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Simple, Profound Questions

The life of being a dad is kind of interesting. I mean when you start thinking about the difference between when you were single, when you had kids, just a lot changes. As I've been raising my kids with my wife, one of the things that I love are those empty moments the car. On the way to the cross-country meet. On the way to the soccer meet. On the way to school. On the way to… And one of the things that I kind of love to do is I love to ask whichever child is in the car to please put down your phone. Kids, learn how to put down your phone. Because one of the things that I worry about is you guys are far too distracted to be bored. And that's a shame. Because boredom is where creativity lives. Boredom is where great thought lives. Boredom is where you get to know other people in a very real way.

I've been driving one of my children to school in the morning, and this morning we had an important conversation. That conversation had to do with who was the best super villain for Spider-man. You laugh. It is an important conversation. But that's not the only important conversations that I've had in a car with my kids. I've had to answer questions like…

“OK, who is God really?” That's an important question.

“Why do some people get so bent out of shape about Christmas?” That's an important conversation.

“Is the world really 6000 years old?” That’s an important conversation too.

And it's those questions that you hear because nobody is playing YouTube. There's not a song going on in the car, and the kids are able to ask questions that really count. And I think a lot of these questions end up being three words.

“Who is God?”

“Is He good?”

“Can I count on Him?” (I know. Four words.)

I think those profound three-word questions really start answering a lot of the things that you need to know. And you need to know them for yourself. There's an old saying that says “God doesn't have any grandchildren.” You can't get your kids to heaven. They have to have a relationship with God all their own. In just one of my favorite books, Philippians, Paul says this:

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3.8-14

One of the things that I love about this passage is Paul just lays it right out there. We're saved by faith. We're not saved by works. We're not saved by perfection. We're saved by faith. We're saved by faith in God. God made us His own. We’re His. He claims us. He made us. And He made us sons and daughters not because we deserve it. But because He loved us.

So let me ask you one of those simple questions right now. How are you becoming more like God this week? There's an old saying in management that we manage what we measure. So what's been getting better with you? How have you been getting better this week?

You know every phone that I know of will count your steps. And the beauty of knowing how many steps you've made or taken within the last 24 hours tells you something. It tells you not how important 10,000 steps are. Because 10,000 steps are not important. But it does tell you your relationship to health. Your relationship to fitness. Are you going after a worthwhile goal? So let me ask you, what are you measuring in your relationship with God? And let me give you just some real practical things:

How many times do you pray?

How long do you spend in His word?

How long do you think about His word?

It's a simple question. It's a simple thing. It's easy to feel guilty about it. And in some ways, I don't even think the numbers all that important. As long as it's not 0. So let me ask you this again. How are you getting better in your relationship to the Creator of the universe that has sacrificed everything for you because He loves you? It doesn't make you more righteous for heaven. It just makes you more like God.

And that's a worthwhile goal.