A Resolution

Resolutions to change usually die on January 2. Well this is February 6.

A resolution is not a state of mind, where by we make some empty pledge to become something. In that case, a resolution is no more than the job description of a hypocrite.

A resolution is a commitment to a higher state of mind than we could possibly own. It’s a mind of a hero. It’s the mind of someone vastly greater than we.

Remember when you decided to follow Jesus. Remember the mind you had; a determination to make change by building a foundation with the shovel he gave you. You believed his pledge to guide your every move. So can you tell yourself what happened? Do you know where you laid that shovel? Are you willing to go get it and pick it up again?

No foundation is built in a day. Every foundation is built one shovel load at a time. Resolve to retrieve the shovel. Resolve to walk back to the line he drew for you. Resolve to dig. Resolve toward calluses (on your hands and kneecaps).

Our goal is not the peak of the roof. It’s simply the next shovel load.

I don’t care what happened to you. I don’t care how old you are. I can’t care how long you will live here in this world. But we can care that he receives what is rightfully his.

Resolve to be resolved.

To the Wilderness With You

I spent the first 43 years of my life burning up my days with my own understanding.  Even when I read the gospel, prayed, and try to live it, there was still my own understanding guiding my thoughts.  I had to come to a terrible end before I could relinquish my control.

Did it need to take that long?  The answer is simple: he’s not finished with yet.  Who have I become?  Who will he yet cause me to be?

In light of this I have advice for every man and woman.  Strike out.  Pack what you think is necessary and follow after Jesus.  My journey began somewhere.  So must yours.

The Sending

Take your eyes off the things that are broken.  For to ponder these things is sadness without repair. 

Let your ears forget the noise of the crash.  Let your eyes cease to remember the shattered pieces on the floor.

The Fullness of Life stands at the door.  Turn to see how He watches you. 

Send your ears away that they may listen to His words.  Forgive them their duty as your servants.  Let them go and learn, so that when they return they will give you knowledge.

Send your eyes away.  Let them go and see the things the Living God has in His hand.  When they return to you they will not squint at the brilliance of light.  The shadows will no longer be an attraction.

Do not shrink back but become!

Endless Majesty

I could hold a straight pin in my fingers on one day.  For a moment, I could describe what I perceive.  It is an object for specific use, and has certain provable dimensions.  Then, I could hold that same pin on some other day.  With the Majesty of God within me, I could perceive an entirely different description of that same pin.

Endless is the Majesty of the Living God.  To say His beauty is rich in variation is to speak like a little child; not understanding the fullness of those words.  But here is what He provokes His servant to say this morning.

Will any man or woman dare to say they have understood all things?  Will the sum of your own religion (understanding the meaning of the word, religion) be the true sum of what God is willing to give?  Will “you” be satisfied with such a trivial basket of truth?

Do we perceive that God is endlessly Majestic?  Or do we gladly keep what we have, without desiring what is More?  Will we ignorantly restrict the Living God’s testimony to a world that knows absolutely nothing about the Sovereign One?  How can that be proper.

Yesterday morning, I was considering the saying, “What would Jesus do”.  I could not give that saying the same quality of respect that others have done.  For I perceived it to be more incomplete than true or useful.  A man might perceive that saying as if it were a guess from the history available.  If that is what the saying comes to mean to a man, he will live his “life” with such restraint as to be a useless life.

God IS.  He is not the history of being.  He is the current moment.  He is all moments to come.  And, in the history of moments, He is so richly dispersed with Glory that no one can live long enough to decipher His fullness.  Even with written record of history in the man’s hands.

Is the Majesty of God, that which He holds out to us all, truly summed up in what we have become?  Or is He willing and desirous that we should become something astounding here.  Will we wait for the promised dawn of transformation?  Or are we willing to take what can BE today?

It Shouldn’t Be that Hard

Wishes are empty and useless.  Imagination is only imagination.  Desire is only desire; if retained as if “Life” desire is useless.

The dishes don’t clean themselves.  The bed does not remake itself.  The broken down car will not repair itself.

Things that are broken, things that are in deterioration, things that are not complete, will not fix or complete themselves.

We may stand still for a moment, wishing things would become useful again.  But they only deteriorate all the more.  It takes action.  It takes determination.  It takes a moment of diligence to repair what is lacking.

If we clean three dishes, the remainder is still dirty.  If we straighten one side of the bed, the other side remains unkempt.  If we wipe a tire clean, the rest of the car remains broken down.  Don’t we all know these things?

How is it then that we don’t apply this to the things of the Living God?  How is it then, that the desire of Jesus, God’s Holy Christ, lacks bounty among His people?

We wish God would intervene.  We wish and imagine that God has caused us to perceive holiness.  And don’t the masses fool themselves because they think that wishing and imagination has done the trick?  Isn’t this why religion is so very empty of the power of God?  Isn’t this why Christians, and the entire world, lacks the vibrant witness of holiness?

We apply diligent behavior to the things we need.  It is because we need them, that is why we work so hard.  Do we think we don’t need the full power of God?

I have witnessed the power of God in the holy Apostles.  I read what they wrote concerning all this.  I have even witnessed the sin that is working so constantly within me.  And I am compelled to believe their testimony.  But what if I leave “becoming” to the whims of wishes and imagination?  I will never “become” the desire of my God.

A man says a quick prayer at the start and end of his day.  Is that enough?  Where is the diligence we witness in those who have overcome?  Do we really think our garden grows so healthily because we offered it a single cup of water?  Can we rightfully expect an abundant harvest?

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?

Why do you say, Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord;

my cause is disregarded by my God”?

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.”  (Isaiah 40)

Diligence!  Continuance!  Determined and purposeful application.  Continual prayer.  Continual remembering of the Holy Word, as we have heard it.  These things will produce what is holy within us.

But wishing, imagination, slothfulness and spiritual sleep, these produce the weeds of sin that lay waiting for a chance to sprout.  Sin is diligent, isn’t it?  Look how it patiently waits just outside our door, desiring to have us.  What good will we own when we appear before Him if that is all we allow ourselves to desire here?

Let the sleepy one (the one who allows his soul to sleep) turn on the TV.  Let the lazy desire pleasure.  Let the desire of Christ burn within, and the things of Christ begin to appear.  Let prayer take the place of pleasure.  Let the reading of His Holy Word replace television.  Let the thoughts of remembrance fill us; let us remember His Holy teachings.  The diligent prosper in the things of God.  The others struggle about.  So it is.  So, it can’t be any different.

He who does what is righteous, this one becomes righteous.  Death leads to death.  Why would we believe anything other?  Life from God’s Holy Christ leads to Life.  Either remain in death, or get with the program.