I’m Only Human

It is the excuse we use for every addiction, for bad decisions, for needless failures, for unchecked, selfishness. And scripture would seem to support this with phrases like, “my righteousness is as filthy rags,” and, “He knows our frame, that we are but dust.” But have you ever considered what it means to be, “only human.”

We are created in His image. Nothing else in all of creation, or beyond creation, has that said of them. For all the angels power and fearful presence, they were not created in the IMAGE of the eternal, majesty of heaven.

Evolution would tell us that we are animals with uncontrolled tempers and desires. Sexual sin, infidelity, so much that is perverse and even intuitively wrong is portrayed as acceptable. We become what our DNA, our environment tells us to become. But this is not true of what is created in His image.

It was Jesus, in His human form, that conquered death. I don’t claim to understand the mysteries of heaven, but the situation begs the question, why did Jesus have to come as one of us to ransom us? And, if we are nothing, why does satan fight so hard against us?

Humanity is the prize. Jesus died to save humans, not animals, not angels. Satan seeks to destroy human relationships. His lies are directed at lessening our lives, our power, our standing before God. That is telling. Those that are truly beneath us, we typically ignore. Those that serve no greater purpose are invisible to us.

There is a purpose to saying with Paul, “oh wretched man that I am.” But remember that he goes on to say, “we are more than conquerors.” And this is what makes us formidable, this is what makes us satan’s second greatest fear. Humanity joined to Deity can save the world, can free the captive, can love and bring LIFE!

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My Goodness!

I hear this in Christian circles. I say it myself, a lot. Does anyone know why we say this?

Right now, I work in construction. The guys there use, well, different words when something goes wrong. Somehow they seem to make more sense than a Christian saying, “My Goodness!” When I think about the best that I have to offer, the righteousness that I bring, I am ashamed. When I see King David standing on his being “blameless”, I just shake my head, knowing there has NEVER been a time in my life that I could have said those words. So how can I exclaim, “my goodness,” for anything?

Maybe that’s the point. My goodness is worth nothing, so it fits as an expletive.

I listened to the children yesterday as they sang the song, “Just Give Me Jesus.” I thought about the years ahead of them and all that they might face. And, since I had chosen the song, I thought about the gift I was giving them.

If we can get the idea, the heart concept of our need for Jesus, if we have poetry and song to remind us that all we ever need is Him, there is nothing better that I could give.

So if you are ticked at something, my goodness may be the perfect response. And if you are in need, “just give me Jesus,” should work just fine.

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I Fed You Already!

I’d like to thank my cat for this little tid-bit of inspiration.

He gets it. I fed him 3 hours ago and he wants more. He will lie, steal, beg and cheat to get someone to feed him. He has no shame.

Humans, not so smart. We don’t get it. We turn the banquet of God’s word into tasteless rules, the power of His Holy presence into mediocre entertainment, the richness of his truth and life into the putrid death and decay of earthly wisdom, human wisdom. And, what little of him we do receive, we would give back, untouched, untried. “No thank you and you can keep that to yourself!” We want Sunday messages shorter with three easy to understand points that don’t offend. We don’t want to stand too long, or respond to anything said or sung. And we certainly don’t want to pour our money into something so distant from our hearts.

Maybe we’re afraid of looking weird. Maybe we don’t want to look crazy. Maybe we’re embarrassed by those who have stuck their necks out before. Maybe we don’t want people noticing that we are Christians because of what it would do to the reputation of our Master. Maybe we’re more concerned with our own reputation and the ability to ruin ourselves by choosing our own path.

My cat doesn’t care about any of that. He likes food. He’s hungry (or at least would like you to believe that). He wants more food.

SO FEED ME!

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On Wings Like Eagles

I flew to Georgia this morning, 5:00am to be precise. We came down the runway looking at thunderheads all around us and lightning at our one o’clock. That’s pilot lingo for almost straight ahead. I was riding in the copilot seat and had complete control of the aircraft. Well…, I could have except that the pilot would’ve yelled at me and been really ticked.

As we flew into the storm in our small plane (a Cessna 340 if you’re interested), rain hitting the windscreen, the wind buffeting us all over the place, I questioned, internally, the decision to not climb as quickly as possible and get us out of the mess. I don’t know why. Maybe it had something to do with fuel conservation. Maybe a rapid ascent would have put us in greater danger.

I’m not a pilot, so I can only guess at his thought processes.

What he did do was what he called threading the needle. The major cloud formations had gaps between them. We climbed to about 8000 feet nod flew between them. We were hit with violent turbulence, rain, ice and darkness. And, we came through unscathed.

We often talk about going through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23), but don’t understand why. Developing character, patience, Godliness, seems ridiculous in the face of difficult, overwhelming circumstances. We are scared, hurt, broken, defeated and the only solution that makes any sense to our minds is, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!”

What would have happened to me and my fellow passengers if I would have grabbed the controls?

I’m not God, neither are you. I don’t know much, neither do you. Can you, will you trust Him today?

Will I?

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He Has Done It!

I never saw this before.

Psalm 22 is what is referred to as a Messianic Psalm. That means that it was written to give us a picture of Jesus. In this case, it gives us the picture of how Jesus died on the cross. I would not have wanted to be David when he had the experience leading up this writing. I can’t imagine the nightmare of dreaming about this. It describes the crucifixion in great detail and very accurately.

What my King did for me! How could He endure His Father’s forsaking? How can I repay His sacrifice? What kind of love lead Him to give up His life like that? Why did He think I was worth that price?

I don’t know.

I don’t know….

When He died, he said the words, “it is finished.” And I think all of heaven and earth should have shouted the last words of this Psalm. “He has done it.” I envision the angels waiting with eager anticipation as He spoke those words. They knew Him better than we do. And, I see heaven breaking out into cheering that morning when He walked away from death.

That same power is at work in you and me today. I have problems that need a solution. You have things that you can not fix, can not handle. And we, as we come to Him, as we put our hope and trust in Him, will join in the cheering as we watch what He does.

HE HAS DONE IT!!!

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I’m Waiting

This usually is accompanied by a fair amount of impatience, the tapping of feet, the drumming of fingers. But Jesus, today I give it as my declaration. I’m waiting for You. I will take today to listen for Your voice, to not move without Your presence going before me.

I want to rush. I want to control. I want to dictate my future, my plans, but they are fools errands without You. The best that I can do is ruin and destroy, further satan’s kingdom, unless I wait on You. The worst, the least, I can do is glory and beauty when You fill it.

So I will wait. I will trust. I will rest.

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Is Anybody Out There?

Working in the science realm for many years, I have seen a lot of atheism. I have tried arguing and reasoning with people on subjects like evolution and the hurts in the world, abortion and sin, to know avail. Apparently, my arguments, though well thought out and researched, don’t mean much to people. A blow to my pride, but I understand.

I think people have a greater need that cannot be assuaged by our intellect. My researching and study did not just confirm.the existence of God, they showed me the type of God He must be. It gave proofs for who He is, what He loves. And knowing more of this was a deeper need than knowing He was out there somewhere.

I can reason with someone that evolution is unsupportable, scientifically. But to show a God that created and then invaded His creation shows His deep desire to connect with us. It shows a love that goes beyond our thoughts of the word, goes beyond touchy-feely warm fuzziness. I can discuss the deterioration of planetary orbits or intelligent design. But what we need to know is that, despite what is whispered in our ear, He will NEVER “leave you, nor forsake you.”

I have been set free from addiction. I didn’t work myself up to it, or discipline my mind to control it. I was set free. I was healed, at the point of death, when the doctors saw no hope. I was given love, the love of my wife and children, the love of friends and family and my God, in the midst of failure, dysfunction, rebellion and hatred. I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or worthy at any level. God just did it because He wanted me to know Him, to know He was there.

He wants you to know too.

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