Monthly Archives: July 2015

What are you looking for?


“Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God.” Luke 23:50-51


When others were cursing Jesus or hiding in fear, Joseph stepped up and took the crucified body of Jesus, wrapped it in linen cloth, and put him in a new tomb. What was different about this man? What contrasted him with his contemporaries?


One thing:


Joseph was looking for the kingdom of God.


Like so many today, most were looking for a political savior, one who would bring them prosperity and relief from the rule of tyranny. They wanted more comforted lives. But Joseph was different. He recognized both the compassion and the authority of Jesus as the one who ushered in this kingdom of God – in heaven, and here on earth.


It’s easily missed, isn’t it? The kingdom of God here on earth, right now.
The words roll easily enough off our lips when we pray: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) In one sense, it’s hard to see God’s kingdom of righteousness in an unjust world. It puzzles us to consider God’s kingdom in the midst of suffering, pain and sorrow. To be truthful, we’re so easily distracted by the task of making a living that we become forgetful of the life we are making. We don’t see what we don’t look for.


But if we could convince ourselves to step back and determine that we are going to intentionally look for the kingdom of God, here on earth, every single day, what do you suppose we would find? Would we find joy in compassion, perseverance in time of trouble, and hope in the darkness?Would we see the hurting people around us, the lonely and weak? If we were looking for the kingdom of God, not just in heaven, but here on earth, how would it affect our agendas, ambitions, and motivations for living?


Looking for the kingdom of God is not a quest to find the right church, the right circumstances in your life, or some peaceful plot of land free of conflict. It’s not a place on earth at all. God’s kingdom is not found only at the end of your pain and sorrow; but in the middle of it as well. Jesus told us, “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) It’s established not by saying some prayer but by the surrender of our whole heart, life and being to his way, his truth, and his life. The kingdom of God is the peace, love, compassion, joy, and power we find for living above our circumstances and beyond ourselves. It is finding fulfillment and meaning in cooperating with the creator of the universe, of being fully his.


It won’t be forced on anyone who doesn’t want to discover it or receive it. But the kingdom of God will be found by those who are looking for it within the depth of their hearts. We like to think we are great multi-taskers, but I suspect we truly only find the kingdom of God when we discover the freedom of surrendering all our competing ambitions to the singular pursuit of putting first the kingdom of God…


– on earth, as it is in heaven.


What are you looking for?


If I tell you, you will not believe me


Incredulous! Unbelievable!

What memories and images do those words bring to your mind? You might reflect on the great feats of someone who overcomes extreme challenges or accomplishes what seemed like an impossible goal. Maybe you look back on a time when all seemed lost and the darkness prevailed and then suddenly, a bright light appeared.


Luke describes the incredible acts of Jesus as he healed the blind, cured the sick, and raised the dead. He describes how his followers walked closely with him and yet often “missed the boat” when it came to understanding his purpose. From our perspective it might seem unbelievable! In fact in Luke 21, we read that one of his followers betrayed him. He was arrested. Peter denied him. Others hid in fear of persecution. Jesus was put on trial. They mocked him and abused him, this man who just shortly before was hailed by the people who sang, “Hosannah in the highest” at his entrance into the city. How could this life that was destined to greatness take such an unbelievable turn for the worse? After mistreating him all night long, the leaders said to him, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” Jesus replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe me.”


People walked with him. They heard how he spoke with such great authority. They watched him perform miracles that were unbelievable and yet at the same time undeniable. A man was blind but now he sees. Another was paralyzed but now walks. The unclean were made clean and the dead were brought to new life. And still, some did not believe.


The most profound question in the world is, “Who do you say Jesus is?” Our answer determines our life and our destiny. If we say, he was just a good teacher, we are deceived. For what good teacher, knowing he was no more than that would say he was the Son of God and lead his followers in deception? He could not be both a good teacher and a liar.


If we say he was insane and deluded we are dumbfounded. How would such a man have performed so many miracles? Why would his disciples have followed him to death? Why do some still “count everything as loss” to follow him with such devotion and power to overcome? Do you know of any other insane person whose words and power continue to transform lives?


If we say he is Lord then we must be driven to follow him. For how can we call him “Lord” and still go our own way?


The question is, “Do I believe Jesus is who he said he was?” We always act on what we deeply believe. If we sing, “All for Jesus” but live “All for me” then what we really believe is revealed. If we pray “Your will be done” but live as if “MY will be done” our heart’s real desire is made known.


Jesus continues to tell us who he is. He reveals himself in scripture, in creation, in the events of life, through his Spirit, and through others around us. We recognize him when we see others with compassion, when we’re compelled to live beyond ourselves, and whenever a simple tear of joy come to our eye. We see him in his magnificent and unbelievable sunrises and sunsets and in the innocent laugh of a child. He reveals himself in the darkness of sorrow and pain and find him there with us in our loneliness.


His words continues to woo us, inspire us, strengthen and challenge us. His amazing grace continues to surprise and sustain us. His transformational power changes us. His light guides us. His strength lifts us up when we are ever so weary. His promise gives us hope. His peace calms our noisy souls and transcends all our understanding.


In light of all this and more, will you believe him today for all he is and all you need? Believe the “unbelievable” and find your reason for living…in his power.


The King asks


One of the games played by youth in Bolivia is called El Rey Pide. It means, “The King Asks.” In this game, one child is selected to be the “king” and sit in a special place of honor at one end of the room. The rest of the youth are divided into two teams of the king’s “subjects”, seated at the opposite side of the room. The “king” would scan the room with his eyes, keenly watching his “subjects..” Then he would pronounce, “El Rey pide…el cuaderno!” (The king asks for the notebook.) With great haste someone from each team would eagerly rush to find a notebook and bring it to the king. The first one to reach him “wins” that round. The game continues with several “el Rey pide” requests, each met with the enthusiastic response of the king’s subjects who are ever so eager to please their king. When we visited the Bolivian school where our Compassion child attends, they chose our sponsored child, Daniela, to take the place of honor and the game proceeded as “La Reina pide” (“The queen asks.”) We enjoyed watching the children laugh and play the game, each eager to please their “lord.”


Imagine if you were a great king looking down on the kingdom of this world. What would you see as your eyes roamed throughout your kingdom? Without doubt, your eyes would fall upon some always working ever diligently to build great monuments. You’d find others basking in the sun or consumed with their hobbies and games. You’d observe that some live in sumptuous comfort while others are scurrying around trying to scratch out a meager existence and merely survive.


“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a


Indeed, there is a king whose eyes are always upon us. What do you think he is searching for and what do you expect he finds? He is looking for those are fully committed, sold out, “all in the game”, devoted to the singular purpose of doing what the King asks and being the people they were called to be.


And what does the King ask? Qué pide El Rey? He asks us simply to be his people and to invite others into the protection of his kingdom. Love God and love others in his name. Feed the hungry, care for the sick, and visit those in prison. Be fully involved in his purpose, not distracted by other games and pursuits.  When you think about it, it’s not really as complicated as we sometimes make it to be.


But we read about wars and senseless shootings, about teachers and leaders who bring deception. It seems the world is filled with earthquakes, famines and disease, and even the persecution of believers. The King sees this. In fact he foresaw it and described it in Luke 21. He told us then and reminds us now to be careful that our hearts not become weighed down with dissipation (drunkenness, sexual debauchery, and the squandering of money and resources). The king cautions us to not be worn out with anxieties. And the king asks, “Be always on the watch and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.” (Luke 21:36)


The King is watching. His eyes range throughout the earth to see who is fully committed to him, not just playing a game. He sees your faithful heart. His eyes do not miss your mournful cry. He takes notice of your weakness and sickness. And he looks to strengthen and encourage you in the hard places of your life. Be encouraged as you commit to responding to what the King asks. And be always on the watch yourself so you can encourage others also.


By what authority?


Have you ever been in the position where someone asks you a question but they aren’t really interested in your response? In fact, they’ve already formed their response and are eager to challenge you. And all of a sudden, you are in a battle of who’s right and whose authority will prevail.


Authority means to have power or control. It is defined as “the power to determine or settle issues or disputes; the right to control or command.” Jesus was teaching and preaching in the temple when the religious leaders interrupted him. How typical of the the enemy’s tactic to distract us and throw us off guard. He questions God’s authority and tempts us to act in our own authority and power. He knows that whenever we act in our own power, we will forget God in the pursuit of our own ambitions.


“Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”” Luke 20:2


It was a test to see if they could trap the teacher. They weren’t really interested in knowing the answer; their interest was entrapment, not understanding.  But Jesus didn’t fall for the trap. Instead, he asked them if John’s baptism was from heaven or from men. The leaders wouldn’t answer because if they said, “by heaven” Jesus would ask why they didn’t they believe him; if they said, “by men” they would earn the wrath of the people who considered John a prophet. Not finding a politically correct solution to their dilemma, they copped out and refused to answer.


It brings me to wonder, by what authority do we form our opinions and by whose authority do we make and act on decisions? If our answer is by the authority of God, we need to be prepared to reconcile how that claim lines up with God’s Word. If our answer is by our own authority, we’re setting up an authority that stands in opposition to God.


It’s tempting to think that we are our own boss, the captain of our own destiny. Without an understanding of the full gospel, we come to God asking him to bless the decisions we have already made and to defend the opinions we’ve already formed in our minds. But the bible says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God…” 1 Corinthians 19-20


If we were our own, then we would have authority to do whatever we want. We could say a mindless prayer and live life any way that pleases us. However, God’s Word has a different claim on our lives: “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4


Our victory over “those” people, the ones who offend and persecute us, comes from the authority of God’s Spirit who lives in us. Think about it: when Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and in the earth,” (Matthew 28:18), he was delegating that same authority – his authority – to us. His next sentence began with, “Go therefore and make disciples…” It wasn’t “Go and make a living” or “Go and pursue your dreams.” He didn’t say go make a plan in our own minds and worry when it didn’t work. He said to dedicate our lives to following and serving him fully, in his authority and power.


We aren’t called to make it up as we go or to follow our emotional irrationality or the vain philosophies of man. We aren’t called to live by opinions. We’re called to live by faith that the full authority of God has power and victory over every situation we confront. Isn’t that how you want to live? You can claim the authority of God in your life. Learn to wield it with wisdom and skill by understanding the power of God’s Word alive in you. We are not God, but he gives us his authority to live victoriously. “Go therefore,” and live a victorious life according to his purpose and calling!


Lessons from a short guy


If you ever went to Sunday School or Bible Camp, probably know the story of Zaccheus. Maybe you sang the kid’s song:

“Zaccheus was a wee, little man,
And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.”


If so, you might be tempted to skim over the familiar passage in Luke 19. But there is more to the story than a man of small stature who climbed a tree to see Jesus. It’s a story that has life application lessons for you and me today.


What do we know about Zaccheus?
Zaccheus was a tax collector. In fact he was in charge of other “lesser” tax collectors. As such, Zaccheus had acquired a great wealth, perhaps some of it by over-charging the poor. Probably most of us who live in America do not consider ourselves rich nor robbers. Most of us work hard to make what we consider to be a modest living. Yet, none of us have to do much study to discover that we are in fact rich in the sight of much of the world. And a little more research would reveal that many of our gains come at the expense of those who have little. We buy cheaply priced goods that are made by workers in slave-like conditions and who are paid little for their efforts. I don’t make the point to belittle or shame anyone, but merely to help us see that we are more similar to Zaccheus than we might think and to show how this little story applies directly to us.


Zaccheus was short. Yet he did not let his physical stature hold him back, not in advancing his career or in overcoming the challenges of seeing Jesus when everyone taller blocked his view. I know a lot of people who are small in stature yet are big-hearted and full of spirit. Others of us are challenged by other shortcomings. But these challenges in themselves do not stand as impenetrable barriers to those who have the deep desire to overcome them.


Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus and was thrilled to come to know him. Have you ever noticed that those who are curious about Jesus often end up becoming more excited about knowing him more? It is a common theme of those who have genuine encounters with Jesus. We sing “Open my eyes, Lord; I want to see Jesus.” But those who truly want to see Jesus will go to great heights to get to know him more. Is that your real desire? What are some barriers that stand between you and your walk with the Lord? What steps could you take to overcome these?


Zaccheus received Jesus with eagerness and joy! He rushed down and welcomed Jesus into his house. Zaccheus was put in a place of honor when Jesus came to his house. Imagine any high profile public figure singling you out in a crowd, calling you by name, and saying he must come to your house! Jesus knows his followers by name. And he generously and eagerly offers to grace us with the gift of his presence, to come into our “house” – even into the depths of our heart.


Zaccheus responded to the condemnation of others with both repentance and joy. Judging by the lavish generosity of his willingness to make restitution to anyone he cheated, perhaps he was “not as bad” as others judged him to be. His eagerness to know Jesus deeply compelled him to generosity. And he didn’t leave a future bequest; he acted IMMEDIATELY! He didn’t want anything to stand in the way of knowing Jesus more. In reflection, I wonder how many people I may have judged wrongly, and I ponder the evidence of my own repentant heart. I recognize that a joyful heart and generous spirit does not always automatically flow as an extension of my own blessings. Zaccheus spurs me on to climb to greater heights in my own faith.


Be blessed in becoming a little lower in stature today, in humbling yourself, in spending time encountering the real Jesus who knows you by name, and by responding immediately to his call on your life…with joy!


Who’s your healer?


I saw a poster that read:

God is my healer even when my body tells me it doesn’t feel like it.


It was just the reminder I needed. My blood counts are still stubbornly slow to recover, 2 1/2 years after cancer and my strength continues to sometimes lag. Truthfully, I still get frustrated when I tire so easily. Sometimes my body tells me it still isn’t getting stronger. But I remember the day of my Leukemia diagnosis I couldn’t walk more than twenty feet; today I can walk 2-3 miles even if I sometimes need to rest. I just need to keep trusting God who is my healer even when I don’t feel it.


How about you? Is God your healer when you are depressed? Is he the healer of your illness, your pain, your grief, your emotional scars and disappointments? Is he your healer not just when things get better but also when they don’t seem to improve? Is he your healer when things don’t get back to normal or the “new normal” is not all you had hoped? Is he your healer when the difficult journey you’re walking takes you to a new and unfamiliar place?


We are complicated beings made up of body, mind, spirit and soul. Our thoughts and emotions and physical sensations all run around in circles trying to persuade us of a certain reality… one that is limited to their perspective. There is yet another reality – the real experience of our spirit when it is aligned with the Spirit of God. It is the same Spirit who spoke peace to Corrie Ten Boom in forgiving her captors. It is the same Spirit who gave strength to Richard Wurmbrand when he was tortured for his faith. It is the same Spirit who allowed Stephen to praise God and forgive the people who were stoning him…to death. It is the same Spirit who revealed the purpose of suffering to Paul. This same Spirit wants to speak peace to you in your troubling time.


Our spiritual reality is able to transcend the emotional and physical reality that shouts so loudly at us. But we don’t experience it naturally. It is a matter of cultivating our sensitivity to spiritual things. It involves turning down the noise of the world (and our emotions and bodies) and listening more carefully to to a “small quiet voice” that nonetheless speaks powerfully to the one who listens. It is the peace that calms the sailor even when the storm continues to rage around him.


I’m still learning. It seems to be a life long lesson. Thankfully, it’s not an all our nothing experience. But the journey is worth it because the alternative is surrendering to our circumstances and how our noisy soul interprets them. Are you ready to let God be your healer today…even if your body tells you it doesn’t feel it?


Persistent prayer


Growing up, there was a Jewish friend of our family we always lovingly referred to as our “aunt.” She was a dear soul in many ways. One of her passions in life was pursuing a sense of justice in life which typically involved “fighting city hall.” If she felt there was a wrong being imposed on the community she would fight against it with a pen that was as mighty as any sword. She was both tenacious and persistent in her quest to seek justice and protection for the people. When the city officials encountered her, they realized they were either in for a long battle or their ultimate resignation to her persistent pleas.


Luke 18 tells a parable about a similarly persistent woman who was not about to give up. She repeatedly came to an unjust judge to plead for protection from her adversary. Initially the judge refused to see her. But she was so persistent that she wore him down with her requests. It is similar to the prayers of the persistent friend in Luke 11. One prayed for protection and the other for provision.


Some people think that this parable compares God to the unjust judge meaning we should persist in prayer for what we want until we “wear God down.” But that interpretation is in contrast with what all of scripture says about God’s just, loving, and faithful heart toward us. A better interpretation sees it as contrasting God’s faithful love to the unjust and begrudging judge in the parable.


We understand the persistent widow’s plea as we come up against unjust and corrupt individuals and organizations. Whether it is an unjust boss, the city council, or legislative body, we make our pleas to appeal their sense of rightness. The more passionate our cause, the persistent we are in our pleas.


But God is not like the unjust judge, the begrudging boss or the reluctant legislator. Praying to God is not like fighting city hall. Our God is a loving and faithful God who is always willing and able to hear and answer us when we pray according to his perfect will; not for the candy we want but for the nutrition we need. He longs to protect us and to provide for us. We persist in prayer, not because we need to persuade him to see our cause, but to seek his timing and will. We persist in faith, knowing that his answer will be best for us. Our prayers are not a means of wrestling or fighting against God to get what we want, but to work persistently and consistently with God to bring about what he wants . . . his good and pleasing will for us and the fulfillment of his will.


Jesus links the parable of the persistent widow with the condition of the faithful who will be subject to such injustice and terror in the final days. In that time, there will be no reasoning with or fighting against our oppressors. Our only “weapon” will be our faithful and persistent prayers. Best we learn to pray that way now!


As we persist in asking for God’s protection for our loved ones and in pleading for his mercy to fall upon those who desperately need it, let’s be in persistent prayer also to know him more. Let’s not be satisfied with a bit of God but continually come before him asking for all of him; learning also to yield all of ourselves to the pursuit of his purpose. In faith, let’s not give up but persist in praying for his will to be done. . . On earth as it is in heaven.


How thankful are you?


Luke tells the story in the 17th chapter of his gospel about ten men who had leprosy. In those days, leprosy was not only a disfiguring and painful disease, it was also a mark on the person’s life that was treated not with medicine or compassion but with disdain.  It led to alienation and separation from others.


Luke describes these men as calling out to Jesus, “Master, have pity on us!” They had to call from a distance. Because they were considered “unclean” they were forbidden to come close. Jesus sent them away saying, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were healed. One of the ten came back and threw himself at the feet of Jesus, thanking him. He was not a fellow countryman with Jesus; he was an outcast Samaritan. But the other nine did not return to give thanks. The Jesus explained to the man, rise and go; your faith has made you well.”  (V 19)


Maybe where you’re sitting today makes this a difficult story. The man’s faith made him well. It cured him of a disabling disease. Perhaps you’re thinking, “What about my faith? Why does healing not come to me?” We all need healing. Some of us seek healing from physical pain. Others seek to be emotionally well. Some experience relationship scars that are still painful to bear even after the passing of many years. (Time does NOT heal all wounds.)  Some of us need to be healed of the feeling that we have no worth or purpose. If we were to be healed from any of these disabling conditions, surely we’d give thanks, right? Surely, our lives would be completely transformed and we’d rush to tell others, right?


The truth is, there is a healing that we may have forgotten. It happened so long ago, that we take it for granted. We were sick with the compulsion to follow our own selfish ways, sick from choosing sin over virtue, a type of death over really living. So we came to Jesus and asked forgiveness. And he made us well, completely well. He cleansed us, healed us, and made us new. If you received nothing else in life – not fame, nor fortune, nor friends, nor physical healing from pain and suffering, nor other “favors” –  wouldn’t this spiritual healing and restoration to fellowship with God still lead you to give endless thanks every single day?


We’ve been healed in a miraculous way. Once disfigured by our self-isolation from God, we have now been cleansed and restored into his joy. We’re reminded that nothing can separate us now from his love; not pain, nor poverty, nor loneliness, or depression, not grief, nor a lowly position in life. We’ve been healed from ourselves and are no longer separated from God. He makes us literally new creations. Your faith has made you well in a sense that you may have forgotten.


Give thanks and live well!


When it’s too late to listen


They say the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. That is, the example we set is often picked up by those closest to us: children, employees, friends, even strangers who come along our path. We like to think we live our own life but truthfully, our way of living has impact on others.


That was the case of a rich man who died and went to hell. It’s a story Jesus told in Luke 16. Jesus says the once rich man, “In hell, where he was in torment, looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” Abraham reminded the rich man of the good things he enjoyed in life while Lazarus endured the bad, but now Lazarus is comforted but the once rich man is in agony. Abraham reminded him that the gap between heaven and hell cannot be bridged. So the once rich man desperately pleaded, “Then I beg of you…send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so they will not also come to this place of torment.” Abraham replied that since they didn’t listen to Moses and the prophets, “they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (V 31)


Our lives, when lived in truth and integrity and sold out to Jesus, influence others to follow him with all their hearts, if they’re inclined to listen. It’s also sobering to think of the people who continue to live in the danger of this world’s mindset who’ve been influenced by our lesser neglectful ways. Can you even imagine dying and learning too late that life is not just a game, that there is another life of either great joy or despair? Wouldn’t you want to warn your family and friends, the ones you really care about?!


Alas, there are three “end times” when it will be too late to speak or to listen:

1. The end of your life, when your sphere of of influence cannot reach them.

2. The end of their life that often comes too soon, when they can no longer benefit from your counsel and love.

3. The end of time when Jesus returns to separate those who chose to be eternally lost from those who chose to be eternally found.


Today is the day for each of us to consider what voices we are listening – and responding – to. And consider also, what message our life conveys to those around us. We have this one day, today, to let God influence others through the way we live and what our actions convey to be most important. They’ll know we are Christians by our love.


Today, while there is still time, speak the truth in grace. Encourage someone who is overcome with despair. Feed someone who is hungry, literally or hungry for a purposeful life.


Listen well and live well…while there is still time.


Lost and found


No doubt, you can think of a time when you lost something of value and searched all over for it. A number of summers ago, I was out working in the yard. The sweat kept falling on my glasses, making it hard to see, so I put them in my pocket. Not realizing they had fallen out, I left home to drive to Des Moines. It was only when I went to read something that I realized they were gone. I called my wife to search the back yard. It’s about 1 1/2 acres and the grass was due for mowing. She looked and looked but couldn’t find the glasses. Then she asked God to help her. Looking up, she saw something reflecting in the sun…my glasses – once lost, now found.


In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories about something valuable that was lost and then found: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. In each case, the manager, owner, and father looked diligently for that which was lost. So valuable was the sheep that the shepherd left 99 others just to find the one that was lost. The woman had ten coins but searched diligently until she found the one lost one. Both the shepherd and the woman called their neighbors and friends to tell them the good news of finding their valuable treasure. The father had two sons, one who squandered his inheritance and one who stayed at home to work the farm. But he waited, eyes on the road, for his lost son to return, and threw a great party when he did,


I wonder what treasures we lose in our lives that stay missing for years without our searching to recover them? Maybe it’s a relationship that ended in disappointment and rather than pursue it, it was let go to be lost; a love shared no more. Maybe it’s the honor of a good name, the integrity of character that became lost in the pursuit of lesser treasures. Such is the exchange of uplifting language for foul and harsh words, of encouragement for cynicism and sarcasm, of a cheerful spirit for a complaining one, and the exchange of truth for a lie.


Too often we hear of the great love that begins a marriage and is too soon lost to the routine pursuit of individual paths, in neglect of the nurturing of “us.”  The experience of “coming to Jesus” is sometimes like that.  The elation, gratitude, wonder and awe that characterized the beginning of the relationship is lost to a “business as usual” lifestyle that hides the flame under a basket. Sadly, the flame of passion is not missed and therefore not earnestly pursued.


As you reflect on what’s lost in your life, is there anything you’ve let go that you’d like to regain? Maybe it’s a relationship waiting to be restored. Or a passion for living with great purpose. Have you lost hope, or faith, or the joy of living well regardless of your circumstances? Maybe you’ve wandered farther away from God than you want to admit. If your love for God has grown weary or the joy of life has been robbed from you, it’s not forever gone. Ask. Seek. Knock. Pursue the treasure of your life that has been lost. Don’t let the desire for lesser treasures impede your search. And when you find your prized treasure, celebrate the good news with those around you!