“In such a fearful world, we need a fearless church to bear fruit.” C.S. Lewis
On a recent hike through a tropical rain forest, my wife and I encountered many beautiful vistas toward the mountains and toward the ocean. They were gorgeous.
On one particular hike, though, as we came back up the same trail toward our vehicle, we saw this pineapple plant. It was there all the time.
Now, we could have drawn the conclusion that there were no fruit trees on our hike; and, we would have been wrong.
We only saw the pineapple because we viewed the trail from a different perspective, coming up rather than going down the trail.
Do your best to gather all the facts you can, which may mean listening to another perspective, before taking a step of faith in following Jesus.
You can only make a decision with the information you have at the moment. But, be prepared to modify your course, if Jesus allows you to “see” new information.
This doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you a follower. As long as you stay in and with the Word of God, Jesus, you’ll get better at seeing the truth He wants you to become.
And as you do, this brings fruit.
“We live in a world crushed, broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem.” Elisabeth Elliot
It’s been said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It took a broken Peter, weeping bitterly, to return with greater power than ever.”
It isn’t until we realize that we’re broken that we’ll turn to Jesus to make us whole again or saved. He died and rose again, not our best broken choices, to make that happen.
It isn’t until we realize that we’re broken that we’ll ask the Spirit to use us, like He does broken soil to produce a character crop that others can enjoy.
Someone wrote, “My broken experience is not who I am. It’s all just a reminder of how far I’ve come from where I used to be.”
Our Father will complete the job of fixing our brokenness.
Until then, rather than focus on our repeated cycle of dumb choices, focus instead on the One who loves and can use us despite our brokenness.
Your brokenness or His love and strength? Focus is everything!
“A god who lets us prove his existence would be an idol.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Many Jesus followers’ challenges are self-induced because they have a picture of God that doesn’t line up with what God revealed about Himself.
The phrase, “This is what this passage means to me” can lead the reader to see God as they want to see Him, but not as He really is.
This can leave many of His children doubting and questioning Him at best and in deep trouble at worst. God will not respond as we think He should. He will only act consistently with Who He said He is.
Therefore, we must ask the Spirit to show us what He meant when He wrote what He wrote in revealing who God is. And if our views of God need to change, so be it! It saves us from making mistakes that He’ll have to clean up later.
Who is your God? Is not really the question. Who does God say He is? Is a much better avenue to pursue if we want to experience all that He has for us as His children.
May you know and by faith experience all that God has for you in the coming year.
“Saving us is the greatest and most concrete demonstration of God’s love, the definitive display of His grace throughout time and eternity.” David Jeremiah
Jesus didn’t decide to be born in Bethlehem the moment Adam and Eve messed up.
No, it was long before that point in history. Scripture states that before God ever laid the foundations of the earth, Jesus knew He was coming.
Let that sink in for a moment. Before you ever made a decision to turn away from Him, He turned to you. Before you ever chose to stop loving Him, He loved you.
What mistakes/sins did you make yesterday and will make today that He doesn’t already know about?
He came in a cave to die on a roadway to leave another cave to redeem you!
Rather than wasting time beating yourself up, use it to praise Him for who He is and what He’s done – despite knowing what you would do; and then, return His love by following Him in the moment.
Have a Great Christmas!
“To trust God in the light is nothing. To trust God in the dark is faith.” Charles Spurgeon
“When Helen Keller was nominated for the Nobel Prize, she was asked who had the greatest impact on her life and she said, ‘Annie Sullivan.’
“But Annie said, ‘No Helen. The woman who had the greatest influence on both our lives was a floor maid at the Tewksbury Institute.’”
It was the floor maid who reached out to Annie Sullivan, then housed in a cell at the Institute. No one knew what to do with her as she was quite violent at the time.
What Annie was, was an angry woman who was alone.
The floor maid reached out to Annie through act of kindness – a plate of homemade brownies pushed through her cell door.
From that act, a friendship was born that paved the way for the Staff to discover that Annie was almost blind. They eventually got her help. From there, she mentored Helen Keller.
We don’t know the name of the maid, but she left an indelible impression on the world through brownies.
People need Jesus. And it all can start with a smile, a kind word or an action. Let your light shine. The world can be a pretty dark place.