“This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’… Jeremiah 33:2-3

When I was a young youth pastor in Pasadena, a member of our church came into my office and gave me a marvelous gift.  He started off by telling me that he was a man who loved to read, and that he loved books, he also told me that he didn’t think young people read enough books… and he looked straight at me without smiling with an expression that suggested to me that maybe he thought I was one of those illiterate youth.

And then he said “I want you to go to the bookstore at Fuller Seminary and pick out as many books as you would personally like and I want to pay for them.”  I was speechless.  No one ever gave me a gift like that.  He continued without humor as I remained silent with my mouth open, “And I don’t want you to even think about keeping it under a certain amount.  I want you to have every book you want to read.  I will cover the entire cost no matter what it is.”  Then to emphasize his point even more, his eyes narrowed almost in anger and pointed his finger and said “Do not short change yourself.  Get every book you want.” I thanked him for the gift and did exactly as I was instructed to do.

As I think about it now it was a marvelous and wondrous thing he did for me.  It was something I could never do for myself.  Because he went out of town shortly after and I moved away to take another position, I never saw him again, but his gift at the time was beyond my imagination.

I didn’t know it at the time but God was showing me a glimpse of Himself in the generosity of this man I barely knew.  I only knew he was an older member of the church… But he blessed me anyway beyond what I knew.  Jeremiah reminds us of who our God is and what He wants to do… He wants us to call on him, and He wants to show us things we have no comprehension of… in other words He wants to reach us beyond the limits of our imagination.

The generous man who gave me the books did not want me to attach a budget to his blessing.  God will not be budgeted by those who call upon Him, neither does calling on Him mean we budget our time with him, because in prayer we have unlimited access to the glorious presence of God.  We must not short change ourselves when it comes to God.  Just as the Apostle Paul reminds us…

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… Ephesians 3:20

We must call upon Him… and wait for marvelous and wondrous things that do not yet know.


Pastor Joel


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