Posts made in May, 2017

Psalm 71: Never Forsaken

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I have no concrete reason to wonder; no point in the past I can point to as evidence for my suspicion. There really is no reason for me to think He stepped out somewhere along the way. Still, the thought of abandonment pops into my heart and head every once and awhile.

People do it all the time … check out, walk out, give up, move on, disown, discard, divorce. It’s hard to shake the idea that God will eventually get fed up with me, my flaws and my failures.

I would grow hopeless were it not for the gospel; good news that God’s love for me isn’t a reward for acceptable performance, but rather an unconditional gift to meet my greatest need (Ephesians 2:8-9). God obligated Himself to redeem and restore wholly apart from my behavior (Romans 5:8).

The truth is, God made a promise that silences my suspicion. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Though His word should be enough, He went so far as to forsake His only Son on my behalf (and yours) as an irrevocable assurance of his steadfast love.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21–23)

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Psalm 70: Right On Time

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

It isn’t surprising, but I don’t know anyone who prays for God to hurry up with whatever is next while in a moment of prosperity, security, and/or significance. Who wants to move on from the pinnacles of life? Our instinct is to savor those seasons. We might even go so far as to ask God to hold off on what’s next, kind of like giving a butler the day off, especially if what’s next diminishes the now we’re enjoying.

When, however, our world is coming undone … were all about wrappin up and movin on! “NEXT!” Predictably, our prayers spike in frequency and urgency. “I need help, and I need it NOW!”

But God is no butler. He is no genie in a bottle. He is a Master Craftsman busily and thoroughly completing a good work in each of us (Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 2:10). So devoted to our re-formation, God uses each and every moment – difficult and delightful – to cultivate good in our character which will outlast any and every circumstance from which it was borne (Romans 8:28-29), however much time may be required.

We’re urged countless times to bring our requests to God, and we should do so, confident that He hears and He cares. But it is well worth our time to consider what exactly we want most. There is nothing wrong with asking for relief, deliverance or favor in hard times; but it helps me to remember that the time which passes before my circumstances improve is never wasted. God does some of His best work when life is most cruel.

Our highest aim, then, is the workmanship of Christ in us, in both good times and bad. I’m grateful for the good, but don’t want to begrudge the bad. Rather, I want to give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Many times in days gone by, I’ve pleaded with God to follow my schedule; to get on my calendar. In hindsight, I’ve found His timing to be flawless. Having to wait has never proven to be unfruitful in terms of my personal growth. I still instinctively pray for “timely” action on God’s part, but those requests are more often accompanied by a growing contentment with the life-changing pace of His work in me.

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Psalm 69: At Odds

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What does it cost to be liked by all? It is, without a doubt, more than I’ll ever have. But am I willing to mortgage my life for the favor of my fellow man?

Even if I could afford it, paying for popularity feels desperate, repulsive, “cheap.” How could I stomach knowing that the accolades of supposed friends were not unlike trinkets acquired in the marketplace? Each secured at a price.

It turns out, people pleasing costs far more than fees and favors. At some point, it requires us to betray our conscience, deal away our dignity, and sell out our soulful convictions.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26, ESV)

Loyal love for God will put us at odds with some, maybe many. Submission to His will and ways can’t help but offend and provoke hostility in the hearts of God-haters. It isn’t our intent, but rather the outcome of light shining in darkness.

May our zeal for God and His redemptive mission never be surpassed by a need for human acceptance or approval.

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Psalm 68: Sides

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Whose side are you on?

Many would like to believe that all “truth” is relative, all gods are equal, and all the roads of this life lead to the same destination. But believing something, believing anything doesn’t make it so. Truth is true whether it is believed or not.

Truth has never suffered from a speck of co-dependence. Truth is true completely apart from what anyone thinks about it.

The truth is, God has enemies. They’re not just the “really bad” folks; the murderers, the rapists, thieves and drug lords. They include moral legalists, religious zealots, liars, haters, users, gossips … it’s a pretty long list. Come to think of it, everyone starts out on that list (see Romans 1-3).

But God’s enemies aren’t enemies because of what they do. Their hearts are fundamentally opposed to God and all His ways. Tragically, they hate the Lover of their souls.

Are you for Him or against? Your answer to that question determines whether He is for you or against you. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah” (Psalm 68:19)

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Psalm 67: Praise Him

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Blog | 1 comment

What could be more fitting for God than praise?

He spoke all the universe into existence. He filled the earth with all that is living and all that would keep the living alive. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

“He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) He showers common grace on those who receive Him and those who reject.

Would that all could see the blessed hand of the One who made us, the One who sustains us, the One who laid down His life so that all could have life, by grace through faith.

Gratitude for the goodness of our God is the wellspring of praise befitting the greatness of our God.

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