Posts From April 2012
Goals with God
I have been doing a ton of thinking as of late. It’s a fault of mine to often over-think things at different points, but at least I am real with this understanding. I freely admit that I don’t have it all figured out… It meaning life. I do, however, want more of it and more out of it.
For the last couple of weeks, what specifically I have been thinking abut is my story, my testimony. It is really God’s story of intervention and rescuing me from the disaster that I once was and continue to live when I forget and neglect the power of Jesus that resides within me. God grabbed me from the depths and the pit a while ago, but I am pleased to say that my walk with Him continues to be fresh, vibrant, and relevant for life today. God is on the move and I can’t help but get excited about this for this generation.
I think it comes back to openly sharing our story. We don’t have to be limited to just one part of it either. I think that we need to share our story from all angles, being real and honest with ourselves and others the hurts and pains as well as the blessings and the victory celebrations. People are desiring vulnerability and genuineness. All of this can only come from a heart that is transformed by Jesus and only if we are genuine with ourselves in the first place.
One of my deep desires in life is to live it to the fullest without abusing it or taking advantage of people. I want my life to be a playground where the Holy Spirit is having fun doing His thing. I am not sure how theologically accurate this desire is, for all the theological buffs and pundits out there, but I want God to have fun with and in my life. My life is meant as a Holy Spirit hangout… The temple where God resides. Personally, I think it is a cool concept to think about and dream about. What God could do within really sparks the imagination and this is why I want my life to be a place where the Kingdom is thriving and God is using me and doing within me whatever He wants.
I want God to have a blast with my life. I think that this is the fullness that I want for myself and others. To spiritually go places that I have never even dreamed about going. The imagination is burning up inside me again. Let’s dream together. Let’s share each other’s stories. Let’s go for it and desire what God desires in our lives. It is, after all, the only way we will live life beyond ourselves with God by our side and also living and thriving on the inside.
Go get ‘em and have a phenomenal weekend!
I can’t believe it, a prostitute of all people has made it to the hall of fame of faith! A prostitute! How dare God do such a thing, what was He thinking?! What was going through his mind when He redeemed a prostitute?
It’s a good thing that we aren’t the ones who are in charge of who is qualified to receive God’s grace and incredible mercy. Come to think about it… wait for it… wait for it! NONE OF US ARE QUALIFIED! It’s the wrong thinking of entitlement that makes us think that we are somehow better than others that we know. We put different levels of sinful living on various actions and lifestyles. It’s crazy.
Now, sin is sin. Let’s make it clear and very obvious. But we all are guilty. We all have done it. No one is exempt from this reality. And it should also be noted that different sins have different consequences, but (and this is the big but!) any and all sin is separation and divisive in our relationship with the Lord! Being away from the Lord is the problem, not the level of distance away!
We all need the incredible grace and mercy of God. It’s motivated out of His agape love, unconditional for you and me. It’s not a contract, it’s because of who He is and what His Son did on the cross to bring reconnection and reconciliation. He mended the relationship and now we have the responsibility and the choice to receive this new reality.
We are qualified by reconnection because of what He has done. If God can call and use a prostitute then He can call and use anyone for His excellent work. We are a product of His workmanship and we are to do the very same things for others. We are called to live as redemptive people, reflecting grace and mercy for others.
Imagine the burden that Rahab must have felt in her heart. She was probably feeling lower than dirt, hollow on the inside, continuing to offer herself up for things that would compromise her walk with God. Rahab was probably written off by many people for the work of God in her heart. God, however, broke through these preconceived ideas, tearing down the boundaries of so many people writing her off, and used her in an incredible way.
There are Rahabs in our lives. There are people that we have written off. We have lost vision, God’s vision and mission for redemption for all people. All people need Jesus, He is not limited to just a select few. The need is there, the harvest is immense. Let’s get over ourselves and see the Rahabs that are out there that are leading lives of compromise, hollow, skin deep, that so desperately need the love of Jesus.
Isn’t it great that God’s love is not contractual or conditional? It’s freeing! Think of how appreciative Rahab must have felt when God stirred her heart. The sinner’s bonds were loosened and the captive was set free. You have been set free and so have I! Praise God! Now, let’s join Him in the Kingdom mission of setting the captive free no matter what the background! After all, He rescued us, even while we were very unqualified and not entitled, and He can and does that same for so many others.
Thanks be to God! Now, go get ‘em!
Worth Living For
Not everything that comes our way always feels like an opportunity. Sometimes we are bombarded and blitzed with life issues and problems that we bring on ourselves or other people bring onto us because they are relationally or professionally connected to us in some way. The drama of life is not always enjoyable, particularly in trying to recover from it through peaceful moments that are often difficult to find.
I’ve had one of those mornings. Today was the day that my daughter and I were to go out to breakfast together. It’s become a weekly event for us and something that we really look forward to doing together. It’s daddy, daughter date time. Little did we know, today was also kindergarten graduation picture day. Little did we know, today was a special day where Mya had the special “show and share” bag to bring a special item of hers to school to show off to all of her classmates. Little did I know that lunch wasn’t ready to go and the rest of her folder that needed to be signed.
It was nearly impossible to get out the door, but we did it!
To top it all off and make things more complicated, I had decided to go for an early morning jog that crunched time even more! Of course, I took a new route that put me further away from home. It was a mess. In the midst of the chaos, Mya and I still made it to breakfast (barely!) and Mya made it to school (again, barely!).
The opportunities to get quiet and have some moments of pause, peace, and reflection we few and far in between this morning. Time alone with Jesus was sort of cornered out because of circumstances and personal choices. When this happens, it is still a very unique opportunity. Maybe not for ourselves, but it is an opportunity for God to show Himself off in the midst of the crazy and chaotic moments!
The old phrase, “Opportunity Knocks,” should read more like, “The power of God to reveal itself knocks!” We are invited to have God’s reality intersect and even overtake our own set of circumstances and busy-ness. Even when it goes beyond our own control! This is where His incredible grace and mercy move. His opportunity knocks, His power reigns! We have the chance to see this come to life in us when the circumstances of life simply drive us crazy.
Let’s dive in this week at the chance and the opportunity to have His power reign in each one of us and our circumstances. He is the Lord, not our drama. Go get ‘em and live life beyond your circumstances and choices with the power of God at work in you!
Knowledge and Love
Have you ever wondered what the world would look like if it just possessed knowledge only? What about being people of love only? The case could be made that if we were driven by information only with lack of love, the world would look like a bunch of mindless robots spewing off information at each other. On the other extreme, if we were a love-only world, we would miss the opportunity to turn knowledge into the application of wisdom and be creative, imaginative, and inventive.
Knowledge seems to get a bad reputation by some because it “only” puffs up. Love, encouragement, etc. are really the working definition for building up. I think it would be very irresponsible of us to automatically think that knowledge doesn’t have a place or a role in all of life in the first place. Perhaps we have taken opportunities away to love on people and replaced it with information, but this doesn’t mean that we should toss out the importance and place of knowledge and wisdom in the first place. It has a role and this reality should not be diminished!
What is the role of knowledge? What place does it have? I think for speakers, authors, and other communicators, it gives them a field to speak on with excellence. You don’t want to hear one with the knowledge of plumbing speak about a heart transplant if that is what you personally need. Likewise the doctor that is going to do your heart transplant might not make a good electrician. Knowledge gives us the skill set that we need to fulfill our roles if the respective fields that we want to pursue. Knowledge has its place because it gives us the chance to do these various jobs competently, accurately, and with excellence.
Love for the field, for life, and for people in general is the accelerant that puts the knowledge to action. Love gives it more depth. I am bound to listen with more interest to someone that speaks with passion on plumbing or electricity than to a doctor on the parts of the body if he or she doesn’t love what they do! Real passion and love makes even the dullest information more exciting and, dare I say, even convicting.
Conviction is where the knowledge and love really intersect. Both, in a way, need each other! The greatest role of knowledge out there is found in what Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 8:3, “But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”
To know that I am known by God is simply awesome. The fruit of this knowledge is my love for Him and others. It is found in the fruit of the greatest commandment in the world in Matthew 22:37-40, the call to love God with everything that we have and the call to love people. Knowledge and information and background on people is important, particularly in how we present and share life and the gospel with them. Loving them, though, takes it to the next place, right into the presence of the Lord.
So, let’s be aware! Let’s understand that knowledge alone will puff up and that love builds up. Let’s not automatically toss away knowledge because that would be the very naïve reaction and also very irresponsible of us. It has a role; it has a significant role. And where knowledge sort of ends or leaves off, love continues to build and reach deeper down into the depths of who we are.
Have an incredible weekend and remember to go get ‘em.