When I think of all our loving, merciful God has done for me, my attempts to thank and praise him seem so insufficient. Every good I have comes from him, be it physical or spiritual. Even when times aren’t so good, I know he is right there with me. He knows what I’m going through and he cares. How can all the thanks in the world be enough! Then I remember it’s okay, I may be limited now, but I’ll have all eternity to thank and to praise and to worship him!
The Perfect Human
Speaking of our perfect human, Jesus also kept all the Ten Commandments, perfectly, fulfilling them for us. He called them good. But, when God gave the Ten to Israel, to help them navigate through life as his chosen people, the devil saw his chance. He used the commandments not as a bridge to righteous living but as a block to the grace of God. Remember the Pharisees who kept all the commandments, plus a lot of addons, yet were described by Christ in very uncomplimentary terms as abject sinners. The devil is still using them in the same way today. He sets the Commandments up as the ideal standard for Christian life. You can keep all Ten and feel pretty good about yourself, not realizing your absolute dependence on Christ. Our Ten Commandment righteousness is not enough. To fulfill Christ’s standard of righteousness we need his marvelous gift of grace.
Our Perfect Human
He was perfect and he was God, and yet he made himself flesh. He now knew in the most personal way what it felt like to be a man. When the Scriptures point out he was tempted in every way, they mean every way a person could be tempted. To name a few, check out Colossians 3 (NIV): “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry…anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language…Do not lie to each other.” Then add the seven deadly sins (some overlap): pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. Read those again. Any look familiar to you, maybe a little too familiar? They do to me. Aren’t we thankful every time even one of these temptations entered his mind, he thought of you and me and turned away from sin.
In His Hands
She fought hard, but now her months-long struggle with cancer is over. No more painful needles, no more radiation, no more sickening chemo sessions, no more surgery. She was my niece. In our phone calls, she was open about what she experienced and we would weep together. She continually asked for prayers and so many prayed for her. She was too young to go, but as we know, cancer doesn’t discriminate. Dear Lord, our Judith is now at peace. Please comfort all those she has left behind.
Kings and Priests, Really!
Do you feel overwhelmed when you read all the places in the Scriptures proclaiming we as the children of God will be kings and priests in God’s Kingdom? I realize the Bible writers sometimes write poetically, often using metaphors to portray the glories of what God has in store for his children. But, kings and priests, really! Hard to imagine that scenario. I have to agree with C.S. Lewis when he said we humans in our search for pleasure expect way too little in the way of happiness than what God has in store.
Worshiping God Best
How do you worship God best? I heard a musician say he worshiped God best when he was playing worship songs. That made me think that my writings are worshiping God too. And I believe my artwork worships God as well. God gives us talents to worship him, but really whatever we do in his name worships him. Our service to others, including our own family, is a worship of God. Our lives, living righteously through Christ, worship him, whether working at home or outside the home. Wherever we go when we reflect our Savior to others, that’s worshiping him.
Snowflakes and Us
It’s snowing! Though snow is not welcome everywhere, watching snowflakes fall is a treat here in Texas. No two snowflakes are alike, said Wilson Bentley, the man who studied snowflakes. Each snowflake you see is a unique design and when it melts, that design is gone forever. Thinking about that makes me a little sad, but then I remember our Creator has an endless store of designs. Each one of us is uniquely designed. No one past, present or future will be like you or me. But when we are gone, one thing for certain is, unlike snowflakes, our personal model was designed to live forever!
Do Not Fear!
Hundreds of times throughout the Scriptures people are encouraged not to be afraid. Jesus often said, Do not be afraid. Angels are reported to say the same. (If I were approached by an angel, I would be a little shaky too!) At times in my life I have been fearless. You can probably guess about what age that was! But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned bad things can happen to all of us. We have reason to be afraid; the world we live in is a mess. Yet Jesus says, Do not be afraid. Our comfort is in the knowledge he will never leave us alone. No matter what this life throws at us, he is right there at our side. Thank you, Lord!
My daughter ordered one bunch of organic bananas on her online grocery takeout. When she unloaded her bags she found only one banana! So next time she ordered three bananas. You guessed it, she received three large bunches of bananas! We laughed about it, although now we’re trying to give away dozens of bananas before they go bad. There’s only so much banana bread one can make or eat. I love living in Texas!
A Matter of Faith
He healed the sick, walked on water, turned water into wine and calmed stormy seas. His disciples watched in awe at the miracles Jesus performed. It’s no wonder they asked him to increase their faith. Don’t we all need more faith! But how? The disciples knew. They went to the source. They went to the same person we must all look to for the faith we lack. We should know by now faith can’t be worked up on our own. More prayer and Bible study, even fasting won’t do it. The faith we require is through our close relationship with our Savior through the Holy Spirit.