Thursday, August 31, 2017

Questions For God

Sometimes, in the blurriness of life, we need reassurance from God.  Perhaps you have wanted to ask God one of these questions.

So, my first question … How rich are
I own the cattle on a thousand hills. 
I am paving the streets of Heaven with gold.
I am setting the gates of Heaven in pearl.

Do you know I even exist?
Yes, I do.  I’ve watched you from conception.  Remember this … “I have called you by name.  You are mine.”  You’ll find that in Isaiah 43:1.

Do you care about our world?
I do indeed.  In John 3:16 you will read this … “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son … Jesus Christ.”

What is our future?
Numerous times I have written to you these words … “Be not afraid.  I, your God will be with you wherever you go.”  And remember this … “For surely I know the plans I have for you … to give you a future with hope.”  You will go through tough times, but remember, I am with you through it all.

Will you ever let go of my hand?
I will never leave you nor forsake you.  I hold you in the palm of my hand. 

Are you really watching over us?
I never sleep.  I never close my eyes.  I never doze off.

Do you ever turn away from my sins?
“As far as the east is from the west, that far have I removed your transgressions from you, never to remember them against you again.”

Have I ever done anything you could not forgive?
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 remember this:  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek me, and turn from there wayward ways, then I will hear their cries, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.”

The God of hope speaks.

Offering Words of
Hope Encouragement
One Word at a Time

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Better Than We Imagined

If we run away, some say, “Good riddance.”
If we fail, lose everything, some say, “So what.  She didn’t have what it takes.  He was foolish.  Better to cut our losses.”

And God comes along and whispers, “I know your fear, your frustrations, your angst.  I will help you.  Run back to me and let’s try again.”

Or he says, “I know you tried and failed.  So, you lost it all in one big gamble.  You are not a fool.  You are my child, the one I love.  Come to me.”

What we see here is a God who is inviting us into fellowship with him, mistakes, missteps and all.  He pursues us when we run away.  He slides up next to us when we try and fail, when we lose it all. 

You see, God is better than we imagined.

David had an affair.  God gave him another chance.
Zacchaeus was a dishonest tax man.  God offered him fellowship and a chance to rebuild.
Peter denied even knowing Christ at a critical moment.  He was redeemed and became a great one.  His words are still read today. 

We, you and I, deserve judgement.  We deserve some kind of punishment.  We deserve separation from the Holy One. 

We get relief. 
We get grace and forgiveness. 
We get a welcome mat put out just for us.

That is better than we imagined.

The woman caught in adultery expected condemnation.  She received forgiveness and a fresh start.  That was better than she imagined.

Remember these words?

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Who would have thought.  That’s not what we expected.  We expected abandonment, time in the time-out corner, after what we’d done.

The prodigal son expected to be received as a hired hand.  That’s what he was prepared to ask for.  And he got way more than he imagined.  

He found grace.  He found acceptance and forgiveness. 

That is the message God has for us today.  He offers more than we ever imagined.

More love
  More grace
    More forgiveness
      More peace
        More hope
          More presence
            More stability

I have hope today.  The God I serve is more than I ever imagined.

Offering Words of
Hope Encouragement
One Word at a Time

Thursday, August 17, 2017

God Thinks You are Amazing

As a kid, I wasn’t very amazing.  I was an ordinary boy, wore torn jeans and dirty tennis shoes – black mostly.

My skills were average in baseball, I could sing a little, and I wore ordinary shirts – usually not the button-down-collar type that most of my friends wore.

I was ordinary.

Except one day in gym class.  We played basketball and I was Michael Jordon ... for a few minutes.  I couldn’t miss – layups, free-throws, ten-footers – I hit them all.  I was amazing … for thirty minutes.

And it never happened again. 


Are you amazing?  Are you a stellar human being? 

I suffered from low self-esteem most of my life.  I didn’t believe in ME! 

Amazing?  Who, me?  Not a chance.

And then there’s God.  God thought I was amazing.  And He thinks you are amazing too.

He looked down from wherever He looks down and saw this ordinary kid and found a way to tell me, “I think you are special.  I like you just as you are, not as you should be.”

And one fine day I believed.

And I still believe.

In Isaiah 43: 1b we find … “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name.  You are mine.”

Wow!  God knows my name.  
He claims me.  ME!

Psalm 139:14 tells me “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  He didn’t use spare parts to make you and me.  He didn’t just throw us out to the world.  He thought about us as we were being formed in our mother’s womb.

Titus 3:7 reminds us that “Jesus … made us acceptable to God.”

If God were to write you and me a letter, it might sound something like this:

Dear Child:

I like my front-row seat as I watch your life.  I watch as you grow and learn.  I want you to know this … I think you are amazing. You are the one I love. 

Life has not been easy for you.  I know that.  To use an old phrase of your era – You don’t have the best of everything.  You are just making the best use of everything you have.  
That is amazing.  That is resilience.

If I had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If I had a wallet, your photo would be in it. 

I claim you as my child.  I think you are simply amazing.

Your God!

Offering Words of
Hope Encouragement
One Word at a Time