Monday, September 30, 2013

Who is the I AM?

When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God heard their cries and called Moses to become their deliverer. He told Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand he set God’s people free. Moses responded by asking what name he should give the Israelites when they asked what was the name of the God of their fathers.  “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  (Exodus 3:14)

Thirty chapters later, Moses tells God: “Now show me Your glory.” It is actually a fairly brazen request that sounds more like a demand; yet it is issued in response to God telling Moses He is well pleased with him. God shows him even greater favor when Moses asks to see His glory for what he is really wanting is to know more of God’s heart and His character. God tells Moses he cannot see His face but that He will hide him and pass in front of him. In the next chapter, He passed in front of Moses and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”(Exodus 34: 6-7)

I have experienced all of this truth God proclaimed of Himself to Moses. When I act like a spoiled child, He patiently tolerates it for a while before He chastises me. I have seen His grace in the way He allows events to unfold in my life and the lives of others and in the beautiful friendships with which He blesses me. I have felt His compassion when I think I cannot endure one more broken heart. His all-encompassing love simply overwhelms me like a tidal wave. And His faithfulness? My life is a testimony to the faithfulness of God who will not let one of His good promises fail. My prayer is that those who do not yet know the true I AM will one day soon experience all of His fullness. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Choose Life

Deuteronomy 30:19-20: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…”

Last Monday in the English composition class I teach, we discussed assisted suicide and euthanasia. Then I saw a tv program about the same topics where an organization was criminally indicted for helping people end their lives. Sadly, they won the case. I can’t comprehend why people in our nation can define hate speech yet they have trouble determining whether someone helped a person commit suicide. And even worse, people won’t weigh in and say such actions are evil.

They point to palliative care and claim it is the same measure. I assure you, it is not. You see, I helped my mother die too. But let me tell you how. I sat on her bed and sang hymns to her. I held a straw to her mouth so she could sip water and juice. I spoon-fed her rainbow sherbet when she could barely swallow.  I held her hand as I listened to her and laughed with her and cried with her. I did not in any way try to help her “exit” this world according to her schedule. Thanks be to God, she would’ve never wanted that.  We  understood God alone is sovereign and He alone gets to determine the length of our days.  Lest you think what about those who kill themselves? There are hundreds of stories where a person turns from suicide at the last minute. With these evil people who “help” them, they have no choice but to die.

God gives us a choice daily and He tells us which choice to make. The Life-Giver will always tell us to choose life. It is the enemy who has come to steal, kill and destroy. There is only one time in history where God condoned choosing death: when His Son who knew no sin willingly laid His life down so that we might have eternal life with Him. My prayer is that people who are so desperate to die, will turn instead to the only One who can truly give them life.