardships of slavery, Joseph remained faithful to God. After years of suffering, God rewarded Joseph’s faithfulness by having the ruler of Egypt promote him to the position of Prime Minister.
Drought spread throughout the region and because of Joseph’s wise management, only Egypt had food. Joseph’s brothers were sent by their father to Egypt in search of grain. When they stood before Joseph they didn’t recognize him. They thought he was dead.
How would you treat those who had mistreated you if you were in the position of control? At first Joseph struggled with what to do, but soon the character of this man shone brightly. He forgave his brothers, giving them food, protection and land. He used his power for good. When his brothers eventually realized that this powerful prime minister of Egypt was actually the kid brother they had sold into slavery, they were scared to death. But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid.…You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
What a stunning perspective! Joseph realized that even when people intend to harm us, God intends those very acts be used for good.

Related Scripture: Genesis 19: 19-20

© 2007 Leith Anderson

Monday, October 8, 2007

When Life Isn't Fair

What do you do when everything goes wrong and life isn’t fair? Thousands of years ago a boy was born to a nomadic Middle Eastern family. His father, Jacob, had more than a dozen children from two wives and two concubines, and his most recent son to be born was named Joseph. Perhaps because he was the youngest, his father favored Joseph. And that favoritism nurtured resentment among his brothers.
When a caravan of traders came by, the brothers sold Joseph into slavery, telling their father that he had been killed by a wild animal. When the caravan arrived in Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potipher, the captain of Pharaoh’s palace guard.
Joseph suffered the hard life of a slave but he didn’t complain. He honored God and faithfully served Potipher. God blessed Joseph and gave him success. Potipher promoted Joseph to the position of top slave in charge of his estate. But things got worse again when Joseph was falsely accused and put in prison. Two years later, in a dramatic turn of events, Joseph was able to interpret two dreams for the Pharaoh that none of the other wise men in Egypt had been able to do. Joseph spoke with stunning clarity, giving the credit for his wisdom to God. As a result, Pharaoh believed him and promoted Joseph to the position of Prime Minister.
Joseph experienced a life of extremes: hardship, good fortune, imprisonment, release and promotion. Yet he never lost sight of the fact that God is in control.

Related Scripture: Genesis 39:1-23

© 2007 Leith Anderson