Monday, November 24, 2014

A Thanksgiving Challenge

Everywhere I Go, I see you!

Whenever I need a boost in spirits or just want to enjoy some great music, I listen
to Rich Mullins. Now this is someone who I want to immediately look up when I
get to Heaven and just give a big hug. His was a rather fascinating and all-to-short
life that reflected love of God through the gifts of music.

And the eagle flies and the rivers run
I look thru the night
And I can see the rising sun
And everywhere I go I see You

It's a haunting song captured by C S Lewis's quote...

'We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The
world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.'

Scripture assures us that God has revealed Himself through His creation. It
has been corrupted by sin; yet, it remains a reflection of Him if we just
choose to be aware.

Here's a challenge for you. Begin a day purposely looking, intently, for God.
It's an exercise in noticing and awareness. Look at what is around you, listen,
watch, search, wait quietly. Make a list as you make your day's journey. See
peripherally, listen acutely, gather in what is there of the Creator. You may
be shocked to learn that He isn't hidden at all; He is everywhere.

Omnipresence is such a strange concept to consider. I even find Skype a bit
unnerving because it seems that you are right there with those who are Skyping.
God doesn't need to Skype. He is living within His creation, actively, aware of
those He has chosen, those He is wooing and busy sustaining creation. Without
his presence we would not survive.

So become aware of Him. Seek Him within His creation and His created. Listen
to His masterful work. Wait for the return of the King, Christ Jesus.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Life can and will be breathtaking!

I got to thinking recently about what a beautiful messed up world we live in. It isn't the
world that God created. It was altered by sin and the ramifications of that change are in
evidence right down to our own cellular level. Yet, there are so many beautiful things about
this gift of life that can take our breath away.

I was recalling, for example, the beauty of the Smoky Mountains that were a frequent
destination when we lived in Tennessee. Hiking back along the trails adjacent to streams
of crisp, cold water, the smell of the pine trees and the sunlight filtering down through them
were breathtaking. The birth of my daughter and the chance to hold her for that first
time, breathtaking. Any of us could begin a list comprised of the many wonderful,
memorable things in our lives.

In another sense which we often choose to suppress,  God almighty has knowledge of the
moment in which we will draw our final breath on this earth. Along with and as a result of
sin,  we are all to go through death. This moment is suppressed in our culture due to fear
and we choose to ignore it on a day to day basis.

God, through His beloved son, Jesus, devised a plan which does not circumvent death but
conquers it. We will die, but that death, with the resurrection of Christ Jesus, is a moment
of glorious passage into the family of God. It is a passage, through grace, that renders us
acceptable to a Holy God based solely on the work and love of Jesus to make atonement
for our sins. We don't accomplish it in any way; we are given this gift due only to the God
who values and loves His wayward creation.

There was death upon that cross, but that death was life-giving because it triumphed
over the grave, over sin and over the evil one whose temptation brought about death in
the first place. So in a very real way, that moment of death is breathtaking and truly

Are you a child of God? Are you saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ? Have you
gone to your knees and asked Him to forgive and save you? God calls and woos but He
will only save those who are willing.

Praise Him!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oh how glorious to be known!

I am about to do things backwards by stating my conclusion, first. I am known.
I am thoroughly and completely known, inside and out, by the very Creator of the
universe. He doesn't need to look me up in His Book of Life because He knows
everything about His created.

When we consider who really knows us, in reality, none do. Our closest friends, siblings,
parents, church friends, teachers, those on Facebook... none of these really,
deep-down knows who we truly are. We reveal parts of who we are through words,
deeds and interactions, yet those revelations are guarded by what we choose to

I will go a step further and say and admit that I do not truly know myself. I am
capable of saying and doing things that can leave me shaking my head wondering
how I could do them. I am under sin, and despite my best efforts, not what I
was intended to be.

God knows me completely! There is no hiding of things from Him. There is no
controlling His knowledge of my thoughts and actions because it is He who
has known me from before I was born. The events of my life are laid out before
Him as pages in a book. He knew me in the womb and He knows that hour of
my final breath.... and everything in between.

Do I, in turn, know Him? Bits and pieces that He has chosen to reveal
through His creation, His words from His holy book and through His precious
spirit that lives within me. I could not grasp Him completely. I could not
understand His ways; yet, there will come a moment when I leave this alien
world and return home to Him. Then I will know all the answers to my
questions. All it will take is a look into His eyes. Then I will know Him
who has forever known me.

My Father, my Creator, my God.

Are you known? No limited atonement, here. He is waiting for your call!
Do it now. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

THE most wonderful of friends!

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear,
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

In my precious relationship with Christ Jesus, I have become quite comfortable calling
Him my Lord, my All in All, my Savior, Redeemer, my Great High Priest, my King; yet
calling Him friend still feels a bit presumptuous. How could One so perfect think of me
as a friend?

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends...  John 15

It becomes clear that His final words proclaim that His work here on earth had to
include death as a complete blood sacrifice for those He called His sheep. Nothing less
could ransom the lost into a relationship with His Father. That most horrible death was
the key to salvation for everyone who would call on His glorious name, trust and
believe on Him as their Lord. His friends.

There are many qualities we associate with friendship: Faithfulness, Honesty, Compassion,
and it is blatantly clear that this Jesus is the embodiment of those qualities, the model,
as it were, for all true friends to seek to emulate. Would we lay down our lives for our friend?
This Jesus did so for each of us, willingly.

One there is above all others,
    Oh, how He loves!
His is love beyond a brother’s,
    Oh, how He loves!
Earthly friends may fail or leave us,
One day soothe, the next day grieve us;
But this Friend will ne’er deceive us:
    Oh, how He loves!
 Jesus, even though it is hard to understand, knew of you and me as He hung there on
that cross. He was aware, through His sovereignty and His foreknowledge of who would
be His sheep, that you and I were being given what only this truest of friends could give,
the chance to be redeemed and saved from the Holy wrath we deserve. We are forgiven
by this amazing, gracious friend called Christ Jesus!

Praise our God!