I have always loved hymns, and in particular, learning the stories behind how they were written. The story behind I Have Decided to Follow Jesus is one that I found particularly moving… “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” is a Christian hymn originating from India. The lyrics are based on the last words of a man […]
You, Lord, are all I want! You are my choice, and you keep me safe. You make my life pleasant, and my future is bright. Psalm 16:5-6 (CEV) If you’re anything like me, when I start making good “diet” choices, those are the things that I begin to crave. Like drinking water- that’s not really […]
January 17, 1993
William Jefferson Clinton was preparing for his inaugural, the Cowboys beat the 49ers, and God showed Himself powerful and contemporary in a Sunday School class at Houston’s First Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.
The lesson that morning was from Psalm 103, primarily verses 1-5. David is talking to himself and instructs himself to “Bless the Lord” which means give praise or thanks to God. He then lists some reasons for himself to do so.
He (God) forgives all my sin; He heals all my disease; He redeems my life from the grave, the pit, destruction; He crowns me with love and compassion, loving kindness; and He restores my youth like the eagle.
I stood to teach the class of 150 or more on that morning. I had never been more emotionally drained than I was that morning. I had never had less faith than I did that…
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Here’s a more penetrating question for each of us. To what degree are our lives and relationship with Him a great contradiction as well? In how many areas and ways do we call Him Lord, yet disregard, disobey, and even defy His will and direction for our lives? Where has He spoken His purpose to us, and we, for whatever reason or justification, told Him, “Never Lord?” Where are we doing so now?
I think we are most prone to this sin, and yes, it is sin, when Christ leads us to a place far outside our comfort zone. He requires of us something out of our ordinary experience. Something we were sure He never would. I have lost track of all the times I have heard believers say, “I don’t think the Lord would do that.” I’ve said it myself. Surely that mindset was upon Peter. The Jews had very strict dietary regulations and boundaries. He could not envision the Father ever taking him outside of them. Yet He did. Where are the self-made boundaries that we’ve set up in our lives that put a limit to just how deep our obedience to Him will go?
Where are we living “the great contradiction?”
Christ meets us where we are, and where we are is filled with contradictions. Growth in grace is a process of those contradictions being removed, one contradiction at a time. Do you welcome that? Or, do you go on living “the great contradiction?”