Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bringing Us Back

Last night, I visited our PD officer in the hospital recovering from surgery.  His accident could have claimed his life, but God is so good and spared him for unknown purposes that we can only be excited about!  I can't wait to see how God will use his life for His glory once he has recovered.

How interesting that my time in the Word today led me to such a relevant passage.  I'm working my way through the Old Testament, and some valuable words awaited me today in 2nd Samuel 14.  A wise woman from Tekoa is contending with King David to bring his estranged son home again.  In her speech before him, these words hit home for me:

"All of us must die eventually.  Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.  That is why God tries to bring us back when we have been separated from him.  He does not sweep away the lives of those he cares about..." (2 Samuel 14:14)

We know our lives are limited in days (Heb. 9:27), yes.  But how thrilling to me that God isn't finished with us... He doesn't discard those he cares about!  What encouragement for my friend who was close to death's door!  God has a plan and purpose for his life, and I know He cares so deeply for him.

But this also has the more direct implication.  He also cares about us when we stray...when our thoughts are far from Him.  He tries to bring us back.  I think of those times when I don't want to be close to Him.  My eyes are fixed on myself or the sin dangling before me, and I distance myself.  How exciting that God continues to call after us, seek us, and find us.  I'm reminded of Jesus' words and why He came - to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).  That's not just for those who don't know Him...it's for me , too.

Would you say you are lost today?  I know God wants to draw you close to Him and His fatherly affection.  The question is: will you let Him?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

In the Midst of Tragedy

It is easy to lose hope in the midst of tragedy.  Our city/region has taken a one-two punch with our officer in the collision Monday in surgery now and with the horror yesterday in San Bernardino.  But I will not give up.  Since God graciously allows us the gift of our lives today to do whatever we want - good or evil - I will not give up living for Him moment by moment. 

It's not about God "fixing" the problem.  He already did by coming to earth and entering humanity.  And He's not dead...He's alive and knows full well the results of His gracious gift of giving us a free will.  Following Jesus is the antidote to living a self-centered life.  There will always be those who deny God's existence and then point the finger at Him for all our troubles.  It will not be popular or easy to be like Jesus. 

That's why, in my prayers for the victims and families here locally, I take great comfort in these two Scriptures:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV) 

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ." - 2 Cor. 1:3-5 (NLT)

How might you today not lose heart?  How might you fix your eyes on the Source of all comfort and peace and then pass that on to someone else?