Because He Is Worthy

31 Dec

I know that I’ve been doing a terrible job of blogging lately, but I just haven’t felt inspired to write anything. I really like to wait until God gives me something to write before I attempt to blog, but lately it just hadn’t been happening. I was feeling very dry spiritually, and I know the reason for it. It’s because I’ve been loving myself more than I love the Lord. I’ve been far more concerned with my life and how everything is affecting me and what can I do for myself, as opposed to concerning myself with what the Lord would have me do for Him. This train of thought is so twisted, and yet so common.

Oh, sure, when people ask us what we’re doing with our lives, we flip out a casual, “Oh, I’m waiting for the Lord to show me what He wants. I only want His will for my life.” It makes us feel very good and righteous to say that. But I often think that, no, we really don’t want His will. We would much rather He conformed His will to our plans, and never mind the fact that He is an omniscient, sovereign God who knows much better than we do what is good for us and what isn’t. And this is because we place ourselves higher than the One who created us. But isn’t this exactly what Satan and the demons did? They tried to be equal with God and as a result were cast out of heaven. Then Adam and Eve followed the same pattern when they ate the fruit that supposedly would make them “like God.” And every day, we believe the same old lie when we make our every day decisions and follow our own idea of what is right instead of waiting for God to show us. I know that I do this all the time. I take a situation into my own hands and make a mess of it, and I always bitterly regret it afterwards. How much better it would have been if I had simply trusted God to show me His plan!

But I think that, often, a secret fear comes in of what will happen if we do submit to God’s will. Doubts start creeping in, such as, “What if God makes something horrible happen to me? What if I am obedient to Him, and all I seem to get is punishment for it? How will I cope?” And it’s true that God doesn’t promise that nothing bad will happen to us. Unfortunately, that’s just the world we live in. Disease happens, death happens, sin happens. But God promises that He will be right there with us when it does, and He promises that He will not allow anything more to happen to us than we can bear. He knows exactly what each of us needs in order to grow. And thankfully, we don’t always grow by unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes He gets a hold of us gently by having us listen to a sermon that was exactly what we needed to hear, or by reading a passage in Scripture that stirs us from apathy into action.

God is good, and God is love. He loves us more than we can ever know. Shouldn’t we be willing to at least attempt to love Him in the same way? Shouldn’t we be willing to give our all to Him and see what He does with it? Because God will give us the grace and joy we need in order to carry out His will. When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for casting out a demon from a girl, they sat in their cells and sang hymns and prayed to God. And everyone listened, and people got saved. God can use our circumstances to draw people to Himself, and that is what is most important.

I confess that I’ve been scared all my life to submit in this way. I don’t know what lies ahead of me in this life. But I do know that if I commit myself to God, and love Him with my whole being, He will help me to “keep calm and carry on.” I know that He will, because He loves me, and I love Him. We talk often about making sacrifices for people we love. I don’t think it’s such a very big sacrifice to give myself to a God who died for me, and rose again for me, and washed my scarlet sins clean as snow.

This is the beginning of a new year. I pray that this will be the year that God will help me to completely commit myself to Him, to trust Him, and most importantly to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. May God bless you and keep you this year of 2012!

“A Change for the Best” by Jim Kraus

28 Jul

One of my favorite cartoons is a drawing of a group of people sitting around a table. The title above the picture is “Week Two of the Church Plant.” At the end of the table is a red-faced man, his hand clenched in a fist, his eyes narrowed and angry. The caption reads, “That’s not the way we did it LAST week!”

Let’s be honest. Most people don’t like change and find it hard to adapt. Instead, they like predictability, the security of routines, and the knowledge of what’s going to happen next. There are those (like me, most of the time) who will gently chide others who are reluctant to embrace change—whether it’s in the church or in their lives.

But there is one area of life in which change can never be avoided—and that is the end of life. Regardless of what happens after death, many people still refuse to make a change now—in order to gain eternal life.

Do you want a life changed for the better? Become a member of God’s family. We must change to do that. God demands that we make a radical, deep-seated change of attitude, mind, and conduct. In other words, we must repent. Failure to make that change has horrible and eternal consequences. You can say no to this change, and if you do, you will guarantee your ultimate death. Jesus underscored that grim reality: “And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God” (Luke 13:3). The change God requires is a change in how we perceive ourselves, our attitude toward God, and our understanding of who He is.

With regard to ourselves, we must turn from the self-centeredness that is at the root of our sin. We are often smug and self-satisfied but we must admit to God, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called Your son” (Luke 15:21). We have all sinned, and God cannot tolerate sin.

Then we must change our attitude toward Him because we are accountable to Him. “Just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Finally, there is a realization in the power of God. This realization is reflected in the simple prayer that we can make our own: “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner” (Luke 18:13).

The call from God for change on our part is hard. But the alternative is harder. the good news is that when we have taken the step, we’ll wonder why we ever hesitated. The new life is indescribably better than the old. It is a change for the best—turning from death to life.

~Written by Jim Kraus, “Have a Good Day” July 2011 issue

Blessed Is He

26 Jun
Lyrics: You will not see me again
Until you can say
Blessed is He
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Yeshua, Most High, come soon
Amen
(Listen to the end! It gets really cool about midway.)
 
25 Jun

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”~Psalm 90:12

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”~Ephesians 5:15,16

25 Jun

25 Jun

Portlandia

25 Jun