What Am I Doing?

God’s timing is not my timing. Frankly, I don’t know what God’s calendar looks like. I don’t have access to it via a supernatural internet portal. I do know that none of us are promised tomorrow. Perhaps that’s why Scripture encourages us not to worry about yesterday’s spilled milk. Yesterday is done and gone. There’s no do-over in life; only repentance and forgiveness.

Having placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we make a conscious effort to turn the course of our life around. We commit to living differently today than we did yesterday. We strive to be kinder, gentler, and humbler.  We submit to God’s will and His plan and are grateful that it includes us in any way, shape, or form. We strive to be more faithful.

We don’t deserve to be included in God’s plan. Grace and mercy aren’t spiritual entitlements. Yet, God freely offers us grace and mercy. We can’t earn them. We can only receive them and having received God’s gift we can only pass it on so that others might know the reason for our new-found optimism. Being redeemed, we desire to imitate and model Christ so that other’s can see the light of life that shines in us because of Him.

We don’t know what the future holds either. Life is truly but a vapor, just like Scripture teaches us it is. We’re here one minute and gone the next. If the last several days have taught me anything it’s to cherish every moment. Love God. Love others. Better.  Deeper. Stronger.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)

Our pastor, Jeff Miller, captured many of our thoughts accurately when he delivered the sermon Sunday. Our hurting, grieving congregation screamed at God from the depth of our collective souls “What are you doing?” Reeling with inexplicable pain that crushed our hearts last week, we were hurt, angry, frustrated, and confused due to the completely unexpected passing of our beloved friend and Worship Pastor. We felt blindsided. We were caught off guard. But we know at the end of the day God is still good. Indeed, God is good all the time and all the time God is good; even in our heartache. He is still worthy of our trust. He is still faithful. Therefore, my focus shifts. It’s not “God, what are you doing?” that I need to ask but in clear view of experiencing a life lived well, I must ask a different question.  What am I doing? That’s the question now.

From the ashes beauty will rise just as in the darkness a light continues to shine.

As I mentioned earlier, it starts with loving God and loving others better, deeper, and more strongly than I did before God called my dear friend home. The guest speaker at Mark’s funeral was right; the world was better with Mark Walton Jones in it. But God called Mark home. Our friend is now celebrating in Heaven. Mark’s work here on Earth is complete. Mine remains unfinished, incomplete. I still have work to do. So do you.

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In the days ahead, I pray and hope to share the Gospel more boldly, more readily, and more frequently than ever before. I pray and hope that my words minister to those who are still lost and lonely and those who feel they are the last and the least in this often times grim world we inhabit. I pray that I can write a story that glorifies God and reaches people for the Kingdom. I hope that I can shine at least a fraction of the light my friend shone in his brief time here on Planet Earth.

As I ask God what He is doing, I have no choice but to look in the mirror and challenge myself and ask, “What am I doing?”

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We are not promised tomorrow. We only know tomorrow will come. We do not know when Christ will return. We only know that He will return.

In the meantime, ask…

What am I doing?

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

Mark 12:29-31 The Message

Praise the Lord

God watches over us. He leads us, He comforts us, and He cares for us. David knew this to be true. He had experienced God working on his behalf repeatedly. David is thought to have authored half to two-thirds of the Psalms found in the Good Book (the Holy Bible).

The Psalms are the longest collection of biblical poetry found in the Bible and consist of prayers, hymns, laments, and songs covering a vast range of human experience. The Psalms are often seen in the Old Testament being used in worship. The Psalms are an ancient, well-crafted book of prayer and spiritual songs.

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Genuinely praising the Lord demands a grateful heart and a humble spirit. Regardless of our present circumstance, we can look through the pages of our life story and find many beautiful things that God has done for us that give us ample cause to be grateful. In examining the sea of blessings the Lord has showered us with, we cannot help but be humbled, for He has provided for us time and time again, even in our deepest, darkest defeats and failures.

David experienced, first-hand, what it means to watch God turn our greatest defeats and failures into blessings, not only for himself but for others. Thus, God should receive all the glory for the wonderful things He has done. Therefore, our souls should cry out with praise for the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who showers us with goodness and mercy all the days of our life.

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

23 A Psalm of David.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

        He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

        He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

    You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.