Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Blessing of Hunger (Part 1)

A Plate by Mzacha

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
Deu 8:3

Such an interesting phrase:  “He allowed you to hunger!”  Not “He forced you to hunger,” but “He allowed you to hunger.”

Think about that.

Let me tell you what this word “allowed” can NOT imply.  It is NOT a limitation of the sovereignty of God.  Some people cannot bear the thought of God deliberately sending hardship into human lives.  They try to make excuses for Him by saying, “He didn’t make that happen, He allowed it.”  And there’s a sense in which Scripture allows that point of view…within limits.  The mystery of God’s sovereign will and man’s responsibility is deeper than I can fathom, much less explain here.

But God forbid that we should ever see Him as a weak, spineless pushover of a father, one who could never say “no” to a petulant child or administer strong discipline (in love) when needed (Heb. 12:7-11).  He may even introduce hardship into our lives when we aren’t particularly in need of discipline, in order to further refine and purify us (Isa. 48:10).  And Scripture prohibits us from adopting the simplistic view that says, “things which make me happy come from God, and things which make me sad come from the devil” (Lam. 3:37-38).

No, when God says He allowed His people to hunger, it wasn’t an act of passivity on His part.  It was something He actively did to them.  So why is it “allowing” instead of “forcing?”  Because even though we sheep are too ignorant to see it this way most of the time, it is a privilege to undergo discipline, chastening, or any other form of hardship which our Father deems good for us. 

We don’t deserve His intervention in our lives.  He could passively allow us to go on amusing ourselves on the primrose path to destruction, and we would be getting exactly what we deserve.  But in His kindness, He allows us to experience His touches in our lives…both the pleasant touches and the unpleasant ones.  Both are intended for our good, and they will certainly accomplish the good for which He gave them.

And there can be little doubt that one of His greatest blessings is hunger.

Physical Hunger

Physical hunger is something that I know almost nothing about.  And if you’re reading this from a comfortable Western-style home, there’s a good chance you don’t know much about it, either.  We think we’ve felt hunger, and we use ridiculous phrases like, “I’m starving” when we’ve already eaten more that day than many people eat in three.

We are right to consider our full stomachs a blessing, and we ought to be sincere in our thanks to God.  But there’s a sense in which our full stomachs are a curse, and more hunger would be a blessing indeed.

Do you see the blessing in the verse quoted above?  The Bible says that God:

  • Humbled them.  Scripture is chock full of warnings about the dangers of pride, and it advises us of the blessings which come to the humble (for example, Jas. 4:6, Hos. 13:6 NIV).  Therefore, it is a blessing to be humbled.  If hunger is God’s tool for humbling us, then hunger becomes a blessing.
  • Fed them by miraculous means.  Can you imagine being personally fed by God every day, without any “middleman” in between?  God gave them this miracle in response to their hunger.  So hunger was a means of blessing.
  • Taught them one of life’s most crucial lessons…that we depend utterly on God.  Trust in God is prerequisite to happiness (Ps. 146:5), so the hunger that taught the lesson is a blessing.

There are other ways that physical hunger can be a blessing.  And we have a responsibility here.  Because hunger on the part of one person is an opportunity for service, sacrifice, mercy and love on the part of another.  We should never look at a truly hungry person and say, “Oh isn’t that nice, God is blessing them with hunger.”  Heaven forbid! (Jas. 2:15-16).  Hunger is a blessing only when used as a tool by our loving Father, and it’s a tool that is supposed to bring the beauty of compassionate care into people’s lives.  We’re supposed to be giving that care.  Throughout the past two millennia, it has been Christians who have done the most to feed the hungry.  And what a difference it makes when we do!

Finally, there’s this word of wisdom from the Proverbs:

A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Pro 27:7

Hunger sharpens our appreciation of the food we receive.  Ever wonder why we rich Westerners are such discontented, psychologist-dependent, drug-addicted, easily bored people?  Partly it’s because we have ruined our own capacity for enjoyment.  We glut ourselves, never allowing ourselves to hunger, or to do without anything we want.  And because we are constantly satisfied, we constantly loathe the honeycomb.  After all, we had the honeycomb yesterday, too.  Don’t we need something new today?

Wouldn’t we be happier if we did without the extras, and learned to find even the bitter things to be sweet?  I’m not suggesting some sort of sick desire for suffering.  I am suggesting that our bloated lifestyles lead to their own kind of suffering…a chronic discontentment, an unhealthy forgetfulness of dependence, a pride that sickens our souls, and physical unhealthiness. 

It’s easy to say these words.  But here I sit, somewhat overweight, with food to spare in my fridge and my pantry and even on shelves in my garage.  Here I sit, a person who “gets the munchies” and eats whatever she wants, whenever she wants, even if her body doesn’t need it.  I’m preaching to myself, and I hope I’m listening.

The world’s economies are collapsing around us, and it may not be long before we learn what hunger truly is.  May we have the wisdom and humility to pray along with Agur:

Give me neither poverty nor riches— feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.
Pro 30:8-9

Who knows with what miraculous provisions God will feed those who trust in Him in the 21st Century?  Who knows how He will bless us with the love and compassion of those around us?  Who knows how He will humble us?  How much more we’ll appreciate what little we have?

But there’s another kind of hunger that is an even greater blessing.  Next time, we’ll look at spiritual hunger.  I hope you’ll join us.

In the meantime, please leave your comments below.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Greatest in the Kingdom?

Ames Room illusion by Mattox

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matt 18:4

What do you think this verse means?  I have to admit, it gives me a little trouble.

First off, "the greatest" can't be exclusive to one person, because more than one person humbles himself in this way.  The word “Whoever” applies to anybody and everybody.  And the verse doesn’t say “whoever humbles himself the most will be the greatest.”  It’s just “whoever humbles himself.”  But how can more than one person be “the greatest?”

Also, Heaven isn’t going to be the kind of place where people compete against one another to be the greatest.  Nothing would be more prideful than "humbling oneself" in order to “out-humble” the next guy and be greater than he is in Heaven (see Mark 9:34-35). 

So what does this mean?  How can anyone be “greatest in the kingdom?”  And how can anyone pursue that by humility?

I don’t know, but I have an idea.  I think that being "the greatest" is not relative to other people, but relative to our standing individually with God.  It's where we fall on a continuum of what we could have been versus what we turned out to be.  True, others will be further along or further behind on their continuum than I will be, but my eyes will not be on them in prideful comparison.

Does that make sense?  What do you think?

(This photo was taken in an “Ames Room,” a specially-designed room that creates an optical illusion of great size differences between people of equal height.  I chose it because it reminds me of exaggerated pride or false humility…two different ways of falsely comparing ourselves with others.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moses, Joshua, and Jesus

Mosaic of 12 tribes by Ori229

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals." So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?" Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."
Num 20:7-12

I’ve always felt sorry for Moses when I read this account. After all, we all sin, and this seemed like such a small error. God said, “Speak to the rock,” but Moses struck it instead. Not a major incident in a life full of obedience, right?

Evidently God thought it was huge. Because of this one act, Moses would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

Why did God make such a big deal out of this? Why were the consequences so dire?

It would be easy to take this in any of several directions.

  • We could talk about the fact that all sin is serious, and there’s no such thing as a small sin.
  • We could discuss how damaging it is when leaders sin
  • We could draw out inferences about how pride and anger lead to sin
  • We could point out that all sin springs from disbelief, and results in failure to hallow God in the sight of others.

All of those things would be true and worthy of discussion, but there’s another aspect I want to address today. Because one of the amazing things about the Bible is how the Gospel is woven throughout, even many hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. And this story spells out part of the Gospel in vivid detail.

The Old Testament is a living allegory, spiritual truths written into the reality of flesh-and-blood lives. Don’t misunderstand…I’m not saying that the stories are mere allegories, as if the events never happened. What I’m saying is that the events, which actually happened, paint pictures of Spiritual realities far beyond the awareness of those who lived them. And in the meta-narrative of the Children of Israel, metaphors abound.

  • Egypt represents the believer’s old life of sin before salvation.
  • Moses represents the law.
  • The Promised Land represents the believer’s ultimate destination…Heaven itself.

And the whole picture would have been marred beyond recognition if Moses had been allowed to lead the people into the Promised Land.


Because Moses represents the Law, and the Law cannot save.

So who got to lead the people in? Someone named Joshua. In Hebrew, it’s Yehoshua or Yeshua. In New Testament languages, it is translated “Jesus.”

It means, “Jehovah saves.”

He does indeed.

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son… (Rom 8:3)

Isn’t God awesome? The Gospel is right there. The Law (Moses) can’t bring us into the Promised Land. Jesus (Yeshua or Joshua) does.

Let’s look at some of the other symbolism here.


Joshua’s leadership ministry was inaugurated by the miraculous passage through the Jordan, which was done to prove that “God is among you”

(Jos 3:10,13).

Jesus’ ministry was inaugurated by the miraculous events surrounding His baptism (the descent of the Spirit, and the Father’s verbal affirmation) in that same Jordan river, which were done to prove that God was among us

(Matt. 3:13-17).


Immediately after this dramatic inauguration, Joshua was instructed to choose 12 men

(Jos 4:1-2).

After His dramatic inauguration, Jesus chose 12 men (Matt 10:2-4).


Joshua did not lead his people into unconquered territory. He led them into warfare (see most of the book of Joshua).

Jesus waged all-out war on the forces of evil (Luke 4:41, for example), and leads us in spiritual warfare all of our days, until we enter our rest in our Promised Land (Eph. 6:12)


There are probably more awesome parallels than these, but you get the picture. These things were written for us to learn from (1 Co. 10:11).

Moses certainly didn’t understand this. If he had, I’m sure it would have comforted him. But as it is, he carried the pain of his punishment until the day he died. In his human frailty, he even stooped to blaming the people for what happened to him that day (Deu 1:37). He had no idea that God had meant it for good, to draw a beautiful picture of salvation through the Heavenly “Joshua,” our Lord Jesus, and not through the Law.

The Scriptures have been written in full for us…at least while we’re here on earth. But there are still holy words being recorded in Heaven (Mal. 3:16), words which I’m sure we’ll see when we get up there. Words which describe the things that people do, and which will record for all of eternity how God painted our lives into a glorious mosaic.

Right now we are just as blind as Moses was to the metaphors built into our stories. We can’t imagine the ways that they will bless others. But I’m convinced that much of eternity will be spent examining the incredible pictures that God crafted from each of our lives. We’ll see how God made the ordinary places of our lives holy by His presence, even when we weren’t aware of it. We’ll see the shadow of Calvary and the glories of grace inked onto every one of our pages, and we’ll come away with an eternal case of holy goosebumps.

What part of God’s mosaic are you living today?

Be a worthy paintbrush for Him. Trust the artist to showcase Christ through whatever your circumstances may be, even if they’re painful. All of creation is looking forward to the day when the masterpiece will be unveiled. When that happens, it will all have been worth it.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
(Rom 8:18-19)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Penance versus Repentance

What is repentance, really?Pray by waving777

Is it trying really, really hard to feel bad about something you did, in order to win God’s forgiveness?

Is God up in Heaven with a Misery Meter, waiting for you to push the level up to a certain notch of guilty torment before He’ll forgive you?

Is repentance the price you have to pay so you can keep sinning?  Is it sort of like the hangover after a night of drinking…you know it’s going to hurt afterwards, but the sin is worth it?

If you can work up a good enough repentance, does that make the sinning okay?

What do you have to repent of, anyway…the sin, or the enjoying of it, or both?

How do you know when you’ve repented enough, felt sorry enough, or done enough good deeds to make up for your sin?

What about those who walk for days on their knees, or hit themselves with heavy chains and whips, or cut themselves because of their sins?  Are they repenting?

Or does repenting mean promising God that you’ll never do that particular sin again; that you’ll straighten up your act from now on?

What is repentance?

It isn’t really possible to understand repentance without first understanding what sin is.  (That link will take you to all of the entries labeled “sin” in this blog.  They’re in reverse order, so you might want to scroll all the way to the bottom and read “up” to get them in order.)  God’s word lists many sins, but there is really only one Sin underlying them all.

Sin is turning away from God.  It is trusting/loving something or someone more than God.  It is believing that life, joy, peace, or any other good thing is better found outside of God than in Him.  It is dethroning Him and putting something or someone else in His place in your heart.

If that’s what sin is, then can any of our above examples truly represent repentance?

We hurt ourselves to get forgiveness.  We try to work up sorrowful emotions to placate God.  We play Him for a fool, tossing Him a few tokens of sorrow to pay Him off, so we can keep indulging in the sins we love.  We seek to earn.  We try to impress.  We do our best to get ourselves off of the hook.  We make promises.  We, we, we.  It’s all about us.

That’s not repentance.  It’s penance.

What’s the difference?

Penance focuses on sin and on self.

Repentance focuses on God.

If sin is turning away from God and looking to self or others for what we need, then guess what…

Penance, which looks to self to earn forgiveness, is sin!

And if sin is turning away from God and looking to self or others for what we need, then what is repentance?

Repentance is realizing how foolish we were to think we could find life, joy, peace, etc in anything outside of God.  And it’s turning back to God because we’ve come to our senses and realized again that He is all we need.  It is making a you-turn from worshiping sin and self to worshiping God.  From trusting sin and self to trusting God.  From insulting God to treasuring Him.  It is a change of focus, and a reorienting of faith.

Repentance wants Christ. 

Penance just wants to find a way to continue in sin, and to avoid eternal consequences by assigning itself temporary ones. 

Repentance worships Christ, loves Him, treasures Him. 

Penance worships, loves, and treasures sin, and will pay any price to be allowed to indulge in it.

Just look at Mardi Gras.  It’s nothing but a huge celebration of sin that negates any attempts at piety or penance that may surround it. 

We celebrate what we love.  And Mardi Gras is just one vivid reminder that unrepentant sinners love sin.

To love sin is to hate Christ (Pr. 14:2, Matt. 12:30), no matter what religious activities you may indulge in to convince  yourself otherwise.  God isn’t fooled.  There is no repentance without turning from sin to Christ.

But always remember, the Christian life is a journey of growth.  There is a sense in which we repent “once for all,” when we are first awakened to see Christ and desire Him as our Savior and Lord.  That is repentance unto salvation, and it’s a precious thing. 

But we don’t ever stop repenting...not for salvation, but for our continued walk with the Lord.  It makes sense, after all.  We do slip into sin, and whenever that happens, we’ve temporarily valued something above Christ.  Repentance gets our values straight again.

And we continue to need repentance for another reason, too, not just because we still sin sometimes.  We continue to need repentance because we continue to grow.  As we grow, we recognize more of Christ’s worth, and we recognize more of our own foolishness.  We find ourselves repenting of sin that we never repented of before because we didn’t recognize it before.  Those who are not growing in repentance are not growing at all.

Does this sound like a drag?  A life of continual sorrow and misery?

It’s anything but that!

Repentance is turning toward joy!  It is recognizing that we’ve been seeking life and joy in the wrong places, and it’s turning to find them in God again.  It is pulling our noses out of the sewers and putting them back in the bakery where the Bread of Life offers Himself freely (Isa. 55:2).

Remember how King David of old prayed when he repented of his sin with Bathsheba?

Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice (Ps. 51:8)

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation  (Ps. 51:12)

True repentance cries out with David, “Forgive me for seeking life and joy elsewhere, and let me find them in You again!”

And Christ, who is our life (Col. 3:4) and our joy (John 15:11) is delighted to answer that prayer.  He is glad to give us Himself.

After all, He went all the way to Calvary to do just that.


This devotional owes a great deal of its thought to Pastor John Piper, my spiritual father whom I’ve never met.  If you want to know more about God-centered living, please check out his huge store of free, downloadable audio sermons and other resources at Desiring God Ministries.

Some of the inspiration for this devotional also came from Beth Moore’s Bible Study, “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

For Kids and Grown-Ups (Part 2)

Chapter 2Cropped from

(If it’s been a while since you read Part 1 to the  children, please go over the review questions at the end of that chapter before going on.)

God created people to enjoy Him forever. And the first people He created, Adam and Eve, enjoyed Him very, very much. They enjoyed the beautiful garden He made for them to live in. They enjoyed the delicious food He gave them to eat. They enjoyed the amazing animals that He made to share the earth with them. They enjoyed each other, because God had made them to be together. But more than anything, they enjoyed God Himself. Because of God, Adam and Eve had everything they could want or need. Life was perfect.

But God had an enemy. Hard to believe, but true. Satan, the devil, wasn’t content to worship God. He wanted to become God, and have everyone else worship him instead of God!1 So Satan became evil, and couldn’t enjoy God any more. How terrible to lose that privilege!

Satan didn’t want people to enjoy God either. He wanted to become a god for them and turn them away from the one true God. So he whispered lies to Eve. He told her strange ideas about God, and told her that she couldn’t be truly happy with Him. He told her that the only way to be happy was to disobey God. Do you think that was true?

Eve believed Satan. And Adam decided to go along with her. They both turned against God together. They turned against the One who created them, the One that they could have enjoyed forever. They turned against the One who gave them everything they could ever want or need.

Everything fell apart. Adam and Eve became sinners.

Think about it carefully. What is sin? Is it just things like lying or stealing or hitting your brother? Or is it something deeper? What do you think?

Sin is not believing that God is the best. Sin is turning your back on God, just like Eve did, and trying to find your life and your joy somewhere else. It’s really crazy, if you think about it. It’s like looking at a bathtub and thinking you can fill it with a single teaspoon of water. It’s like bringing your starving stomach to the table and ignoring the banquet in front of you, preferring instead to choose a crumb off of the floor. The Bible says it’s like giving up glory in order to get a statue.2 It’s crazy, but it’s what every human being does.3

Including you. Including me.

Look at your family members. Has anyone ever told you that you look alike?  Parents pass things along to their children…things like eye color, skin color, and hair color. Unfortunately, all human beings pass sinfulness along to their children too.4 That’s why we’re all born sinners, every one of us since Adam and Eve had their first children. We all have sinful hearts. Of course when I talk about our “hearts”, I don’t mean the part that goes “bump-bump” inside our chests.  I mean the part deep inside of us that is designed to enjoy God.

What is a sinful heart like?

A sinful heart is hopelessly foolish. That means it falls for Satan’s lies every time. It insists on trying to satisfy itself with unimportant things, with temporary pleasures and silly little toys. It can’t help it. Even though its foolishness will destroy it,5 it stays foolish just the same. It can’t believe the truth, can’t even sense it or understand it.6 You and I were born with foolish hearts.

A sinful heart is as good as dead.7 Think about a Christmas tree…the live kind, not the plastic kind. It looks beautiful when you set it up in the house. It is green and smells lovely, just like it would in the forest. But there’s an important difference between the tree in your living room and the trees in the forest. Both are alive, but the one in your living room is as good as dead. It has no way to stay alive. It cannot survive. It has already begun to die, and nothing can stop it. Why is that? Because it is disconnected from the source of its life. Even if you were to put it back in the ground, it would still die because it has no roots, no way to get the food and water out of the soil.  It may not look dead yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

In the same way, a sinful heart is dead. Think about it. Everything we need for life is all around us, because God is all around us. He is everything we need. The Bible says that Jesus is our life.8 But just as a tree with no roots can’t properly connect with the soil, a sinfully dead heart cannot connect with God, cannot draw His life into itself. It may not look dead yet, but it’s only a matter of time. And you and I were born with sin-deadened hearts.

A sinful heart is blind.9 What does that mean? Think back to our story. What was it like before man was created? God’s glory filled everything, remember? Everything glowed with the light of His wonderful, awesome, beautiful, eternal, holy perfection. Well guess what… God has not changed! His glory shines just as brightly now as it did then.10 But our sin-blinded hearts can’t see that glory any more.11 Isn’t that sad? Don’t you wish you could see it now?

A blind heart looks at God’s handiwork … His wonderful sky, His towering mountains, His sturdy trees, His intricate snowflakes, His marvelous animals … and what does it see? It sees an accident. Mere chance.12 It is blind to what every created thing boldly proclaims, which is the greatness of its creator.13

It would be really sad if the story ended here…but it doesn’t.  God has a plan to fix our hearts, and we’ll learn more about that next time.

Thought Questions:

-What is sin?

-What does it mean to have a foolish heart?

-What does it mean to have a “dead” heart (spirit)?

-What does it mean to have a “blind” heart?

-Who is born with a sinful heart?

-How bad is it to have a sinful heart?

Bible Verses:

1. Isa. 14:12-15

2. Ps. 106:20

3. Ps. 14:1-3

4. Rom. 5:12b

5. Pr. 1:32

6. Prov. 18:2

7. Eph. 2:1

8. Col. 3:4

9. 2 Cor. 4:4

10. Isa. 6:3

11. Rom. 1:21

12. 2 Pet. 3:5a

13. Ps. 19:1

14. Isa. 59:10a

Sunday, March 22, 2009

For Kids…and Grown-Ups, Too

This is an unexpected entry for me to post.  After some recent housecleaning, I stumbled across something that I wrote a few years ago for my children. I had intended it to become a series, but somehow it got sidelined after only two installments. I figured I might as well share them here (Part 1 today, Part 2 tomorrow). They are written for children, complete with "Thought Questions" at the end. I hope those of you who have young children or know some will consider reading these to them.

(Like everything posted here, these are covered by an "Attribution License," which means you are free to reproduce and distribute them as long as you give proper credit to the author.)

If you don't have children in your life to share these with, I hope you'll read them anyway. The truths written here are important for grown-ups, too!

I originally titled this, "Kids' Book of God's Glory."

"Maine Vacation 4" by Hortongrou

Chapter 1

Christmas Day: “Wow, this is awesome! This is the most exciting toy I’ve ever had! I just can’t get enough of it!”

Two days later: “Mom, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.”

Why did the fun go out of the “most exciting toy?” What went wrong?

You might be surprised to know that nothing went wrong with the toy, or the book, or the special place that once charmed your soul. I say nothing went wrong, because it was wrong all along.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. Toys aren’t bad things. Neither are good books, or special places, or any of the things that God gave you to enjoy. It’s just that they can’t stay exciting forever, because they aren’t supposed to. God didn’t design them that way.

More importantly, God didn’t design you that way.

That’s important, so let me say it again. God didn’t design anything in this world to satisfy you forever. More importantly, He didn’t design you to be satisfied with any thing forever.

Was He being mean about that?

Let me tell you a story.

Back in eternity past, before God invented time, people did not yet exist (except as an idea in God’s mind). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existed forever, one God in three Persons.1 Do you wonder what it was like back then? God hasn’t told us much about that yet, though I imagine He will someday when we’re in Heaven. But we can be sure of one thing.

God’s glory filled everything. 2

What is glory? It is the wonderful, awesome, beautiful, eternal, holy, perfection of God showing itself to others. Sometimes we describe it as “light,” but of course it’s much more than that. We don’t even have words that can describe what God’s glory is. But we can try to imagine something about it.

Imagine something better than anything you’ve ever experienced. Now make it even better. Imagine something more wonderful than you have ever dreamed of before. Something more wonderful than you’re even imagining right now. Now take it up a notch. God says that no human is even able to imagine the wonderful things he wants to give us. 3 No matter how awesome a thing can feel in your imagination, God’s glory is even better.

Now, back to the story. Before man was created, God’s glory filled everything. Angels stood in the glow of that glory, and they were so awestruck and amazed that they couldn’t stop praising God, and they wanted nothing more than to enjoy His glory forever.

God wanted more and more creatures (created things) to be able to enjoy His glory. So He created humans. He gave us the most wonderful privilege any creature can have: the privilege of enjoying Him forever. 4

Imagine that! Imagine if Mom or Dad could give you something and guarantee that you could enjoy it forever. What would that thing be like?

-It would last forever and could never be broken

-It would never become boring, so you could never get tired of it

-It could never get lost

-It could never be stolen

-Its beauty and joy and wonder would belong to you forever!

Why can’t Mom and Dad give you something like that? Because there is nothing like that…nothing except God Himself.

God created us to enjoy Him, and that was the greatest gift He could have given us. He lasts forever, and can never be broken. He never becomes boring, so you could never get tired of Him. He can never get lost or be stolen. His beauty and joy and wonder can belong to you forever!

Let me ask you a silly question. Can a bathtub be filled up by just a teaspoon of water? Can a hungry person be filled with just a single crumb of food?

Of course not. Bathtubs were created to hold gallons of water. Stomachs were created to hold enough food to fuel our bodies for hours.

Can your hungry soul be filled by toys, or books, or special places, or computer games, or things of any kind?

Of course not. Your soul was created to be satisfied by the wonderful, awesome, beautiful, eternal, holy, perfection of God.5 You weren’t designed to settle for less.

We’ll continue with the story tomorrow.

Thought Questions:

-What is the greatest gift God could ever give me?

-Why won’t I always be happy with my toys or with anything else I own?

-What was I created to do?

Bible Verses:

1. John 17:5

2. Jer. 23:24 b

3. 1Cor. 2:9

4. Ps. 16:11

5. Ps. 32:11

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Total Depravity and Hope

“Total Depravity” is not a phrase you’ll find in the"Forest Sheeps 2" by Costi Bible, but it describes a very biblical concept.  In part, it’s the teaching that sin permeates everything we do, even at our best.  There’s more to it than that, but that’s the aspect I need to touch on today.

Why?  Because a wonderful fellow-blogger named Tami asked a very pertinent question in a comment on my last entry.  She wrote:

One thing I find confusing is your statement that if we sin at all we are putting confidence in the flesh. Don't we all sin every day? How can humans ever say they are trusting God if sinning in any way means we live by flesh?

Excellent comment, Tami, and a wonderful point.  I hope more people will follow Tami’s example and write down such thoughts and questions in their comments.  I love to hear about what I need to clarify (especially if I’m scrambling for ideas for a new entry)!  I won’t always know the answers, but I do want to know what the questions are so I can start thinking about them and researching them.

The Christian life is one of hope.  In fact, Christians are supposed to be such hopeful people that it makes unbelievers actually approach us and ask us why we’re so hopeful (1 Pet. 3:15)!

Whew, I’ve got a long way to go with that.  I grew up cynically convinced that Hope was a cruel trickster who only lifted people up so it could enjoy crushing them again.  “You sucker,” Hope would sneer as it ground the shards of my shattered dreams into my face.  “How could you be such an idiot?”

Of course, since God is our hope, I was accusing Him of being this monster!  Such is my depravity.  And even this week, my Father has been gently pointing out to me that I distrust Hope, and that I mistake the brittleness of cynicism for strength.

And it’s true.  I have done, and still often do these terrible things in my heart.

Yet I write this without discouragement.  How?

Because there is a world of difference between battling the flesh and walking in it.

Yes, I am totally depraved…in my flesh.  Before I had the Holy Spirit, the flesh was all I had, so Total Depravity pervaded all that I was.  But now that I have the Spirit, even though Total Depravity still pollutes all of my flesh, there is a newness of the Spirit (Rom. 7:6) which is God-given and genuine.  That’s why my stumbling can’t steal my hope.

I can’t separate flesh from spirit clearly in my mind.  They have a mysterious bond that is beyond mortal understanding.  But the Word of God is sharp enough to divide even the soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12), so I have no doubt that the Word can also divide flesh from spirit.  And when Jesus lived among us, He showed us His discernment when looking into sinners’ hearts.  He said to his disciples as He pointed out their failings,

The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  (Mat 26:41) 

And while all of those disciples forsook Him and fled shortly afterwards, there was only one whom He referred to as His “betrayer.”  That was Judas, of course.  The rest He forgave and restored because they were His.  They were marked out as His before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), and would soon be sealed as His own by the Spirit of Promise.

That same Spirit of Promise indwells true believers today (Eph. 1:13).  Because He is in us, our sinful flesh no longer defines us.  We can walk in the Spirit even though we still have that clingy Gollum of the flesh putting its putrid fingerprints on the very best that we do.  The flesh is no longer the sum total of who we are.

God in his gracious mercy is very patient with the sins which we do in weakness and ignorance.  These sins must be confessed and repented of when we become aware of them (Lev. 5:18, Acts 17:30, 1 Pet. 1:14).  But God can see the difference between our toes and our heels…between feet that are stumbling towards Him and feet that are running away. 

Just as He did with the disciples, God looks past our weakness to our spirit which He has brought to life.  More importantly, He looks at His Spirit indwelling us.  His own goodness shines through the slime of our flesh, and because He has graciously identified us with Himself, He attributes that goodness to us.  No wonder we will stand in astonishment in Heaven, joyfully declaring our unworthiness to be there, and casting our crowns at His feet!

So in answer to your question, Tami, every time we willfully sin, we are putting confidence in the flesh, but we can’t say we are “living by the flesh” unless the flesh guides the general direction of our lives.  As long as we are in this mortal body we will sometimes stumble,  but we will repent, and we will get back up and continue our Spirit-led walk toward the One we desire. 

He honors our desire for Him, because He gave us that desire in the first place (Deut. 30:6, Rom. 5:5, 2 Co. 4:6).  And He always honors the work of His own hands.  Therein lies our hope. 

It’s true that, “In my flesh dwells no good thing,” but we who have the Spirit and are growing in Him will find too much encouragement in who He is to be discouraged by who we are.

But this entry is getting too long to dive further into the “hope” part of it.  That will have to wait until next time.  In the meantime, please leave your questions and comments below.  I love hearing them, and other readers benefit as well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Good Thing

"dirty hands 1" by ajmac

In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.  (Rom. 7:18 KJV)

Oh how often I get stark reminders of this reality!  I know better than to trust in my own resources, but I do it anyway.  And every time I do it, I end up in the same spiritual swamp…complete with noxious fumes and disgusting slime.  Not to mention predators lurking to take a bite out of me at any moment.

Yes, I’m a believer (and yes, I believe that Romans 7 refers to a pre-conversion experience), but I am convinced that this statement is still true of believers as well. 

In my flesh dwells no good thing.

Do you know the feeling?  That sinking in your gut when you realize you’ve “gone and done it again?”  Do you know that whenever you try to walk in the flesh, the result is inevitably disastrous?

Or do you still have confidence in the flesh?  Do you still think you only need Christ to bail you out in emergencies, because you believe you’re doing fine on your own the rest of the time?

“For we are the circumcision” (i.e. we are those who are truly set apart for Christ), “who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Php 3:3).

So how is it that I keep putting confidence in the flesh again? 

Oh, and by the way, notice the word “the” in Php 3:3.  It doesn’t say, “My flesh,” it says, “The flesh.”  Not only am I not to rest my hope on my own resources, but I’m not to rest it on any other human sources either. 

Why?  Partly because people will let me down, true.  But that’s not the deepest reason.  The stark reality is this:  we either trust in flesh or in God.  To the extent that we do one, we will not do the other.

Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD.”
Jer 17:5

So how do we know when we’re putting confidence in the flesh?

1.  When the failures of the flesh steal our hope, our peace, or our joy.

Do your own failures make you feel hopeless?  Do you lose your peace and joy when other people fail you?  Do you get angry at yourself or others for not straightening up, not making the flesh better?  I know I do, all the time.  And that’s a sure sign that my hope was in the flesh. 

Picture it this way.  Suppose you were planning a pool party, and you invite lots of friends over for a fun day of swimming.  The day of the party ends up being overcast and rainy, but that doesn’t dampen your plans one bit.  Why?  Because it’s an indoor pool.  Since your hope didn’t depend on the weather, the weather couldn’t spoil anything for you.

By the same token, our hope, peace, and joy can’t be stolen when man’s abilities, efforts, or resources fail us…if our confidence was in God and not the flesh.  People and circumstances can disappoint, grieve, and hurt us, but they can’t take away our God-given spiritual blessings in the process. 

If the world didn’t give it to us, then the world can’t take it away.

2.  We know we are putting confidence in the flesh when we focus on reforming the flesh rather than crucifying it.

The Bible does not teach us to reform our flesh, to improve it, to make it shape up and get right.  No, what God tells us to do is crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:24), put it to death (Col. 3:5), consider it dead (Rom. 6:11), and refuse to “walk in it” (Gal. 5:16).

This doesn’t refer to destroying or abusing our bodies, as some ascetics and legalists do.  The “flesh” referred to here is our sinful nature which pervades every part of our being. 

Geese have a goosy nature that pervades their goosy flesh.  It makes their bodies honk, swim, and fly south in the winter. 

Dogs have a doggy nature that makes their doggy flesh bark, their doggy tails wag, and their doggy noses intrude in strange places.

Sinners have a sinful nature that makes their sinful flesh…well…sin.  We aren’t defined as sinners because we commit sins.  We commit sins because we have sinful natures.  It’s who we are.  It’s what we do.

Attempts at reformation are based on confidence.  If you keep trying to reform an addict, it’s because you believe there’s some glimmer of hope.  If you give up on them, it’s because all hope is gone (as far as you’re concerned.)  In the same way, if we’re busy trying to reform our flesh, that means we’re still putting confidence in it.  We ought to be putting nails in it (figuratively speaking, of course)!

I confess that, for most of my life, that sort of talk sounded like nonsense to me.  Because I did not truly have the Spirit of God dwelling within me, I could make no sense of the notion of choosing to walk in Him rather than in the flesh.  The flesh was all I had!  To choose not to walk in it left me with a vacuum.  You might as well tell me to walk in nothing at all.  It just didn’t work.

But praise God, His Spirit now lives in me, and I have a choice I did not have before.  My flesh has nothing good in it, and whenever I choose to walk in the flesh, I am instantly as miserable a sinner as I ever was.  But I don’t have to walk in the flesh any more! 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
(2Co 3:17)

What a wonderful freedom!  Why do I ever turn my back on it?

One of the hallmarks of a true believer is that they will not continue in sin (Rom. 6:2).  They will sometimes fall, but they will miss their Beloved too much to stay in the muck.  And their return to Him does not come as a result of self-reformation.  It happens because of the genuine presence of the Holy Spirit of Christ who indwells them, and in Whom they can find their way (John 14:6).

3.  We know we are putting confidence in the flesh when we feel prideful about anything.

Pride is giving the flesh more credit than it’s due.  ‘Nuff said.

4.  We know we are putting confidence in the flesh when we put people on pedestals.

Hero worship.  Idolizing people.  Believing that the perfect mate would make our lives perfect bliss.  Believing that there’s someone on this planet we just can’t live without.  Even idolizing the ideal “self” that we hope to become someday.  It’s all confidence in the flesh.

Ever see someone so “in love” that they actually worship the other person?  Ever been there yourself? 

While it’s great to appreciate the good in others, it’s wrong to put our hope, our peace, our joy in their flesh.  If there’s good in anyone, appreciate it and bless their Maker for it.  Keep your hope, peace, and joy in Him, and they’ll be safe even when mere mortals let us down.

5.  We know we are putting confidence in the flesh whenever we sin in any way.

The Spirit says, “Come to Christ to find the abundant life.”  The flesh says, “Forget Christ.  Pamper me with sin to find the abundant life.” 

We’ll follow the one we have confidence in.  Period.

In my flesh, and in yours, dwells no good thing.

But the Bible doesn’t always use the phrase “no good thing” in a negative way.  Let’s close with the following promise:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
(Ps. 84:11)

There's no need to be discouraged about the "no good thing" of Rom. 7:18, when we have the “no good thing” of Ps. 84:11!

May we rest our confidence fully upon the One who is our sun, our shield, our grace, and our glory!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

21st-Century Tech and 19th-Century Preachers

Bible pages

Image by almoko via Flickr

At various points throughout the life of this blog, readers have asked questions about how I study the Bible and where I find all of Morrison’s wonderful writings.  The answers to those two questions are intertwined, so I’m combining them today.

My main study Bible is the eSword electronic version.  It is a free download in its basic form with non-copyrighted Bible versions, but you can also download additional materials such as other translations of the Bible, devotionals, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, and other valuable resources.  Some are free, others are not.  The daily devotionals have been a very rich resource for me, particularly the Morrison and Spurgeon ones.  Yes, that’s right, it’s through eSword that I discovered Morrison.  Since it’s not easy to find Morrison’s writings online, it’s worth the download just to get those devotionals.

One of the things I like to do with my eSword is to take copious notes.  You can write long notes for any verse and have them available right beside the text.  I often copy entire devotional entries into the corresponding verses’ note pages, giving rich insights every time I visit those verses. 

There are many other features of this Bible that are quite useful and helpful, but I will stop with simply recommending that you visit the eSword site and investigate it for yourself.

Another very nice downloadable Bible program is simply called “The Word,” and it’s worth checking out as well.

Whenever I’m away from home, I always have a Bible handy, thanks to MyBible 4 from Laridian Publishing.  If you use a handheld Palm, Windows, IPod or Blackberry device, you’ll want to check this program out.  I wrote earlier about how I use the Scripture Memory program that you can also download from this site, so I won’t go into that again.  Laridian also offers devotionals, dictionaries, and commentaries, as well as free and paid translations of the Bible, all for your handheld.  I highly recommend this resource.

Another excellent resource is the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.  The CCEL is for online use, but it has features you’d often expect only from a downloadable program (such as the ability to highlight text.  Your highlights will be remembered whenever you sign in).  CCEL offers a wide variety of classic Christian literature, going all the way back to the 1st Century, and moving up to extensive libraries of the greats like Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, and more!  Definitely an invaluable resource for those of us who could never dream of amassing our own vast printed libraries.

Now it’s your turn.  Have you found any “Helpful Tech” that you’d like to share?  Or do you have any further comments on the ones discussed above?  Please leave your thoughts for us to enjoy.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wonder of Our Daily Bread


In these uncertain times, in which matters great and small fill our hearts and minds with very real concerns, I find comfort in the simply profound truths written below.  They help us appreciate the greatness of God’s “simple gifts,” and also give us hope that our own small lives matter more than we may realize.  I hope these words are a help to you as well.


Every Harvest Is Prophecy

G.H. Morrison on Matt. 6:11 (Edited for length)

The Tiniest Petitions

“When you read it unimaginatively, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ seems an almost trifling petition. It almost looks like an intruder here. On the one side of it (Matt. 6:10) there is the will of God, reaching out into the height of heaven. On the other side of it (Matt. 6:12) there are our sins, reaching down into unfathomed depths. And then, between these two infinities, spanning the distance from cherubim to Satan, there is ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Our sin runs back to an uncharted past, but in this petition there is no thought of yesterday. The will of God shall be for evermore, but in this petition there is no tomorrow.  As if some hill that a child could climb should be set down between two mighty Alps, so seems this prayer for our daily bread between the will of the eternal God, and the cry for pardon for our sins whose roots go down into the depths of hell.

But now suppose you take this prayer and set it in the light of harvest. Give us this day our daily bread—can you tell me what is involved when it is answered? Why, if you but realized it, and caught the infinite range of its relationships, never again would it be insignificant. For all the ministry of spring is in it, and all the warmth and glory of the summer. And night and day, and heat and cold, and frost, and all the falling of the rain. And light that has come from distances unthinkable, and breezes that have blown from far away, and powers of nourishment that for years have been preparing in the mother earth.  Is it a little thing to get a piece of bread? Is it so little that it is out of place here where we are moving in the heights and depths? Not if you set it in the light of harvest.

I think then there is a lesson here about the greatness of the things we pray for. Our tiniest petitions might seem large, if we only knew what the answer would involve. There are things which you ask for which seem little things. Yet could you follow out that prayer of yours, you might find it calling for the power of heaven as mightily as the conversion of the nations.  You are lonely, and you pray to God that He would send a friend into your life. And then some day to you there comes that friend, perhaps in the most casual of meetings. Yet who shall tell the countless prearrangements, before there was that footfall on the threshold which has made all the difference in the world to you?

Give us this day our daily bread, and the sunshine and the storm are in the answer. Give us a friend, and perhaps there was no answer saving for omniscience and omnipotence. Now we know in part and see in part, but when we know even as we are known we shall discover all that was involved in the answer to our humblest prayers.

The Toil It Cost

In the second place, in the light of harvest think of the toil that lies behind the gift.

Now and then a gift is given us which touches us in a peculiar way, because we recognize the toil it cost. It may be given us by a child perhaps, or it may be given us by some poor woman. And it is not beautiful, nor is it costly, nor would it fetch a shilling in the market. And yet to us who know the story of it, and how the hands were busied in the making, it may be beautiful as any diadem. 

I want you then to take that thought and to apply it to your daily bread. It is a gift, and yet behind that gift do you remember all the toil there is?  Daily bread is more divine than manna for, like manna, it is the gift of heaven, and yet we get it not till arms are weary and sweat has broken on the human brow. I think of the ploughman with his steaming horses driving his furrow in the heavy field. I think of the sower going forth to sow. I think of the stir and movement of the harvest. I think of the clanking of the threshing mill, and of the dusty grinding of the corn, and of all those who in our bakeries are toiling in the night when we are sleeping.

And is it not generally in such ways that our most precious gifts are given us? Every good and perfect gift is from above, yet is there something of heart-blood on them all. A noble painting is a precious gift. It is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.  So is it with every noble poem; so with our civil and religious liberty. They are all gifts to us; they come from God; they are ours to cherish and enjoy. Yet every one of them is wet with tears, and charactered with human toil and pain, and oftentimes, like the Messiah's garment, dipped in the final ministry of blood. Into that fellowship of lofty gifts I want you, then, to put your daily bread. It is not little, nor is it insignificant when you remember all that lies behind it.

By Lowly Hands

Lastly, in the light of harvest think of the hands through which the gift is given. ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ we pray, and then through certain hands it is bestowed. Whose hands? Are they the hands of the illustrious, or of those whose names are famous in the world? All of you know as well as I do that it is not thus our bread is ministered; it reaches us by the hands of lowly men. Out of his cottage does the reaper come, and back to his cottage does he go at evening. And we halt a moment, and we watch him toiling under the autumn sunshine in the field. But what his name is, or where he had his birth, or what are his hopes and what his tragedies, of that we know absolutely nothing. So was it with the sower in the spring, and the harvester in autumn. They have no chronicle, nor any luster, nor any greatness in the eyes of man. And what I want you to realize is this, that when God answers this universal prayer, it is such hands as these that he employs.  Are there not tens of thousands who are nameless, toiling, sorrowing, rejoicing, dying, and never raising a ripple on the sea? Give us this day our daily bread—it is by such hands that the prayer is answered. It is by these that the Almighty Father shows that He is hearkening to His children. It is His recognition of obscurity.

Perhaps we shall never know how life is beautified and raised and glorified by those who toil in undistinguished fashion. Such men may never write great poems, but it is they who make great poems possible. Such may never do heroic things, but they are the soil in which the seed is sown. Such men will not redeem the world. It takes the incarnate Son of God for that. But they—the peasants and the fishermen—will carry forth the music to humanity. Give us this day our daily bread. Are there not multitudes who are praying so?

And you, you have no genius, no gifts? You are an obscure and ordinary person ? But if there is any meaning in our text, set in the light of sowing and of harvest, it is that the answer to that daily prayer will be vouchsafed through lowly folk like you.”

G.H. Morrison (1866-1928)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

“Boy, Did I Need You Today!”

The feet of a tightrope walker.

Image via Wikipedia

How often does our thanksgiving ring hollow to our Lord?

Imagine this with me.

A great circus performer thrills audiences night after night under the Big Top. His specialty is the high wire, and he performs it with ease. For him, walking on that slender strand is no harder than walking the floor at home. His skills and his balance are so great that he doesn’t even bother working with a net, even though he works at heights that would mean instant death if he were to fall.

Then one day he accepts a challenge…to walk the wire at twice the height, and do it outside. The date is set, and the conditions of the challenge are clear. No matter what the weather, he will perform. Failure to do so would be forfeiture and disgrace.

The day of the challenge does not dawn well. High winds buffet him on the platform and make the wire dance before his eyes. Rain slaps his face, blurs his vision, and slickens the already treacherous strand that he must traverse.

He is terrified, but he feels he has no choice. The show must go on. His honor must be upheld.

So he steps out.

What follows can only be described as a nightmarish ordeal. He wobbles, and bobbles, slips and catches himself. Every nerve is strained to the limit as he calls upon years of experience and finely-honed reflexes to keep him on the tightrope. While heights do not normally bother him, today he is all too terrifyingly aware that only one thin wire stands between him and a fall of hundreds of feet. He glues his eyes to that wire, his literal lifeline, clinging to it with everything he has.

Somehow, miraculously, he makes it across. And as his feet find the ending platform, and his hands grasp the pole, he sinks to his knees in gratitude.

Then, bending down, he kisses the wire and says to it, “Thank you! I’ve never needed you before like I needed you today.”

Is that true?

How well would he have done without the wire on all of his earlier performances? Could he have gone safely from one platform to the other without it? If it had failed him in mid-performance under the Big-Top, would any of his skills have been able to keep him alive? Would falling hundreds of feet have left him any more or less dead depending on the weather?

If the wire had feelings, it would probably think that the acrobat was being condescending. The thanks would ring hollow somehow. Who do you think you are? Don’t you know you’ve needed me every moment?

How often does our thanksgiving condescend to our Lord?

Do we flatter ourselves that we do just fine on our own most of the time, when the winds are calm and the skies are clear? On the good days, do we place all our faith in our skills, our reflexes, and our balance, as if they alone could hold us suspended over the abyss?

Of course we are right to be thankful on those days when His support is so obviously needed. But is there ever a moment when we do not depend utterly on Him?

Recently I faced a day with some unusual emotional difficulties. The next day was much easier, and I let myself rebound into what felt like a well-earned day of rest. Sadly, for me, “rest” meant wasted time and dereliction of duties from which I’d already “rested” far too often. It meant drowning out the Spirit with the drone of the television (I don’t often watch TV anymore, so it felt justified). It meant coasting on every level, preferring not to engage in anything more serious than entertainment. Then came another conversation, full of forebodings of the economic uncertainties facing our nation right now, and suddenly I felt like I needed the Lord again. And that’s when He reminded me of one of my current memory verses.

“When I fed them, they were satisfied. When they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot Me.” (Hos. 13:6, NIV)

Comfortable days are so dangerous! And yet how much of my time is spent trying to make myself comfortable?

Maybe I need to spend more time…much more time…out where the winds buffet and the rain falls. I don’t mean looking for trouble, I mean taking up my cross despite the beckoning of my cozy chair. You see, I’m too blind, too proud, too foolish to recognize my need of Him when I’m comfy.

I may remember to read His Word. I may remember to pay lip service to His worth. But if I have forgotten that I need Him every moment, then to that extent I have forgotten the wire under my feet. I have mistaken my skills for my Savior, even though my skills mean nothing without Him. I have become proud.

“The desire of our soul is…for the remembrance of You (Isa. 26:8).

How deeply do I desire to remember Him? Deeply enough to step out in faith when it’s painfully obvious that my own resources aren’t enough to hold me up?

Deeply enough to refuse the comforts that numb me to my need?

Deeply enough to enable me to remember Him even when I am comfortable?

No, sadly, not yet. But it’s where I want to be. And thank God, it’s where I know He plans to take me.

Where are you on this journey? How have you learned to remember Him more? I look forward to your comments.

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