In an email Tuesday night, former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul released an ominous statement claiming that a source they have in the Senate revealed Democrats are teaming up with Republicans to push through a massive gun control bill.
According to their source, as Paul explained, “Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are teaming up with Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to ram through one of the worst nationwide gun confiscation schemes ever devised.”
The gun confiscation bill, according to Paul, is designed to disarm Americans without any due process. The senators are using the recent tragic shooting in Texas as the impetus behind the law—in spite of the fact that this law would not have prevented the shooting at all.
The Place of Nothingness
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).
Do you find yourself in a place of nothingness? There is a time and place in our walk with God in which He sets us in a place of isolation and waiting. It is a place in which all past experiences are of no value. It is a time of such stillness that it can disturb the most faithful if we do not understand that He is the one who has brought us to this place for only a season. It is as if God has placed a wall around us. No new opportunities – simply inactivity.
During these times, God is calling us aside to fashion something new in us. It is a place of nothingness designed to call us to deeper roots of prayer and faith. It is not a comfortable place, especially for a task-driven workplace believer. Our nature cries out, “You must do something” while God is saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” You know the signs that you have been brought into this place when He has removed many things from your life and you can’t seem to change anything. Perhaps you are unemployed. Perhaps you are laid up with an illness.
Many people live a very planned and orchestrated life where they know almost everything that will happen. But for people in whom God is performing a deeper work, He brings them into a time of quietness that seems almost eerie. They cannot see what God is doing. They just know that He is doing a work that cannot be explained to themselves or to others.
Has God brought you to a place of nothingness? Be still and know that He really is God. When this happens, your nothingness will be turned into something you will value for the rest of your life. – Mother Teresa
Living by the heartbeat
For reading & meditation: John 5:16-30
“‘ the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing ‘” (v.19)
Although we do not know exactly why the Greeks came to Jesus, it is clear that their arrival aroused powerful emotions. He soliloquises: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, RSV). Some commentators think that although there is no record of the Greeks having actually conversed with Christ, they might have sent a message via Andrew and Philip to the effect that He could have a long and fruitful life if He brought His message to their shores. Was this so? We will never know – at least, not this side of eternity. But if it was, this was His answer: life comes through giving life, and fruitfulness through falling into the ground and dying. Jesus did not live by the hourglass, but by the heartbeat. He knew that when we remain alone by ourselves – when we are like the “corn of wheat afraid to die” – we will find life shallow and fruitless. A refusal to pay the ultimate price – the price of giving ourselves – is to find ourselves paying the price of the deadness of life itself. Again we hear Him cry: “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world [as I must do] will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). If the Greeks were coming to ask Him to love His life and save it – and thus save others – they were asking Him to bless without bleeding. Jesus knew that could not be done. There is no life without death, no gain without pain, no crown without a cross, and no victory except through surrender.
My Father and my God, soon I will leave this theme and focus on another. If I have not yet settled this issue of where my allegiance lies – with myself or with You – then help me to settle it today. For Your own dear Name’s sake. Amen.
For further study:
Luke 15:11-32; Mark 8:36; Matthew 25:27-28
1. What did the prodigal son have to learn?
2. What is the lesson of the man with one talent?