We were browsing in a fancy leather store and I had tried on a Prada purse just for fun, but she could tell by the look on my face that I could never go out in public sporting that thing. Too much. It wasn’t just the price, it was the spectacle, the showiness, the ostentation that made me quickly return it to the rack. Not me.
Yet, my generous God keeps giving me stuff I don’t deserve. I haven’t earned it and other people need it more. It’s embarrassing.
But … “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. (Matthew 25:29)
I give. This is My purpose.
You receive. This is your reason.
He who knows the discomfort of receiving that which is not his;
She who receives, not setting it aside until its proper owner comes to reclaim it;
Use your talent for God and God will use it for the Kingdom!
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
We live in a world where new and improved is always better than old and decrepit. Of course. New has the benefit of advanced methods, complete research, and dedicated study applied liberally over all that has come before it. Old, well that was just a starting point. Those were the blocks we stood in to give us leverage when the race began.
One of the things that new has ushered in is statistical…accuracy. We can fact check, provide proof, cite our sources, justify our positions. We can qualify, and oh boy, can we quantify! We know exactly how many people would vote thus and so, believe this and that, trust him or her. We know. We are new and improved people. We are reasonable.
So, it’s a bit alarming to read in the morning paper that “Recent polls show that 29 percent of Americans and nearly 45 percent of Republicans say he (President Obama) is a Muslim.”
How do we say this? We tell a pollster who reports it, I guess. Do we know this when we say it? Have we asked Mr. Obama about his faith? Have we read deeply concerning his opinions, positions, actions and responses? This would seem reasonable before we say anything.
What we report in the media is, perhaps, what we believe to be true. Given what we think we know, this is what we conclude. Perhaps those numbers reflect what people believe about President Obama, but that doesn’t make it so. (The article actually goes on to debunk this belief.) Just because we think it, doesn’t make it so. Any more than thinking I am President makes that so.
If we think we can do make something true, right, happen, reasonable, or real, just because we think it, we are mistaken. That isn’t ours; that’s God’s. God thinking something actually does make it so. When we think something, we move in its direction, but we’d do well not to presume that our thinking it actuates it. That would presume we are God, which has very grave consequences, indeed.
Fleming Rutledge, an Episcopal preacher that a friend has me reading, writes concerning what she calls the battle of the billboards. “Upon entering the Lincoln Tunnel you stare at a billboard showing a Nativity scene and the words ‘You know it’s a myth.’ When you come out of the tunnel you see a billboard with a Nativity scene and the words ‘You know it’s real.'”
She goes on, “The atheist billboard says, “This season, celebrate reason.” I revere reason as much as the atheists do—up to a point. But what faith knows is that although reason is a gift, it is not a god. Reason cannot explain everything. Certainly it cannot explain the purposes and promises of God.”
Our believing, remembering, repeating or tallying does not make something so. But setting our minds on the things of God may bring them nearer.
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)
When God remembers His mercy, He is not calling it again to mind. He is taking action on our behalf. As Rutledge puts it, “God’s mercy is not static. It goes forth from God as a promise already becoming a reality.”
We can pray to be like-minded. That’s as old and original as it gets.
Who says the Bible is an outdated book that doesn’t speak to our current circumstances??
From Acts 2:42-47, we read, (with some modifications) …
The Fellowship of the Believers
They devoted themselves to the coaches’ teaching and to their teammates, to the breaking of carbs, proteins and fats in moderation and to petition, imploring and appeal for a World Cup win. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the players. The roster of 23 were together and had everything in common, when they were called into the camp. They relinquished property and possessions to compete for a starting spot and supported anyone who needed encouragement. Every day they continued to meet together on the fields and in the gym. They broke bread in their hotels and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God, friends, family and fans and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being inspired to #Believe. ~ Acts 2:42-47
May the Lord forgive my boldness, to read His word into our ways.
Congratulations to the 15ers, champions all.