Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rejoice in the Lord...

I'd like to take a chance in saying that we are all tempted to give in the the desires that accompany our mortal and dangerous flesh. I'd also like to assume that each of us has had our shares of ups and downs in this roller coaster life that we've been given the chance to live. I think in saying this, I would not be too far off base. But one thing that I've learned well in all my years of living is this: the one constant thing that is utterly dependable is God. I've found that no matter how many times our lives and the people in them take sharp right turns for the worse and then quickly dart left to add to the confusion, God remains the same. Day in and day out, He never changes. Faithful as the day.

I suppose this is why Philippians 4:4 says this:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

I find great relief in the fact that this verse does not on any terms urge us to rejoice in our emotions always. It asks not that we rejoice in people or nature or time and space. This verse commands us to rejoice in the Lord always. The beauty of this command is that the Lord remains the same. He does not change. He is always just. He is always kind. He is always compassionate and caring. He is always patient and faithful. This is a testament to the fact that we can always find a reason to rejoice in Him. When everything around us has fallen and our world seems to be shaken by a major quake, we can find in our Lord a reason to rejoice.

Remember this verse when the voice of depression beckons you to come nearer. Remember this when you've lost a loved one or when it seems that failure has reared its ugly head and lifted its deafening voice. Remember this verse when plans have gone awry or everyone you love seems to have turned the other way. Rejoice in THE LORD always. I'll say it again. Rejoice!

I Consider Them Rubbish...

The unfortunate thing is that we live within the confines of the glaringly obvious. We, as children of God, know that there is more to this life than the things that we see. Knowing this does not, however, give us an automatic pass from this world to the next. We must stay here. We must press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of us (Philippians 3:12).

Although we live in this world, we have the wonderful blessing of not being of it. We get to enjoy this world to the fullest extent because we can take joy in those things against which there is no law. This is where we find our fortune: In seeking God until we see Him face to face. As we seek Him, we find that we become uncommonly disinterested in the things of this world, as our gaze is focused solely on the object of our desire: Jesus Christ.

I think that Paul felt this way. In Philippians 3:7-8 (NIV), he says:

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Paul says here that everything that he once found profit with now seems to produce only loss. The things that he once held in high esteem are now nothing compared to his ultimate goal: knowing Jesus. This "surpassing greatness" proves more honorable, more precious than any other thing. Everything that once took priority in life is now rubbish compared to gaining Christ.

What things in our lives are important to us? I assure you that these things are worth less than nothing compared to the beauty and the privilege of knowing Jesus in pure and intimate relationship. Being established in this truth, let us reach for and press toward those things that are important. Let's press on toward Jesus, toward His cause and toward His church.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shine Your Light...

Don't shrink to make other people one gains anything from it...but shine as brightly as you can...and those people who are supposed to light their candle at your flame will be able to shine also...

Monday, January 18, 2010


This post is one that flows from a very personal place in my heart. I just wanted to take a moment to tell the entire world wide web that I appreciate and respect Jesus for shedding His blood for me. I wanted to let the lot of you know that I appreciate the Holy Spirit for being a friend to me when there was absolutely no reason for Him to stick around. I wanted to express my appreciation to my Father, who tells me that I'm beautiful on days when I feel less than. This my heavenly Father -who goes before me to guide my path and also comes behind me to guard it- has my heart.

God has forgiven me for and brought me through very much. He did not have to. This notion is impressed upon me heavily. The superheroesque feat of the Cross of Christ is twisted and insane by any human standard. Knowing this makes me absurdly grateful that the King that is greater than every other king is not human at all. Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) says much about the bloody task of Jesus:

6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Just at the right time...a hero to a fallen race came to redeem us. While we were still powerless, He did the unthinkable and died so that we would not have to die. I love that this verse doesn't hide the ugly truth. It is true that you'd be hard-pressed to locate a man that would die for another man; even if both these men were more righteous than the purest form of nature. But while we were still sinners Christ died for us. This truth is nothing short of amazing and captivating.

I write this post because my heart is grateful. I am grateful for the Cross-endeavor that saved my fate. I am grateful because even after the Cross -the greatest exhibition of love- my God still took the time to save me from my past, to orchestrate my present and to give me hope for the future. And so I appreciate Him...I appreciate Him, I appreciate Him, I appreciate Him. I want everyone to know this love that I know. Let's talk more about Him. Let's do more for Him. Let's all say and do more.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I cannot go a day without You
All of creation whispers of Your greatness
When my soul was in a dark and dry pit
Your love reached down to lift me onto the mountain top
At these heights I will dance
I will sing of Your wondrous works
Who can compare to You?
Whose works are greater than Yours?
Whose ways are more noble?
There is none
My heart, my soul will chase after You
Until I see Your face
My God, my Rock, my Keeper.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
-Psalm 86:12

...For He Cares for You...

The love of God for a fallen race was fully demonstrated at the cross of Christ. John 15:13 says:

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

There is no greater love than the love that God has for us. It is immeasurable. It is unchanging. It doesn't diminish and it doesn't desert. What astonishes me, however, is that this perfect, spotless, blameless, just, merciful, compassionate and almighty God not only loves us, but He cares for us. This amazes me. This is our God who created the earth on its axis, and then told it to spin so that each side could experience the sun. This God...this awesome God cares about you and me. Jeremiah 29:11 says:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.


"You're thinking about me? You're thinking about me?"


The Word of God says to us here says that this powerful, awesome, beautiful God is thinking thoughts of kindness and hope toward us. What is man that He is mindful of us? What is man that His mind is full of us? It says in Jeremiah that God is thinking of how to give us hope and a future. He's thinking of how to make our lives better. He's thinking thoughts of peace toward us. Not only does this God think loving thoughts toward us, not only did He demonstrate His love at the Cross of Christ, but He also says that we can give Him all of our burdens. In 1 Peter 5:7 the Bible tells us to cast all our anxiety and cares and worries on to the Lord because He cares for us. He cares enough to take on our worries. That is kindness in great magnitude.

I pray that we will all experience this love of God in it's entirety. I pray that we will understand that He cares for us. I pray that we will find confidence in the fact that there is Someone who thinks about us and makes plans for out future and wants to see us happy. I pray that we will know the love of Christ so that we will be filled with all the fullness of who He is.