Monday, June 23, 2014

Hitch Your Joy Wagon to Jesus

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I was never drawn to the "cowboy" scene when I was younger. Even today I am not a big fan of westerns. But I am fascinated by the horse-drawn wagons and the engineering behind it all. It delights me to watch how engineers today are simply expanding on the concepts introduced so many years ago. One basic principle remains the same: you need horsepower to move anywhere (real horses or "horses" produced by gasoline, sparks, and cylinders).

In a similar way, each of us has a wagon in our lives. It's called our "joy wagon." It carries our emotions, our demeanor, and our perspective. The problem comes when we hitch that wagon to a pair of horses who will lead us toward an unfulfilling destination. These horses could be anything in our lives that numbs us to the work of God--like a selfish relationship, an all-out pursuit of wealth, substances, or even meaningless religion. Horses like these (even taking a good thing and making it an ultimate thing) cannot deliver on the promise to take you where you want to go. Our emotions then become roller coasters, our face changes, and we see desires turn into demands.

So, hitch your joy wagon to Jesus instead. He knows the way to the abundant life (John 10:10), in fact He IS the abundant life (John 14:6). Nothing in the universe can satisfy your heart but Jesus and His beauty. And His horsepower is more than enough to carry you through to the end.

Monday, June 2, 2014

One Step toward Redeeming Our Culture

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Darkness is not a thing. Like how *cold* is simply the absence of heat, in physics darkness is simply the absence of light. Without getting too technical, light is made up of waves of particles that at a certain wavelength become visible to our eyes. No movement means no light, which leads us to see *darkness*.

What does this have to do with redeeming our culture? Think with me: if all we see is spiritual darkness around us, could it be that our lights have stopped shining very brightly? Yes, each unbeliever is responsible for their own unbelief, but Jesus commanded us to humbly "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). God has preordained every believer to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), which is the spotlight to point those around us to the glory of God and His grace. No movement means no light, which leads us to see darkness.

So what's one step toward redeeming our culture? Shine brightly, friends, to the glory of God and for the good of your neighbor. Do the good works He has set before you today, and trust that He is at work in the world around you. And don't forget: even a tiny candle can light up a room.