Come to Me

Jesus’ message of hope seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle lately. Between this church fighting with that church, that tv preacher saying just pray this prayer (or send me twenty bucks) and everything will be fine, follow this list, don’t do that, follow this program, or just love everybody, how can we possibly know what’s right?

 
Jesus makes it simple; just come to Him.

 
To those who’ve been abused and believed the lies of their abusers, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those trapped in addictions, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those searching for their identities in alternate lifestyles, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those full of themselves,  pretending they are their own master, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To the self righteous, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those damaged by broken relationships, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those who seek satisfaction in work or money or possessions, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those whose hope is in religion, or a church, or a program, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those who seek lasting comfort in food, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those crushed by hopelessness and depression, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those who fear and lash out in hatred, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

 
To those who are just tired of life, He says…
“You’re broken, Come to Me because I love you, and I will heal you, and make you fit for My Kingdom.”

Choose Wisely

Recently, I was asked by a small group leader to rate my level of confidence in Jesus and salvation with a number from 0 to 100.

 
After mulling it over for a few minutes, I answered 99.99, with the explanation that while I do indeed believe completely that He is real, and that the Bible is true, I must leave open the miniscule possibility that I could be wrong.

 
My friend (the leader) suggested that I read ‘Faith and Doubt’ by John Ortberg. That it would help alleviate some of the doubts about having doubts. He was correct. I’m only two chapters into the book and I feel the weight I have secretly carried from the nagging doubts lifting.
From the book:

“Pascal said…evidence alone cannot clearly indicate that God does or does not exist. However, we must choose whether we will seek him. Not to choose is its own choice. Your wager began the moment you were born. You were “launched.” You will bet your life one way or the other. God either exists or he does not. Heads or tails—no third option. If God does not exist, we lose a life devoted to seeking to love, to live generously, to speak truth, and to do justice. But if God does exist, and we choose not to follow him, we lose everything.”

 
So I would like to change my answer… with an explanation:

 
I will believe in God, Jesus, His salvation, and the Truth of the Bible with every fiber of my being, heart and soul, mind and strength, lock, stock, and barrel….

 
I will live as though Jesus is real and lives within me….

 
I will seek to obey the principles found in the Bible, and follow the teachings found within it…

 
And even if it turns out I was wrong,  I win.

The Choice

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. ”

Matthew 25:31-33 (ESV)
There will be many who think they are Christians that will stand before God and discover to their horror that they have followed their own lie and it has led them to hell.
The lie is as wide as a freeway. The truth is as narrow as a footpath.
Or a single person.
Jesus. Real, historical, biblical, supreme, holy, crucified, resurrected, glorified Jesus.

Ordinary Time

My bride and I are fast approaching an important wedding anniversary. (Just never mind which one.) As we prepare and plan for our annual celebration, my thoughts wandered to why we’ve made it when so many haven’t.

There are two major celebrations of love during the year, the anniversary and Valentine’s Day. But if that’s the only time you pay attention to your marriage you soon won’t have a marriage worth paying any attention.

So let’s step up the game. Once a month (or so) we’ll go somewhere and ‘commune ‘. Say my favourite fishing spot or maybe a movie. That’s good enough. After all, we’re spending quality time, right?

No? 

Ok, I can schedule once a week, maybe Thursday morning from eight to nine. Aww heck, let’s make it nine thirty, she’s worth it. We can sing love songs, read old letters and feel good about each other. The rest of the week is mine to do with as I please. 

Does this all seem silly?

Of course. It is. 

What makes a marriage strong is time every day, talking with and listening to each other. It’s learning each other’s desires and wants… And seeking to fulfill them. It’s caring about the other as much as about yourself.

It takes time.

Ordinary, everyday time. 

Ok, you ready? Cinch up your seatbelt, hard right turn ahead. 

Life with God is similar to a marriage. It takes time together. 

We’ve just come out of the holiday season. Many people said some flowery words at Thanksgiving dinner, squeezed in a candlelight Christmas Eve service, got all dressed up for Easter morning, and think they’ve done their duty for God.

Some people go out to the lake or the woods once in a while and call it good. After all, I can worship anywhere right?

A lot of people head to church every Sunday, sing some songs, listen to some (maybe) good words, and leave feeling good about themselves and God,  then live for themselves the rest of the week. 

A life truly lived with God takes time.

Time spent listening to Him.

Time spent pouring out your heart to Him.

Time learning to do what He loves and avoid what He hates.

Time spent loving the people He loves. (By the way, that’s the poor, the down, the hurting, your neighbour, your co-worker, the store clerk, other drivers….)

You can’t do that one hour every Sunday or out at the lake. And you certainly can’t do it just three times a year. 

Go. Spend time with God. 

Ordinary, everyday time. 

Two Things

Two things that truly irk me.
Dishonesty and Avoidance. 
Dishonesty. Shading the truth. Hiding the truth. White lies.  All these say you don’t trust me enough to be straight up fair with you. You feel you need to tell me what you think I want to hear. 
Avoidance. Passive aggressive. Hiding. Silence. All these say you fear me and what I might do if you were honest.
All I can say is that you don’t know me as well as you think you do. And for that I am truly sorry, for I have failed at letting you see who I really am. 

​God is good! 

​God is good! 

In His goodness, He enables us to grow and conform to his goodness. 
Example,  Lynn and I have been planning, for a couple months now ,  a special weekend together for June.  We also have a family member getting married in June, and Lynn casually mentioned today that her sister is coming to visit then. Seems Lynn never connected that it was the SAME weekend. Sigh. (Nor did I.)
Now there was a time <not too long ago> that a situation like this would have led to me losing my temper, berating her, yelling, and generally making a fool of myself, ruining any chance at a pleasant hometime this weekend. 
Instead, God had His hand of peace on me (and Spirit of peace within me), allowing me to just work the problem and come up with the simple (and obvious) solution of just shifting our weekend a week. 
Praise be to God for working His peace into us!

Nature’s God

I stopped today at a little roadside area to walk the dog.  Just an abandoned motel site. But I gradually became aware of the absolute beauty and wonder of the place.

There was a little lizard scampering across the side of the building, apparently annoyed at being interrupted in his breakfast.

There was the snow sitting, glistening in the branches of the pine trees. 

There was the sun glittering in the dew of the grass. 

My first thought was to stop and thank God for all this wondrous beauty. My second feeling was sadness.

Sadness for the people who believe the myth that all of creation is merely an accident of nature. The unfounded story that all that exists just happened to come into being and evolve. The fable that says there is no meaning or purpose to this life. 

But there IS purpose. 

God is. 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Ge 1:1

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Ge 1:31

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Ps 19:1

The heavens declare his righteousness,for God himself is judge! Ps 50:6

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Ro 1:20