Reckless

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Reckless Love – Live cover (youtube)

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
O, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

This song has been in my head since Sunday night when I heard it amazingly sung live. I bolded all of the action God takes for us as described in this song. I had the urge to breakdown what this song means…to me at least.

Verse 1
Before we were even born God had a plan and a purpose for me. He is the one who gave me life. He is so good to me and I’m not sure why.

Chorus
God’s love overwhelms me and makes me feel kind of nervous. When I really stop and think about all the ways he shows his love for me and those I care about. It is reckless love because he is pouring all of his love onto me when I am just going to squander it and not show love back. I have always contemplated whether or not to donate money to someone on the street corner out of concern that they will use my money on drugs or something insignificant. That’s what this is saying to me, God loves me and chases after me to bring me back even though He knows I am just going to screw it up. He leaves the 99 that have not gone astray behind and goes after the one lost lamb (Matthew 18:12). I did nothing to earn this kind of love and my selfish heart certainly doesn’t deserve it, yet He gives everything for me.
One of the saddest things in the Bible is the story about how Peter denied knowing Jesus. Peter was one of the strongest disciples of God. This is the same Peter that walked on water. Jesus poured everything into Peter and was nothing but loving and helpful. Yet, when threatened he denied Jesus. Jesus knew Peter was going to do this and still He loved him and used Peter to build His church. Jesus loves me the same amount that he loved Peter! Recklessly.

Verse 2
When I was younger and living however I wanted, paying no attention to anyone’s concerns but mine, God still fought for me to bring me back to understanding. When I felt empty and shallow after chasing all those desires and felt no worth in the grand scheme of things, He was still there. He paid it all to give us a chance to follow Him. He has always been coming after me and all I had to do was surrender my own empty chase. Now I’m chasing after Him, how could I not? I still screw things up and wander from the flock, but he never stops coming after me.

Bridge
He kept me from harm when I should have been wrecked, injured, mangled, and maybe even dead. He shined a spotlight on the darkness in my life. He let me make my mistakes. I wanted to try and live life on my own terms. It was never nearly as good as it is now that I am not alone. I was empty trying to do it on my own. God never stopped coming after me, He reached out his hand and I’d slap it away. But finally I took his hand and I have come to realize that He set me apart for a purpose and a mission. I don’t deserve any of it but He fended off evil, lies, and kicked down walls to call me by name so that He could use me.

The creator of the Universe want’s to use me for His good work! That’s reckless, and I am Overwhelmed by that kind of love.

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Freedom

It’s easy to get lost in our environment and start to slowly become the examples we see in the workplace as the daily grind of work takes its toll. It’s hard to stand apart from the environment and not be influenced. I’m thankful I have my faith in Jesus because I’m selfish, prideful, and lazy but Jesus knows that I’ve hurt people through these sins and yet He gives me a clean slate and a fresh start…for free!  John 8:36 If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 😵

“The real job of a leader is not about being in charge…but about taking care of those in our charge.”

-Perspective

-Empathy

-Sacrifice

Simon Sinek Leadership talk> Most Leaders Don’t Even Know the Game they are in

The shallow prayer

I am guilty of not spending consistent time in Gods word. Often times I feel like my prayers are shallow and limited. Prayer and knowing the true God are synonymous. If you are like me though it’s possible we aren’t even praying to the real God. Without knowing God through immersion in His word and fellowship with others we are creating a God that doesn’t exist because it’s based on what we want and can understand so we end up basically talking to ourselves. That’s what today’s devotional was about, I bolded some key points…

Edmund P. Clowney wrote, “The Bible does not present an art of prayer; it presents the God of prayer.”We should not decide how to pray based on the experiences and feelings we want. Instead, we should do everything possible to behold our God as he is, and prayer will follow. The more clearly we grasp who God is, the more our prayer is shaped and determined accordingly.

Without immersion in God’s words, our prayers may not be merely limited and shallow but also untethered from reality. We may be responding not to the real God but to what we wish God and life to be like. Indeed, if left to themselves our hearts will tend to create a God who doesn’t exist. People from Western cultures want a God who is loving and forgiving but not holy and transcendent. Studies of the spiritual lives of young adults in Western countries reveal that their prayers, therefore, are generally devoid of both repentance and of the joy of being forgiven. Without prayer that answers the God of the

Bible, we will only be talking to ourselves.

Excerpt from PRAYER by Timothy Keller

Depth

I read a devotion this morning from Timothy Keller that I thought expressed clearly the great depth of God love. It really does this by pointing out the fact that love is a verb. It needs action to fulfill the depth of it’s potential. There is an old hymnal written in the 60’s that was inspired by John 13:35, it goes something like; “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love”.  They’ll know by the depth of our actions.

Excerpt from PRAYER by Timothy Keller

The reason that the love of God in Christ is infinitely wide and infinitely long is because it is infinitely deep.

How deep is the love of god?
Without Jesus Christ, talk about the “depth of God’s love” would be simply an abstraction (the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events). Without Jesus Christ, God could send you sixty volumes, with every page saying, “I love you deeply, I love you deeply, I love you deeply,” but it would still be an abstract concept, not a life-changing reality. To genuinely understand the depths the depths of God’s love you must know the depths to which Jesus Christ went in order to love you.

How deep did he go?
“My god, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” That is hell. He was thrown into the deepest pit anybody ever went into, and he went in voluntarily. He went down and down and down – to the depths. Because of the gospel, you can know that God’s love is infinitely wide and infinitely long because it was infinitely deep.

Matthew 27:46
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The depth’s of God’s love is action. If we want to love God deeply we must show the depth of our love with action, obey. If we want to show the depth of our love to our spouse, children, family, friends, or strangers then we must make it more than an idea.

for deeper thought Read- 1 Peter 1: 13-25

Kindness cocked and loaded

Say weird things. Say strange things. Say uncommon things.

Let me give some backstory first. Our company did very well in 2017. Because of this all employees are blessed with a large bonus. We just found out how large that bonus is the other day. We are all excited about it.

I was working at my desk this morning and the director of the property and casualty underwriters was working next to me. He got up to go get coffee and stopped to tell me thank you for everything our team did to work towards our company’s goals. We’re not even in the same department or anything, my team didn’t do anything special…he was just noticing the small things we did do and recognizing it.

I kind of smiled and nodded because I didn’t even understand what he was saying at first. Like why would he be thanking me!? No one has ever thanked me like that before just randomly at work. It caught me completely off guard and seemed very strange. But then I thought about it and he clarified after probably seeing the confusion on my face and I was blown away.

Why is this random act of kindness so strange to hear? He went out of his way to simply say thanks and pay notice to me and my team and the small role we play in our company. That really brightened my day, it gave me some purpose and energy.

After he walked away I thought what a weird thing to say. What an uncommon thing to do. Ultimately though what an impact this man is leaving by being and looking different than the world. He has a killer instinct! He is out fighting the good fight no matter what the world looks like or what others may say.

That’s my encouragement today. Be a Killer! Read more about having a Killer Instinct!

His actions really reminded me of Romans 12:2 & Philippians 2:3-4 (my two goals for 2018) Read my blog for 2018 – Intentional Reflection

Go out of your way to be uncomfortable and give someone props for what they do. Just put others interests above your own even if it means acting strange and doing something that people don’t typically do.

Look for opportunities to lift someone up and see if you don’t catch some joy in the process.

Joy

Rise and Shine

I got up this morning at 4 am and walked into my sons room because he was crying like he does just about every morning around this time. I gave him his pacifier that had been thrown on the floor then laid down on the floor next to his crib and went back to sleep. He woke up again around 5:30. This time I picked him up changed his dirty diaper against his will, got him dressed against his will, and then took him to the kitchen to fix his breakfast which he was more pleased with but he’s still not a morning person.

His mom fixed him breakfast while I washed some dishes and emptied the dishwasher. I got his shoes on and his jacket then loaded him up so mom could take him to daycare. Then I showered, got dressed, ran a comb through my hair, got my lunch together, and I was out the door. On my way to work nothing really happened except for unusually slow traffic, and I listened to a Timothy Keller sermon about prayer. I got to work, ate some breakfast, answered some emails, and here I am.

Joy or Happiness

That’s a typical boring morning in my life right now. I can do all of the exact same things everyday that need to be done but the real question is where is my joy? Where is my attitude in these routine chores? Happiness is solely based on circumstances while joy is a source and cause of delight. We can have joy in the worst of times, in the most boring of times, and more easily in the happiest of times. Joy is a state of being rather than a reaction to our environment. We may not be happy that we were cut from making the team, passed over for a promotion, or stricken with illness however is there still joy to be found in these times?

The short answer is yes! The challenge is finding joy and keeping joy. Our joy can only be found in Jesus alone. People will always fail us. Jobs will always fail us. Money will always fail us. Any kind of idol in our lives will always fail us. I personally sometimes try to find joy in my son or my wife. While they make me happy they are imperfect people and it’s not fair for me to put the dependence of my joy on them. They can’t live up to that. No one can. God blessed me with a healthy kid, when he is screaming and crying it’s easy to forget that blessing and focus on how his actions are effecting me.

Philippians 2:3-4
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Hope

Jesus Christ has overcome everything on this earth including death. He is the only source that we can depend on for joy and never be let down. Even something as fierce as Death brings us mourning and great pain yet there is still joy that can be found in our hope and faith found in God.

If there really is life after death which I truly believe there is, then that means we are not playing a finite game that ends. We are playing an infinite game. One that never ends, this time on earth is only part of the story. Suddenly things like money, work, hobbies, and kids throwing fits seem more insignificant with the perspective of the infinite game. Take on these three challenges below and just see what happens.

Challenge

1. Let God be your source of joy.

2. Let your hope be found in Him.

3. Get to know God by reading his book and spending time with others who know Him well.

Chase the Lion

I just want to put this idea out there. This video (link at the bottom) was shared to me by a brother in Christ. My last post was inspired by reading about David and some of his killer instincts. That same day I watched this video that highlights this scripture below…

2 Samuel 23:20
Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.

My first thought when I heard about the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day was “whoa that’s in the bible?” Who is Banaiah? Banaiah had some stories to tell man. He lived a life of adventure and chased life. Banaiah didn’t just let life happen to him. I read another book by Mark Batterson where he talked about Teddy Rosevelt and how he chased adventure. I need to pray about this. I don’t want to say too much, just take a half hour and listen, Pray and consider.

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Run to the Roar – Mark Batterson youtube video