Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Wait 'Till You See the Beach!

"My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand..." Psalm 139:15-18

God is omniscient.  He knows everything about everything and still loves us.  He knows our best and our worse and everything in between.  "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD." Psalm 139:4  He knows our actions and our thoughts, He knows the hairs on our head, He knows the day we were conceived and the moment we will die.  He knows us completely and yet loves us completely.

David, the psalmist, says that God's thoughts about us outnumber the grains of sand.  Think about that.  There is a finite but enormous amount of information about us and God knows it all.  God knows all about us.  David says it's like knowing all the grains of sand on a beach and what they're like, where they go, what their shape is, what their size is... everything about every grain of sand. That's how God knows us.  He knows more about us in more detail than we do.  The facts He knows about us outnumbers the grains of sand on a beach.

On the flip side, while what's to be known about us is finite but enormous, what's to be known about God is infinite.  It's like all of humanity gets one grain of sand of knowledge about God.  In the Bible and all revelation humanity has ever gotten it's like looking at one grain of sand.  We examine the grain and look at its size, color and shape and this takes all of human history.

Meanwhile, God says "Wait till you see the beach!"

Because there is an infinitude of "things" to know about God we will spend eternity learning more about God, growing to know Him more intimately in the way He knows us intimately.  We've been looking at a grain of sand and falling in love with everything about it and God can't wait to show us the beach.

So, fall in love with the grain of sand we have.  It's more like a precious pearl than the sand we've seen before, but there is so much more where that came from.  If you like what you know about the Almighty here and now, wait till you see the beach!  And keep mining the knowledge of that grain of sand today.
*The phrase "Wait till you see the beach" was totally stolen from Harold Moyer.  I couldn't resist using it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Forgiveness and Fear

"He stood before the judge stiff as a board, scared beyond belief.

He was guilty and he knew it.  Everyone else knew it too and the law knew it because he'd been convicted in a court of law.  But today he was back in front of the judge for sentencing.  The judge could render a sentence with prison time or simply parole.

The young man was frozen as he stood before the judge that could give him time behind bars or a more forgiving sentence of parole.

'Yes, your honor.'  Yes, ma'am'

That's all that the young man could utter as he stood in the presence of a woman that could offer him forgiveness or harshness.  This judge, this woman had immense power over him."

How would you act in front of a judge that could offer you forgiveness?  Would you be cocky or humble?  Would you act nonchalant about the whole affair or would you treat your appearance before the judge with utmost seriousness?  Now, what would you do after you got a measure of forgiveness?  Would you go from respectful to arrogant?  Would you still be reverent in front of a person with the power to change your life?

"If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared."  Psalm 130:3-4

There is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

The one with the power to forgive must be powerful.  The judge in the story above had within the law a great power over her fellow human being.  Judges in our society have tremendous power, but they don't have absolute power.  There are some things that they can't forgive, some sentences they cannot lessen.  Our Judge has the power to forgive all, so He must be incredibly powerful, He must have an awesome amount of authority and a wide jurisdiction.

God's forgiveness cannot make us become too comfortable with Him.  Quite the opposite, God's forgiveness should inspire fear, reverence, awe and deep thankfulness.  So, approach the throne, or the bench if you will, with a holy fear today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015



Children fight it and adults fight for it.  We crave it after a long hard day and we bow to it after a long fun day.  Everyone sleeps.

We sing about sleep and for sleep as evidenced in everything from lullabies to The Beatles to the intricate choral sounds of Eric Whitacre.  Sleep is either welcomed or surrendered to by everyone.

God doesn't sleep.  Ever.

"... He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep."  Psalm 121:3b-4

God never sleeps and that is good news for us, gospel if you will.  Psalm 121 says that God watches over us and that He never sleeps.

"The LORD will keep you from all harm
He will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."  Psalm 121:7-8

Think about that, God watches over us 24/7/365 and never gets tired.  Soak that in and see if that doesn't cause you to trust in the One who never sleeps.

Sleep is an awesome reminder of how unlike God I am.  I love to sleep.  I take naps as often as I can and you don't have to twist my arm too much to get me to go to bed.  Now, I'm not trying to say that I'm lazy, I'm attempting to say that I'm human.  Every single one of us needs sleep.  Have you ever pulled an all nighter or been the poor sap that volunteered to help with the lock-in?  Well, I've done both and they knock me out for a few days.  It didn't used to affect me too much but anymore if I stay up all day and night it screws me up for two or three more days.

Thinking about how God never sleeps and about how much I need to sleep expands my view of God.  This is just one way that God is infinitely more powerful than I am and God designed me in a way to remind me of this striking difference every day.  So, do this with me.  Next time you're really tired think about the fact that God never sleeps.  Then after you're done thinking about that fact, fall into a deep sleep knowing that the One who never sleeps is watching over you both now and forevermore.

Sleep well and let sleep preach to you about our God.  Take time to worship our infinitely awake God today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to See God and People

"The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
He seats them with princes,
with the princes of their people.
He settles the barren women in her home
as a happy mother of children.

Praise the LORD."  Psalm 113: 4-9

This is part of one of the psalms I read last week.  I want to point our two great things I found in this song.

1) God stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth.

Have you looked at images from the Hubble telescope before?  If you haven't then you should.  The images are mind boggling.  Then you learn how many light years they are across and you lose your ability to understand how big they really are.

This psalm says that God stoops down to look at the heavens and the earth.  Imagine God bending down to look at the Milky Way the same way you stoop down to look at a flower.  This poetic image draws our attention to the fact that God is amazingly enormous and powerful.  This is both a scary and comforting thought.

2) God has equal regard for all types of people.

This psalm says that God lifts the poor from the dust and the needy out of the ash heap and sets them next to princes.  Princes and beggars are equally valuable in the eyes of God.  Partly because God is so big that those we think are important are tiny to Him and because God sees the value of all He has created.

When my wife and I were in Chicago we saw so many people begging on the streets.  After awhile you begin to just walk by them without a second thought.  God doesn't do that and I shouldn't either.  Do I have equal regard for all types of people?  Do I value rich and poor, young and old, educated and uneducated, born and unborn, Christian and non-Christian, black and white?  Why am I so arrogant to think that "my kind" of people are better than others?  Why do I insult the Creator by not seeing the beauty of some of His masterpieces?

God is big, I am small.  God sees all types of people as valuable and so should I.  Jesus went from stooping down to see the Sun to being the Son that shepherds stooped down to see.  God so loved the world that He gave His Son to die on the cross for ALL types of people.  I must be in awe of God  and strive to see Him the way I should and people the way I should today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

You Can't Unsee This

I've always been pro-life and the Bible is inarguably pro-life.  But until recently I dropped the ball in being pro-life, I decided that the fight to end abortion was a lost cause.  Well, I'm done quitting, I'm done leaving this out of my prayers, I'm done voting for someone who isn't willing to end this form of legal murder.

I, like many of you, have seen the videos of Planned Parenthood's sale of aborted baby parts and I'm sick over it.  Is what Planned Parenthood is doing illegal?  I don't know.  Does the way they talk about the life of a baby infuriate me?  Absolutely.  Does seeing the pieces of a child lifted by a technician bring me to tears? Yes.

Take a look at the video below.  Watch as the people talk about the aborted "products of conception".  Don't necessarily ask if what Planned Parenthood is doing is illegal.  Don't necessarily ask if those making the video have edited them too much.  Don't necessarily ask in what cases would you approve of abortion.

Ask, "does that look like a mangled human baby to me?"

Start watching at the 13 minute mark and try to unsee that baby's arm, hand, leg and foot.  You can't unsee this.

Share this video and tell people to try and unsee that baby today.