Thursday, June 30, 2011
doing nothing at all?
When are you going to get up
and stop sleeping?
Sleep a little. Doze a little.
Fold your hands
and twiddle your thumbs.
Suddenly, everything is gone,
as though it had been taken
by an armed robber.
Everyone sleeps everyday. Some sleep only a few hours and some sleep many hours, maybe more than they need. But there are some hours each day when each of us is unaware of what is going on around us in the world and we are focused on rebuilding our bodies and minds with restorative sleep.
These verses from Proverbs 6 talk about sleep that is not helpful. The sleep in these verses is an escape from reality and an escape from guarding your life against someone who would take what you have. When you are asleep a robber can sneak in and take your treasures without you even knowing it.
I still remember the shock of waking up to find that someone had been in my house and had relieved me of some valuables. It was in 1975 but the memory is vivid and still disturbing. For a long time after that I found it hard to sleep soundly.
Being physically asleep when you should be awake is a bad thing, but being spiritually asleep is worse. If you are asleep to what God is doing in the world today you are missing the most exciting time in human history since the time Jesus came to the earth! There are monumental, earth shaking events taking place all around and the largest eruption of earth's societal volcano is about to show itself! And yet you are asleep, consumed with the latest testimony in the murder trial of little girl.
It reminds me of the television spot with a couple sitting quietly in their home while a flood fills up the room and washes everything away! How foolish is that?
Wake up and see Jesus! Then for you His coming will not be like a thief!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
There is only one God,
and Christ Jesus
is the only one
who can bring us
Jesus was truly human,
and he gave himself
to rescue all of us.
I Timothy 2:4-5
Here are two sentences which claim to express the "whole truth!" In my experience I think that these verses have been seriously overlooked. They express the uniqueness of God, the work and sacrifice of Jesus and the purpose of God in relating to man.
"Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God."
Many years ago my wife and I got in a taxi-cab in Singapore for what I thought was to be a short ride. Frankly, I now don't even remember where we were intending to go, but I do remember that we were taken on a scenic tour of Singapore. We did know then where we wanted to go, but we didn't know how to get there. So we became an easy target and victim of a taxi cab driver who saw a simple way to get some extra money.
Most people know where they want to go after this life is over but they don’t know how to get there. Everyone wants to go to a place that is safe, secure, peaceful, and one that will provide everything they will need forever including happiness and joy. An accurate description of Hell would not entice many if any to line up for the trip. If you say you want to go to Hell you are really saying that you don't believe that it exists. It would be like saying, "Today I want to fall down and break my arm!"
So, how do you finish this life in a victorious triumph? It is not by making your mark in the world. Even if you invent the most amazing and universally utilized gadget and touch the life of everyone on earth, your life will mean nothing unless Jesus has touched your life. On the other hand, if you by the estimation of all other men are just a simple man or woman with no worldly honors, but you know Jesus, then your life is the ultimate success story!
If you want to be wise, stop running after all the other stuff in the world and grab on to Jesus. All others are like the Singapore cab driver who will take you on the ride of your life, but will get you nowhere in the end. Jesus came to rescue you. Let Him do it!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
If God loves me, "what on earth" does that mean?
I remember my oldest daughter, who is now almost 40 years old, when she was standing in her crib screaming at the top of her lungs. I realized that if she could have at that point in her young life, she would have killed me! Her anger was written all over her face. But as a loving father I could look at this child filled with rage and see through it all the precious one I loved.
When Jesus hung on the Cross He saw a world that was raging in anger against Him and against His Father in Heaven. But He also saw the loving children they would become if they accepted His sacrifice.
I'm sure my daughter does not remember her rage as a small child. Today is my birthday and I got a precious handmade card with the most loving poem written especially for me by this "little girl of mine!" And I only remember her rage as a child because helps me look around at those who are angrily confronting God and see how beautiful they will become if they just turn their hearts to Jesus.
If Jesus were to do a reality show today I think it would be called "The Original Extreme Makeover!" It doesn't matter what you are or what you have been. And it doesn't matter how angry you are at God, because one touch of God's love in your heart and you will begin an eternal morph into the likeness of God!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Come on! Let’s go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won’t be able to understand each other.
Was the story of the Tower of Babel a one time event or did it establish a principle that still functions today? Was that the only time that God confused men and women who had set the pursuit of God aside for the race to attain personal glory, fame and fortune? Speaking the same language does not mean that two men will understand each other. There are many things that can cause a man to hear the words of another man, but not understand his heart. Those things can range anywhere from fear to prejudice and even sin.
I believe that God sees Babel all over again when He looks at some of His children who have begun to lay aside pursuing Him and His glory for the establishment of their own reputation. No one but God may see the problem when He allows confusion to enter the relationship and misunderstanding to reign.
The Good News is this: The "Tower of Babel Syndrome" is reversible. The solution is simple although it can certainly be personally painful. When everyone involved in the misunderstanding turns his heart to God in soul searching repentance and refuses to look at the sin of anyone except his own, the end of the story will by default be restoration and reunion.
My prayer must not be "Lord, I have not sinned." My prayer must always be "Lord, how have I sinned?" Only God can see the depths of my heart. Only God knows who must repent. So I place myself on His examination table and humbly listen to His diagnosis of my life!
When the line forms of those who need to repent of sin everyone qualifies. "If I say I have not sinned, the truth is not in me!"
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Offer praise to God our Savior because of our Lord Jesus Christ! Only God can keep you from falling and make you pure and joyful in his glorious presence. Before time began and now and forevermore, God is worthy of glory, honor, power, and authority. Amen.
They call it the fear of heights, but for me that is not true. I am not afraid of being in a high place, I am rather afraid of falling! I hear the "what if I slip or lose my grip" comment like a drumbeat in my head. My fear of falling begins when I get just a few feet above where I can safely jump down to the ground. I don't know if there are support groups for people who fear falling, but I do know that the fear is terrifyingly real and can be debilitating.
You may think it strange but I am not afraid of flying. I don't like bumpy flights, but my fear of falling does not present itself when I look out of the window of an airplane thousands of feet above the earth. The reason is quite simple. When I am hanging on to a ladder 25 feet above the ground, if I let go I will fall! So it all depends on me. I don't trust myself not to let go or slip up and fall off of the ladder. But when I am in an airplane I cannot fall out of the plane. My fate does not depend on me, it depends on the pilot and the plane and I trust them both or I would not be there in the first place.
In life itself, when I try to climb the heights on my own I am terrified that I may make one misstep and fall to my destruction. So I stay low and take no risks. But with Jesus I can soar to the heavens. With Jesus and in His arms I cannot fall because He will not let go of me! My peace that passes understanding remains as long as I am resting in the grip of the love of Jesus! I never ponder how far the fall would be because I know that Jesus will never let me go!
In your struggle in life get off of the ladder and into the arms of Jesus!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
1 John 1:10
If you believe the truth, then you reject the lie. Conversely, if you believe a lie, then you reject the truth. Truth and lies are polar opposites and nothing or no one can cause them to live together in peace!
If you judge a claim on it's own merits it is easy to determine whether it is a truth or a lie. "It is hot outside" can be confirmed or denied by stepping outside and seeing how it feels. It is simple enough for even a child. Let reality be the judge. The problem comes when you accept a statement based solely on its source, not the evidence of it's veracity. You come to trust the wisdom of PhD's, doctors, counselors, peers, teachers, and thousands of other sources of "truth." You believe what you hear because of the person who said it, never testing their assertion against reality.
But aren't we supposed to trust God's Word because of who He is? Of course we should, but there is a huge difference. God is not offended when we test His Word to see if it is really true. I can believe what God says because He is God, but also because I have never seen even one example of something God said not being true.
Here is the bottom line. The Christian life should consist of a daily testing of the Word of God. Every moment provides an opportunity for the follower of Jesus to see if what God says is true. Every day the Word of God is applied to situation after situation. Confidence in God's Word builds because it works and always works.
The success rate of God's Word is 100%!
Friday, June 24, 2011
And God was pleased
for him (Jesus) to make peace
by sacrificing his blood
on the cross,
so that all beings in heaven
and on earth
would be brought back to God.
When there is war, blood is shed. War is terrible. When the dying starts the nostalgia like feelings about war leave and leave quickly. When there is not a lot of dying a war can go on for years, but when the body bags come home in massive numbers everyone searches for peace. Sometimes, as in World War II in the Pacific one dramatic act brings the war to an abrupt halt.
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve declared war on God! They decided to take for themselves things that had been reserved for God alone.
The Old Testament in the Bible tells about many of the battles in that war. Then Jesus came to make Peace. Although many had died in the struggle, when Jesus died and came back to life the war was over. Victory was declared because of one dramatic act. All you have to do to enjoy the Peace of God is to accept it through faith in Jesus!
If you want to keep on fighting God, you are like a man still fighting World War II. Jesus ended war with God on the Cross. You can enjoy the Peace of God or pretend you still have opportunity to defeat the Almighty.
Aren't you tired of fighting God?
Thursday, June 23, 2011
“What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death?”
Do you ever feel lonely, helpless and really in the dark about things going on around you? Do you struggle with depression thinking that any moment you may fall into the abyss of despair? Have your greatest dreams fallen on the rocks of failure?
What you are experiencing is life in a fallen world rushing headlong toward eternal damnation. It is a burning building with all of the exits sealed and locked. As you frantically scramble to find a way out that has a happy ending, you remember God. Could a "fairy tale" like Jesus be the only answer to a life touched by Hell at almost every turn?
A wise man once told me that Jesus is the answer to every question.
Refusing to trust Jesus is like the fear of flying. People are afraid to fly because they are afraid to crash!
Jesus will not let you down. If you trust Jesus completely in the storm of your life, and Jesus lets you down, you will be the first person in history to have that experience!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
“Rain and snow fall from the sky.
But they don’t return
without watering the earth
that produces seeds to plant
and grain to eat.
That’s how it is with my words.
They don’t return to me
without doing everything
I send them to do.”
An archer is judged by how close to the center of the target his arrows land. A runner is judged by whether or not he is the first one to finish the race. A politician is judged by whether or not the words he speaks match the action he takes. If they do not he is "just a politician."
When God speaks a Word it never misses the mark. It always finishes first and the Word of God is "as good as done!"
When Jesus spoke, all of creation stood ready to conform itself to His utterance. That is why at His Word blind men could see, the lame could walk and even the dead came back to life, not to mention storms being calmed and one small lunch feeding thousands of people.
As Jesus hung on the Cross He spoke the most powerful and life impacting Words that were ever articulated. “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.”
Jesus spoke the Word of my forgiveness and then paid the price with His own Blood that I might be forgiven!
In Word and Deed Jesus is the One who can be trusted forever!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Stare at the earth.
The sky will vanish like smoke;
the earth will wear out
Everyone on this earth
will die like flies.
But my victory will last;
my saving power never ends.”
Whenever there is a serious tragedy we are saddened by the moment that "rescue" becomes "recovery." At that point all hope of finding anyone still alive is gone. The urgency leaves the rescuers and resignation turns to mourning.
If you think, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and tornados are bad just wait until you see the sky vanish like smoke, the earth wear out like clothes and everyone on earth dying like flies! Total destruction poured out on planet earth will consume all hope of everyone who does not know and trust God.
But wait, God says "My victory will last; My saving power never ends."
With Jesus Christ as the rescuer remember that His saving power never ends! If you find yourself lost in the wreckage of life, having no hope of being saved from this total disaster stop and listen for the voice of Jesus calling you to the safest place in all eternity. When you are in the arms of Jesus no disaster can ever harm you again.
Monday, June 20, 2011
The Lord isn’t stupid!
He does what he promises,
and he can bring doom.
If you are cruel yourself,
or help those who are evil,
you will be destroyed.
God was the original "Promise Keeper." He does what He says He will do. There is nothing in Heaven or on earth that can stop Him from fulfilling every promise. When God says something, it is as good as done. The most secure contract that men may make is no more certain than leaves blowing in the wind, but God's promises are even more solid than the Rock of Gibraltar.
Knowing the Word of God is the only certain way to know what will be. Every other word is only speculation and imagination. But God's Word not only predicts the future, God's Word causes the future.
The warning of this verse is simple. If you "help those who are evil, you will be destroyed." That is the undeniably disturbing consequence of our nation coming along side unrighteous nations, bent on evil! It is worrying and dishonorable for us to abandon friendly allies, but it is catastrophic for any nation, people, or human being to "help those who are evil!"
The consequence of helping those who are evil is spelled out in only four words, "YOU WILL BE DESTROYED."
How can it be God's work when we go about liberating the unrighteous so they can be free to practice their evil and unrighteousness even more!
Who you help is more important than that you help!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.
I am a great starter and a lousy finisher! I can conceive of and begin a project with the greatest enthusiasm, but at some point my zeal for the project wanes and my attention turns to something else. If I were to give you a list of my "unfinished projects" I am sure it would be longer than I care to imagine. "Finish what you start" was the admonition that I should have taken more seriously when I was a child.
Even as I write these words, I am pondering that it is not too late for me to become a better finisher!
Jesus always finishes what He starts! You can trust that when the End comes there will be nothing left on His "To Do" list.
When Jesus returns He will have accomplished everything that He planned to accomplish in the world at large, but that will be true of your life as well! Jesus will not leave you as an unfinished project. That is why as you grow older and the Day of His return draws nearer the shaping and molding of you into His image is intensifying.
Remember, once the Potter has shaped the pot just as He planned, He puts it in the fire to make it solid and useful for His purpose!
If you find yourself in the fire of tribulation don't despair. The fire of Hell destroys forever, but the fire of tribulation makes you hardened for His purposes forever.
Jesus will finish the work He is doing on your life before He comes!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The angel shouted, “Worship and honor God! The time has come for him to judge everyone. Kneel down before the one who created heaven and earth, the oceans, and every stream.”
It is easy to believe that God created the big stuff, like the heavens, and earth and the oceans. But God also created "every stream." I can stand in my yard and see the heavens. I can go to the shore and see the oceans and I can take a ride in an airplane and catch a glimpse of the vastness of the earth. But a tiny stream that starts just across the road from my house with runoff from the field is not so impressive. Never forget that mighty rivers are made from thousands of such tiny streams!
How does God make every stream? It is simple. God sends rain on the fields which runs off and travels in a little stream until it joins with other streams and then others and others. A river is born!
When a stream begins there is always a "small" flood and annoying mud. It is never impressive to see the first few drops of water that will ultimately enter the great river.
So when you see your tiny stream filling up with the water provided by God Himself, always look downstream and remember that God conceives the Mighty Mississippi River with streams like yours!
Also when you look at your life today and the little acts of righteousness prompted by the Holy Spirit remember that the righteousness of a nation depends on thousands of tiny streams just like yours! When God reigns in your life and His righteousness rains on your life don't forget that is where the building of a righteous nation begins!
Friday, June 17, 2011
He even said to God,
“I will tell them your name
and sing your praises
when they come together
The night Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal, just before the Cross, Matthew says, "Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives."
When I am worshipping the Lord with others I try not to be distracted by someone who is singing next to me. But if I had been sitting beside Jesus that night I think for certain I would have just listened to His voice as He praised the Father!
Hebrews 2:12 makes an amazing claim. Jesus said to God that when we come together to worship He tells us the Name of God and He sings praises to God!
Many people judge times of worship by the style of music, by how comfortable the setting, by how sincere the other believers are who are there or any number of other criteria. There are really only two things by which you should evaluate worship. First, are you hearing the voice of Jesus telling you the Name of God? Second, are you hearing the voice of Jesus as He joins you in singing praises to God?
This coming Sunday if you sit among brothers and sisters who are praising the Lord, listen to see if you can hear the voice of Jesus singing praises to God. If you do not hear Jesus then something is wrong, very wrong!
It doesn't matter if the music is traditional or contemporary. It doesn't matter is it is classical or country. All that matters is this: Is Jesus singing praises to God with you as you worship?
If you do hear the voice of Jesus singing praise, then stop and ask Him to teach you a NEW SONG of praise. You will certainly be amazed!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
to show us the kindness
Christ our Savior defeated death
and brought us
the good news.
It shines like a light
and offers life
that never ends.
2 Timothy 1:10
Here we stand at the garbage dump of life afraid that Jesus will tell us we can no longer frolic in the trash! We have been here so long that we no longer smell the stench or are repulsed by the filth.
Then comes a Man with the Good News that we can live free from the curse of death and decay. But the pull of the garbage dump is strong. I have lived my whole life enjoying its sordid pleasures. In fact, I have tried to leave the dump before and never been able to get over the fence that separates this place from the rest of reality. But Jesus tells me that now I can go, and go with Him.
All I must do is call out to Jesus and then obey every Word I hear from His lips. In the garbage dump everything ends. With Jesus life never ends!
It is only after you walk away from the garbage dump that you realize how bad it really was. You didn't choose to live in the dump. You were born there. But you now can choose to stay or leave with Jesus. That is the freedom God gives every human being! How do you vote? Stay or Go?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all!”
I Timothy 1:14-15
There are two great songs that speak of the most majestic and mysterious quality of God:
"The Love of God is dearer far than tongue or pen could ever tell!" and "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
You know you are coming to know God when you can love the undeserving and unlovely. Your enemies become the objects of your love. When you ask God to forgive even those who would crucify you, you can be sure that His love is blossoming in your heart.
Paul the apostle was the enemy of Jesus and even describes himself as the "worst sinner of all." But Jesus met Paul on the road to Hell and blinded him with the light of truth!
If you are an enemy of Jesus and you have ever even wondered if there was any truth in the story of Jesus then ask Jesus to meet you on the road and show you the light of truth. Jesus will not force you to follow Him, but He does want you to know the reality of what you're rejecting if you continue to oppose Him.
"Jesus, meet me on the road to Hell so I can see clearly and know what I am doing!"
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
“God will be in control forever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:11
If you are worried about the fate of Israel today it would be wise to stop fretting! Every wonderful thing that ever happened to the people of Israel came straight from the hand of God and every terrible thing passed through the filter of His Sovereignty! If the Nation of Israel is to be preserved God will do it. If it is to be destroyed, as it has been before, God will allow it.
My job is to be about the assignment Jesus has given me in these last days. I do have a vital role in God's work today, but I am not the Commanding General in the Army of God, that role belongs to Him!
My work can only touch those things that God puts before me each day, but my Prayer can touch Heaven and Earth!
Prayer from a prison can be, and usually is more powerful than prayer from a palace. The lowest place on earth is the perfect place to launch prayers of faith.
When you worry about Israel you have not prayed with faith in the One to whom you bring the matter. Has God shown you something you can do for Israel? Then do it by all means.
Perhaps this coming crisis in Israel will re-ignite the love of God among the people of the Promised Land. I pray that it will!
Monday, June 13, 2011
“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done."
If you are a follower of Jesus these verses contain a pivotal truth. Have you taken hold of Christ or has Christ taken hold of you? Yes, you are running a race and "struggling" in your life, but is your life firmly in the grip of the Lord or are you simply hanging on to Him? Holding on to Jesus means nothing unless He is also holding on to you. Like a little child clinging on to his father in a storm, we are safe because the Father is holding on to us. Faith is the voice that tells me I can rest in His arms in the middle of the turmoil of life.
In the arms of Jesus I can rest, but I can also run toward the goal of "being called to heaven."
After a time of running and struggling, rest is needed to do the rebuilding for more strenuous activity. I can run and struggle in the arms of Jesus in living for Him, but I can also rest in His arms. If I run and never rest I will indeed become weary, but if I rest and never run I will not grow stronger.
Jesus wants to take hold of your life, but He will only do it with your permission. Ask Jesus to take hold of your life and let you rest, run and struggle in His arms!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.
We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:16-19
These verses are packed full of some of the most amazing truth in Scripture. "God is love" and "we love because He first loved us" stand out as pillars of reality for Christians. But there is one statement that is often overlooked. "We are as He is in this world." What does that mean for me?
Have you ever seen a business named "Jones and Son's?" Whatever the name of the business was at the beginning it was changed when Mr. Jones' sons were old enough to join him in the enterprise. God's work in this world now has "And Sons" as part of its name! It began with God, then the Son came to die on the cross, and now every follower of Jesus "is as He is in this world." God so loved the world that He gave His Son and now we as sons can love the world with the same love that God has for them.
Are you worried about the day of judgment? Let His love for you do it's work while each moment of each day you be as He is in this world!
The world will tell you that you are nothing but an ugly worm, but the love of Jesus will transform you into a beautiful butterfly. Let the love of Jesus change you right now!
Friday, June 10, 2011
When the Spirit is given to us
deserts will become orchards
thick as fertile forests.
Honesty and justice
will prosper there,
and justice will produce
lasting peace and security.
You, the Lord ’s people,
will live in peace,
calm and secure,
When the Holy Spirit enters the life of a man or woman what noticeable difference is there? How does it change your life when the Holy Spirit is residing in your heart? A young woman who was engaged to be married asked a trusted aunt, "How do I know that I am really in love?" The answer was, "If you have to ask that question then you are not."
When the Holy Spirit is in your heart you will notice the difference in substantial ways. Things that motivated you before receiving the Spirit will not pull at your heart, the direction of your life will be modified or even drastically changed, and you will see everything around you through the filter of God's love.
The greatest struggle and temptation for a Spirit filled life is to be drawn back to the old way of thinking, responding and acting. Fear and frustration are waiting every day to reassert authority over the believer. That is fundamentally forgetting who you are and the power that is available to you through the Holy Spirit of God living in your heart.
It is like a man with the finest car ever made who is afraid to drive it. That man will literally go nowhere in life.
Satan wants to deceive you so that you will not believe who you are in Christ and the power that is available to you through the Holy Spirit living in you!
When you ask yourself the question, "Who am I?" listen for God's answer not the answer of Satan! God’s answer will turn your Desert into an Orchard!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Fools will no longer
be highly respected,
and crooks won’t be given
positions of honor.
It is truly amazing to see the foolishness of some highly respected people who are in positions of honor. How did someone who might even be called a “crook” ascend to such a place? In the United States the answer is simple. We elect leaders who share our values. So if the people are dishonest and foolish that is the kind of person who will be put into a position of leadership. This verse assures us that there will come a time when this debacle of leadership will be replaced.
When God rules a nation or a life, the foolishness and evil is purged and replaced with the wisdom of God. It is an amazing thought. Even your own thoughts will not be bombarded with wicked options!
You will think on things that are pure and holy and experience perfect peace!
Lord, let it be!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
When the good news about the kingdom has been preached all over the world and told to all nations, the end will come.
There are many signs of the End. The list is long and it is pretty obvious that we are either now right at the end of time or there is a major shaking and re-alignment coming soon. Just look at the major disasters that are following one after another. One would think that the End could come any day now, and it certainly could.
There is one sign of the End that trumps all the others. That sign is the universal spread of the good news about the kingdom of God all over the world. Is that happening now? Yes of course it is. Is it complete? Only the Lord Himself will know when that moment arrives and He can say once again "It is finished!" My job as a follower of Jesus is not to judge how far we are along that path. My job is to play my role in spreading the good news of the kingdom of God to those who can hear my voice. I am but one drop in the Great Flood of the message of Jesus, but I am one drop, and without all the "one drops" there would be no flood.
So I look with excitement for the return of Jesus, but I look even more for my opportunity today to share the living water with a thirsty fellow human!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Would you rather have a new car or an old one? Do you prefer new clothes or old ones? This verse says that God will make EVERYTHING new. Perhaps this should be written every "THING." Things are better when they are new. Wear and tear, rust and decay can change things that were valuable and new into things that are simply thrown out in the trash.
Physical things are better when they are new, or made like new again. But principles, ethics and morality do not get old like things. When men try to improve on the principles, ethics and morality that God set up in the beginning the final product is usually a cheap imitation.
It is as foolish as a man unschooled in medicine offering suggestions while watching a brain surgeon work.
Ever since I can remember the phrase "New and Improved" dominated the advertising world. Things are better when they are new and improved, but the love that God has for you has never needed changing or improving.
Here is the bottom line. The Old, Old Story of Jesus and His love will make you New! Don't try to change the Story. Let the Story of Jesus change you!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
But now our appetite is gone; there's nothing to look at but this manna!"
The manna resembled coriander seed, and its appearance was like that of bdellium. The people walked around and gathered [it]. They ground [it] on a pair of grinding stones or crushed [it] in a mortar, then boiled [it] in a cooking pot and shaped it into cakes. It tasted like a pastry cooked with the finest oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.
When the Israelites left Egypt on their way to the Promised Land God fed them with Manna from Heaven. The Bible even tells us what Manna tasted like. "It tasted like a pastry cooked with the finest oil." There it is! Manna tasted like a Doughnut! I have always known that doughnuts are heavenly. Of course, beyond tasting wonderful, doughnuts have nothing to offer me but extra pounds without real nutrition. Maybe Manna didn't have the sugar glaze of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but it was food straight out of heaven's kitchen to feed God's people.
Are you starving and desperate for some food that will "stay with you" and strengthen your weakening spirit? Like God fed His people Manna before they entered the Promised Land of Israel, He feeds His people today before we enter the Promised Land of Heaven!
If you are not a follower of Jesus don't forget that God feeds His people Manna from Heaven. One of the daily blessings of following Jesus is that He will give you food for every day. Your strength will come from Him.
Friday, June 3, 2011
"Write to the angel of the church in Sardis:
The One who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.”
Reputation and reality are not always the same. What other people think about you is almost always fundamentally inaccurate simply because they have no way of knowing your heart. Many people are judged by their outward appearance alone. Even actions can be very deceiving. If you had been there the night that Peter denied Jesus what would your opinion be about this giant in the early days of Christianity? You would have probably thought Peter was weak and cowardly.
Remember that reputations usually miss the mark of what a man or woman really is inside. In fact, I can even be deceived about what kind of man I am.
The only way to know what I am inside is to ask God to show me. God knows hearts. He knows your heart and He knows mine. Ask God to tell you whether you are DEAD OR ALIVE!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
“Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God's right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.”
1 Peter 3:22
Remember the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. They persecuted him terribly and even told their father that Joseph was dead. After years of repeating the lie they must have come to believe it themselves. I'm sure they often regretted selling Joseph but what could they do about it now, so many years later?
Then came the terrifying moment when they came before Joseph who was now the second in command in Egypt. Without a doubt, it was the most frightening moment of their lives. Joseph, who had dreamed as a boy that his brothers would bow down before him now stood in a position of power and honor that stunned them. What would Joseph do to his brothers? He could give them what they deserved or show mercy.
The story of Joseph is almost a perfect parallel of the story of Jesus. Jesus lived an ordinary life just like you do. He learned how to work and Jesus enjoyed His family and friends. He got sleepy and hungry and thirsty. Jesus suffered like all men do. Then Jesus breathed His last and died like all men do.
But that is not the end of Jesus' story. And when you die it is not the end of your story. Like Joseph in Egypt, Jesus is now second in command and sits at the right hand of God! Like Joseph, all of Jesus' human brothers will one day stand before Him and see Him in His power and glory!
You have a choice. You can meet Jesus as one who rejected and persecuted Him or you can meet Jesus as a follower of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! If Joseph's brothers had known about Joseph's rise to power in Egypt they would have repented long before they were ushered into his throne room. None of them would have stood firm in their opposition to their brother if they knew about his power and glory!
Wake up! Jesus has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him!
Soon you will stand before Him and see Him as He is!