Raise the Temperature
Top Music Videos
When God Speaks
I will [create] you into a great nation (v.2).
I’m no gardener. The surest way to kill your flowers
or vegetable plants is to ask me to care for them.
So I marvel at those who are gifted at working with
all things green and growing. Some gardeners have a
practice (whether it is superstition or has merit, I can’t
say) of talking to their plants. They’ll lean over their
azaleas, daffodils, or young sprouts and whisper, chat
. . . even sing. They insist that their words spur growth.
The Bible regularly presents God as one whose words
bring things to life. In Genesis, humanity’s early history
is ugly. Repeated human rebellion leads to the desolate
admission that Abram and Sarai have no children. Sarai
is barren. Humanity, as a result of their attempts to make
life on their own, is desolate.
As Walter Brueggemann put it, “This family (and with
it the whole family of Genesis 1–11) has played out its
future and has nowhere else to go. Barrenness is the
way of human history. It is an effective metaphor for
hopelessness. There is no foreseeable future. There is no
human power to invent a future.”
Then, the story turns with these simple words: “The
Lord . . . said . . .” (12:1). God spoke into the barrenness
and chaos. It was as if He said, You’ve done your best,
and this is where it has gotten you—now step aside.
Still early in the Genesis story, these words remind us
of another time God spoke into darkness and chaos.
Before God began to create, the “earth was formless and empty, and darkness
covered the deep waters.” Into nothing, “God said . . . ”
God spoke and light erupted, vegetation blossomed, humans appeared. This
is still what happens whenever God speaks.
Read Mark 5:35. How did most of the people respond to Jesus’
words? How did Jairus’ daughter respond to Jesus’ words?
What is the barren place in your life right now? What do you sense God
is speaking into that place?
- Raise the Temperature - ...read more
- Always There - Do you believe that the Lord is always with you?...read more
- Seasons of Grief - Are you going through a season of grief where you are struggling to grieve?...read more
- John's Question - What steps can you take to seek God’s perspective in a current challenging situation?...read more
- Victory - What battles are you facing these days?...read more
- Starting Over - Have you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?...read more
- Genuine Love - How have you experienced the reality of God’s love?...read more
- Straight Up - Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest?...read more
- He Saw Something - Have you seen something so true that you would be willing to live or die for it?...read more
- Higher Law, Higher Love - What choice of conscience faces you today?...read more
- Stay or Run Away - How might God want you to display His glory in your life?...read more
- Jealousy and Generosity - To help His followers understand what the kingdom of heaven is like and the dangers of comparison obsession, Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired workers to tend his vineyard....read more
- On the Fringe - Who sits alone at church that you can befriend?...read more
- Taming Anger - Think back to a time when you lashed out in anger, or when someone lashed out at you....read more
- Full of Joy - How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?...read more
- Mistaken vs. Hard Hearts - How have you experienced a hard heart toward God in your relationship with Him?...read more