Taking a Big Gulp

Do you remember the 32 oz Big Gulp from 7-Eleven?  It was a catchy name and probably helped put 7-Eleven stores “on the map”!  43 years later, it’s still going strong. 

Kara Neilson, a marketing firm director had this to say about it:

“The Big Gulp represents a point where something changed in a radical way…” *

I don’t want to talk about soft drinks today or convenience stores, but I do want to share an “ah-ha” moment I had while reading in Isaiah this morning. 

To this one I will look [graciously], to him who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who [reverently] trembles at My word and honors My commands.” ~ Isa. 66:2b Amp.

Today was certainly not the first time I have read the admonition to “tremble”.  When you serve the awesome God we serve, it’s a given!  But the verse in Isaiah caused me to stop and think.

There are certain things I do “for the Lord” that are a pleasure.  They fall within my comfort zone and require effort, but certainly do not cause me to tremble. 

But then… there are things that the Lord has asked me to do that bring me to my knees and fill me with fear.  In other words, it makes me GULP!  And there has been a time or two, the direction God wanted me to take made me take a BIG GULP!  (And I’m not talking about sipping a soft drink!)

   Me: Really God?? You want me to do THAT?  But my life will “change in a radical way!”

   God: Yep, it will.  And what’s wrong with that?

No wonder wholeheartedly following God’s will for our lives takes Courage! 

Here’s a thought: If it doesn’t cause you to gulp, it may not be from God. 


I’ll Take Door #2

70s-Doors    Back in the day, day-time television was all about game shows. One of my favorites was “Let’s Make A Deal.” People would dress up in silly costumes and hope to make it to the final round where they would be given the chance to select door number one, two or three. When I played along I would usually shout, “I’ll take door number two!” Sometimes the Big Deal would be revealed behind this door and sometimes I would get “zonked.” Since I was playing along at home, the choice I made was inconsequential and meaningless.
But life is not a television game show and the things we take hold of do make a difference.
In Acts 27:22, Paul says to his traveling companions: “Take courage! None of you will lose your lives.” And in verse 25 he repeats the deal: “Take courage! For I believe God.” (NLT) The NKJV translates it as “take heart.”
We live in discouraging and disheartening times. Like a Mac truck barreling toward us on a one-way street, life comes at us hard and fast, often leaving us shaken and disturbed. God’s word reminds us that we have a choice… We can take courage or we can take fear. We can believe His word and take heart or we can doubt and become disheartened.
Why not trade in fear and doubt for the sure reward that awaits a life of believing faith?
“As the Scripture tells us, ‘Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.’” ~ Romans 10:11 NLT
Or to put it in game-show parlance – anyone who believes in Him will never be ‘zonked’!!