The Last King

What would God think about that? We all do things from time to time we know displease God. And our disobedience leads to discipline from God. But why does he discipline us at all? Why can’t he just look the other way?

What goes around often comes around. The powerless often find themselves in a position of power and the people who hurt us may someday need us. In the moments when we’ve got those people right where we want ‘em, what we say will say as much about us as anything else. If our words are stones, will we choose to throw them, or use them to pave the way forward?

Our big mouths can be destructive, but they also have the power to build others up. What we say can impact the quality, and even the direction, of the lives of the people around us. How can we use this power for good?

Like a small spark that has the potential to scorch an entire green forest, our tongues are untamable, with the power to control our whole bodies. We have a tool that can be used to build up those around us or tear them down in just a few words. What do we do with that kind of power? We can’t lock it away. But we can, by God’s grace, learn to control it.

We all know what it’s like to be hurt by someone who just couldn’t listen long enough to understand us. Maybe in their attempt to be right, they damaged a relationship that could have been saved with a little patience and curiosity. You’ve probably been on the other side of that coin too. Taking the verbal o ense may have won the argument, but you lost relationally. What if we didn’t settle for being right, but tried to make things right instead? The longer we listen, the more we learn, and the better chance we have of protecting ourselves from our own big mouths.

The Bible did not create Christianity. Christianity is the result of an event (the resurrection) that created a movement (the church) that produced sacred and reliable texts that were collected and bound into a book (the Bible). But how do we approach not being at peace with everything we read in the Bible? Paul—the apostle, Pharisee, author, preacher, and church planter—offers us clarity and confidence to move forward.

The Old Testament chronicles God’s redemptive, sequential activity in history. It’s a fabulous, gritty, epic history of the Hebrew people in which, over and over, Israel is reminded that they are a divine means to an end. So, maybe instead of seeing the Old Testament as a spiritual guidebook or a storyline that needs to be tidied up, we should see it as something even better: the history of God preparing the world for a Savior.

“In the beginning. . . .” can be a loaded phrase—one that forces us into debate and doubt. But maybe we’re missing the point of Genesis 1:1—a point Moses made to a world where the violence and injustice of the gods justified and legitimized the violence and injustice of human rulers. Moses introduced a radically different, unparalleled, and untested worldview.

Most of us know some Bible stories, but very few of us know the story of the Bible. And it may be surprising to discover it’s a story that doesn’t actually begin in the beginning. It begins with the accounts of a few men who sat down to record the death and resurrection of Jesus. It begins with the words of his followers who were compelled to document the events that had changed everything for them—because they knew it could change everything for us.

Only one person can ensure that we end up somewhere on purpose. And that person isn’t in the House of Representatives or the White House. They’re in our house. In fact, we look at that person in the mirror every morning. The reality is that we face our greatest leadership challenge every morning when we face ourselves.

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