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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Reliability You Can Rely On!

Have you seen that commercial on TV where the family is seated around the living area of their home extoling the reliability of their internet provider?  As each of them talk about how reliable and consistent their internet service is, kitchen appliances are seen sparking and blowing up, walls come tumbling down, couches break and light fixtures fall from the ceiling.  And all the while the family is gleefully smiling and nodding their heads as they hold their tablets and laptops in their hands.
At first I would quickly hit the fast forward button on my handy dandy remote control so as to not have to endure what I thought was a pretty dumb commercial.  But after seeing it repeatedly, I began to watch it and laugh at how ridiculous it seemed to be.  And then the unthinkable happened… I actually thought about that stupid commercial in connection to the Word I was reading yesterday morning… what’s up with that???
As I read from Ephesians 1:10 where Paul tells us that God “planned to bring all of (our) history to its goal in Christ…” I began to think about how that verse points to Jesus as the key to discovering and pursing what our future holds for us.  Then as I prayed over and developed that line of thought in my mind, I realized that Jesus is also the ONLY thing that stays constant as everything else around us changes.
I had to nod my head in agreement as I considered how He has been the rock-solid foundation that has brought us this far, as we stand in faith for my wife’s total and complete healing recovery.  I’ve mentioned before how it seemed like everything and almost everybody around us had changed when we returned to California to “circle the wagons” in order to find out what was really going on in Piper and develop a plan while being surrounded by family and friends we thought we could rely on.
As it turned out, we quickly began to realize that some people’s reliability was more like the crumbling walls and explosive appliances in the commercial rather that the reliability of their internet service!
While studying today I was led to Hebrews 13:8 where the writer informs his or her readers that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (ESV)  It seems that this truth was a foundational part of the early church as they lived their daily lives and brought the gospel message to an ever growing contingent of new lands and differing cultures. 
I’ve come to learn that although my circumstances may change, my job security may suddenly go away followed by the rapid dissolving of my financial resources, the health of a loved one unexpectantly turns into a matter of life and death, and those I hoped to go to for support desert me, that Jesus is the one source that’s ALWAYS there, ALWAYS steady, ALWAYS the same – that His Word and His ways don’t vacillate back and forth – that He’s truly got the reliability that you can rely on!
James 1:7 states that He is “the Father of lights with whom is NO variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (KJV)  The English Standard Version says that in Him “There is NO variation of shadow due to change.”  My experience tells me that you could actually state that version as “There is NO variation of shadow OF DOUBT due to change.”
Previous to this verse the Jerusalem Pastor makes mention that we should go to God whenever we need wisdom and be assured that He’ll give it to us for He “is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them.” (James 1:5 God’s Word ©)  That’s another point of the reliability of our trust in Him.  I discovered that the un-reliability of some came wrapped up with almost immediate fault finding.  I may be a little unique in this… but I find it difficult to trust someone’s opinion when they precede it with their thoughts on what I have and are currently doing wrong!
The Word tells us that God’s reliable reliability comes encircled and saturated with His consistent, constant and unconditional love.  That works for me… How about you?  He doesn’t tell you how dumb you are, how wrong you’ve been or how badly you may or may not have messed up (I’m sure that you and I can do a pretty good job of that for ourselves!).  God simply says: “I’m ALWAYS here for you.  I LOVE you and you can RELY on me.”  According to that - maybe not so dumb - commercial: “He is the reliability that we can and should rely on in every circumstance and in every situation no matter what our bank account tells you, our doctor says or those around us may attempt to put on you.”
Now that’s what I am going to RELY on!  Are you with me on this one?  Have a good day.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s RELIABILITY am I expecting to RELY on today?”


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