Archive for February, 2016
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
As followers of Christ, we are keenly aware that we are but a vessel for the true treasure that lies within — “the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (v.6). It is in the frailty, weakness, and brokenness of this earthly body that the power of God is able to shine forth. While those watching might think that we are pushing through by our own power, we know the real story. It is a story we must not only treasure, but share.
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:…” (Revelation 3:14).
The Almighty, The Most High, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings are but a sampling of the usual titles associated with the resurrected Christ. That he is also The Amen is particularly significant. It is a reminder that not only is the word “Amen” an appropriate conclusion to our prayers and an acknowledgement of our confidence in the faithfulness of God, but it is also a proclamation that our prayer is through the One who is Himself the Amen.
“Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16).
While I appreciate the wisdom of the words attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words,” and the importance of living what we profess; it is an incomplete witness of our faith. To simply live our faith and never speak of it says too much about us and too little of the gospel. Living it and telling it are inextricably bound together. Each day brings Divine appointments to speak of God’s faithfulness.
“The naïve believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps” (Proverbs 14:15).
When you get where you’re going, where will you be when you get there? Do you have a plan? Goals? What deliberate, proactive steps are you taking to see them accomplished? Each day presents choices and decisions that either move us toward our goals or detract from them. To consider your steps is to give weight to the consequence of any action. We cannot naively meander through the day thinking that things just happen.
“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
From the covenant promises to Abraham to the promises made to us as believers today, Jesus is the consummation and final affirmation to all the promises of God found in scripture. In him, all things have their fulfillment (Luke 24:44). He is our “Amen” in an “Oh my” world.
“Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10).
To the inquiry, “Why doesn’t God do something?” or “Why doesn’t the church do something?” one need look no further than the mirror. Just as God spoke through a burning bush to enlighten Moses to the plight of his people, it is the Holy Spirit burning in our heart and conscience that awakens us each day to the hurt around us and the opportunities to be God’s redeeming presence. God’s purposes and presence are best realized not in sanctuaries, but in the crossroads of brokenness. It is here that our deep personal faith becomes deeply interpersonal. God’s response to the human equation is to send in his people, mobilized and adequately equipped to be his presence.
“Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them” (Exodus 3:9).
When in the midst of tribulation and enslaved by circumstances, our sense is that God is no where to be found; that he is distant, aloof, or inattentive. The verbs within this passage, however, depict God in another light; that he has seen, given heed; that he is aware, and has come down to deliver them up (v.7-8). In such seasons, we must remain in the story long enough to see and experience the unexpected way and timing of God’s deliverance.
“‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:6).
To be reminded of our connection to a rich, personal, and familial heritage of faith can be daunting; even frightening. We don’t want to be the one to mess it up. Being part of such a rich legacy should actually encourage and sustain us through the most trying of days. Knowing the testimony of God’s faithfulness in the past assures his faithfulness for our present tense struggles. It is our endurance today that bears testimony of God’s faithfulness for the generations after us.
“So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up’” (Exodus 3:3).
When God is revealing and making himself known, it is a presence that astounds and creates curiosity. I’m convinced that this insatiable desire to know more and more is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a growing and mature faith. Such curiosity is the path of experiencing, understanding, and persevering. Looking is paramount to arriving.