Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Measuring Up

Now from those recognized as important (what they really were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism) — they added nothing to me.  Galatians 2:6 HCSB

In writing to the Galatians, Paul reminds them that social status, wealth, looks, anything that society places value on is worthless to God.  God is the one that determines value.  Even more hitting, it is not and cannot be earned.  All our value is the result of the gift of God.

The sacrifice of Jesus, the gift of love, being called into His service.  These are the things of value.

I have trouble with this.  I have my own internal scorecard.  Unfortunately, if I'm honest, there is a lot of worldly looking categories at the top.  What about your scorecard?  What's on it?  What things do you wish to be different to feel self-worth?

Friday, December 14, 2012

How would you answer?

Look at Isaiah 6:8. How would you respond to God's call? Would you say, "Send me"? I would like to think I would. In fact, I'd like to think I have, but did I only answer yes to the calls that looked like a favorable outcome? Read the rest of Isaiah 6 to see what God says Isaiah is to face because of his answer.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Walking With Bilbo by Sarah Arthur

Walking With Bilbo by Sarah Arthur

Walking With Bilbo is a guided journey through Christianity using the Tolkien classic The Hobbit as a map.  This book is not a review of The Hobbit, instead it looks at the aspects of Christianity that are found in the story.  By looking at Bilbo and other characters, the author examines the issue of our own hearts, our relationship to our Father God, the depth of sacrifice of Jesus and the glorious reunion to come.  Through 21 devotions the author spans the story of Bilbo and his own journey.

This is a great book.  The author is a Tolkien fan and it shows.  However, this is not a fan book that has Christianity slapped on top.  Instead, it is a thoughtful look at the building of our faith and the part we play in this world.  Each chapter looks to ourselves, the hobbit story and the Bible to see what God is speaking.  From there, the author provides scripture reading to expound the point and serve as focus for meditation.  I really enjoy this book and see it being used often in my study and recommending to others.

I'd give the book 5 out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers  as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Slowing Down

Since returning, one of my friends gave me a challenge in my weekly routine.  The challenge was simple, "Spend time with God every week."  Let me flesh that out a little.

Every week schedule a time and protect it.  Call it a meeting with you and God.  No interruptions, no texts or emails, just you and God.  Listen to Him and hear what He has to say.  Whoa.

Often we are so consumed in helping others (discipling, serving, doing) we forget about the needs we have.  How important is it to not just pay God lip service with a quick prayer?  How tough would it be to spend the time?

What about you?  Ready to get out your calendar and schedule that appointment?  Just see how quickly something shows up to take it away.