Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Limits ... No Limits

I have an immense appetite for pecan pie, and I make a pretty good one.  I could probably eat two or three slices in one setting, if I chose to. 

But I have my limits.

The same goes for Krispy Kreme Donuts.  I grew up on those temptresses in Tennessee.  Any more, I have limits, and when and if I exceed those limits, I go into a tail spin with light headedness, the jitters and a sugar overload. 

I have limits.

I hate limits.  I hate … limits.

And the song echoes …

Redeeming love, a love that knows no limits
Redeeming love, a love that never dies.
My soul shall sing throughout the endless ages,
The adoration of this great love on high.

~God in the manger
~God as a baby
~God on a cross

Is there no limit to what God was willing to do to reach out to mankind?

The old way was ritual worship, animal sacrifice, bloodshed … form and rituals and rules to follow, and only a few had access to His presence in the Holy place. 

God removed the barriers.  In one act of redemptive love He began the reconciliation with mankind by coming to earth on man’s terms – by becoming a man and living life as we live it on earth. 

His love reached beyond the limits of humanity right to where we are today. 

The way is open.  We now have access to a relationship with God almighty that is both personal and redemptive.

Is there no limit as to what God is willing to do to reach you and me?

No limit indeed.

And as Gloria Gaither’s lyric says so well …

“And His love reached all the way to where I was (and where I am).”

Does God have limits?  Will He go to any length to be with us?

Yes, He will.  He will go to any length.
~He will get down into the gutter if He must.
~He will go into the hell-holes if He must.
~He will come to us in the most despicable places if He must just to reach us. 
~He will even come into our hospital room.
~He will visit our counselor’s offices.
~He will come to where we are, to abide with us, to comfort us, to redeem us and to love us.

He wants us to know there are no limits to where He is willing to go.

Oh … well … there is one limit.

He is limited by our rejection of Him. 

You see, He only comes into the places we vacate for Him.  If you hang out a “No Vacancy” sign, then He will honor that and not force His way in.

For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only
Son so that whoever believes
in Him and welcomes Him
shall have eternal life.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Burned Man

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics tells an amazing story that fits into the Christmas story in a beautiful way.

A man in town have been burned badly in a house fire and the burns had greatly disfigured his face.  He had been attempting to save his parents from the fire and failed.  He took this tragedy to mean that God was punishing him.  In time he became a recluse – allowing no one to see him, not even his wife.

The wife went to see Dr. Maltz, a plastic surgeon and asked for his help.  Before he let her finish, Dr. Maltz interrupted and said, “I can help.  I can restore his face.”

The woman sadly shook her head.  Her husband had repeatedly refused help from anyone, and she knew he would refuse again.

Instead, she said, “I want you to disfigure my face so I can be like him.  If I can see life as he sees it, and feel his pain, then perhaps he will let me back into his life.”

Dr. Maltz was both shocked and moved by this woman’s request.  Of course he denied her request, but asked instead if he could meet her husband.  They left immediately to go to the lady’s home.

He knocked on the door.  No answer. 

He knocked again, more loudly than before.  No answer.

He called out, “Sir, I am a plastic surgeon and I can restore your face.”

No answer. 

He pleaded, he begged, he talked loudly, he talked softly, yet the door remained closed.

In one final gesture, he said through the closed door, “Your wife wants me to disfigure her face to make her look like you in the hope that you will let her back into your life.  That’s how much she loves you.”

In a moment they heard the shuffling of feet, and a door latch was undone.  The doorknob began to turn.  And the man let her in.  Into his space, his room and his heart.

That is God standing on the outside of our door.  He has such great love and compassion for us, and He so wants us to come to him, that he was willing to look like us.  He took on the trappings of mankind.  He came to our feeding bins, he put on thin and crude strips of clothing, and he inhaled the smells of our world, just so he could be with us. 

He worked in our work places like the carpentry shop, he went to the seedy side of life and made friends with prostitutes, tax collectors and fishermen.  He even visited cemeteries. 

He went to the low places, the scruffy places, the murky places in our world because he wanted to be with us so much.

That is how He demonstrated His immense love and desire to be with the ones he loves.

The doorknob is in our hands.  Will we open the door to Him?

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, December 10, 2016

When Light Comes

I stubbed my toe the other morning.  It was early, the house was dark, the sun had not risen and I had no light by which to see.

I stubbed my toe.

What have you tripped over lately?  You know, light is a good thing.  A person can see a lot in proper light.

The season of lights is here.  The trees are out.  The lights are being turned on.  The music acts as a processional as we are ushered into this marvelous season called Christmas. 

Will we see more clearly because of all of this?  Will the dark paths be made bright with all this added light? 

There was a man whose very life gave light to the world.  He was born over two thousand years ago, and we have had a smattering of His light ever since. 

The ancient scriptures put it this way: 

“All that came to be had life in Him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness
could not overpower.”

I especially like that last part - a light that darkness could not overpower.

Take heart – the Light of Jesus, the Son of God, is a light that cannot be put away, hidden, or snuffed out.  It is more powerful than anything else.  Does that encourage you?  Yes, it should.

Sometimes we feel so powerless.  We wonder if the age of enlightenment is nothing more than a figment of our imaginations. 

And then we read this … “That life was the light of mankind.”

The Light of Mankind!  No restrictions, no one left out – It includes all mankind.

In His light, we see His glory, His radiance, His brilliance.

And then we will have a light on our pathway so we can see the way. 

I say we need more light.  And I think it is supposed to shine through my life … and yours.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time