One Day

I had a good day yesterday.  The day before pretty much sucked.

Yesterday ended with worship, standing strong, knowing the goodness of God and His faithfulness to me.

The day before, I just felt so lost.

So today….

Yeah today.

Paul said it a great way, ” 12  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3)

“Forgetting what is behind..”

I had a bad day.  Forget it.

I had a good day.  Forget it.

Do you know what I have right now?  I have one day, one moment.  The moment I am living in right this second.  I can become discouraged my the days and moments I’ve lost in this war.  I can become conceited, self-confident because of the moments I’ve won.  I have only this moment right now.

What will I do with it?

That’s the big question isn’t it.  What will I do with each moment that God gives me?  Because, in case you didn’t know, if you aren’t dead, God hasn’t given up on you.

And, I’ll let you in on a secret religion keeps from you.

God is excited about the time you have left.  He can see what a life lived for Him will be like.  He already knows the joy that can be yours as you give Him each moment, as you live each second seeking His face, wanting to spend one more minute with Him.  He can’t wait to spend a day with you.

He’s not concerned with what happened to you, how you failed, the weights that you carry.  He’s just ecstatic that you have stopped long enough to listen, to hope that He is there, to believe that He loves you.

See, it’s in that moment that He comes rushing in.  It’s in the moment that we give to Him that we find Him.

Yesterday was good.  The day before sucked.  Today…

I have today.

 

Suppose there are ten…

Jesus asked the question, “But when the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

I was reading, again, about when Abraham negotiates with God for the sake of Sodom and Gomorrah.  It went from fifty righteous ones down to ten before the negotiations ended.  If there were only ten righteous people in the city, it would be spared.

I think Abraham knew he had pushed it as far as he could.  And there is some evidence that he still knew it would not be enough.

Life is good right now.  I’m enjoying a renewed sense of purpose, a refreshed relationship with my wife, and the unexplored territory of a stronger faith in God.

But, will it be enough?

When I come to the desert, the battle, the place of testing and fear, will my heart remain true?

I believe it will.  But, sometimes I’m not sure.

The nature of man tends toward wanting our own way.  Our hearts seem bent on selfishness, on fear, on hatred.  We run from God, not to Him.

And the church is much the same.  We don’t want preaching the convicts us.  We don’t want to hear about tithing, sexual purity, deep commitment to following God’s word.

What if, when Jesus comes looking, He can’t find us, find me.

I’m here God.  I’m coming after you.  I want more of you.

And when it’s dry, or I’m lost, help me!  You’re my only hope.

To The Last Man

What do you do when you’ve lost all hope?

What is your choice when you’ve done everything and all you hoped for is gone?

What do you do when all have betrayed you and you’re left alone, unwanted, unloved, forgotten?

The problem with the TV generation, the movie, Hollywood, Super Hero people who live their lives through the stories they see on a screen is they never know what to do.  When real life happens and things don’t go as planned, when there is no reset button to push or magical potion to fix all the problems, those that have not lived real life will lay down.  They will give up and let death take them.

Dylan Thomas said, “Do not go gently into that dark night.”  His stanzas speaking of there being more to do, to live, to “rage against.”

And in the light of this promiscuous culture, the family decimated by media, divorce, infidelity, pornography, addiction and abuse, it can seem that our hope, the promises we stand on, are awfully, woefully thin.

God’s love is not absent.  The power of the Holy Spirit has not waned.  But our reliance, our grasp of who He is and who we are in Him, is pitifully weak.

“Do not go gently into that dark night.”

So, though at times my hope is lost, I will stay in His word.  Though, at times, my faith is built on sinking sand, I will put on my helmet, my belt, my shoes, my breastplate, my shield and my sword.

And though I am bloody from every battle I’ve been through, I will rage against these giants and say, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of satan’s army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in America.”

And with my dying breath, I will let my children know, the children of my blood and of my spirit, that the living God reigned in me and I was His, will be His, forever.

Stand with me, by your prayers, your love, your worship, your sacrifice.

“All Things Work Together…”

What a crock!

I know it’s scripture but, seriously, what a crock.

Raised in an abusive, dysfunctional home.  Molested as a child, repeatedly.  Bullied, ridiculed, demeaned.  Rejected by many that I needed, really, truly needed to be loved by.  Marginalized by the church as a rebel.  Looked down on for how I question things, the questions that I ask, the inherent flaws that must be present in a person who questions God.  Every time I asked for something, it either came across as being arrogant, thinking I deserved it, or as weak, lacking confidence.  So many opportunities stripped away, even when I had the necessary skills, the drive to do what needed done, all because of some ambiguous, not-the-right-fit kind of reason.

“More than conquerors…”

Really?

Broke all the time.  Can’t sell a book.  Can’t buy a full-time ministry position.  My job doesn’t like me.  I can’t get promoted.  I’m not even sure my wife and kids like me most of the time.

Now maybe, no one who reads this can relate to what I’m saying.  But, I bet, if you look down deep, everyone one of you has had questions, doubts about the validity of the two scriptures that I quoted.

Is God working all things together for my good?

My heart breaks over the abuse of children, sex-trafficking of people, slavery, bullying, loneliness.  I can’t see a person sitting alone in a room without wondering what’s going on inside them.  When I hug the son of a single mom, I want them to know that they are loved, they matter, they are not rejected.  When I pray, I hear the voice of my Father, my Daddy as His great, loving heart weeps over the brokenness of this world.

Through addiction and defeat I have seen the power, the relentless juggernaut of God’s passion for the healing, restoration, discipline and release of His warriors.  I have tasted His desire for all people to be free.  FREE!  Not bound by rules and decrees.  Not robots with mindless movements and subjugated wills.  FREE and ALIVE human beings.

And I have found freedom.  I have come to see the walls torn down, the strongholds broken, the infections lanced, drained and healed.  I have seen my heart of stone restored to a heart of flesh.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

It is true.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

IT IS TRUE!

All because HE LOVES US!!