…You Know… Who?

You Know Who-

Sometimes when we forget someone, we say “…you know… who?…what’s his face?” I’ve had this happen a lot actually, even with people that I know very well. There are times when the brain just doesn’t work the way it should!

But there are a lot of times when I simply don’t recall a person’s name or remember who they are because we have no relationship together. It’s kind of like running into someone from your high school at Walmart. You both see each other, know that you know each other, but the panic sets in because you can’t remember each other’s name.

Is this not how it is sometimes with GOD? We have forgotten His name because we haven’t spent time around Him? We don’t recognize His voice because it has become unfamiliar? I know that when I talk on the phone, and especially to someone I really want to hear from and love, it won’t take long for me to recognize their voice. How much more with God. All we have to do is stay connected.

Take some time today and reflect on some of the names of God. Get to know Him by sitting still for a few minutes in a conversation: catch up with each other.

Make a calling plan with God in order to stay connected to Him. Set up a time when you will give Him a call tomorrow. Do the same thing for the next day. Keep this appointment as you would any other one.

Take a trip to Walmart and see if you run into anyone you know. Who knows? You might even run into Jesus!

Observations Of A Prodigal #6

Prodigal

 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15:22-24

Father Says.

The father said to the servants. I like this because he doesn’t tell the son to go get cleaned up. Immediately, the father restores the son and treats him like a son. Isn’t that wonderful? Sometimes, we feel like we’ve got to go through some restoration process with God but that’s not the case, He always welcomes us home as sons and treats us like one immediately.

Hurry up! There’s no more time to waste. Enough time’s been wasted already! Get the clothes, ring, sandals, and food, quick!! Chop, chop! I love the thought that this father is in such a hurry to receive his son back. He wants the son to be aware of the extreme amount of love he has and the excitement that he has for his return. The father does some very important and symbolic things for his son.

“Heir-aspotle”.

First he says bring the clothes. Get those rags off my boy! He’s going to wear the finest. It’s time to go from rags to riches. He wanted to immediately restore the boy’s image. The boy had been low in self-esteem and this was a way to immediately impact him: make him look different. I don’t care what anyone says, I always feel better when I’m dressed nicer. Clothing has a lot to do with image and how we feel about ourselves. The father knew this and had the servants bring the very best. Isn’t it awesome to know we’ve been clothed in the righteousness of Christ?

Lord Of The Ring.

Secondly, the father puts a ring on his finger. This was to signify his identity with the family. It was probably like a signet ring. He was back home where he belonged. He was still part of the family; a son, nonetheless! A ring symbolizes we belong to someone and typically, such items are passed down from generation to generation. This ring was given to remind the son to whom he belonged. It was given to show such a restoration that the father wanted it passed along. The ring would be a reminder of the love and acceptance, the empowerment that comes from being a son.

All-Stars.

Thirdly, the father puts sandals on his feet. This was to represent the father’s answer to the son’s desire to be a servant and not a son. Slaves during this time did not wear shoes. The father would have none of that! This was his son and yes, sons serve but he would not be treated as a mere servant or slave. How could he be treated that way when he’s a son? The father did not want the boy to lose sight of the complete unconditional love the father had for him. The boy probably sold his shoes trying to get food. Now he would have a new pair and dine in royalty.

What Beef?

Fourthly, the fatted calf was killed. This meal would be a great celebration. Only the best food, the best meat would be served; and plenty for all. The father wanted everyone to know, to join in the celebration because something of incredible significance had happened: his child had come home! Isn’t it simply amazing to think that God would make any big deal out of you or me and yet the fact remains: He does!

EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED IS ON THE (2)

Are you ever in a hurry for anything? Do those things matter? Is there something that you should be in a greater hurry for than what you are?

Is there someone in your life that needs to be restored? What can you do to assist the healing process?

How does the way you dress communicate the way you feel? Have you ever tried a completely new style, trying to find a new you? Did it work? Have you ever been given something that was “just not you”? How about something that was you “perfectly”?

Do you have some old rags you can get rid of? Go through your closet and get rid of some things. Go out and get a new outfit. Splurge a little?

Have you ever been given an heirloom? What was it? What kind of value does it have to you and why?

What piece of jewelry means the most to you? Why?

Have you ever given a piece of jewelry to someone significant? What was it and why?

How important are your shoes? What do they communicate about you? How important are they in our society? What do they communicate in our world?

What’s your favorite meal? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a meal? Was it worth it?

Why not take someone to dinner and just let them know how much they mean to you. Communicate God’s love through a meal together.

Devotionals For Leaders: Where? What?

Devotionals For Leaders (2)

It was by faith Abraham obeyed God’s call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go. Hebrews 11:8

Obedience Is The Key.

Where do I need to be and what do I need to do? I have struggled with those questions often throughout my time on earth. You may have too. They are very important questions. However, I’m finding this to be true over and over again; God is more concerned about my obedience than my location.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God has specific places for specific people. This does not negate the fact that God carries those people there. He sends those people there. He somehow manages to get those people there as would be the case for Jonah and the great fish.

Who I Am? vs. Where I Am?

The issue with God is not can He use me where I am or where He’s taking me. The issue is who I become along the way and through the situations. God’s greatest ambition is conformity to that of His Son. There is none who was or is more obedient than Jesus. Obedience is a benchmark of Jesus, even obedience unto death on a cross (Philippians 2).

God seems to have a greater concern about developing me into a certain person than taking me to a certain place. How does He do this? No other way than through the revelation of Himself. So often, I want God to reveal His plan instead of Himself. I want to know the in’s and out’s, the details, the lowdown but God does not cave into my desires. He instead fulfills me with Himself. For me to become all that God wants, I have to stop looking ahead and start looking up.

Which Way Do I Go?

Abraham went out not knowing where He was going but He knew Who he was going with. He was going with God. I wonder how many times I have gone without God…knowing where I was going but oblivious that God was not with me? The knowing of the Christian walk is not to a place but with a Person, the person of Jesus Christ. As we walk with Him we become. We move forward at times but we move inward all the time. Obedience is an inward job and the only way to accomplish it is to obey.

Maybe God is not sending me anywhere except to Himself? Maybe that’s the ultimate destination?

Observations Of A Prodigal #5

Prodigal

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:20

 

Sin’s A Domino!

Sin affects in many ways. We sin against God and man at the same time. Even if we don’t directly sin against man, our sin still affects our relationships with man and certainly every sin affects our relationship with God. Sin is the domino that sets off a ton of other dominos. This young boy learned that principle. His sin was not limited to a single relationship but multiple ones. I’m sure any of us can look back with great heartache and see the ways our sin has affected the way others respond to or treat us. It can leave a huge hole to climb out of!

Possessing Or Possession?

The boy’s perspective changed drastically. It’s amazing how some time, distance, hardship and heartache can do that! Initially, he thought he was somebody because of what he had instead of who he was. However, it’s who has us, not what we have that counts. For a while the possessions possessed him and now that they were gone, so was his self-esteem. His self- worth was in the dumps. But then again, how many us are right there with him? We somehow have forgotten that our worth is not based upon our choices but upon our birthrights! Once a son, always a son. This young man was worthy because he was a son not because of what he had or had not done. We must remember this. Our worth as a child of God goes beyond any goof-up, mistake or sin. We must make every effort to remember that it’s not so much about self-esteem as it is esteeming God highly. When we do that properly, we will understand how much we mean to Him too.

Far-Sighted?

I’m near-sighted, which means I can only see things close to me. I use glasses for this problem. I believe that this father was far-sighted because he could see the son a long way off, recognize him and respond to him! He also didn’t care about the stuff that was near, like the stench, the mud, or the dirt. So here’s a father running rather undignified, to his son with no concern for himself, his attire, or his protocol. It’s his son! And nothing is going to get in the way. Nothing! He’s been watching, waiting, and praying for this day and now it’s here!I love the fact that the son seems to be walking but the father is running. I love the fact that the father throws his arms around him and kisses him. These are all initiated by the father. The son simply receives all the father wants to give him. How much more the incredible picture of God running to us, taking the first steps in embracing and kissing us.

Full, Not Half.

The father was filled with compassion. He could have been angry, upset, bitter or any number of other justifiable emotions. Yet, he is full, not partly or half but full of compassion. The word “compassion” means “with suffering”. Ever heard: “this is gonna hurt me more than you”? That’s the case here. Every time we turn from God and go our own way, God’s heart breaks.

It Is Over!

The father was filled to overflowing with compassion. In his mind, the whole ordeal was over the moment he saw the boy again. The same is true with us and God. It’s over when he says it’s over. Some times we can’t get over it and there are definitely others that can’t get beyond it but God always does. It’s over before you even know it!

EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED IS ON THE (2)

Think back on a time when there was a domino affect because of some sin you committed.

Is there something that has happened where others have not been able to let you live down or forgive you for? Have to been able to forgive them for not forgiving you?

Where do you find your self-esteem? How is your level of esteem? Where does your self-image find it’s roots?

How do you look at yourself? Does your image line up with what God says about you?

How does your self-worth issues affect your decision-making? Your response to others and to God?

What are you expecting from God? How do you think He’s going to treat you? Do you trust His heart?

What needs to be over in your life? Why not confess it and let it be so?

How’s your compassion for others?