Why Such Choices?


Why does someone say there is no God? Why does someone believe they cannot be saved, even though the testimony of the Gospel says otherwise?

Why does someone continue to trust their own strength, even though they have seen themselves fail miserably time after time, and have no hope that that will change? Instead of looking up to God and asking for help, in everything, they resign themselves to failure.  


Scarred through and through, they continue to lead a helpless and hopeless life.  


Why?


I don’t have a PhD in psychology. I don’t even have a Masters of anything. But I’m going to take a stab at the answer with one word, and I am absolutely sure I’m right.  


PRIDE 

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Never Give Up


The ingenuity of Man is astounding.      

If he wants something bad enough, he’ll find a way to make it happen.  


Look at every creature, see how it struggles to survive. Catch a fish, watch it thrash about trying to get back to the water. Even the most evil man wants to live.  


And when someone stumbles on the Gospel. Like the fish, they want the water of life. They will do everything they can to get into that life-giving environment. What happens if they can’t? Do they just lay there and die?


Some people do. They try to live on the floor of the boat. That’s simply not gonna turn out well.  


But look at the fish. He will thrash about until he can’t thrash anymore. Anyone would say of the fish, “he wanted to live”. Shouldn’t we take a lesson from all of this?


On the day we stand before God, will he say of us, “This one wanted to live”.   


Regardless your ability, Christ is the living water. Never give up.

Murdering Hope


Two things will kill a man.

One is to ignore the righteous demands of life.  The other is to fail to look deeply into the gospel of Christ.

The first will cause untold hardship in this life.  Regret and a misshapen identity will haunt everyday you live in this world.  You will live all your days as if a walking deadman.  In the end, you will despise the man you have been.

The second will do the same thing for eternity.

Cut to the Chase


When you go to church on Sunday morning, will you be prepared?  Or will you go with only a partial clue as to why you’re there?

Wishing is useless.  But I wish that in my forties I had known what I know now.  I had all the right knowledge.  I said all the right things.  And everybody thought I really understood.

So no one took me aside, that they might mentor me.  No one challenged my life.  No one asked me to prove the things I was saying.  So I fell flat on my face and squandered a beautiful gift from God.

I will not blame anyone.  They couldn’t possibly have known how shallow my faith really was.  And frankly, out of the hundreds of people I knew, only two had the things I have now.

When you go to church on Sunday, will you be prepared?  Will you go there to worship the Most High God with everything you have?  Or will you worship him with everything he is willing to give?

There is a statement I wish someone had said to me.  “When you worship the Lord, try to percieve the first worship session in heaven.  Then worship the Lord as if you were not here.”

We are so caught up in the things of this world.  We are so caught up in the things called “Church”.  Mistakenly, we think that if we have banded together with men in the name of Jesus, we have fulfilled a proper worship of the Most High God.

There is so much more I could say about this.  But I’ll bet you have many things to say in regard to this also.  And I have learned that it is so much better when we understand these things personally. 

But I will give this a shove in the proper direction.  What we are looking for is the full power of God in a Christian.  Not just the proper words, knowledge, or timely arrival in the proper place

It might be good to ask someone you can trust, to sit you down and grill you about Christianity.  Submit to all their questioning.  Let them either prove what you really have, or show you plainly what you lack.

It doesn’t matter to me how you respond to these things.  Who am I to order anyone around.  But what you stand to lose is a pittance.  There is no profit at all in being incomplete.  What you stand to gain is immeasurable.  What fully profitable things might be accomplished if you fully belong to God?

You could be like me, and wait until you’re 60 to get a partial clue.  Assuming God will be merciful and let you live that long.  Or you could just cut to the chase today.  What could you be in Christ if you gave everything you had to find out?

I thought it might be good to add the following.  Instead of looking for only one man to grill you about your Christian life, perhaps you want to look for a team of three. 

And who knows, in the process of questioning the three may be grilling themselves.  Certainly a profitable circumstance for all.

Humility is the target.  Profitability to Jesus is the cash flow.

By His Grace

Midnight’s Holy Voyager


I took a ride on the floating vessel.  Yet not my body but my mind.

The ticket to ride was not purchased by any thing I owned.  It was given to me by reason of things that are true.  To whom does the truth belong?

I did not board from a dock made by man’s hands.  But I was transported by holy understanding to the deck of a holy ship.

In the light of a holy night, I was bid to look out across the waves.  The movement of which was like three foot swells.

The color of the water was similar to a silt filled pond.  And from the water came a murmuring, like the sound of many men speaking.

A splashing could be heard to my left.  It was like the sound of a man swimming frantically.

An amazing sight gripped me as I looked to see.  Holy hands were working on a portion of the sea!

In a moment the water was formed into the top of a man’s head.  Little by little the torso appeared.

Then with a touch of a finger, the forming aqua man began to glow.  His appearance became like that of water flesh.

Again and again the splashing occurred around the ship.  At random places an aqua man would appear.

I turned to the one who had picked me to come.  I asked.  “What is happening here?”  He pointed to the starboard side saying, “Watch these two”. 

Side by side two heads were forming.  But when the torso had appeared, one continued to form while the other remained only half.

I saw that the one who finished forming was changing in appearance.  From the top of his head toward his feet the color of the Caribbean Sea replaced the color of man’s fleshly tone.  The stilt of the place from which he was formed was abating back down into the sea.

There was a current in his body which drove the stilt to his feet.  And I saw small frothing at his soles which pulled the stilt back to the sea. 

Soon he stood with a radiant face, praising God for pulling him from the sea.  And he began to walk about in full praise of God showing himself to all the waves.

In his walking he became distant from the ship.  But I distinctly watched him evaporate into a beautiful white cloud of brilliance.

I watched the white cloud rise in the moonlight.  Then with a flash of lightning, he let go his water and ascended with great glory.

My companion tapped me on the shoulder.  “Watch now what becomes of the other.”

I looked back to the sea.  There the other was.  He remained half formed.

On his face was evident tumultuous pain.  It was an unhappy countenance, so vastly different from the joy of the other.

There was a frothing at his base.  Within the space of but a little while,  the half formed aqua man was pulled back to the sea.  In a very short time he was no more.

I marveled at the stillness of the water where he had been.  The difference between the two was an obvious and painful knowledge.

My arms had been resting on the railing as I watched all these things.  In astonishment I laid my head in my hands.  My companion allowed me some time to think.

Then he gently put his arm around my shoulders.  ‘Do you understand what you have seen?”  He whispered in a loving tone.

There were tears forming in my eyes as understanding came to me.  “Yes my lord.”  I said.  “I think I do.”

The tears in my eyes were like those of a chameleon.  One eye was watered with joy.  The other was soaked with sorrow.  One eye was held on the place of great glory.  The other transfixed on demise. 

And shall I mention the eyes of my soul?  Those eyes that cannot lie.  With the compulsion of truth, my soul’s eyes saw my own failure.

Perceiving my turmoil, my companion urged me to look about.  And in various places I saw the great creation taking place.  Some would rise to glory, most would fade to oblivion.

I turned to my companion and asked him, “What makes the difference, my Lord?”  His reply was but three words.  Yet they spoke volumes to my soul.  “Agreement or greed”, was all he spoke.

The next moment I found myself in the special place of prayer.  That holy understanding, only a distant frothing of waves.  But the affect is a useful deluge.  As I consider my service to God.

By His Grace

It’s Still “Today”


They say, “You are only human”.  As if that saying is some consolation.  As if those words remove the spawn of failure called grief.  We have stabbed ourselves through the heart, what can repair such a fatal wound?

In truth they are trying to show mercy.  But it is for the sake of His Mercy that grief has come.  For this reason “being human” is no consolation at all. 

He has loved us with the most inexpressible love.  And the greatest of our good intentions fall flat, like untuned strings on a well made violin, we have no song to sing.  It is impossible for words alone to give us consolation.  We find ourselves in desperate need of what this world cannot deliver.

But doesn’t He come to us very quickly?  Doesn’t he support our slumping frame?  Doesn’t he urge us to continue regardless our shame?

“This is but today my son.  The entirety of your life has not arrived.  I do not give as the world gives.  Let Me be God.  Let Me judge what is true.”  And so, in a variety of form, the Lord speaks lovingly to his children.

Our faith finds no help from being human.  Our faith finds no help in the consolation from men.  Our faith was forged in the bloody beating of the Holy Lord Jesus.  The raging fires of hell only perfected perfection.  Our consolation is delivered with a Holy kiss from life itself.

Christianity is not a religion.  It is an indescribably beautiful relationship with the Holy and Righteous Son of the Living God.  This is why the peace we have cannot be disturbed or even encouraged by man.

GLORY IS HIS ALONE!

By His Grace