Stewards4Christ

July 23, 2007

"Daddy, what does peculiar mean?"

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 11:55 pm

Yesterday morning found me sitting in church with my middle daughter Esther sitting beside me. Luanna and Esther both demand at least one of Daddy’s “sides” during most church services. I’m delighted to have them beside me…and it sometimes gives Daddy a chance to help them find a scripture reference in the Bible or answer a brief question. This Sunday morning, the opportunity was for me to answer a question…

The preacher mentioned that God’s people are peculiar…this prompted Esther to look me in the eyes and say, “Daddy, what does peculiar mean?” Not a bad question for a six year old girl! I challenge you, the reader — do you know what peculiar means in the spiritual sense of the word?

Now, you might think that peculiar means strange or odd, and certainly that is one of the eight different definitions found on http://www.dictionary.com/. But, I wanted to set the record straight in my little girl’s mind. Being a Christian does not make her strange or odd, not in God’s eyes. So, this evening I decided to do just a little bit of research and find out what God really meant when He inspired these words to be added to His Holy Word.

Deuteronomy 14:1-2 does, in at least one translation of the Bible, use the word peculiar. “Ye are the children of the LORD your God…for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”

The Hebrew definition in my Power BibleCD software gives this Hebrew meaning of the word peculiar: to shut up; wealth (as closely shut up):–jewel, peculiar (treasure), proper good, special. This meaning is also reflected in other more modern translations:

“You are the children of the LORD your God…for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 14:1-2 NIV).

The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates this word to mean special. This sounds so much better than strange or odd. For you see, in God’s eyes, we as His children are not strange…we are not odd. We are adopoted sons and daughters of the King. God doesn’t make any junk! We are all very special.

Further reading on http://www.dictionary.com/ gives us this definition of the word peculiar: distinctive in nature or character from others. Yes, distinctive does seem to correspond with the Hebrew meaning. There is to be a distinction between us and the world because we are followers of Christ.

I’m so thankful that I can assure Esther and my other daughters that as followers of Christ they are special…they are distinctive in nature…yes, they are a treasured possession of a Holy God.

How about you…have you given your heart to God? If not, why don’t you do so today? If you have made a surrender to Him, have you allowed him to transform your life and set you apart from a world full of individuals focused only on their own interests and desires? I do hope you are different from those around you who are not following Christ. If you are professing without possessing, you are not part of the group of people that God calls chosen, special, and treasured.

I do hope that when your unsaved neighbors, co-workers, friends, or family see you they can tell that you are a special person…a person that is a treasure to God!

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July 19, 2007

WHAT ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 4:54 pm

By: Rick Warren

Two businessmen were talking about the uncertainties of the current economic climate. Jack said, “I’m about to lose my job and our house is in foreclosure – but I don’t worry about it.” His friend Bob asked, “How can you not be worried?” Jack answered, “I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all my worrying for me. That way I don’t have to worry!”

“What do you pay for that service?” Bob asked him. “$50,000 a year,” Jack answered. Hearing this, Bob gasped, “$50,000! Where are you going to get that kind of money?” Jack replied, “I don’t know. That’s his worry!”

WORRY IS SOMETHING YOU LEARNED TO DO. There is no such thing as a born worrier. It is a learned response to life. You learned to worry from two sources:

  1. You learned to worry from experience. After years of mistakes, failures and unfulfilled hopes and expectations, you have discovered that things do not always turn out the way we want or expect them to. Out of these experiences, you formed the habit of worrying.
  2. You learned to worry from examples. There are many models around you. Studies show that children usually pick up their parents’ worries. Anxious, fearful parents raise anxious, fearful kids.

The good news is that since worry is a learned response to life, it can be unlearned! The starting point for overcoming worry is to realize one basic, universal truth: it is useless. You derive no benefit from worrying. It is “stewing without doing.”

Worry has never changed anything. Worry cannot change the past. Worry cannot control the future. Worry only makes you miserable today. Worry has never solved a problem, it has never paid a bill, and has never cured an illness. It only paralyzes you, inhibiting your ability to take proper remedial steps, so you can’t work on the solution.

Worry is like racing a car engine in neutral – it doesn’t get you anywhere, it just uses up fuel. As Proverbs 12:25 tells us, “An anxious heart weighs a man down.”

On top of that, worry exaggerates the problem. It plays on your imagination. Have you ever noticed that when you worry about a problem, it seems to get bigger and more difficult to solve? Every time you repeat your concern over and over in your mind, you tend to add details and increase its intensity – amplifying the situation so you feel worse.

So what is the solution? Instead of worrying, talk to God about what is worrying you. He is someone – perhaps the only One – who can do something about it. “Don’t worry about anything. Instead pray about everything; tell God what you need and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Rick Warren is the author of the highly acclaimed, best-selling book, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life.

Additional Scriptures: Isaiah 41:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 6:25-34, 10:28-31; Luke 10:32-34; 2 Timothy 1:7

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