Mr. Bible

6 06 2011

Mr. Bible made an appearance tonight. Vacation Bible School is in full swing, and Mr. Bible is the star of the show. Every evening, children anxiously watch for Mr. Bible to come in and teach them about the Word of God. He tells them about Jesus, teaches them how to respect and love God’s Word, and gives them a powerful picture of the way the Lord wants to reach into their hearts.

The neat thing about Mr. Bible is that he gives kids a glimpse into the truth that the Bible is alive and active. It isn’t a book that sits on a shelf. It is more than words on a page or a collection of wise sayings. The Bible is the voice of God calling you and me deeper into His will. The Bible is holy ground. It is one place where we can take off our shoes, confident that we are stepping into the holy presence of God. It is a place to listen, to learn, to ask questions, and to be silent. The Bible gives voice to our deepest thoughts as we watch God interact with His people. It opens doors of opportunity as it invites us to walk more closely by His side. It touches our fears, answers our hurts, celebrates our joys, and speaks to our deepest need. The Bible is so much more than paper filled with ink. It is a doorway straight into the heart of God Himself.

Understanding the message Mr. Bible brings is a blessing, but watching the children’s faces as they fall in love with the truth that God is speaking to them is compelling. Their eyes grow wide with the possibility that they can hear the voice of God. Their hearts grow softer as they respond to the love of God. Their ears grow more attentive as they become accustomed to hearing His whisper. Their feet walk more confidently in the footsteps of God. Meeting Mr. Bible leaves them changed because time in the Bible is an encounter with God.

My Jesus Resolution today is to spend time in my Bible. I want to open it up and hear His voice. I want to feel His blessing, experience His presence, and be wrapped in His love. I long to know His plans for me, learn to see His hands on my days, and understand the life He calls me to live. Today as I open my Bible, I am going to be very deliberate about opening my heart at the same time. God wants to speak, and I want to listen. Thanks, Mr. Bible.

Jesus in My Shoes

3 06 2011

He is just a little guy. He joined the bigger kids and began singing with all his heart. The words to “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” echoed across the room. Shouts of “Where?” collided with smiles as the crowd encouraged the children to sing about Jesus.

It wasn’t long until his little feet were flying as fast as his hands to the beat of the song. Joy wasn’t just heard in the music. Joy was the expression on his face. They finished singing the song, but he wasn’t done. “Jesus isn’t just in my heart,” he said. “Jesus is in my shoes.”

Is Jesus in your shoes? I love the fact that this little guy understands the importance of letting Christ inhabit every part and piece of his life. Too often, we want to confine Jesus to the comfortable, convenient places in our lives. We limit Him to the spaces that are cleaned up and under control, or the places where His presence won’t require too much surrender. We let Jesus into our Sundays, but what about Tuesdays? We invite Him into our struggles, but leave Him out of our play times. We call on Him when we have a need, but figure that we can handle the ordinary, regular stuff on our own. We ask Him to sit with us when we read our Bibles, but would rather watch television by ourselves. We give Him a place in our hearts, but don’t want Him walking in our shoes.

My Jesus Resolution today is to look at my shoes. I want Jesus to walk in my shoes. I want Him to direct my steps, guide my path, and teach me to follow His footprints. I want to be able to look at every part of my life and see Jesus. I long for Him to inhabit my heart, fill my soul, govern my mind, and control my strength. Joy isn’t just a word in a song. It is the evidence of His presence in my life. Every time you look at your feet today, ask yourself – Is Jesus in my shoes?

An Ear of Corn

1 06 2011

My daughter is in Africa. She is part of a medical mission team dedicated to serving people in areas without sufficient health care. Internet service is hit or miss, but we have been able to hear from her a little bit as she makes this journey of faith.

There are heartbreaking stories of disease, death, and deprivation. There are stories of joy as she experiences the universal power of a smile. The stories that have most deeply touched my heart have been her stories about worship. She is seeing God in Africa and those glimpses are shaping her soul.

This week she traveled with missionaries to a remote village. The congregation is small and desperately poor. Concrete blocks serve as pews. Together they raised their voices and their hearts to God in praise. When the time came to worship the Lord in giving, she watched several of the people place a single ear of corn in a basket. Quiet awe stole over her heart as she recognized the deep sacrifice each ear of corn represented. Their generosity honored God and imprinted a message about surrender and trust deeply on an American girl’s soul.

Never has the story of the widow and her mite been more real for me. “For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:4. An ear of corn has become a mirror for my heart.

My Jesus Resolution today is to examine my giving. Giving is not a command given because God needs my stuff. Giving is a tool offered to help me step more deeply into His transformation. Giving cuts my ties to this world, releases the hold things have on my soul, and realigns my priorities with the desires of God. It teaches me who is in control, where I need to invest my heart, and how God wants to work in the core of who I am. In sacrifice, we most closely resemble Jesus. It may be time, resources, talent, money, or even an ear of corn. Whatever it is, when we give sacrificially, we pull off a layer of ourselves so that the world can see Jesus in us.