God And His Teenage Son.

Sometimes my relationship with God resembles a father's relationship with his sixteen-year-old son. Some days I'm a good kid; I do my chores and come home before my curfew. But other days I get spiritually hormonal, and I just need some gas money.

I've tried to figure this out. I've even discussed it with God: "God, why am I completely obedient and on fire for you one day, and then the... wait, I'm getting a text. Oh! My friends are going to see Fast and Furious 10. Later, Dad."

But still He loves us. Still, He cares and knows about every single detail of our lives. If you've ever treated God like this... if you've ever wondered why you are capable of week-long spiritual highs, only to plunge back into your sin nature, it may be because you actually are that sixteen-year-old son or daughter, spiritually.

Don't feel bad about this; realize it. Let it be your motivation to let God grow you up. "God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness." (Heb. 12:10). God's discipline is love.


The Getting in Giving

One of the toughest parts about being a Christian is that we are called to give. Not just our money, but our time, our love, our gifts. It's unnatural. And lest we think we can hide from that calling, Jesus actually said it. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Dang. The red letters.

If we know anything about Jesus, it's that he doesn't speak in platitudes. His words are deep, and often difficult to understand. Jesus told stories. And he rarely stopped to explain what those stories meant. You either got it or you didn't.

So why is it better to give than to receive?

Because when you give, everyone wins. The paradox of the thing is that by fighting through the sin nature, by giving, with no hidden motives, you get "the feeling." That level of satisfaction that only God can bring.

If the motives are mixed, the giving is not pure. Jesus doesn't say, "give because you'll get." He tells us it's better to give than to receive; it's up to us to figure out why. And when we figure it out. When we give out of love for people, He blesses our giving. He blesses us out of nowhere. Like the $20 you find in that coat pocket the first time you pull it off the hanger for the winter.

What can you give today without expecting to receive? How can you bless someone without them ever knowing it was you?


What My Son Has Taught Me About God

A lot of people don't think about this, but waiting for an adoption to go through is a lot like waiting for a mother to have her baby. People have asked me, "was it weird, just immediately becoming a dad?" I understand the question. And yes, it would be weird if that were the case. But the reality is, I was his father long before we brought him home. Like biological parents, we've had months to plan and prepare for him. To pray for him. To trust that God is in control of his life.

In that time of waiting, I realized so many things that I want to teach him. I have literally daydreamed of teaching him how to treat women; how to throw a baseball; how to play the guitar; how to ride a bike; how to change a tire; and how to pray. But the one thing I never expected was that my son would teach me some things, too.

He has taught me about our role as children of God. He's taught me that my dependence on God is pleasing to Him. He's taught me that God is protecting me.  He's taught me that God's intentions for my life are pure.

I am thankful that He has given me a son that has already taught me more about God's love.