God gives each of us gifts right in that place where we feel weakest and most empty. All of our trials, understood rightly, can be used by God to transform us into people of worship and service. I have a friend who called me just yesterday, and his particular trial is physical, emotional, and spiritual. For many years he has struggled with his particular form of mental illness. He’s a very knowledgeable man, used to studying biblical history and theology. But his daily prayer is for God to simply help him cope with the trauma going on in his brain. He gets migraine headaches that cripple him for hours. He has panic attacks and anxieties that I can hardly understand. He has fitful periods of doubt, hurtful, mean-spirited, angry thoughts about God and bitterness toward people that eat at him.
I have stood beside him as he walked through a near suicidal period, followed by a hospitalization and then release after his decision to stop taking his medications. And as I listen and stand with him now, I realize that for my brother in Christ, every day is a testimony to me of the enduring grace of God. I ask him how…
Click on the link to download and read the rest of this Bible Study: “Something to Give“
Recently a story out of the Los Angeles Airport shocked air travelers all over the United States. An undercover operation had revealed that baggage handlers at that airport had been going through baggage that had been entrusted to their care and were stealing items out of the baggage. People were rightfully outraged. When you buy a ticket and turn your luggage over to the airline you expect everything you give the airline to be there when you arrive at your destination. If it gets stolen along the way you feel cheated, robbed and violated.
Yet so many infected by Affluenza are doing just that to God. In Malachi 3:8-10 we read the following, “Will a man (or a woman) rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts. ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it.’”
Affluenza is that disease where a person refuses to give from what God has given them. This plague which has swept through America is deceiving its victims into believing that happiness can be bought and the accumulation of things can somehow fulfill a longing within. The plague of Affluenza has so poisoned the soul of our culture that the identities of many have been formed by the possessions that have now come to possess them.
Infected by the disease of Affluenza many now dread the thought of leaving this world because this is where their heart, possessions and identity exist. Jesus said in Matt. 6:21, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” That is why…