Into My Heart

Into My Heart

Into My Heart

Into My Heart

The thought was overwhelming. Although I was driving I took my phone out of my pocket to call my wife who was several counties away for an appointment.  At that very moment I saw she was calling me.  Now I had forgotten to take my phone out of its silent mode and I had not been aware of the incoming call.

Although the call was not an emergency, it was a reminder in a wonderful way of God’s very presence inside me.  “Into my heart, into my heart. Come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today.  Come in to stay.  Come into my heart Lord Jesus!”  I still remember learning that song as a child. I remember believing it as I asked the Lord Jesus to come in.

It has taken a lifetime from that moment so long ago to appreciate how powerful a change this has made on my life.  God is truly our Great Friend, unlike any other.  He consoles, guides, promises, protects, chides, disciplines, encourages.  He loves!

In my life as this wonderful Friendship has grown I have long lost count of the many ways He has done these things.   I cannot imagine a life without Him!  My greatest concern is displeasing Him.  I know that I am far from perfect and that I do displease Him at times. It is at those times, when I realize I have gone astray in some way that my heart breaks and I run as fast as I can back to Him.  How thankful I am for His many wonderful promises!  “I will never (ever) leave you!”  “Your sins and transgressions I will remember no more” “I will come and I will receive you to myself”  “I am with you always, even to the end of this age.”  And they go on.

As I said, I cannot imagine life without Him.  Into my heart He came.  In my heart He stays.  Have you asked?  Do you believe it?  If you don’t I would love to talk with you and tell you so many, many stories of how good, how faithful, how wonderful is this, the greatest of all Friendships.  It is an offer to everyone no matter who you are or what you have done.

Where did I put my leg?

Where did I put my leg?

  PT  “I want my leg back.”

I didn’t exactly lose it.  I just loss some use of it due to an injury.

Eighteen.  That was the number of times I was allowed to have physical therapy.  Very quickly I learned that getting my leg back, or rather the use of it, depended on how well I listened to and followed the direction of the physical therapists at Betsy Johnson Hospital.  Now the physical therapy department there is very, very good, but they can’t perform miracles.  They can understand the problem, diagnose the best solution and direct my exercise.  From there, the rest is up to me and how well I follow their direction.  If I don’t ‘get my leg back’, I can’t blame anyone but myself.

I think everyone wants to live forever.  I know I do.  I have spent the last 41 years of my life studying the Scriptures for I find in them the same kind of direction to find a relationship with God and to grow in that relationship which I find in the physical therapists’ direction for ‘getting my leg back’.

Week after week men and women of God the world over seek to help those whom God sends them ‘get their life back’ or find their life, their true life.  That Life is full, rich and satisfying and is just what God wishes for us.  It is not illusive but easy to find.

In the four weeks after my injury before I began physical therapy I tried to discover the best way to help me ‘get my leg back’.  After beginning work with trained physical therapists I learned that some things I was doing were helping and some things were hurting my progress.  So now I have listened and I have changed.  Now I am getting better day by day.

Like the men and women of God the world over I wish people would listen to spiritual direction from those of us whom God has commissioned, trained and sent into the world to help that world.  I wish the world could understand that just as my failure to listen to and follow the directions of the therapists means that I likely would not heal,  failure to listen to and follow direction in how to find and maintain a healthy relationship with the living God will result in a far worse outcome than just ‘losing your leg’.

If you know you are far away from God’s grace and love you do not have to stay that way.  There are those sent by God to help you find Him and find Life in Him.  Seek them out.  If you will listen and follow Godly direction you will find Life.

God Never Fails

God Never Fails

Believe it or not, I have endured a great many trials during my years of serving Christ. I have often felt that if I had known of them in advance, I would never have said “yes” to His call on my life. In having lived though some of the things that I have, there have been many, many lessons learned. About faith. About the true nature of God. About His enduring love. About how He never leaves us. There was a purpose for each trial I endured, though perhaps it was not evident at the time.

I am convinced that that each time I was asked to carry my cross and follow Him that it was not wasted. I believe that perhaps in ways hidden from my eyes God used or will use these things in a way that gives Him glory. This is what it means to trust Him. I do not even have to see in my lifetime the fruit of my obedience. Though there are times , I must admit, when when I struggle mightily to believe this truth. Yet I can so easily recall when His Spirit within me led faithfully as I walked hand in hand with Him into the dark night of the soul. I trusted then not seeing that anything He led me into would ultimately be for my good. There were times that I was terrified by the might and the verocity of the enemy and the total silence of any friendly voices around me. Though in the midst of what seemed at times total darkness, yet still I was never truly lost to faith. In the face of sometimes unrelenting pain, I learned to trust again and again and again.

I am convinced that any action done in trust and faith must yield fruit for eternity as surely as throwing a ball into the air will yield to the force of gravity and bring it crashing to the ground.. Anything, ANYTHING we do in faith yields eternal fruit. It is an absolute reliable, undeniable, unbreakable, thoroughly trustworthy truth that any action of faith in God yields eternal fruit. If it takes well beyond my death for the harvest to be realized, yet will I trust that each and every step taken along the broken road results in eternal glory and praise and power. There is nothing that can stand in the way of the power of God’s grace. He is. And He is eternal. As it was in my life then, so it is now. God is my rock and my salvation. I shall trust in Him and I shall not be afraid. This is my wish for you as well, my brothers and sisters in Christ. That when you face your own ” dark night of the soul”, as we all surely must, that you will know and trust that God never leads you into anything that He will not walk you through to the other side. Though you may not see the wisdom of it at the time, your trials will yield eternal fruit if you but trust that He always has your utmost good as His highest calling. Amen.

What Is Faith?

What is Faith?

What is faith? One dictionary definition describes it as a belief in something not proven. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith in some ways reminds me of gravity. We know it exists, we know it keeps us anchored to the earth, yet we can’t see it or feel it. We know much about it, much has been written on the subject, and yet we don’t fully comprehend it. Faith and trust are what hold our relationship with God together in much the same way that gravity holds matter together. As gravity is to the physical world, so faith is to the spiritual world.

It would be a very foolish thing indeed, if we tried to live our lives as if gravity did not exist. Along the same lines, it is equally foolish to live our lives without faith. As we have learned to experience gravity in the physical world by seeing things fall, experiencing weight and weightlessness, we can learn to navigate in the world of the spirit by faith. But how do we learn about the way faith operates in our lives? First of all we can examine scripture and see the many wonderful examples of faith and how it impacted God’s people. We can examine our own lives for times when we acted upon faith and God acted in response. Conversely, we can see examples of times in which we lacked faith and the results of this. Like gravity, faith needs to be so deeply ingrained into our sprits that we operate in the world without even giving it much conscious thought. It is just always there. Unseen, but ever present, impacting all that we do in our daily lives. Amen