Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Things Will Always Go Well

To be one of God’s children means to have an eternal Father bestowed upon you by adoption, through no merit of your own, for the purpose of the Father’s glory. It also means that things will always go well for you for the rest of your life.

Yes – things will always go well for you if you’re a child of God.

How can I say that? Am I getting all “best-life-now” on you guys this morning? Nope. The truthfulness of this statement is not dependent upon semantics, but perspective. God’s perspective is far superior to our own impotent, sin-marred, self-centered perspective. And God has told us something very important about our life’s events: no matter how difficult, how confusing, or how painful things may be, they were allowed by God, and…

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28

No matter how badly things may go, things are going well for us. That’s such a difficult concept for us to grasp, but thankfully God’s wisdom is not squelched by our limited capacities.

We can allow this truth to manifest in our lives and in our hearts and by God’s grace, within the most difficult situations, we can trust our loving Father, knowing that He has an ultimate plan that is perhaps well above our understanding. We can embrace our weaknesses, for as the LORD has told us, “…my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My prayer for each of us (and for myself) is that our circumstances will not dictate our joy nor our trust in God. Through Christ we have affirmation that God is working things out for our good, for His glory.

May we all be able to join Paul in saying:

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:10

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thank God

One thing that drives me crazy is that no matter what I'm doing, I could always be doing *more*. Do you ever feel that way? It's a pain because it imparts a sense of impotence on one's soul, even in the face of progress.

Thank God that we could never do enough to merit His favor; thank God that Someone has already done that for us.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

He Must Do What?

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it. -Mark 8:34-35
I think I've figured out what Jesus is saying in this verse.

I think He's saying that if we want to be His disciples, we have to deny ourselves and follow Him.

We have to stop acting spoiled, stop insisting on comfort, stop demanding our rights, and stop being consume with *temporal* concerns.

We have to deny ourselves. It flies in the face of our culture and our hard-wiring.

But - as the text says - IF we're to follow Him, we MUST.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

-Matthew 25:45

How many times have you read this verse, or had it taught to you? How many sermons have you heard which used this scripture?

I've heard and read this, many times. I usually get the same moral out of it: we are to regard the less-fortunate among us as if they were Jesus Himself. When we read this scripture, it's supposed to remind us that we are to be sensitive to the lowly; generous to the poor; sympathetic to the downtrodden.

But wait...if you really think about it...we are to regard the less-fortunate among us as if they were Jesus Himself?

Sure, you can take that as a sort of "symbolic" lesson. But really, is that how Jesus means it? Or does He mean it to be a literal commandment for you to care for the homeless man at the subway...the neighbor who has cancer...the mentally impaired boy at the bowling alley...the relative who is poor and needy...the sex slave in Thailand...the orphan in Africa...as if they were God Himself?

If you saw Jesus the Christ, the God and Savior of the world, in need and begging on a street corner, filthy and hungry...what wouldn't you do for Him?

What if He means it literally?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting It

Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God".

-Luke 9:61-62

This is an intriguing piece of scripture. Seems a bit harsh for Jesus to reply in such a manner, no?

What do you think this person thought when Jesus replied in such a way? Perhaps something like this:

"Sheesh! I just told Jesus I was going to forsake my own plans and follow him. All I want to do is go say bye to my family, and he doesn't have the courtesy to let me do that!?"

If we're honest with ourselves, though...we sometimes treat God like this.

God has saved us, but we'll obey when and where it's convenient. God has commanded us to do something, but we'll do it "when/after/once/as soon as" - and we decide to obey His command on our own terms.

At first glance, this scripture can be a bit of a struggle. At least for me it can be. It seems like Christ is being a bit "unreasonably" harsh. Not fit for the kingdom of God, because he wants to go back and bid his family farewell?

This is one of those scriptures you need to "think on" a bit. And here's what I think.

The person Jesus is speaking with doesn't "get it". Had he realized the hugeness of the situation he was in the middle of, he wouldn't have been thinking about saying goodbye to his family. He would have been awestruck, focuses solely on the Savior. Running toward Him. Forsaking everything else in full realization that he had found the one true treasure of eternity.

The modern equivalent? Those who are Christians, who follow Jesus, but don't give Him everything. They say, "Lord, I'm yours! But I want to keep this...this...and, that thing too. I'll hang onto those".

No! If you "get it", none of those other things matter! You've found the true treasure of eternity! Don't look back!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are You a Parent?

I am. And a fairly new one, at that.

The amount of love I have for my son cannot be quantified in words. The only way I can attempt to describe it is to say that when I became a father, I was given new emotions that I'd never felt before (and plenty of them).

When I'm away from him, I think about him constantly. I ignore after-work errands so I can get home to him more quickly.

His well-being so captivates my mind that I have developed an anxiety issue which is in some respects a result of my worrying that something might happen to him.

Do you know that feeling?

The thought of harm coming to my son is the worst earthly thought I can imagine. That I would willingly allow harm to come to him is unthinkable.

Do those thoughts ever cross your mind?

God reminds me of His love for us through this avenue.

The God of this universe allowed His beloved son to go through the most terrible form of execution this world had to offer. Willingly. For us.


Truly, an unimaginable love He has for us.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Temporal, Defined


[tem-per-uhl, tem-pruhl]


enduring for a time only; temporary; transitory (opposed to ETERNAL)