Saturday, January 24, 2015

Are You a Good Steward?

The other day I was struck by what now seems a profound thought (though only time will tell I suppose). My room had fallen into a slight case of disarray, some clothes on the floor, my desk was... less than tidy, and it was generally looking like a mini version of a bachelor pad. My dad came in one day and said something along the lines of "for just being two guys in this room (I bunk with my awesome younger, albeit taller, brother), you sure can make a mess!"

At the time I took this as a sideways chid for letting our room get so messy (which was true), but I was also a rebuke for not being faithful in what I had been given. I was reminded of the parable that was taught in Luke, which (using some quick searching) I found in Luke 16, wherein this well-known passage resides:
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, [. . .] And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?"
Luke 16:10, 12
 I wasn't being faithful in what the Lord had given me through my dad. On this earth I have about 150 square feet that I'm in charge of, and I wasn't treating it with respect. To a degree, I had been viewing it as 'my room' and since I apparently didn't mind 'my room' getting a little messy, it was ok. But it isn't 'my room' it's my Father's room (both earthy and heavenly). I am simply it's steward, and a poor one at that.

When the time comes for me to move out (probably when I get married), Do I want my father to say "finally, now we'll be able to keep that room of yours clean!" Or do I want to hear him joyfully echo the master in another one of Jesus' parables:

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much
Matt 25:21
 Everything we own on this earth isn't truly ours. As the Psalmist has said:
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein.
Ps 24:1
 It's all His property, we are merely His stewards. Let us all use the blessings that He has given us for His glory.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get off my paltry soap box and get back to vacuuming.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Unrelated, and Yet, Related

I was journaling about a conversation that I had with a dear friend of mine today, and as I typed out something that she said it suddenly hit me like it was new to me.

"Our father"

My friend and I aren't related in any way, and yet, we are. She's my sister, I'm her brother. We have the same Father in heaven, He's adopted both of us into His family for all eternity. We christians have such a deep, familial connection with each other here on earth that I think is very rarely ever really realized. At least, I know I have seldom ever really thought of it, much less comprehended the significance of it. Just the thought of it is bewildering to me. God isn't only a Father to the fatherless, he has also given the fatherless a family to surround them, guide them, correct them, and encourage them.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, ~Ephesians 2:19

Friday, January 9, 2015

Reflections From the Past

Most people who know me will have at one point or another discovered that I am a journal keeper.

Now, let us get a couple of pesky definitions out of the way. Technically I suppose I actually keep a diary, because it's a "my-eyes-only" (save the rare occasion that I share an entry), deeply reflective and introspective account of my thoughts during the day, conversations I had, and things that I read. The word diary has such a feminine connotation to it that I have decided, in keeping with the title of this blog and despite the fact that it is technically more accurate, that I will allow the ladies to claim this word as their own, and I shall stick to journaling.

Anyway, I have pondered from time to time just why I keep this record of my life. I didn't used to always be like this you know. I have tried to keep a journal a number of times, but each time my efforts proved futile, and each time I eventually simply stopped writing. But in 2013 I started writing again, usually about once a week and kept at it. Maybe because my life was more interesting, and I had more to write about. Either way, at the turn of the new year I decided to try journaling every day for a month. I enjoyed that so much (and actually found things to write about each day) that I've continued doing so, rarely missing a day (and if I do, I always go back and attempt to reconstruct it.)

But my why is something that I think about, particularly since I so often cringe when going over my old entries. Why do I do this thing which it seems has only one purpose: to enshrine in history how immature I used to be. And far greater is my consternation when I think of others examining my innermost thoughts at some later date! But now, friend and reader, if you've stuck with me in my meandering thoughts for this long, I've finally arrived at the inspiration for this little journey of self reflection. It was a quote I discovered on my equally meandrous ventures on the internet about journaling.
“We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.” ~Joan Didion 
I know that for most of us (or perhaps I'm the only one, but I think not) looking back on who we used to be, "whether we find them attractive company or not," usually results in feelings of embarrassment that we once were the way we were. But I think this embarrassment is the wrong attitude to have towards our past. Who we once were should be a constant reminder of all that the Holy Spirit has wrought in our lives.

Looking back on our past, regardless of how vile, repulsive, or objectionable it is, should drive us ever further into our Father's arms, and cause an ever greater gratitude to well up inside us  for the saving work of Christ. So in this sense, my journal really serves as a record of the Holy Spirit's redeeming work in me. A log book of how I've changed over the years through His grace. It's also a mortifying reminder of who I once was, indeed would still be, were it not for the work of my Savior on the Cross. Praise God for His kindness and grace towards a sinner like me!


P.S. I know I didn't really get to my why, just my what. So maybe I'll go more in depth on my why at a later date. We'll see.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Son of God, How Can it Be?

I just finished the chapter titled Sons of Godin J.I. Packers phenomenal book Knowing God, and it has opened my eyes to the reality of what it means to be a Christian more than any other singular book (the bible aside) that I have ever read. We've all heard the word 'adoption' before, and we've all read about how God is our heavenly Father, but these terms have always seemed (though I didn't realize it before) etherial to me.

But now, though I still feel that my eyes are almost completely shut, I feel as though I have caught a glimpse into just what it means to be a son of God. To be adopted into His family. To be reconciled to the Maker of all things by His own Son, and to now be counted a brother with Christ, heir to the inheritance of God. Just thinking about it make my head swirl, and my heart throb.

A Son of God. 

How is that even possible? We read about princes, and princesses, and knights, and royalty, and they all seem like such marvelous things... for other people. We even hear about people being adopted into royalty (more in the past then in the present though). Usually the adopted son or daughter is someone who is old enough to have proven that they are worthy of royalty. They have the character, discipline, intelligence, and insight to hold the position of familial relationship with those in power.

But our God, our King, the Creator of the universe, has adopted us into His family to be His sons and daughters, not because we were particularly mature, intelligent, or kind (quite the contrary) but simply because He loved us because of who He is. He didn't adopt us because we are lovable, He adopted us because He is loving. We have been made, by His free grace, sons and daughters of the one who is called the Most High, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. But there's yet another title by which He has said we may address Him, one of kindness, tenderness, love, affection, guidance, and closeness And one by which I feel I am just now beginning to truly comprehend it's depth:

I call Him Father.


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