Month: November 2013

Does Anybody See Me?

Does God take any notice of me?

It’s a very good question.

With seven billion people scurrying around on this planet, it’s easy to feel like we’re flying under God’s radar. With so many people to deal with, how much time could He really have left for me? Is He even interested?

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I think that Jesus’ words, as recorded in the Book of Matthew, answer that question with a big fat YES!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.

“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not much more valuable than they?

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matt 6:25-34 NIV (emphasis mine)

Jesus used a lot of words to hammer home this one basic point: do not worry.

God promised that if we put him first, He will supply what we need.

So what does that imply?

Number one: God knows if you’re seeking him first. So He must be paying attention to you.

Did you hear me?

HE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU.

Not just Australia as a whole (though He is watching that too). Not even just your church as a whole. YOU. He is profoundly interested in the state of your heart.

And that leads us to point number two.

God wants you to seek Him first.

Him, and Him alone. Similar to how a husband wants to be the only man for his wife, multiplied by about a hundred million billion squillion.

God loves you enough to get jealous over you.

And that’s a pretty personal, intimate kind of love.

 

Breaking out of the Box

Have you ever given much thought to the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer?

Have they ever struck you as life-altering?

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If you’ve grown up in the church like me, you could probably recite this prayer in your sleep. I think I could do it in a coma.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13 NIV

“Our Father” – stop right there.

In the original language, where is says ‘Father’, Jesus actually used the word for Dad or Daddy.

Hmmm.

Not Your Majesty. Not Your Honour. Not even Sir.

Dad.

Wow. Can we even comprehend the enormity of that? Try for a moment.

The God who made more galaxies than there are people, wants us to call Him Dad. The God who made Everest and the Grand Canyon like He was playing in a sandpit, wants us to call Him Dad. The God who could wipe out the universe or create a new one in a split second, wants us to call Him Dad.

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

Sounds like a pretty personal relationship to me.

And how about the rest of the prayer? Jesus instructs us to pray for our needs, for help in temptation and for forgiveness. All remarkable.

Does the President want to hear about how your day went? Will a judge care enough to ensure you have a way out of every tempting situation? Is your employer in a position to forgive you for everything you’ve done wrong?

Nope, nope, and nope.

Yet often we think of God as little more than a ruler, a judge, or a boss.

God is obviously much, much more than any of those boxes we’ve put Him in.

New Short Story – ‘The Author’

If you enjoyed The Bride, check out my new story in the Parables section, The Author.

The Author

The Author creates characters that literally come to life. But what happens when they decide to write their own stories?

Find out by visiting the Parables section or following this link:

The Author

 

God knows you. That’s right, you!

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matt 6:6-8 NIV

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Wow, did you see that? If not, go back and read it again.

Did you see it this time? There are two amazing truths in those verses that make me feel special and loved.

Number one:  God sees what is done in secret. Usually when you say those words, people shrink down into themselves and glance around, looking for the giant eye in the sky that is spying on them. Like they’re ashamed.

But there’s no need for that, not if we’re forgiven. In this verse, God is watching all the good things we do in secret. In other words, He is paying attention.

Doesn’t that make you smile? He notices the small things: that time you bit your tongue so that you didn’t lash out; when you cooked a meal for an ill mother; when you were honest about your mistake at work. And He hears every quiet word you say to Him.

He sees. He knows. He smiles. And He will reward (not that reward should really be our motivation, but still… it’s nice).

Number two: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him”. Just let that sink in for a minute.

Don’t cheat. A whole minute.

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He knows what you need before you even ask Him.

Does your best friend or your spouse know what you need before you tell them? Sometimes they might be lucky enough to guess. But know? And those are the most intimate human relationships in existence!

God is even better than that.

He knows you. He knows you really, really well.

God and Us. Friends? Acquaintances? Enemies? Lovers?

When you picture your relationship with God, what do you see?

That question was not rhetorical. Stop reading. Think about it.

Contemplation

Is he a bully? A sour-faced judge? A school principal? An absent parent? Or is he even paying attention to you at all?

Many people think that Christianity is just a ticket to heaven, and maybe following some rules. That’s what the Bible says, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Maybe, just maybe, he actually wants a personal, intimate relationship with you. One where you can talk with each other. One where you know one another. One where you can’t live without one another. One where you’re totally consumed.

Does this sound a little unrealistic? Or even irreverent?

Let’s have an honest look at the Bible together and see what kind of relationship God wants to have with us.

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