Saturday, May 19, 2007

Moving Mountains

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. (Matthew 21:21)

There is great power in faith, but it’s not a power we can control. Taken out of context, it would seem this verse says we can cause anything to happen as long as we have a doubt-free faith.

But faith is more than personal desire. Faith is not ours to make with it what we want. Instead of pointing in the direction of personal wish-fulfillment, this verse indicates that when we have the faith of Christ, we can participate with him to accomplish God’s will, no matter how great the task.

The outcome of faith may not even be something we desire. A man named Mason Cooley put it this way -

"Faith no doubt moves mountains, but not necessarily to where we want them." (Mason Cooley)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mindful Prayer

I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
You display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
(Psalm 77:12-15)

One thing I have found helpful in my prayer life is to read a passage of Scripture and reflect on it in a journal. Often, I will use the Psalms as my models for prayer, letting them shape the form and content of what I want to say to God.

I believe God appreciates it when we search for a better understanding of Him through prayer. This involves more than our feelings, but also our thoughts. Abraham Kuyper wrote –

"[Prayer is impossible] without an act of the mind, choosing the words to express our adoration of the divine virtues."

Meditate on how great God is. Consider God’s wonderful ways. In your prayers, think about things God has done and is doing in your life and give God the praise – not just with your heart, but with your mind.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Word for Me

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm

One thing I try to do in Bible Studies I lead is to make it clear that we look to Scripture not just for information, but for formation. You can know the Bible better than anyone and still not be able to put it to good use in your life or in your faith.

Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said this --

“When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, 'It is talking to me, and about me.''”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Guiding Word

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the
thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12)
The world often advices us to be guided by our feelings, to do what seems right in our own eyes, to make the logical decision when it comes to the paths we choose.

Ultimately, however, any guidance that comes from within us is flawed. We see only partial reality and any judgments we make based on our own limited perspectives are bound to fall short.

So where do we turn for guidance? The Word of the Lord. Martin Luther sums this up quite well -

"You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

True Happiness

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a
distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
(Luke 15:13)

Among the founding principles of our nation is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But we need to ask the questions, “What kind of life?”, “Liberty to do what? Happiness in what sense?

The younger (prodigal) son thinks life, liberty, and happiness can be found in “wild living,” so he rushes off with reckless abandon to pursue it. But he winds up destitute – physically and spiritually. His life was nothing more than spiritual death. His liberty became slavery to sin. The relative fun he may have had was not true happiness.

St. Augustine seemed to have in mind this dilemma when he wrote –

“Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.”

True happiness is found when our liberty is governed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when we receive new life in him.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Child's Prayer

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your
(Matthew 6:9)

Prayer is simple, as simple as a child making known what it wants to its parents. (Oswald Chambers)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Faithful Mothers

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5)

Throughout the ages, mothers have played a crucial role in the spiritual development of their children. Paul here reminds Timothy that the faith now growing in him stems from the faith implanted in him through the nurture of his mother and her mother before her.

You can’t overestimate the role of mothers promoting positive spiritual values in society. A man named John Abbott once wrote -

"Mothers have as powerful an influence over the welfare of future generations, as all other causes combined."

Today and always celebrate the God’s gift of faithful mothers.