Monday, December 30, 2019

As Real As it Gets

“As Real As It Gets”
1 John 4:9-10 NLT
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

When we find certain deals advertised, we often wonder what the “catch” is and if the advertiser is really offering something real and legit.  These days, we’re often very skeptical about any advertisement that offers a deal that seems too good to be true.  The offer at first may seem very appealing, but the more we think about it and research, we often come to find out it’s a scam.

I have been disappointed to hear of so many scams in our world today.  We want good deals, but they are so hard to come by when so many places are trying to rip us off.  We want to find a good deal that doesn’t have any strings attached.  We want a real deal.  We want people at places of business to be honest with us as they try to sell good bargains. 

We are all victims of some kind of scam or bogus deal that someone has offered to us at one time or another.  We get frustrated when people aren’t honest about what they are offering us.  We want something real.  When we are offered something, we want to know the offer is legit. 

With all this skepticism circulating around trying to get good deals and being promised something of value, I am very thankful and grateful that God offers us a love that isn’t a gimmick.  I am thankful that God’s gift of love and salvation is not filled with “catches”.  He has given His life for me and loves me unconditionally.  I am glad I don’t have to worry about any small print that I have missed and might be surprised by later in our relationship stating certain contingencies.  He has and always will be genuine and very real. 

I have been burned so many times in life by people who say they want to offer me something real, but in reality turns out to be another gimmick. God is always real and genuine and will never let me down or disappoint me.  I may not always understand His ways and I often tend to get frustrated at some things that He allows to happen.  However, I know that He truly loves me and always wants the best for my life in Him.

God is the real deal.  He always has been and always will be.  When all other things and people fail you, He won’t.  When others try to scam you, God won’t.  He isn’t out to try to push you into anything.  He’s genuine and sincere.  His Word is full of the promises He has made to so many people and also to you and I. 

God’s love is as real as it gets.  This is real love and nothing will ever compare!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Are We Thrilled?

“Are We Thrilled?”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 92:4 NLT
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!  I sing for joy because of what you have done.

We spend a lot of time in our lives finding ways to be thrilled, don’t we?  There are so many ways and circumstances where we find ourselves being thrilled in one way or another.  Movies can give us thrills.  Going on certain trips can give us great thrills.  Seeing a great sunrise or sunset can give us great thrills.  Or how about going to an amusement park?  You sure get great thrills from those!  I grew up loving those trips.  The faster and crazier the ride was, the more I loved it! 

We live our lives looking for ways to be thrilled.  May of us are thrill-seekers!  How many of you are storm chasers or just really like seeing storms come into your area?  I have always been a storm adrenaline junkie!  There’s just a rush that comes over me when the sky turns dark and the wind blows.  When everyone else is taking cover, I want to be out in the action!

I read this passage the other day in the NLT and I hadn’t considered before the words, “You thrill me, Lord.”  Think about that phrase for a few moments and let those words sink in.  Does the Lord actually thrill us?  With all that He has done for us and continues to do, are we really thrilled?  Do we awake each morning just feeling thrilled about all that He will do in the day?  Do we wake each day with joy in our heart just waiting to see what He will do in our lives?

This time of year, we seem to be thrilled with all the festivities of the Christmas season.  We are thrilled with snow, with the lights, with the hustle and bustle of shopping.  We get thrilled with all the baking and parties.  We get into a lot of thrill feelings and it is all very fun.  However, are we so full of the thrills of what surrounds us that we totally miss the greatest thrill of being filled with God?  We can get so full of everything going on around us that we forget to be thrilled by the very One who made us and created everything for us to enjoy. 

Do we live for more of the thrills of the world or for all that amazing things God does for us?