THERE ONCE WAS A MAN. . .

. . . who was HOMELESS. He was POOR. He had no guaranteed shelter as he WANDERED from town to town. He had to have FAITH that the people he met along the way would provide  for his needs, and oftentimes he found himself sleeping in the WILDERNESS, where he once spent 40 days being TESTED and TORMENTED. He told stories that his closest friends rarely understood, yet inspired HOPE everywhere he went, causing people to leave their life work at the DROP OF A HAT to follow him. His friends were crooked government officials. Prostitutes. Mistresses. The diseased and REJECTED. He was HATED BY THE RELIGIOUS, yet LOVED BY THE OUTCASTS. His own hometown rejected him, and his own people freed a criminal in order to put him to death. He was killed beside THEIVES before reaching 35 years old. His life was not one of PLEASURE OR COMFORT, but one of PERSECUTION AND CHANGE. He lived the life of a SERVANT, only to rise a KING.

Through his PERSECUTION, we were given SALVATION. Through his DEATH, we were given LIFE.

THIS is MY GOD.

Advertisements

FAITH INSURANCE*

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”¬† – Luke 9: 24 (NLT)

Why is it so hard for us to FULLY submit? We are creatures of worry – always making a backup plan for when something might not come through.

*But is it worry, or a lack of faith?

There are a lot of stories I hear of people putting all of their eggs in one basket, left to rely solely on God to survive – but very few people I actually know. How can we expect God to fully bless us if He knows we have a fallback if He doesn’t ? That’s like getting wedding insurance just in case you don’t feel like loving her or him one morning (sadly, I think this is how a lot of people view marriage today). The reality is that isn’t how it’s meant to work! Faith, like marriage (so I hear), is a lot of work. It’s not something to be given up on. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.’ Turns out, it’s true with faith too.

You have to work through the struggles to know your real strength.

I am definitely an over-analyzer. I’m found guity of buying ‘Faith Insurance,’ and I definitely recognize this as something I need to work on. Here’s something I think about when I find myself buying the ‘faith insurance’ that is so intriguing: When you meet God and he asks what you’ve done, do you want to say, “Well God, I tried to live radically, following You, but it didn’t work out, so I guess it’s a good thing I had that job lined up JUST IN CASE,” or do you want to be one of the ones saying “I had no other option but YOU. Times got hard, but YOU were ALL I had to hang my hat on. ”

It makes it pretty obvious why our plans might not of worked out when you look at it from the view of a conversation with God – we were never fully invested, so what did we really expect?

If we live like the second guy, imagine the sheer joy of that moment when God comes through and executes His plan. When it comes to faith, we should probably delete the phrase “JUST IN CASE” from our vocabulary. Ever notice how JUST IN CASE sounds a lot like LACK OF FAITH?

“Without Christ a man must fail miserably, or succeed even more miserably.” – William MacDonald