March 27, 2023

Ep.1274: If I Have God’s Peace, Why Am I So Stressed?

Learning to reduce negative stress and replace it with God’s peace

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CHAPTERS

[00:15:55]
What four steps help us focus on changes we need to make when our stress level is high?


[00:33:24]
How do the stress-relieving principles of EMPTY and SURRENDER work?


[00:48:46]
How do the stress-relieving principles of ACCEPTANCE, TRUE REST and REJOICING work?


Theme Scripture: Philippians 4:7

It is a given that life is stressful. We all know that the sheer quantity of input that we are each exposed to from the various parts of our lives is overwhelming. Now come the decisions. Do I watch, do I listen, do I click, do I respond, do I message, do I like? Now comes what is supposed to be the main part of our day, our work, or schooling or caregiving and attempting to do a good job. Next comes our down time, which for many is laughable. It is now in our downtime that we watch, listen, click, respond, message and like, so downtime easily becomes stress time. As Christians, we are supposed to have God’s peace covering our lives. I say "supposed to" because many of us have a really hard time finding that peace in the midst of our daily chaos. Where are we going wrong, and how do we correct it?

Continue Reading

 

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March 27, 2023

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March 20, 2023

Ep.1273: What Can David, a Battlefront and Cheese Teach Us?

Learning the mindset and life focus of being always ready to serve God

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CHAPTERS

[00:16:51]
How is God's role that of deliverance for us?


[00:33:39]
How should we act on our Christian priorities?


[00:46:48]
What are five points to living a stronger Christian life?


Theme Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:17-18

It’s not too often that those who are young adults rise up to be the heroes of the day. Usually they are in the "figuring life out" stage, but occasionally there comes a young adult who is living far beyond that perplexity. David, who would become known as "a man after God’s own heart," was such a young man. This designation would be made apparent when he visited the battlefront to bring food to his brothers and ended up defeating Goliath. Now, the story of his battle with Goliath is well-known, but the events leading up to that battle? Well, they deserve our attention. Focusing on what David already believed and thought - and what he said and did as a result - will reveal Five Points to a Stronger Christian Life for us. Why not learn how to be more focused on God’s will from a man after God’s own heart?

Continue Reading

Literally, a big problem

The armies of Israel stood ready to fight the armies of the Philistines, but they had a really big problem. His name was Goliath. He was a menacing presence, a literal giant of a man standing about nine feet tall. Every day he would stand in the valley between the two armies and put out a challenge for Israel to send their best warrior to fight him to the death. It was a winner-take-all proposition. Goliath’s brash challenge was repeated day after day for 40 days. King Saul and his men stood paralyzed! How could anyone expect to be victorious over such an overwhelmingly imposing figure?

Food delivery!

David, the teenage shepherd from Bethlehem, shows up to deliver food to his three brothers and cheese to their commander. He hears the brash challenge from Goliath, immediately questions what is happening and volunteers to fight the giant. David goes before King Saul, rejects the king's offer to use his own royal armor and boldly goes down into the valley to meet Goliath for this epic battle.

Wait a minute! Why would any king ever agree to sending a teenage shepherd boy with zero military training or experience to fight a seasoned warrior in a winner-take-all battle? The answer here is deep and compelling. The bottom line wasn’t about sending a boy to do the job of an experienced and powerful man. Instead, it was all about sending the right person to meet and defeat an enormous challenge. David was that right person.

Check out our March 20, 2013 podcast, “What Can David, a Battlefront and Cheese Teach Us?” for more. We dive into why David was the right person for this overwhelming task. We look at who he had been during his short life before this challenge presented itself. We breakdown what drove him, why it drove him and how he was able to keep fear from burying him. These lessons ring loudly in our ears. Join us for this inspiring conversation with our special guest Matt Kerry, as we learn from and apply the power of David’s character to our daily lives.

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March 13, 2023

Ep.1272: Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privilege? (Part II)

Recognizing and living up to the magnitude of our privileges in Christ

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Play Part I

CHAPTERS

[00:15:41]
Why should we beware of the subtlety of sin relating to comfort and self-preservation?


[00:31:57]
Jeroboam changed the spiritual focus to that of idolatry! What else did he do wrong?


[00:46:47]
Are we listening to God's corrective warnings when we start heading in the wrong direction?


Theme Scripture: 1 Kings 12:24

King Solomon ruled over a united kingdom of the 12 tribes of Israel. While the king celebrated the breathtaking splendor of Israel’s civil engineering feats and the exquisite opulence of his palaces and buildings, the people were being suffocated under unreasonably high taxes and forced labor. Tribal jealousies were prevalent between the northern and southern regions, especially between Ephraim in the north and Judah in the south. These conditions, along with Solomon’s impending death, set the table for a never-before-seen fracturing of national unity. But there was hope! In Part I of this 2-part series, we laid the groundwork for what would happen. Simply stated, it all came down to being given extraordinary opportunity and privilege by God and the decisions that followed these gifts.

Continue Reading

Solomon's son, Rehoboam

Rehoboam was King Solomon’s son and inherited the throne of Israel when Solomon died. Becoming the king of God’s chosen people was an enormous privilege. Rehoboam had the choice to do things God’s way or to follow in his father’s later footsteps and leave God behind and do them his own way. Israel was in rough shape.

Solomon's servant, Jeroboam

The overworked and overtaxed people rallied behind one of Solomon’s valiant warriors named Jeroboam. This warrior had been told by a prophet that God would bless him and give him kingship IF ONLY he would obey God’s laws.

Here we have two men from two regions of Israel given the opportunity of a lifetime. Both had choices as to how they would handle that opportunity. Both had full knowledge of God’s influence over and protection of Israel. Both also knew of the current sorry state of the nation as it wallowed in idolatry and disunity. As we look from the outside in at the choices these two men faced, it is so easy to see what we would consider as the obvious course of action. Follow God! He has worked miracles of deliverance and victory in the past! Do things God’s way! Let Him bless you AND the people!

Sadly, neither of these men ultimately chose that path.

Israel would be split into two kingdoms and have two kings. Jeroboam would rule over the ten tribes to the north, and they would be called "Israel." He would leave a legacy of idolatry so blatant that his bloodline would end in disgrace. Rehoboam would rule over the two tribes to the south and they would be called "Judah." His legacy was only slightly better.

How could both kings be so foolish? Check out our March 13, 2023 podcast, “Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privilege? (Part II)” for answers. As we examine their failed choices, we do so with a mirror of self-assessment in hand. Think about this: if we claim to be true followers of Jesus, then we are claiming the highest privilege humanity has EVER been offered! How are WE handling OUR privilege? Are we really following Jesus or just doing it our way like these two kings? Don’t miss this enlightening journey as ancient history reveals our potential present day pitfalls!

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March 13, 2023

Ep.: Why did God wait until Moses to give His commandments?

The Ten Commandments are an important part of God’s plan, so why wouldn’t God have given them right at the beginning to Adam and Eve? Why did God wait until the time of Moses to tell His people what He expected of them?

God is orderly and wise. He knows when the best time to act for the greatest good of His creation. The Scriptures describe different times and seasons in His plan, and they are reasonable when we see what transpired during them. In the beginning of our race, Adam and Eve were given a simple test of obedience. God said to Adam,

Of every tree of the garden, thou may freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:16,17

Our first parents failed this simple test. But the slow process of learning the difference between good and evil began for them, as well as for the human family. A parallel we can draw when God gave such a simple test is in raising children. When a child is very young, parents make their rules simple and understandable. More complicated rules would be impossible for young children to obey. God followed the same principle with Adam and Eve. They were both inexperienced and did not fully understand the consequences of disobedience. Giving them all the laws of Moses would have been overwhelming.

The Law given to Moses was far more than the Ten Commandments. He was given hundreds of laws that God expected Israel to follow. Israel started as a family when first brought to Egypt by Joseph. They initially prospered. But in time, a new Pharaoh arose who made the Israelites his slaves. He was a hard, oppressive taskmaster. At the right time, God raised up Moses to be their deliverer. He wanted them to become a nation, and they could not function without rules and laws.

Adam and Eve were to learn good and evil through their personal disobediences. They did not need laws meant to govern a nation. Those laws structured their method of government, it gave them the Tabernacle sacrifices which maintained their relationship with God and provided many other features. To give all of this to Adam and Eve would have been premature and unnecessary.

Another reason the Law was given to Israel and not sooner was because they were descendants of Abraham. God made a special promise to Abraham after he obeyed God and offered his son as a sacrifice. Such faith was rewarded with a special promise to bless all the families of the earth through his posterity. God said,

…Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice.

Genesis 22:16-18

Unlike Adam and Eve, Abraham had great faith. As a result, he and Israel will be used in God’s kingdom to bless all the families of the earth. That’s the same kingdom Jesus taught us to pray for.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

God’s plan is headed for that kingdom, and our education in good and evil began the journey for all of us.

To learn more about the law of Moses, listen to, “Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Me?”

To learn more about the Ten Commandments visit our special Ten Commandments series resource page to learn what each commandment meant in Moses’ time and what it means for us today. 

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VIDEO: What Are Some Wisdom Lessons for Children About Our Actions? (Part II)

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March 06, 2023

Ep.1271: Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privilege? (Part I)

A tale of two opportunities, two kings and two failures

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

Play Part II

CHAPTERS

[00:16:25]
Disgruntled workers paying high taxes petition the new king for relief. What advice does the king receive?


[00:30:29]
Why does the king's response cause the kingdom to split into pieces?


[00:45:07]
The failures of the foolish king, Rehoboam, teach us what?


Theme Scripture: 1 Kings 12:24

When God miraculously rescued His people from Egyptian slavery and established Israel as a nation, He put a system of rulership through judges in place that did not include having a king. We all know what happened. The people complained to the prophet Samuel because they wanted a king like everybody else. Even though they were warned of the dire consequences that a monarch would bring, they stood fast in their desire, so God let them have their way. Saul was Israel’s first king, and we all know how that ended. David was their second king, and his life and reign ended with turmoil. Solomon was their third king. His reign began in wisdom and faithfulness and ended in the grip of idolatry. From that time on, Israel’s unity fractured, and they would never have a king to rule over their entire nation again. What happened? Israel and its rulers would teach us how easy it is to throw away great privilege!

Continue Reading

Peace and prosperity come at a price

At the end of King Solomon’s reign, Israel was in a socially weakened state. The people were seriously suffering under the high taxes and conscripted labor that built Solomon’s empire. Israel had also become very idolatrous as Solomon’s godly wisdom gave way to the heathen beliefs of his hundreds of wives. Solomon would leave this unhealthy and ununified nation to Rehoboam, a son of one of those wives.

Before Solomon’s death, another man named Jeroboam had been told by God through a prophet that he would have the opportunity to rule Israel. The prophet said he would be blessed of God if he diligently followed God’s law and instructions. Now, Jeroboam was a valiant and trusted warrior under King Solomon and must have been quite surprised by this prophetic message.

Solomon dies and his son Rehoboam becomes king

Things begin to happen! Many of Israel’s mistreated people approached their new king through the valiant warrior Jeroboam to ask for reasonable treatment. With their request, they promised their loyalty. With this opportunity for godly righteousness right before him, the king responds by seeking to think on it for three days. Now the stage is set. On one hand we have this new King Rehoboam who has a golden opportunity to right a sinking ship. On the other hand, we have Jeroboam who was promised extraordinary blessings from God if he would lead according to God’s principles.

Who would step up and follow the incredible privilege that God put before them? Check out our March 6, 2023 podcast, “Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privileges? (Part I)” for more. We walk through these two unique stories of opportunity and observe human reactions to God’s will. There is so much that this account can teach us! The fact is, we also have grand and godly opportunities before us every day. Learning how the responses of these two significant men in Israel’s history can show us the do’s and the don’ts of handling our own life privileges. Join us for these powerful lessons!

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