As I was helping my wife with breakfast this morning, we were listening to the Pandora shuffle that I compiled which is composed of various kinds of Christian music ranging from contemporary Christian and Southern Gospel to the retro bands that Piper and I enjoyed in the seventies. One song in particular caught my attention as the contemporary artist was extolling the virtues of all the Jesus has done for us, centering on His experiences on the cross that were strictly for our benefit!
Piper was swallowing pretty easily and therefore I didn’t have to devote extreme attention to my work, so I found myself picturing the suffering that Jesus went through on that cross a few thousand years ago. The thought of all that He endured for you and me and the benefits of being a member of His family sent my heart soaring! Then for some reason, I immediately recalled the articles that I’ve been reading in the news on a weekly basis that tend to dismiss Jesus’ heaven-sent actions as being irrelevant to today’s society.
The bio’s of the various writers seems to follow one of two paths. The most common of which is an individual who went to church as a kid but then drifted away from the Bible and their family held Christian beliefs as they entered their college years and beyond. The others were simply people on the outside of the faith trying to explain the Gospel within the confines of their intellects.
The reoccurring theme that kept coming up in my thoughts this morning was how the various writers were demeaning to those of us who follow the tenets of conservative, evangelical Christianity because in their eyes, the Bible is no longer relevant to the intellectual tenants of today’s "enlightened" society. But that idea just made me burst out in laughter… and almost spill Piper’s drink all over her!
What immediately came to me was how their so called “irrelevant” Bible was SO extremely relevant in the lives of those of us who continue to walk in an intimately personal and continually growing relationship with the author of that book! I can’t think of one day where the Word of God hasn’t been a major influence in my life… can you? I wonder how the intellectuals would explain that.
We were listening to an old country Gospel song on our satellite radio in the car the other day that was telling the story of simple Christian folks who always tend to have their bills paid at the end of the month even though the finances in their bank accounts are less then what their family budget requires. How the young ones in their families hardly ever got the sicknesses that their classmates were dealing with, and how their parents always had an encouraging word for others in need when they were the ones that should need a good word instead! Hummm… how do you explain that… We’ve seen those same things repeatedly happen in our family!
We had a great day yesterday as we drove into Morrisville, about 45 minutes away where our daughter accompanied us as I picked up my new glasses… Ah! no more headaches while watching TV… and Fiver had a visit with his favorite Vet, received three or four inoculations, got some medicine to help with the allergy which was causing him to scratch a lot, and received an over-all healthy report for a pup a little under two years of age!
The only down side was that Piper was sitting a lot and was very weak by the time we got home. It was a little difficult to get her changed and she wasn’t too enthusiastic about dinner. So when I helped her to bed I was concerned about the situation but prayed that a good night rest would cure those symptoms. When I awoke this morning those concerns came right back and without much thought, I found myself speaking out the words to Papa God’s promise in Proverbs 3:5-6 declaring aloud while I got myself ready for the day that I “Trust in you LORD with all my heart; and lean not unto my own understanding. But in all my ways I acknowledge You Lord, and you shall direct my paths.” (KJV personalized)
And you know… His peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7 MKJV) immediately flooded my heart as I raised my arms toward heaven and began to sing songs of joyful praise unto Him… right there in the bathroom! (Besides… the only ones who could hear me was Piper, the dog and the rabbits on the lawn out back!) And as I mentioned earlier, Piper ate a pretty good breakfast this morning… Isn’t God good!
So… In one respect, I have a difficult time understanding how people can write such in-correct and totally out-of-touch reports concerning the Christian’s relationship with a loving, living God who is totally in-tune to the needs of His family members. But on the other hand, I do understand because they JUST DON”T KNOW what it is like to have the type of exciting relationship that we (and they) can have with our Father God.
So… what do we do about it? Well, we pray and live our lives as a loving, giving and joyful expression of the relationship that they too can enter into. Then as the Lord opens windows of opportunity, we share our lives and the meaning behind it with them. It’s actually sad and funny at the same time, in that they paint quite an unflattering picture of who they think we are, when it is actually a reflection of the emptiness that they are seeking to fill in their own lives!
So… have a great weekend and keep an eye out to those who could use a blessing each day! And while you’re at it, keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting my life to shine with the joy and expectancy of Jesus today?”