Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The topic was teens and the expectations their parents have or don’t have for them.
The concept was to not think about teens as adolescents, which has an empty feel to it, but to think of them as emerging adults.
Emerging – promising, up and coming, rising, building, growing, changing, not there yet but on the way…
What if we thought of ourselves as the same way?
God tells us that all the things that come into our life are to change us to be more like Christ. (Romans 8:28,29)
We are not yet what we will someday be.
So instead of thinking of ourselves as static and all that happens to us as “just because” what if we view ourselves also as emerging?
No parent would expect their child to become a functional responsible adult on their own. Our whole role is to help them become what they will be.
Why would we think things are any different with God?
He is our Father.
He is vested in our growth. He didn’t bring us into His family to leave us as infants.
God is growing us; helping us to emerge from the shell of our natural selves into a spiritual being that reflects the godly qualities of our Father.
We are emerging. We are not stagnant. We are not yet all we are meant to be.
What is in our lives is there intentionally.
What stretches us is for our own good and growth.
The struggle, to throw off our sinful nature our worry and doubt and fears, is deliberate.
So that when we emerge we can soar to Him on wings of faith.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
What would it be to be without God?
What would a day look like, feel like, be like, without God?
A day without His Word, or prayer, or an awareness of His presence?
I feared it would be too hard.
I feared more it would be too easy…
Yes, there is God, good for eternal security and panicked emergencies; available for adoration and historical and literary references.
But how do I, as one who believes, walk through my ordinary days with or without God?
How does He impact a typical 24 hours?
I went into a day mindful of this idea – aware of what in me reached for Him throughout a regular day – what would change if I was without God.
There’d be no reason to be sitting and reading in this leather bound book, or penning these words.
No ongoing conversation through the day.
A different radio station drawing my mind to love and loss instead of praise and worship.
Focus on the immediate, the temporary, and all of it being about me and mine, regardless…
No reservoir of strength, no refuge from trouble.
Realizing that all that occurs is merely random and purposeless.
No one to thank for the food before me or talk to when worry has waken me in the middle of the night.
A day without God.
How would your next 24 hours look if that were the case?
The Scripture says that to be without God is to be without hope.
But then the Ephesians 2 passage continues, thank God, it continues!
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13 ESV
We have been brought near.
God brought us to Himself.
God, said, you don’t have to live without me.
We are never without God or without hope.
You - with God.
How does that impact your life today?
Friday, January 14, 2011
Not in the "The sun is 93 million miles from the sun" type of knowledge but what do I know.
What do I believe?
What do I hold onto that gets me through the week?
What influences how I think, act, and live?
So, because this is how I process, I starting making a list.
I'd like to suggest that you do the same.
Because as I started to write down what I know I was reminded about what I already know, you know?
Jesus loves me
No matter what
I am never alone
Never on my own
There is plan for my life
If I understand it or not
Nothing happens to me randomly
God is working all things together for the purpose He has in mind
I'm not going to give you my whole list as it's still evolving but I will tell you that it is amazingly encouraging to know what you know!
Seriously, try it.
Write down six things that you know
Really know, down in the deepest part of who you are
I promise, you'll be encouraged and will say with me "How great is our God and how much we should praise Him!" Psalms 48:1 NLT
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
"My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19 ESV
According to His riches - how different His riches are than ours!
It's my gift card compared to the power of Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks).
While I can buy a few lattes. Howard could give coffee to thousands.
I don't have to supply my own needs, or the needs of those around me by my own resources.
It is God who is beyond comprehension who has supplies beyond our imagination that will supply what we need.
It is the New Testament counterpoint to the beloved Psalms 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want" or according to the New Living Translation - "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need."
The most amazing thing is that our needs don't deplete His riches.
The grace He gives morning by morning (Lamentations 3:23) will not suddenly one day run out because we called on Him too often.
This is u n e n d i n g.
Riches beyond imagination.
Wealth that makes Bill Gates look destitute.
Remember this "We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us... "Ephesians 1:7,8 ESV
God lavished us with His grace when He called us to Himself. He's already poured out riches upon us so what is His response now when, as His children, we come with needs?
"Ask and it shall be given to you.
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and the door will be opened unto you." Matthew 7:7 NIV
What do you need today? Grace? Mercy? Focus? Love for the unlovely? Diligence? Understanding? Forgiveness? Peace? Hope? Joy? Patience?
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalms 5:3 NIV
"My God will supply your need according to His riches..."
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Would I finger such an invitation and say "well... let me see if I really have time for this..."?
Are you crazy? I'd be on the next plane to Maui, or Texas or wherever I needed to be!
If one I consider a master invited me to study with them, there would be no hesitation on my part.
Would you hesitate?
Of course not!
I found such an invitation this morning,
"You are my witnesses," declares the Lord,"and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he." Isaiah 43:10 ESV
I've been chosen, by God, to come and know Him.
He invites me to come and be with Him.