Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reason #25 - He Gives Us a Goal

I am so excited about this "reason!" I have so many "reasons" to write about, but they will all just have to wait. This one is a life-changer for me, and I think that if every Christian in America understood this principle, we would have a vastly different Church.

Our Lord gives us a Goal. Now I am a competitive person. I am also a goal-motivated person. If a goal is not set for me, then I set one for myself. "I want to have this project finished by 10:25." "I should be able to have read this whole book by the end of the weekend." "I will introduce myself to 3 new people at this conference." And certainly, there is no greater feeling than the elation that comes from having actually met my goal! I think a lot of us are like that. God gives us a gift when He gives us the satisfaction of meeting a goal.

Do we realize that God Himself has given us an over-arching Goal to meet? As we frantically scurry about our daily tasks, do we forget that there is only one Goal that truly matters? That Goal is Christ.

I watched the movie "Chariots of Fire" for the first time 2 nights ago. This is the story of Eric Liddell, missionary to China and an Olympic runner. Although I can't say I was crazy about every part of the movie, some of the scenes impacted me more than I realized at the time.

The next morning, during my quiet time, the Lord gave me a mental picture that I pray I will never forget.

The scenes of Eric Liddell and his fellow runners played through my mind once again. These men were dedicated. They devoted their whole life to training for the race. They lived and breathed to run. This was their passion.

And to watch them during the race...feet pounding toward the finish line, sweat pouring down their faces, arms and legs a blur as they gave every ounce of their strength to reach the end, eyes fixed on the finish line. Holding nothing back - nothing.

Look at this man. It is an understatement to say that he has a goal. His goal is his life! The two are intertwined. They have become one.

Oh Christians, could this be the picture of our lives, as we strive towards our goal?

This life is a race. Our finish line is Christ. The moment we take our last breath, we cross that finish line. Are we running to win? Do we have our eyes fixed on the Finish Line?

Hebrews 12:1-2 - "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..."

I am done forever with joining the rest of Christianity in their leisurely stroll along the race track. I am done with America's distracted worship, half-hearted passion, and lukewarm love. I was there for all too long. I do not blame or judge, because this was the picture of my life for years. But oh, I am so thankful that God has given me a vision for something different! I am so thankful that He has given me this Goal, to finish well, to run with my last surge of strength into the arms of Christ, proclaiming with the apostle Paul,

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...." (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

I love my Lord because He has given me a Goal!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reason #24 - He Gave His Son

My heart has been full these past two days. The beautiful verse in 1 John 4:19 has become so much more real to me.

"We love Him, because He first loved us."

In the past, when I thought of the cross, I always thought of Christ's sacrifice. Of Christ's pain. Of Christ's suffering. "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend." And He loved me, while I was yet a sinner, despising Him and fleeing from His grace.

Yes, it is incredible to think of the sacrifice that Christ made that we might live. Yet, somehow I had never really considered the breathtaking love of the Father to make such a decision to send His Son for this lost world.

My dad mentioned yesterday that he had a 20- minute Youtube video he wanted to show my Mom and sister and me, and so we all crowded around the computer. The video portrayed in a very small way what the Father must have experienced as He watched His Son die (you can view it above). I could not hold the tears back as I understood for a tiny moment the awesome fact -

He loved His Son. But He loved me just as much.

He could have saved His Son. But He chose to save me instead.

Oh and when I understand this fact - that He LOVED me - how can I not love Him in return? How can I not adore Him? How can I not be willing to forsake all, just to sit at His feet to learn to love Him more?

1 John 4:10 - "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

May each of us learn to embrace the Father's indescribable love in our lives.

I love my Lord, because He gave His Son.