Showing posts with the label True

A true and straight path

God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you. So trust the Lord always, because in the Lord you have a place of safety forever. Honesty is the path good people follow. They follow the path that is straight and true. And God, you make that way smooth and easy to follow. At night my soul longs to be with you, and the spirit in me wants to be with you at the dawn of every new day. (Isaiah 26:3-4, 7, 9) Some of us might equate dependence to some 'bad' way of living in which we cannot do or think anything on our own. Dependence requires more thought and determination than you might first imagine. What some consider to be dependence is nothing more than passive complacency and apathy. What God considers to be dependence is actually a place of active submission and obedience. Obedience requires forethought and continuous thought - passive complacency does not. Obedience requires trust and truth - passive complacency is satisfied with the stat

Is it all a show?

“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” (John 8:31-32) How many of us can really say we have excellent "stick-to-it" determination at the beginning of a project or task? Most of us, right? We don't usually start out with "I don't think this is worth finishing, but I'll start it". We usually will say something like, "This is a big task, it may take me more than one day to accomplish, but nothing ventured, nothing gained." Freedom is often the result of determination. If you have spoken with a former of prisoner of war, they will share the things they held onto in their minds, hearts, and spirits which helped them make it through till their release. You will hear of the tremendous determination and doggedness required to hold on when things really don't show any signs of changing. I think true freedom is based on h

A slip of the mask

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. (James Baldwin) Jesus’ primary concern was his disciples. He said to them, “Watch yourselves carefully so you don’t get contaminated with Pharisee yeast, Pharisee phoniness. You can’t keep your true self hidden forever; before long you’ll be exposed . You can’t hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known. You can’t whisper one thing in private and preach the opposite in public; the day’s coming when those whispers will be repeated all over town. (Luke 12:1-3) A great many of us fear being 'exposed' for who we really are - believing ourselves to be unwanted, unappreciated, and perhaps even under-valued - so we hide behind some mask. What's worse is that Christian believers hide behind a mask of 'religious piety', all the while attempting to hide their very real struggles looming just behind that 'pious hypocrisy that's how I stay on course!

Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]! Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments. I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct]. (Psalm 119:5-7) We are probably frequently heard crying out to God, asking him to set our ways straight again because for some unknown reason we have managed to stray from the path we should be on once again. Our plea - direct and establish my ways - not to live as I want, but to observe your Word in its entirety. A "directed" life is one that is both God guided and regulated, so the course is made certain and true. It is like when I used to ride the little cars at Disneyland as a child - I had no idea the metal bar which ran

I pray this for you

And this is my prayer: I pray that your love will grow more and more. I pray that you will have better understanding and be wise in all things. I pray that you will know what is the very best. I pray that you will be true and without blame until the day Christ comes again. (Philippians 1:9-10) I pray that your love will grow - we all need our love to grow just a little bit each day, don't we? How awesome would it be to know someone in your life was praying for your love to grow today? Well, consider this a little prayer from me to you - may your love grow! What does 'growing' love look like? I think it might take on the form of not always talking, but realizing you might just need to listen a little bit more. It could even mean you shut off the TV and just observe the environment around you, who is filling it, and what they are filling it with at this very moment. It could also look like that moment when you just realize someone needs a touch, a hug, or a kind smile to bol

Is this really creme brulee?

The believer comes to a place of revelation and deep introspective consideration from time to time - pondering the greatness of the gift they have received in their redemption from sin. The realization of just how selfish one had become before Christ bestowed such magnificent grace on their life can bring a person to their knees in grateful adoration. The truth be told, many of us need those 'knee bending' moments because they are what help us realize just how much God has done for us in the gift of grace. Most of us want more than just a 'basic salvation package' from God, though. We want the initial forgiveness of our sins, but we also want the ongoing forgiveness we will need because we 'keep on' sinning. We also want to be embraced in God's goodness from day to day, with a fresh revelation of who he is, what he is doing in our lives, and how much more he has prepared for us. We don't want to miss out on any of the blessings he has prepared for us. We

More than a new paint job

What does authenticity look like to you? When I see a classic  or historical era automobile restored to all the beauty it once had, parts gleaming and engine purring away without a sputter, I know someone has been hard at work. The work of restoration has cost them hours of endless polishing and patient fine tuning, but those parts that needed a little more restorative work, such as the finely sewn hand-tufted seats catch my attention the most. That level of intricate detail - the investment of such time and effort - this is what moves my heart as I behold the beauty of the whole. I wonder if God takes such a view of us? Looking at all those areas where he has invested such time and effort into creating every intricate detail and restoring it ever so carefully to the way we were designed. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart... (Jeremiah 1:5) God wants us to be authentic. There is nothing more disappointing than to see someone trying to