City Life Church, Cambridge started 24 years ago with a vision, passion and boldness to do something risky. It's been a blast, and like everything worthwhile, it's been difficult as well as joyous. Still, we see God has brought our time to an end. As of June 10th CLC Cambridge will disperse, sending our final number out to change the world--the mission God gave us right from the very start. Thank you to everyone who's joined the amazing adventure! There is so much to be grateful for. We still identify as family and we remain friends as we enjoy finding out what God has for us all next. --Kevin, Tom, Lyn & Tim
Devotion: Holding Back? Learn the Lesson
2 Chron 16:9 has an encouraging promise but a stark warning:
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
The context is about someone going into battle but failing to rely on God for the victory. The rebuke is not for someone who has no experience of Father’s trustworthiness and goodness. See verse 8:
“Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand.”
We are wooed to trust God and let Him into our everything. We are reminded how good He is and how He’s worth our trust. We’ve even known His goodness and care in our lives. But even a good God lets us suffer the consequences of our bad decisions. It’s like the law of gravity, nothing personal just the way the universe is designed. Father is not distant and disinterested watching these spiritual laws work in our lives. He’s not mean and enjoying our struggle. Remember, only a bad father would fail to discipline his child.
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Hebrews 12:4-11 “My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. “It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.” God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”
Psalm 20:6-9 is a good example to follow with both choices: trusting God or otherwise:
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
Remember when you’ve trusted Father in your life and with that in mind go for it now and exercise that growing faith muscle. Trust in the name of our Lord and you will rise up and stand firm. If not for the promise of Him strengthening your heart, at least to avoid your challenge turning into a war.
Check back here to be encouraged to digest more little morsels of spiritual food. May you find more and more nourishment for your soul.