Categories
Christian Blog

The “answer”

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

I couldn’t sleep the other night. So I turned on the living room television, but found mostly infomercials. Some guy with a mullet and a bow tie hoped to sell me, “The Answer.”

“Yes! For just two easy payments of $39.95, you can possess the greatest wealth building secrets of all time–conveniently printed on three laminated cards.”

The huckster claimed he carried these cards in his back pocket at all times; they allowed him to make thousands of dollars while he slept.

“Your pajamas have pockets? There’s not an app for that?”

There’s nothing like talking back to a TV at 2 a.m.😉

After about 30 minutes, I returned to dreamland. But something from that silly infomercial stuck in my head: the idea of making money in your sleep. There’s a passage in the Bible about God working while we sleep, I thought. Sure enough, I found it over breakfast.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Psalm 127:2 (NIV)

What strikes me about this verse is the fact that God GIVES. One of the cross references is Isaiah 55:1–where the Lord invites everyone to “Come to the waters and drink at NO COST.”

Inspired, I dug deeper into the Bible to find more things that God gives us. Here’s a sampling:

  • God gives us songs in the night (Job 35:10).
  • He gives food to every creature (Psalm 136:25).
  • The Lord gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness to those who please Him. (Ecc. 6:22).
  • God gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 42.29).
  • Jesus gives us peace that’s not like the world’s (John 14:27).
  • He gives us life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25).

Of course, all these things aren’t REALLY without cost; they are free to us because Christ already paid for them. That could be a discussion in itself.

In the meantime, isn’t it wonderful that God freely offers His best to us?

You don’t need the “answer” to anything if you know the God of everything!

Categories
Christian Blog evangelism

Why Cover That Up?

Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I are big fans of the HGTV (Home and Garden Television) network. We’ve watched so many home renovation shows we should be experts by now–at least in theory!

The other night we were scratching our heads, along with Ben Napier from the show Hometown. Underneath some puke green colored kitchen linoleum he discovered solid oak floors! “Why would you cover that up?!” asked Big Ben with a bewildered look.

Jesus feels the same way about His followers covering up who they truly are. “You are the light of the world,” He said. “A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

Have you ever tried to dim the light of Christ within you? Regrettably, I have–in order to fit in–and it felt like covering up solid oak floors with puke colored linoleum.

The Hometown episode brought to mind a woman I know who collects and sells antiques. She has an amazing eye for finding old furniture that just needs some love. One time, she discovered a complete Ethan Allen dining room set painted lime green! Underneath the paint, she found (you guessed it) solid mahogany.

However, it’s a bit of a somber story for the Antique Lady, as the local’s call her. She explained that, once beautifully aged hardwood is painted over, you can NEVER restore the original finish. The untouched table and chairs–with their original patina–would have been worth twice as much if they had not been painted.

Jesus feels the same way about His followers decreasing their value to the world. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13)

Have you ever turned down the volume (so to speak) of the godliness within you? Unfortunately–in order to blend in–I have, and it felt like painting over vintage mahogany.

Now, as much as ever, may we bring out the God-flavors of the earth and let the love of Christ shine through our lives. Jesus is the Light of the World and we are expected to carry a torch. Our good deeds for the glory of God are a reflection of Him.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine.

Categories
Christian Living Repentance

The Holy North Face

Have you heard the one about the guy who washed his hands too much during the pandemic?

Repentance is like that. Cleansing of sin reveals answers from God

A church where I once served held a unique series of revival meetings. Our pastor called it a “solemn assembly.” One like good king Jehosophat proclaimed for Judah in 2 Chronicles 20:1-34.

The congregation met each evening for worship and prayer, but with no preaching. This went on for a week. As we sought God, confessing our corporate shortcomings, divine answers appeared.

It was a type of two-factor authentication–to use the cyber security lingo.

“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol.” Psalm 24 :3-4 (NIV)

Clean hands and a pure heart: the two things needed to climb the holy north face. It’s thought-provoking here that hand washing comes BEFORE heart cleansing. That’s because the purest form of worship is repentance. I experienced this personally during those revival meetings. As my view of God became clearer, my walk with Him grew closer.

Seeking God in earnest reveals the true nature of one’s heart. In my case, there was too much of me. Recognition and a change of heart’s direction cleared the road back to the Father. But this practice hasn’t been a “one and done” event. The narrow path to heaven is susceptible to drifted snow.

Need answers? Invite yourself to a Solemn Assembly–just you and God. It will be a purifying experience. I know this because it was for me.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)