Thursday, July 31, 2008
There are times when we do know what God's purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends upon us, not upon God. We need to learn to thank God for making known His demands. (from Oswald Chambers)
The vision that God sends us changes over time as well. It's not the same now that it was, say, thirty years ago. Those were the days of optimism and stamina. It seems now that that was sort of self-centered. As I look back though, I can see that the good Lord had everything in mind correctly and the blessings that have worked themselves into my life have been His alone to give. Nothing for me to get. Seeking first His Kingdom doesn't mean looking to set up a great place to live here on this old earth. Too many people are working too hard on that end of things and they never seem to see that it is all in vain. God's purpose and timing are set. We thrash around trying to change His immutability, but I suspect that at most, He's simply amused.
Isa 55:8, 9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
Gosh, I wish folks could understand that, and enjoy the security it brings. It surely doesn't mean do nothing. But I'm sure it does mean work hard at that which the Lord God has set within you. How much fun it is to His Holy Hand clearing the path.
When Jeanie and I were taking folks to Israel, I sometimes thought, "What would it have been like to live in Bible times?" Read the paper, listen to the news. We ARE living in Bible times! More later.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, chapter 4, verse 9, God inspired Moses to write: " Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."
It seems to me that a lot of parents these days have forgotten that Godly advice. Which part? Well, both parts, I suspect.
Today, I am struck by the "be careful" and "watch yourselves closely" parts because it seems that I have been driving out to the doctor's offices and sitting around there more than I'd like. No, I'm not particularly sick nor saddled with some horrid disease, but I am beginning to be concerned about how much of my grandchildren's lives I'll see. They say it's never to late to change a bad habit. They also say, "You won't live forever!" Here then is the dilemma. Change a bad habit and live less well a few more years, or continue in moderation and enjoy life to the fullest measure that God allows. Of course there's no simple answer. Motivation is the key.
Four grandkids, wonderful children and a loving wife encourage one to hang in there and not grow old. I have decided that my brain is the only part of me that I can readily keep in an immature state. Oh, I know, people will complain when I don't stand aside and let the anointed youth race by with their iPodded ears and bloodied thumbs. I have decided to demand what's coming to me with three-score and ten.
The problem is, I've already got it. More than I could wish for.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This morning I went to the eye doctor. My visit was paid for, in part, by my secondary insurance policy, courtesy of Delta Airlines (I avoided crashing for more than twenty years).
It was a good experience. Not only is my vision improving, but my eyeballs seems healthy and therefore, according to what I understand, other parts of me may be healthy also. Did you know that during this routine exam, the doctor can see blood circulation in the retinal area and tell something about one's circulatory health and by inference, the condition of other parts of your body? Sure beats sticking something into you (in various indiscreet orifices). An added bonus, the Doctor doesn't have to take off his wristwatch!
What a difference between my exam this morning and the one I endured several weeks ago at a new (in more ways than one) dentist. There, I spent the greater part of an hour's time listening to his office manager declare that my insurance will pay for almost NONE of the care I need. Actually, I had made an appointment for a simple cleaning and exam. Spreading the fear of God in my heart, she let me know that $1500.00 would solve the insurance shortfall. You know what? I got a second opinion! Have you ever gotten a second opinion from a dentist? Well maybe you'll start after age sixty-five, when your insurable human mouth changes into a cash cow.
Now for today's Spiritual input…
"A merry heart does good, like a medicine…" Proverbs 17:22
and you don't need a reimbursement form.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Way back in the second half of the last century, when I encountered the claim of Christ upon my life and received Him as Savior, there was this song.
"Seek ye first" was the title. It was taken from the Gopel of Matthew, chapter six, verse thirty-three. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Karen Lafferty had set it to music in the heady days of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa CA. God's Spirit was a real presence there and in the lives of many who came to know Him under the teaching of Chuck Smith.
The verse is straight-forward and understandable, the tune is simple and memorable, the effect is wonderful. For all of these past thirty some-odd years (and some were), the tune has resonated in my mind bringing the Scriptures very close. A verse for my life, if you will.
I have sought to seek His Kingdom in the many things I've done. Husband, parent, teacher, pastor and friend, keeping my search in mind. Explaining too, as best I could, the meaning of the words. Even proving - by by pointing to "these things".
But the righteousness?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The last several days have been hard for me. I started a new journey through a daily Bible read-through and the subject of most days has been "Have you done God's bidding?". When a day's reading starts in Nehemiah, rebuilding the wall, you know you'd best get busy!
I have been either disobedient or woefully naive. Probably both. The full realization of this is beginning to make it's way into every morning's prayer and Bible study time. Nehemiah obeyed God at a time when things looked as if they were beyond Divine intervention. God didn't make it easy, but He did make it smooth. The pieces and people all fell into place once Nehemiah's passion was mixed with obedience.
Is this something I should pay more attention to? Passion and obedience - together? No thought for consequences? Results, if any, in God's careful timing?
The apostle Paul said to King Agrippa in Acts 26:19"… I was not disobedient to the heavenly visions."
Have I been…?