Tag Archives: Encounter

A Little Word And A Big GOD

One of the most amazing chapters in the bible is Daniel 11. It stands out because of its content. In this chapter of 45 verses you will find one little word repeated more than 116 times! Here’s how the chapter is set up-

The angel Gabriel appears to Daniel near the end of the book and near the end of his life. In this encounter, planned by God, Gabriel tells Daniel, “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.” In the 45 verses to follow Gabriel unfolds the entire end-time history of the world. A history we are living in right now.

What caught my attention as I read was one little word. A word repeated more than 116 times in this one chapter. It’s this word- will. This king will do this, that king will arise and do that…. On and on, more than twice a verse, the word will is used by Gabriel to talk about future days. There is a certainty to the word “will”. It’s not “might” or “maybe”, but it’s “will”. These events told more than 3,000 years ago will happen.

It caught my attention that this little word of just four letters tells me something very important about God- He is in charge of the events of our history. He’s unfolding a plan to save men and women and glorify himself. All of history will unfold as he describes it through Gabriel. That does at least two things for me. It gives me peace that God is in control when it feels like everything is out of control. And, it gives me confidence that God has a plan he is moving the events of history towards. We are seeing the unfolding of God’s grand plan to save mankind and glorify his name.

All of this could cause me to be a fatalist, but in reality it brings me great peace that as I see what seems to be a world out of control I’m really seeing the unfolding of God’s grand plan with everything completely in control…HIS control.

This morning I’m blessed by a little word and a big God.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Good People

I am out for coffee most mornings with different men in our church family. I love the encounters that happen in public eating places. The events of a coffee and the buzz around me is invigorating.

This morning, as I sat at coffee waiting for one of our men I couldn’t help overhearing (yes I listened in) a man at the next table say to his breakfast partner, “I’m a good person….”

There was more to his statement, but this one sentence caught my imagination. I’m sure this guy really is a nice person, trying to be good, but I wondered and wished I could ask him, so what does it mean to you to be a good person and why does it matter? What is the purpose of being good? Why did he need to say that to his friend this morning?

I wonder about these things because his statement made me immediately think about a young man who came to Jesus and basically said the same thing, “I’m a good person, what else do I need?” Jesus’ response probably stunned him when he replied, “No one is good but God alone.” From that came an encounter that left this young man depressed.

Why do we want to be good? What’s is our purpose in “being good?” Who are we trying to impress? Are we just trying to be accepted by others or do we think there is some merit in our goodness? I wonder how we measure our goodness. Compared to Hitler we are all pretty good! What or who was my breakfast friend comparing his goodness to? What was his measuring stick? Why does he want to be good?

I wonder about these things because I really have no illusions of being a good person. It’s funny that a pastor like me would say such a thing, but it comes from a perspective of really knowing my own heart and knowing my potential for evil. There is nothing I couldn’t do under the right circumstances. I have no illusions of goodness as far as I’m concerned. I know my heart and nothing good resides there so I have to find my acceptance somewhere else. I have to find it in someone else. That’s the very reason I’m a Christian! Knowing that I’m not good and can’t be good I am depending on someone else to be good for me, to accomplish what I can’t.

You will never hear me saying, “I’m a good person.” I’m not! Only in Jesus Christ do I find a goodness that puts me right with God. On my own I have no inherent goodness to offer to God. I’m so glad Jesus made my acceptance before God possible because in me is no good thing! So, from a brief comment this morning at a table near mine, I’m most grateful for what Jesus has done for me to make me acceptable to God. Praise be to God for his indescribable gift!

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.