Archive for January, 2012
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
Our bodies need food, but our souls need spiritual food even more. May we all feel the spiritual hunger that drives us to seek God! May we all be fed by every word that proceeds from His mouth.
We really can’t have it both ways. Pick one or the other. You cannot choose idols and still expect to recieve God’s grace.
I’d be more than happy to stumble across any of those things. But it hasn’t happened.
I’m guessing that you’re not surprised. Neither am I, especially since I’ve never gone out looking for gold, nor diamonds, nor silver. I haven’t gone to the places where they tend to be found. I haven’t done the things people do to try and find them.
So it’s not all that surprising that I’ve never found any of these treasures.
Have you found God? If not, it’s possible that you’re not really looking for Him. It’s one thing to say, “I’d like to find God.” It’s quite another to actually look for Him.
There are some basic things you need to do:
- Decide that you really want to find God. This has to be more than curiosity. Set out to know Him, not just know about Him. Your goal is to have a relationship with the Creator of the universe.
- Spend time in prayer. Express your desire to know God. Be honest with Him, but humble. Pour out your thoughts and feelings. Be willing to patiently wait. Relationships take time.
- Read the Bible. Spend time studying God’s revelation of Himself. Try to learn about Him. Look at His people and how they react to Him, both good and bad. Read through the poetry known as the psalms, looking at the range of emotions expressed in that book. Study the life of Jesus to see how God lived as a human being.
- Be with others who are seeking God. While it’s true that God can be found anywhere, it’s easier to find Him in the presence of others who have already found Him. Find a church, a community of believers, and get them to help you in your search.
I probably won’t ever find gold or diamonds or silver. But I found God, a treasure worth far more than any of those things. And you can find Him too.
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27)
Sometimes we think that we have to go some place “holy” to be with God. But that’s not true. God can meet us anywhere, any time. All we have to do is seek Him in obedient faith.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things. (Romans 2:1)
Maybe I should worry about myself first. Before I condemn someone else, I better first look in the mirror. It is very possible that instead of judging them, I am judging myself instead. And I want mercy, not judgment. Maybe they do also.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”” (Joshua 1:9)
Be strong and courageous. That’s not always easy. But this verse tells us the secret: God is with us. With God by our side, we have nothing to fear.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
I am not God. When I try to make God fit into my understanding, or speak for God based on my reasoning, I have put God on my level. Better to simply listen to what He says. And then try to follow it.
It all boils down to this: there is a God, and He cared enough to bring us into existence. “In the beginning”… it’s a great place to start!
We can fool ourselves. We can fool others. We cannot fool God. He knows what we really feel about the things we do.
Those were the first words my father-in-law said when we walked in the door. It had stopped working, and he wanted to know why. That was all the proof he needed that cell phones were not everything they claimed to be. He never really wanted one anyway, but we insisted. We thought he needed it in the truck, up at the farm, out in the yard. It was portable and a great thing to have if something happened and he needed help. He didn’t think he needed it. It was inconceivable to him that he would need it.
Besides, he did not understand how it worked. He had a really hard time realizing that if he wanted to talk to me on my cell, he did not have to call from his cell. He could use a land line. Unlimited minutes through our shared plan must be too good to be true. So he used his phone as little as possible and was as brief as possible. He still cannot retrieve any messages he gets, nor does he want to.
But now all of his suspicions and fears were proved correct. The phone quit working. And he made it clear that he had plugged it in so that was not the problem. It was just dead. It had quit working. So my wife went over, got his phone, and … turned it on. Somehow he had turned it off.
I was giving my wife a hard time about all of this until she reminded me that up until a few months ago I had very similar feelings about texting. I did not understand it, did not want to use it, and saw absolutely no benefit in it. I didn’t even want to try it. To be honest, I think my father-in-law and I both were scared of something we did not understand and did not think we needed – until we tried it. Now I think texting is a wonderful way to communicate and he uses his cell phone all the time. And that is why he was in crisis when it did not work.
It made me think about how some people think about Christianity. They do not think they need it, they do not understand how it works, and it seems too good to be true. But when they try it out, they find out they had no idea what they were missing. Their life makes sense. They find peace, joy, purpose, and hope. Until something goes wrong. They see a spiritual leader struggle with sin, or they get their first taste of persecution, or the trials of life are still there. And they suddenly think all of their previous fears and concerns are now validated. What is needed at that time is a Christian to come alongside and show how to get connected again to Jesus. Someone who understands and can help.
So if you are one of those that tried the Jesus way but gave up because you thought it would not work for you, I would love to help you connect to someone who would be honored to help you take another look. Some of us have been where you are. We remember and we can help.