Three Simple Questions

I recently began reading a leader’s guide for a six-week study entitled, Three Simple Questions: Knowing The God of Love, Hope, and Purpose written by Rueben P. Job and Pamela C. Hawkins. Each question is designed to deepen our understanding of our relationship with God. They nudge us to elevate our personal walk; to withstand temptation, and make decisions with integrity as we embrace, with greater clarity our love and appreciation for our Creator.  In Daniel 3, there is the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, whose decision to not serve other gods, for the moment, placed them in great peril.   As C.H. Spurgeon wrote, ” the narrative of the manly courage and marvelous deliverance of the three holy children, or rather champions, is well calculated to excite in the minds of believers firmness and steadfastness in upholding the truth in the teeth of tyranny and in the very jaws of death.”  Their decision not to bow down, even though it meant certain death did not persuade them to seek the easy way out.  For during their captivity they had learned the answers to the three simple questions.

What are the three simple questions?

Who is God? Who am I? What are we together?

Do you know the answers to the three simple questions?  If you know the answers to the first two questions, what is your answer to the last one? What are we (God and I) together?  The challenge, and amount of soul-searching involved in all three questions is inescapable.  They require us to face, with regularity our faith in God, and our understanding of who and what we are.  Do we truly know who He is?  Do we believe in Him?  Do we know who we are? Do we understand our purpose and our destiny?  Or is our affirmative declarations merely routine responses based what is expected, and not on “the fiery furnace” personal experiences?  These questions, for some are often addressed daily.  Life’s trials and temptations lead us down the ” road to belief city” or the integrity path.”   Then the question of “what are we together” comes into operation?  Just what are we with God?  What is our function, purpose, title, assignment, position, appointment, job, role, etc., with the Almighty?  How is it [togetherness] seen by others?  Do they see it, or is it  some dreamlike mist?  The even larger question is, can it be seen by us?  How do we see ourselves with God?  Just three simple questions.

Back to C.H. Spurgeon, who reflected upon the issue of integrity as he wrote about the courage of these three young men.   Spurgeon emphasized that learning from their example, particularly for the young, “both in matters of faith in religion, and matters of uprightness in business, never to sacrifice their consciences” was paramount.  Theirs was a decision borne out of a knowing who God is, and who they were with Him. Unshakeable in their resolve to go to death if need be for their faith, cannot be overlooked in this day of flimsy, wishy-washy convictions.   He [Spurgeon] stated that “lose all rather than lose your integrity, and when all else is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel which can adorn the bosom of a mortal.”  How often have we seen princes and paupers, celebrities, the rich and famous, and not so famous, fall from grace due to lack of integrity?   “Be not guided by the will-o’-the wisp of policy, but by the pole-star of divine authority.  Follow the right at all hazards.  When you see no present advantage, walk by faith and not by sight.  Do God the honor to trust him when it comes to matters of loss for the sake of principle.  See whether he will be your debtor! See if he doth not even in this life prove his word that “Godliness, with contentment, is great gain,” and that they who “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, shall have all these things added unto them.”  Our God is worthy of our faith.  He has proven himself faithfulness since the beginning of time.

Three Simple Questions: “Who is God, who am I, and what are we together?”

“…to have a heart void of offence, to have the favor and smile of God, is greater riches than the mines of Ophir could yield, or the traffic of Tyre could win” is greater than all this world can offer.   The priceless gold of spiritual joy of knowing who God is, and who you are with Him far exceeds all.  Jesus was shown all the riches of world during his 40 days in the wilderness and did not bow down.

So, what are your answers to the three simple questions?

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What Matters Most is Love

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” G.K. Chesterton

“Whoever loves much, does much.” Thomas A. Kempis

“Our God is not made of stone. His heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small. A cup of cold water is enough to put tears in the eyes of God. God celebrates our feeble expressions of gratitude.”  Richard J. Foster

“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.” Mother Theresa

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.  Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life: love illuminates it”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  John 15:12

 

Dear God, help us this day to love you with all our hearts, minds and souls, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

Clean Heart

“Create in me a clean heart, so that I may serve thee… ” Become my sweet heart song O’ Lord, fill me with your joy. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness.  Forgive me Oh God for my sins…only you….only you can cleanse me.  You, O’ Lord are mighty.  You, Oh God are awesome. You Oh God are worthy of all the honor, and all the praise.  You, O’ Lord can heal me, restore me.  Create in me a clean heart so that I may serve you. This is my prayer.  This is my heart song.

Amen.