God’s Perspective

For God so loved the world... God holding world with crossI have a perspective that is somewhat unique to others. My perspective is based on a lot of factors. For example, my perspective about where I live is different from someone who has never lived anywhere else. I was “born and raised” in Kentucky. I lived in Tennessee for 6 years after graduation from High School. I moved to Carroll County, Georgia in February 1986. I’ve been here ever since. I love where I live, but I see it differently than people who have never lived anywhere but here. I also think it’s cool to talk to people who moved here from the US west coast or up in the north-eastern US. They have a totally different perspective on living in Georgia.  I can’t help but look at things through my view, because it is from my experience. My experiences are the window to my world view.

As I journey through the Word of God, I’m constantly reminded of God’s perspective on my little life. I often think that my life is really about me, but the longer I live, I realize that He has much bigger plans for my life than I have.  I don’t always understand why things happen in my life, but I believe that the Lord is the Creator of my life and my world. He will give me direction and He imparts wisdom to me.  If I stop and review things from His perspective, they look a lot different. Jesus had just had a conversation with His disciples asking them who do people say He is. They said that He was the Messiah. Then He told them what was coming next.  Check this out…

31 Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.32 As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.

33 Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s. (Mark 8:31-33 NLT)

It takes work to see things from God’s perspective. When I look back at the victories and the struggles of my life from His perspective, I can now see how He was building me. In the middle of the struggles or success, I don’t always see that. Recently, I’ve been convicted that I should see everything that I do as bringing glory to God. Even if something bad happens – all glory to God. Even when my kid has to fight cancer, God can be glorified. Even if my kid falls from a tree and is flown to a Trauma 1 center – God can be glorified. Even if my brother-in-law is diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and has to fight that horrible cancer of the bone marrow – God can be glorified. There is more to this life than my comfort and happiness when I rise above my life and see things from God’s perspective. His goal for my life is preparation for eternity. I believe He wants my life here to be full and abundant, but not all encompassing.

I want God’s perspective on the little things that happen in my life along the way as well as the big events. I want every facet of my life to bring glory to Him. He owns it all, I’m simply managing on His behalf.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Priceless

 

Hand giving moneyThere are things that have immeasurable value to me. I can’t put a monetary value on everything I have. I know that most of the things I own have some level of value. I can determine the value of my automobiles or my house. Most of my material possessions if not all can have a monetary value. When I look at relationships, I see that most if not all are priceless. I have some relationship that pull negatively on me but most my relationships by far are investing in me. I can’t begin to calculate the value of deep relationships to me.

David often reflects on his relationship with God. He seems to understand what God brings to the relationship versus what he brings. Check this out…

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast in the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:5-9 NIV)

I can’t begin to put a monetary value on the love of God. His love changes not only my life after this life – His love changes my life now to the end here on earth. As I reflect on the Presence of God in my life, I can’t quite wrap my head around what that means to me. I find myself worshipping God from a heart of deep gratitude when I take a moment to reflect on the value of His love to me.  One of my favorite Third Day songs was based on this Psalm – Your Love Oh Lord.

Your love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains
Your justice flows like the ocean’s tide

I will life my voice
To worship You, my King
I will find my strength
In the shadow on Your wings

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Finish Strong

happy and motivated old people 3dI think it happened sometime when I was around 42 or 43 years of age. I began to realize that I was probably around “halfway home” – that’s if I lived to be 85 years of age. My Dad turned 80 this year and if that’s any indication of how long I could live, I consider myself a blessed man – I plan to be ready to cross that finish line whenever the Lord plans for me to cross.  I feel like my role for now is to be committed to His Will and His Way. I want my life here and now to bring honor and glory to God until He calls me home.

Today I finished the last chapter of the book of Job. The entire book included significantly more lamenting and scolding than anything. After reading the beginning conversation between God and Satan – this book finished strong. Job realized that his perspective of God had been skewed by his suffering and pain. He repented of this before God. God asked Job to pray for his three friends. He did. Check this out…

10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 

16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years. (Job 42:10,16-17 NIV

I’m not sure how long Job suffered but his suffering didn’t last a lifetime for sure. I believe that much of my life here on earth is about perspective. Creator God didn’t create me only for this life. He created me for eternity. I believe that God created me to live here abundantly with His Spirit inside me so that as I move into eternity I will be in His Presence forever. He wired me for both life here and life there.

If I was half-way home at 43, then at 55 I’m getting close to being two thirds finished. I do realize that I could “go home” with the help of earthly tragedy or a debilitating disease. Any way it is sliced, I don’t leave earth alive unless the Lord returns to take all His children home. I don’t know when He’s coming or when I’m going – but I can be faithful and finish strong. I can love deeply like He does. I can be forgiving like He is. I can use the rest of my time here on earth to honor Him and build His Kingdom here to serve generations behind me. I must confess that I’d like to live a good long life as my children bring much joy to my heart and those grand babies are just grand! Whatever His plan for me – I want to finish strong.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Temporary & Eternal

 

john-3-16The older I get, the more I ponder how much longer do I have on this earth. I’m not trying to be negative or morbid, I just want to make my days count and not just count my days. I see people who are attacked with cancer or heart disease and the number of their days here on earth shrinks incredibly. I’m not trying to scare anyone including myself. I’m a bit of a realistic person and while I don’t feel bad, I realize that my life could end quickly in an accident as well. This life is a vapor according to the book of James…

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)

As I read Job’s response to his “friends”, it dawned on me that Job is speaking in the here and now. He is not really looking forward to eternity. I guess if I didn’t have hope of eternal life after this life, it would be easy to get discouraged when suffering comes. Check this out…

3 Bear with me while I speak,

    and after I have spoken, mock on.

7 Why do the wicked live on,

    growing old and increasing in power?

8 They see their children established around them,

    their offspring before their eyes.

13 They spend their years in prosperity

    and go down to the grave in peace.[a]

14 Yet they say to God, “Leave us alone!

    We have no desire to know your ways.

15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

    What would we gain by praying to him?” (Job 21:3,7-8,13-15 NIV)

I don’t think I ever realized before that Job didn’t have insight into the offer of eternal life. It appears that he understood this life on earth to be all that there is. I would have a totally different view of my life today, if I felt that this is all there is. I would hope that I would be somewhat health conscious. I would look at funerals way differently too. I have believed in heaven and hell my whole life. I didn’t discover until the past few years, the value of the abundant life here on earth and how it folds right into eternal life with the Lord.

When I know Him, my life here looks way different.

When I know Him, my future in eternity looks ways different.

When I know Him, my today has hope and a promise all it’s own.

I can’t imagine pushing through the suffering that I’ve been through or that is possibly yet to come without Him. His Presence in my life now gives me perspective and insight that I need to keep moving. Today is another investment into the abundant life that leads to eternal life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Cold Blooded Murder

MurdererThis is one topic that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. There are people in this world who have very little (if any) respect for human life. There are person’s who are hired killers and that is simply how they live. I believe that people who kill without thinking of the ramifications are partially dead themselves.

God created everything that has life in it. He is the Giver of Life. He also gave humans rule and dominion over all the earth. I don’t believe that we should kill animals for the sake of killing, but to provide food. I also would kill an animal that was trying to cause me or another person harm.

I believe that when a person puts together a plan to kill someone just because they don’t like him or her; or they even hate them, I see that as “cold blooded murder”. When I use the term “cold blooded murder”, I’m referring to a murderer who apparently has no conscious or emotion when committing the act.

David was rising in power and Saul’s son and only heir to the throne of Israel was Ish-Bosheth. When he learned of Abner’s death he was probably shook up. Check this out…

5 Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. 6 They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away. (2 Samuel 4:5-6 NIV)

These two men killed Ish-Bosheth with malice and forethought. They actually thought that this behavior would curry favor with David, who was destined to be the next king. David respected the office of the King and was very upset when he learned what these men had done. David punished them by sentencing them to die for committing murder.

I believe that the Lord grieves when I de-value life. I really struggle understanding how others can be so flippant about the value of life. I’m learning more and more the reason I’m alive. It’s not for me to become successful and wealthy – although that’s not bad or even out of the question. I’m alive to bring honor and glory to Creator God. He made me to honor Him. He made me to point others to Him. The Giver and Creator of Life gave me life so that I could live for Him. When I surrender my will and my wants to Him – I get the abundant life here on earth AND eternal life in heaven.

I need to invest my life into others so that they can see Him and His plan. I place a very high value on life because Creator God is the Giver and Sustainer of all life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Preview Perspective

DevastatedWhen I turned 50 years, I remember thinking that I’m on the backside of my life. If I live to be 80, which is beating the statistics by 9 years, I’ve only got 30 years left. I know that sounds like a lot, unless you’re me. According to Wikipedia, the average life span of an American male is 71 years. The average life span of a female American is 73.5 years. I’m not trying to “count my days”, but I am keeping perspective on finishing well. King David had a little “preview perspective” of his own and as I read it this morning, it gave me pause. Check this out…

4 ‘Show me, Lord, my life’s end

    and the number of my days;

    let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;

    the span of my years is as nothing before you.

Everyone is but a breath,

    even those who seem secure. (Psalm 39:4-5 NIV)

 

I was visiting with friends yesterday who were both over 80 years old. They are moving a good bit slower than in years past. They are aware that they will not live forever. Their faith in the Lord is strong. I really want to make my days on earth count for the Lord. I want Him to direct my path today and everyday.

I can’t see how my life ends, but I know the Lord will be there with me. He will walk with me. He will walk with those who love me dearly as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death. When I think of my life from God’s perspective, I feel quite small. When I think of what He can do through me and however many days I have on earth, I’m humbled.

I know that I sound all morbid and dark, but I’m not really in that place. I’m not worried about any of this. I do think it’s healthy to let the Lord show me via His Word that He has all of this in His hand. I have nothing to fear or worry about. I sometimes think it would be cool to see how my life will end. I’m not going to dwell on that because it’s more important to live what life I have “full speed ahead” and “all out” for the Lord. He is The Source of my life and I want to live it with Him and then I want to die in Him. I’m “all in” for Him today and every day!

Pressing On!
Dwayne