Abundant Grace or Utter Destruction

When the prodigal son came to his senses he was aware of 2 thoughts:

  1. There was plenty in his father’s house.
  2. He himself was famishing.

These 2 truths apply to us all:

  1. There is abundant grace with God.
  2. There is utter destruction on our own.

Mercy and forgiveness are found nowhere else.

For the son who was hungry, it was the super abundance of the father’s house that attracted him home.

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Waiting

Waiting.

Waiting for God to answer a prayer.

Why?

Why so long?

We don’t know the what, where, why of how God works.

David waited to be king.

Israel waited generations to get into the Promised Land.

Mary waited to see how her son would save the people.

Abraham waited for the promise of a son.

So they waited for God.

We wait for God.

While I wait, I will trust in God.

Dear Little Baby

Dear Little Baby,

Today your eyes are unafraid and clear–staring into eyes that are fearful of the anguished riddle of the years. Sleep.  For a few years you will only know tenderness.

Then one day, you too will become aware of the world’s seething cauldron of hate. And then you, too, will begin to wonder–and you will do one of two things: You will putter around in life, content with building a wall and a web around your little plans and small hopes and creeping ambitions.

OR you will, if you follow Christ, make your heart a chalice for a few drops of the world’s blood and tears. And when you know finally, that the ultimate Good begins in Isaiah 53:6 (“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”) and ends in John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”), you will be wise beyond human knowledge and strong beyond any human hope.

Asking, Seeking, Knocking

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7,

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Keep on asking.

Keep on seeking.

Keep on knocking.

You will receive.

You will find.

You will have doors opened to you.

While asking, seeking, knocking seem like “action” words, the consequences wanted are dependent on someone answering the request and the door. Even seeking does not promise finding without the help of the One who leaves the manna.

So my job: ask, seek, knock. Persevere. Don’t give up on those three!

God’s job: answer, reveal, open doors.

Eventually, He does.

Time in God’s Presence is Time Well Spent

Experiencing God in worship starts with our willingness to give God first place in our lives.  This means spending time with Him every day–through prayer and devotion to God’s word.

Jesus set the example for us  (Luke 5:15-16; Mark 1:35).

We, too, must develop a hunger for God that supersedes our desire for the things of this world.  We can’t receive a fresh direction from God and the total filling of the Holy Spirit without intentionally changing our priorities in life.

Becoming like Children

Jesus called a child and stood him in the midst of the disciples. He said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” The disciples needed to change their thinking, or they’d lose the Kingdom.

The challenge and consequences belong to us too. How do we become like children? At birth, children are naked, hungry, and totally helpless. They learn to trust, obey, and depend on adults. The “child-like” humbly trust, obey, and depend on Jesus. They don’t seek or need power. Their Lord has it and uses it to help them.

Jesus spoke from experience as a humble son. See Philippians 2:5-8.

Jesus obeyed because we can’t. Sin trips us up, but obedience led Him to the cross where He paid for our sins. His humility gives Kingdom life to the childlike.

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Romans 14:1 says,

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

The perfect verse for a conflict avoider! But seriously this is important to me because it reminds me to focus on essentials and not non-essentials. 99% of the arguments in the church are about non-essentials. We have to open our arms and mind to accepting them.