Archive for January, 2012

Acceptance…

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Lessons From Scripture, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

Pondering the word acceptance… I was hit with two questions:

1. Have you accepted the world as it is?

or

2. Have you accepted the fact that you are to be an agent of change?

You see either you make a difference or you don’t.  My prayer is that when people talk about me at my funeral that they don’t share how comfortable I was but rather how much positive change I made in the world.  My prayer is that I will leave this world a better place then when I got here.

~Jude 22 “And some have compassion, making a difference.”

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In Job one we find Job losing his children, his employees and his wealth.  In Job two we find him losing his health along with the support of his wife.  All of these things were completely out of Jobs control.  His life was in a tailspin.  Yet it was a tailspin that Job did not need to take responsibility for.  He had not made dumb choices to cause these things.  These attacks on his life were not a result of God’s punishment because Job had chosen to live in sin.  They were part of a larger spiritual battle for Jobs heart.

God does not expect you to be held responsible for circumstances that are outside your control.  There are things in life that happen that just aren’t your fault.  Yet in dealing with these circumstances, God does expect to hold you responsible for your response.  Response to tragedy is often a good indicator of someone’s heart.  After all, it is easy to bless the name of God when life is going well.  Yet do we acknowledge God’s goodness when life isn’t?  The goodness of God does not change even when we don’t feel like we are experiencing.  God remains the same yesterday, today and forever.

In my house, we have a family photo and on it is printed the latter half of Joshua 24.15 which says, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  The first half of this verse is a challenge to the people to make a choice;  who is it that you are going to serve?  This verse is fitting because it does not provide a clause to not serve God when circumstances do not go our way or when we feel that God is not near.  It says, choose it and liveit.

My response to everything I encounter says alot about my heart for God.  The question is, when life and circumstances are not pleasing to me, is my life still pleasing to God?

Yesterday I remarked on Job.  I made some brief remarks on how obedience is not dependent upon understanding.  I would like to continue and share another observation that we can make from the life of Job.

As a father of three kids I have noticed that when my children do something wrong they are quick to point the finger at someone else.  If I am to say to Matthew, why did you push your sister it is quite possible he will tell me that his sister stuck out her tongue.  I then will ask his sister why she stuck out her tongue and she will respond with, because he called me a name.  You see blame shifting is normal part of humanity that we need to be aware of and respond to purposefully.

Back in garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve who blamed the serpant.  It has been part of the process of mankind from the beginning.  Yet God did accept the excuse instead He punished all who were guilty.

In the case of Job, he was given the opportunity to sin.  In fact he was encouraged to by his wife.  Scripture tells us (Job 2.9) that Job was encouraged to throw his integrity out the window and to curse God and die.  Job could have done exactly what his hurting wife called him to do.  He could have lost his integrity.  He could have uttered curses against his God and ended his own life.  Yet he did not.

Job responded to his wife with “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.  Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2.10)  Job recognized that all he had, had come from God and that God was still in control.  He realized that he could not follow his wife’s ill advice because regardless of how tough life was, it was still wrong.

How often do we hear lame excuses that are birthed out of the “he made me do it” syndrome?  God does not accept this and neither should we.  An obedient servant of the King is called to accept responsibility for his or her actions regardless of any other influences in their lives.  The question is, whose influence is stronger, God’s or man’s?  How we respond with actions and excuses will clearly answer that question.

 

God does not expect total understanding but He does expect total obedience. Faithfulness is not contingent upon my understanding or even my agreeing with God all the time. That’s what makes the Christian journey a journey of faith. God has a plan and I might not know it yet. God’s in control and I am not. Scripture is full of narratives about people who did not get the big picture, yet God used many of them mightily.
You cannot tell me that Job understood the big picture when God allowed his children to die. Yet Job remained faithful. In fact after Job suffered loss that to most of us would be considered indescribable, we are told that “Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” (Job 1.2)
So I would challenge you, when you lack in understanding first pursue God and make pursuit of knowledge secondary. For we do not need to understand life to know that God is true, just, loving, compassionate, full of grace and in control.
Great is our God and great is His Name!

Thank God potty training is done in my house.  There is something about discovering wet puddles on the kitchen floor with sock feet that is quite unsettling.  In fact, it is down right gross.  Soggy underpants…puddles…running to the bathroom… extra laundry…

It has probably been a good 8 months since we have moved past this training period in my house with my youngest and I am ok with that.  I was thinking that my wife and I never gave up on our son when he wet his pants.  We cleaned him up, carried him to the bathroom, did lots of laundry and sometimes picked him up and ran for the bathroom.  We knew that sooner or later he could and would get it.

I know it is an odd analogy but aren’t you glad God doesn’t give up on you when you make a mess.  In fact He continues to give you chances even though you get a little messy.  He still loves you even though cleanup is required.  When you get a little stinky it doesn’t matter because you are still His child.  He still wants you to experience the best.  He does not want you to give up and settle for a stinky, messy life.  Rather He wants you to conquer and live a victorious life.

Thank God, He doesn’t give up on us as fast as we give up on others!

Hymn- This World is Not My Home

Posted: January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

I quoted from this hymn on Sunday and could not remember what the hymn’s name was.  So here it is…

This World Is Not My Home

Verse: 1
This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru,
my treasures are laid up some where beyond the blue,
the angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world any more.

Chorus:
Oh Lord, you know I have no friend like you,
if heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do,
the angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world any more.

Verse: 2
My Savior pardoned me from guilt and shame I know,
I’ll trust his saving grace while traveling here below,
I know he’ll welcome me at heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in the world any more.

Verse: 3
I have a precious mother up in Glory land,
I don’t expect to stop until I clasp her hand,
for me she waiting now at heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Verse: 4
The Saints in glory land are shouting victory,
I want to join their band and live eternally,
I hear the sweetest praise from heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.