Really, God?

I’ve wondered sometimes whether God has ever had occasion to think we all just might be a bad dream. That maybe if he hit the snooze button one more time he might have a better one. A dream where his creation didn’t waste so much time fighting with each other and indulging in ever more imaginative sinful selfishness. But no, God is awake, aware of his creation, including all its flaws, and it’s clear he loves us infinitely, since he sent Jesus to open our way to eternity. We have the freedom, with all the responsibility that freedom entails, to choose a relationship with God on his terms, or to go our own way. I’m convinced the overwhelming crush of evidence supports the argument that God is real, and rewards those who seek him. However, this is a fallen world we live in, where terrible things happen, and not just to people who haven’t chosen to accept eternal life and pursue a closer relationship with God. Although I’m just as susceptible to grief and outrage when bad things happen to good people, I’ve never accepted the premise that being good buys us out of awful stuff. As God’s creation, I believe we never shine more brightly than when we turn to God in the midst of tragedy instead of away.

For the sake of this ministry, we toil tirelessly and are criticized continually, simply because our hope is in the living God. He is the wonderful life-giver of all the children of men, and even more so to those who believe.
1st Timothy 4:10 TPT


For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 ESV


Some Say

I’ve heard some say, “God is dead.”
How could they be so led?
Look around,
at all he’s breathed to life.

I’ve heard some say, “God can’t see.”
But he’s painted so much majesty,
he must know what delights our eyes.


I’ve heard some say, “God can’t hear.”
But I know he counts our words dear,
and responds,
though we judge his sense of time.

I’ve heard some say, “God can’t feel.”
But he knows our burdens
and we’re not left to deal alone.
Because he lives,
we needn’t fear to be alive.


©Joel Tipple 8/24/2019

You Gave

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15 ASB

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy

This Thanksgiving Lord
I’d like to say, thanks, you gave.
When, as Christians, we try to thank you,
we start with the price you paid.

As with all gifts,
there was a cost for life
and, that eternal.
In our small human way,
we try to understand
why you saved us
from the infernal.

You created us.
You gave us
the freedom to choose.
From the moment we are able
to decide for life,
it’s ours to win or lose.

Our time in this body
is a fraction
of that resurrected.
Thank you
for giving us
the book of life
so we can read
the directions.

© Joel Tipple 11/22/2018

The Past

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

I’ve got a new perspective now.
The past isn’t what it used to be.
God’s pointing my head in a new direction.
Is this what it means to be free?

Instead of taking inventory
of possessions,
I remind myself
to whom I belong.
Instead of bemoaning
all the reasons I’m weak,
I claim the One
who makes me strong.

© Joel Tipple 10/10/2018

 

No Prisoners

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“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19 ESV

Love, as God’s gift to us,
is not merely decoration,
and not in league with money,
cares nothing for our station.

Love whispers confidently.
It has no need to be loud.
It radiates confidence
without the bluster of the proud.

When it enters a room
it becomes the natural center.
It is attractive without insisting,
force not being its nature.

Love is always active,
dispersing darkness with its light.
It’s the warmth of a healing fire
when we’re surrounded by the night.

Love mostly eludes definition
giving without being owned.
The food of all good growing,
the harvest of all good grown.

But love defined itself best
as the Son of God on Calvary’s tree,
when instead of taking prisoners
love set the captives free.

© Joel Tipple
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Freedom

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 NIV

A perversion of freedom that isn’t freedom at all has clearly been sold to mankind.

But we don’t really need help to find our way to bondage

for the seeds of destruction are in our minds.

Almost anything that starts out worthy, can be twisted or taken to excess.

Too late, we find ourselves in currents fast and deep,

thrashing about to swim out of the mess.

It can be hard to wrap your mind around,

that giving yourself away makes you free.

But it’s just what God promises when you reconcile with Him,

the scales fall from your eyes and you see.

© Joel Tipple
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