Archives For Affirmation

Godthere

I’m convinced that nothing in the hands of God can fall apart. He is the creator and controller of all things. His sovereignty can’t be thwarted. Now, I must confess. There have been times in my life, those first three sentences seemed like a cruel joke. I’ve had things appear to fall apart and fall to the floor of my life. I would say to myself, “How can things this bad happen to me- a follower of the Christ?”

I’m not sure how to answer that question perfectly, nor am I convinced I even need an answer for trouble finding me. I’m just sure God has not lost control. Ephesians 1:11 says, “…He works all things according to the purpose of His will….”

I find comfort by looking back on the last days of Jesus. Everything in the Gospel’s read like His life was out of control. His friends forsook him. He was attacked by loneliness. Those in power falsely tried him. He was physically and emotionally abused and tortured. He was crucified. All of this took place, and He was innocent.

No events in the life of Christ were beyond God’s authority. From a human view, they seem random; they seem like bad luck, or a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, that’s just not the case. God was in control at all times. Likewise, none of the events of our lives are out of God’s control when bad things are happening to us. You must not relate bad things happening to you as proof God is not there. He is the God that is never absent in your life.

Yes, “Bad things” happen to the lives of those who follow Christ. However, He has promised to always be with us. He is mightier than anything that comes against you. Psalm 93:4 says, “Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea–the LORD on high is mighty.” Yes, we live in a world where bad things still happen, but have hope, for God is at work in your life to accomplish His plans in and through you.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

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Revelation 4:11   Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

God did not need to create you; He chose to create you.

You were created by God’s choice for the work of His purpose.

One of the most disconcerting things in this world is to believe you don’t matter, that your life has no reason or rhyme.

Inside your heart,  you believe and say things like:

  • I’m useless
  • I’m a waste of space
  • I’m not good enough
  • I have no worth.

We all know what that kind of emptiness feels like. Adam and Eve were created for a purpose but lost their way when they tried to go their own way. God found them in their brokenness and called them to follow him to healing.

God did not create you to be insignificant.

However, don’t misunderstand; life is not ultimately about you.

It’s about God and His glory.

Your significance comes through showing Christ significant to a lost and dying world.

To go deeper and find out more, view the video message of Identity Check Part 4- Created For The Work Of His Purpose.

Behind The Glass

January 21, 2013 — 3 Comments

hospital-nursery

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I love to watch children play together before they manifest selfishness, racism, and a host of other fallen world personality reflections.

It’s seems to be a little taste of the God’s future Kingdom manifesting in the now.

It’s a short window, but it seems to exist. Behind the glass is a little taste of heaven. All you have to do is go to a hospital and observe the babies behind the glass of the nursery.  Grown adults from every culture and race can be seen looking through the glass at a community of babies that have yet to learn the voice of a fallen world.

In other words, we learn the language of this fallen world once when come out from behind the glass. I’m not here to debate if we are born this way or learn our fallenness.  I’m sure it’s a combination of both. We are born sinners, and we learn to sin pretty well.

But what if there is another language to learn? What if there is another community to be part of?

The answer to both questions is, there is! It’s called the Kingdom of God. It is God’s rule and reign in the here and now. The resurrection has brought the future forward.

Christ Followers have another language and community that we are part of.

We know there is another Identity that was stamped on us when we gave our life to Christ.

When we were born again into God’s Kingdom, we were called to a Kingdom way of loving and living among the outside others. We were given a new language of love to learn

It’s a community that seeks to live how it will one day fully be when God sets all things right at His coming. Part of that the future is leaking into the present through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Kingdom of God is about unlearning our old stamped identity and learning a new way of being human.

The bible ends with a multitude of people and a calm sea of humanity living and worshiping God in their glorified bodies in a world that has finally been put to right forever.

As Christ Followers, We have been called to reflect God’s future Community among the lost of the world. We are God’s love language to the world. We are God’s community that is setting things right. We are God’s temple. Now go live like it.

“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet.”
N.T. Wright,

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When you find yourself around a self-centered person, the easy thing to do is withhold love. Show them God’s love regardless. They may not want to experience that kind of love but give it nonetheless.

The act of compassion you do toward others may not be remembered by them but do it anyway. You will be vulnerable when you move in the way God moves but walk His way anyhow.

What you give away to others might not return to you in the form of a blessing but give abundantly notwithstanding. It makes you smell like God’s servant.

From the cross,  we see true agape love.  Luke 23:34 we read, 34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

Just a few thoughts from me to you.

Guilt And The Lap Of God

January 17, 2013 — 2 Comments

fatherreading

Have you ever had trouble staying awake during your prayer time? Many years ago I had a season in my life where I fell asleep more often than I would like to acknowledge. At first, it didn’t bother me much. I just excused it because I had been working a little more than usual.

However, guilt quickly set in, and it made me feel horrible.  Each time I fell  asleep it just increased the guilt. I was beginning to  feel shame, and I had thoughts of God being seriously disappointed in me. It’s distressing enough, I thought, to fall asleep during prayer but to feel like God was disappointed in me was worse.

No matter how hard I tried to stay awake during this period of my life, I would doze off. No one else knew but me, and of course God, but I was feeling like a spiritual failure. I was feeling like God was mad at me. I was trying hard to stay awake but getting nowhere. I heard the voice of guilt more than the voice of God.

Then it happened! One day I came home from work early, and my daughter who was about four at the time came running up to me and said, “Daddy, can you read me this book in your chair?” I smiled and said, “Of course I will.”

We settled into my favorite chair, and I lifted her up and into my lap. She turned her head slightly back and up and made eye contact with me, accompanied by a smile. I was feeling pretty good. I was having a perfect Father and Daughter moment.

As I was reading, she would look up and back at me asking questions and making comments. I was completely pleased with the moment. We were simply spending time together, and it felt incredible.

As I continued to read, her conversation and questions fell silent. She was getting tired. It wasn’t long until she fell asleep in my arms. I closed the book and just enjoyed the time we were having together. I was thankful she wanted to spend time with me at all.

Then it happened! God spoke and healed my guilt about falling asleep on Him. I could hear Him whisper to my heart. “Are you mad at her for falling asleep?” My heart whisper back to God was, “No Lord, I love just being with her.” His response back was, “I feel the same way about you.”

It was on that day God took my guilt away. His love for me was not based on effort and discipline, even though they are beneficial. His love for me is unconditional, and He is pleased even when I fall asleep in His lap with His arms wrapped around me.

Dirty Ol’ You

January 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

garagebeforeafter

Do you realize you have been chosen? God has chosen you. He picked you. Let me ask you something. Would you have picked yourself? You probably wouldn’t have, because you know who you truly are.

You know who you are in the dark. You know who you are when you aren’t around other church people. You know what you did last night. You know what dirt still remains in your life needing to be cleaned out.

Yet God still chose dirty ol’ you. Isn’t that wondrous! I know it’s unbelievable because He chose dirty ol’ me also. He has changed my name. He has changed your name. He has given us as Christ followers a new identity.

It’s been said that confession is good for the soul, so hold onto your hat. I have a confession today. Ready? My garage is a disaster.

My wife is in charge of the house. The house is fine. However, if you go to my garage and open the door, you want believe the junk I have allowed to amass.

When I go out there, I say to myself, “This was not intended to be like this, and I’m going to change it.” I’ve yet to get around to cleaning up what needs to be cleaned up. However, the good news is I’m confessing, so hopefully within a few weeks I’m going to get out there and make it happen.

What about you? What about your soul? What about the garage of your soul? What about your life this morning? What about the garage of your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength? Is there any cleaning that needs to be done?

In the proverbial garage of my soul, some things need to be cleaned up from time to time. I’m not waiting another day to start the clean up.

What about your garage?

plant-growing-through-crack-in-concrete

I dare not dilute the grace of God by using many words today.

Trying to control God’s grace is impossible. No one can control the grace of God. In a world that has true evil in it, God’s grace is the plant that pushes up through the concrete and surprises us all.

 

When I fall short of His glory my guilt calls to be punished, yet God’s grace answers back with unconditional love.

One of my dear friends once said, “When I break the rules, it is more painful to be treated as a son than it is a hired hand. But He doesn’t seem to care about our protests.”

Nuff said!

There Is Coming A Day

January 8, 2013 — Leave a comment

world-in-black-and-white-hands

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

There is coming a day that the entirety of the universe will be at rest under the reign of God. Our beloved world will be covered wholly with the perfect knowledge of our God like the waters are the cover for the sea.

Heaven and earth will be married forever and bathed in the renewal power of God and of his Christ. God will walk with us and talk with us. He will once again dwell among us with love unsearchable.

God’s city, the New Jerusalem, will be a reality of the redeemed, and evil will have no more place. I long for that day. I live for that day. I witness of that day that will arrive fully and soon.

The resurrection of Christ kicked open the door of the new creation and the future trickles into the now. One day the flood will be released, and the world will be changed forever. We are guaranteed this reality. My prayer is that we live like it now.

What say you?