Wednesday, December 22, 2021

I Will, I Will

 “I Will, I Will”

Psalm 89:1-2 NIV

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known throughout all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

“I will, I will”.  This phrase came out of my mouth more times that I can count when I was a kid.  Whether it was to my parents, brother, friends, other family, teachers, etc., I remember using this phrase when I was asked to do something.  However, it didn’t stop getting used when I grew older.  I find myself saying still to this day, and even with my kids.  And, wouldn’t you know it, my kids say it, too! 

We say this phrase a lot, don’t we?  No matter where we are or who we are with, we find ourselves giving this so-called promise to others too often.  Often times, we are focused on something that we feel is very important and then we use this phrase to temporarily get the person to stop bugging us.  And it usually follows with very little intention of actually doing what we say we would do. 

It’s easy to use this phrase and not think much of it at all. I find myself hearing my kids say this so much and I think and sometimes actually say out loud, “You always say that, but you aren’t doing anything!”  It’s easy for us to get frustrated with our kids when they say this, but then show no intention of carrying it out. 

Kids and adults alike are bad at saying this and I can’t help but think how we so often treat our relationship with God like this.  We tell God we will do this or say this or treat this person better or make things better in some way.  We tell God so often that we will do something, but then the intention falls away. 

As I consider this phrase, I pray that a different mindset will come alive in us as we live out this passage.  Instead of saying we will and then failing to follow through with things, we should not only follow through, but also make sure we are singing praises to God through our days as well.  This passage is written with intention. “I will” sing.  “I will” make.  “I will” declare.  Those are bold and intentional statements! 

Instead of us using this phrase to blow others off, we need to be reminded it should be a statement of intention to not only follow through, but to be intentional in our faithfulness to serve.

I pray that as we move closer to beginning a New Year, we would consider how we can say “I will, I will” with great intention as we strive to follow God wherever He leads us and do whatever He leads us to do. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Our Constant Hope In A World Of Variables

“Our Constant Hope In A World Of Variables”

Psalm 33:20-22 NLT

We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.

A few weeks ago for Black Friday, I joined some of the guys from my wife’s dad’s side of the family for a full day of high school championship football games, which is Prep Bowl, at US Bank Stadium.  I started attending with them a few years ago knowing they’ve had this tradition of going for many, many years.  It’s a very long day, but it’s fun to watch the talent of so many high school guys playing the game. 

As I sat there that day watching these games, it reminded me of all the times I’ve watched football games and now this sport is so full of varying factors.  I’m not an expert regarding football and probably never will be.  I just really enjoy watching and seeing the many different scenarios that can take place during a game.  Things can change so quickly and without any notice at all, which often makes the games very interesting and tense!  My wife and daughters will often get on to me for being so loud when watching football and yelling at the TV! 

As I think about football, there are so many variables to this game and many other sports that you have to expect the unexpected.  As I thought more about the games that day that I was watching and football in general, I thought so much about how life is like this.  We live each day not knowing at all what is going to happen.  We so often put our trust and hope in earthly things and people and they always somehow fail us because we are not to put our hope and trust solely in them.  As football has so many variables, so does life.  Life often takes us by surprise and we’re so often not ready for those changes. 

The only constant thing about football and sports in general is that things are constantly changing.  The same is true about life and we all know this, but so often we don’t deal that well when things change.  We want consistency.  We want to know things will go a certain way, but often they don’t. 

I find great hope and trust knowing that God is always consistent in His love for me even though life is so unpredictable.  When life gets me down, I have to remind myself that God is still there with me and is guiding me through all of the challenges and frustrations. 

I hope this serves as a reminder to us all that we need to put our total trust and hope in God while we live in a world of constant variables. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

The Son Makes All The Difference

 “The Son Makes All The Difference”

John 15:5 NIV

I am the vine, you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

I try to usually go on walks outside during my morning and afternoon breaks at work each day.  In the summer, I usually don’t have much of an issue getting out to enjoy the weather on my walk, provided it’s not raining.  When it gets to later in the Fall and Winter season, it gets a little more tricky.  Some days are nicer than others, of course and I’m usually watching the weather conditions on my phone to see what the wind chill is and if it’s decent enough to go out for a walk. 

There are some days when I see the cold temps and notice it’s sunny and decide to give it a try.  I’ve recently found myself being amazed many days when I’m prepared for a cold gust to hit me, but instead find a soothing feeling when the sun hits me as I walk outside.  It’s still chilly, but I quickly think, “The sun is making all the difference”.  Without the sun shining down, it would be colder and not as pleasant of a walk. 

I cannot help but think of our walk with Christ and how life would be like if we didn’t have the Son in our lives each day.  Just as the sun shining on a cold day can really make a surprising difference when going on a walk or just headed out for work or errands, we need to be reminded daily that if we didn’t have the Son in our lives, we would be in a constant state of bitterness in our spiritual lives.  Life is challenging enough in general and I cannot even imagine how unbelievers find comfort and strength through hard times. 

Having Jesus in our lives truly makes all the difference in the world.  He’s with us wherever we go and no matter what we are doing.  When times get tough, He’s there to comfort.  It’s a simple concept, really.  However, are we sharing this with other people so that they can come to experience that the Son really makes all the difference in the world? 

Jesus is our true vine, we are the branches.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  When we are staying connected to Him, He makes all the difference.  When we are apart from Him, we cannot thrive and cannot survive long doing our own thing.  We eventually get swallowed up in the bitterness of this world and it grows dark. 

When we remain connected to Jesus, He truly makes all the difference!