Remember When…?

Who doesn’t love to reminisce, thinking about the “good ol’ days”? I know our kids enjoy hearing about our childhood. Just the other night, they were begging Grandpa to tell more stories (garbage truck, his kids, him as a kid). It reminds me that although we have our own stories, we’re not that different from each other.

We all have times when we were foolish, put ourselves in harm’s way, and had been protected and “survived”. We may even have the scars to prove it.

Have you heard the expression “hindsight is 20/20”? We think we can see the past perfectly, almost. In the moment, it can seem all is lost. But later on, we can see that the Lord had His hand in it.

Recently there have been many difficult situations that can cause us to worry and not trust. Cause us to yearn for simpler times, better times, earlier times. I was reminded of this as I heard a song the other day. Here’s the chorus to a song by Chris Rice, “8th Grade“:

Why does the past always seem safer?
Maybe because at least we know we made it
And why do we worry about the future?
When every day will come just the way the Lord ordained it

God was in it. God is in it. David remembered that too.

“I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.” Psalm 143:4–6 NLT

Reach to God. Rest in Him. Then at a later time, you’ll be able to once again “remember when” and recount how God was in it, again.

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Are We Worshiping?

There are so many things vying for our attention these days. There is the cry of the baby, the phone call during dinner, the invitation to a gathering, the advertisement around every corner, trying to sow the seed of want. Advertising is a huge business that works to turn your wants into needs and attempts to make you a promise that it can’t fulfill. If you buy this, you will feel/look/become that. If you dedicate your attention to this “thing”, you will get what you “need”. Jesus was offered this same promise in the desert:

Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The Devil told him, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them—because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.” 

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’” Luke 4:5-8, NLT

Satan wanted that dedication of attention. He wanted that worship. He wanted that which is to be for God, and God alone.

This implies that worship can be directed to something other than God. As we are called to obedience, there is a choice that has to be made. And it is ongoing.

Are we worshipping? Of course we are! That’s what we were made for. So, the real question is “What are we worshiping?”

Adopt or Adapt?

It’s amazing how one letter can change the meaning of things. It’s easy to mix up words like affect and effect, alter and altar, compliment and complement, desert and dessert. But we probably don’t have trouble keeping straight adopt and adapt. Or do we?

Have you been adopted into God’s family? Or are you just trying to adapt to the church environment around you?

God went to great lengths to make available to us salvation. It cost him a great deal. But with Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling upon our acceptance of this free and priceless gift, God sealed the deal.

God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:5 NLT

As adopted children, we’ve been given the important command of loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves. And Christ called us to go and make disciples of all nations.

Of course, the Apostle Paul made it a point to find common ground with everyone. But why? To fit in? To be popular? No. He did it so that he could save some. (read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Now even within the family of God, there is a need to adapt. There are times when someone is in need. There are times when we mourn and rejoice along with our brothers and sisters. There are times when we disappoint each other. But again, Paul calls us to something else.

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NLT

As we serve alongside each other, let us be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). We will do well to humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts (adapt), for it has the power to save your souls (adopt). Then we may become adept at living for Christ.