A central part of my walk with God this week was the desire to know how he does this:
The following daily posts reflect my journey in coming to know what God meant by this, and how it applies to life today. The conclusion of the week was that I want God to do what it takes for me to know him like this now, while looking forward to the perfection of this when I join him in our heavenly home.
Sunday: "The Love That
Quiets Our Hearts"
It is very common in our in-home daycare to find one of us quieting a child from some form of negative emotion. Whether it is hurt from an injury, or grief over a disappointment, quieting a child must be done in love.
I am one of those people who has had a long journey in getting to know how much our Creator loves me. So many life-experiences have told me I am unlovable, so getting to know the unfailingness of God’s love has helped to overcome this message.
One of the biggest ways God makes his love known to me is through my interactions with his word. As I connect to what he is telling me, I can attach to him and what he is communicating to me right then and there.
This morning’s expression of God’s love filled me with wonder. I hope it sounds like an invitation for you to know God’s love for yourself. If ever we needed a heavenly Father to quiet us with his love, it is now.
Monday: "The one thing Missing"
We can’t seem to escape some talk about climate change and natural disasters, along with dangerous viruses and vaccines. Neither can we escape the dishonesty and corruption that saturates the world’s “elite” who are using such things for their deceived and deceptive view of what is good.
So, what is the one thing missing? I don’t mean the little obvious things like sanity, love, understanding, wisdom, and peace.
I mean the one HUGE thing constantly missing from everything the world tries to do because it is the world. As strange as it seems, the world keeps leaving out the knowledge, wisdom, insight, understanding, and love of the Creator, Jesus Christ our Lord.
And, because the world leaves out the very source and explanation for their life, nothing in life makes sense. Unless, of course, a few of us turn back to the Creator in Jesus’ name and enter a mutual mindstate with him that makes sense of everything.
Oh, and restores our love-relationship with the Creator.
Tuesday: "Eternity in Our Hearts"
I am a few years into my seventh decade, and something is obvious: there is a consciousness inside me that is not growing old. It is not aging. It is not tired of life. It is not weary of love-relationships. It does hate that my body is betraying its desire to keep doing what it wants to do. But God’s Book explains both why I have that desire for unending life within me, and why my body is deteriorating at the same time.
My parents are both still alive, so I might also have a couple more decades in me as well. However, when I think of the fact that I am over the hill, that the downside goes a lot faster than the upside, that there are viruses and diseases that want to speed up the process, and government is increasing its methods of doing us in, the one thing that gives me hope is called, “Christ in you the hope of glory”.
In other words, that desire to live forever can be met by the one who lives forever! In Jesus the Christ is life, and his life is the light of men, and all who come into that light through repentance and faith receive the gift of eternal life. Don’t let anyone keep you from experiencing the eternity that God has put in your heart coming into the eternal life that is a gift from God’s heart.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”!
Wednesday: "At Home in Eternity"
I have had many relationships end simply because we were separated by circumstances. Many others ended because people didn’t want to be in my life any longer. I have heard all kinds of justifications for why I am not worthy of someone’s friendship or love and I’m sure my stories would resonate with lots of others.
I now look at the state of our world with corrupt governments deliberately harming their people, and laws being passed to discriminate against our long-cherished rights and freedoms. I see people divided over what is good or bad about viruses and vaccines, and no end of hypocrisy as the ongoing cry of “inclusion” only applies to some people while others are treated like second-class citizens.
In the midst of so much division, heartache, attachment-pain, and even hopelessness, the Creator announces that he likes to be with me. No, not because I am good, but because HE is good. And the thing that draws him to me is that he has brought my heart to see that I can’t live without him, his kindness had led me to repentance, and his grace has drawn me to faith in his Son.
Today, I simply marvel that he wants to be with me, and make his home with me, while never leaving the most high and holy place in all of eternity. That means I have the comfort of his love in me while knowing he sovereignly rules and reigns over all the evils and injustices in the world. Everything in-between he will work for my greatest good.
Thursday: "The Antagonist, Disappointment"
For a while, I have been learning to think along the lines of, “how do my people relate to this kind of situation?” My people are the ones who live out in real life how God’s people handle things that come up. We find them in God’s Book, as he shows us when his people did not act like who they are, and as he shows us what it looks like when they acted consistent with who they are in Christ. The Bible calls these people “witnesses” of the life of faith.
We also find “our people” in history as we read or hear of those who set an example of handling difficult situations while remaining true to their new identity as a child of God. Some of these examples are happening in the present history as it unfolds, children of God who demonstrate remaining true to their “in Christ” relationship with God while all kinds of circumstances challenge them to surrender.
Last night I was hit with a disappointment of the “No! Not again!” variety. It’s what I brought to my time with God this morning, asking myself how my people have handled such experiences. As I considered what I have been reading in God’s word this week, it was clear that God himself wanted to show me how my people act.
After some time of prayerful meditation on the word of God, I had a very clear prayer list about how I could act like who I am in Christ as the need to handle this disappointment awaits. I hope it encourages you as well.
Friday: "The Shame That Heals Shame"
Feeling shame has a good side and a bad side. The good side is that it is an appropriate response to doing something wrong. The expression, “you ought to be ashamed of yourself” is true. Our world is sliding into a love of wrongdoing because no one is ashamed of anything and parades their sins like a middle-finger salute to God.
The bad side of shame is when we can’t escape the awareness that we have done something shameful, or have been treated for such a long time like we are a shameful person, that we can’t even find our real selves because everything within us seems to be a hopeless pus-ball of disgusting humiliation.
We cannot avoid that, for us to enter the fullness of joy that is in knowing God, we must accept the healthy shame messages about what we are doing to replace him. We have to admit we have turned away from him if we will ever turn around and come home.
I admit that people’s reaction to hearing of a “healthy shame message” is that it is an oxymoron (contradiction of terms) since they have never heard that there is a healthy side to feeling shame. Here are a few thoughts about why hearing a shame message from God is a good thing. I would be happy to share more!
Saturday: "Returning God’s People to Joy"
When I first began to learn how to return children to joy, it was one of the most hope-filling experiences of my life. I already knew that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5 ~ NIV). However, I had no idea how much we could influence this by deliberately working to return one another to joy.
Since those early lessons, I have been delightfully shocked to discover how God is not only interested in returning his children to joy, but that his word is saturated with his efforts to do so. Did not the birth announcement of his Son begin with, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11 ~ ESV)?
Jesus himself told three parables in a row that showed how the joy people would feel in finding a lost sheep, finding a lost coin, and finding a lost son, is what it is like in heaven when God brings any of his children home. Jesus concluded these parables with, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance,” and, “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents”, and, “It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:7,10,32).
I share these thoughts in the hope that you will open your heart to the good news of great joy and discover how the heavenly Father returns his children to joy better than we will ever experience anywhere else in the whole wide world.
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)