Friday, July 31, 2015

A Life with No Explanation

    I was doing some reading the other day about William Borden, the American Yale graduate who died at 25 years old of cerebral meningitis in Egypt while training for the mission field in China. If you have the opportunity, I would definitely encourage anyone reading this to go do some research of your own on this follower of God.

    After his death, a powerful eulogy was written about him, the two final lines standing out to me when I read it: "Apart from faith in Jesus Christ, there is no explanation for such a life."

    What a radical statement to have said as a description of your life! To have men look at you and be forced to see Jesus, because there is no other explanation, may be the greatest eulogy to have said over your body. To glorify God through every facet of your life, so that His presence in you is unmistakable, should be all of our goal.

     I pray that one day people can see Jesus when they look back at my life, but if I'm honest, I'm not sure how they would. Am I actively living out my faith? Am I really looking at and actively studying who I claim to emulate? How will people see Jesus in me if I'm not living in Him?

    This kind of living requires more than a part time interest. This is no pray-before-meals, listen-to-a-sermon-on Sunday kind of religion. This is a deep, fervent following after and seeking for Jesus. And that kind of reckless pursuit should characterize our lives.

    "Apart from faith in Jesus Christ, there is no explanation for such a life."

Thursday, July 30, 2015


    Why? It's a question we ask quite a lot. We've all seen children who ask endless questions, and then, when they've run out of questions, simply ask why to everything, including your explanations! It can get frustrating, yet it is a golden picture of our human desire to understand everything. We wanted as kids to know why the cow eats grass, why it needs to, why it needs to stay alive, why did God make it that way, etc, etc, and on and on we go.

    It carries on into our teen years, and I have no doubt it carries on into adulthood. We want to know why. Why is life hard? Why do bad things happen? Why did God allow acne? (Tell me I'm not the only one to wonder that!)

    We have this unlimited desire to know why, and we carry it into our relationship with God. Honestly, it's natural. We've applied it everywhere else in life; why not here? In a way, this can be good. This natural curiosity can drive us to study more and more about God in an effort to understand Him more.

    But this can also be a bad thing, since as so many of our questions go unanswered, we become disillusioned. Maybe we wonder why God made us endure this trial or that; maybe we indict God on the charges of the human suffering in Africa and Asia; maybe we question His love or His care for us in the face of hard times.

    So I think we need to face something that may change how you read the Bible and view God. You will not always understand God. God is a mystery, exactly because He is God. You and I will not always understand His ways. There will be unanswered questions for all time. He does not owe you an explanation. He's God. That's just the way it is.

    Why? Because God's ways are infinitely above mine. I cannot even comprehend God's ways. Is. 55:8-9 say, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are yours ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

    God would not be God if I understood Him 100% of the time. As a mere human, I should not expect to understand Him all the time. There are and will be times when the "why" of God remains unanswered.

    Now, some of y'all are sitting there thinking, "Great. Why'd you bother to write this? You haven't said anything I don't already know!" You're right; I haven't. And I probably won't. But what I am offering is a reminder.

    When we can't see God's reasons is when our faith is tried. It's easy for a kid to believe dad that there are no monsters in his bedroom when the lights are on. It's when the lights go off and the kid can't see anymore that his trust in his dad is tested.

    If we understood the "why" of every situation, there would be no need for faith. So, when we come to the situation where we are at a loss as to the "why" of the subject, that is where we are called to live by faith. And it will happen. Life will hit you where you feel vulnerable and where you no longer understand the motivation behind God's actions.

    And that is where our faith is tried and made stronger. When we can't see God in the shadows is when we have to learn that we can trust that He is good, through it all, whether or not we understand. God is good.

    You're gonna wonder why sometimes. Some nights you're going to lie awake, stare at your ceiling and wonder why certain things happen. I had a very close friend move away this summer. And I remember lying awake at night some nights, staring at the ceiling and wondering why, what was the reason? What was God thinking? Why that friend?

    But that is where we learn that God is good, and our faith in His goodness is tested. I didn't understand why God moved that friend away. I still don't. But I can tell you that God is good. And I believe that friend would look you in the eye and tell you the same.

    We're gonna lose the answer sometimes. Some days, life's purpose and meaning will escape, and we will be left wondering where the pieces that were life as we knew it went. But God is still good. Even in the shadows and the darkness, even in the unknown, God is still good. And we can trust Him, even when we no longer can understand His ways. We can trust our Father.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


    One of my favorite parts of church is taking part in communion. It is a time of complete and utter fixation on Jesus and gratitude for his death on the cross. It is a time Jesus set aside Scripturally as a time to meditate on Him and refocus on His sacrifice.

    But I misunderstood communion for many years, so I'd like to write today about this church practice. Quite frequently, we'll hear 1 Cor. 11:27-28 quoted before we take part in the Lord's Supper. These verses say, "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."

    What I then did with this verse was stress out! Oh, my, but I remember thinking so hard, concentrating during the time before communion to make sure my heart was perfectly clean, confessing anything that could even possibly be considered a sin. No way did I want to go through communion and come out guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord! No way! Communion was a time of rigorous examination of all of my actions of the previous weeks, words, thoughts, emotions, Bible reading, etc.

    And I still remember the Sunday that our pastor in Georgia spoke about the error in that line of thought. His words that day made such an impact on me that I still replay them in my mind when I go to take communion, even after six years.

    When my communion is characterized by my self-examination, my communion becomes self-centered and my eyes leave Jesus. Rather than communion being a reminder of Jesus and His sacrificial death, communion becomes a reminder of my own shortcomings and failures.

    So why self-examine? Well, I believe Paul tells us to examine ourselves so that we see our own failures and shortcomings, but it doesn't stop there. If our examination ends there, communion is pointless. I don't need to come to church and partake in the body and blood of Christ to feel guilty. But our examination leads us on to Christ.

    Yes, my guilt should become clear by my self-examination during and before communion. But that guilt should not drive me deeper and deeper into thought about my sin and my guilt. Rather, it should draw me straight into the arms of Jesus. The guilt I see in myself during the self-examination is the very thing which drives me straight to Jesus and to appreciate His death all the more.

    Communion's purpose is to serve as a visual reminder of the death and sacrifice of Jesus, along with my identity in His body. A part of that is to examine ourselves, seeing my own failure and guilt, and allowing my failure to point me to my Father. And that is where communion is. Communion's goal is not to make you burn with guilt for the rest of the day or stress that you may be taking it unrighteously; it is to be done "in remembrance of Me." That's the purpose.

    Communion that ends after only a self-examination time is just a confessional, and a self-centered one at that. But remember, very little of the gospel is self-centered. Every facet of the gospel points to Jesus Christ, and communion is no exception. Communion is the visual reminder of Jesus in our churches and in our hands.

    Don't miss Jesus by staring at your sin. A glance at the blackness of your sin is supposed to be the impetus to make us turn our eyes up and to Jesus. Our fixation during the Lord's Supper is to be on the sacrifice of Jesus, not on us!

    Celebrate communion. It is not supposed to be a mournful time of harsh and somber examination, but rather a joyful celebration of our Lord's victory over sin. Do not allow our own tendencies toward self-centeredness affect how we celebrate the Lord's supper. Rather, allow God's grace and love to overrun your mind while you bring to mind the examples of His goodness and mercy, specifically His sacrifice and atonement. The examination's purpose is to drive you further into the arms of Jesus.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

John 8

    Michael Card's song (yes, I listen to 80's-90's Christian music. What of it if I'm kinda old-fashioned?) "Forgiving Eyes" brought my attention back to this short Biblical story from John 8 of the woman caught in adultery. This is my favorite story in any of the gospels, because in no other gospel is Jesus' love for the unlovable and the guilty better illustrated.

    This isn't a long post. I just want to focus in on one little part of the story, but in order to comprehend that, we need the full story. In a nutshell, the Pharisees, in an attempt to get Jesus to trip Himself up publically, brought before Him a woman caught in the act of adultery.

    His response is what I want to hone in on today. It says in v. 6 that when they explain the case to Him, He says nothing, but rather kneels in the dirt to scratch in the dirt. But I want you to take a moment to think about that action.

    In kneeling down to the ground, He placed Himself on the same level as the woman, who had probably been roughly pushed to the ground or thrown down in front of Him. He, the King of the universe, knelt down to show mercy to an adulteress.

    What incredible mercy! What reckless grace! As the Pharisees, the crowd, and everyone else around stood in judgment of the sinner, Jesus, the only one present with the true right to judge, forewent his right and knelt instead beside her. He lowered Himself to her level in order to show her mercy.

    But when the Pharisees continue to press Him for a response, His answer is powerful (v. 7). Who are we, as fellow sinners, to judge and condemn, other sinners? Are we any better than they? The only one with the right to pronounce judgment over her was Jesus Himself, and He chose to forego His right.

    This is the love we as the church should have toward the lost of this world. Not a judgmental, downward glance attitude, but a mutual kneeling before the cross, on equal footing before Jesus. This same grace He showed the woman is the same grace He showed to us to save us and is the same grace He shows us each and every day through His mercies. We, the sinner, sit with Christ because of Christ's own mercy. What beautiful grace!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

He is Greater

    One of the things I have seen quite a bit of in traditionalist Christian circles is the idea that the world is something that is to be innately feared. If you get a job outside the home, you'll be tainted. If you date, you'll be tainted. If you go away to college or to a secular school, you'll become worldly. There's just something about "the world" that is irresistible.

    What I hate about statements like these above is that we give the Devil more power than he really has. In Christ, we have victory over sin, death, and the world. The world is something to be combated, not feared. And when we respond with fear of the world, we retreat from the real battle in a desperate attempt to "hold the current line" rather than attempt to take Jesus beyond our defense and beyond the comfortable places into enemy territory. He is perfectly capable of being my strength.

    When Jesus sends out His 70 followers in Lk. 10, we see something interesting happen. He gives long instructions regarding how they are to behave and believe in v. 2-16, but v. 17 has a very interesting occurrence. "And the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.'" 

    I love this verse. You can just see the astonishment (it says they came back with joy) on their faces as they tell Jesus, "Wait a sec! Even the devils are subject to us when we are in You!" It's as if they hadn't put together yet that Jesus' power was greater than that of the Devil.

    But I wonder if we don't do the same thing. When we respond in fear to the Devil and to the "world", are we not giving the Devil power over us that he doesn't really have? If Jesus is now Lord of my life, I have the strength through Him to stand strong over the world and the Devil. So the world is no longer something to be feared, but to be conquered for Jesus!

    V. 18 shows Jesus telling His followers what sounds like a gentle rebuke by pointing out that He was there when Satan fell from heaven. That's something we may know in our head during theology class, but it's a whole nother thing to get a grasp of that during the trials and temptations.

    Jesus is greater than the Devil. And Jesus, through us, is the conqueror of the world. We are no longer weaklings, forced to constantly hide from the world in order to keep from being overwhelmed by the temptations it offers. Rather, in the strength of our Savior, the power of an almighty God is in me. And He is greater than the world.

    When we respond in fear to the Devil, we give him more power than he really possesses. He doesn't actually have the power to rule our lives; but when we respond to his temptations with fear, we give him credit for power he does not possess.

    Who we serve is greater. We serve the God who threw Satan out of heaven. We serve the God who freed us from Satan at the cross. We serve the God who will ultimately consign Satan to an eternity of hell. We win. We win through Christ. And the devil does not have the power to stop us. Satan is not to be feared. The world is not to be feared. It is to be fought, because we serve its conqueror! And He uses us, His lambs, to mock all the powers of earth and hell, because He reigns in us. We are little lambs, with the faces of lions, because of the mighty, all-consuming power of God in us.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


    So, I've watched the last couple weeks unfold since the Supreme Court decision on homosexuality. I will be honest, what I am going to say tonight is something I've wanted to say for several days now, but I have held off because of the myriad of blog posts, sermons, and videos that are already out there on this controversial topic from men much more qualified than I to speak on such matters. The last thing I wanted to do is jump on the bandwagon of political protestors and jump into battle, fists flying, on a topic I have conflicting views on.

    I'm not going to address the decision. That's not the point of my post, and there is nothing I can do about it. For the sake of clarity, I believe that homosexuality is a sin condemned by Scripture, and is not a true marriage. But I am not going to spend any time at all on the political rightness or wrongness of this particular decision. It's done, and what its effects will be remain to be seen.

    What I am going to address is the disturbing trends I see going on, both in churches, in Christian circles, and online. I have seen a plethora of blog posts and heard multiple rants on the topic, some calling this the absolute best decision the Supreme Court's ever made, with others calling it the end of our nation.

    What should our reaction be to decisions such as these? I've been watching these last few weeks as Christians make their stand. And I am all in favor of taking a stand, don't get me wrong. But I have several concerns about our reaction.

    1.) The government/America/Republicans/democracy is not our Savior. One of the more disturbing trends I've seen these last few weeks is that of so many Christians to act as if this is the end of Christianity, as if Jesus was somehow caught off guard with this decision and that He is now scrambling to maintain His position. Look, people, read Revelation. The fact that governments across the world are not going to make strictly Christian decisions shouldn't surprise us. In fact, we should be surprised if they did. Revelation is very clear that as the end approaches (I have no clue when it will be, but we do know that every day is a day closer, right?), governments of the earth, including America, will become more and more hostile to Christianity.

    So, why does it surprise us when the government doesn't back up our Christian beliefs? America is not our savior, folks. America is a nation, a nation that has been blessed to have had Christian leaders in the past, but also one that, like every other nation of the earth, is following the path of the culture downhill away from Christ, and that shouldn't surprise us. We should be quite mentally prepared for the world to disagree with us.

    2.) Gays are not inherently more evil than anyone else. This one can be a hot topic, so bare with me as I explain. It's awfully comfortable as Christians to point the finger at someone else "lower" than we are, with different struggles than us, and highlight their sin rather than address our own. In fact, Jesus told the multitudes quite the parable to go along with this: that of the publican and the Pharisee. The Pharisee, confident in his good works and outwardly pure life, spends His "spiritual" time of the week condemning the other's sins; while the publican begs for mercy before God and goes home justified. The parable offers a somber glance into the hypocrisy of pointing to other's faults and ignoring our own.

    But secondly, is being tempted as a homosexual any different from being tempted as a heterosexual? I mean, if I'm honest, I face my own share of temptations that come with being a man. But are my temptations to be impure in my thoughts and actions any different from a homosexual's temptations to be impure if neither of us act on them? I don't believe so. And if both of us act on them? Are we not equally guilty in God's eyes?

    I think a lot of Christians would agree on that last point, but let's take it a step further. Okay, we'll agree that two definitely bad sins are equal in the sight of God. Most Christians will agree with that. But let's step it up a notch. Is a homosexual's drive any different than my sin drive to be self-centered, or boastful? Isn't my pride just a more culturally accepted and "normal, Christian" sin than giving into gay desires?

    So, what I see happening is that we point our fingers very liberally at those other people committing "worse" sins than us. But those "worse" sins are simply a man-made hierarchy that I don't see in Scripture. For example, Rom. 1, which condemns homosexuality, is part of the larger argument made by Paul in Rom. 1-3 that says all men are condemned equally (and totally) before God, because each of us is equally (and totally) dead in sin. We all, homosexual and heterosexual, stand equally guilty at the foot of the cross. And those of us who have found mercy and grace in Christ stand equally justified.

    3.) Where's the love? My last concern is probably my gravest. As Christians, are two greatest duties are what, according to Jesus? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor. This is the entirety of the law.

    So, tell me, American Christians. Where is the love? Where is the love we're called to show? Let me tell you what love is not. Love is not kicking homosexual children out of your home. Love is not condemning them constantly rather than showing Christ to them. Love is not choosing that as the sin to harp on rather than our more accepted Christian sins.

    Alright, you fellow Christians. We are called to love as Christ loved. He never promised we'd enjoy it all the time, He never promised it would not be awkward or uncomfortable. Actually, He promised it would come at a cost. But that is what it means to follow Jesus.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

He Who Has Friends

    So, this week has been crazy. It's been one of those weeks of going to bed very late and getting up early and running all day. I'm finally trying to get out my first longer post of the week tonight at 10:30, so pardon my jumbled thoughts. These are just thoughts that have spun around in my head a bit this last week, and I haven't had time to put them down. So bare with me here.

    My best friend just moved 2000 miles away last month. The move and the added difficulty in communication has made me stop and think more about friendships and what it means to be a friend than probably ever before. And first in my mind is the friendship of David with Jonathan.

    All of us want a friend like David and Jonathan, someone who will stick with you through the toughest of times against all odds. But in today's culture, when a "friend" is anyone who you happen to have shaken hands with or clicked "yes" to their friend request on Facebook, trying to build a strong friendship can be hard!

    Keep in mind most of what I say in this post is not Biblical command. This is simply a topic that I'm looking at a particular story in the Bible for ideas about, rather than commands to obey. So please don't read this post as a "you're sinning unless you're a perfect friend", since none of us are!

    When we read about David and Jonathan, it's incredible to look at how they related to each other. I've fought with guys before in cordial taekwondo tournaments, and I know the kind of friendships that can be born in a sparring ring. I can't explain it, but there is a certain kinship and feeling with someone you have fought alongside that is probably not understandable to someone who has never been there. I have to imagine that feeling is 100x as strong on a battlefield than in a polite tournament.

    This kind of gives some glimpse into the kind of feeling David and Jonathan had. This was a deep, brother-brother relationship. They had bled together in battle, they had fought alongside each other in a desperately outmatched, outmanned army. They had probably faced what seemed like certain death together many times.

    So I want to look at a couple different things that stand out to me in their friendship. Both men showed incredible attributes of friendship at different times along their lives, and I want to look at some of them.

    1.) First one that strikes me is Jonathan, risking his life to save David's against his own father (1. Sam. 19:2-7, 20:16-42). In these shocking verses, we see Jonathan stand up to his probably insane father in David's cause. The ironic thing is that by killing David, Saul was probably trying to establish Jonathan's claim to the throne. So, in Jonathan's defense of David, he was actually helping David to dethrone him. And he probably knew it!

    Jonathan placed his friendship and covenant with David (1 Sam. 18:3-4) above his personal benefit, rank, and ease. He preferred to risk his own life to stand up for his friend than to simply sit back and let things happen around him. Jonathan actually stepped in, against his own family, to protect his friend. That's crazy love!

    2.) Jonathan visiting David while David was on the run (1. Sam. 23:16-18). Not only is Jonathan risking his life by visiting an outlaw and rebel against his father, but he does it for two reasons. 1.) To encourage his friend in the Lord and 2.) to reaffirm that Jonathan recognizes David's right to the throne and let David know that he would not resist it, instead happily taking second place to David. What selflessness! He took an enormous risk to encourage his friend and to emphasize that he was there for David when David came to the throne. Jonathan was basically making himself available to David when he became king. Rather than being an active enemy of David's, Jonathan was again placing David's interests above his own.

    3.) The song of the bow (2 Sam. 1:17-27). The words David publishes after receiving word of Jonathan's death are beautiful sorrowful. These words express a deep, deep feeling to be coming from such a hardened warrior. In fact, in v. 26, David sings that Jonathan was his brother, and that he valued Jonathan's love even above the love of any woman (pretty impressive considering that David had at least three wives at this point). Jonathan was a brother to David, and his grief at Jonathan (one who should have been his enemy and rival for the throne) is apparent.

    We see David's horror at Jonathan's death in v. 11-12, when David (keep in mind he was a hardened warrior who had killed literally tens of thousands of men) ripped his clothes in grief and fasted and cried for an entire evening over Jonathan and Saul's deaths. That's grief. You can see his love.

    4.) David's love for Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:1-13). In the custom of the times, the new king would eradicate all trace of the former king's family to destroy prospective rivals who had the actual birthright to the throne. By destroying them, it made the new king at least equal with everyone else birthwise in regard to the right to the throne. But, in accordance with David's covenant, Jonathan's family was left unharmed.

    But David went further than that, providing for Jonathan's son (whom David had apparently never met, since he had no idea who he was). David brought Mephibosheth to his own home, fed him from his own table, and befriended him. Keep in mind this was the grandson of the man who hunted David for years!

    So what's my point? I think that we need to look at friendship more deeply than we are today. So many of our "friendships" consist of "Hey, How ya doing, How was your week, How's work, etc, etc" with none of the depth that we see between David and Jonathan.

    A friendship like that requires sacrifice. We see both men sacrifice and give deeply to protect each other and to provide for each other, even when the going was tough, uncomfortable, and risky. That's what friends do. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Though He Slay Me

    "Though He slay me, I will trust in Him." Job 13:15 holds what to me is one of the most incredible verses in the Bible. It's an incredible statement of faith in God.

    This is from Job, a man whose children are dead, whose possessions are gone, whose health is destroyed, and whose own wife counseled suicide as his best alternative. And to top it off, the best thing that's happened to him at this point in the book is a visit from three friends who spend the first week of their visit silent in awe at his suffering and the next while of their stay accusing him of being a sinner.

     Yet still, Job comes out with this statement from the middle of a book full of complaint and a rousing case defending his righteousness and innocence before God. No matter what happened, Job is promising that his rest, his trust, and his reliance is in God. Even through death.

    This isn't a long post. I've had a crazy week, and it won't slow down for a couple more days. I need to go to bed and get a few hours of sleep before I get up for another crazy day. But I know some of the people who read this blog are going through some hard times. I've talked to some of you; others I haven't. I know some of you cry; others of your simply keep your despair bottled up inside as your world crumbles around you.

    Yet this is the faith that Jesus calls us to. He calls us to trust Him with a reckless trust that the world will call foolish, to cling to Him even tighter as times get tough, and to run to His arms even sooner when we can no longer hide the tears. Yes, when life is at its worst is when our faith is tested. Anyone is strong when the path is smooth and straight. It's when the path leads through thorns and over cliffs that our faith in the goal is tested.

    Look, I don't know all your names. I know a couple of you. I know some of you hurt. I know some of you are going through rough times. But these are the very times that Jesus promises rest in. Rest. Peace, in Him, through Him.

    So, for those of y'all going through a rough time, remember! He is worthy of your trust. Even when your heart feels like it's breaking, even when your world is falling down around you, He is there. He is a friend, an ever-present help in trouble. He is your Abba Father. And He loves you more than you can imagine.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


    So, I'm not a poet. I've never enjoyed poetry that much, but I decided to give it a try the other night, partly from reading other poetry, partly from having had some comment discussion with Hannah Leake (from over at The King's Daughter) . Here's the finished result, pretty rough since I only put about 10 minutes into it, but here it is!

The future lies
In mist;
I cannot see

Dark swirls above
like dusk,
My path, it hides

My Guide beckons
Where He points
Is dark.

But thoughts appear
to me:
Is the prize worth
The pain?

In all these things
Is pain,
And this path looks
too rough.

But then new thoughts
Is any too much
to bare

For my Jesus?
He is
my Guide, my Life,
my God.

How can I claim
While to my life
I cling?

To follow Him
Through all,
Through suffering, pain,
To light.

Is He worth it?
I ask.
My soul cries out
at night,

Is He worth it?
To die!
Is He worth it?
My life!

Yes, my saved heart
cries out.
He is worth it,
worth it!

So my life is
now His.
No more am I
My own,

But His. His child,
His love,
His by grace, His

And I will go
With Him
Through life or death:
a martyr.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Least of These

    Most of my posts are unplanned until the day of writing it. This is an example of that. In listening to a video by Eric Ludy, this verse popped into my head and has stuck there this evening. This probably won't be a terrifically long post, since I'm thinking as I'm writing, but I guess we'll see as we go!

    Because it's late at night here, and I'm scraping by after only five hours of sleep last night, I'm not going to drag this post out. I would recommend reading Matt. 25:31-39 for the context of the verse I'll be writing about, but in a nutshell, it's a passage about Jesus speaking to believers about the things they did for Him on earth that they didn't realize was for Jesus. All of them are small, commonplace things we wouldn't think much of most of the time, but that Jesus proclaims were done for Him.

    But it's broadened into a wider concept in v. 40. "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'"

    That's a radical game changer. See, my service to God isn't shown by my fancy prayers and ornate spiritual language and trimmings. Apparently, how I serve my brother is how I serve my God. What a thought!

    See, while we so often ignore the weak, the poor, the suffering, and the needy in favor of more "spiritual" or culturally accepted actions, we don't realize that how we treat those people is how we love God. Those actions toward them are my actions toward God.

    And before we decide that "wow, okay, I need to change how I treat strangers then", I think we should take a moment and think about everyday life. This concept doesn't just apply to people I don't know. It applies to annoying brothers, irritating parents, authoritative coaches, arrogant friends, and so on. Showing love to the people we'd much rather ignore or even become bitter against is our act of service to God. Showing love to these people is literally loving God.

    So, as we go through our weekly lives, I think we should consider this quite a lot. When we'd much rather have an attitude against the parent that continues to nag about taking the trash out, we need to remember that we show our love for God in the small, everyday things we'd rather ignore. When the irritating little brother or sister comes into your room and pesters you, taking time to be kind to them rather than a rude chasing away is showing love both from and to God.

    I think this could be a life changing principle if we got it. See, it would make no act of service small. Rather, every action is for God, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. And that makes every action, not matter how seemingly unimportant, incredibly important! Suddenly, these small decisions are how I show my Christianity, not through huge, big decisions. It's in the small, day-to-day acts of love that God is seen most. And it's through those small acts of love we show our love for God.