Don’t Settle For Low Expectations

isaac-newtonSome of the greatest discoveries and revelations came about because people were curious. They refused to just go along with what they had always been told, what they grew up believing, or what the conventional wisdom told them was impossible.

Archimedes had his “Eureka!” moment because he refused to believe that it was impossible to measure the volume of an irregularly-shaped object.

Isaac Newton formulated the laws of gravitation because he curiously wondered about why apples fell perpendicular and at the same velocity.

The Apostle Peter saw a vision from God with animals, but didn’t stop there. His openness helped him realize that God didn’t have “favorites.”

Far too many people live their lives cursed with low expectations. They say, “That’s all there is.” and they put a period on it.

God wants us to soar above those low expectations! He tells us things like:

  • Come now, let us reason together… (Isaiah 1:18).
  • Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
  • Are you listening to this? Really listening? … The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you… (Matthew 13:9, 11)

great-expectationsBut we are trapped in the curse of low expectations when we put a period on things, when we refuse to learn more, see more, hear more.

  • Most people—“That’s all there is.” (period)
  • What if we changed it up—“Is this all there is?” (question mark)
  • Perhaps you might get—“There is so much more!” (exclamation point)

For example, Paul uses the word “mystery” multiple times in his letter to the Ephesians. He explains that a mystery is something hidden from those who have it all figured out (the “period” people), but is revealed to those who will ask God (the “question mark” people). Only the “question mark” people get to see the “exclamation points” God has for them. Things like…

  • God has a plan, and it is His pleasure to reveal it to me (Ephesians 1:9-10; 2:10).
  • God’s revelation is fully revealed to me in His Word (3:3-5).
  • Faith in Jesus makes Christians co-heirs and sharers in all God’s promises (3:6).
  • I have access to God’s inexhaustible riches, His immense wisdom, and I may approach Him with freedom and confidence (3:8-12).

Don’t stop with “.” but go on to “?” and experience “!

With great expectation, read God’s Word, approach His throne, dig into His riches, wrestle with the difficult things, learn more of God’s purpose for your life. He wants to give you so much more “!” 

Isaac Newton On Atheism

Isaac Newton“Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. … Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eyes of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with mankind to believe that there is a Being who made all things & has all things in His power & who is therefore to be feared.” —Isaac Newton

Scientists + God

Modern-day scientists want to exclude the very mention of God from anything. This is not science, but scientism. It is a belief system as surely as any religion is.

But the one thing scientism overlooks is the reliance on God that the greatest scientific minds in the world had.

Johannes Kepler“Oh You who through the light of nature has aroused in us a longing for the light of grace, so that we may be raised in the light of Your Majesty, to You, I give thanks, Creator and Lord, that You allow me to rejoice in Your works. Praise the Lord you heavenly harmonies, and you who know the revealed harmonies. For from Him, through Him and in Him, all is, which is perceptible as well as spiritual; that which we know and that which we do not know, for there is still much to learn.” —Johannes Kepler, the astronomer who discovered the laws of planetary motion

“It is reasonable to believe, however, that the Creator, if He paid attention to the relation of the orbits [of the planets] in their general aspect, paid attention also to the relation of the varying distances of the individual orbits in detail….” —Johannes Kepler

“Nevertheless, all the observations which could possibly be made in so short a time, I was enabled, by Divine Providence, to complete….” —Jeremiah Horrox, astronomer who used Kepler’s principles to chart the orbit of Venus 

Galileo Galilei“All these facts were discovered and observed a few days ago by the help of a telescope devised by me, through God’s grace first enlightening my mind.” —Galileo Galilei, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” —Galileo Galilei 

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.” —Sir Isaac Newton, physicist and mathematician

Isaac Newton“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.” —Isaac Newton

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” —Isaac Newton

“We are compelled to acknowledge the effect of a cause; chance alone could not have given a form nearly circular to the orbit of all the planets.” —Pierre Simon, one of the fathers of the scientific revolution 

Links & Quotes

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“Why did Saul obey the people instead of God? Because he feared the people instead of God. He feared the human consequences of obedience more than he feared the divine consequences of sin. He feared the displeasure of the people more than the displeasure of God. And that is a great insult to God. … To turn from Him out of fear of what man can do is to discount all that God promises to be for those who fear Him  It is a great insult. And in such an insult God can take no pleasure. On the other hand when we hear the promises and trust Him with courage, fearing the reproach brought upon God by our unbelief, then He is greatly honored. And in that He has pleasure.” —John Piper

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.” —Sir Isaac Newton

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. … We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.” —C.S. Lewis

“What, sirs, is your wisdom? Your wisdom dwells in denying what your eyes can see—a God; in denying what your consciences tell you—that you are guilty; in denying what should be your best hope, what your spirit really craves after—redemption in Christ Jesus. Your folly lies in following a perverted nature, instead of obeying the dictates of One Who points you to the right path. You are wise and you drink poison; we are fools and we take the antidote. You are wise and you hunt the shadow; we are fools and we grasp the substance. You are wise, and you labor and put your money into a bag which is full of holes, and spend it for that which is not bread, and which never gives you satisfaction; and we are fools enough to be satisfied, to be happy, to be perfectly content with heaven and God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Seth Godin says, “Those critical choices you made then, they were based on what you knew about the world as it was.” Now check out his post New Times Call For New Decisions.

J. Warner Wallace, a cold-case detective, wrote, “I’ve worked more cases involving witnesses than I can even count. A career in law enforcement will put you in direct contact with eyewitnesses on a daily basis, starting with your very first night on the job. After interviewing literally thousands of witnesses over the course of twenty five years, I think I’ve learned something about reliable eyewitness testimony.” Check out more in his post Why We Should Expect Witnesses To Disagree.

Such a sweet video from a boy with Down Syndrome to his Dad on Fathers Day. I love the ending tag line: “Love doesn’t count chromosomes”—

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I came across today.

“If your household is not the better for your Christianity—if men cannot say, ‘This is a better house than others,’ then be not deceived—ye have nothing of the grace of God.” —Charles Spurgeon

The pain of Christ’s crucifixion: A Medical Account Of Jesus’ death.

How do we know Jesus was the Messiah? A Look At Old Testament Prophesies.

“Nothing is too great and nothing is too small to commit into the hands of the Lord.” —Arthur Pink

“God is having a difficult time getting through to us because we are a fast-paced generation. We seem to have no time for contemplation. We have no time to answer God when He calls.” —A.W. Tozer

“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.” —Isaac Newton

Links & Quotes

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These are links to articles and quotes I found interesting today.

What the what? An App To Help You While Out On A Date

“God deserves to be served with all the energy of which we are capable. If the service of God is worth anything, it is worth everything.” —Charles Spurgeon

For you Detroit Tigers fans: When Willie Horton Walked Out On The Tigers

[VIDEO] A cool interaction between a garbage collector and an autistic boy

Interesting: How Millionaires Manage Their Time

Good reminder from Jeff Bonzelaar: satan Serves God

“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” —Isaac Newton

“Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power.” —Baron Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), German chemist

[VIDEO] My daughter asks Seth to Swirl: Will You Be My Date?

Consequences

It was a beautiful sunny evening. All of my work was done, Betsy was home from school, our cooler was packed, and we were off to the park. We were all looking forward to spend this lovely evening grilling some hotdogs, splashing in the water, enjoying the breeze off the lake, and just spending time as a family.

But like an unexpected rear-end collision, all our plans for a fun evening were smashed in a single moment. As we were carrying our cooler and towels and toys toward the picnic tables, a couple of my kids acted up… they broke some of our family no-no’s.

Their actions took less than two seconds. It was just between two of them. But the entire family was affected. We turned around and headed home. No hotdogs on the open grill, no beach time, no after-dinner walk on the trails.

Two made a mistake, but all suffered because actions have consequences.

Isaac Newton said for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We often think of this when, for instance, in a game of billiards the cue ball hits another ball. The energy from the cue ball is transferred to the other ball, moving it in the direction is was struck. Sometimes we might be tempted to believe that the only two balls affected were the cue ball and the ball that was struck. But that is not correct. Since those two balls have now been moved to another position on the table, their new positions now affected the entire table… the entire game is now different because of an action and reaction.

There are consequences for our actions. And almost always those consequences are felt by someone other than the one who acted. Sometimes the consequences are pleasant and sometimes they are painful or even disastrous.

In Old Testament history, we see good consequences. King David was a righteous man, one who loved God and obeyed God’s commands. About 300 years later King Hezekiah sat on the same throne of Israel. When the Assyrian army was headed toward Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed and asked for God’s help. God responded, “I promise that the king of Assyria won’t get into Jerusalem, or shoot an arrow into the city, or even surround it and prepare to attack…. I will protect it for Myself and for My servant David.

And we see bad consequences. There was a wicked king of Judah named Manasseh. He is not only one of Judah’s longest-reigning kings, he is widely regarded as Judah’s most wicked king. Yet in his lifetime, his kingdom seemed to prosper. And even though his grandson Josiah turned away from evil and turned toward God like no other king ever had done before, just four years after his death Jerusalem fell. King Jehoiachin was defeated and all of Judah was carried off into exile by Nebuchadnezzar as a consequence of Manasseh’s sinful behavior.

Our kids that acted up wrote notes of apology which they read to the family (as we ate our hotdogs at home) and we all forgave them. And we had a nice evening playing around the house. But the evening still had the tinge of regret for what could have been.

Our choices today will have consequences tomorrow. Our actions always affect more than just ourselves… they affect everyone close to us. The people in Hezekiah’s day were grateful for the blessed consequences of David’s right choices. The people in Jehoiachin’s day were grieved for the disastrous consequences of Manasseh’s wrong choices.

What about you? What will your descendants feel about the consequences they are experiencing because of your choices today? It’s up to you, and it’s for them, so live right today.

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