In chapter 3 Jim Smith reminds us that God can be trusted. Some of us simply need to be reminded of this and others of us need to hear it for the first time. Unfortunately, many of us read a portion of the Bible (free from the overall story or its specific context) combine it with some bad experiences in our lives and craft a theology around that story and those bad experiences. When we do this we don’t come away with a healthy, life giving or true theology. Instead we create superstitions that leave us pulling God’s strings instead of asking of him. We want to pull the strings and move the levers just right so that the god we have created (the one that isn’t loving, good or reliable) will act in a way beneficial to us.
To use Smith’s words, “the God Jesus knows” isn’t like that. He isn’t manipulated by superstitious behavior but he is moved by love. God doesn’t change. Instead of reducing this truth into an esoteric, technical theological point let’s reclaim this as an affirmation of God’s character toward us.
“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.” – Malachi 3:6
This verse says that God is reliable. This verse reminds us that God doesn’t lose control or go crazy with a drive toward punishment. Instead, his “unchangingness” is a sign of his love. The love that parents have for children…multiplied by a factor of infinity.
This week’s “soul training” exercise is to count your blessings. Write down all the things that you can think of that you consider to be blessings from God and thank God for those specific things. Of course we will all put our loved ones, spouses and children, at the top of the list as we should. But let’s not forget the little blessings that are easily overlooked like the foods you enjoy, that new mower that you can’t wait to use, your flatscreen TV, et.
If you feel God has blessed you with it don’t dare leave it out. Feel free to share some of your blessings below. (1554? Starbucks? Wilco?) Nothing blessing is too small. No blessing is small at all.