Jakes read from Daniel, 3:19 and used the scripture to offer [Obama] a series of four lessons for his administration.
1 – “In time of crisis, good men must stand up. God always sends the best men into the worst times.”
2 – “You cannot change what you will not confront. This is a moment of confrontation in this country. There’s no way around it…This is not a time for politeness or correctness, this is a time for people to confront issues and bring about change.”
3 – “You cannot enjoy the light without enduring the heat. The reality is the more brilliant, the more glorious, the more essential the light, the more intense the heat. We cannot separate one from the other.”
4 – “Extraordinary times require extraordinary methods. This is a historical moment for us and our nation and our country, and though we enjoy it and are inspired by it and motivated by it.”
After his four lessons, Jakes turned from the crowd and looked directly at Obama.
“The problems are mighty and the solutions are not simple,” Jakes said, “and everywhere you turn there will be a critic waiting to attack every decision that you make. But you are all fired up, Sir, and you are ready to go. And this nation goes with you. God goes with you.
I particularly like the quote, "You cannot enjoy the light without enduring the heat" There is surely truth in that! The reality for the new president is that hope and expectation are high. They were high before his inauguration but following, what I thought was a brilliant speech, they are now even higher. Higher than any one man can possibly deliver. I trust that the American people and the citizens of the world will recognise the limitation of one man.
My continuing studies are on Galatians 5: 7-15. A church struggling with false teaching. This teaching based on legalism was pulling them away from the freedom Christ that had been won for them through his death on the cross. Paul uses the imagery of the race in verse 7.
The picture is of a church not only running well, but one winning. There nothing in front to stop them seeing the finish line. However, someone "cut in on them" causing them to slow down, to stumble and lose direction. He is clear that this obstruction or as he calls it "persuasion" does not come from God, therefore it must be from the devil. That master of deceit. His agents in this instance appear to be people causing trouble within the church by spreading false teaching. As with yeast it only takes a little to affect the batch. I like the encouragement that he gives them that he is sure they will not be duped. This is a lesson to all of us. When we see problems to encourage those involved that we are confident in their ability to prevail through leaning on the word of God (not their own understanding). It is also interesting that Paul who often does not "mince his words" seems to be gentle with them, encouraging them to the truth. Leading his wrath for those who are teaching the false doctrine not those who are being taught. Indeed his image of castration (v12) is graphic indeed.
The freedom Paul discusses resides within the overarching concept of free-will. True freedom will is enacted not just in our being but also in our action "to love our neighbour as ourselves". Without this freedom we are likely to destroy each other.
The word of God is so revealing and enlightening. Time spent reading the bible is never wasted. The reward is always greater than the investment.
I am now about half way through "The Shack" At the moment I am struggling to know what all the fuss is about. For me it is neither enlightening nor gripping. I confess the be slightly bored and a little irritated by the characters which is a shame because the represent to trinity! Perhaps others might be able to tell me why they loved it so much?