“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
This is one of the more encouraging and hopeful verses in the Bible. It had a profound impact on me when I was first reading the Bible. I took it to heart, and it guided me into a relational position with God.
As with any verse or passage in the Bible, the depth, nuance and layers of meaning can be drawn out by focusing on the context. We can tease the meaning out further by considering application of it to my own life.
The context here is a letter written by the prophet, Jeremiah, to his people who had recently been exiled to Babylon. Though Jeremiah’s letter was written to a particular people in a particular time and place under particular circumstances, and it was particularly relevant to them, it has application to us today. Some people claim that an ancient verse like this that was written to a specific people in a specific time for a specific purpose shouldn’t be applied to modern life. I beg to differ.
Continue reading “Finding God”
It isn’t a matter of God responding to us. It’s a matter of us responding to God.
As I was praying for my children this morning, I was reminded that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 10:6), and no one comes to Jesus unless he or she is drawn by the Father (John 6:44). As I prayed for my children who have not acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior and have not professed faith in Jesus, I am also reminded that God gives us free will.
God won’t violate the free will He has given us. How, then, should I pray?
I wish there was another way! I wish that God could just make them believe! If I only I were a Calvinist!
I am only half joking. Maybe not even half joking!
I had a conversation with my youngest about a year and half ago in which she told me that she thought she was an atheist. She said all of her friends are atheists. (I doubt that is true, but whatever.) She told me that she asked God for something (I don’t remember what), and He didn’t respond.
That conversation has stuck with me ever since. I was taken aback. She was only about 16 or 17 at the time. I was painfully aware as we spoke, as I am now, that I can’t make her believe. I was thankful that she felt comfortable enough with me to be open and honest, and I told her so. But that doesn’t make the pain of it any less.
I don’t remember exactly what she said she asked God, but she seemed convinced, at least as we talked at that point, that God must not be real if he didn’t respond to her. I didn’t want to preach. I wanted her to know that she always has an open door to talk to me so I didn’t press the issue with her.
I also know that God is faithful. God drew me out of my darkness, and I believe He can draw her too. After all, no one can come to Jesus except the Father draws her. But will He? Can He?
Continue reading “Seeking God and Finding Him”
Jesus did miracles everywhere he went, but some people still asked for a sign.
Jesus came healing the sick, giving sight to the blind and doing other miracles, but when the religious leaders asked for a sign, he refused.
The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” (Mark 8:11-12)
What Jesus said to the Pharisees when they asked him for a sign seems curious in light of the fact that Jesus performed signs and wonders everywhere he went! The incongruity of these things struck me recently as I was reading through portions of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.
Continue reading “Looking for a Sign; Seeking God”
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 4:29) From where? What is this verse speaking about? Continue reading “From There… God Changes Us”
“God has no grandchildren” is a statement provided “for further reflection” found in The Discovery Bible[i]. Sure, we are invited to call God our Father (Matt. 6:9).
“I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord….” (2 Cor. 6:18)
But why not grandfather? Why should God not have grandchildren? Continue reading “God Has No Grandchildren”
Faith is not blind or irrational. It is evidence based, but it does take some risk to act in hope and confidence on the evidence.
Paul said that he is not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16) Faith is obviously central to spiritual life in Christ.
What is meant by faith, however? Is faith “blind”? Is faith is antithetical to science, and science the opposite of faith? Does faith require the suspension of intellect? Does faith require us to abandon obvious evidence to the contrary? I have not found any of these things to be the case.
Faith does take a leap, but faith is not like jumping out over a yawning chasm. Continue reading “Belief in God is not Blind Faith; Encounters with God”