I’ve been reflecting on graduation and everything that surrounds it. Partially because I’m a youth minister and a lot of my students are graduating… partially because I just graduated with an MAR from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
Anyway, when I get all reflective and nostalgic about graduation, my ADHD mind almost immediately travels to thinking about Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” If you’ve been around any graduations recently, I’m fairly certain you’ve seen, heard or read something about this book… For those of you who aren’t familiar here’s the basic premise:
Someone poetically encourages a young person (presumably their child) who is just about to go out and take on the world… They tell them that they will be great and awesome and do amazing wonderful and spectacularly successful things… except when they don’t, cuz sometimes they won’t… and sometimes they will have to wait for things… and sometimes there will be hard decisions… on and on… It’s a really cute way to say, “Hey, life happens… but I love you and I support you, am here for you and I want you to be successful – Go forth and do your best… I’m with you every step of the way!”
When you think about it, that’s a lot like God… In fact, He said a lot of these same things in His word…
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. ~ Matthew 19:26
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:14
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. ~ Psalm 33:20
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. ~ John 15:18-19
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. ~ Hebrews 13:5
…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10b
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:18-20
So, here’s what my crazy mind takes from Dr. Seuss and these (and other) passages from the Bible…
- Whatever we decide to do as an occupation, our life’s calling is to be missional… That is, we are called to share Jesus’ love and work for the Kingdom regardless of how we pay the bills.
- Sometimes we are going to fail…
- Sometimes our plans and prayers require waiting – but God’s solution is always worth the wait!
- Life happens… but no matter what God loves you and will be there.
- If you are His child, He will support you and ALWAYS have your back and help you max out your considerable potential!
So, let me encourage you to go forth… take on the world… do your best… God is with you!!! Just remember:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17
THE lying liars and the lies they tell
Have you ever heard a lie that had small nuggets of truth associated with it? It’s like a chocolate covered doughnut that has sprinkles on it. The lie is the doughnut, and the sprinkles are the truth. While the truth can be seen, it is barely noticeable when it is eaten.
Now that I have all of you salivating over this imaginary doughnut, I want to talk a little bit about our enemy. So let me ask you an honest question, do you feel awkward bringing up his name in the midst of a conversation? Do you find yourself looking for words like enemy, or our adversary? I do. It feels off to say the following sentence, Satan is influencing my thoughts today, please pray for me. Or how about this sentence, You are under Satan’s influence, and you need to start praying for the Holy Spirit to guide you.
We live in a weird world today. Paganism, and Satanism is on the rise, and getting its own monuments outside of public buildings. There is a growing trend of Christians who believe that Satan is not a real entity. Many preachers teach that hell is not real. And Bible believing Christians feel embarrassed to talk about the influence of Satan on theirs and others lives.
And it is all about influence, NOT demonic possession. Everything in the current media is focused on exorcising demons and the increase of exorcisms. Nothing focuses on the day to day influence that a demon, or Satan can have on you. What kind of influence? Anything that could change or alter your behavior towards God, or towards sin.
So when I say THE lying liars and the lies they tell, I am referring to Satan and his demons working overtime to give you the doughnut, with enough sprinkles on it to get past your truth meter, or to trick you.
To use myself as an example. I have been in the process of writing several books over the last year, and just completed my first one. All of these books are related to being a Christian. Throughout the process I have had a nagging feeling that no one will read the book, and at times I have had to force myself to continue work on them. This became so regular that I wrote on the potential influences that our adversary can have on our lives, through influence alone.
The name of the book is The Interview and it is now available for purchase through Amazon on the Kindle, and through paperback. If you want to see numerous examples of how THE lying liars and the lies they tell can impact your life, read this book.
Buy it now for the Kindle for $3.99 or in Paperback for $6.99