Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28 (Psalm 38:5)

My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness.  (ESV)

King David has increasingly become one of my favorite people in the Bible.  He does great things and sins mightily, often from one minute to the next, and lays everything, both good and bad, before God.  How brutally honest is this verse?  No wonder God called him a man after His own heart.

Tired?  Beat down and stressed?  Fearful, filled with anxiety, or overwhelmed with worry?  Be honest for a moment and ask yourself just how much of all that is the result of your own foolishness.  I know half…okay, scratch that, seventy-five percent…oh, whom am I kidding, darn near all of the stress and pressure in my life I put there myself whether through sin or foolish lack of faith in God.

So what does David do in a situation where we all find ourselves sometimes?  He confesses his fault to God.  He lays it right out there and begs for help.  Read the rest of this psalm and you will get an idea of how a flawed man after God’s own heart lives a faithful life.

Jesus, I am worn out with the stupid way I live my own life.  I live foolishly and, yes, I yield to sin time and again.  Restore me, Lord.  Heal me.  Grab hold of my head and turn me to face You.  Truly, You are all I ever want.  Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14 (Exodus 3:14, John 8:58)

“Say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you.’”  (ESV)
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  (ESV)

Pulitzer-winning author and professor of cognitive science Douglas Hofstadter has spent his career exploring analogies.  He has observed that all of our thinking comes down to saying this is that.  He and many others have determined that when we look out our window, we do not just see tall, brown, and green.  Our brain processes these visual inputs as a tree.  Nothing ever just is.  Everything is always something.

This is indeed how you and I process our world.  It is central to who we are, and for that reason, these two verses about God are all the more extraordinary.  While it is true that God is loving, powerful, and good, at His core He simply is.  In this life I must identify myself as something.  I am a husband, a father, a teacher.  God is.  I am an American and I am a writer.  God is.  I am a Christian.  God is.

Do you see the difference?  We add more and more adjectives and nouns to our description, striving to get close to an identity.  God simply is, and for this reason, I can worship Him.  To worship anything else is idolatry.

Father, I cannot begin to comprehend You.  I can only accept You as You are, and when I do, I fall on my knees in joyful adoration.  You are, and I am Yours through Jesus, Who with You and the Holy Spirit, simply is.  Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 7 (Revelation 3:15-16)

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.  ESV

Statistics indicate that 25% of Americans fall into a category that makes no sense.  It is the category of casual Christians, those who believe in God, but consider faith a private issue.  Family and happiness are the most important things.  The culture around them shapes their morality more than Scripture or the Holy Spirit.

The phrase “casual Christian” is in fact a contradiction.  It is as logical as “hot ice” or “dry liquid.”  God was quite clear throughout the Old Testament as was Jesus during His earthly ministry, and He echoes that truth in these words from Revelation.  Be hot or cold, in or out.  Follow Him or don’t.  Just don’t deceive yourself into thinking that you have your spiritual life together by rolling into church now and then and wearing a cross around your neck.

It is easy to look at others and see them as lukewarm in their faith, but this is not about other people.  It is about you.  It is about me.  Your resume may show that you do some things for the community and that church is a part of your life.  God does not look at our resumes.  He looks at our hearts.  What does your life look like there?

Lord, I want to be sold out, on fire, passionate, engaged, 100% involved in Kingdom life with You.  I do not want to live a half faith, one that goes no deeper than the cover of the Bible I want people to see me carrying.  As the hymn says, “Take my life and let it be always, only, all for thee.”  In the name of Jesus, Who lived that better than anyone, amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins