“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Something to think about. Beyond that, what can I say?
Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and looked down at it and wondered who has been there before you? OK, probably not very often
This particular sidewalk is in Annapolis, Maryland right outside the State House. The photograph was taken entirely by accident; it was an “inadvertent click” as it were, but it memorialized a pathway that has been trod by all sorts of people for going on 300 years now. Maybe some of the greats of American history have walked here…
Here’s something that comes to mind: In early 1861 Union troops took control of the city, driving the secessionist forces out, so surely they marched in the vicinity of the State House. See? History was made on this sidewalk!
But mostly regular folks like you and I walk along these streets. Where are they going? (We were going to lunch!) What are they all about? Are they ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’? Are they walking down this sidewalk past the old State House following Jesus Christ, or are they following the dreams and pursuits of selfish people?
I guess what I’m really getting at here is the need for us to share our faith. OK, I’ll admit I’ve taken an unusual pathway to get here… Of all of the people who have traveled this, or any other path, how many desperately need to hear about the Good News of the Gospel? Probably quite a few.
So are we going to keep the greatest news of all to ourselves?
I’ve mentioned this before I think, but lately I just seem to have trouble thinking of anything to write about here. Every time I have an idea, I realize that I’ve already done it… sometimes several times… and so I skip another day. Most likely this is normal for anyone who has blogged almost every day for a year and a half, and you’ve probably had the same problem once or twice yourself.
I came across this beautiful scene a while back, and looking at it again, it makes me think that there are times in life when we simply need to stop trying and just take in the beauty and majesty of our God. In fact, I wish I could write poetry, for this scene really makes me want to praise Him, but I don’t quite know how to do that in prose…
So, maybe this is one of those times when it’s best to stop trying to come up with something and just simply take it all in…
Thank you Lord for the awesome works of your hand!
Have you ever come across a split in life’s road where you aren’t sure which path to follow? Maybe it involved changing jobs or moving to a new town, or it could be a time when you are considering moving to a different church. It could even be when you are facing a temptation; should you go back to the old way of living?
I think we have all had this kind of experience; what did you do? Did you follow the right path, or did you follow the wrong one? If you’re anything like me, you’ve done both.
There is a principle that can help at these times of indecision. The principle is that we should try to do the thing or make the choice that will best advance the will and purposes of God, rather than our will or purposes. Oh, I know that this isn’t always an easy decision to make, because often our purposes and God’s purposes don’t quite line up together. Yet whenever I’ve followed my own purposes instead of God’s, I’ve come to grief sooner or later; how about you?
These incidents remind me of a passage from Joshua 24 when the people of Israel faced a major turning point when they were renewing their covenant with God; follow God or go back to the old way. Joshua made a stark contrast and a bold statement for them to consider:
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
As we remain steadfast in our faith and steadfast in our service to the Lord, our choices are often made easier because we will follow His path and leave our own. Yes, the choice might be easier, but the path is sometimes harder, but our Lord will never leave us alone to fend for ourselves; He will sustain us as we go.
Building a life in Christ is very much like building a house or any other building; it must have a proper foundation. A life that is built on a foundation of popular culture is like a building that is built upon shifting ground with no firm foundation at all, for popular culture is anything but consistent. Pop culture shifts with the latest winds, and the winds are always changing. The very sad thing is that so many lives are constructed and built upon pop culture…
A real life is built upon the firm and sound foundation of the Word of God, and it is anchored to that foundation with God’s love for us.
As we go through life, our experiences and understanding of our faith is like adding rooms to the house, one by one, until our house becomes a great one. Some of those rooms may need to be re-done as we mature, but then don’t we do the same in our homes as we grow and mature?
Finally, the day comes when we can take a step back and come to realize that our house isn’t standing on a lot all by itself, for with some perspective we see that it is a wing that is a living part of the very house of God.
“God is like the sun; you cannot look at it, but without it, you cannot look
at anything else.”
G. K. Chesterton
The greatest of cathedrals are not made by the hands of men, but by the very hand of God Himself. In those cathedrals, you can go to pray and to listen to the sounds that are not sounds made by men.
If you listen very carefully, you may even hear the voice of God.
People often say that they can worship God anywhere; in the desert, by the sea, in the forest… I happen to agree with them, for these are wonderful places to worship Him. Surrounded by His awesome creation, taking it all in, it revives our spirit.
I can only think of one better place to worship God than in the midst of His creation, and that is in the midst of His people, for when we are in the midst of His people, we are not only surrounded by His handiwork, but we are also right in the midst of His purpose.