Tuesday, October 10, 2017

 10 Oct 2017

As a veteran I choose to stand for our national anthem. If you, for whatever reason, choose to sit or kneel that is your choice and it is fine with me. Whether we stand or sit or kneel has no eternal significance; how we disagree with one other does. This is classic divide and conquer strategy and the constant bickering-retreating into our tribal trenches and lobbing artillery shells at one another-has led to a disconnectedness that is the antithesis of everything Jesus said and taught. It is the great moral crisis of our time, a collective dark night of the soul.

We are lights-the light of the world. Connected we will shine with a brilliance that will dispel this present darkness. We are light. You are light. Be the light. Be the Kingdom. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 2 2017

The other day a friend told me a story about a woman he knows who seemed unusually depressed. When my friend pressed her for a reason, it turned out she was upset because the world did not end on September 23. Biblical prophecy has always been a popular subject; human  nature consistently seeks to alleviate the uncertainty of not knowing the future and there will always be those eager to profit by leading the faithful astray. Scripture, however, is very clear-no one, not even our Lord Himself, knows when the the end will come (Mt.24:36)-which might cause some of you to rethink your understanding of the relationship between Father and Son.

Scripture is also clear that the Lord is not slow in coming but patient, not desiring that any should be lost (2 Pe.3:9); it is this second point that I would briefly address. I am afraid many today are not patient, who do not care if any are lost. In fact, it seems many today are more concerned with judgement than mercy; many who claim salvation by grace through faith for themselves but would deny that same grace to anyone with whom they disagree. Those among us who want to hasten the Lord's coming may want to spend less time chasing after false prophets (Mt.24:11) and more time leading lives of holiness and Godliness, hastening the Lord's coming (2 Pe.3:11-12).

I believe this desire to prematurely end the world is one of many indications that there is a lot of questionable theology out there today. While I am certainly not saying theology has no value, I am saying any attempt to wrap God up into a nice tight package in order to better understand Him is going to fall short. God is simply too big, to mysterious. Any attempt to figure Him out runs the risk of making Him in our image, no matter how well educated we are. We can, however, know God-we can know Him by knowing Him the same way we know our spouse or our children or anyone else with whom we have any kind of loving relationship. We can know God by simply spending time in His presence sharing our thoughts, our concerns, our joys, our frustrations. God is just as interested in our failed dinner attempts as He is in our most noble intercessory prayers; I do not believe He hides His eyes when we dance around the kitchen to some old rock and roll song any more than He does when we teach a Bible class or lead a small group.

We exclude God in the little, day to day stuff of our lives to our great peril; I am convinced there are times-lots of times-when God is perfectly content just to be with us; just to hang out together. Don't get me wrong; prayer and Bible study and worship and the other disciplines are important but only to the extent that they allow us to know God on a personal level. And make no mistake-knowing God on a personal level is both possible and highly desirable. I don't understand how this works but I don't need to either. I do know this- if you bring God into the little things in your life you will be better for it.

Peace. JRG