Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Motivated by a desire to save money I have been working to develop my mechanic skills - actually that implies I had some skills previously, which I didn't - but I am learning! I have enjoyed it when I have success like the new radiator in my jeep. It is maddening when it is unsuccessful. I recently installed a new alternator in our old Montero - it all works fine but the very next day an engine light comes on and it runs terrible in the morning.(prior to the repair it ran fine) Now this - and other similar instances- may all be coincidental but it appears that I often fix one thing only to have created a new problem. If I knew more about cars and had the bigger picture - I would probably avoid these dilemmas.

When it comes to addressing my own problems I often do the same. I see something - or someone points it out to me - and I just jump in and "fix" it! The problem? I am an amateur at best when it comes to fixing problems in  my life, I only see part of the issue and I rarely take a look at deeper things that should be addressed first. The result? I make the problem worse or create a new problem or make it appear the problem is corrected but it still remains.

Philippians 2:13 says "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." What great news - I have a personal "mechanic" who is already at work - He wants me to entrust the work to Him - let Him do what He wants - and keep my hands out of it! He alone can get to the root of the problem and He alone knows how to go about it in a way that effects change and brings God glory. So today, lets ask Him to work on us in any way He chooses - after all - we belong to Him!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It seems that ever since the curse in the garden we have wrestled with "work". Sometimes we labor under it as an unavoidable burden that we are forced to carry in this world. A different approach is to remove it totally from our 'spiritual' life and relate to it solely as a secular activity and then pursue it and carry it out according to a worldly perspective. I believe the truth lies somewhere else. Sin did not make work bad or remove God from it - it just made work difficult. God originally created work as part of the fabric of His good creation - an opportunity to experience and worship the creator. By so doing, He infused value - even holiness into the most mundane work. The cross had not only redeemed us but it has redeemed the work He calls us to.

The Puritans were the first to reverse the notion that there is a sacred/secular divide. Prior to that time, 'religious' work had value - laboring in the field, the shop, the home - were 'secular' activities. William Tyndale said "there is (externally) a difference betwixt washing of dishes and preaching of the word of God; but as touching to please God; none at all." the Puritan's made every job(calling) of eternal value because they believed all of life is a context for glorifying God and serving Him by serving one another. We call this doxology - turning everything into worship. William Perkins, another Puritan, said "the main end of our lives is to serve God in the serving of men in the works of our callings."

When we view our work - whether in a school, a shop, at a desk, in the kitchen, picking up the kids - as a parenthesis outside of God's Kingdom work - it becomes a burden and a place that is void of worship. When we rightly view our work as a holy calling because God is in it - it becomes a place to express the image of God, to honor Him by serving and to experience His blessing as we embrace it. And yes, because of sin it can be very difficult - see it as a chance to depend on Him and His ability to work in us. Ask the Lord to take all of your work today into His hands and to use it as an offering of worship.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


During the next 4 weeks in our services we will be looking at "An Invitation to the Devoted Life." A central focus of our series revolves around several principles of finding, developing and practicing Sabbath rhythms in our day. I enjoy the topic of Sabbath because it promises me rest!! I love a great nap and I will zealously guard my plans for an hour of Sunday afternoon sleeping. The rest God promises might include a good sleep but goes way beyond to include that deep, confident, centering trust in a Savior that has done all the work. Experiencing and embracing the true rest of God is missed by too many believers. I have considered why I so often miss it as well and I believe my biggest barrier is that before we rest we must stop! The 1st step of sabbath keeping is ceasing or stopping - only when I have quit my own efforts and striving can I begin to understand resting. I can often cease activity - like when I get a nap - but my heart and mind just keep going... planning... striving ... worrying ... creating... The end result is a little sleep without any real rest.

I hate to admit it but my refusal or reluctance to stop is rooted in unbelief. If I actually stop for awhile can I really trust that the Lord will carry everything for me or will it all come tumbling down? Tozer says that the only things that are really safe are those things fully entrusted to the hands of our Savior and whatever I am holding on to is not safe at all. Good news - the One who created everything and gave His life for us is more than able to carry it all for us; not only that but when my life and activities and dreams are in His hands it gets reshaped in His image instead of my own. So today lets try to stop our striving - at least for a few moments and let the deep rest from God pour over our day.