Published: Monday, 30 October 2017 16:58
Written by Don Goulding
O Lord, of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them?
Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them? (Psalms 144:3 NET_FL)
Take a standard number two pencil, sharpen it to a good point and tap the lead on a piece of paper to leave a dot. Let that .004 inch dot represent the 93 million miles from the earth to the sun. On this scale it would take a row of 216,400 dots to represent the distance to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. The diameter of our Milky Way Galaxy would require 310 miles of dots. The edge of the universe would not be reached until our dots were lined up so they extended one-third of the way to the sun.
It’s necessary for me visualize dots when comparing distances in space so I can make some attempt at grasping the scope of God’s governance. Realizing he holds together over 500 billion galaxies of every imaginable shape and color, I see that the word awesome only begins to describe him.
The most unconceivable fact is not that God is sovereign over the gargantuan universe but that he is also intensely focused on my infinitesimal life. All that vast space, billions of other places, whirling luminous ecstasies, and he … loves … me.
Humans were created beings of great dignity. We were meant to receive and reciprocate God’s love. We have largely abandoned our role but no matter how debased we become, we still have the potential of regaining our original purpose. Every man, woman and child from every culture can reconcile to God’s love.
There is only one thing I can do to receive the significance of being loved by the one who holds the universe together and that is to say yes to the offer of his Son. That simple transaction binds me to him who is forever significant, which therefore, makes me significant.
Prayer: LORD God, through Jesus, I receive your vast significance.
Published: Monday, 23 October 2017 17:12
Written by Don Goulding
For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God. John 3:20-21 (NETFull)
Six-year-old Alexis ran giggling into her pastor’s arms only to pinch her nose and say, “Pee-yew, stinky breath.” I was the pastor.
A three-year-old boy named Mateo was one of my best friends in Fiji, even though he often sat on my lap just so he could play with the waddle under my chin.
Children are painfully honest. They haven’t yet adopted our prideful, jaded and fretful ways.
How can I live with childlike honesty without offending adults?
The joy of living inside the bright circle of truth is only for the few who tenaciously pursue honesty. I must admit my past, present and future mistakes. Sin kept in the darkness of secrecy still has power over my heart.
Who must I confess to? First, to myself, and that with the brutal honesty of Alexis and Mateo. Second, to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9), because I need forgiveness more than I need my next breath. Third, I confess to a pastor, counselor, or accountability partner who prays for my release from bondage (James 5:16).
Blabbing my specific sins to everyone I meet only gives the devil opportunity to tempt others with my failures. But the evil will haunt me until it passes out of my mouth. I must find a praying confidant and disclose every shred of guilt, holding nothing back.
Honest living requires monumental work but the reward is a return to the pure freedom of a child’s heart.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me honestly live in your light.
Published: Monday, 16 October 2017 17:23
Written by Don Goulding
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13
I walked through the city wearing a custom-tailored sage-green suit. To the casual onlooker, I had the mark of success. I owned a vibrant business, led an industry organization, and gave liberally to charity. Because I was a born-again Christian and had much of what others aspired to, I was blind to my bondage to the world system.
I was a free son of the Most High God voluntarily performing hard labor for my former warden. I wore his enormous yoke around my neck weighed down with worry, fear, and temptation. Burned into the yoke was a label that read Responsibility for Me. I had only given God my salvation, but not my habits, hurts, and hangups. I had to carry those.
When I finally recognized my bondage, I was hornet-mad. I was born a free citizen of God’s kingdom. I gave that freedom up once and Jesus had to buy it back for me. Why should I give it up yet again?
When I choose to live within God’s moral boundaries, I am liberated into a fenced yard where I may dance and safely be me. Those outside my playground wag their heads thinking I am too hemmed in but I ache for my critics. It is they who are outside the yard and separated from God. It is they who are tethered by their own fret for wellbeing, snared in the need for acceptance from others, and used as marionettes beneath temporal pleasure. I say no thank you to that deceitful version of freedom. I will run to the one who calls me into his playground of love.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your insistence that I should be free.