John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” Our church’s theme for next year is “creating space for God” and our pastor chose John 14:2 as the core verse. Last Saturday when he announced it at our Town Hall gathering, I felt like God himself shot an arrow right through my heart. I’ve been struggling with how much I should clear my schedule and my headspace so I can focus on helping my dad in the coming months. I feel guilty that I haven’t been around in Seoul for my dad, but I also feel guilty when I start clearing my commitments to others here in Singapore. “I need to be there for my family. I need to be there for my church. I need to be there for my colleagues.” I’ve also wondered if creating space might demonstrate a lack of faith… more guilt. But after hearing about next year’s theme and meditating on it for the last week, I feel God speaking clearly this morning. I am to create space for my father on earth, and in so doing I am making space for my father in heaven. The directive is clear. I’m going to let the Spirit lead day by day, but I’ll likely take a break from posting here for a season. I can’t thank you all enough for praying for me and my family. Heavenly Father, I thank you for being so good. I thank you that you still speak to us today. I nail the spirit of guilt to the cross and declare that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. In your son’s name, Amen.
Exodus 33:18 “Show me your glory.” Our pastor called a church-wide fast this week and this morning it got me reflecting on spiritual hunger. Thinking back it seems the pattern of my life is to overcommit (to work, to ministry, to family) and come to God in desperation when I find myself completely unable to handle my circumstances. He always shows up, sorts me out far beyond my expectations, and reveals himself to me through an amazing encounter. But in this season I’ve been hearing Him tell me to create space and I’ve been wondering if I can create that sense of spiritual desperation without my drowning in my overcommitment. In scripture, difficult circumstances did drive people to get desperate for God, but so did miraculous breakthroughs. Karl Barth in dialectical theology talks about how every time God reveals himself, He’s also hiding himself. That’s why in scripture everyone who encounters God walks away with a deeper hunger to know Him more. Moses sees 10 plagues, watches as God parts the red sea, encounters God at the burning bush, sees God in fire by night and cloud by day, and yet in Exodus 33 he asks God… “show me your glory.” Wow. Lord, thanks for comforting me. Creating space for you does not mean I will have less hunger for you. Creating space for you means I will encounter you more, which will drive even more hunger and simultaneous satisfaction. You are all I need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This weekend I’ll be speaking at a FaithTech conference (https://favs.faithtech.com/) and this morning I felt led to John 1:1. After some prayer and research, I came to realize that the gospel and technology are inextricably intertwined. We’ve all experienced the acceleration of technology, and the effects it has on our lives. Most of this acceleration derives from the fact that our ability to store, process, and transfer information doubles every 18 months or so. We all hear about how AI will change the world, and experience how the internet has already done so. But few of us think about how before this, television, radio and the printing press were also revolutionary advancements in information processing. In fact, the invention of writing and of language itself were just as revolutionary. John 1:1 reminds us that Jesus is the Word, a form of information. Intuitively we know that the gospel message (God loves you so much that he sent his son to die for you) must be transferred, processed, and stored in people’s minds and hearts before we can see transformation in their lives (the word becomes flesh). Many of the most effective churches leverage technology to get the gospel message out today. While pastors vilified radio and television as “the devil’s stronghold”, Billy Graham knew that he had to use every available channel to introduce the world to Jesus. And though we don’t think of writing as technology, only 2% of Jews could read and write during Jesus’ time. Writing then was more of a niche skill than computer programming is today. That means that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the software developers of their era. This doesn’t mean we need to be techies to get the gospel out there. Billy Graham wasn’t a techie. But I do feel that God might be calling the church to take a more embracing view of technology to get more people closer to Jesus. Lord I love you. I want to use whatever tools you provide to experience and enable others in experiencing extreme intimacy with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.