July 01, 2016
It’s been a long, long week. Multiple encounters with the enemy of our souls, helping folks with lots of very tough life issues; several early morning meetings and some big decisions—and lots of busyness. Honestly, I’m really tired.
But then, in a matter of minutes tonight, everything changed. With an emergency C-section, my sweet little daughter-in-law, Mary, and my son David, delivered a new, little prophet into the world: Elijah David Elliff. Mary gained 10 lbs. in her pregnancy and delivered a strapping, 8 lb. 10 oz. boy. What a champ! All are well.
AND INSTANTLY, I AM WELL.
Refreshed. Ready to go on. I am reminded that, although I make a lot of mistakes, get frustrated at times, fear things I shouldn’t fear, and miss trusting God at moments along the way . . . that God has immeasurably blessed my life.
I am married to a great and godly wife who loves me and, in spite of my serious quirks, is completely devoted to me. I’ve been blessed with eight great kids who, by God’s grace, are all walking with Christ. We’ve added five amazing spouses. Twelve grandkids have been born into our tribe—five in the last 17 months, which must be a record.
Aware that many don’t have this blessing, I am humbled by the rich heritage for many generations of my family members who have walked with the Lord and served Him. I constantly benefit from the spiritual residue of their lives. Their faithfulness made a massive difference in my life, which reminds me that MY life can matter.
AND THE CHURCH FOR WHICH CHRIST DIED
I have had the unbelievable privilege of pastoring a truth-and-grace-filled church since it’s inception 18 years ago. They love the Lord, love each other, love people far from God, and are aggressively passionate about the mission God has called us to fulfill. We’re very imperfect, but headed heavily in the right direction.
And I serve with an amazing group of godly leaders who are rigorously unified and committed. We love to pray together and listen to God. We are excited about His challenges, very clear about our calling, and committed to do all we can to be found faithful to the end. (Lord, help us.) His presence graciously invades our gatherings and with Him we have “all things richly to enjoy.”
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY . . .
I am loved by God. Can you believe that? In spite of my sin and weaknesses; my unbelief at times and fear; my waywardness into ugly self-absorption . . . He loves me and has forgiven me of ALL of my sin. He has drawn me to His side. Covered me with His care. He has written 7,000 promises to enable me to walk by faith in Him, and they are at my disposal every moment of every common day. He delights to wake me early and meet me by His Word and Spirit and give me all I need for the day. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to make Himself known to me (of all people). And He is preparing a place for me in heaven.
I lose perspective at times. But not tonight. Tonight I’m just humbled, grateful, and blessed.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020