200 Words or Less: Unchanging

wpid-wp-1440786307619.jpegAs a psychotherapist I have people come into my office every day asking me to advise, guide, teach, or plan a way out of their problems.  Generally I try to give practical solutions.  But for those whose problems defy practicality I try to remind them that, regardless of the situation, it is not power, or strength, or wisdom that protects these followers of God.  It is God’s immutable nature.  He has provided grace to them in the past; therefore grace is guaranteed to them in their future.  He may not always act the same, but He will always be the same.  He will comfort the depressed.  He will provide for the financially burdened.  He will sustain the despairing.  He will bind up the wounded.  Therefore let all who follow Him confidently proclaim, “The Lord does not change; therefore, [I] will not be destroyed.”

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200 Words or Less: The Great Discipler

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

— Deuteronomy 8:2

God is the great discipler, and He disciplines and molds you because He loves you. This time of trial, of desert wandering, is not a cruel joke. It is a time of shaping. Do not resist His chisel. Do not bark at the strike of the mallet. God sees the figure you can be beneath the block of granite you are. God may lead you into the desert for a long time “to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” But He also promises that when you are ready, when you have the unnecessary pieces of yourself chipped away so that others can see God’s perfect creation and idea, then He will lead you to the place where you lack nothing.

200 Words or Less: No Respector of Age

wpid-wp-1440611621963.jpegGod does not use age as a prerequisite for effective service in His Kingdom work. Moses wasn’t called until he was 80. Jeremiah was about 17. Samuel was 12. Noah was 500 years old when he received the call, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was 13.

Age never defined a boundary for God to stop commanding, instructing, and teaching. God is ageless. He is no respector of persons, nor of age. What influence does a quantity of years have on the Eternal One? None. He created time. But He is not bound by time. God has important  things to say to us even up to the moment of our death. We are never too old (or too young) to receive commandments from our Lord. We may be too stubborn to obey. We may be too blind to see.  We may be too deaf to hear. But we are never too old to receive.

So, today I urge you…

Listen.

200 Words or Less: The God Who Says “No”

Human choice is broken down into two parts: desire and action. But since each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire and then that desire gives birth to sin, which brings forth death, it is safe to say that we need someone who has the courage to tell us, “This far you may come and no further.” (Job 38:11)

But if our desires lead to death, we are trapped in that dark state and cannot act, because only the living have the freedom of choice. Therefore God, in His free choice, designed a way to give us life by: 1) telling us “no” so that we awaken to the immutable boundaries that structure freedom, morality, and life in our chaotic world. And 2) choosing to substitute His perfect life on the cross for our sinful one, so that He might take on our sin, and we might acquire His righteousness and life.

Then, He rose from the grave.

This is the ultimate No. The no to the power of death.

Therefore, the issue is not with God telling you “No.” There is value in God’s “no’s.” The issue is: Will you say, “Yes” to God?