Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Be Still

"'Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!' The Lord of hosts is with us; the GOd of Jacob is our fortress." Psalm 46: 10-11

Our world runs by in a fast pace. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Here in America, we are always rushing somewhere. Hence the drive in pharmacy, fast food resturants, and microwave dinners. We are always trying to save time. But why?

What are we saving time for? Is it just for the pure and simple fact of having more time to hurry and do something else? Do we rush just for the sake of rushing?

It is so easy with our honey-do lists and the thousand different demands on our time to let God and Scripture slip to the background but whenever we give Him second place, we are sure to be less gracious, less peaceful, and less able to see the blessings and joys around us. He knew that. That is why He told us to be still. This doesn't mean that we can never be busy but that even our business, we remember that He is in the throne and He is in control.

Every other summer or so, my family goes camping up to Lake Superior. We get a campsite right by the lake where we can climb through a thin strip of trees down to the beach and then, out into the icy cold water. We play in the sand, ride on the waves, made smores around the campfire, and fall asleep to the sound of the water.

One day, after swimming, I was standing on a washed up piece of wood and looking out across the water to the faint gleam of Canada's shores with the cry of birds and the crash of the waves in my ear. I stood there in wonder at the creation and I thought of that verse. 'Be still.' How good it is to be silent in your soul, even if you aren't in your motions, and to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is God. That is how we can have peace even when life is like an earthquake roaring around us.

"I am God." It is a powerful three words with volumes of meaning behind them. God. We have given that word many definitions but none compare to the Bible's definition. Holy, majestic, righteous, soveriegn, merciful, mighty, loving, truth, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, never changing, ever faithful. He is the Warrior whose mighty arm will be our fortress and He is the tender Shepehrd who will make us lie down in green pastures and lead us beside still waters. He rules kingdoms, poewrs, wars, and nations and He raises up or tears down according to His perfect plan. We can trust Him for He is God.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Isn't it interesting the places we can get post ideas for? Today, mine came from a prayer at our community group. The man who was praying mentioned his gratitude that God has given us the Holy Scripture and it struck me. What would this world be like without the Bible?

It has been cherished, died for, belittled, and burned. It is the one Story that never grows out of date or irrelevant, though many people would like to claim so. Even Christians often push it to the margins or forget so very often what a blessing it is. Think about it. We love and trust God because we read of how He always provided for His people in the past. Romans 8, any of the Gospels, or 2 Samuel 22. These show His incomprehensible love, His everlasting mercy, and His mighty power.

God is not required to reveal Himself to us. He didn't have to give us the guidance and encouragement of Scripture. It is a gift and we need to remind ourselves of that. Here in America, Bibles are so easily available but there are places in the world where Christians have only portions that they cherish and memorize. I heard once of a person who walked, I believe, forty miles one way just to get a Bible. Would we do the same? Do we understand how precious it is?

It is the words of God Himself!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Perfect Society

Today, I went to a Christian conference for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I heard a lot there; a lot of encouragement and a lot of conviction. But there was one quote that struck me full in the face. It is from a feminist named Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

She wrote that "When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident...another Newton will come forth to unlock further the secrets of the earth and the stars. There will come a Plato who will be understood, a Socrates who will drink no hemlock, and a Jesus who will not die upon the cross."

I just sat there...

Margaret Sanger missed a lot of things but that last sentence blew me away. A Jesus who will not die upon the cross? That is what her vision of what a perfect society is. So many people see the cross as horrible, murderous, and ugly...and it is if you just look at the death. However, if you go further, if you look at the Man and understand why He was on that cross, why He let Himself be beaten, spit upon, and killed, and why He came out of that tomb three days later, it isn't ugly. It's beautiful!

Jesus dying on the cross is the one thing that saves our world from utter damnation. That is a controversial statement in this day and age...but it is true. He says Himself, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." There is no mountain with multiple paths, there is no 'your way is okay for you and mine for me'. There is ONE way and it is through the cross. We don't have to like it but it is still there. Our prefence does not define true reality.