Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The fountain of life

“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” (Psalm 36:9, ESV)

I start with his life, I see by his light.

Our God calls us find life in him. Not just with him, as if he is a partner in our lives. Not just for him as if all we need is proper motivation. Not by him as if he is a divine tool toward living a happy successful life.

In God is a fountain of life. Life has its strength and vitality in him. This fountain of life is the reason our Savior could promise his followers not just life, but abundant life. Life in our God is ceaseless, matchless and whole.

By myself, I merely contribute my own darkness to a dark world. Only in him do I see myself for who I am and his Gospel for what it is. Only in him can my cloudy eyes see.

Where we start so often determines where we end. This day I start in him, this evening may I be right where I started.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Forgiveness is great and all, but what else you got?

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1, ESV)

What do you count among your blessings?

Most people would answer with some mix of relationships, accomplishments and circumstances. We're blessed with friends, with families, with health, with jobs, with successes and so on.

The psalm reminds us of a deeper and better blessing, though. How blessed are you to be forgiven by God himself.

But that's not one we jump to usually, is it? On Thanksgiving, little Timmy doesn't usually say [insert tiny, cartoony voice], "I'm grateful that I have been forgiven for transgressing God's law..."

Why don't we think of this blessing more? Is it because it's assumed? Is it because we forget? Maybe because it's just distasteful to reflect on, who knows?

But chief among our blessings is not our relationships in this world but rather our restored relationship with our God. The accomplishment that matters is not our own but Christ's for us. Lasting blessing is not found in our changing circumstances but in the solid Rock on which we stand.

In eternity, you are not known for the sins of yesterday or the sins of ten years ago. In Christ, your transgression is forgiven. By his blood, it is covered.

How blessed you are!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mediocre Christianity

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” (1 Corinthians 7:17, ESV)

Sometimes we think we can only fulfill God's purposes for our lives if our circumstances change. If we finish our education. If we get the kids through this stage (whichever one that is). If we accomplish our five-year plan. If we get out of debt.

Our goals cast ambitious eyes on the future and brace our hearts against the mundane moments of the present. "I can't wait to be done with this..."

But what if God has put us where we are on purpose? What if our circumstances aren't a breakdown in the plan, but the plan itself?

Disclaimer: God indeed encourages bettering yourself, remedying problems and looking forward to the future. But he doesn't encourage any of that at the expense of your present calling.

The sovereign God over all creation, the one who conducts history like an orchestra and orchestrates the conduct of man, he is the same one who has called you, and you alone, to your God-glorifying role in his plan.

Your "mediocrity" works to his glory, your "underwhelming" life is deftly woven into the grandeur of his plans. Your "here and now" is exactly where God has placed you and is everything you could ask for to glorify him.

Today is the day. Right now is the moment. 

Through joy and trial, embrace the life the Lord has assigned you to live.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Always needy

On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” (Psalm 22:10, ESV)

I'm grateful my God is not a stranger.

In timeless eternity, he knew me. From the dawn of creation, he knew me. From man's first rebellion to Christ's final obedience, he knew me. Though I didn't realize it or acknowledge him, he has always known me.

This God who knows me now calls me to know him. He calls me to know him and know eternal life. He calls me to take my blood-bought place in his own family.

I depend on him now no less than I did as a baby in the womb. I depend on his Gospel today no less than the day I first believed.

I depend on the one who always will be, and always has been, my God.