Seeing God as Too Much God

Don’t let the title of this post upset you just yet…

God is fully God.

There’s no way to describe the greatness, majesty, holiness, perfection, bigness of God…

You could spend eternity…and will…trying to figure God out completely or fully comprehend the depths of His love, power, and grace.

But I wonder sometimes…

Is part of the reason you and I feel so distant from God that we see Him as so big and wonderful…that we believe we could never relate to Him?

What if God was “a friend who sticks closer than a brother“?

How would you relate to Him then?

What if God were a God who would intervene for you, in spite of what you have done, and love you, in spite of who you are?

How would you relate to Him then?

What if God were gentle enough to paint the spots on a lady bug?

How would you relate to Him then?

What if you were created in His image…relational…like He is relational?

Could you relate to Him then?

What if He were willing to die so that He could have a relationship with you?

Could you relate to that kind of God?

Don’t misunderstand…God is fully God…He is holy and there is none like Him…

You and I couldn’t even be in His presence apart from His grace…

He’s always going to be too much God…

But that’s why Jesus came…

He tore the divider between a Holy God and imperfect people…

Instead of remaining too much God…He chose to offer too much grace…

Maybe not “too much grace”, but there’s more available than you’ll ever require…

He designed you and I so we could relate to Him…

That begins as we relate to His Son Jesus…

And then, like other relationships…it takes time, effort, and practice…

To get to know a God who otherwise, would remain too much God…

Tell me, how do you or how are you developing your relationship with God?

You might also read:

Trying to Understand the Ways of God

Questioning God When I Don’t Understand

Sermon Message: Job, Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Sermon on Prayer

Scripture Memorization, Week 18

If you are following this series of Scripture memory verses, I hope they are making a difference in your life. Isn’t that the end goal of God’s Word?

This week’s verse, if we truly applied it to our life, and practiced it, could change all we are this week.

Here is this week’s memory verse:

Do you have a suggestion of a verse we should memorize together?

10 Suggestions for Bi-Vocational Pastors

One of my sessions at Exponential Conference this week was my friend Artie Davis and I encouraging bi-vocational pastors. The session, called “Flipping Burgers while Planting a Church” was to offer suggestions for those who trying to earn a living outside the church and pastor a church at the same time.

I shared 5 things to do and 5 things not to do. I would say many of these apply to all of us in ministry.

Here are my notes:

Do

Be accountable – let People speak into your life. You’ll feel more independent if you’re not dependent on the church for income.

Be disciplined – Stay healthy in all areas of your life.

Be organized – Have someone help you if needed, but develop systems to do everything you have to do in a week.

Be intentional – It’s hard work, but you have to keep both business and church worlds running well, and still be a good family man. It will require intentionality.

Be diligent – In all areas of your life, you must do your best. It’s your witness.

Don’t

Complain to church – About how hard you have to work. They should know you do, but not hear you complain about it all the time.

Lose sight of vision – The reason you are doing what you are doing is to complete the call God has on your life.

Let yourself burnout – Stay healthy physically, emotionally. Again, let people speak into your life who recognize when you are stretching yourself too far.

Allow one to outshine the other – Be good in all worlds…it will be hard, you’ll need God’s strength, but it’s your witness.

Neglect your family – That makes it even harder, but they are your first commitment.

I closed by explaining the concept in THIS POST. A key to doing more in life is that you have to get better personally.

Have you ever had to balance dual careers?  What advice would you give?

The Messiness of Grace

Let’s be honest…

It is easier to create a rule than it is to extend grace…

When someone does something wrong…

Grace is not the easy response…

Grace is the harder option…

Grace grants a pardon…

Grace sets a person free…

Grace removes the chains…

People may feel freed to sin again…

People may keep making the same mistakes…

People can abuse grace…

But, the reasons we value grace most…

Also give grace the greatest potential to be messy…

I’ll still prefer grace…

How about you?

The Best 3 Things I Taught My Sons

I watched my oldest son make a life decision recently and it confirmed how proud I am of my two boys. He wrestled through it with wisdom and landed on, what I believe, was the best answer to his situation.

The title of this post may be misleading, because I don’t know if I taught wisdom to my boys or if they just saw me seek it and so it became a part of their life to pursue it, but either way, I’m glad they gained the practice.

Here are three things my boys have that I wouldn’t trade anything for:

The love of wisdom – My boys love to learn. They continue, into their 20’s, to seek wisdom from me and others.

The learning of wisdom – My boys not only listen to the wisdom of others, they seek it out from their own experience. They seem to realize that wisdom comes best through the experiences of life….good and bad…so they continue to learn from the decisions they make.

The living of wisdom – I have to be honest, my boys are two of the wisest young men I know. They truly take wisdom and apply it to their life, making wiser choices as they grow in wisdom.

I’m addicted to growing in wisdom. I’m so proud my boys seem to have inherited the practice.

Let’s talk wisdom.

Answer these questions:

Do you love, learn, and live wisdom as much as you can?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how wise are you these days? (Be honest with your assessment.)

Who is the wisest living person you know?

A Wilderness Reminder

Don’t be afraid of those times in the wilderness…

When you can’t seem to hear from God…

When nothing seems to make sense in your life…

When there’s a nervousness about your future…

When you sense something is about to change…

When there’s a new stirring in your heart…

When you are tempted to become fearful…

In my experience…

God often uses those times to prepare you for better times…

Need more?

You may want to read one of these past posts:

7 Actions for the Times God is Silent

Encouragement to Hold onto God During Difficult Times

7 Actions while Waiting on God

Are you in the wilderness now? Have you been there before?

What advice or encouragement would you give others for these times?

My Thoughts: It’s Friday…but Sunday’s Coming!

When they had crucified Him, they divided up His clothes by casting lots. Matthew 27:35

The baby was born. It seems we just celebrated His birth a few months ago. He was laid in a borrowed manger. He grew in wisdom and stature. He fulfilled all prophecy that was written about Him.

He performed many miracles. He did only the will of His Father. He never sinned. He cared for the sick. He loved the poor.

He taught the disciples. He baptized many.

But…

He was betrayed. He was arrested. He was given a phony trial. He was mocked.

He was beaten. He was whipped. He was bruised. He was bloodied. He had a crown of thorns placed tightly on His head. He was made to carry His own cross as far as He could. As He walked, blood and sweat dropped into His eyes and mouth.

His hands and feet had spikes driven into them. The bones must have cracked more with each blow. He was spit on. He was stripped naked in front of all. He was placed between two criminals. He was left to die.

He could hardly breathe on the cross. The lack of oxygen caused Him to gasp. He could barely get His words out. The pain was so intense. Soon His earthly life would all be over.

And all He had left, the clothes on His back, were distributed by the casting of lots. They gambled for His last possessions.

It’s Friday…

But Sunday’s coming…

My friend Artie Davis shares this same concept in a powerful video. Check it out HERE.

What are your thoughts about Christ on this Good Friday?

5 High Costs of Character

Being a man or woman of character doesn’t come without some cost associated. If you want to have character that stands strong among the crowds, it will be expensive.

Here are 5 high costs to pay for having character:

Ignoring the right to get even…

Forfeiting profit over integrity…

Refusing personal gain for the greater good…

Resisting temptation when no one would know…

Forgiving when it hurts…

Of course, not all of these require sacrificing character. Thankfully you can still make a profit and maintain your character, but there will be times the choice for character requires the willingness to sacrifice.

You’ll give up a lot to become a person of character, but you’ll gain far more.

What other costs would you add to my list?

If You Only Follow The Rules…

Just a quick reminder…

If you only follow the rules others set for you…

If you only do what others call “safe”…

If you never risk everything…

If you never step out of the norm…

There’s a chance….

Someone could drown…

Sometimes you have to step away from the established rules and traditions of men in order to do something no one has ever done…

You have to go where no one else has gone…

You have to refuse to play it safe…

You may even have to break someone’s established “rules”…

Be honest…if there were only two options…

Which sounds more appealing to you?

Playing by the rules…

Or…

Doing something others say couldn’t…or shouldn’t…be done…

Have you ever had to break the rules to do something worthwhile?