Close to the Light

23 “‘This is what the Lord says:

The wise person should not boast in his wisdom;
the strong should not boast in his strength;
the wealthy should not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this:
that he understands and knows me—
that I am the Lord, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration. (Jeremiah 9:23-24 CSB)

Wisdom, strength and wealth – three things that we tend to put a lot of faith in aside from God. We think that through our wisdom and by our strength of will we have (or will) gain wealth. And in this world that often happens. But I have met many a wealthy man who was poor in spirit and as such their great wealth felt useless.

When we stay close to God, his faithful love, justice and righteousness while we are on this earth, he stays close to us. He delights in how we give Him the glory for all of the other things that have been granted us. All these things come from Him and are due back to Him.

When we begin to understand, truly understand, where all that we have comes from God and is owed back to Him, we begin to grasp His love. We may not have all that we want, but we have all that God will’s us to have, thus all we need.

In a world of constant want maybe it is time to step back and thank God for what he has allowed (and what he hasn’t). Both are gifts if we will but see them in His light. When we are close to The Light much is revealed.

Unfinished

6 I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you[a] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 CSB)

I read the following in a book I am reading, “We are imperfect because we are unfinished.”

It is easy to second guess when things are happening in life that we do not understand. To think we were on one path and find that that path has come to an end. Suddenly we are having to search for a new path with little to go on aside from faith.

These are hard times, times when we may question everything. We are learning that we are imperfect because we are unfinished. There is more God has in store for us that may reside on another path. Or it may mean adaptation of our current path. God may need us to clear a path…

But this state of unfinished follows us through life, because we are always growing. And if we are not always growing, then we do need to question ourselves. Without the willingness to grow we cannot move toward finished. Even if “finished” is only perfected at death.

That may seem harsh, but we must constantly work on our unfinished product, and with God’s help, perfect ouselves as best we can this side of heaven.

Filled to Overflowing

19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:19-21 CSB)

How wonderful would it be to feel filled with the fullness of God’s love all the time. Sometimes we are lucky to feel this even some of the time. But make no mistake this is how God wants us to feel all of the time.

Because we need to know that He is capable to do above and beyond all that we ask according to the power that works in us.

This means that the Spirt we were given is not a timid thing. No, it is strong and powerful and capable of so much more than we typically open our selves to. Mostly because we are afraid to let go. To allow his control fully. Thus, we throttle the Spirit and trade His big plans for our small plans.

We must learn to be filled to overflowing.

The F.A.W. Trifecta

10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 CSB)

Fear, anxiety, worry; these are all things that many of us deal with on a fairly regular basis. It is so easy to slip into depression from the fatigue we feel from a state of any of these. They are the trifecta that haunt many a life.

No matter how strong we might be we are all succeptable and we all deal with them in different ways.

The first way, and the best way, is to take all our fear, anxiety and worry to the Lord. While it may feel that we are being eaten from the inside out, a moment alone with God, a touch from Him and we can feel peace wash over us. And even when peace does not come in our strife we know we have someone to talk to. Someone to take us and guide us through difficult times.

Ultimately, God will strengthen us. It may take time. It will take faith. It does take a close relationship with God through prayer. He will hold on to you and take you by His righteous right hand. There is someone standing by us in the fire.

More for Ourselves

26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28 CSB)

What does it mean to be a humble servant? If pay is any indicator we do not think much of them. Typically our lowest salaries go to those who serve. Our military, our teachers, our police and firefighters not to mention those who have menial jobs.

Yet, some of the most important jobs in the world are these jobs, those who educate, who protect, who maintain. Without them can you imagine what the world would be like!?

As Christians we are called to serve but the 80/20 rule is typically fully in effect. Churches struggle to even get the 20% to serve reguarly. Yet this is what we are all called to do. Each in his or her own way, and consistent with God’s call to our lives.

Do we strive more for ourselves than for others, more for ourselves than for our God? If so maybe it is time to rethink our role in this life.

Through the Storm

26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:26-27 CSB)

Life has been a storm of late. One that has reached across my family and extended to a number of friends.

It is easy to get lost in all that is happening but I was able to break away for a bit yesterday and ride see some brothers. Brothers in the biker world sense not the familia sense.

It was good; cathartic. As we spoke it was clear that everyone has a storm story. Be it one they are living right now or have lived. We all seek the calm but that can seem few and far between. We are not promised a life of calm. Sometimes life gets reduced to rubble.

But one thing we can focus on is the one who calms the seas. We can have greater faith and know even when things do not change for the better right now God has a plan. I have seen so many of these instances that take far longer than we expect or desire. But I have also seen God be good through them.

The Gray

17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (1 Pete 3:17 CSB)

No one wants to suffer. We all want a life that is rewarding, secure and significant. But when we look around us we see something quite different.

We see the gray.

Contrary to everyone’s pictures in social media, what we encounter on the streets is a very different kind of life. We see those out of work, those suffering from loss or illness, mental health issues abound.

And this is often because of the gray.

The enemy has created a world of grey. No one wants to see life in absolutes anymore. The enemy wants us to look upon all things as equal, no good or bad, just getting what we want.

But people long for structure, because down deep they know without it there is only chaos. The grey breeds chaos. The gray is the middle ground, neither hot nor cold, it is the place of ambiguity where much is allowed but much is not profitable to us.

Wouldn’t it be better to suffer for doing good, if that is God’s will, than for sliding into the evil of the gray?