Thursday, September 21, 2017

God Is Better

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 264: Today, I am grateful God is better.

When I am looking for a little deeper inspiration, simple wisdom or a wake up call... quotes for Francis Chan's ministry always provide.

Honestly... I don't always like what he say, because his passion to live out the gospel sets the bar high. A bored believer isn't chasing the heart of Jesus and Francis spells it out clearly. 

"I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation right now. One Reason: God. Is. Better." -Francis Chan

Last week, one of my Sunday School class members drew a word picture about "walking the straight and narrow". The point is that it takes less energy and less time to walk in a straight line. I am still loving that word picture. He is a farmer who knows the benefits of a straight row. 

In faith... when we stray from the path, we spend energy to get back to where we need to be. It wastes time. It can be hard on us physically and emotionally. We were created to be in relationship with this God of the Universe and he longs to shower us with his goodness. 

Those who hear the call of Christ but avoid encounters often say, "But, I'd have to give up...." They turn down and turn away from the one who offers peace, joy and contentment. It takes some hitting rock bottom... losing everything... pain and suffering...  to find their way back to the path that leads to contentment. I love that he is always waiting for the call. 

Funny thing is... God is better. None of us is better than the other. We've all had a different path to finding a deeper intimacy with him. Nothing this world has to taste, offer or provide is better that God's peace. Temptation is real. The temptation of Jesus is an amazing passage (Matthew 4 & Luke 4). 

Paul wrote these words of encouragement:

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." -1 Corinthians 10:13

Yes... temptation feels so personal... like we are the only one facing such a struggle. But, it is common to every man. This verse is Luke's last words on his retelling of the temptation of Jesus. Jesus resisted and Satan fled. He fled, but he knowing he would watch for the next opportunity when Jesus was tired, hungry and worn out. Look at this...

"When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time." -Luke 4:13

Jesus taught us to pray this way:

Jesus prayed: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’" -Matthew 6:13

Go ahead and insert whatever temptation is hard to resist. Paul close one letter with this blessing:

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." -2 Corinthians 13:14

Honestly, the straighter path is the easier path. Those who stray and find their way back sometimes return with a passion like Paul's, so we must not judge another's journey. We all need each other for encouragement and support along the way. 

We are just here to learn to love Him, to love each other and decide our destination for eternity. 

Today, I am grateful God is better.

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