Published: Monday, 06 November 2017 16:57
Written by Don Goulding
… though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move about and exist … Acts 17:27-28 (NETFull)
I take my wife by the hand. “Will you dance with me?”
She tips her head to indicate, of course. With her hand on my shoulder, we draw close.
“I’ll meet you again in the left corner, next to band,” she whispers, drops my hand, and meanders off.
I scratch my head as she chats with this couple, then that one, and finally makes her way to the designated meeting place. She shoots a look that says, “I’m waiting.”
I walk over and embrace her once again.
“North side, center square,” she says and walks off.
Anyone watching would say we are the worst dancers they’ve ever seen. There’s no joy in meeting at prearranged locations and then moving as singles around the floor.
That’s how I often treat Jesus. Perhaps I meet with him in the morning and then ignore him all day except for one or two prayer glances.
My actions say, “I’ll see you in church, or at the place of my next crisis, if it comes before Sunday.”
I waltz by myself.
I’m not meant to move through life without Jesus. My waking, employment, and entertainment times can all be spent with the One who is closer than a friend.
“Thank you Lord, I praise you, love you, and I’m filled by your presence.” That’s the sweet dialogue I want in my head.
As my dance skills grow, I’ll also hear him whisper, “Fight those worldly thoughts, I love you, trust me, we’ll get through this together.”
I’m not alone in this brutal mystery of life. Jesus and I glide together, absorbed in the joy of real dancing.
Prayer: Jesus, may I sense your every move this day.
Published: Monday, 30 October 2017 16:58
Written by Don Goulding
O Lord, of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them?
Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them? (Psalms 144:3 NET_FL)
Take a standard number two pencil, sharpen it to a good point and tap the lead on a piece of paper to leave a dot. Let that .004 inch dot represent the 93 million miles from the earth to the sun. On this scale it would take a row of 216,400 dots to represent the distance to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. The diameter of our Milky Way Galaxy would require 310 miles of dots. The edge of the universe would not be reached until our dots were lined up so they extended one-third of the way to the sun.
It’s necessary for me visualize dots when comparing distances in space so I can make some attempt at grasping the scope of God’s governance. Realizing he holds together over 500 billion galaxies of every imaginable shape and color, I see that the word awesome only begins to describe him.
The most unconceivable fact is not that God is sovereign over the gargantuan universe but that he is also intensely focused on my infinitesimal life. All that vast space, billions of other places, whirling luminous ecstasies, and he … loves … me.
Humans were created beings of great dignity. We were meant to receive and reciprocate God’s love. We have largely abandoned our role but no matter how debased we become, we still have the potential of regaining our original purpose. Every man, woman and child from every culture can reconcile to God’s love.
There is only one thing I can do to receive the significance of being loved by the one who holds the universe together and that is to say yes to the offer of his Son. That simple transaction binds me to him who is forever significant, which therefore, makes me significant.
Prayer: LORD God, through Jesus, I receive your vast significance.
Published: Monday, 23 October 2017 17:12
Written by Don Goulding
For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God. John 3:20-21 (NETFull)
Six-year-old Alexis ran giggling into her pastor’s arms only to pinch her nose and say, “Pee-yew, stinky breath.” I was the pastor.
A three-year-old boy named Mateo was one of my best friends in Fiji, even though he often sat on my lap just so he could play with the waddle under my chin.
Children are painfully honest. They haven’t yet adopted our prideful, jaded and fretful ways.
How can I live with childlike honesty without offending adults?
The joy of living inside the bright circle of truth is only for the few who tenaciously pursue honesty. I must admit my past, present and future mistakes. Sin kept in the darkness of secrecy still has power over my heart.
Who must I confess to? First, to myself, and that with the brutal honesty of Alexis and Mateo. Second, to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9), because I need forgiveness more than I need my next breath. Third, I confess to a pastor, counselor, or accountability partner who prays for my release from bondage (James 5:16).
Blabbing my specific sins to everyone I meet only gives the devil opportunity to tempt others with my failures. But the evil will haunt me until it passes out of my mouth. I must find a praying confidant and disclose every shred of guilt, holding nothing back.
Honest living requires monumental work but the reward is a return to the pure freedom of a child’s heart.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me honestly live in your light.