Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Better

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalm 84:10, ESV)

He’s better than we know
Better than we ever dreamed
He’s better than this world’s brochures
Better than the glitzy magazines

He’s better than what believers hope
Better than what detractors say
He’s better than a world of “nope”
Better than the feasting day

He is better than “hope” and “change”
Better than GDP
He’s better than our founding fathers
Better than democracy

He’s better than the rat race,
Better than the car
He’s better than a bank account
Better than “under par”

He’s better than your broken nights
Better than your lonely hours
He’s better than the tears and fights
Better than the sobbing showers

He’s better than what you used to have
Better than what you lost
He’s better than what you gave up
He’s better than your cross

He’s better than how we treated him
Better than nail-pierced hands
He’s better than what we’ll ever give to him
He who saved the sons of man

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The true prosperity Gospel

Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? ...(2 Chronicles 24:20, ESV)

We were created for God and God’s blessings. Our prosperity and blessing can only be found in Him. Is it any wonder that our souls dry up when we leave the oasis?

We’re so needy that we wouldn’t even seek God’s blessings before Christ chose us. No intuition or skill could ever have brought us here. Forty years in the desert would only be the beginning if He left us on our own.

Today, may we obey Him, for He alone blesses. Today, may we bless Him, for He alone obeyed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This is no time for false humility

“There is none like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” (1 Chronicles 17:20, ESV)

When something is genuinely, unmistakably better than something else, we should say so. To do otherwise is disingenuous.

If some ESPN analyst compared my game to Lebron James and said, “Well, this is a close one, but I’m going to have to go with Lebron…” They are being silly.

If Warren Buffett says to me, “Hey, thanks for that investment advice…” He’s doing no one any favors.

If I go forward to the world presenting the almighty God of creation like He’s the generic brand soda of religion, I am mistaken to the point of being unloving.

The Gospel is not a Lifetime TV miniseries. The Lord Jesus Christ is not a WalMart special. Reconciliation to God is not on par with Oprah’s latest wisdom.

Let the one who knows Christ boast in this: There is no God like our God. There is no hope like our hope. There is no Savior like our Savior.

Jettison the false humility and celebrate your God, for this is none like Him.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Better than David, better than Israel

“And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel.” (1 Chronicles 14:2, ESV)

David understood his blessing to serve a higher purpose, namely, the blessing of God’s people. God desired that his people would have the blessing that can only come with a righteous king.

We are in the same situation, though maybe not how you think.

On the one hand, our blessing cannot be merely for us. We belong to the family of God and the body of Christ. The individual Christian life must be be interwoven with the community of the church, both giving and receiving blessing.

On the other hand, and more importantly, our God did not leave us with a mere David, He left us with the David.

We have a righteous King like Israel and David could only long for. Our King brings with him forever’s blessings. He brings life and forgiveness, joy and grace.

Walk in the blessings of your King, the Son of David, the Son of God.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Faithfulness in the desert

“... These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.” ’” (Deuteronomy 2:7, ESV)

Israel spent 40 years essentially backpacking through the desert.

They set up camp at night, they marched in the daytime. Sometimes they stayed in one place longer than others, but they were always on the move.

These desert nomads lived a life that was uncomfortable and trying, so much so that they (sinfully) longed to return to slavery in Egypt.

They undoubtedly longed for a home and for the comforts of a stable life. Yet for 40 years, God led them through the desert. And at the end, God insisted that his people lacked nothing.

That must have been a difficult one to accept. By human standards, the people of God had lacked a great deal. But God in his wisdom and love could say, “Nope. You didn’t lack a thing.”

For 40 years, they knew God’s ever-present guidance. For 40 years, they walked as the special and chosen people of God. For 40 years they knew a God who was faithful, if not always understood.

In the midst of our own sojourn, each day we know the same faithfulness.

Don’t be discouraged at the fiery trial that afflicts you. Don’t be dismayed at the poverty of the present hour.

Though you too long for a home, though your former slavery calls out to you, your God is still with you.

In Christ, you lack nothing.