What misconception about God keeps you from having a full relationship with him? For me, I thought he was a hard disciplinarian, judging my failures and finding me wanting. When I told a white lie or lost my temper or failed to take a meal to my neighbor who was ill, I felt him turn away from me. I could see his face, his smile turned down with disgust. I would try to justify my actions, but that didn’t help. He didn’t want to hear my feeble excuses. And so of course, he wasn’t open to my prayers either. I knew what he thought, Get your act together, then I might do what you ask.
Is that the God of the Bible? Scripture says he’s my friend and his love is as deep and wide as the ocean and there’s nothing I can do that will separate us. He knows me inside and out (Psalm 139) and weeps when I hurt. He longs to hear my voice and wants a warm personal relationship with me. Think of your best friend and how her face lights up when she sees you. She greets you with a warm hug and wants to know every little thing about you, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And when you share your mistakes, she doesn’t curl her mouth down in disgust, instead she puts her hand on yours, or better yet, holds you in her arms, and says she understands. She wipes your tears and urges you to do better and be better. But then take it one step further.
God wipes away my sins. He forgets them the moments I ask him for forgiveness. He totally heals my broken heart—and he answers my prayers, whether I deserve it or not. And he’s never farther away than a whisper.
FOR WRITERS ONLY
The good/bad news for writers is we must also be speakers. Here are some tips shared by nationally known speaker Bill Butterworth.
1. Don’t speak too long. Leave them wanting more.
2. Be concise. Don’t have more than three points in your presentation.
3. Be relevant. Know your audience and give them what they want.
4. Leave them with something to remember. Make it practical.
5. Make sure your presentation is clear. Use illustrations and stories.