The People I Meet: Daniel

I met a gentleman this morning outside a convenience store, near 44th street and Van Buren. He was sitting in his wheelchair as I approached the front door, when he called me over to ask me a favor. 

I immediately shake his hand and asked him how I could help. He started off by saying he’s had a rough day, and did I have any money. Something about needing a bus pass, and a bus driver buying him a soda but the cashier inside thought he was stealing it, and then asked him to leave the premises, and he couldn’t leave…and I stopped him. “Do you need a bus pass? Well sure I can get you a bus pass. You wait right here.”

He was very appreciative. I went inside and started to grab the items I came in for; some cheese, a water and a Slim Jim, when it occurred to me I should get him something to eat and drink too. So I grabbed another water and found another Slim Jim, but when I was standing in line I remembered his crooked smile and thought he would probably have a hard time chewing the Slim Jim, so I put it back and started to find something more soft that he could enjoy. I settled on some powdered donuts, and took my place back in line. I purchased my items, reminded the cashier about the bus pass I just bought, then headed back outside to find my new friends exactly where I left him.

“Here you are my friend,” and before I could place everything into his hands he started to tell me about a prescription he needed to pick up that had a copay he couldn’t get and…

I cut him off with the same smile on my face that I had as I approached him, and asked him his name. Daniel, it was. “My name is Kim, Daniel. I hope you have an incredibly blessed day, but don’t carry any cash on me and no I’m not going back inside to get some. This is what I can do for you, so you take care.”

He thanked me for my kindness but I knew he didn’t get what he really wanted, but that’s ok. I still got to be the person I wanted to be and I didn’t let him tarnish my feelings for those in need. I didn’t let him make my heart bitter or hard. Even as I drove off and I could see he wasn’t in any hurry to catch any bus, I still prayed that one day what he wants, is what he needs.

Be well, my friend.

Peacemakers: Judges 2:16-3:8

Judges 2:16-3:8

Then the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. 2:16

Whenever the Lord raise up a judge over Israel, he was with the judge and rescue the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who are burdened by oppression and suffering. But when the judge died, the people return to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. 2:18-19

Back in Joshua 15:63, I wondered why the tribe of Judah couldn’t drive out the Jebusites. However, I’m learned in Judges 2:22-23 the reason why is because God allowed some nations to continue to occupy the land as a test to see who Israel would worship. I love finding answers to my own questions! 

For those who say God doesn’t show up in their life, I would question how would they know if they don’t know God, or how he works. He shows up even in the lives of unbelievers, but they don’t see it, because they don’t know him. The Old Testament is full of stories of when God ALLOWED good fortune to fall on Israel’s enemies.

Peacemakers: Judges 1:1-2:15

Judges 1:1-2:15

She said, “Let me have another gift. You have already given me land in the Negev; now please give me springs of water, too.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. – Judges 1:15 (Why did she want the spring?)

Peace with God is shaken because they failed to drive out the people who lived on the land God was giving them. (2:1-3)

Peacemakers: Joshua 18:1-24:33

Joshua 18:1-24:33

So I just finished reading Joshua 18-22, where all the land was allocated to each tribe of Israel. My question, now that everyone is spread out… How did they keep up with all their sacrifices? It seemed like sacrifices were a daily thing, it also kept the priests fed. How did this all happen now that everyone was so spread apart? I’m sure it would have taken days for people to get to the altar to present their sacrifices.

Rest from enemies, is peace. (23:1)

Joshua warned Israel, disobedience against God would destroy the peace of God. (23:15-16)

Peacemakers: Joshua 10:1-17:18

 Joshua 10:1-13:32

Absence of fear, is peace. (10:8)

God fights our battles. (10:14)

Joshua’s life was not at peace.IMG_20190708_074442

Wholeheartedly following God, brings you peace. (14:9)

What did they do with all the bodies they killed during Joshua’s campaign? 

Why couldn’t the tribe of Judah drive out there Jebusites? (15:63)

Why didn’t the descendants of Manasseh kill the Canaanites? (17:12-13)

Peacemakers: 6 Joshua 5:13-9:27

IMG_20190703_074153

Joshua 5:13-9:27

I wonder how many men marched around Jericho? How long did it take? 6:8-11

Keeping your promise, is an act of peace. 6:22

Sparing lives, is an act of peace. 6:25

Stealing from God, and disobeying him, is not a peaceful act. 7:1,11

Still don’t understand how one man can talk to thousands without the message being altered. 8:34-35.

So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. – Joshua 9:14-15 (The beginning of Israel’s demise.)

 

Peacemakers: Joshua 3:5 – 5:12

Joshua 3:5 – 5:12

Memorials help us remember what God has done for us. Also so others can see what God has done for us.

So Joshua circumcised their sons—those who had grown up to take their fathers’ places—for they had not been circumcised on the way to the Promised Land. After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed. – Joshua 5:7-8 (How long did that take???)

The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan. – Joshua 5:11-12 ( Looks like it took long enough to plant and harvest.)

 

Never Traveled This Way Before

… giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” – Joshua 3:3-4 

It caught my attention when they were heading into the land God was giving them, Joshua told Israel the Ark will be their guide, since they’ve never traveled this way before.  Made me think about how they moaned and groaned about wandering the wilderness. They probably didn’t need a guide while they were there since they had been wandering for 40 years. They probably knew it forward and back. It made me think about how God might be trying to teach us lessons when we find ourselves in the same predicament time after time, and we complain about it just the same. 

We need a guide to lead us where we’ve never traveled before, too. When we start following God, we are led into his promises.

Boldness: A Look at Genesis to Revelations

Back in September of last year I started a new Bible study on what it looks like to be bold. Fearing I am never good enough because I am always anxious about whether I am doing anything right prompted me to learn how to be bold. What I learned has amazed me. So many assumptions I had, have been wrong. I am so grateful for the opportunity for God to lead me on this journey, and I can’t wait to see how it manifests in me.

In the beginning I learned every decision we make is bold. Being a jerk, is bold. Being nice, is bold. Even not making a decision is bold because there are still consequences with not making a decision. Standing by and letting someone be a jerk to someone, is bold. Everything comes with risks. Everything comes with consequences.

Originally, I thought boldness had to do with a lack of fear. However, I learned pretty quickly the boldness that comes from Christ, really has nothing to do with fear. It is possible to act boldly but still be fearful.

And in fact, the boldness that doesn’t come from Christ, probably has everything to do with fear. I’m afraid someone is going to take advantage of me if I don’t show him who is boss. I’m afraid if I don’t jump at this opportunity I may not be successful in life. I’m afraid if I don’t take control everything will fall to pieces.

The fear is about me. Not about Christ. I can feel fear. It’s not the sin. The sin is letting it control me. When I allow my fear to control me, I am taking back my life from Christ. I am no longer letting him be my Lord.

Once I hit the New testament I realized the boldness I wanted to inherit comes from God. Without Jesus or without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to please him. Again this boldness has nothing to do with fear. Boldness, like courage, is feeling fear and doing it anyway. It looks foolish to the world. It looks like weakness. It looks like defeat.

I found faith as a better way to describe boldness. Boldness allows you to do something, because it’s the right thing to do, not because you weren’t afraid. Your faith in God, makes you bold. Without faith, it is impossible to be bold for Christ.

I’m not sure if boldness is the same as faith, but I definitely believe it is a result of it. Boldness is your demonstration of your faith. Faith is a verb, and it looks like boldness. The stronger your faith, the bolder you become.

I want to live a life that displays more than my salvation. I want to spend my days living a life worthy of my Father. One that points to who my Father is. One that honors him. I don’t just want Christ to save my life. I want him to use my life. I could not do this without inheriting the boldness his Spirit gives.

With his boldness, I am able to live in this world without being a part of it. I am able to look forward to eternal and heavenly consequences, rather than earthly consequence that may be immediate but will one day disappear.

Once His Spirit enters me, my will to live is gone and the desire to do His will is birthed. I am transformed. I am no longer the same person. I am a new creation. I have access to a boldness I never had before. It starts small, but with practice and devotion, it grows. The less there is of me, the more of him there is.

The Bible is full of instruction on how to mature your boldness. The Holy Spirit enables you to be bold, but it won’t magically make you bold. It will require your commitment, your dedication, your faith.

Like the Israelites who spent 40 years in the desert being sanctified, learning how to be God’s Holy people; I have my time on earth to do the same thing. With the boldness the Lord gives me, I am learning what it means to stop being a product of this world and start being a product of a heavenly one. I’m grateful he has given me more than 40 years, but now I feel the urgency to make up for lost time. Cuz honestly, I’ve only recently started this whole sanctification process.

I live for the Day of Judgment when my salvation has been made evident, and I am rewarded for my boldness. And reward enough for me is to hear my Father’s words, “Good and faithful.”

Giving It All Away

Giving everything you have to the Kingdom of Heaven, is bold.

You are trusting God to fulfill all his promises; that he loves you, is watching out for you, he’s going to provide everything you need, so that your resources he gave you in the first place, can go to help others know him as their father as well. He didn’t give us all this stuff so that we could live a comfy life. All this stuff is suppose to empower us to do his work; to show his love, to be his hands and feet. We were never supposed to horde what we have. We were never supposed to collect riches, things, or prestige. He puts us in position to help, and watches to see if we are investing it into others.

There are people out there who work twice as hard, five times as hard, as I do and yet, their income does not reflect mine. No one deserves what they receive. Wealth is not based on the amount of your effort, like you are somehow more special, more deserving, more gifted. It’s all a gift. A gift that was meant for others. It’s a privilege.

Oh, but I understand how great the temptation is to hold onto everything. To be selfish and then justify it by saying I deserve it. I don’t. We don’t. We don’t deserve any of it.

Now the flip side to this is there are those who refuse the gifts of God. They don’t take up their righteous place in his kingdom. They don’t want to listen to the instructions he provides, so they never find themselves in a position to help others, to do his work, to show his love, to be his hands and feet. They are victims to their circumstances. They blame others, instead of themselves. So his resources are never offered. Actually, they are offered, but they’re not accepted. Maybe they don’t know another way, maybe they’re too proud to follow any other way.

But there’s hope. He always leaves his door open to anyone who wants to come in and take up their inherited position he has set aside for them.

So he trusts us, those of us who have already inherited the Kingdom of God to lead those who don’t know him, and they in turn, use their inheritance to lead others too. It’s a beautiful cycle of love he gifts us; those of us who participate. The joy he gives out does any comfort we can horde here on Earth.

He commands nothing, but he asks for it all. He’s the kind of God I want to serve. He doesn’t need me, but he wants me anyway.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” – Mark 12:43-44