Devotional: Wherever I am, there He is

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)

Thank You, Lord, for always loving me – no matter how many times I fall off the altar. When I disrespect my leaders; when I dishonor the Sabbath; when I think impure thoughts or do impure things; when I don’t include You first and throughout my dealings, or neglect You completely; when I don’t follow Your will our of selfishness or fear; and the list goes on.

I always realize later that God is all I need; that He could’ve provided and/or handled my problems eons ago if I had let Him; that I wasted so much time, happiness, and resources trying to do things my way or because I was living in fear and not love and His courage; and that He loves me so much to where He gave the ultimate sacrifice to show it:

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

His love goes even beyond that to where even after all of the mess-ups, when I am ready to turn around and head back to Him – He’ll run out to bring me back home. It doesn’t matter if I’m still knee-deep in sin or not sure where to go; I just need to really want to return, and He’ll be there. On demand, immediately. The ball is always on my court.

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Devotional: You ARE the meeting point

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!” He said. ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’“ (Luke 19:5).

If I had to travel for thousands of miles – through oceans, continents, countries, terrains, dangers, hunger, and loneliness…or if I had to meet a 100-point check list of perfection consistently to obtain enlightenment or salvation, I’d be totally screwed. If I was only going to be able to enjoy a relationship with Jesus by merit, I would give up right now, because my brokenness would never allow me to get there.

Good thing that Jesus loves me and doesn’t care about those rituals and unattainable requirements.

Just like the story above – where Zacchaeus was short and didn’t have a respectable position in society; and the famous parable of the Prodigal Son – all you need to do is to decide to let not the past define you, swallow your pride, stop relying on your own power, and seek Him.

Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus so bad that his physical stature and seemingly shameful job didn’t matter anymore, and he climbed a tree where he could be seen by the Son of God – where he was. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the main character pursued all types of hedonism and later realized that all of his “pleasures of the flesh” were unsustainable, unfulfilling, unmeaningful. He gave that life up to return home to his father, who didn’t want for him to come all the way home, but he ran and met him on the road – where he was..

I am so relieved to know that I don’t need to become a priest or pastor; or be a certain standard of righteousness. I could be in the worst possible shape ever, and Jesus will still meet me where I am – to help me turn things around, give my life meaning, and secure my place forever.

What an amazing God, and an amazing example of love and grace to follow and pass along.

The thankfulness habit – 01.16.17

Starting 2017 I decided to think of three things that I am thankful for, on a daily basis. They can be as detailed and specific as I’d like them to be, or as simple as the fresh air I’m breathing in.

I want to prime my brain – and therefore my actions and focus – on the positive and help me be more thankful for what I have and can enjoy.

These are just a few of today’s blessings…

I am thankful that my son Deion has been able to save up enough money to buy his very own laptop – the largest purchase he’s ever made. I love that we’ve been able to teach him to give God what’s His and put away a large portion of his money in savings first…and that when done, and learning to live below his means, he can still treat himself. I hope he carries that with him throughout life.

I am thankful to have fun conversations with my kids at bedtime. Reading them stories puts me in a position to capture their attention and hear what’s going through their head. I pray that I always realize how important this is, and that I’m never too busy to spend this time with them. I don’t have much of it left – as tomorrow is never guaranteed and they’re growing so fast out of childhood.

I am thankful for another day to wipe the slate clean through God’s grace, and tackle the day doing the most important things – His work that He set me out to do – and to help as many people as possible. People just aren’t in such a fortunate position – they don’t know Him, they don’t know what’s possible, they are under oppression.