Look at the lyrics for “Come Alive” by Warren Barfield, “Perfectly Done” by Shawn McDonald, and “All I Need” by Shawn McDonald.
God works in very odd, challenging, but also exciting ways. It’s always good to see the bigness of God – a God you can hold on to. A God who is real.
In The Lookout this week, they’re covering Ecclesiastes. Think about it – a man who had the whole world (Solomon), and he spends his life chasing pleasure, and when it leaves him, he realizes that the glory of God is all things. I especially like Ecc. 3:11 “(God) has set eternity in the hearts of men.” (NIV). We crave something deeper than this world could ever satisfy. As Augustine put it, “We were made for thee, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee.” [The Lookout, published by The Christian Standard, October 7, 2007 edition]
I’ve been dually challenged: be an evangelist and care deeply for His fame in the nations. I’m finding more and more that an authenticity of who you are and what you’re about is quite required for developing community and relationships. This poses a very real challenge to me – am I who I say I am? Do I truly care what happens to the unprivileged and unfortunate? Do I truly love others more than I do myself? Do I truly hate my own life – losing my old self to find new life in Christ?
I’m also learning a lot about grace. He extends it to me with restraint or bound. I don’t know how much I accept it – sometimes I still want to beat myself up for things done long ago. But the joy is this – He’s forgiven me (and you)! He did this for 1) His own glory (credit) and 2) because that’s the only way He could see us not as objects of wrath.
“Behold! I am making all things new!” I think of this admonition, a reminder to us that a new creation is dawning, His Kingdom is still present, and we get to participate in His plan to redeem peoples worldwide. I remember that diversity was created by God. We get excited about meeting people from other countries, people who speak other tongues, people who eat “weird” foods. It’s at times like these that I find it best to remember that God ordained all of it.
Quick conclusion – pumpkin carving plus forcing Algerian student to “pull out the guts” = lots of fun.
I just want you to meet my Jesus. He has a terrible habit of hanging out with sinners, going to parties, talking to the lame, the blind, and prostitutes. Yet, He also speaks truth, healing is found in His wings, and He is moved with compassion. He weeps for cities and dear friends. He seeks and saves. He has immense power, but gave it all up for us.
The least I can do is get out of my box and tell people about His sacrifice, His worth, and His renown.