As “Go tell it on the mountain” still rings in my ears from the worship set in yesterday’s online service, I think about how I nearly missed being in this place in my life right now. My story could have taken a completely different turn if I would have listened to others tell me what I should be doing, who I should be dating, what career I should pursue, what life I should be leading and most of all, who I am as a person. I could have run after the dreams of others to build the bigger and better house, own the best cars, and fill storage places with lots of stuff. I could have given all my time as well in that pursuit and missed real life completely.
The world has plans for us with plenty of creative people telling us how to get the “good life” in media and film. With this constant bombardment, comparison leads to envy. Those who don’t love God seem to have more than they need. They have it made. They don’t seem to have any problems at all, at least that’s what they tell us. I nearly missed God’s best because I was looking at them and not Him!
God’s best for me is knowing I am doing what HE wants for this is the only way to peace for me. When I look back at all the good advice I could have followed, but instead followed God’s best advice through the mentors He placed in my life at just the right time and place, I praise God. I shudder at what could have been. I thank for what is.
I nearly missed it. I nearly missed living a life with a man of God for nearly 50 years. I could have gone my own way and not experienced helping others find and follow Jesus in ways that were beyond my imagination. God provided experiences that challenged me to grow, sorrows that led to evaluation and reflection, teaching moments when I needed it most, along with joy unspeakable and full of His glory!
Our Psalmist “nearly missed it”. I nearly missed it, but I didn’t. I praise God I didn’t miss Him. Today I can “go tell it on the mountain” with complete assurance of the Truth that Jesus Christ, our Savior was born! Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah was sent from God to earth. Jesus, Savior and Lord, lived on earth to give mankind a glimpse of living in heaven. Jesus, lived to die for our sin so we could walk right up to God with repentant hearts and relate to Him as Our Father. Jesus made it right. Jesus, the One and Only. All because God loved us. I really believe what I believe about God is really real!
Don’t miss it. God is not only good; God is the best! Saying yes to God’s saving grace, through Jesus Christ, is the best decision you will ever make in this life. Saying yes means life forever with God! Following Jesus and letting Him be Lord of your life right now is assurance that you will never miss out on what His best plan for you, plans not to harm you, but plans to make you prosper and grow in His Name. It’s not about stuff, it’s about Life. It’s all about God.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I nearly missed it, but I didn’t. I pray you find Him, too. For in Him is Life.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 73, The Message
1-5 No doubt about it! God is good—
good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it,
missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way,
looking up to the people
At the top,
envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about,
not a care in the whole wide world.
6-10 Pretentious with arrogance,
they wear the latest fashions in violence,
Pampered and overfed,
decked out in silk bows of silliness.
They jeer, using words to kill;
they bully their way with words.
They’re full of hot air,
loudmouths disturbing the peace.
People actually listen to them—can you believe it?
Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.
11-14 What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch?
Nobody’s tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything;
they have it made, piling up riches.
I’ve been stupid to play by the rules;
what has it gotten me?
A long run of bad luck, that’s what—
a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.
15-20 If I’d have given in and talked like this,
I would have betrayed your dear children.
Still, when I tried to figure it out,
all I got was a splitting headache . . .
Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
Then I saw the whole picture:
The slippery road you’ve put them on,
with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
In the blink of an eye, disaster!
A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing.
There’s nothing to them. And there never was.
21-24 When I was beleaguered and bitter,
totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
in your very presence.
I’m still in your presence,
but you’ve taken my hand.
You wisely and tenderly lead me,
and then you bless me.
25-28 You’re all I want in heaven!
You’re all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.
But I’m in the very presence of God—
oh, how refreshing it is!
I’ve made Lord God my home.
God, I’m telling the world what you do!
TRUTH: You’re all I want in heaven. You’re all I want on earth. God, I’m telling the world what you do!
Proverb 23:1-5, The Message
1-3 When you go out to dinner with an influential person,
mind your manners:
Don’t gobble your food,
don’t talk with your mouth full.
And don’t stuff yourself;
bridle your appetite.
4-5 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
wealth sprouts wings
and flies off into the wild blue yonder.
WISDOM: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21)
I nearly missed, could have missed it, but I didn’t. You are God and I am not. You saved my soul, dear Jesus, and made me whole. Your Holy Spirit, Your Presence, is with me each day to guide me, challenge and correct me. You lead me to Your best. You deliver me from the enemy who seeks to destroy my soul. You fight my battles and conquer for victory, making me and others who believe and follow more than conquerors. Thank you for showing me your ways, being patient with me, cleaning up my messes, and keeping me on level, solid ground. Continue to transform me. I don’t want to miss a thing that you are telling me on the mountain of learning and growing as your servant and friend.
In Jesus Name, Amen