Trust

bible.com/72/jer.17.7.hcsb

Seems to be a word that we throw around quite a bit. Trust your doctor. Trust your government. Don’t trust anyone. What does it mean? This verse says that trust and confidence are similar ideas. The one who trusts in the Lord has his confidence in the Lord. Hmmm.

First, are you totally dependent on the Lord? Maybe the Lord doesn’t fix you breakfast in the morning, or brush your teeth, but I have met people recently for whom even these simple tasks were impossible. They needed caregivers to do these things for them. Trust can involve total dependence.

Second, realizing that you can’t do it on your own. We think we can do many things without help, and the Lord made us to be able to. But there are some things, big and important things like paying for grace that we cannot do. Only the blood of Christ can do that. Trust includes this kind of understanding.

Third, understanding that you are not God. I know. While we want to be God’s counselors sometimes, giving Him our opinion about certain things, in the end we have to acknowledge that we don’t know everything. We don’t know why bad things happen. But they do, and whether God permits them or uses them to chasten is we may not know, but trust is letting God be God, and us keeping our place as limited human beings.

Fourth, submission. Like the serenity prayer, we accept the things we cannot change, and let God have the final say. Even when something looks really inviting, even tempting and God says NO, we must be willing to submit to His wisdom and trust His word. We acknowledge that God does know whats’s best for us, even when we are sure we know better. We trust His commands for our lives.

Lastly, trace through your life in all the lessons He has taught you, all the times you’ve trusted Him. Has God been faithful? Has He kept His promises to you? Have you been blessed and been better off obeying than ignoring? Remember His kindnesses to you, and His record of faithfulness. This will help you trust him for your future.

Trust is being totally dependent, realizing helplessness, understanding your limitations, submitting to His will, and tracing His track record in your life. Trust is all of these things, and probably more. But that’s enough for this morning. We’ve got a day to work out our salvation.

God bless you today.

Advertisements

Just Ask

bible.com/72/jas.1.5.hcsb

I hate asking anyone for anything. I hate to be a bother, or to inconvenience someone else. If I can’t do it myself, I feel really uncomfortable and pushed out of my comfort zone.

So when I come across a verse like this, it is uncomfortable. My prayer life isn’t the best anyway, but here is God calling me to talk to Him and ask for something, wisdom. Granted, I have taken him up in His offer and asked for wisdom, for I find as I’m getting older, I don’t know everything, not like when I was a teenager. Maybe that’s wisdom, and proof that God has been answering my prayer all along.

But asking for help usually isn’t in my vocabulary. I’ve found that this is an act of humility, as admission that I cannot do this on my own. I struggle with pride, and get down on myself when I discover again that I am not all that I think I need to be. Asking God for help is humility, admission of fault, but absolutely necessary for our growth in Christ. So I recommend you ask of God early and often, before you’ve decided that you can handle it. Even if you can, you invite God the event, and He will help you see things you are blind too, bring others alongside whom you will need. Simply acknowledging that you are not sufficient for a task, even if you think you are, is an invitation to God to work alongside you. And God seeks to work out His good, pleasing and perfect will in you as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2)

When I post these, I try to do it first thing in the morning, when my thoughts are fresh with the assistance of a hot cup of coffee. If you are reading this, I hope it has been a benefit to you. These little nuggets are a journal of sorts, for my part anyway. I find just sitting down and distilling thoughts into words very helpful. I would encourage you to do the same if you haven’t already. It has been helpful to my faith as I hope it has been to yours.

God bless you all this morning.

Ready to Listen

bible.com/72/1jn.5.14.hcsb

Ever feel like you are talking to a brick wall with some people? You are talking and they are nodding, but they aren’t really hearing you. We suffer from isolation because of this. We feel like no one listens to us, to our wants and fears. We feel alone because no one truly understands us or gets who we really are.

It doesn’t help that the cell phone has become the medium of choice for conversation. Whether people prefer to type out their conversations with others, or a person sitting next to you is too busy with their phone to listen to your words, phones have helped to isolate us further. Ironically it is the phone which is taking away our ability to communicate.

This verse tells us that God is always ready to listen. I know the difference between hearing and listening. It’s a distinction we have in the English language between hearing the sound and listening to the content. But I don’t think that God ever just hears us talking. I believe God listens, both to our words and the murmurings of the spirit within us. He knows us better than our closest friend. He knows us better than our wives.

And this is the confidence we have. We know that when we talk to God, He has the time to listen to us. This ought to be an encouragement to prayer. I hope it is for you. As Christians we are never alone. His presence goes with us everywhere. As the Psalmist attests, if I go to the depths of the sea, you are there. He will never leave us.

So may I offer this: make time for God today as he has made time for you. It’s ok to put down the phone. Speak to the One who listens to you. You will feel better.

God bless you today.

Come Back

bible.com/72/isa.55.6-7.hcsb

This is the simple plea of God.

God loves you, no matter what you have done. I believe there is nothing you can do to invalidate that. The people of Israel had wandered off multiple times, and they had the promises, the miracles, the prophets all to remind them of the truth of God, His immediate presence and power. And yet they still rebelled, and required an Isaiah to call them back again. Still, God was merciful to them, still patiently called them to come back to him.

Now we, who have the resurrection of Christ as our proof, the providence of God as our constant witness, and the presence of the church as our reminder receive the same call as those ancient Israelites. Come back. We have wandered far from home. Come back. If if you have never known God, He knows you. Come back home.

God bless you today.

Gone too far?

bible.com/72/mat.5.6.hcsb

Yes. You read that right. I couldn’t believe it either. Wherever you stand on the social justice movement, I hope you won’t go so far as to change the scripture to justify it.

Now I’m usually a live and let live kind of person. Yes. I see unrighteousness and injustice around me. I’m not blind. I see criminals walk the streets. I see people who are here illegal walking free. To me that is not just. But of course, that isn’t what justice means anymore.

Let me define what I believe Social Justice to be today. It means that what is mine is yours and what is yours is yours, especially if you are poorer, or care more about people than I do. Social Justice ignores ethnic and economic boundaries. Social Justice doesn’t care if have a deed or a receipt. It allows for theft and redistribution of wealth in the name of compassion. It calls good evil and evil good. Social Justice May have had a good and noble beginning, but like every other good cause, it has been hijacked by the left. So when you change even one word of scripture, it has profound implications.

In the older translations, the word used for justice in this text is righteousness. With this word, the verse speaks of seeking personal righteousness, trying to do better in one’s own life. Every Christian should seek to improve, to grow as a disciple. Many Scriptures support this.

But with this new word, now Christians are called to hunger for justice. 2000 years ago those concepts may have been synonyms. But now? For a Christian to seek justice today isn’t about personal holiness, but about seeking to make sure everything is “fair” as far as he sees it. God is just, and the very example of justice we are told to follow. God does not deal with us justly however. For those who follow Him, He gives grace, forgiveness of sin, and we are not judged according to our sins. So what exactly are Christians to do here? What kind of justice? God’s Justice as we see Him practice? Or the fashionable social justice we see practiced around us?

Believe what you want. But don’t mistranslate the scripture to support your argument.

Sorry for the rant. God bless you all.

Just Wanted to Share

bible.com/72/psa.119.105.hcsb

I hope everyone gets a chance to attend church services today. We may do well on our own, but we need the fellowship of others of like mind and faith to encourage us, to let us know that we are not alone and that others are out there who believe as we do. The best part is that we believe in the truth, that God sent His Son, that His Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for our sins, and He rose from the dead and lives forever, even today. These are great truths we ought to celebrate together this morning. Therefore, “do not neglect the gathering of yourselves together”.

God bless and have a great Epiphany! (Visitation of the Wise Men)

Drawing to God

bible.com/72/jas.4.8.hcsb

“Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side.”

So the words of that precious hymn roll through my mind this morning after reading this passage. I noticed as I looked down to the shareable pics that Youversion presented me with, that all of them dropped the last half of the verse. I suppose it is more comfortable to see God as one of invitation only without preparation on our part.

It leads some to believe that God accepts you just as you are. That you don’t really need to change, but just believe and arrive in God’s presence as a dignitary of some kind, and it is you gracing God with your dignified presence.

I know this is unpopular to say, but we are sinners. He is perfect and righteous, blameless and holy. Something we don’t talk about much in Christian circles any more is holiness. It seems that modern Christians are all about grace and love and peace, but ignore God’s demands on personal holiness. “Be holy as I am holy.” This is what the whole verse more striking. Certainly we want to draw near to God, but rarely do we hear there is a dress code to visit the Almighty. This isn’t about wearing a tie to church, but about appearing before Him wearing be garments of righteousness provided by Jesus Christ. Jesus tells a parable about a man thrown out of a wedding banquet because he is not wearing the wedding garment. He is thrown out because he was not prepared for the occasion.

Now, I don’t think we need to employ the holiness police at the church door. That’s not what this is about. This is about preparing the heart when we intend to enter the Lord’s presence, either by public worship or private prayer. Hands are cleansed with water. Hearts are cleansed by the blood of Christ. There is an “holy attire” when entering the Lord’s presence and we need to prepare for it.

For today and everyday, cleanse your hands and purify your heart. You are in the Lord’s presence.

God bless you today!