Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Inverted morality

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

I'm fascinated as I read the morning news and compare it to my bible.  It's as if the two are describing completely different worlds.  This is the state of a world that denies God.  It happens slowly, but over time an inversion takes place. What is good becomes evil. What is light becomes dark. What is bitter becomes sweet. What is right becomes wrong.  

We now live, for the most part, in a culture with an inverted morality.  For those who are Christians it might surprise you, but you are now considered evil for your views.  The good described in the bible for those who seek God is now considered evil by the culture around us.  Inversion has happened.  If you think there are any sins that are wrong the inverted culture around you will ridicule you for your antiquated beliefs.  Inversion has happened slowly, but it's fully in place now.  

In an inverted culture everything is backwards, upside down, everything is confused....and it's confused intentionally.  The goal of an inverted culture is to make right the very things the bible calls sin.  It's a culture that makes true the very things we know are a lie.  It's a government that punishes those who do the right things and praise those who do the wrong.  It is, as Superman discovered, a Bizaro world!

When inversion happens you will read things like this on CNN's web site, 

"Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, proudly proclaimed his opposition to marriage equality."

Did you see the inversion?  Did you catch it?  The author of this piece made Dan Cathy, a Christian who believes in biblical marriage, a man who is now opposed to marriage equality!  The author made right wrong and black white.  He made a good thing evil and an evil thing good.  Inversion makes sin now the moral right and it makes what God says is right the moral evil of the day.

We do indeed live in an upside down world!  This is happening in every area and aspect of our culture.  If you're not listening carefully you will fall into agreement with the culturally inverted morality of our day, but it's wrong!  

The right-side-up view of things is clearly described in the bible.  God hasn't changed his views.  He still says marriage is between a man and a woman only.  He still says that sex outside of marriage is wrong.  He still says that homosexuality is sin just as lying and stealing are sins.  Even as I type this I know I will be the subject of our inverted morality and be called a bigot, someone opposed to "marriage equality", but I'm not.  I view the world right side up and refuse to agree with the Bizaro upside down world around me.  

There is still evil and good,  dark and light, bitter and sweet and they do not change simply because the culture doesn't like the way God describes right and wrong.  Yes, I realize I live in a culture and world inverted by sin, but I still have to declare to the world around me that all of this is upside down.  This is not the way God wants us to live.  Even if the upside world around me doesn't like to hear it said it's still upside down and inverted from the way God designed it.  And imagine, as we sail off into this inverted world of morality, where will we end up in our journey if our bearings are off by 180 degrees?

Monday, July 30, 2012


Make a choice.  You have to make a choice....panic or don't panic. Pick your button.  In a world going mad we each will respond with the push of a button and our choice to panic or not to panic will be based on some foundational beliefs.

What do you believe about who is in charge of the events of the world around you?  Do you believe there is a God who rules the affairs of man or are we on our own?  Is there anyone at the helm of the ship or are we all in for a "titanic" event?  

Our responses to the world unraveling around us tells us a lot about who we are trusting or if we are trusting anyone at all.  Is there any easy button available for a third choice?  Is there a God who rules and is in charge of the events of the world around us?  Can we trust him as we see the problems the daily news plates for us each day?

Our choices don't affect what happens in the world we live in, but our choices do affect how we respond to the events of the day.  A verse I have quoted here often is one that has helped me navigate difficult days.  It's a short verse from the writings of David,

The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
Psalm 29:10

In a time when the world was falling apart most literally God was in charge, directing the events of the days.  The same is true today.  In the midst of all you see and read on a daily basis it's tempting to push the panic button, but wait a moment, don't be in such a hurry to be afraid.  If there is a God (and there is), and if he is all powerful (and he is), and if he rules the universe as he claims (and he does), then you simply need to trust him.  He will care for you.  Don't panic.  Push the easy button instead.  There is a good God on the throne.

Thank you, wonderful Lord, that you are fully in charge of the events around us that tempt us to panic.  Help us change our focus from the events that cause our fears to a glimpse of your love and power.  And in that glimpse give us peace to trust you when all around us the world is unraveling.  

As the prophet Habakkuk wrote so should we proclaim,

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A new blog you should follow

A friend of mine, a wounded, but recovering saint, has started a blog about her life and the odyssey she finds herself upon.  I encourage you to read her first post and follow her as she shares her heart.  You can read her words here- Dawn's blog.


Years ago I was in southern Mexico on a mission trip with a missionary friend in the jungle. He took me to the little village to show me something very special. He told me that in the village was a potter who made pottery just as they did in the time of Jesus, in first century Israel. I was excited, looking forward to the opportunity to see pottery made as it would have been made 2,000 years ago. 

We went to the potter's shop and watched as he made a vase. He spun the wheel with his foot, sitting on a little stool, and molded the vase into a beautiful piece of pottery. Suddenly he said something in spanish, only a word, and then, with his fist, he smashed the vase back into a pile of raw clay to start all over again.

I was shocked! I asked the missionary why he did such a thing, why he wasted all his work. He asked the potter my question and this is what he told us, he said the vessel had lumps in the clay. That's the word he had used, "lumps." 

He explained that if the finished vase had any lumps in the clay it would crack when he fired it, so he had to smash it down to clay and work out all the lump, he had to start again and work the clay until all the lumps were worked out.

I often feel like that clay. I know I have lumps, but it's so hard when the Lord is trying to "get the lumps out."  Just when I think I'm getting somewhere in my walk with God I hear that word from the potter, "lumps" and we begin again to make a vessel that won't crack in the fire.

The work the Lord has to do in me, to keep me from ending up a cracked pot, is painful, but it's worth it. My goal is to be a vessel that God can use, so when the Lord is working on lumps remember the goal-

2Timothy 2:20-21- Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A perfect fit!

This morning an old friend came by to help me with some woodworking in our home. I had attempted to put a new crown molding over our fireplace and only got part way done when I realized I can't do this! 

The angles, the fit and finish, the knowledge and experience to do this were way beyond me. I simply abandoned the project and there it sat....for more than a year....partly finished, but mostly unfinished. During this summer my wife told me she wanted it completed. Since there was no way I could do it I called an old friend who is a master carpenter. He spent a couple hours with saws, knives, furrowed brows, funny looks, and strange words, but finally the smile of accomplishment as he finished the work. 

It was a perfect fit! 

If I had tried to do what he accomplished in two hours it would have taken months and thousands of dollars in wasted wood. 

My walk with God is like this as he, the master carpenter, works in my life to cut a bit here, whittles there, working on this piece and then another until he has the perfect fit....until I look like Christ. What might be painful for me is simply his work to perfect me, to make the perfect fit.  

As I watched my friend work I realized that what he was doing was more the work of an artist than of a carpenter.  My life is much the same.  The artist who made all creation is working in my life even now to craft a masterpiece, to make all the pieces of my life fit together.  When he's done he will smile with accomplishment at his finished work...another masterpiece in the image of Christ.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I'm reading

I just finished a memoir by Ian Cron.  It was a wonderful odyssey of a dysfunctional family and God's work in the life of the author.  

God is the ever present "hound of heaven" and in his book Ian tells his story with all the pain included.  It's a story I throughly enjoyed.  

Ian is now a pastor.  It's great to see what God can do with broken lives.  

Quote of the day

"Silence is the language God speaks and everything else is a bad translation." -Mother Teresa

A messy life and heart for God

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to 
strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to 
Him." 2 Ch.16.9

What does this look like in real life?  Does it mean we never sin, never get angry, never say the wrong thing or stumble in our walk?  What does it mean when the Lord talks of looking for hearts fully committed to him?  

I read this verse and am convinced he can't be talking about me.  The desire is there to be fully committed, but my life tells a different story.  My life is messy, smelly at times with sin, I get frustrated, say the wrong things....frankly this verse can't be talking about someone like me....but then I realize that he's looking at the heart.

If God just looked at my life he would pass by without a second glance.  I'm a mess.  There is nothing of the material saints are made of in my life, nothing that would tell you  I'm a godly man, very little of a holy life for others to see and evaluate.

In fact, if I were under close scrutiny to evaluate my life and determine if I were a Christian I think I would fail the test.  Fruit rejected.  Life a waste.  Failure.

But then I reread these words...God is looking for hearts fully committed.  I so want to be that person, that fully committed one.  Can my heart be fully committed and my life an utter mess?  If God is looking for fruit, I fail.  If he's looking for a heart that wants to please him no one wants that more than I.  

How do I reconcile this paradox?  How do I bring together a heart that wants God with all that is in me and a life that wanders, choices that are messy, a life that doesn't look much different than the world around me at times?  

I don't know.  I only know this...when his eyes pass my way he will see a messy life, but a heart that truly wants to be fully committed to him.  In the mess of all of this all I can do is trust him to help me follow my heart's passion for him.

Friday, July 20, 2012

God loves you

 "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."  -Romans 8

This morning, as I read this wonderful conclusion to Romans 8, I thought about the nuances of these amazing words and wondered why we have such a difficult time with God's love.  Why do we doubt it in light of words like these.  How can we think anything we do or say impacts this love?  How much clearer does God have to say his love is unlimited, unchanging and unaffected by anything we do or say or believe?  So, to help with meaning a bit may I add to this passage by giving you my translation of these most wonderful words?  Here are these verses from my experience with God,

 "I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. It is ours no matter what happens, no matter what we do or believe, no matter how mad we get at Him, whether we obey or rebel, nothing will change how he feels about us.  God's love for us will never change, nothing can make God love us less. Here's how amazing it is: Neither death nor life, neither our sins or our good deeds, not our doubts or our lack of faith, neither angels nor demons,  no power of good or evil anywhere in all of creation, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. His love reaches even into the hells we create and the hell to come.  Nothing can stop God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Do you know what that means?  God loves us and there is nothing anyone, including you, can do about that.  He loves us in our sins, in our doubts, in our frustrations, in our fears, in our rebellion, wherever we are or whatever we are doing....God loves us.  Nothing can change that, nothing!"  -Romans 8 (Mike's version)

As I read my additions to this passage it still feels so inadequate, so short of the depth and breadth of the love of God.  Sadly, I just don't have words to describe his love and its nature as I wish.  But, personally and most honestly, I have so often doubted his love and acceptance of me.  I long for and strive to be loved, but it's never given by my efforts to gain God's approval.  It's always there because of what Christ has done.  If all I ever did was trust Christ as savior and then never did another thing God would still love me.  Many will disagree with those words, but they are true.  God's love is extended and will never be conditional or changed based on what I do or say or believe or don't believe.  God's love is based on Christ, not on me and that's why nothing will ever change it....and for that I am so very thankful.  

Thank you Lord for your wonderful unchanging love.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Last night, as I lay in bed thinking, it occurred to me how lonely it would be to live in a universe without God.  I began to think of the consequences of such a place and here are a few of my random thoughts....

Without God there would be no purpose, no reason we are here.  Blind chance would rule and I would have no idea why I'm here, my purpose, my reason for life.  Without God there is no purpose.

Without God there is no reason,  no rationality.  If all of this is an accident then reason and rationality are also just ideas that accidental creatures have invented and they too are irrational.  Without God there is no reason, no rationality.

Without God there is no "why".  Why am I here?  Why do things happen the way they do?  Why do I love?  Why do I hurt so badly when I lose someone?  Without God "why" is irrelevant and irrational.

Without God there is no hope.  If there is no God there is nothing to live for, nothing beyond this life, nothing to give us direction, purpose, reason, value, definition.  Without God there is no hope.

Without God we are alone.  Accidents in a universe that cares nothing for us.  Alone with just a few years of despair and meaningless existence and then we die.  Without God we are alone.  

Alone, no purpose, completely accidental creatures in a universe that has no meaning.  Why would I want to live in such a world?  It's worse than any hell I could imagine!  If God doesn't exist then all of this is meaningless and even my words are absurd, but....

....But there is a God who gives us reason, meaning, purpose, hope and never leaves us alone.  This contrast is the contrast between heaven and hell.  Heaven is a place where God is.  Hell is the place where God is not.  Personally I prefer hope, reason, purpose, rationality and a God who loves me.  

Alone in a meaningless universe is absurd.  Why would anyone want to believe in such a place?  It would be hell on earth.   Maybe that's the reason my atheist friends are all so angry.  Without God all is meaningless and in their universe without God they are trying to define meaning, but if there is no God who cares?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Already but not yet

Hebrews 10:14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. 

A verse that has fascinated me is this short passage in Hebrews 10. This chapter is an amazing description of the finished work of Christ and its result in our lives. In it is a repeated theme of "once for all"...one sacrifice for all people, for all sins, for all times. 

But at the heart of the chapter is this verse. It's an already but not yet declaration of what Christ has done and what is yet to do.  It's a paradox we face as we try to live the Christian life.  

By one offering he forever made perfect.  What a thought.  When I trusted Christ as savior I was forgiven for everything!  I was made perfect forever, complete in Christ and perfect in God's sight.  The work is done.  There is nothing more to do.  Ever. I'm perfect!

But then he continues...made perfect those who are being made holy.  Wait....I thought I was made perfect, what's up with "those who are being made holy"?  It is a paradox of two kinds, 1. It tells us what God has done on his part.  His work is finished.  He fully accomplished all we needed to be perfect in his sight.  And, 2. It tells me what is yet to be done on my part....I'm still in process, still on the path to holiness.  We often call it sanctification, but it describes my odyssey in becoming what God has already made me...perfect.

It's God's desire that I become what I already am.  I can do nothing more to please him, I'm perfect.  But, at the same time I can do everything to please him...it's what I was designed to do...to be now what I already am in the finished work of Christ.  It's the joy of every believer to live this "already but not yet" reality out, but what a blessing to know that I am already perfect and will one day fully realize it as I walk with him into holiness.  

Already, but not yet.  What a God we have!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

One of the realities that I am keenly aware of is that I cannot live the Christian life in a vacuum. It is a life that must be done in community. I need other people....both to encourage me, and for me to encourage.

I'm in a community of believers that has been strengthened and challenged by adversity, but I am still amazed at those "sheep" I meet who have wandered off from our church family, and blame others for their isolation....it's sad to see.

We need to encourage others to "keep going", "don't give up", "trust the Lord", "I'm with you." The tendency to wander off and harden our hearts is more common than most of us realize.  In your own life, look for ways to encourage others in their faith, encourage them to stay involved in the fellowship of other believers. We all need the love and encouragement of others. We are in this together. So, let me encourage you- don't give up, trust the Lord and keep going, God will help you and so will the body of Christ...don't wander off from the church family you are called to be part of.

1Th 5:14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Quote of the day

This brilliant quote comes from my son-in-law, the father of six kids: 

"It takes a child to raze a village." 
 - Zach Lee 

Very funny quote, but in his world, with a "Brady Bunch" family of six, I can only imagine how true it really is for him. Thank you, Zach.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thoughts on July 12th

I have been wonderfully blessed by my church to have three months away for a time of sabbatical.  I have two weeks left before I return to the joy of full time ministry.  These months have been a great time of rest, books to read, places to go and time with my amazing wife.  

We have gone to a conference, traveled, seen family we needed to attend to, and gone to a number of churches to see what is happening in other faith communities.  I've been surprised at the diversity of worship and teaching, but all of the churches are alive and seem to be growing. 

Worship at one church was a rock concert, at another hymns, and another was tribal in worship...you would have to see it to understand, but in each of them people were worshipping and praising God.  In each of them the preaching/teaching was different.  Some young, some old, but all of them teaching God's word.  I'm honestly encouraged and my vision of what "works" is much different than when we began.  I will say more about that another time, but for these months I can say I have found rest, a refreshing and a new perspective that has helped me be ready for the next years of ministry.  

Thank you dear church family for this time away and your love for Joye and I.  We are most blessed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finish line for the flesh

(photo by Boji)

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. -1 John 2:16

I don't know about you, but I struggle with my flesh constantly.  The battle between what I know God wants in my life and what I want is always being waged.  Sadly my flesh often wins, but the truth is that the finish line for the deeds of my flesh is the dump.  The things I want, the stuff I must have, the accomplishments I think are so important all end up on the trash heap of failed flesh.

All that the world aspires to, all that I aspire to apart from God, is destined for the dump, to be thrown away, abandoned, forgotten.  The great monuments to Stalin...at the dump.  The amazing car I "had to have"...trash.  The titles we must have to find worth and importance...forgotten.  All that the world offers, all that we want in the flesh is destined for the dump.  (I've said this several times for emphasis.  Maybe you don't need to be reminded of it, but I do.)  

I have to admit I often set my desires, my passions on things that will not last....things that cannot satisfy....fame that will quickly fade....things destined to be thrown away when we realize they don't fulfill.  The finish line for the flesh is the dump.....it's where we take the things we no longer want.  And soon this pile of trash...forgotten passions, failed fame, tarnished desires becomes a mountain and monument to the failures of the flesh.

I so long to make choices that please God.  I want to want what God wants.  I want to desire what he wants in my life, but I must admit I too often fall short.  The monument to the failures of our fleshly desires should remind us that the flesh will never satisfy,  it simply can't.

I long to follow Paul's advice as he speaks to the Colossian church and writes,

 "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.  And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory."

Monday, July 09, 2012

Quote of the day

At the root of debt is the belief that God has not given you enough. -Michael Warren

A different view of faith

There is a lot said about faith in the Christian world today.  It's a topic of much discussion and conflict.

Some say, "If you have enough faith you would never get sick, never be poor."  

Some would tell you that you can get more faith.  They then quote Jesus' words about a faith the size of a mustard seed and moving mountains.

Faith is a hot topic.

But how did Jesus view it?  What was his perspective on faith?  How would he define it for our culture today?  As you might guess my questions are all a setup for a passage of scripture in the book of Luke.  This is a different view of faith from what you hear in our culture today.  Read this passage and let's talk about it.

Luke 17: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘ Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?10 So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

So many focus their attention on the "faith like a mustard seed" passage, but what follows tells us that few of us have faith even that big!  Faith, pure and simple, is described by Jesus in verses 7-10.  It's simply this- obey the master.  That is faith in the purest most refined state.  There is no purer definition of biblical faith than this simple statement- obey the master.

We make faith about believing, about confessing, about saying the right words, praying the right prayers.  If only I could have enough faith....  But it's not that hard.  Really.  It's pure, simple, easy to do, no magic tricks needed, no special words to say, no strange confessions to make.  It's easy- obey the master.

Now, that is a different view of faith than anything you hear in our culture today, but it's the right definition.  What is faith? Obedience to God and his word.  How do I get more?  Obey what you know now.  What do I have to say? Nothing.  It's not about what you think in your head, what you say with your mouth, it's what you do in response to what the master says.  That is pure and simple faith.  No parlor tricks needed, no mind games to play, no magic phrases to say, just obey.

There's an old hymn that described this better than I'm able to do with my many words.  Here is the chorus and the key to faith as Jesus described it,

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


My wife and I are dog people. For most of our married lives we have had dogs. They are part of the family. Sadly, about 8 months ago our last dog died. We have avoided getting another pet for a while to give us some time to see if we want another one. About two weeks ago we began to talk about another dog. Last week my wife applied for a rescue dog from our area. There were a lot of questions and hoops to jump through, but that was ok. Last night we got an e-mail that we had been turned down for the pet. Apparently they didn't like something about our responses. My wife, Joye, replied with a sweet e-mail and told the lady she understood and would be praying for the right family for the dog we had wanted. I can only assume that kind of response was not expected. When they turn down someone as a pet owner the replies are not nice and when she got Joye's response it surprised her. Within minutes she was on the phone to my wife and talked to her for an hour! By the end of the visit she was trying to talk us into taking the dog. It's interesting that kindness is an unknown response in our day. People don't treat one another well and when kindness is given it's a surprise. In a culture of entitlement and high expectation one thing that has not been taught to most of the children growing up is simple kindness. It's a rare gift given when kindness is the response of someone in our culture. Let me suggest you try it and see what happens. Solomon said is Proverbs, "Do not let kindness or truth leave you. Wrap them around your neck as a beautiful wreath to adorn your life." You will be surprised at the responses of others when kindness is your reply.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The God particle

Science is excited about the discovery of the "God particle",  the Higgs boson particle.  It's an elementary particle sought by science for years.  It is a discovery no one has ever seen and something they only speculate exists.  It's described as the particle that holds current scientific theories together so this discovery is important to the current beliefs of how creation came to be.

As you can imagine the scientific community is ecstatic......ecstatic over the belief in something they have never seen and only hope must exist for their beliefs to be true.

It fascinates me what science will put their faith in to avoid believing in God himself.  A faith in a God particle is exciting for those who are looking for a way to avoid dealing with God himself.

I think my faith in God, the creator of heaven and earth, has much more credibility to it that the hopes of science that an unseen, unknown and only hoped for particle really exists.  It seems we all exhibit faith....it's just in different things.....faith in God or a God particle?  

I am thrilled to have put my faith in God himself who made every particle that exists both in heaven and earth.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, seek, knock.  Sounds like an invitation doesn't it?

In both Matthew and Luke these words of invitation are given by Jesus to his disciples.  They have been words of invitation for more than 2,000  years to those who trust Christ, but these invitations are richer than the simple words communicate.

In the Greek the language speaks in this way:  KEEP asking, KEEP seeking, KEEP knocking.  Don't give up, don't stop, Don't quit.  God is inviting us to pester him!  He's encouraging persistence.  Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking.

Have you ever had someone at the door ringing the bell, knocking on the door and they simply won't go away until you answer?  This is the invitation of Jesus...don't give up!  But the invitation is bolder still:  Ask and it WILL be given you, see and you WILL find, knock and the door WILL be opened to you.  There is a promise of response by God!

This threefold invitation is a challenge to those who trust God to pray until he answers, keep knocking until he comes to the door....don't give up.

But it's even bolder still as Jesus contrasts our earthly fathers with God our father as he says, "if your earthly fathers give good things to their children don't you think that God will do even more for his children who call on him night and day?"  The rhetorical answer is "YES HE WILL!"

This is the grandest, boldest invitation to prayer anywhere in scripture.  It's a challenge by God himself to ask, seek and knock.  

We really don't know what to do with this because many of us have prayed and not seen the answer to our requests.  We are confused by the invitation and the contrasting results of our prayers so many have simply quit asking....it's just easier that way.  We'll figure things our for ourselves....

....but God's invitation is dramatic and bold.  Why would he throw out such a big invitation if he didn't want us to test this invitation, to ask him, seek him, knock until he answers?  

Like a loving father God wants us to come to him for our needs and requests.  He longs to reach out his hands of provision to our hands of need and so a grand invitation is offered....ask, seek, knock.

If you're having trouble figuring out how all this works frankly that's not your problem.  Your invitation is to ask, seek and knock. The rest is God's problem.  Might I invite you to once more visit this grand invitation by Jesus and  once more approach the father for the needs of your life?  Might I challenge you to take these words seriously and keep knocking until "God comes to the door?"

Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking and watch as God keeps his promises to his children.