Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Call Me Insane

I looked up the definition, and I think I qualify. According to Mirriam-Webster online dictionary, insanity is 1: a deranged state of the mind... No, that's not the one I am looking for 3b: something utterly foolish or unreasonable ... Yes, I could probably be defined at times as foolish and unreasonable.

Our faith in Christ is often labeled that way. Festus said of Paul, "You are insane." Acts 26:24 NLT The word translated insane is the word from which maniac or mad is derived from. Our Christian experience is sometimes looked up as being crazy to some. And if the world wants to call me crazy or insane because I live a radical faith, I'm okay with that.

You can call me insane for another reason. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying "to keep doing the same thing over and over, and yet expecting different results is insanity." I have used this quote in sermons many times. It encourages us to change the game plan, to do something different. I agree... for the most part.

But sometimes it pays just to be insane. Take Daniel, for example. He prayed. When threatened and persecuted, he just kept on praying. He kept doing the same thing. Sometimes what you're doing isn't wrong. As a matter of fact, it is right. And it works. But then a season comes when it doesn't work. What do you do then? I say you keep doing the right thing, even if it doesn't seem to be getting the right results. Keep on praying. Keep on giving. Keep on praising God. Keep on reaching out and loving on people. Keep on showing up at church. Keep on serving. When all hell breaks loose, hang in there. Don't quit. Job made it through. So did Joseph. All through the bible were heroes of the faith who the world would call crazy. Elijah said to his servant, "Go again seven times." Keep doing it over and over.

Sometimes church life is good. It's growing. People are excited. They love God, and love you. There is a spirit of expectancy all over the place. Revival is in the air. And then sometimes people are discouraged. Some are grumbling. Some are leaving. What went wrong? I've had those times when I examined the thing and discovered that I was doing the same things in the down times that I did in the up times.

I want to encourage you today to hang in there. Keep on doing what you're already doing, if what you're doing is right!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Limitless Love

She loves me. I know it. Her love is a great strength to me. I have been blessed by the love of my wife for 42 years. Married at an early age, we have been sweethearts for a long time. My pet names for her are "Pretty Girl" and "Sunshine." In front of our kids, she is "Mom", and around our one grandkid, she is "Maw Maw." She is the best gift this side of heaven.
He loves me. His love is different. It hasn't lasted as long, he is only seven. But it is just as deep. I see it in the way he looks at me, talks to me, listens to me. He is my grandson. I enjoy his presence. He lights up my life. Grandkids are precious, aren't they?
These are not the only examples of love in my life today. But they are the ones currently in the house as I think about this subject called love. They are love to me with skin on it. I am speaking of my wife and my grandson. It is good to be loved, isn't it? And it is good to love in return.
I couldn't imagine anyone loving me more, nor can I imagine loving someone else more deeply, than that shared with my family. Sometimes we are fortunate to have this kind of relationship with our extended family, our church, or close friends. These people are more valuable than fame or fortune!
And yet, for the best of them, it is all a limited love. And so is ours. Maybe not limited in the sense of what we would do for one of them. It is just that our abilities can only go so far. I can grieve with a loved one who is suffering from a disease, but I don't have the power to heal them. My love is limited in this matter.
But there is ONE today who loves us with an unlimited love. His love will be with us in every situation of life. And He can go with us through the storm, and through the fire!
Rest in His love today!