Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9 God speaks and planets appear out of nowhere. God pushes galaxies around with the tip of His finger. He breathes over a dead Earth and everything …

Continue reading

Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah.  The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord.  Isaiah 60:6 In the mighty expanse of God’s wisdom, prayers are always answered.  But God’s children, in great need, cannot predict what the answer will look like.  Because our …

Continue reading

No Wasted Plotline

December 2, 2019

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God, which he promised before hand through the prophets in the holy scriptures. Romans 1:2

Nearly every time Paul gave a defense for the Gospel, he didn’t start with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.  Since most of his accusers were Jewish leaders, he was intent on showing them that Jesus was connected to their scriptures, the fulfillment of their law.  The Torah, which they embraced and knew front to back, had predicted his coming.  God was not only the Alpha and Omega, but the God of the in-between.  Nothing was random, nothing was haphazard, but each event in history was a meticulously conceived plan according to the wisdom of a Sovereign God.

Why was this important to the Jews?  Because it’s hard for any of us to completely leave everything familiar and embark on something new.  And it wasn’t necessary where the Jews were concerned though it might have felt like that.  They held the Torah in their hands, the writings of the prophets, the revelation of Jesus Christ.  To believe on Him was to complete their faith, to be as Abraham looking ahead for the Lamb of God and finding Him in Jesus.

God is the consummate storyteller.  The revelation of Jesus in Bethlehem was connected to the plot line in Eden when Adam and Eve sinned.  Everything in between followed God’s storyline.  May I not be like the Jews who failed to recognize Jesus when He stood in front of them.  As He orders the events of my day, I ask for the eyesight to see His fingerprints.

In God’s plotline, there is no such thing as wasted.  Not even our mistakes.  Our lives, like those of our heroes in scripture, are messy and unpredictable.  Though we know the end of their stories, the redemptive twists and turns still take us by surprise.  We are encouraged that God was there in their victories but also still there in the parts of their stories that were less than stellar.  No dark thread is rejected for the finished tapestry.

After all these years, I am beginning to love my storyline because it is woven into Yours.  Amen

The Shaking

November 29, 2019

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.  Hebrews 12:26

It was an earthquake.  The whole mountain, Mt. Sinai, trembled violently when God descended upon it.  The law was given, God spoke, and His power proved that He had ultimate authority.  To have stood at the base of that mountain would have been awe inspiring, even terrifying.  Exodus 19

One day, there will be another shaking.  Haggai 2   God will shake, not just the mountains, but the earth and the heavens combined.  He will end the corrupt power of kings and rulers and establish the reign of His Son, Jesus.  He will also destroy the evil one and all of his demons, the very spirits who worked through every flawed leader to inflict cruelty and corruption. What a day of promise for God’s children and what a day of dread for all those who have rejected the way of salvation and the rule of God in their lives.

Shaking separates.  Shaking reveals what is solid beneath the veneer.  What is pure is left, what is defiled breaks loose.  So it shall be in the end times, and yet, so it is today for any of us who are in a time of trembling.  In God’s sovereignty, suffering has defined our current season of life.  Our world trembles and, with the shaking, the substance at the center of our lives is revealed.  For the one who has planted the seeds of the Word of God in their heart and learned to live in kingdom shoes, faith in God remains. For others, a vast emptiness opens up behind the veneer of religiosity.

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your judgments like the deepest sea. O LORD, You preserve man and beast.  Psalm 36:6  Oh, that I would have my world in order!  When I look into the face of Jesus, I tremble with awe.  When I look into the fires of adversity, I tremble with fear, yet also with a faith that sustains.  When I look into the expanse of eternity, I tremble with anticipation.  Evil will be vanquished and the righteous ones will remain in the courts of our God.

Trembling is my opportunity for introspection.  Reveal the substance of my life.  Amen