Saturday, March 23, 2013
Its been to long since my last post. And there is really no excuse for mylac lack of consistency. Except maybe to say that in order to write something really worth your time I find I must first do some real soul-searching self examination. That can be painful and ugly. And when tye results of such an exam are published it is alsi embarassing. Yet I feel as if perhaps by sharing my embarrassment I might comfort or encourage someone who feels the same way. And I find that I am blessed in the knowledge that I am nit alone in my struggles. so here it is. My self.I hope you can learn from me more than I seem to. This past few months I have found that I am very critical of people in my life that I know God has specifically called my to minister to. I find myself complaining and whining when I don't get time for the selfish things that consume large periods of time. I have repented of the sin as I see it. But I realize it is a trap I fall in too easily. This week I had a revelation as to why.I sonehow forgot that this life is not about me. Abd ministry is not about me. And jts really nit about those people either. Its about God. When I sin, I may suffer, but I don't sib against myselfs.And if others suffer I should asj for their forgiveness, but I am not really sinning against them either. I sin against God. So in the midst of my selfishness I have committed crimes against a holy God. I have not only put muself first. I have put Him last. Wheb King David killed Uriah because he had impregnated his wife, God sent Nathan to reveal David's sin to him. Distraught over his sin David cried out to Go in the 51st Psalm. Ge not only admitted his sin and need for forgiveness, but alsi recognized the neccesity of honesty. We need to be honest with ourselves and with God if we are going to accomplish His will in our lives. He will do the work of changing us but wr must be trule willing to be changed. That is my desire. I am planning to do great things by the power of the Holy Spirit. But I must be focused on God and put Him first if He is going to use me. Today I can honestly say that I am ready for that. But it will taje a continual glancing into the Mirror of the Word if I am to stay ready.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
"The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. - (Deu 7:7-8 NASB)
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. - (1Jo 3:1 NIV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - (Rom 5:8 NKJV)
Something a fb friend posted got me thinking a lot about the love of God. And I realized something. Or rather, I remembered something that I have known for awhile and came to appreciate it greater. God's love is GREAT!
But for us to understand how great the love of God is, we must first understand our own desperation. The Bible is very clear that before a person comes to know God the Father personally through faith in Christ, that person is headed straight towards Hell. And the Bible is also clear that Hell is a real, literal, eternal destination. At least as far as I can tell. (I hate to say this because I know many people are offended by this truth. I know it saddens me beyond the point of expression to think that those around me are going to Hell, that some I love dearly have already made up their mind for it. But keep reading, it gets better.)
I, too, was headed on a path straight towards that horrible, nightmarish land of unending torment when a miracle happened. God got a hold of me. I don't understand how or why, but I know it is only possible because of His LOVE. I was everything opposite of everything He stands for. I was His enemy. My best effort was no better than sewage. But He loved me.
In His love for me, Jesus died on the cross. In His love for me, 2000 years after His resurrection, He reached down from Heaven and showed me that love. As I reached out in faith for Him and His love, He gave it freely and completely. That was it, and now, I am His beloved child.
Some ask why, if God loves us, He created Hell. The truth: He didn't create it for us, but for Satan and his demonic angels.
More ask why, if God loves us, He sends people to hell. The truth: It's our own choice. God will not force anyone to be with Him if they want to live outside His will. Eternity in Heaven with God, is eternity submitted completely to Him and His will. And there is no place I'd rather be, but many would rather live for themselves.
Others ask why, if God loves us, He gave us the freedom to choose sin. The truth: I don't know for sure, but I think it is because He wants us to love Him unrestrained. To love Him because we choose to. To love like He loves.
Many people, I know are angered when things like this are thrown out there. They feel that people who believe these things are close-minded, self-righteous haters who would condemn the world around them. But I just want you to know, I am sharing God's love the only way it makes any sense to me: in light of my own desperation. It wouldn't be salvation if I was not saved from something horrific.
I share this news, which I see as the Good News, because I love you all, and I want nothing more than to share eternity with you. To give you an opportunity to taste God's love and see for yourselves how good it is.
Friday, August 31, 2012
So, I recently wrote a paper on Corrie Ten Boom, a Holocaust who was imprisoned for living out the gospel to God's chosen people. This is what I wrote for my "Personal Application" section of the paper:
God is so good, but sometimes we forget that. I forget that whenever something happens that goes against what I thought was God’s plan. As I studied the life of Corrie ten Boom, I was reminded of something no Christian should forget: God’s thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are His ways my ways. His thoughts are so far beyond my understanding, and His ways so much greater than anything I could accomplish.
So, how is it that I can for a second question the will and work of my God? Yet, that is what I do whenever I look around me and think, This cannot be right. Nothing good can come from this.
If anyone ever had a right to complain about their circumstances, it was Corrie ten Boom (besides, of course, our Savior, and maybe Paul, the Apostle). She watched the man she loved marry another woman, while she lived the life of a spinster. She watched her mother suffer through paralysis before dying slowly. She was torn from her home for helping God’s people who were being persecuted by a hate-filled world system.
Then, she was put in one of the most horrific living situations imaginable, and there watched her beloved sister waste away before her very eyes. Her father and her brother both died as a result of ill-treatment. And her life was never the same. But her response was to do exactly what God had called her to do: to love, to forgive, to rejoice.
How often I am upset because I don’t get the job I want, or I can’t afford a car. I am dissatisfied with the timing of my education, or the living situation I found myself in. But I know, like Corrie and her family, I am doing what God has called me to do. I am living a life of service to Him. And sometimes I think that means I am entitled to something… better. But the truth is, in this world, we will face persecution. That is a promise. But with it comes another promise: the Holy Spirit.
Corrie ten Boom was right. God never asks us to do anything without giving us the power to accomplish it. And He gives it to us just when we need it. Not early. Not late. At the perfect time. He is faithful, and that is what allows us to be faithful.Her life is a great reminder of how we are to live. No matter what life brings our way, we need to live in surrender to the Lord of life.