Why?

First, it’s good to be back doing these reflections.  I took a couple of weeks off from them; I was in Nicaragua for a week with our youth on a mission trip, and then last week I was at St. Simons Island in Georgia for the Order of the FLAME Conference.  Took good, busy, and kingdom minded weeks. But it’s good to get back into my routines!

One of the questions that we ask, or are tempted to ask, in life a lot is why?  Why did this happen?  Why did this happen to me?  Why did this happen to them?  Why is this happening?  Why is one of the questions in our lives that pops up all the time.

And that’s ok. We want to know. We want to understand.  It’s a question and a concept that every one of us, everyone, deals with and works with.  Especially when something bad or tragic happens.  We want to be able to make sense of the chaos and confusion and brokenness.  We want it to make sense.

We want to know why?

And we aren’t the only ones. Look today at want happens in John 9: 1-3:

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Start_With_WhyThe disciples saw a man with tragedy in his life.  He was born blind.  And they wanted to make sense of it.  They wanted to understand.  So, the only way (in their mind) this made sense was for him to have do something to cause this, or his parents to have done something to have caused this.  Someone did something to make this happen (in their mind).  That’s the only way that this made sense.

So, they ask, whose fault is it?  Why did this happen?

And notice what Jesus said.  He said this man didn’t do anything neither did his parents.  God is fixing to do something.

I love how Jesus reframed this question.  He said – this thing, it will be for God’s glory.  God is going to use it.  God is going to bring something good out of it.  God is going to make a difference through this. Something will happen that is amazing and beautiful because of this.

Because that’s what God does.  He makes beauty out of the mess.  He brings grace out of the pain.  He brings resurrection out of death.  He brings life.

So today, there may no be an answer to the why.  But there is a point to the problem.  God will bring something good out of the why.  Because that’s what He does.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Why Behave?

Why do we try to be faithful?

I mean, why do we try to live a life glorifying God?

There may be a lot of reasons.   Maybe we are afraid of God and afraid of judgement.  Maybe we are afraid of what our sins will do and afraid of what God will do to us because of our sin.

Maybe we just feel like we “have” to.  Just a child has to do what their parents say, maybe try to behave because we have to it. It’s just our duty. It’s just what we are supposed to do.

May we do it because someone is making us. Our parents.  Our spouse.   Some outward pressure.  Maybe that’s why.

There’s a problem with each of these motivations.  In these, we are not being faithful because we want to. We would be doing it because we have to. Anything that we “have” to do, we will eventually get tired of it. We eventually give up. We will find that we can’t make ourselves do it.

Listen to what the Psalmist said today, talking about this in Psalm 86:

Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.
With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,
for your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death.

He honors God, because God has rescued Him.

Why behave?  Why do right? Why be faithful?  Why try to do what God wants us to do?  Why try to love and serve and care?

That is the response of a thankful heart. God has loved you. He has given you His son. He has showered you with love that will never end and never stop.

Why behave?

He loves you, that’s why.   And the only response we have to a love so great is to love others. And love Him.

Today, out of a thankful heart, may we be faithful. As we have been shown so great love, may we show that same love to others.