"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." ~Jim Elliot

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Monday, September 22, 2014

What My Life is Spent Seeking

Psalm 143:6
I stretch out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You, as a parched land. 

People who grow up in church often have a harder time growing spiritually than those who come to Christ at an older age. We tend to have a basic idea of how to study the Bible; most of us have read the New Testament and (some of) the Old Testament. We know a lot of Bible verses. Don't tell us the story of David and Goliath - that's getting kind of old for us. We know pretty much all of the major doctrines and a good deal of lesser ones. We are fluent in Christianese; we can name ten different catchphrases our churches use. Anything that is remotely spiritual and "Christian" we have heard of - been there, done that.

When you grow up hearing for the thousandth time what visitors may be hearing for the first time, it is easy to lose the initial shock and wonder of Christianity. And it is because of this that I am realizing that my life cannot be built on church activity. Church activity as a foundation is sand. My only hope, my only rock is Jesus. No matter how many times I go over the character and person of God, the sinfulness of my soul, and the grace of Christ, the story is amazing. The gospel is a timeless treasure.

Because of it, I want to spend my life living a new way. Days don't have to be mundane because I hear the same truth. They should be filled with joy because of that truth. "Jesus loves me, this I know," and because of it I love Him deeply. I seek the satisfaction that only He can give. I want to want Him. I desire to seek Him. He is the water in my desert, the light in my darkness, the hope in my fear. He is my longing.

Monday, September 15, 2014

God's Love > My Life

Psalm 63:3
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.

This week I was brought back once again to the realization of what this verse means. So often we forget the "breadth and length and depth" of God's love and what it implies for us (Eph. 3:18). It bids us forsake all the world - even deny our own lives - to follow Christ (Ps. 63:3; Luke 14:33; Matt. 16:24). Why? Because having Jesus and nothing else is better than having everything else but not Jesus. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36).

God's love is better than my life. Lately it has been increasingly difficult to live in light of this truth, but by God's power I have come to a new resolve. I will fight all my sin to believe this and to experience the satisfaction that His grace alone can bring. And not only will my mind believe it - my life will show it to a world who needs it. God is the only-wise, all-satisfying treasure no possession, pride, or pleasure in this life can give us. I will lay down everything to have Christ (Php. 3:7).

God's love is better than my life.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Want to Live

I want to live my life for You
To show that You are great -
To show the world all of my love
And show sin all my hate.

I want to live my life for You
And worship You the most -
To count my own life as my shame
And Jesus as my boast.

I want to live my life for You
To show that Christ is all -
To tell the lowly You are great
And show that I am small.

I want to live my life for You
Counting all as loss -
To die every day to myself
Boasting in the cross.

I want to live my life for You
And taste You as my good -
To hold sin as my void and lack
And Your word as my food.

I want to live my life for You
With all I have to give.
I want to live my life for You -
O God, I want to live!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Gray Day Mayday

I was informed today by a faithful follower that the posts have been far and few between. Part of me wants to say that that is because of little writing content. Sometimes I feel like there are words that need to be said (written); others, not so much. Perhaps this is one of those not-so-much seasons. On the other hand, working, attending interviews, leading ministries, and taking 16 credit hours doesn't leave me a world of time. But here's something I've been sitting on.

Some days we can tell exactly what bothers us. Things go wrong down the line, the tiredness and stress of busyness kick in, and a person says a thing here or there that hits us the wrong way. Sometimes we blow it. There is a person we offend, a situation we don't handle correctly, a test we fail, a game we lose.

While it is true that things like these are typically the cause of the everyday downs, some days are different. Some days are not every day. Some days cannot be traced back to one pattern. What I am trying to say is this: some days are bad for no evident reason at all. There are days when things aren't as black and white as we'd like. Sometimes there is a gray area that cannot be decoded.

On days like these, cliches and inspirational statements typically don't do much for me. The older I grow in Christ, the more I realize that my perseverance in Him must be rooted not in empty words or catchphrases but in the living and abiding truth of God. If I live by shallow sayings, I have a shallow faith - nothing more than a seed straining from a stone. But when God's promises are the fuel for my faith, there is power to press on through one more day.

And sometimes, just pressing on through one more day has to be good enough.

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