Pedal Power and Praise

hotternhellhundred-wheatfieldsOver the last couple of days, the streets and roads through Kansas have been dotted with bicycles and the support vehicles that follow them. This annual two-wheel pilgrimage of pedal-power has been made more difficult due to the high winds and the oppressive humidity.

Undaunted by the repressive forces of nature, these marathoners press on towards the finish line, refusing to quit. Their commitment to complete the course laid out for them, reminds me of the faithfulness of God—He is no quitter.

When David paused to consider the faithfulness of God, and His commitment to His people, he proclaimed that, “No one can fathom his greatness! One generation will praise your deeds to another, and tell about your mighty acts! I will focus on your honor and majestic splendor, and your amazing deeds! They will proclaim the power of your awesome acts! I will declare your great deeds!” ~Psalm 145:3-6

“Declaring the great deeds of God” can be a difficult task when you are distracted by an on-going situation. It might be a problem from yesterday that is still on your mind today; it could be that you overslept and got up late and are hurrying through your morning ritual; or, it could be that your wonderful little pet left you a surprise on the floor and you stepped in it as soon as your feet hit the floor.

Any event like the ones I mentioned will influence the way you start your day, but they do not have to determine how you will finish it. Even though David’s life was filled with heartaches, and trials, he did not allow them to skew his perception of God. David would look for God’s hand at work in his life, and praise Him for His faithfulness.

In Psalm 66 you hear David expressing this, and it is not done with a feeble voice, but with one that echoes across the sheep-filled valleys: “Shout out praise to God, all the earth! Sing praises about the majesty of his reputation! Give him the honor he deserves! Say to God: How awesome are your deeds!”

Why not give it a try today? Don’t succumb to a “woe is me” mental mindset. Instead, take a “wow is God” approach to your life today. Talk about His awesome deeds; give Him the honor He deserves; and, think of the majesty of His reputation.

Shocker Nation

00PaperBagFanFair-weather fans can hardly be called true blue supporters. They’re in your corner as long as you are winning, but quickly boo you when things go wrong. I’ve thought about this since the Shockers made it to the Final Four last season.

Shortly after the advent of coach Marshall and his winning ways, Shocker memorabilia became a hot item. People proudly wear their wheat shock shirts, paint their finger nails in school themed colors, and adorn their cars with Wichita State bumper stickers.

These are some of the same people who wore paper sacks over their heads just a few years ago. Fickle fans they are.

I’m glad that fickle and fair-weather never sketch the image of God—It is the broad brush of faithfulness that paints His portrait.

Paul focused on the faithfulness of God, when he wrote his letter to the Romans: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword . . . Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Think about four words in the verses above: God is for us. To really grasp this truth, we need to move from the plural “us” to the singular “you.” God is for you!

I want you to say this spine-tingling, goose-bump generating truth aloud three times. Each time you say it emphasize a different word:

1. GOD is for me. The God of Heaven and Earth and the Creator of the world is for you.

2. God IS for me. Right now at this exact moment, God is for you. It is not that He has been in the past; might hopefully be in the future; but, tick-tock, in this present tense second of your life God is for you.

3. God is for ME. God is with you in a very personal way. He has even written your name on His hands (Isaiah 49:16).

God is not fickle, nor is He a fair-weather fan. Even when you’re the last one to cross the finish line, He is still waiting on you and cheering you on—“You can do it,” He shouts with pride.

You will never see Him in the bleachers with a paper sack over His head. Instead, He is there shouting: “That’s My son, that’s My daughter. Can you see the resemblance? They’re from the royal family and children of the King.”

Say, it one more time: GOD IS FOR ME!