God

Love Tested: God or Mammon?

I scan the home and farm;

I scan my bank account and investments.

I see my wife and children dressed in finest fashions;

I see my workers smiling when they greet me at the door.

I smell the company dinners;

I smell the wine in private company.

I greet my neighbors in their also pleasant homes;

I greet my enemies from the security of my iron gate.

I think how God has blessed me;

I think how much more blessing I desire.

My heart yearns not faintly with longing;

My soul longs for more years to enjoy this world.

Till all is stripped away through heart attack;

Till my economy collapses beneath the wait of my greed.

My protection is breached!

My borders are unprotected!!

A heavy heart toils to find God among the ruins of disaster;

A heavy burdened back labors to lift my eyes beyond the horizon.

My children, home, lands and pleasant company are gone;

My wife wishes that I were gone as well.

 

How can a life so right

become so wronged?

I wrestle with the dirt,

as though digging my own grave.

I wrestle with my friends,

as though wrestling with my God.

I wrestle with the devil,

and find myself wrestling with myself.

 

Where has my love gone?

The simple love of children laughing;

The simple joys of cattle calving.

Where has my hope gone?

The simple hope of heaven yet to come;

The simple security of forgiveness won.

Where has my faith gone?

The simple faith in the Lord unmoved;

The simple humility of trusting Truth.

 

The Lord reveals Himself amid the storm;

He shows me that all that I thought was norm

Was merely what I’d seen

Yet hidden beyond my wildest dreams

I had not known the Maker of the stars;

I had not known the Designer of all my million parts.

“Lord, let me simply walk with you,

and though my path is marked with thorns

Let me speak in simple truths

and behold you sitting on Your Throne!”

 

I lift my eyes to see my friends gather round,

I lift my ears to hear with joy the sound of laughter once again.

The Lord has settled me alive in this broken world;

and though the swirls of life seem unsettled …

A broken heart proves plenty an offering in the plate that passes by.

Now I can taste once more His Presence at the table with my enemies.

 

My story & my song. – Mert Hershberger, remembering Job, in honor of all my loved ones.

February 17, 2017.

Categories: God, Humility, Poem, Prayer, Suffering, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Focus

Focus in ministry is often described as focusing on a particular group of people. And there is some truth in this: we should not be focusing all our ministry merely on those inside the church. Rather, the leaders of the church must focus on those outside the fold and looking for ways to bring them in. This is what Paul did, according to Romans 15.

However, there is a deeper, higher, further focus we must have. We must focus on Jesus. If we focus on Jesus, He will lead us to the lost. He will lead us to continue in service when the flesh would urge us to serve ourselves. Jesus will enable us to persevere at all costs.

Focus not so much on who has yet to be reached as Who is reaching out to find the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost sons.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Do not look elsewhere. When Jesus fills your vision, you will see everyone in a different light. You will see the lonely in light of their need of the Friend of Sinners.

Look to the Healer, so that when poor health attacks you or those you serve, you will have authority to drive out sickness and be whole for the harvest. He will heal. He will help. He is your Hero.

Jesus does not stand far off, so focusing on him does not require a telescope.
Jesus is not insignificant, so focusing on him does not require a microscope to analyze.
Jesus is near you. He is in your heart and in your mouth. Jesus is waiting to burst forth as the one recognized by your soul as Lord
We focus on Jesus by confessing Him in every situation and every circumstance.

Perhaps you know a neighbor who does not attend a worship service. Will you be so full of worship that when you meet him, he will enter the presence of God?

Perhaps you know an immigrant who has traveled far to find a better life. Will you be so full of the Life of God that you can share the Best Life with them?

Perhaps you have an enemy who mistreats and abuses you. Will you draw so close to the wounds of Christ that when you suffer, you will suffer with Christ and will with Christ forgive the bitter soul?

Friend, fix your eyes on Jesus. Fix your heart on Jesus. Let Him fix you and let Him rearrange your life so that all is lived for the Kingdom of God.

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God unveils Himself through creation

Read Genesis 1-2 here:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%201-2&version=LEB

Throughout we will look at who God is, but notice He reveals, or unveils, himself through creation. The purpose of creation was not for God to hide Himself and be unspoken of in regard to what exists, but so that He might be more fully known & seen.

Our purpose for learning is not just to learn and know what is right and wrong, what is good for us and what is bad for us by experience and experiment. The goal of science is to know God. Creation exists because God existed first. So, let us step back a moment and consider: our goal is not just to know ourselves, but the God who is intimately concerned with out wellbeing. The God who made us the way we are is a little bit of what we will look at this week, with the hope that we will learn a little more about how to live well in His light.

1. God is. God was. God will be. He is not a what, but a holy Who.

2. Who is this God exactly? He has a voice and His Word creates. God is reasonable and logical. The Word, the Express Image of God was there in the beginning. The Word interacted with creation, bringing light and life and love into where and who and why we are.

3. The breath of God, or the Spirit of God, brooded over the earth. The Wind of God blew over the earth. God is spirit. The Spirit is needed for a new work of God to start.

4. God gives light at the start of a new work. Indeed, whenever a new advance of the Kingdom has been given, it started with light shining in a chaotic culture. God brings truth to bear in our abode.

5. God is wise. He knows how to differentiate the diversity of life and inorganic forms. He does all things well. When he is finished, it is very good.

6. God is good. Everything that God made was good, therefore, we can know that God is good. It requires a good person to make something good.

7. God is persons, and not just a singular person. He said, Let US make man in our image. for God to say US and our (singular) image, implies that God is one God, one character, but a plurality of persons: God Himself, the Voice & Expressed Thoughts of God, the Breath of God.

8. God is not ashamed. We should not be ashamed of God. We never need to doubt God. God never doubted Himself. After all, there is no reason to doubt life or doubt goodness or doubt love.

9. God is alive and wanted life to flourish. God had thoughts and opinions and a voice and breath and gave life to the man and woman and gave gifts to the human race. God created and formed and fashioned and spent time with man in the garden. God made beauty and is therefore beautiful and majestic. Allah al-Majd.

10. God is love. How do we know God is love? The word love is not even mentioned? It is clear: God gave. To love is to give. God gave His life to the mankind. We are made in the image of God and are meant to bear His life within us. We are not meant to be a dead image, but to be a living image, walking with God, working with God, worshipping God.

Do you worship God? Do you ever step back from life and rest and reflect on the character and nature of God? Do you ever consider all that God has done and give thanks? Oh, what a loving Father we have! He sent His Son Jesus to die for you so you could live. HE died so that you could live. How loving is that? HE made the sacrifice. Stop trying to sacrifice yourself for God. Let Him give himself to you. God is a self-sacrificing God. The Lord is a self-expressing God. We reflect His glory.

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