Daily Devotions

Sensing God

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“…because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

 

 

It makes me feel so sad when I visit with someone who does not believe when they cannot experience God with their five senses. Each time I have the discussion, it seems to end in frustration. Why is it I can know God exists deep in the marrow of my being, yet not be able to prove this reality to anyone, especially the people I love?

 

Like most everyone else, I spend too much time focusing on what is temporary. Whether my Minnesota Vikings ever win a Super Bowl, does not make much of a difference in eternity. Yet, so many people in this country choose football over God. This happens not just on Sunday morning, but all week long. There are ESPN’s pundits discussing the coming games. There are the Fantasy Leagues to prepare for, including the studying, the weekend of Fantasy Draft, and keeping up with injuries and backup players. All this takes place before the first snap of the ball. Imagine if we took the same amount of time each week in prayer, worship, church activities, and care and justice issues.

 

Football is just one small example of the temporary trumping the eternal. We do it in so many other ways. Because we cannot experience God through our senses, it is easy to turn our attention and loyalties to the things that can be seen. Sadly, they ultimately do not have eternal significance.

 

God deserves our very best. God is the way to justice. God is the way to wholeness. God is the way to life eternal. We have a relatively short time on this earth. Each day we have 86,400 seconds to do something amazing. We can choose to use those seconds on temporary activities, which will quickly be forgotten, or we can chose to use the seconds to make an eternal difference.

 

Today, think about how you are spending your day and your days. Where is the waste? Where are the meaningful exchanges? How often will you invite God into your day? None of us set out to waste our lives. Our lives are precious because we are made in God’s image. Our lives are precious because of the potential we possess. If we choose God each new day, God will use us in precious ways. Take the leap. Work to make God a habit in your life. Perhaps our example, rather than our arguments will be what allows the agnostic loved ones to see, touch, and hear the reality of God in their midst.

A Better Advancement

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“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.…” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

 

Our contemporary society is programmed to avoid discomfort at all costs. Our medical research has done a tremendous job guiding us through our physical pains. The dramatic evolution of medical advancement will continue to relieve pain and extend our earthly life. We humans are nearly godlike in our ability to manipulate the true God’s creation. Too bad we are unable to have such a positive impact on other worldly afflictions.

                        

We are unable to find successful ways of dealing with the unstable nuclear situation in North Korea. Our economy appears stable, but the middle class continues to diminish. I do not even need to mention the lack of ethical, political leadership in our own country, to say nothing of the corruption and evil in places like Russia and other places around the globe.

 

We pretend to have control over our lives. We have enough money to put food on the table, drive a car, and perhaps even stretch to make the cable bill. We turn a blind eye to all the ways our lives are dependent on situations beyond our control. 

 

It is the wise person who understands the reality of the situation. Living in a fantasy is neither wise nor beneficial. Facing our tenuous reality provides an alternative, true understanding of our world. While we do not possess the power to control our own world, we do have access to a power greater than our own limitations. 

 

This imperfect world leaves us with cancer, poor leadership, and weak economies. Thankfully, this is not as good as it gets. Our God, the creator, redeemer, and sustainer continues to create, redeem, and sustain. In the midst of our fears and struggles, God is at work. God is “preparing a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21).” Truth, justice, equality, emotional and physical health, will be ours for all eternity. Just imagine what this good news must mean to someone with ALS or with a severe case of Bipolar Disorder!

 

Today, think about all the challenges that lay before you and our world. We do this, not to add to our emotional and spiritual burden, but so we can recognize yet again, our need for God. Then, take a moment and dream. Think about what a joy it would be for justice to rain down from the heavens. What it would be like for truth to come out of every mouth. Equality to be the norm. Perfect health and well-being for everyone and all creatures. Remember, no matter what you create in your mind, it will be even better. God is able to dream better dreams than you and me, and God is able to make those dreams come true!

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