Saturday, April 25

I'll Trust in You

I will live to love you,
I will live to bring You praise,
I will live a child in awe of You...

You alone are God of all.
You alone are worthy, Lord.
And will all I have my soul will bless your name.

(Another great performance by my church's worship band.)

Thursday, April 23

Leave the Results to Him

I enjoyed this One-Minute Daily Devotion, so I'm sharing it with you. It is so true that we must seek to raise our children according to their individual "bent" because each and every one of us is unique!

Again, this is copied from a devotional, not my own words:

'That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.' - Hebrews 12:16-17

"Esau and Jacob. Same mother, same father, twins. Raised the same way with the same belief system. But you would never meet two more diverse persons on the face of the earth.

When you have children of the same sex that are close in age, there are going to be some very fascinating dynamics. They have come from the same parents. They’ve been raised in the same household. How can they be so incredibly different? But every child is unique and has to be parented differently. A parent will often lament to me about problems they're having with one child while another child is doing splendidly. The parent will say, "You know, pastor, I've raised 'em the same way." And I think to myself, "That's the problem." You cannot raise any child the same way and expect it to be a fruitful venture. Children are not robots. They each have their own unique talents, individual interests and varying temperaments.

Remember, parents, only God knows the ultimate plan He has for our children. Only He knows how it's going to ultimately play out. The role of the parent is to seek to shape our children and to understand how to parent them uniquely. We raise them with love, fairness, discipline, and teaching in hopes that our children will one day be able to grasp the grace of God. We pray that one day they'll come to the realization that they are sinners and do not deserve God’s favor or blessing. We pray that they claim the grace of God, and allow Him to transform their life through Jesus Christ. And in the process, some of our children are going to choose to claim that grace and repent, and some are not. Do your best, pray for God's guidance, and leave the results in the hands of God."

Tuesday, April 21

I Know Him

"But in the past, when you didn't know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. But now... how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces?" Galatians 4:8-9
Because I spent so many years not living for Christ, I have sometimes wondered when I truly became a Christian. After much thought and prayer, I would now say that I did indeed become a Christian when I professed faith in Christ and was baptized at about age ten. But I did not really know God.

For many years, my relationship with God was like my relationship with the senior pastor of my church. I go to a wonderful but very large church, so I don't really know our senior pastor personally. I've had a few very brief conversations with him; I've shaken his hand a few times; some of my good friends know him well and speak very highly of him; I've learned a good bit about his heart through hearing him preach. But I don't KNOW him. We aren't, as Anne Shirley (of Green Gables) would say, "bosom friends." That's how it was with me and God for many years. I had friends who knew Him and spoke highly of Him; I'd had a few brief conversations with Him, and I'd learned some things about Him and about His heart. But God was not my "bosom friend." It has only been in very recent years that I feel like I can honestly say I know God.

I was once enslaved to many "weak and bankrupt" things that are not gods. I never want to return to those things. I have now come to know God, and my life will never be the same because of it. Because of Him.

[Please don't think our church is impersonal just because it's large. I have a wonderful pastor whom I do know personally (one of the associate pastors), a fabulous Sunday school class, and I've made the best friends I've ever had in my life. But with more than 5,000 members our senior pastor just can't possibly have a personal relationship with every one of us. He is a great man, but has his limitations, unlike God who can know us all personally!]