Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Arguing with God

OK, I know that it is pointless to argue with God, but to deny my feelings (of which God is already keenly aware) is also equally pointless.  So, in an effort to state my case and talk things out I went head to head with God... kinda reminds me of Job, Abraham, or even David.  I guess I'm in good company.

Why do we argue with God?  Generally, I argue when I don't get my way.  Like a little child I pout, yell, and stick my tongue out to show that I'm not happy.  I do what I know is right, but my attitude stinks.  This doesn't please God at all.  To "obey" with the wrong motive is putrid to God and Revelations chapter 2 says that this half-hearted, lukewarm behavior makes Him sick.

But acting like everything is A-OK is just as bad.  He knows our hearts; so why can't we be honest with Him?  Why not approach the throne and in humility come clean.  That's what I mean when I say I have been "arguing with God".   For a while now, God has been prompting me to make some changes.  Now some changes are good, but they are not always comfortable.  Here lies the rub... God was asking me to leave the community He brought me to 4.5 yrs ago and I didn't want to go.  I have come to love this small rural town and the people with whom I have connected.  The congregation here is loving and caring and I cannot imagine finding folks that are more like family than friends.  And I could go on and on... my kids have more or less grown up here, they have grown in the Lord in ways that likely would not have occurred had we stayed in KC, and as I write I'm watching the snow fall upon the Bear's Paw mountains...   How about the ministries that are going on HERE!  Good News Club - 40+ kids that are hearing the Good News and that my family is deeply invested in; or the Adult Discipleship Classes - New believers that desire to know God in a deeper and personal way.  God, what about everything You have going on HERE!  Why do You want me to go?

But alas, He has called me away.  The "Why?" is not for me to know; at least not right now.  If He desires to reveal that to me, so be it; if not, so be it.  Regardless I have determined through this "argument" that I would rather be in God's will than in my own.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crazy Love

"Therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him" [Jn. 5:18]  Over and over in the Scripture we read how the Jews sought to kill the prophets, and now here they are attempting to kill the Messiah.  What is amazing is that this IS God's plan.  Before the foundations of the earth were formed, God had devised the plan of redemption of man.  Why?  Because He loves us with a crazy kind of love.  No, I don't mean that God is crazy to love us - although that seems true as well - but His love for us is unfathomable, imaginable, unrelenting, and unending.

And so, even though man was seeking to put God incarnate to death, He was seeking to express to man His love.  Romans 5:8 says, "God demonstrates His own love toward us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  This is God's plan.  It is the only plan of redemption.  Without the Son man has no hope.  This is God actively at work in the world today.  He came to offer us life, relationship, meaning.

How will you respond to the love of the Father?

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Pool of Bethesda

I had the opportunity to visit where they believe this event occurred.  It was quite moving, but more so in retrospect.  Imagine if you will hundreds of sick and dying individuals gathered around this body of water.  Each one is there with the hope of healing if they were the first into the pool when it stirred.  Some were new arrivals, others had spent a lifetime waiting, hoping, praying.  The remedy for their ailment could come at anytime, but often those who were waiting were unable to help themselves.

Isn't that a sad picture, but here is the truth of the matter.   You suffer from a terminal illness… the diagnosis is accurate, the result is always the same… death.  Everyone has contracted this disease, it is genetic, passed down from parent to child since the beginning.  If you haven't guessed the disease is SIN.  There remains only one remedy - Jesus Christ.

In John 5:1-9, we find Jesus at this pool asking, "Do you wish to be well?"  That's the same question He asks today, "Do you wish to be well?"  Just like the sick man we tend to come up with excuses: I've tried but it doesn't work.  There must be another way.  They call it a disease, I can't be healed.  I'm addicted.  I've been abused, no one would want me.  I've done some terrible, awful things. 

Lay every excuse down.  Look into the eyes of the Savior.  He's offering you the healing you need, you desire.  Will it be easy, no.  I guarantee you it is worth it.  He doesn't force Himself on anyone, you must take the gift He offers. 

So, do you wish to be well?