Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God's Big "NO's"

For the past several years, I have been "being schooled" on why God allows some to "have" more than others. I've come to two conclusions...

  1. Sometimes our own laziness, procrastination and lack of discipline keep us from experiencing some of the things that we would like to enjoy and possess. So the question that I ask myself here is, when it comes right down to it and in light of my in-action, do I really want what I think I do?
  2. God in his wisdom provides for our needs but sometimes, well, make that seldom, will he grant all of our desires. Perhaps, this is because he knows me so well.

I have come to a place in my life where I can say with the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Not because I dislike my life, on the contrary, my wife, our children and my calling bring great joy to my life. However, these are nothing compared to what Christ has been preparing for me and you.
If I had riches, fame and much of what the world teaches us to value, I might not have that viewpoint - indeed, in the past, I didn't.
Today, I'm thankful to God for his "No's" in my life. He is faithful in wisdom, provision and love.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wanted or Tolerated?

I recently attended a conference during which one of the speakers made the statement that he had always felt tolerated and not wanted. I winced as I felt the stab of that reality pierce the hearts of many individuals around me - their sentiment escaping in quiet audible groans.

Seriously? In a church-related gathering why should anybody have to feel this way? Perhaps we have become so wrapped up in going to church - a good and necessary activity, that we have failed to be the church - reaching out in authentic relationship.

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. "

1 Thess 3:12 NIV

The Apostle Paul's ministry was a success because of the relationships he formed with individuals and subsequently churches. Notice the example of his, and his companion's love for the church.

When you shake hands with someone this Sunday, make a connection with them. Go beyond a simple greeting on a single day of the week. Touch someones life - you may be the conduit of love and acceptance that they need. Plus, the life that you may be enriching may be your own.