Monday, August 31, 2009

The Pot and the Potter!

I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Jeremiah 18:3-4

Clay pots can be pretty and useful. If they are handmade, then the potter himself molds and shapes the soft clay into the perfect pot. Even if the potter is very experienced in working with clay it may take quite some time until the pot is just the way he wants it.

Often in church, when I was a child we would sing "Thou art the potter and I am the clay." We would ask God to mold and make us after His will.

I really liked the picture of me being a piece of clay on the potter's wheel while God himself shapes me into the likeness of Jesus Christ. I can just see His hands all over me as He manipulates my very being into the image of Jesus!

I have a friend who was a great piece of clay. God worked with my friend and shaped and squeezed him into just the right shape. I don't know the details of how the Potter shaped him but I really liked what I saw.

Then without warning the Potter put my friend in the fire. He was diagnosed with cancer, and it was serious. He not only lost his hair he also lost his job. But he did not lose the shape the Potter had chosen for his life. The fiery furnace did not destroy my friend. Quite the opposite, the furnace hardened him into a very usable vessel for the Lord.

For me, I love being the lump of clay on the Potter’s wheel as he spins me around and with His fingers shapes my life. I love a little less the part when He decides that the shape is not coming exactly as He planned and He throws me onto the wheel to start over. But the part I never look forward to is the fiery furnace! The furnace is not fun. But the furnace is the very thing that makes me useful to God!

So if you find yourself in the middle of the fire as a follower of Jesus, think of the Potter and recognize that the making of the pot is almost complete!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pleasing God!

I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.

Ecclesiastes 7:26

The Book of Ecclesiastes is not often quoted and when studied beyond a cursory look can be quite bewildering. It speaks of the meaninglessness of everything we do and does not obviously recognize life after death. Unlike the Psalms, Ecclesiastes is not a “favorite” to be read over and over for every occasion. But Ecclesiastes proclaims God’s truth and we must listen.

Ecclesiastes 7:26 speaks of how a woman can “trap” a man. Solomon obviously knew about this from personal experience as did his father David. David traditionally receives all the blame for his relationship with Bathsheba, but there is no indication that Bathsheba was less than a willing participant in the sin. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not putting the blame all on Bathsheba, but she did choose to bathe where she could be seen from the King’s roof.

The power that a woman has over a man is God created, God designed, and useful in preserving the relationship over the course of a lifetime. But that power used outside of the God ordained relationship is a snare, a trap and chains.

The good news of this verse is that “the man who pleases God will escape her.” It does not say “the man who escapes her pleases God.” I believe this is talking about a man’s heart. The way to escape the lure of sin is not by power of will or simple determination. The way to escape is to focus your attention on pleasing the Living God and His Son Jesus Christ! The Bible clearly says that He provides for us a way of escaping temptation.

In this verse the trap of a “woman” is, in my opinion symbolic of all sin. The lure of sin draws us away from God and giving in to temptation brings more bitterness than death.

Make “pleasing God” the focus of your life and you will be able to escape temptation!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Eyes of Love!

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

Galatians 4:4-7

What does it mean to be a son? As the son of my father I have experienced many things in life and I can truthfully say that all of my memories of my father are good. I intellectually know that my father was not perfect but he is still the standard in my mind of the best of what a man should be. There is something in me, and I think in everyone, that wants to believe that I have the best father who ever lived. I find it easy to think that of all the fathers in history my father would be ranked number one.

Now wait a minute! I know that my vision is clouded by my love for my father because my wife thinks the same thing of her father. And he was a great man, but not quite as great as my father!

So when I love my father I see him through the “eyes of love” and I always see the best in him.

I have been a father myself for more than 35 years and I can tell you that fathers see their children through the “eyes of love” as well. We can forget their actions when they are bad, because we know and see their hearts.

So how do you see your Heavenly Father and how does He see you? It is the same with you and God. When you love God your vision is clouded by your love for Him and God sees you through the “eyes of love.”

Children, if you have had good experiences as a child then learn from your father on earth how you should see your Father in Heaven.

Fathers, learn from your children how God loves you and wants the very best for you in your life!

The relationship of “Fathers and Sons” is just one clue in solving the mystery of LOVE!

Friday, August 28, 2009

No Atheists in Hell!

At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, 'The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.'

Zephaniah 1:12

When I was a child I never liked playing “Hide and Seek.” If I was the seeker I was never very good at finding other children. And when I was to hide it took only a minute or two for another child to discover my hideout.

But now that I’m a man I have learned how to play “Hide and Seek” with God. For at least part of every day I try, usually without even realizing it, to hide from God. It is really stupid of me because nothing can shield me from the eyes of God, but I pretend that God cannot see me, know what I am thinking, or what I am doing. That is the part of the day when I become discouraged, fearful, or depressed. That is when I forget the promises of God and that the Holy Spirit is living in me.

Hiding from God is the ultimate foolishness. It is what Adam and Eve tried to do after the first transgression. But when I “seek” God I am guilty of also playing a game. When I seek God I make it difficult. God is not hard to find. But I go around with my eyes covered by the love of this world and the “sin that so easily besets me” and then wonder why I can’t find God. God is in plain view of everyone who turns to Jesus, from his sin and determines not to live in sin anymore.

Sin covers the “eyes of my heart” so that I cannot see Jesus and sin covers the “ears of my heart” to that I cannot hear Jesus.

The glory of repentance is to see God and hear His Word!

The foolishness of those who hide from or ignore God is that they think 'The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.'

The Bible promises that God will not be mocked and every knee will bow. In the end everyone will know that Jesus is Lord! You can be sure that there will be NO ATHEISTS IN HELL!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are We There Yet?

"Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book."

Revelation 22:7

The impatience of a child on a trip is well known. My oldest son memorialized the impatience of his children with a vanity car license and on it the letters “There Yet?”

As children of God we exhibit the same tendency. We want to know how soon we will be at our destination. We look for the signs and study the scriptures to see if there are any hints that today may be the day of the Lord! As we untangle our hearts from the pull of this world our attention becomes focused on the next world and the moment when we will transition to it. It is not wrong to set our hearts on things above. However, we must never forget that as long as we are here there is a reason for today and a work that God has prepared for this moment.

Christians need to realize that we are not there yet! We may be there soon and it may be very soon. But for this moment I am still on this earth and there is still work to be done for God.

“Lord, is it a word you want spoken? Is it a meal prepared? Is it a prayer of intercession?”

Whatever it is must not be set aside because the time is near for the return of Jesus. In fact, it is all the more urgent that we be about our Father’s business during these days which may be the final days before the return of Jesus.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Higher Ground!

"Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. And when they ask you, 'Why are you groaning?' you shall say, 'Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.' It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD."

Ezekiel 21:6-7

The Boy Scout’s motto, when I belonged to the organization, was BE PREPARED! It was a simple idea and it applied to every area of life. Being prepared for any eventuality is sound advice and will serve you well.

There is a difference in being prepared for what might happen and in simply being aware of what will happen. I can be aware of what is coming without being prepared for it.

Millions and millions of people today are becoming aware that “Because of the news that is coming, every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.”

Like people standing on the shore watching the waves roll in we see a tsunami approaching and don’t know what to do. The sun may be shining and a gentle breeze is brushing against our cheeks, but there on the horizon is a wave that will wipe out everything! And so we argue with each other about whether or not the wave is really coming. Some run up and down the beach trying to find a spot the water will not cover. Then others run for higher ground!

That is the solution. That is the way to prepare for a tsunami. The old song said it well.

“Lord, lift me up and let me stand, by faith on Heaven’s table land. A higher plain than I have found. Lord put my feet on HIGHER GROUND!”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Flood of God’s Wrath!

You disgraceful nation, gather around, before it's too late. The LORD has set a time when his fierce anger will strike like a storm and sweep you away. If you humbly obey the LORD, then come and worship him. If you do right and are humble, perhaps you will be safe on that day when the LORD turns loose his anger.

Zephaniah 2:1-3

Most children, at some point have an imaginary friend. It is cute to see a small child playing with and conversing with an imaginary friend. It is a great way to practice language and even social skills. But when the imaginary friend is still there when the child becomes an adult an imaginary friend becomes a diagnosable illness.

For many, if not most Christians in the West, Jesus is simply an imaginary friend. We talk about Him and even pray to Him, but in our hearts we believe He is not really there! It is not something that we would readily confess even to ourselves. An imaginary Jesus works quite well when there is nothing required or expected from Him. We don’t expect to see Him actually doing anything in today’s world. We have Jesus as a role model and a reason to join together with other nice folks while we do some good in the world in the name of Jesus.

Zephaniah 3 speaks of a disgraceful nation. The word disgraceful means “so bad or unacceptable that it should be something to be ashamed of.” Are there nations that should be ashamed of the things they have done?

Zephaniah also says that the LORD has set a time when his fierce anger will strike like a storm and sweep that nation away.

God will turn loose His anger against a nation that has turned away from Him. It has never failed.

So if your nation seems to be coming under the judgment of God, if your leaders are acting like children without common sense, and you know that Jesus is not imaginary, then humbly obey the Lord. Come and worship Him and do right.

When the flood of God’s wrath comes mankind will either sink or swim. But if you know the Lord, when the flood comes you can walk on water with Jesus!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Last Flight to Heaven!

If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15

You know you are old if someone asks how you are doing and you respond with: “I read the obituaries and didn’t see my name so I guess I’m OK.”

Have you ever seen your name in a book? I did once. It was a short autobiography by a good friend’s father. Beyond that I don’t think I’ve ever seen my name incorporated in someone’s published work. And frankly, life seems to be much simpler if no one ever mentions your name in print. It really doesn’t matter whether or not your name is written in any book with one giant exception. That exception is a book called The Book of Life.

Revelation 20:15 plainly says that if your name does not appear in that book then you will be thrown into the lake of fire! In other words, you go to Hell!

So the bottom line for each of us is this: Will your name be found in The Book of Life? If not, then nothing else matters. “But Lord, I know my name is not in the Book, however I did a lot of great, well good things. And, you really are a loving God so can you make just one exception?”

Well, you see everyone that goes to Heaven is an exception. Your name is not written in the Book because of the great or even good things you have done. Nothing you have ever done or could do would qualify you for that status. Your name is in the Book because you have turned away from your sin and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life! When Jesus takes over my life He writes my name in the Book of Life.

Think about this for a while. When Jesus, the author of life itself, takes pen in hand and writes my name in His Book with His blood instead of ink, He gives me a seat on the LAST FLIGHT TO HEAVEN!

Listen up, I think I just heard the boarding call!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Glorious Impossibility!

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17b-19

When I was a little boy my mother and I would play a simple game. She would ask: “How much do you love me?” And I would answer: “I love you more than words can tell.” Then I would ask her and she would repeat the “more than words can tell” answer.

It was a simple word game but there is a profound reality in that little banter. To grasp and accurately describe love, even the love in my own heart for my mother is beyond the scope of language. I may see part of the love in my heart, but there are depths of love that reach places in my heart that only God Himself can see.

So how can I describe the love of Christ? How can I ever grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ? Truthfully, it is indeed impossible, but it is a Glorious Impossibility!

Even though I could not describe the love I had for my mother when I was a child, the love that she had for me was a vivid reality that I could always see in her. As I grew up I questioned many things in life, but my mother’s love for me was not one of them.

When little children are taught about the reality of Jesus generally they are taught the greatest truth first. The greatest truth is this: “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so!”

Jesus loves me more than words can tell. He didn’t just tell me He loves me. Jesus came to this world for my sake and when it was time He went to the cross for me! His love for me can be felt in every breath I take and every sunrise I see. His love is apparent in every smile that comes on my face and every peaceful and happy thought that runs through my mind. The love of Jesus pursues my every moment. When Jesus lived in the flesh He calmed the storm. Now Jesus calms me in the storms of life.

Jesus is the author of romance. Jesus seeks my love and orchestrates life itself to point my attention toward Him. Why did this or that unusual thing happen in your day? It was because Jesus wants you to turn your heart and attention completely to Him.

I can’t describe the love of Jesus because every day there is more to see of His love for me. Every sunrise reminds me of the ones before, but every sunrise is also totally unique. Every day of Jesus’ love reminds me of His love during the days before, but each day Jesus’ love is also special beyond description!

Friday, August 21, 2009


All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Isaiah 64:6

When I was a child I did not like butter. I would always seek out margarine instead of butter when I had the opportunity to eat at a restaurant. A few years ago I finally discovered why I didn’t like butter. The butter to which I was exposed as a child was not “sweet creamy” butter, but was rancid. It was old and on the verge of spoiling. I had quickly decided that butter was not for me. If that is what butter tastes like, then I don’t need any, thank you very much.

Many people today do not like “righteousness.” They see only the filthy rags of my righteousness and quickly decide that they don’t want any of that. They see followers of Jesus shriveled up like leaves and being blown away by their own sins.

The problem is this: I am displaying “my righteousness” before the world instead of the Righteousness of Jesus. The world loves to make fun of a “hypocrite.” A hypocrite is someone who speaks one truth but lives another one. When you live, empowered only by good intentions and human resolve you will undoubtedly be a hypocrite. The standard of Truth cannot be met by me or any other man living in his own power!

But when I display the “Righteousness” of Jesus before the world, they are drawn to Him. If my righteousness is like filthy rags, then the Righteousness of Jesus is like the most glorious tapestry imaginable. It is woven with the Heart of Heaven depicted in every scene and the Love of God running through every thread! The Righteousness of Jesus is a cloth that provides a glorious cover for everything that is not beautiful, only His Righteousness not only covers my sins, it also erases them! When you begin to see the Righteousness of Jesus you will be drawn to the flame of the Spirit’s fire and gladly let that fire consume every part of your being.

“Lord let me see the flame of the Spirit’s fire today and be drawn to the Glory of Your Righteousness!”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

God’s Global Warming!

The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.

Isaiah 24:5-6

The debate about “Global Warming” continues. Is the earth getting catastrophically warmer and did man cause it to do that? Most importantly, can we turn global warming around by reducing our “carbon footprint?”

According to the prophet Isaiah there will be a time when a “curse” will consume the earth because of the actions of men. That curse will result in most of the inhabitants of the earth being burned up. Is Isaiah referring to global warming, a nuclear holocaust, or something else altogether? After the prophecy is fulfilled, those who are still alive will know the answer.

Regardless of how the prophecy is fulfilled Isaiah says the people who disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes, and broke the everlasting covenant must bear their guilt! It is the state of man without Jesus Christ. If a man has not accepted Jesus and come to Him on His terms then he must still bear the guilt of his sins. When a man comes to Jesus Christ his guilt is transferred to Jesus who has already paid the price for his sins!

If Global Warming is part of the earth’s inhabitants “reaping what they have sown” then reducing the carbon footprint will not turn it around. The answer is not in “footprint,” but rather in “repent.”

Repentance and a worldwide turning to Jesus Christ will solve the problem nicely. I remember a rather blunt sign that said it well. The sign said simply: “TURN OR BURN.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In the Path of God’s Wrath!

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause.

Isaiah 34:8

More than thirty years ago I spent a memorable hour in the locker room of the Dallas Cowboys professional football team. They were getting ready to go out on the practice field and I had been given permission to conduct some brief radio interviews for a syndicated program I was producing. The team had won the Super Bowl the year before and was considered the best in their sport at the time.

I was shocked at how mild-mannered these fierce football giants were as they prepared for practice. The ferocity they displayed on the field was absolutely missing in the locker room. Indeed they were “gentle men.”

If you only saw the Dallas Cowboys as they played football you would see the opposite.

When it comes to God most people only see Him as He is in the “locker room.” I have never heard a sermon on the vengeance that God says is His. In fact the Bible says that vengeance belongs to God and that He will repay!

Even as God created the law of gravity He created the law of sowing and reaping. The earth, nations, and people themselves will reap what they have sown.

Sometimes we are like two men jumping from an airplane without parachutes and discussing on the way down whether or not they will be harmed by the consequence of hitting the ground! It is foolish to think that we will not hit the ground and be devastated by the sudden stop if we have ignored and defied the Word of God.

Will God reveal His vengeance and ferocity? You can be certain of it!

The only choice you have is whether you will be standing in the path of His wrath or under His wing.

That choice will change everything for you forever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nation Wrecking!

If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 8:19-20

Somehow over the past fifty years the doctrine of “Nation Building” has developed and dominates the international relations of the United States. We have decided that the “ultimate good” is for a people to vote for their leaders and that if they are willing to vote then we are willing to die for their right to do it.

The “fly in the ointment” of this sticky salve is that it truly is more important who they vote for than that they vote. If the people elect a corrupt, Godless and immoral group of leaders then why is that worth fighting for.

We have come to believe that there is an unspoken principal which says if the people are allowed to vote they will make a good decision. So we are willing to bleed and die to build nations that stand in direct opposition to God. How can that be good?

The Bible does not say that God desires that His people build nations. It does say that God destroys nations when they follow other gods, worship and bow down to them.

So these words in Deuteronomy are hard to ignore: Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In God I Trust!

In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise-
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:10-11

Well there it is. We have almost quoted a Bible verse on our money! If you haven’t looked lately it says “In God We Trust” on our money. So I suppose if we strictly wanted to separate Church and State we should withdraw all our money from the Government! Aren’t they promoting a religion when they spend our money with that inscription?

At this point I could get really political but a better purpose is served to look at what “Trusting God” would mean for our nation if we actually did it. If we really were trusting God we would search His Word for standards by which our nation would be governed. We would write the reality of God into every law not just our founding documents. And when we had a National Day of Prayer we would suspend everything else and pray!

Now of course we deny that God’s standards are written into our founding documents, we ban any reference to Him in our laws and we try to make the National Day of Prayer as minimal an event as possible.

If as a nation we no longer trust God, who or what do we trust? You see every nation and every man has a “god” in whom they trust. The question is who or what is your GOD? If you remove the God of the Bible from your heart or your country another one will take His place.

I think it was almost prophetic that we decided to put “In God We Trust” on our money, because we have replaced the “Almighty God” with the “Almighty Dollar.” Money itself and the stuff that it can buy has become our God.

The “In God We Trust” inscription on our money was a warning as much as a declaration. In essence it said, “We trust in God not in our money!” So there is the change for our nation. When the stock market crashed it was easy to that that we now trust in the god of money.

How has this change affected me? Like everyone else in our society I am continually bombarded with the message that money is to be trusted and God is not.

The Psalmist said it best:

In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On His White Horse!

11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16

The description of Jesus in Revelation 19:11-16 is uncomfortable to say the least. This time when Jesus appears it will not be as the “Suffering Servant.” This time Jesus will be leading the armies of Heaven and will strike down the nations.

Somehow I have imagined the return of Jesus as a time when He will simply rescue me from the grip of this world. According to these verses His return will be a time of judgment on all who oppose Him. The fearful fury of the wrath of God will fall on everyone who stubbornly rejects the rightful place of God in their lives.

Do you remember the old Superman Comic Book and TV series? The mild mannered reporter Clark Kent became Superman when he needed to rescue, avenge, or save others from danger. Many people, including his good friend Lois Lane would occasionally make fun of Clark Kent, but no one made fun of Superman. You see they didn’t know that Clark was really Superman.

That’s the way it is with Jesus. We know the Clark Kent side of Jesus and most believe that there is nothing else. We think of Jesus on the Cross, but never stop to contemplate Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords treading the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

Today when you see and hear the world around you scoffing at and rejecting Jesus don’t despair. You can be sure that Jesus will, at just the right moment arrive on His White Horse to dispense the Wrath of God to a world that is Hell Bent on rejecting Him!

Remember everyone you see who is persecuting the followers of Jesus may be a “last days” Apostle Paul, who is chosen by God for this special time!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lost and Found!

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

In the lobby of our church there was a box labeled “Lost and Found.” It was curious to see the unclaimed “stuff” that had been misplaced and never reclaimed. If I remember correctly, Bibles, toys, hats, sweaters and gloves seemed to be the most frequent items to enter the “I can live without that” category. The people who lost the items walked by the box every Sunday and yet never looked down to see if anything belonged to them.

Late last year I lost a pen. It was made of wood and crafted by a friend. I cherished the pen because every time I wrote with that pen I thought about my friend. Then one day I could not find it. I probably searched more places and more times for that pen than any other pen I have ever lost. But I did not find it. I still believe it must be somewhere in my office and I just have not yet looked under that pile of papers. But the pen is gone and I cannot find it.

When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit mankind lost fellowship with God. Before that monumental bite the first man and woman knew and walked with God in a way that no man or woman could ever do again without supernatural intervention. The communion of Created and Creator was lost and then found in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to put the pieces back together. He came to enable us to walk with God like Adam and Eve did before sin destroyed that communion.

Every day men and women walk by the Eternal “Lost and Found” box and ignore the greatest unclaimed item in the cosmos. Jesus recovered the relationship with God that we lost when Sin entered the world and put it in the Eternal “Lost and Found” box.

We can all live without the things in our Church’s lost and found box, but no one can live forever without fellowship with God!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Door of Your Heart!

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20

When was the last time you stood at a door and knocked while waiting for someone to open the door and let you in? In today’s world it is usually not acceptable to walk up to a stranger’s door and knock. And if you do the door would almost never be opened unless you answer the question “Who is it?”

It is the same with Jesus. According to Revelation 3:20, Jesus knocks on your door, but only expects the door to be opened after you hear His voice. So when you hear a knock at the door of your heart always ask “Who is it” before you open the door.

That is how we get into lots of trouble. We hear a knock at the door of our hearts and open it before finding out who is really there. The world knocks on the door of my heart every day. The knocking is persistent and loud. Sometimes the rhythm of the knocking is hypnotic and the temptation to open the door of my heart is almost irresistible.

Beware; Jesus is not the only one who knocks on your door! So when you hear the sound of pounding on your heart call out WHO IS THERE and listen for the voice of Jesus. If it is not Jesus do not open the door no matter how enticing.

When you do open the door for Jesus He will come in and eat with you and you with Him. Having dinner with Jesus is an amazing reality. When you let Jesus come in after you hear Him knocking at your door you will feast together on the finest food imaginable. Here is the stunning part. You will be satisfied and Jesus will be satisfied.

When two people go to dinner together it speaks volumes about their relationship. When someone comes to my home for a meal it speaks even more about that bond.

When I was young my mother always delighted when company came for dinner. She considered it one of her greatest joys to share food with an unexpected guest. So she was always prepared for someone else to join us at the table.

Prepare something today that you can share with Jesus when He comes and knocks at the door of your heart!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pray for the Sonrise!

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”

Joel 2:28-31

When the Spirit of the Living God is poured out on a man or woman there is an almost unimaginable change from an ordinary uninspired existence to one which sparkles with Eternal Glory!

A man devoid of the Spirit of God is limited to his or her own human senses for gathering information and limited to the power of the brain to process that information into something useful. But a life filled with the Holy Spirit can be given facts beyond the grasp of the five senses as well as prompted to analyze that information in a way that only God Himself could imagine.

By inspiration men wrote the Bible. But the written Word of God is not the only way the Holy Spirit has impacted human existence. Every truly loving humanitarian effort has no roots in Hell but rather comes from the Father in Heaven! To feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and take care of the orphans and widows are not initiatives of Satan!

The true beauty of humanity is evident only when men and women filled with the Holy Spirit live and work as agents of God in a world of sin. Even as sunrise drives away the darkness of night God’s Spirit brings light to the whole world. So when you see the night closing in around you on all sides with unspeakable darkness let the light of God's Spirit in you shine and pray for the Sonrise!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grand Finale?

Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.

Isaiah 52:8

About a dozen years ago my wife and I and our son Peter saw something streaking across the sky. We were driving north about nine o’clock at night. There was a clear sky and the stars were brilliant. Then suddenly and without warning a large ball of fire moved from the east to the west for a few seconds before burning out. Was it a large meteor, a satellite re-entering the atmosphere on a death plunge, or even an airplane tragedy in its final moments?

I couldn’t wait for the next news cycle to give me all the details of what was obviously a huge story. There was no story. There was no explanation. It seemed that no one had seen this massive fire ball except the three of us. It was before the days of Google so my search for information may not have been that extensive, but what we had clearly seen on that starry night was apparently given no press at all!

As a Christian are you seeing things that the world around you is ignoring altogether? Are there indications that God Himself is bringing everything to a “Grand Finale” while no one notices what is happening?

If you are a watchman of what God is doing, then watch and warn those around you but don’t forget to shout for joy! Don’t be surprised that no one else sees what you see and no one hears what you hear. Like Saul on the road to Damascus you will hear the voice of Jesus and the world will think they are hearing thunder.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is Your Name in the Book?

There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Daniel 12:1b-3

The first time I ever saw my name written in a book I was impressed. I was impressed enough to spend the money to buy a copy. It was called “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.” It was a pretty cool idea. If you put a profile of “top” students, and there were thousands of them in a book most will buy a copy! I think I still have that book somewhere, but I haven’t looked at it in at least thirty years. It was a great money making scheme which probably bordered on being a scam.

There is only one Book where your name really matters. The Book is called the Book of Life and if your name is written there you will be delivered! This Book is not a money making scheme and it is certainly not a scam. It is rather a record of those who have repented of their sins and given their hearts to Jesus Christ. If you have been clothed with His righteousness and risen with Him to a new life then your name is written in the Book.

Have you ever attended a meeting or a class and when the role was called you discovered that your name was not on the list of enrollees? That can be mildly embarrassing. But when Jesus returns and looks in the Book to see if your name is written in the Book of Life it will be either eternal ecstasy or tragedy.

If you have not responded to the call of Jesus in your life DON’T WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE! The reading of the Book of Life may come at any moment and there will not be a second chance to get your name included.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Let Jesus Wash You!

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

John 13:3-5

“Employees must wash their hands before returning to work.” Those words frequently and I might add comfortingly are posted in restaurant bathrooms. I don’t know which states require the sign but even without a regulation you can post the sign and bring comfort to the customers. The Bible does not say “cleanliness is next to Godliness” but the concept can save lives.

As I write this the H1N1 virus (I still call it the Swine Flu) is spreading rapidly around the world. The advice in today’s paper is that if you have the virus you should wear a mask to keep from infecting other people with the potentially deadly disease.

Here is the point. If you are dirty Jesus will clean you up. If you are sick Jesus will heal you.

So when you recognize that you have been polluted by the filth of this world run to Jesus and let Him wash you. When you realize that you are infected and are “Sin” sick, let Jesus heal you.

I still remember as a kid the discomfort when my mother washed the dirt off of my face. I’m still not sure why, but she was never gentle when she washed my face. It was not a pleasant memory but she always got it clean!

When Jesus washes the part of me that needs to become clean He is like my mother. It is never gentle, but He always gets me clean!

The sign might read: “Christians must let Jesus was them before returning to work.”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Soon Coming?

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken."

Luke 21:24-26

Do you worry about the future? Are the “best laid plans of men” falling apart? “Oh don’t worry; the stock market is coming back.” Many people are realizing that our world is a house of cards that can topple with the least provocation. It is indeed a scary world out there.

For those who have trusted in the things of this world the times are terrible. For those who have trusted in Jesus the times are growing more encouraging.

Jesus never promised that this world will continue forever. In fact, it will definitely not continue forever. It will come to a crashing halt at some point and the reign of Jesus will be ushered in.

So what do we do right now? Are there good investments for this time? Are there stores of supplies we should lay aside in preparation for famine and turmoil? The answer is simple. All the preparations we can make for massive shortages are only temporary in holding off the pain. With a large storehouse of food we can sustain ourselves for a few more days than those around us, but what then? It is not wrong to make physical preparations, but the most important thing is this: TURN YOUR HEART TO JESUS!

This is the time to repent of your sins and cry out to Jesus to control your life through the Holy Spirit!

Just before the baby is born there is great joy in anticipation, and the temptation to worry about the coming event. If the new parents to be are paralyzed by the worry they will miss most of the joy. The EVENT that is coming to the world is the same. Those who don’t believe in Jesus can only worry or anesthetize themselves to reality. Those who believe in Jesus can prepare their hearts for the joy of the greatest EVENT in all of human history!

If the labor pains are upon us, the baby will come, and will come soon!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blinded by Jesus!

This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.

Acts 9:15b-16

When God chose Saul to become the Apostle Paul He ushered Paul in to a life of greatness and grief, triumph and trouble, peace and persecution, praise and prison! It was a two sided coin. All the majesty of being the preeminent missionary brought with it pain and suffering on a truly life encompassing scale.

The story of Saul’s conversion is unique and it isn’t. Saul was seeking God, but persecuting Jesus. Saul was definitely an enemy of Christ and yet Jesus Himself stopped Saul in his tracks and presented him with an irresistible offer. The Bible doesn’t say so, but I suppose Saul was convinced that if he did not accept Jesus he would be blind the rest of his life. Of course a truly stubborn heart could have said, “I’d rather be blind than admit I was wrong.”

But Saul turned around on the road to Damascus and lived harder for Jesus than he had lived against Him.

For me the Damascus Road is not like Saul’s experience and yet it is the same. The Great Light of Jesus blinds me to everything except Him. After I see Jesus I can see nothing else clearly. It is as if like Saul I had been struck down and blinded by the light of Jesus. And then I am confronted with a “life direction” decision. Will I sit quietly, convinced that since I am now blind there is nothing I can do of any value? Or will I pray that God will send Ananias to touch my eyes and restore my sight so that I may embark on the journey God has chosen for my life?

Once you have been blinded by the Glory of Jesus on your Damascus Road, pray for Ananias to touch your eyes that you may see the new road that God has prepared for your life!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Banana Bread Parable!

I looked and saw a bright cloud, and someone who seemed to be the Son of Man was sitting on the cloud. He wore a gold crown on his head and held a sharp sickle in his hand. An angel came out of the temple and shouted, "Start cutting with your sickle! Harvest season is here, and all crops on earth are ripe."

Revelation 14:14-15

I love bananas, but there is a fine line between “ripe” and “rotten” when it comes to bananas. A ripe banana is sweet and still a bit firm and leaves no bitter taste in your mouth after each bite. A rotten banana (some say they are just “over-ripe”) is soft, mushy and already beginning to turn brown in spots. I will not eat a “rotten” banana unless there is nothing else to eat and I am very hungry.

But here is an interesting twist. One thing I love even more than bananas is banana bread! Banana bread is best if it is made with soft, mushy and already beginning to turn brown in spots bananas. Being the intellectual that I am, I sometimes think about the fact that the piece of banana bread that I am enjoying is made with bananas I would never eat otherwise. Actually, I have never admitted that thought to any before, but the words that go through my mind are: “It is truly amazing how this wonderful banana bread can be made out of rotten bananas!”

When Revelation 14 talks about Jesus harvesting “all the crops on earth” it makes me think of rotten bananas! The fall of man, and woman in the Garden of Eden turned everyone who has or will ever live into a rotten banana. We are spotted with sin and rejected because of it!

But Jesus came to make banana bread out of rotten bananas! Jesus takes my spoiled self, adds the flour, sugar and other ingredients of His righteousness, creates in me a clean heart and makes me suitable for living eternally with Him in Heaven!

And that is the parable of the loaf of banana bread! It makes me hungry!