Monday, February 26, 2007

God is Faithful

The sermon last night got me to thinking. Bob encouraged us to know that God is faithful. There truly are passages throughout scripture that put this truth before us. It cannot be ignored!

The question that lingers in my mind is this: how faithful am I? If I am being transformed into the image of the invisible God, and if my character progresses towards that of God's more and more each day, how faithful am I?

Is "faithful" the word that people would use to describe the way that I am committed to my spouse? He is faithful. Would it describe the way that I raise my children? He is faithfully present with them, especially when he says he will be. Do people use "faithful" to describe how I edify the those around me? You can really count on Chris to edify others...that is just something he does. When temptation comes knocking in its various forms, can I say that I am "faithful" to stand up under it and resist temptation for the glory of our faithful God? He faithfully resists all temptation and points to God in the process. Can "faithful" encapsulate the nature of my business dealings, my taxes, my travel logs, my speedometer, and my friendships? Is "faithful" the word that is used to describe me?

This is a scary question. Most of the time, it is so because it confronts me with my unfaithfulness. I have a long way to go toward being completely faithful. So do all of us. Yet, it also encourages me toward perfect faithfulness. Because I desire to reflect God completely, I desire to be perfectly faithful. Therefore, I press on.

And you need to also! The implications of "God is faithful" abound. How are you living out God's faithfulness in your life today? What do you need to perfect in the realm of faithfulness? Be faithful as God is faithful.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Incarnational Ministry

Paul's admonition to the Corinthians challenges me in my ministry with college students: "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." (11:1)

Sitting in my office last Wednesday, it occurred to me that I spend WAY too little time with students outside of the Student Center. It is embarrassing that I don't know where many of our students live. It is not good that if I were to enter a student's apartment, dorm, or house that they would think, "Okay, what is he doing here?"

If I am to take the incarnation of Jesus seriously, I need to follow his example. Jesus came to us. Therefore, in imitating Jesus, I go to students. Why do we get in our mind that students need to come to the Student Center to change their lives? While that will certainly happen by the power of God, students really need Jesus (in us) to come to them.

I will slowly begin going to our students' instead of the other way around. How are you doing the same with others?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kayla's Light

We have a well-established routine each night before we go to bed. I cherish the opportunity I have each night to take Kayla through this routine. It is good bonding time with Kayla.

About two months ago, Kayla started doing something new that is really weird. I don't know why she does it or what got her doing it in the first place. As we come into her room (that has all the lights off) she stops at the little luminescent light we have in one of the plugs. She kisses it, then she gives it a hug. Sometimes she does this two times.

There are some nights that I just want to get one with it, so I try to hurry her up. We don't need to be doing this every time we come into the room. We finish our routine, get in bed, and go to sleep. See you tomorrow. That's it.

Tonight, I got to thinking about her quirky little light thing. It is like before she gets going into her dark room, she needs to take care of the light. She needs the light to see and responds appropriately...I guess this expression of love is appropriate behavior for a 2-year-old.

Our world is dark; that is the reality that we live in. In spite of this, we need to remember to love the light. While kissing it is hard, we remember to walk in the light as God is in the light. It is a good reminder to place the light in a prominent place in our life every single day. I close with 1 John 1:5-7:
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Satan Waits Again

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering." 1 Peter 5:8-9.
Satan is very sneaky in his vices. He tried to permanently blind me to the power of God in my storm. He took advantage of what I didn't know about my brothers and tempted me to react against the worst possible scenarios, as if these scenes were in fact going to happen. What a liar Satan is.

It would have worked had God (through his word) not been alive! As I cried out to God yesterday, he answered. Jesus stood and said, "Calm! Be still!" Then Satan fled. He waits for the next time.


I just made an observation about what precedes the passage I quoted above. 1 Peter 5:6-7 reads, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

I was letting my fear/anxiety run through my own reason, my own head, my own emotions. I didn't initially cast my anxiety on God. How foolish! That is what Satan was looking for in me. When I didn't give God my fear, Satan came running for the kill. He can use my fear when it is still with me. Once it is God's, Satan can't do anything.

Let us not act out of fear! Let us cast all our anxiety on God alone. Resist the urges of Satan.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Storm

This morning we have a 30 percent chance of rain for Huntsville. There is something about the rain that I love. It is calming. It is refreshing. It reminds me of God's word going out to accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which he sent it (Isa 55:9-11). That is exactly what happened this morning.

One of our daily readings was from Mark 4. Before getting into the text, I must say that more than rain has been around me. It is a storm! A storm of doubt, confusion, concern, questions, animosity, reflection, love, fear, wisdom, patience, jealousy, and much more surrounds me! You want to talk about emotions all over the place...the thunder is deafening! The storm clouds thicken all around me. And it came on so quickly. How did I find myself in such a place? I hardly have space enough to stay in the boat. Should I bail now? Where can I go? The waves are nearly swamping the boat.

So when I read this morning Mark 4:37, I understand. "A furious squall line came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped." I understand how the disciples could say something like, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" a verse later. I understand. I understand their doubt. I understand their fear. I understand their lack of faith. I'm there too!

But, Jesus doesn't stay there! Praise God! He is responsive. He is the one who acts. He is the one who has faith. He is what I need right now. It is Jesus. It is my, Lord! He stands up, rebukes the wind, and says to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!"

Quiet. Be still.

It is so simple. It is not complicated. Those are the words that I need spoken to my storm! Quiet! Be still!

Lord, stand and speak. Don't let this storm overtake me. Increase my faith that you will calm the storm. Squall lines don't last long, but your words do. Please come and speak. Amen!

Psalm 37:30-40

This mornings Psalm reading:
"The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.
The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.
The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives;
but the Lord will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,
but he soon passed away and was no more; thought I looked for him, he could not be found.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.
But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them because they take refuge in him."

Something I needed to hear.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Updates on Facebook

There was one student who was in the college group at University Church in Abilene that sent me a friend request on Facebook this evening. I just took a quick look at her ACU friends list to see if I knew anyone I could add to my friends list. After 45 minutes, I had reconnected with many old friends from ACU, found out what they were up to, and send a ton of other friend requests to people I want to reconnect with. In addition to this, I was able to pray for a friend and have him pray over me. What an amazing world we live in!

I feel refreshed and ready to worship our God tomorrow morning! He continues to show me his glory through the simplest things! Praise God for the moments he shows up.