Encounters

2202638851_a89063ab8e_mEver had something happen that frightens you each time you remember it? Share this one with me.

My mother, sister, and I were returning home after visiting my grandmother who lay dying in a nursing facility in the town behind us. It was nighttime and I was driving. The state highway was very dark but the ride pleasant. About the halfway point while passing through a community, I quickly perceived there to be people or something on the road feet ahead. It was impossible to tell, however, because there was no lighting of any kind, not even the moon. Furthermore, if there were anything on the road, the headlights should reveal it. No cars were in front of us. Continue reading

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More Than A Catalyst

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Mark Evans

In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being consumed or affected. A catalyst can also be a person whose energy causes others to become enthusiastic or lively. We like those people. We usually use the word to mean a person or thing that hastens an event or a change.

These definitions kinda describe God, wouldn’t you say? He is the cause of everything: the universe, life, beauty, goodness. Yet he is not depleted. Creation is suffused with his glory, but that wonder remains constant. Continue reading

God’s Love, Our Security

The Unfailing Love of God Series

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” IN ALL THINGS, God is at work. Often we do not read this scripture correctly with God as the subject of the verse.

CC NC, Kat N.L.M., Flickr

CC NC, Kat N.L.M., Flickr

“All things work together” because God causes them to do so. The family member’s addiction, the boss’s malice, and the devastating illness are incapable of rendering good of their own accord. Evil, sorrow, and the fallen, sinful world do not produce or lead to good things. So we may not be able to thank God for all things, but we can learn to thank him for refining our lives in our trials. Continue reading

God’s Pure Love

The Unfailing Love of God Series

God only loves us. The hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” signals this by saying, “There is no shadow of turning with Thee.” Our Father evinces no hint or trace of dishonesty or grudge.

CC NC, Julie Falk, Flickr

CC NC, Julie Falk, Flickr

He is indeed dissatisfied that a sinner should remain in sin and that a believer should cling to it in some way. But his affection for all of us is our contentment and prosperity in every way. Such personality will force people to wonder, Who is this God? His profile is so different from ours and contrary to the image many hold of “God.” Continue reading

God’s Unrelenting Love

The Unfailing Love of God Series

I’m not a parent and I wonder if parents might possess a fuller understanding of God’s love. Still, the picture gets clearer for me when I consider my relationship toward some in my family.

CC BY-NC-ND, Blanca Lanaspa, Flickr

CC NC-ND, Blanca Lanaspa, Flickr

I have a young nephew who esteems his uncle more than he does any other aunt or uncle in the family. I’m not sure how this happened, but, boy, does it feel great! A photo of us together makes me teary because I know he loves me unconditionally when I know how many unlovable things there are about me. Continue reading

He Loves Me. He Only Loves Me

The Unfailing Love of God Series

Sometimes I have to remind myself of the magnitude of God’s love. I think if most of us were honest about it, we would admit that we don’t always grasp the Father’s love. We don’t get it because it is not only on television and in our lust-ridden society that love has lost its sanctity, but also in our churches and spiritual thinking where the great story of God’s love has become glamorized and trivialized.

CC NC, A L, Flickr

CC NC, A L, Flickr

Moreover, Paul expresses the scale at which we compare to understanding God’s love for us when he says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all God’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ our Lord” (Eph. 3:17-18). Continue reading

The Way of Our Father

CC BY-SA, mariachily, Foter

CC BY-SA, mariachily, Foter

God is not as reticent as we think he is.

I’m learning to pray, Lord, help me not to miss crucial little things about my present life and circumstances that will explain lessons later. I’ve come to realize that God is not insensitive to us when we hurt and beg for answers, yet he answers on his own terms. Moreover, he responds in love and with the wisdom of his precise timing.

Think of a book you once read and didn’t comprehend: perhaps you finished it and more than likely you didn’t. A few years later you decided to read it again, especially since everyone except you seemed to love it. This time, however, you read it and couldn’t get enough of it. You were amazed that you never noticed all that was happening the first time.

God is that way with us. Sometimes we feel he’s not explaining himself too well, but it is his will to share with us about the matters we face.  “Call to me,” he says, “and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about” (Jer. 33:3, GNT). Still, some lessons are deeply formative ones to our faith—why something happened, why he didn’t act—and God, perhaps nestled above on the rock, tarries until we’ve climbed to where he’s waiting to speak with us.

Walk with God long enough and you’ll discover that for many lessons he patiently awaits our growth into them. It’s not always that we’re immature or lacking in some way, but rather certain experiences—the ‘crucial little things’—enjoined with our matured faith and his guiding voice cause us to BEHOLD what we never could have understood about his purpose at the time we demanded an explanation of him.

He’s too wise for our own good.

Let’s praise him for taking his time to speak to us about our cares. Let’s endure circumstance and not waste valuable experience. Let’s care to know only what the Father wishes to share because that’s all we’ll need to trust him later. Let’s never forget that what we learn becomes our ministry.

Another post on this topic: Hail the Morning Light