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Another challenging truth that the Lord seems to be causing us to consider is suffering. It seems like the Lord wants us to include suffering as part of what He has determined for us?  Cheery topic for Sunday morning, huh?  Aren’t you glad you came?  Let’s start in Romans 8.

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba!  Father!’  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”  (Romans 8:12-17).

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I’m challenged by the truth I see in Scripture about the dwelling place of God, the temple of God, since now in this new covenant, we are the temple of God. Solomon built a magnificent temple, and so did Herod, but the blueprint that the Lord gave Moses was a…tent. As far as I know, there wasn’t any other blueprint. In spite of what Solomon did, this was God’s preferred plan. Moveable. No physical foundation. I’m just amazed that the God who created the universe, created all that we see and the unbelievable cellular and subatomic things we don’t see, who upholds it all by the word of His power, chose a tent made a skins for His very humble dwelling place.

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Here are some scriptural truths that give me pause when I lay my life along their plumb line:

1 Timothy 6:9. “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

After reading this, I asked myself, “Who wants to be rich in America?” Um, most everybody. So who falls into temptation, into snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction?  Um, most everybody.

This should at least cause us to stop a moment and think about the effect that riches have on us.

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One of the things the Lord does when we read Scripture is He lays our lives against its plumb line. Someone has said that it’s not so much that we read Scripture, but that it reads us.

But this has become a bit of a problem in the evangelical church. One is that we’ve become so familiar with Scripture that it fails to impact us anymore. In addition, somehow, we’ve trivialized certain parts of Scripture. I’m not sure how this happened. Here’s an example about what we’ve done. We’ve transformed some of the most uncomfortable passages in the Bible into palatable kids’ stories. Noah’s ark. Animals and rainbows and a smiling guy with a white beard. This is in actuality a terrible account about God’s judgment of an evil world, where everybody was destroyed. Samson. Lots of people died when Samson was around. Moses before Pharaoh. Terrible plagues and destruction.

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