I love the AFL Grand Final. Each year I watch all the lead up programs and sit on the couch and watch the whole game. Whether my team is playing or not I really enjoy it.
As I was reading Isaiah 40 today I thought if I was playing I would write these verses on my forearm strapping so I could read them during the game…
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT)
That would give me strength and encouragement if my energy was flagging.
As my team is not playing I do not have a clear favourite I am going for. I really like Hawthorn as a team, and since they lost the Grand Final last year I would not mind if they won. In saying that though, I am from WA where the Fremantle Dockers are from, so I should go for them too.
Either way I hope it is a great game and the best team wins. I just hope both teams kick accurately and it is won by good play rather than missed set shots.
I know a number of people who seem to see there life situation going from bad to worse. It seems they move from one bad thing to another and they never seem to have a “good break”.
I was reading Psalm 5:16-17 this morning and David gives us some wise words from the midst of his troubles…
“16 Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. 17 My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!”
As I was reading this I came across the notes from the Life Application Study Bible…
“Do life’s problems always seem to go from bad to worse? God is the only one who can reverse this downward spiral. He can take our problems and turn them into glorious victories.
The first and most important step is that we, like David, must cry out, “Turn to me and have mercy.” When we are willing to do that, God will do his work in us and in our situation.”
Today I would encourage you to cry out to God if your life seems to go from bad to worse. Kneel down and then look upwards in prayer.
Yesterday I preached on the Parable of the Lost Son from Luke 15:11-32. You can get a copy of it here.
I worked out that it was 5 years and 10 months since I had done a stand up sermon in a church setting. Most of my messages in that time have been seated in a house church type setting. They are much more informal and interactive, so it was good to be “up front” again.
Today I thought I would share the closing summary of the message I brought.
This parable of the lost son, gives us a great picture of God’s welcoming love for us all. In the first part (verses 11-24) we saw the sense of joy and restoration when the lost son is found. In the second part (verses 25-32) we saw the wrong attitude of the elder brother. Like the Pharisees, he could not comprehend the meaning of forgiveness and acceptance of “unclean” people. While all along the father remains constant in his love for both sons.
By telling the story Jesus identifies himself with the Heavenly Father in his loving attitude to the lost. Jesus represents the Triune God and their joint mission of bringing the world back to Themselves. Like the father in the story who was overjoyed, it should bring joy for us as Christians when someone comes home to Him. We can never be like the older brother or the Pharisees who are not welcoming of people outside the church or outside the faith. God welcomed us, we need to welcome others too.