Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What do I need this Christmas?

Over the weekend, I was speaking with my mom and we were talking Christmas gifts. At one point we found ourselves going around and around trying to figure out what to buy certain individuals in the family who in reality don’t really need anything. We have so much and are so blessed and yet every year the commercials and our own greedy longings make us believe we need more.

This carries over into our spiritual lives as well. How often do we approach our God and complain like He hasn’t given us everything we need to successfully navigate life here on earth with Him and for Him. Isn’t it amazing how often we live out our lives as Christ followers with a poor man’s attitude rather than the spiritually rich people we are. Paul states it so clearly to the believers in Ephesus where he writes “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
So as we head into the Christmas season, let’s not act like we don’t have much. We have all that we need in Christ Jesus our Lord. Let’s live like that’s true in our lives no matter what you find under the tree this Christmas. Maybe the answer to the original question above is that we give one another spiritual reality checks this year by spending some time celebrating God’s goodness to us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crossing the Bridge

Recently my wife and I joined another couple and traveled to the quaint little town of Wakefield, Quebec.  It was an absolutely beautiful Fall day and we came across this recently renovated covered bridge.  As we enjoyed a leisurely stroll across the river through this covered bridge a number of thoughts crossed my mind as it relates to my journey with God.

First, there was a need for me to cross over to a holy God and I recognized long ago it was impossible for me to do on my own.  There was a need for someone to provide a "bridge" over to God on my behalf because of my sin.  That "bridge" is of course Jesus Christ who came and made the way for sinful human beings to cross over to the Father.  Jesus paid for my sin upon the cross and I just need to cross the bridge of redemptive work found in Christ by faith.  Praise the Lord there was a point in my life where I responded and took that step of faith towards Christ, our bridge to enter into a personal relationship with a holy God.

Secondly, it required some real pioneers to build the bridge over that river.  In life, God will call us as both individuals and church families to take some big steps and cross some pretty big rivers in life to get to the next God sized adventure on the other side.  It will always take some courageous pioneers willing to take that first step and start building the bridge over the challenges of life by God's grace.  We do so in order for others to one day follow and benefit from what has been created.  May God give me and other leaders the courage to take such steps.

Thirdly, may we all be willing as Christ followers to cross over to the other side where the adventure of God awaits us.  There is no need for a bridge to help us cross if we are unwilling to walk across it.  Sometimes in life it seems much easier to just sit down on one side of the river of life and enjoy the scenery when God is really calling us to stand up, cross the river and experience whatever He has for us on the other side.

Is there a river God is calling you to cross today?  If so, by faith and with confidence in Christ the master bridge builder, take some steps to experience whatever adventure God is calling you to on the other side of the river.