memorial stones

Like many of you, Tiersa and I did some travelling over the holidays.  It’s really one stop shopping for us since most all of our family lives in the Metroplex.  We drove in on Thursday and had dinner with some close friends.  We spent the day relaxing on Friday and then made the rounds on Saturday.  Tiersa’s parent’s house on Saturday morning.  My parent’s on Saturday afternoon.  Tiersa’s grandmother and then my grandmother’s on Saturday evening (I’m tired just thinking about it). Tiersa and I drove back to Tyler Saturday night while the kiddos stayed with my parents.  But after worship on Sunday morning we made our way back to the Metroplex, for one more day of family togetherness.  Monday evening we had coffee with friends and then made our trek home once again (but if you listen closely there are angels singing because – at the time of this writing – the kids are still with grandparents!).

The Christian life is a journey.  We travel.  We journey through life.  And along the journey we bear witness to and testify to the God we serve.

As Israel crosses into the Promised Land (Joshua 4) God instructs for twelve stones to be taken from the Jordan riverbed and constructed into a monument.  These memorial stones were to serve as a reminder.  So that in generations to come when their children and children’s children and children’s children’s children asked what the stones represented – they served as a reminder of the journey of God’s people and the way in which God had blessed His people along the journey, staying true to His promises and true to His Word, as they crossed into the Land of Promise.

As we live life we each have our own memorial stones.  Moments in time we can point to and share the goodness of the Lord and the ways in which our God has blessed us, challenged us, forgiven us, and shaped us.  Moments along the journey where the promises and Word of God have rung true.  Moments that provide opportunity to share the majesty and love of our Father.

I would advocate we also create memorial stones in the lives of one another….  Aren’t there those who have strengthened you and encouraged you along your journey of faith?  Certainly there are!  And isn’t that the way God has designed His church?  That we would serve as reminders to one another of the wonder of the God we serve?

Glory to God!

Jason

choices

Joshua boldly declares to the people of God, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Elijah goes before the people of Israel assembled at Mt. Carmel and asks, “How long will you waver between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21).

We make choices every day.  We have the God-given ability to choose.  We choose to either hit the snooze button or wake up.  We choose to wear green or blue.  We choose our route to work (or allow traffic to make the decision for us).  We choose where we have lunch.  To have a fifth cup of coffee.  Paper or plastic.  To be or not to be (ok, maybe I’m getting a little too philosophical)… but you get the idea.  We choose.  We make choices all the time.

Some daily choices are pretty minor.  They don’t impact the grand scheme of life greatly at all.  Other decisions are earthshattering.  Will I choose to love my spouse today?  Will I be patient with my children?  Am I going to be faithful to God?  These are major daily decisions.  To love others.  To be kind to others.  To be faithful to God.  Major decisions that somehow, too often, get lost.

God chooses.  He chooses to love.  He chooses to forgive.  He chooses to be near.  His nature and being are such that “light” and “love” define Him (1 John 1:5, 4:8).  He is constant.  He is unwavering.  And He chooses.

God grants us the ability to choose.  To choose Him.  To choose faith.  To choose faithfulness.  But He does not fail to empower us to choose the way He desires.

The design of the Gospel of Christ reveals the choices of God.  He could have redeemed mankind any way He desired.  He is God.  He is sovereign.  But He chooses the cross and resurrection of Jesus.  The Gospel teaches us not only of a Savior who willfully came to earth and emptied Himself and gave His physical life for our spiritual lives, but also enables us to see the choices of a wonderful God who chooses.  And who chooses us.

God gives us His Son and His Spirit and His Word and His church.  Why?  So that we may choose.  And so that we may choose Him.

What if these were the three choices we intentionally made every day….

1) I am going to be faithful to God.

2) I am going to love others.

3) I am going to be a viable part of the Kingdom.

What if these were the choices you made today?

Glory to God!

Jason