and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Culture of Wants without Effort

       We want a million dollars, but we don’t want to work to get it.  We want a great paying job, but don’t want to endure the hardship of school or years of grueling work to get it.  We want to go on an awesome vacation, but never save the money to pay for it.  We want a beautiful house and furnishings but don’t want to wait until we can afford it. 

       We want a great relationship with our kids, but don’t give them the time that it requires.  We want to be close to God, to see Him, feel Him, know Him, be used in mighty ways, yet we don’t put effort toward our relationship with Him.  In other words, we treat God the same way we treat everything else in life.  We want big results from little effort.  Read the story of Abraham sitting in his tent when three men approach and see Abraham’s response in Gen. 18.

       Jehovah appears to Abraham (v.1) and we know that Abraham knows it is God by the term Adonay which he greets God with for Adonay is only used for God.  This implies that Abraham has spent enough time with God to know Him when He appears.  Abraham is not surprised or fearful of the Lord.  Let’s consider Abraham’s actions:

   -Abraham hastened to meet the Lord. (v.2)
   -He fully/ warmly welcomed the Lord. (v.2)
   -Begged the Lord to stay. Called self his servant. (v.3)
   -Provided water to wash and shade for rest. (v.4)
   -Provided food, comfort (refreshing time) for hearts. (v.5)
   -Abraham hastened to provide hospitality (v.6-8)
   -Allowed them to eat while he waited. (v.8)

       Abraham hurried to meet with the Lord.  When was the last time we hurried to meet with Him?  Abraham fully and warmly welcomed the Lord.  Is that the way we open our lives to the Lord everyday or do we rush to get in a few prayers and read a few verses of the Word?  He desired the presence of the Lord and humbled himself before Him.  He provided for the Lord’s needs (do we even know what He needs?) and with great effort and no waste of time, provided for those needs.  Abraham allowed the Lord’s needs to be met first while he patiently waited.  Seems a little different to how we act with God, doesn’t it?

But there was good come of Abraham’s actions and heart toward God:

   -The Lord blessed with a promise of a son. (v.10)
   -The Lord said He knows Abraham. (v.19)
   -Jehovah confided in Abraham. (v.20-21)
Abraham stood before (in the presence of) the Lord. (v.22)
He negotiated with God. (v.23+)

       In the end, Abraham stood in Jehovah’s presence and was able to negotiate with Him.  (Full two way communication.)  You can’t get any closer to the Lord than that.  But just wanting it won’t make it happen; we have to put forth some effort into the relationship.  Note in “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.(Jm. 4:8) we are to initiate the action, and then God responds.  Most of us want more of God’s presence and power in our lives, but wanting it isn’t going to magically make it happen.  We have to start doing our part--- welcoming Him into our lives, humbling ourselves, and making a genuine effort!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Too Little to See

       He walked into the doctor's office with his momma and stood boldly beside her.  He was adorable, perhaps 3 years old, with short, curly black hair peeking out from his cap, big brown eyes, gorgeous chocolate brown complexion and a smile that could turn your heart to mush at a glance.  They came and sat down beside me and I couldn't help but peek over at him and smile.  He smiled back.  We kept peeking at each other with me making faces and it was then I noticed a dimple in his right cheek.  Could he get any cuter?

       When I got up to walk around he pointed at me to get back in my seat so I thought to oblige him for a few minutes.  It was then his momma got up to speak to the receptionist who sat far behind a tall counter.  The little boy really wanted to see what was behind the counter, so he jumped up once, twice, three times, but was unable to see.  Next, he tried to hold on to the counter to support his jump and lever himself up some, but he was still not able to see.  One more try and he was almost there when momma 'helped him down' so he didn't get hurt.

       I was disappointed for the little boy knowing he only wanted to see what was on the other side of that tall counter, and his face showed he felt the same.  I imagine he felt a bit left out because he couldn't see what his momma could, and no one likes to be left out.  And, as far as I know, he never did see what was over the counter.

        Now I'm wondering if Jesus ever wishes we'd try our best to see Him, to see what's going on behind His counter, all the things He sees, what He knows, and what is to come.  Are we even excited enough to care who's speaking the words we hear?  Do we make every effort we are able to- to know Him better?  Perhaps we are satisfied just hearing a word or two but never seeing the bigger picture?

       Or maybe we're just too little to see... 
                                 and we need to grow up first.

that you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every work and increasing in the knowledge of God, Col. 1:10
You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect. Mt. 5:48 AMP

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just another excuse...

       This time I didn't post because our phone line was dead yesterday until late afternoon today.  I just love our phone company- Not!  I called up the repair line, with my pay as you go cell phone.  Well, actually, I called three numbers from the telephone book that didn't work before I got a fourth that did.  Then it gave me a minute long advertisement for some kind of service I didn't need.

       After that came that wonderful automated voice service telling me to press this then that, then this.  Finally, just when I thought I got through to a person, the voice gave me advice on what I should be checking before I made an appointment to get the lines fixed.  Did I want to hang up and check out the recommendations, or make an appointment now?  At that point, I said a very unChristianlike word.  More buttons to push and an appointment was made for someone to come by between 12pm and 5pm.  They never came.

       Yes, they did fix the problem, but nary a person stopped by the house.  Just a phone call to say we fixed the problem.  So today, in between the craziness of my daughter's graduation day, her writing for a beginner's driving license, a check up at the cancer center, racing- I mean calmly driving home, picking up my mom- and a pizza, eating, picking up daughter's friend, fighting traffic and stop signs, getting the two girls to the graduation early, dropping son off at the mall, back to the ceremony building, trying to find parking...

       Well, you get the picture.  Some days, nothing ever seems to work out the way you want it too!  At the end of the day, you sigh, knowing  your kid will probably never know the effort you went to... Anyway, one thing remains the same throughout these days.

God is still God, He is still on the throne and HE remains the same no matter how crazy, busy, planned or unexpected our days become.   
He does not change who He is
                             His love never fails
                                      He never gives up on us.

     For I am Jehovah, I change not. Mal. 3:6 (all ESV)
     Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb. 13:8
     Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 
     ... How precious is your steadfast love, O God! Ps. 36:5,7
     God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus
     Christ our Lord. 1Cor. 1:9

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fireworks Night

       What a special treat it is to enjoy one of the largest fireworks displays in Canada, all from the 27th floor of my friend’s building.  It’s the second year I was able to go.  The fireworks burst out into large pools of colour right in front of our eyes.  In the background, the colours reflect on the skyscrapers across the river as they shower down into the water.  The bangs beat on your chest making you jump slightly in your seat.

       But the best part about it all is the company of people gathered to enjoy an evening of good company, laughter, and tasty treats.  It’s fun to meet new people and have a good time especially with the company of an old friend of over thirty years.  It’s almost like we’ve never been apart though we just reconnected two years ago.  There’s a comfort level in old friendships, and words that don’t need to be spoken because you just know.  There are memories (good and bad) that are near impossible to express to others, but which make you both smile once in a while.

       Perhaps I’ve mentioned this before, but I remember once asking the Lord if I could live somewhere else other than the New Jerusalem of Revelation, because I’m not very fond of cities (a country girl at heart) and there are just too many people without anything in common.  He replied something like, ‘well, you have the most important thing in common- Me!’  It reminded me how when you meet someone who loves the Lord, it is as if there is an immediate connection that can only be explained by the Spirit.

       You can look at each other and without words understand their love for the Lord and how they try to live.  It doesn’t always happen that way here on earth, but sometimes it does, and when it does, it feels good.  I imagine it will be a lot like that in Heaven.  With sin, sorrow, pain, death and every curse all gone permanently, only the good will remain.  Consider the levels of trust that will be there, the openness of our hearts, the love for God and each other.  A world in perfect unity

       It seems to me it will be like a good party of good company, laughter, and hopefully tasty treats with new friends, old friends, all wrapped up in a comfortable, peaceful place of joy.  Best of all, our greatest Love will be there, our precious Lord Jesus, our great Father Jehovah, and our Holy, precious Spirit.  Forever! It certainly can’t get any better than that!

After these things I looked, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb… Rev. 7:9
And every curse will no longer be… Rev. 22:3
then I shall fully know even as I also am fully known. 1Cor. 13:12
And so we shall ever be with the Lord. 1Th. 4:17

Ah, to hear these words from the mouth of our King…

Come, blessed of My Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world.
Mt. 25:34