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January 15, 2019, 12:00 PM

How do we get there?


Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

 

My family has always enjoyed playing games.  When the children were young we would often play games in the car to help pass the time. Many times these were made up games - some good, some not so good!   One particular game I came up with came to mind lately. It involved driving directions. At that time we lived about 15 minutes away from the church I was serving & there were many different routes home. A couple of them involved getting on the interstate for a few miles, while others wound through town with multiple stop lights. Initially the kids played the game without realizing it was even a game.

Here's how the game went:

When my car came to a stop at the edge of the church parking lot I asked them both, "which way do you want me to go - left or right?" Pretty simple, right? Well, the first time I this, this their response was surprising.  They looked at me like, "You're the one who's supposed to know where we're going?" In fact they both protested by reminding me that they didn't know which way to go!

After some good-natured back and forth, I assured them either way would be fine & I wanted them to decide. Each time I came to a stop sign or light I would ask them again which way they wanted to go. Sometimes they had 2 choices and others they had 3. Sometimes they decided together & others I let one of them make the call. 

The neighborhood where our church was located wasn't familiar to them at first, at least from a driving standpoint, so they looked around with awe, trying to get their bearings on where we were & why dad was leading them on this "wild goose chase". I noticed as we got closer to home that they began to see some buildings and landmarks they recogized. At the same time, I noticed them become more at peace with this "game". So, between seeing some familiar things & getting more comfortable with making the decisions, the game became more fun for them.

Looking back, I think they experienced some genuine moments of fear with the first few turns because they were afraid of getting lost. Each time I asked them which way they wanted to go, they tried to explain (again) that they didn't know where to go! My not telling them we were playing a game had something to do with it, of course, but I think their uncertainty went deeper than that.  They were used to the car being on "auto-pilot". They would sit and ride until the car stopped at it's destination - usually home.

There were several things I didn't realize when I first played the game with them. First of all, I had no idea they would be freaked out so much by the thought of making the driving decisions. I guess this part shouldn't have been a surprise given the fact they were just 10 & 7 years old! Second, I had no idea that God would use that little game to teach me some important truths about following His lead.

Isaiah 58:11 promises that God will be the one to guide us. This verse not only promises God's guidance but it promises God's continual guidance, as well as satisfaction in our soul, and strength to walk on. We must practice trusting Him. I believe that the more we practice trusting Him, the more comfortable we'll become doing it.

God knows His plan (Jer 29:11) and He knows you (Jer 1:5) and He knows the destination. Trust Him today with the twists and turns of your life. He will not fail to lead you home!

Blessings,

Jay

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December 26, 2018, 8:00 AM

Who am I?


1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

 

The ending of a year and the beginning of a new year always makes me reflect as well as look ahead.  It's a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to follow Christ more closely. I'm typically a "big picture" person, but I'm especially that way this time of year.  Over the past few weeks I have been busy with parties, family gatherings, and all that goes with Christmas. Now as 2018 ends and a chapter of life is closing, I look toward 2019 with great anticipation. I think it's a great time to reflect on who we really are.  What are our goals and what is our real purpose? God's Word is always the best place to start when thinking about these kinds of things.

The verse I chose to focus on today is an encouraging verse for the believer.  There may be a tendency for the reader to focus on the beginning of the verse, which is a natural thing to do. We like the idea of being chosen and special. While this is certainly true for the Christian, it is important to understand the purpose of His work in our lives.  The latter part of the verse tells us: to proclaim His praises! The light of Christ is truly marvelous.  Part of the understanding of the word, "marvelous" is surprising.  If we're honest with ourselves, we should be surprised - in fact SHOCKED that the Lord of all the earth would have interest in us.  When we were walking in darkness before salvation, we were enemies of God (James 4:4).  The goodness of God and the brightness of the light of Christ is surprising and extrodinary!  

As you close out this year and look forward to what lies ahead remember - we have so much to praise God for.  Remember who you are.  Remember who you were.  Most importantly, remember who He is!

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