Just Thoughts

Buying a Bible cover was a bit of a mistake. Sure, it extends the life of my Bible, but the cover has pockets and a zipper, which means that I can (and do) keep all manner of things stuffed away in there. My Bible slowly grows heavier and heavier as I shove church bulletins, sheet music, pressed flowers, photos, other books, newsletters...between the bulging zippers of that cover.

When carrying my Bible into church is equivalent to a weightlifting exercise, I know it's time to clean. So yesterday, I sorted through the oddments. Most of the papers were covered in hastily scribbled notes. Notes from my personal devotion time. Notes about whatever thought was currently distracting me from the sermon. Questions, prayers, insights. None of them have dates, and some are mere skeletons of thoughts, hastily recorded and preserved for future contemplation (these may become blog posts at a future date).

Since I haven't blogged in a while, I thought I would go ahead and share some of the more intelligible (and less deeply personal) notes. Many of the thoughts are blunt, commonplace, possibly rather boring. Some may be a trifle shocking. A few might stir up anger. But, nevertheless, here they are.

My photo
Communion - the simplest of sacraments - a perfect example of the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel. Bread...wine...belief...forgiveness...trust. Uncomplicated, easy to teach. But foolish humanity regards difficulty above simplicity, and therefore the Gospel will often be rejected, will frequently give offense. A broken body in the breaking of the bread. An innocent sacrifice in the drinking of the cup. Beautiful...terrible! 
Forgive me, Lord Jesus, for exchanging the wonderful, awful simplicity of Your Gospel for the meaningless complexity of the world. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly and unify us in the simplicity of fellowship with You.
If I am to be a strong sword in the hands of God, I must be forged and melted in fire, and re-shaped with hammer blows. When God asks, "are you willing?" My response is, "yes, God, I will follow You into the fire as long as You stay with me in the flames."
Sin begets sin. From Adam to Jacob, we see patterns of deception and trickery. Joseph breaks the cycle, acting honorably and truthfully. One man may break the cycle of generations of lies.
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound judgement. (2. Tim 1:7)
Judgmentalism is based on fear.
Sound judgement is based on God's spirit of power, love and truth.
Small details are everything and nothing. They are incredibly important to God, since we are His well-loved children. They are also nothing in the light of God's complete plan (from the perspective of eternity). Such is the complete view of our daily struggles, joys, successes and failures. Take a step back, but also live fully in each moment. 
Christianity doesn't guarantee freedom from failure, but it does guarantee freedom from futility. Christians will still fail, BUT all things will work together for our good (Rom. 8:28) That is the difference between believers and non-believers. The non-believer will fail and walk in futility. The believer will fail, but still walk in fullness of life. Become a Christian for the right reasons. Don't listen to the prosperity 'gospel' of 'freedom from failure', but walk in the fullness of a life with God, Who works all things for the good of His children.
Why do we need to keep everyone in our church all the time?
Are so many of our local churches preaching such blatant heresy that we'll be contaminated if we associate with them?
Why can't we encourage our membership to benefit from other churches' programs?
Why do we have to do everything on our own?
Jesus was a 'man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. '(Is. 53:3) I should be thankful for the gloom, grief, and sorrows in my life because I can then identify with Christ in a unique way. 
Thank You, God, that I am depressed, stressed, and overwhelmed. Show me how to cast these cares on You, (1 Pet. 5:7) and use this time to bring glory to You. I know that You have taken my sorrows, please don't let me take them back again. 
   Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Ps. 30:5)
Why don't we use Luke 12 as part of the invitation when witnessing to the lost?
Who is more worthy of worship; your weak, fallible humanity, or the glorious, omnipotent, person-of-God Who is Jesus? Yes, if you worship Jesus you are relinquishing all control - the last vestiges of your selfish pride will be stripped away - but is it not better to have such gross misguidedness replaced with assurance and His loving command? If you are not willing to be made willing to be willing (and no, that wasn't a mistake. Read it again). to proclaim Jesus as absolute Lord, then by all means turn aside! Indulge in self-worship while you still may! Do not tarnish the glowing words of 'worship' and 'salvation' with a sick and weakly counterfeit of this glorious thing called Christianity.