Thursday, March 23, 2017
I realize my last post described last words....but I didn't mean that for this site. Sorry. I've been a bit too busy and honestly have little rolling around in my head to share....I guess I am doing a bit of a reboot. I'll be back when I know what's going on with me. Thanks for your patience.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The last words of a person are often immortalized. Their final words, especially if they know they are dying, are significant.
But the first recorded words can be just as important. First words give us insight into what a person thinks most important, what that person is becoming.
Scripture gives us several examples of each, but let me focus, for these thoughts, on just 4.
Samuel, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."
Early in 1 Samuel the young prophet is awakened from sleep by God. God has a word for this young man, but he's never heard from God before and doesn't know his voice. When he finally knows it's God these are his words to God when he comes to the young man. Open ears and an available life are key to this response and from these first words we watch the life of this young man morph into one of the most important prophets in Israel's history.
Jesus, "Why are you looking for me, didn't you know I would be in my Father's house?"
At the age of 12 these are the first recorded words of Jesus. What a fascinating place for us to start in his life. Already he knew who his Father was. Already, he had an intimacy with God that few of his Jewish brothers understood or dared emulate.
Mary (Jesus' mother), "Do whatever he tells you."
These are Mary's final words recorded in scripture. What a great closing message for us as Christ followers. What a simple description of what it means to be a Christian. I can't imagine a better last word from the mother of Jesus than this.
Jesus, "It is finished."
These are, I'm sure, the most famous last words ever recorded. They speak volumes and in fact volumes have been written about them. I will simply let Jesus' last words stand without further comment. They brilliantly tell us about the completion of everything he can to say, be and do....and now, in his final words, he tells us he did it, he accomplished all the Father sent him to do.
These are just a few brief thoughts from first and last words. Both tell us something about the life of those who spoke them. Both reveal a vision, a passion, a heart.
If today recorded your last words what would you want them to be? What words would you want others to remember from your lips?
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
It's easy to feel small. If you don't feel that way already the world around you will make you aware of how small you really are. And, of course, there are always those pesky giants to deal with.
My first encounter with the giants was in middle school (or, as we described it, Jr. High School). I had never encountered giants before that time, but I ran into them there. It surprised me at first because they didn't seem that big, but as fear grew of the bullies and their stories, these little giants became bigger and bigger.
Most of the giants I have encountered over the years have not been big in stature as the world would describe a giant, but they were big to me. These giants caused fear, anxiety and the threat of harm or hurt if I got in their way or crossed them.
Today we each live with giants all around us, giants we fear and giants we avoid. Others may not see them but we do! They define our lives and challenge our faith.
The reason the story of David and Goliath is so fascinating to us, especially when we were children, is that we all knew about other giants in our lives and to see someone like David slay his giant thrilled us and gave us hope.....maybe the giants can be beaten, maybe I don't have to cower in fear all my life. Maybe I could slay my giants.
David gave us hope and a new vision of how to look at giants because he saw someone greater than the giant in front of him. He saw and trusted God. And when we trust God it makes our giants much smaller than we think they are.
One of my childhood giants was a boy up the street. He was my age, my height, but he was a bully...a giant. He would sit on the roof of his garage after school and harass us as we walked home each day. One day, for no reason at all, he hit my younger brother in the stomach. When I heard of it and saw my brother's tears this giant had to be conquered. In a rage of anger I went down the street and quickly dealt with my giant. He never bothered us again. Never.
My giant killing days as a child were all done in a rage of anger, but the giants of our adult years are much bigger and anger, fists and a good fight will not conquer them. Now, to deal with our giants, we need a big God.
When fear of the giants comes realize it's simply because you are not looking at a big God. Giants can only grow in size when we lose sight of the God who is Lord of our lives. When I see God right sized I've always discovered the giants seem to become much smaller than I ever imagined them to be. When God is in your sights giants simply become target practice for our slingshots.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Will you trust me?
It depends on who's asking.
But, what if God asked you that question?
What if you heard him clearly say, "Will you trust me?"
How would you respond?
It's a critical question for anyone who
claims to be a Christ follower.
In that question are a whirlwind of other questions I have to answer first. Do I know him well enough to trust him? Have I trusted him before and found him faithful? What about the time I trusted him, but it seemed he failed? How will I know what I should trust him with? What does 'trust him' even look like as I live my life?
"Will you trust me?"
It's a question that forces me to deal with HIM....who he is, what he says and decide....CAN I trust him? And if I did what would that look like today?
Those four simple words force me to deal with God in a way I may have never done before, but if I will it could change everything!
Now the bigger question is this- Will I trust him?
Saturday, March 11, 2017
"The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad." Psalms 97:1
"The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble." Psalms 99:1
The Lord reigns. But as look around me and watch the news it appears no one is in control! Chaos rules, men live in fear of the coming events and yet, above it all there is a good God fully in charge of everything. That should give us comfort that even when it seems everything is falling apart he is fully in charge and events are moving toward his wonderful destination.
A verse I think of often talks of this. It's hidden is the early Psalms when David wrote,
"The Lord sat as King at the flood, the Lord sits as King forever." Psalms 29:10
As you watch the chaos swirl around you remember, God reigns! It's all under control and a loving good God is at the helm making sure this ship of humanity arrives at its appointed destination.
Monday, March 06, 2017
"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted."
1 Peter 2:9
If you have trusted Christ as your savior you are one of his "chosen ones." Chosen for a task that will change the world. In our day few have clarity of what they were saved for, but it's not just to get YOU out of hell and into heaven, it's to be his priest, his people, his instrument, his voice to speak to a dying world and tell them where you found life, where they can find it as well.
How odd it is that we Christians have no idea of our tasks, our calling. Many of us live like everyone around us and have no idea, no vision of what God has designed us to do. But his new identity for us is one that changes eternity in the lives of those we speak to about him.
Do you know that you have been chosen to be part of a plan that changes the eternity of those around you? Do you realize how important that job is? How could we think it's just about getting our sins forgiven and not about changing the world?
You were chosen to be part of God's amazing plan designed from eternity past. Do you realize how glorious that is, how wonderful it is? And you thought you weren't that important, didn't you?
But God has chosen you to be part of a plan that will change eternity!