Thursday, January 18, 2018

Just an Instrument in His Hands

 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”(John 1:15)
John the Baptist had one task in life and he did it well: Tell of the coming Savior. He prepared the people. He taught the people. He pointed them in the direction of the soon to come Savior, the Lamb of God, who would take away the sin of the world!

John knew he was not important than Jesus. His "ministry" was not about him, but the Lamb. Many times today, we get so caught up in what we are doing and what we have planned to do that we forget for Whom we are doing it and why we are doing it! Whom we are serving is more important than who is serving!

Even Jesus replied to the rich, young ruler that, "No one is good but One, that is, God."(Mark 10:18) So if our job, or commission, is to "go and make disciples", why is our focus on so many other things? We don't do the saving. We do not do the reconciling. We are simply God's instruments. The hammer doesn't get credit for the carpenter's work. The potter's wheel does receive pay for the potter's created piece. The pen does not receive honor for the book the author penned.

Lord help me to stay focused upon the One Who crafted me . . . the Author Who began and will end my story and this world's tale. Keep my focus upon You!


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Living in His Image

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Why would God want to a part of this world? Well, He did create it. He does love His creation. He wants us to experience Him as He first intended. So besides the fact that He had to do so to become our perfect and eternal sacrifice, I believe that He also did it (and remained for over thirty years) in order for us to experience His "image" in action!

Think of it . . . as Jesus lived His life as an obedient child, a respectful teen, and a young adult male, He resisted the temptations of life and lived a selfless, sacrificial and God-honoring life. Not just to the cross, but I am sure His close friends saw His interactions with His mother, father, friends and yes, even the females! They saw how it took prayer, faith, and hard decisions to please God the Father. They saw the physical image of God in Christ and could imitate that for themselves. What a privilege! All leading up to the ultimate obedience and sacrifice . . . THE CROSS!

Lord, help me to live a life that reflects the image of God living within me. Help me to commit to sacrifice my desires for those of others and You!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Be A light; Show The LIGHT!

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:9)
True light....not artificial, enhanced or "other".

In a world where ther is so much "enlightenment" offered, we need to not only know for ourselves but tell others of this TRUTH. How can we allow friends, family and associates go ignorant? In a society in which we throw around "I love you" like a typical "Hi", we need to care just a bit more.

Additionally, as followers of Christ, we have been given one commission and it is a GREAT one: go and make disciples! We need to not only tell about the Light but "be a light" for others to see The Light!

***As a side note . . . to my students: work hard and learn this week . . . Stay in touch with God!***

Monday, January 15, 2018

Honor THE KING

And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)
On this holiday of celebrating Rev. (Dr.) King's life and remembering he was killed almost 50 years ago (I vividly remember even though I was only 8), I am so encouraged by the words from Genesis 32 above. Dr. King struggled with God for sure in doing what was Godly over what was popular. He struggled against the injustices of man. He was not only hurt several times as Jacob was, but eventually he gave his life not just for the "cause" but I believe for the Gospel!

This modern-day martyr is to be honored for sure. He is to be remembered. He is also to be imitated in our society today. I and my family are eternally indebted to him and the many who sacrificially gave during the Civil Rights struggles and still give even to this day. However, we must be careful whom we side with and where our allegiance lies today. Not all movements are Godly. Not all causes are lining up with Scripture.

We as a Body of believers must not judge by the color of one's skin but by the content of character . . . are we united under the blood of Christ? Are our hearts set upon God's will or getting even. Vengeance still belongs to the Lord. Love still overcomes hate. Prayer, with Godly action, still changes things!

Honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. King today. Honor THE KING always!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Mountain Top Messages

And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”  Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Gensis 22:12-14)

On the mountain, we think of "highs". Yet God can humble us at the peak of our lives.

He can challenge us, correct us, even change us! Whatever He does, it will be for our best and for His glory, if we choose to obey as Abraham did here with Isaac.

Happy Hiking!


Friday, January 12, 2018

Many Bad Choices Can Lead to The Best Choice

But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”     (Genesis21:12-13) 
God, like any good parent, will often allow us to fail. He sees the consequences, both immediate and long term, yet allows us to make those horrible mistakes and experience hardship. In this case, He allows Abraham and Sarah to make alternative plans to give Abraham a son and the results we still feel today with the battles of Muslim vs. Jew!

Yet, through His grace, He made a way for Hagar and Ishmael to be blessed as well as Abraham, Sarah and Isaac . . . and you and me! With all the turmoil between nations, countries, and families, God's grace, namely Jesus Christ, has made a way for anyone and everyone to find Peace!

I thank God for His grace in my life. Choices have had consequences, but through it all He rescued my lost soul and offered me eternal salvation through His shed blood. What about you? Do not allow bad choices to keep you from choosing Christ!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Do Not DOUBT the Truth!

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”  
And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.  (Genesis 17:15-22)

As I read this I see the answer to the issues between Muslims and Jews (CHRISTians). It is plain. If both faiths believe the Old Testament to be God's Word, then it is clear. God's promise is through ISAAC!

If there is any doubt, we have this relief. In the TRUTH we can rest and trust God. No need to laugh as Abraham and Sarah did. No need to doubt. No need to fight. Just believe God at His Word and rest in that.

There is Joy and real Peace when we trust in God's Word!

Any doubts?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Don't Miss God . . . He WILL Come Through!

And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror andgreat darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.......And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates........” (Genesis 15:11-21)

We must be careful or we will miss God!  God makes us promises in His Word and we begin to trust Him. We just know He will do this or that and we wait anxiously....even excitedly. But when it doesn't come when we want it . . . well, we begin to doubt. We become unsure. We feel the pressures of friends, family, job, finances, etc. We begin to look at our past failures rather than God's successes in our lives. "Birds of prey" begin to swoop down to steal our faith and confidence in God.

Like Abraham, we must remain alert and drive then away! Wait confidently upon God. As He has done before, He will do it again! Wait, I say, upon the Lord!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

God has the Details

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Leaving in NEVER easy. We leave behind roots, memories, friendships, securities and comforts. We have to plan the move and be sure all things are in order. But imagine leaving with no detailed plan! It could be utter chaos!

Yet the Lord told Abram to "leave"! Leave the land he loved and the people he knew. Leave the comfort and go to the unknown. God would provide the details along the way.

If I only had such faith. May we all move when and where God says and have the faith to allow Him to fill in the details.

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Joy to "Go to Work"

. . . . therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. (Genesis 3:23)

Our work is an opportunity to give back to God and others. We have the opportunity to make things just a bit better physically and spiritually. 

Labor is not a curse as some would have it. It is the grace of God and an opportunity to give back. Man toyed with creation through sin. God has allowed us to now "till the ground" in an opportunity to make things right.

Though we will never make it perfect again, our labor to make things better is our worship unto the Lord. My labor, our labor, is a privilege and a joy!