Archive for the 'God' Category

Jul 21 2015

AM Radio

Published by under God,Life

On a clear night, we could get radio stations from Chicago. When that happened, we’d hoot and holler like we’d won the lottery.

When my brothers and I were younger, we would visit our grandparents’ house in eastern Ohio a couple times a year. In the corner of their living room was a massive 1954 RCA Victrola record player with an AM radio. Before going to bed, we’d flip on the power and start turning the dial. Getting a station from Chicago – more than 400 miles away – required precise tuning. A little too far one way or the other and all you’d hear is static or a local station.

As I thought of the old Victrola today, it occurred to me that God is like that. The signal for the Chicago stations were powerful enough to reach all the way to the Pennsylvania state line. But if you didn’t tune it in, you didn’t hear the programs.

Our spirits are similar to radios. God broadcasts all the time. But sometimes our spirits aren’t turned on or tuned in and we only hear static or other “local” stations.

This is one reason night is so special.

AM radio waves travel farther at night because they reflect off the ionosphere like a mirror. During the day, electrons in the ionosphere are “charged” by solar rays and they float around. All these free electrons absorb AM radio signals. But at night, the electrons recombine into the atoms of the ionosphere, allowing the AM radio waves to bounce off the ionosphere and return back to earth. This can allow AM radio signals to travel hundreds of miles at night.

But back to our spirits. The reason we often “hear” God better at night is because his signals aren’t being absorbed by the daily rays of work, family, and the general frenzied pace of life most of us have.

But he’s broadcasting. His signal is strong. If we only tune our spirit to hear him. What does tuning God look like? Asking, “Where are you, Lord?” at random moments in the day. Set an alarm a couple times during the day! Be interrupted to tune him in!

Just like my brothers and me with the AM radio, there’s no feeling in the world like the one our spirit feels when it connects with God and says, “There you are!”

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Jan 27 2011

Smallness

Published by under God,Life

wishing things were better and bigger
and then they become big
all things need to be small.
(enter the worship circle – all you angels)

have we become obsessed with greatness and feeling important?

how strange that when the disciples are arguing about which one of them would be the greatest that Jesus tells them, “he who is least among you all – he is the greatest” (Luke 9:48).

is it a coincidence that, in our bodies, the smallest of nerves can bring us the greatest of pains?

this is God’s economy. where a widow who tithes her only two pennies is more praised than a priest who empties his whole piggy bank. where the one who prays in secret is doing it correctly. where the mustard seed is used as an example because it’s so tiny. where the last will be first. where the children are welcome. where the lowly are sought by Jesus. where God’s Son did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing.

my friend, don’t you for one second feel insignificant.

all things need to be small.

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Dec 02 2010

God is Love

Published by under God

Love is in short supply these days. I have in mind the kind of love that sacrifices when love isn’t convenient – when you get that feeling inside of you that says, “I. DO. NOT. WANT. TO. DO. THIS.” When you get that feeling inside of you wanting to take a nap because things are too tough. I’m not talking about the love that is simple – kissing a girl because it feels nice or just saying the words, “I love you” (even though those are signs of love).

Do we realize concretely, in actuality, what love cost God? When we say Jesus was ransomed for us, does it register in our hearts and minds that when you ransom something, you PAY something to GET something. God’s love for us is so great that He sent Jesus. And Jesus, even after living a perfect life, PAID with His life in an UNJUST death. We think it hurts when someone SAYS something unfairly about us. Jesus’ LIFE was snuffed out unfairly.

What we sometimes imagine is that Jesus had His life TAKEN from Him. But He didn’t. Jesus says He GAVE His life. Jesus said, “…the Son of Man came…to GIVE his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:44). People often accuse God of being unloving. It’s not true. Not only does God love us! HE PROVES IT!! Even when it costs Him deeply. Even when it violates laws of justice. Jesus should not have been murdered. Enough of this talk about God not being loving. He is loving and He is just. And He shows the picture of both, including mercy, in Jesus Christ.

So, brothers and sisters, if you find yourself in a situation that is very difficult – maybe your marriage is difficult right now. Maybe you have the “I-don’t-want-to-do-this” feeling. Remember that God’s love cost Him. A lot. And unfairly. And He asks us to be like Him! In fact, for husbands, the number 1 instruction to them in the bible is this: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and GAVE himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus gave Himself up. And it cost Him. We shouldn’t expect it won’t cost us. We have to give ourselves up! That’s the way of love. That’s the way to being like God. May the Spirit guide us!!! We’re all simple people. We’re incapable of so much. I’m not capable of loving someone. I’m just not. But He is! And He works in people’s hearts. My trust is in Him because His track record speaks for itself! If you find yourself a little weary, remember Jesus. He’s proof to us that God is love! And that He loves US!

God, in eternity, looked upon me, foreseeing my faults, my pride, my sin, and said, ‘I want that man in My family. I will pay for him to be in My family with My Son’s life.’ THAT’S LOVE, FOLKS!!! That is MEGA, OFF-THE-CHARTS LOVE! (John Piper)

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Oct 28 2010

God Is Good: Part 2 (or Mosaics Aren’t Simple)

Published by under God

I’m writing some posts this week on God’s goodness. This is Part 2.

PAST POSTS IN THIS SERIES
Part 1

“Go to the ant…consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6:6)

I’ve never really grown up. From the time I was little, I played with ants. Granted, I used to destroy them, but I considered it playing. These days, when I go running, I always finish with 15 minutes of stretching. The older I get, the more my body wants to be broken. So I slap the crap out of creakiness with some serious stretch action. In warm months, I always see ants as I stretch. Most of the time, I imagine what it would be like if _I_ was an ant. I’ll blow on the ant and watch it tumble along the ground. I think, “I wonder what the ant community called that hurricane I just made.” Because, to an ant, humans are huge. What does an ant think when I stomp right next to it when I’m running? Does the ground shake beneath him?

TO THE HORIZON (AND NOT BEYOND)
At six feet tall, on perfectly flat ground, humans can see a distance to the horizon of 3.1 miles. For a 6 footer, the eyes are 5’6″ above the ground (SquareRoot(5.5 / 0.5736) = 3.1 miles). If they had human vision, an ant, at a height of 3/16 of an inch, could see almost 2/10 of a mile (SquareRoot(((3/16)/12)/0.5736) = 0.17 miles).

Ants must be confused when they’re just walking along, doing work, and they’re suddenly crushed by a size 12 Nike or burned to death by a 10-year old’s magnifying glass. Some imagine God like this. He smites people because He’s bigger and He can. The only reason we think this – the only reason we question God’s goodness is because our perspective is so small. 3.1 miles? That’s ant-sized. God, who dwells in heaven, can see the horizon of the entire universe. He knows every play, every angle.

IT’S NOT JUST A CLOSED-DOWN DEPARTMENT STORE
John 11 demonstrates. Jesus was friends with a family. In this family were two sisters, Mary and Martha, and a brother, Lazarus. Jesus was teaching two miles from their house when “the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick'” (11:3). Lazarus had fallen ill. The bible says, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days” (11:6). After some time, and a trip to Judea, Jesus finally decides to go see Lazarus. Know what happened? “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.” Lazarus was dead. “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him…’Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died'” (11:20-21). Mary and Martha were devastated. Their brother was dead. In seeing Mary and Martha and their friends mourning, John says, “[Jesus] was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ [Jesus] asked. ‘Come and see,’ they replied. Jesus wept.”

Jesus wept.

He wept.

HE KNOWS

Have you ever been crushed in your soul and felt like you were going to die because you felt so low? And, in that time, have you ever whispered to God, “God, do you have any idea how I feel right now?” This moment in Jesus’ life is a time to prove He understands. Jesus wept. Twice, it says, he was “deeply moved.” He gets it, brother. He gets it, sister. He knows.

So Jesus is led to Lazarus’ tomb and he says, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus comes out. Jesus raises him from the dead!! Jesus Christ raised a man, who had been in the tomb for four days, from the dead. Do you know what Jesus said when he was told Lazarus was sick – before Lazarus died? He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (11:4). Jesus knew all along the INCREDIBLE thing that would happen! Did Mary or Martha? No. They just knew their brother was dead. They went through bitter heartche. But they witnessed something very, very, very few people ever get to see! And, because of their suffering, we are encouraged by their story today – right now. A lot of good came from that tragedy! Big X-Games heroes like Shaun White, Tony Hawk, and Travis Pastrana do some cool tricks. But what could a human ever do that would trump RAISING SOMEONE FROM THE DEAD!? God looks AWESOME when that happens! But the tears and heartache came first.

“And we know that IN ALL THINGS God works for the GOOD of those who love him…” (Romans 8:28, emphasis mine)

IT’S ART
Jesus knows what it means to hurt. But He also sees everything. He knows what good will come about from every event in the world – even the terrible, disgusting, tragic things. In Desiring God, John Piper says, “[God] has designed from all eternity, and is infallibly forming with EVERY EVENT, a magnificent mosaic of redemptive history. The contemplation of this mosaic (with both its dark and bright tiles) fills His heart with joy.” Mosaics are beautiful and intricate. But some of the squares are black and gray and brown. They’re ugly. For some seasons in our life we see only the black square. God sees it all. He’s writing a MUCH bigger story than our single life. And our life is more than a season WITHIN our life. We’re but one role. Sometimes, that role is believing in faith that He is good – even when our circumstances are bad. The story of Job is another excellent example.

Jesus wept. There are times we will, too. Our tears and our pain don’t mean God isn’t good. It just means we’re not God. We can only see 3.1 miles. He sees the whole horizon! His designs in this life are HUGE! The tears and heartache come first. His goodness remains constant. Hold firm to Him. He is good.

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