One of the most infuriating things about having children, and loving those children, and busting your butt to raise those children, is seeing those children deliberately do things you specifically told them not to do.
Me: “Merrick, take that sled to the front yard so you don’t crack your skull like a watermelon on this concrete.”
Merrick: “Hmmm sounds reasonable enough but I shall instead do the exact opposite of what you just said, because this hill in the backyard is prime for sledding yo, and we have insurance right?”
Dang it, son.
I’ve been able to take a shower almost every morning, so I am managing to get in at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted prayer time on the daily, which is lucky for you guys because now you get to hear me go on a crazy Christian ramble–something I haven’t done in a while.
But that doesn’t mean God hasn’t been hounding me about stuff. Example: God Himself. When was the last time I meditated on how awesome He really is?
I’m so serious.
There’s a book I heart called “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, and in it, he discusses how amazing God’s creation truly is. I’d straight quote word for word from it, but I gave away my copy so let me round-about share one particular thought from the book that stands out in my mind: God created tiny things like ladybugs and all their little lady parts. He created plants and animals, each with a hundred thousand different working pieces. He created humongous things like oceans and mountains and clouds, which water the plants which helps them grow. Plants feed us. They give off oxygen. We need oxygen to live. Coincidence? I think not. I’m no scientist, but to think all that exists in this world came from some random explosion in the blackness of space? Seems way more far-fetched to me than the truth. Logic: we were specially designed and put together by a higher power.
God created the world–THE WORLD–and He loves us. Measly, little old us.
He created us–but not so He could have robotic little worshippers living in a giant terrarium where everything works together flawlessly like a well-oiled machine. He created each of us, with 200 bones and millions upon millions of nerve endings, and ten fingers and ten toes, with eternal souls, sparkly personalities–and also free wills, so that our love for Him and for each other could be deep and real, not forced and false.
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD. He so loved it that even in the beginning, when we deliberately disobeyed Him, and blatantly went against Him, He didn’t turn His back on us. The creator of the entire universe doesn’t need us to be awesome. He could have been all like “Alright. I told you once. Have a nice life. I’ll just sit up here on my cloud, being all glorious and junk.” (Which, coincidentally, is similar to the way I felt today when Merrick ate cement after an unfortunate sled ride in the backyard: “Aw, that stinks. I told you once. I’ll just sit inside here, being warm and drinking hot cider.”)
But He didn’t. Instead, from the moment we jacked His perfect design with our own *fantastic* ideas and earthly cravings, God set into motion a plan that would ultimately lead to our redemption and salvation–the entire Bible is the story of our rebellion and of God’s unfailing and unfathomable love.
In all our sinfulness, in all our wanderings, this amazing God, who has existed since before the beginning of all time; who is surrounded by a thousand hundred angels singing His praises; who shines so bright we can’t even begin to look at His face–this God loves us so much that He sacrificed His only son.
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
1. That’s so nice. Actually wow….holy crap, I’m so sorry for all the things I’ve done and ever will do. Mad respect to God. I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy.
2. With all this being true and believed by so many, how is it then, that the world (which God created) is fast filling with people who don’t want anything to do with Him?
All people have one kind of relationship or another with God:
There are those that have never and will never believe in God. There are those that have believed but don’t believe anymore.
There are those that vaguely believe. There are those that believe a watered-down version of the Gospel, full of half-truths and feel-good vibes, but empty of any real devotion to or love for Jesus Christ Himself.
There are those that say they believe in order to push their own hateful agendas on everyone else.
There are people who do good but don’t believe.
There are people who do believe but just can’t get life right.
There are those who talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
There are those that believe, but tell no one. There are those that tell everyone, but don’t believe.
There are those that don’t have all the answers; who KNOW they don’t have all the answers, but who love God with every thought, with every breath, with every bone in their body.
There are those that believe, love God, and follow Him; that live out their beliefs and teach them to whoever they come in contact with.
The one thing everyone everywhere has in common is this: we all fall short. So, so short.
Did you know there is a growing atheist movement called the Sunday Assembly, where people can come and sing and get all the feels, and experience the community of a traditional church, minus the idea of any God? (Did you know there are “Christian” churches all over the United States today that pretty much do just that?)
Our culture is changing, which is not always a bad thing unless our focus is shifting–and it is. We are becoming a society of self-worshippers. We are forgetting God’s importance and power. We are proudly patting ourselves on our fat backs and pointing fingers in every direction but our own when things go wrong.
And then we wonder why things do go wrong.
Christians, have we dropped the ball?
What can we as the church in general offer that a Sunday Assembly can’t? What can we do for a community that they aren’t already capable of doing themselves? What present do we give to the man who already has everything? What about us is enticing or different from the rest of the world?
It’s not sports programs or food banks or block parties or kick-ass rock music on Wednesday nights or a bomb children’s activity room. It’s not Tuesday morning coffee club with a 10-minute Christian-lite bible study on the side. Its not a cocky recitation of scripture or a memorized verbal assault on those who have their doubts. Its not a millionth Obama-bashing Facebook rant, or an inspirational bible verse printed over a picture of an empty beach.
Instead of those things, let us be known for having a passion for God and His creation, a humble attitude of a servant, and an unbridled, burning, evident (and maybe even crazy) love for a savior, who is Jesus.