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Archive for August, 2013

Why does God put up with the vile perversity of this world?

Why does God seemingly turn a blind eye to massive oppression?

How does He justify withholding wrath from those who torment, exploit, or neglect the least of these that walk among us?

Where is swift judgment for any who would practice cruelty for sport?

What about the run of the mill liars, cheaters, thieves, adulterers, murderers … what about all of them?

Come to think about it … what about me? Why does God put up with me?

“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost (of sinners), Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16)

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If I were to map my journey with God, the line would be broken, dotted from one destination to the next. I wish it weren’t so, but my faith can be so fickle.

God, on the other hand, has always kept his word. Always.

I am fed, clothed, sheltered, and sent into the world with good news of great joy … A Savior. He never leaves, never forsakes (Hebrews 13:5).

And yet, like Israel in the wilderness, I am terribly forgetful. Even after the greatest of provisions, I have slumped into self-sufficiency or self-pity, either of which strangles the life out of gratitude.

What better safeguard as my story still unfolds than to persistently rehearse God’s enduring faithfulness with those who walk behind me? While telling of His glorious deeds, I am fortifying my hope and theirs. May our lifelines grow evermore unbroken.

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It’s disheartening how easily I fall into suspicion about God’s heart toward me.

What can turn my thoughts from giving up to going forward?

Nothing relieves my anxiety about the present or future like the past faithfulness of God.

It’s all in the Good Book … He created … He called … He comforted … He corrected … He covered … He converted … He so loved me and the rest of this broken, defiant world that He gave His beloved Son to be crucified, a sinless substitute for guilty rebels (John 3:16-18).

Though a lot about this life is perplexing, I never need wonder about God’s affection toward me. It truly is greater than I can even comprehend.

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I fear what I cannot control … cannot manipulate … cannot overcome.

It is that immovable object, that insurmountable force which disturbs me. I should say it threatens my thirst for autonomy. It stands in the way of unbridled independence.

Part of me would like to control God. I’d like to know that if push came to shove I could have my way; that is until I need God to be God for my sake.

When I am overwhelmed, overcome, devastated and wrought with despair, I need God to be immovable, insurmountable, unchanging and in complete control. I need Him to be fearsome if He is to be a strong tower and a safe haven for me in the storms of life that expose my helpless condition.

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Have you ever seen someone in clothing several sizes too small? Fabric stretched to its limit and seams begging for mercy? It’s obvious the man or woman beneath the strained material believes themselves to be someone they definitely are not. They’re too big for their britches and everyone around them knows it.

Arrogance is just as unsightly. Pride poses in a gross exaggeration of self-image that cannot be concealed. Virtues of kindness, patience and self-control are hard-pressed to contain the puffed-up persona of one who is full of themselves.

Worst of all, a huge ego leaves no room for authentic relationship with God or man. Conceit cuts us off from the community we were created to enjoy.

Humility, on the other hand, connects broken yet hopeful people. It allows earnest, imperfect individuals to walk together in a covering of grace. Actually, nothing fits us better than a sincere recognition of our dignity and deficiency. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)

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