Macey waitingGaylon and I are not pet owners, but many of our family members are. They love their pets, and their pets love them.  Sarah, my daughter-in-law in Hickory, has had Macey for about seven years. Macey is a loving, lick-you-to death, kind of dog, and she really loves Sarah.

While staying with Sarah for a few weeks shortly before Tucker’s birth, I was able to observe Macey’s daily routine.  Sarah usually arrived home around six each evening.  About 5:30, Macey would gather a couple of toys near the door, so Sarah would play with her when she arrived.  For the next thirty minutes, Macey would lay on the floor by the door awaiting her master’s return.  She did not know exactly when her master would arrive, but she had no doubt that she would arrive.  Every time she heard a sound, she would lift her head, as if to say, “Is that my Master returning?”  Finally, around six, Macey would hear the garage door go up,  and she would leap with joy.  Finally…the moment she had longed for…she would be in the presence of her master.

How easy it is to forget that our Master, Jesus Christ, will come again.  It is so easy to get caught up in life as we know it, the motions of Christianity and even ministry, and lose the awareness that our Lord will return.  What would happen if part of our daily prayer life, or daily confession would be: “Maranatha – come quickly, Lord Jesus.  I can’t wait to see your face.”

Over 2000 years ago Jesus Christ came to this earth.  The purpose of His first coming was to live a perfect life, to die to pay the penalty for the sins of people in this world.  Christ then rose again, ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God.  He is now interceding for the believers, watching over them, and waiting for that day when He comes back to earth to take them home with Him.

Today, I choose to sing and live this song:

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!
Life’s trials will seem so small, when we see Christ.
One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase.
So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Each day we live, each moment of life, brings us one step closer to the day that Jesus will return.  Marantha – come quickly, Lord Jesus!  Like Macey, I can’t wait to see the Master!

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  ” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

Somebody Needs A New Cup

sippyOur grandson Joseph got attached to a certain sippy cup, and I do mean attached!  As he cut more and more teeth, he would chew on the spout part of the cup.  In a matter of time, he had pulled chunks of the covering off the spout.  The cup looked scary, and the spout, with its jagged edges, was rough.  I don’t know how he could drink without it being very painful.  It was in Joseph’s best interest to stop drinking from that cup.

Joseph’s parents bought new cups to replace the old.  Joseph refused to drink out of any other cup.  He would look at the new cup and know it was not “his” cup.  I won’t even begin to describe the ordeal of getting Joseph to drink from the new cup.  He balked at it!  He slapped at it!  He whined about it!  He got angry about it!  He walked in misery!  All because he would not drink from the new cup.

Finally, Joseph’s parents filled a new cup, and they held him firmly, and let some of the milk go into his mouth.  Instantly, Joseph tasted wonderful, refreshing milk flowing from the new cup.  Joseph no longer drinks from the chipped cup, but now receives daily nourishment from the new cup.

Joseph had to learn that sometimes our cup gets chipped, and we must not let the chipped cup become what controls our drink.  The old cup must give way to the new cup, in order to grow, be fed and be refreshed.

Life has a way of chipping the cup from which we drink.  Too often we get stuck wanting to drink out of the chipped cup:

  • The cup of unforgiveness
  • The cup of faithlessness
  • The cup of prayerlessness
  • The cup of apathy
  • The cup of the good old days
  • The cup of disappointment
  • The cup of unresolved pain

God offers a new cup!

He is making a way for you even where there seems to be no way.  God wants to do a new thing in all of us –a fresh thing.  Too often, we don’t believe God is at work.  All we can see are the former things – the chipped cup.

God has a plan for your chipped life.  He has already set in motion the things necessary to fulfill the plan He has written for your life.

Pick up that new cup and start drinking!  Like Joseph, you will find a refreshing drink.

 “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.   For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”  – Isaiah 43:18-19

Do You Want To Get Well?

getwellWhen Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, He said, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.” – John 5:6-7

Last year I had a bout with pneumonia.  It started out as a common cold, but over time it was evident that something had taken hold of my body.  Each day got progressively worse, with my temperature getting higher and higher, my body getting weaker and weaker.  Gaylon suggested I go to the doctor, but I stubbornly refused.  I could handle this.  I don’t need doctors or medicine.  I could rest on my bed, and things would take care of themselves.  By the end of the sixth day with a temperature of 105 degrees, and a body so weak I could barely walk down the hall, I realized that the root cause needed to be cured.  I was ready to get well, so I got up and went to the place of healing.  In just a matter of days, life was new.

Picture this scene: A man lying beside the healing pool of Bethesda.  He had been sick and paralyzed for 38 years.  He had been lying on a mat, day in and day out, a mat that was probably about three by five.  Jesus walks by and says to him, “Do you wish to get well?”  Could there be a dumber question than that? I mean, for 38 years, people have been bringing him on his mat, laying him there by the pool, hoping he could be healed. Then Jesus comes up and asks him if he wants to get well!

Why in the world would Jesus ask a question like that?

The man was living life from a three by five mat.  He had become used to his three by five world.  He couldn’t see beyond his three by five life.  It had caused him to develop a life of dependency.  It was everyone else’s job to be sure he got what he needed in life.  Dependency is very addictive.  As a matter of fact, when Jesus asks if the man desires healing, the man answers by telling Jesus why he cannot be healed.  He cannot be healed because of what someone else did not do, or what others did do.  I even wonder if he liked his mat because it got attention from others.  Was he in a three by five world of self-pity?

Jesus ignores what the man said, and simply tells the man:  stand up by faith, pick up that three by five world that has you trapped, and walk in healing.  It took faith to believe Jesus, but the man stood, picked up that mat of dependency and walked towards the new life offered by Christ.  He walked away from the old thoughts and actions that had paralyzed him

Jesus is still asking the question, “Do you want to get well?”  As dumb as that might seem, it’s a question that all of us must answer.  Too often our answer is what the pastor did to me, or what my dad did to me, or the unfairness of life, and on and on.  Does Jesus care about that?  Absolutely!   Jesus also cares that you are not trapped in a three by five world, a world that requires your victory in life to be controlled by dependency on what others do, or do not do.

God is inviting us to walk away from our three by five world. He is offering the opportunity to have real power to change our patterns of behavior. God is offering us freedom from whatever it is that has us paralyzed. Let’s step out of our comfort zone and say “yes” to His invitation to live the abundant life He intends.

Stand up! Pick up that mat!  Walk towards the new life God has for you!