The very last sentence in 1 John is so powerful. Children of God, if there is even A CHANCE that this thing – this new hobby, this relationship, this habit – MIGHT take God’s place in your heart, KEEP AWAY!
These are probably my favorite shoes…at least today. I have literally worn them out so completely that the duct tape you see is only covering holes in my soles – not really doing much to protect my foot. But you can’t see this important detail when you’re just looking down at my shoes.
Today, when I admitted to myself that I really need to dumpster these beauties, it occurred to me just how much they resemble the way we are sometimes.
We can look all pretty on the outside, making everyone think we’re just fine, while our souls seem to be held together with duct tape. The wounds may be hidden, but they are very real. I encourage you, don’t let yourself stay in such a condition. God is there, and He doesn’t just patch us up; He makes us new.
A friend used to tell her children, as they walked out the door, “Remember whose kid you are.” She wasn’t talking about herself, but God. When we keep in mind the fact that GOD is our FATHER, it changes us. It changes the way we think, the way we act, who we are.
So who IS our Father? Today, my Flourish journey (Passion Publishing/LifeWay) inspired me to do something I’ve never done before. I added the words “my Father” to a passage…and it seriously brought the Word’s message home in a whole new way.
Psalm 24:1-10 (ESV)
“The earth is my Father’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for my Father founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord my Father? Who may stand in my Father’s holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from my Father the Lord, and vindication from my Father God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek my Father, who seek Your face, my Father, God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory, my Father, may come in. Who is this King of glory? My Father, the Lord strong and mighty, my Father, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory, my Father, may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – my Father – he is the King of glory.”
THAT is who your Father is, child of God, and don’t you forget it.
I recently had to stop in the road because two little dogs had dashed into the street. One crossed the road, but the other got confused and was wandering. I prayed for the poor things, but then I realized what they’d been after and was floored.
A large dog was jogging beside a woman. He stayed right at her side, never seeming to even notice the little yapper that was chasing after him. He never broke stride, never looked away. He was doing EXACTLY what he’d been trained to do.
And he was carrying his own leash. Literally. He held it in his mouth as he jogged down the sidewalk beside a woman who obviously had total trust in him. And the two made me think.
In a sense, we’re all like that dog. God calls us to run along beside Him, but though He gives us a guide (the Word and the Spirit) that He could use as a leash to control us, He ultimately leaves the decisions up to us. What do we do? What do I do? Do I actively choose to walk faithfully beside Him, not turning to the right or left?
Do you have someone who has passed, and you still keep their last voice mail on your phone? Or perhaps you wish there had been a voice mail you could have saved?
Voices are important, but we tend not to realize how important they are until a loved one is gone. That’s why, a few years back, I did a simple but powerful thing.
I used my phone’s Voice Notes app to record The Golden Children’s Bible for my grandchildren. I then copied those recordings onto flash drives and presented them as gifts. These weren’t professional by any stretch. They were all me, just Granna reading a book to them.
I’ve begun working on something similar for them for this Christmas. I’m recording the book of Proverbs. Again – ME, with my hesitations, flubs, and even a, “Hey, Granna doesn’t always get it right.”
With this idea of preparing a spiritual heritage for my grandkids firmly in mind, I plan to follow this with chapter-by-chapter commentaries (still in Proverbs). I won’t comment on every verse, but will share my thoughts on those that I’m particularly drawn to.
So, while I only have memories of the God-led conversations I had with my grandparents, my grands will be able to hear me share the important things any time they want – even after I’m long gone. And all it requires is a simple phone app and a little time.
Psalm 119:111 (ESV): Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.”
In revisiting this verse today, the word “heritage” stands out. Your heritage is what you inherit. God’s Word is my inheritance.
Yes, we inherit it from God Himself, but I see more here. I see a spiritual application of Proverbs 13:22 (KJVER): “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”
My grandparents, both sets, left me this tremendous inheritance, an enduring love for God’s Word. I saw them love it. I saw them live it. I discussed it with them. More valuable than any money they were able to leave, it is also the only inheritance that will last forever, and I will be eternally grateful for it.
Now it is my responsibility and honor to leave that same heritage for my children’s children!