Tuesday, September 30, 2008

09 30 08 Leave It All on the Field

“I know what you are doing. I know you aren't cold or hot.
I wish you were either one or the other! But you are lukewarm. You aren't hot or cold.
So I am going to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16 NIrV)


It is said that playing to a tie in sports is like kissing your sister. It’s got to be worse than that! At least your sister is not your enemy! How frustrating to put all your energy into 60 minutes or so of physical torture, only to end up in a tie? That’s ludicrous. That’s one reason I can’t endure hockey or soccer: all that energy and so little scoring, and they still allow for ties!

Growing up an athlete (and still believing I am one in my mind!), I was taught and trained to LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD. If I had any energy left, besides the energy to drag myself into the locker room, than I hadn’t given my all. And if my team had lost, then I felt responsible. On the other hand, if I gave it all and lost, then I knew I had done all I could!

We see many references to sports in the Bible, especially from the apostle Paul. I imagine he was a fan of the many sporting events and competitions in the Romans and Greek cultures and an admirer of the athlete’s strength, commitment, and competitive spirit He refers to the boxer and runner (1 Corinthians 9:26-27) and the athlete in 2 Timothy 2:5. He compares physical training and spiritual training in 1Timothy 4:8. Even the psalmist talks of the strongman in reference to the power and majesty of the sunrise (Psalm 19:5).

No doubt Jesus was trained for ministry as he grew in strength and wisdom gained the favor of God and man (Luke 2:40). Jesus then LEFT IT ALL ON THE FIELD if you would, as He sacrificed Himself totally for you and me! Through all the temptations, all the trials, all the pain and suffering, He was prepared for battle and pressed on, accepting nothing but total victory. And He won!!!

“Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him.” (Romans 12:1 NIrV)

Brothers and sisters, I exhort us all today not to accept any ties when it comes to this world and our pursuit of God’s will for our lives. Accept no compromise. Take no prisoners. Even when facing pitfalls, fumbles, and errors along the way, do not give in. There is no tie in this spiritual battle! There is no half in or half out. Hot or cold…there is no lukewarm! We are not called Quitians, but Christians! A great athlete sacrifices for his team. Christians sacrifice for their God and for their fellow family members. In this day and age, we must LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD! Jesus did……

Monday, September 29, 2008

09 29 08 Cheerful and Dependable Givers

“I don’t need to write to you about giving to God's people. I know how much you want to help. I have been bragging about it to the people in Macedonia. I have been telling them that since last year you who live in Achaia were ready to give. You are so excited that it has stirred up most of them to take action. But I am sending the brothers. Then our bragging about you in this matter will have a good reason. You will be ready, just as I said you would be. Suppose people from Macedonia come with me and find out that you are not prepared. Then we, as well as you, would be ashamed of being so certain. So I thought I should try to get the brothers to visit you ahead of time. They will finish the plans for the large gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a gift that is freely given. It will not be given by force.
Here is something to remember. The one who plants only a little will gather only a little. And the one who plants a lot will gather a lot. You should each give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn't give if you don't want to. You shouldn't give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to shower all kinds of blessings on you. In all things and at all times you will have everything you need. You will do more and more good works.
It is written,

They have spread their gifts around to poor people.
Their good works continue forever.
’(Psalm 112:9)


God supplies seed to the planter. He supplies bread for food. God will also supply and increase the amount of your seed. He will increase the results of your good works. You will be made rich in every way. Then you can always give freely. We will take your many gifts to the people who need them. And they will give thanks to God. Your gifts meet the needs of God's people. And that's not all. Your gifts also cause many people to thank God. You have shown yourselves to be worthy by what you have given. So people will praise God because you obey him. That proves that you really believe the good news about Christ. They will also praise God because you share freely with them and with everyone else. Their hearts will be filled with longing for you when they pray for you. God has given you grace that is better than anything. Let us give thanks to God for his gift. It is so great that no one can tell how wonderful it really is!
(2 Corinthians 9:1-15 NIrV)


This is a self exam reminder today. How much are we giving to God and His work? How much are we holding onto? Is it a reflection of the faith we have that God will meet our needs? Is it a reflection of our care and concern for others? If we who are rich in God’s supply don’t freely give, even from our very need, then who will? Finally, are we happy to give, knowing we have put a smile on our DADDY’s face as well as those we have helped?

I thank God for His supply and for all of those (perhaps even you!) who have been CHEERFUL AND DEPENDABLE GIVERS to the work God has called us to perform! You have not only our thanks, but the gratitude of thousands of children, single parents, hurting families, and many who are now eternally secure because of your gift! May God continue to use you to advance His Kingdom work!

In the toughest economic times, this is when believers truly show in Whom they believe. We CHEERFULLY give and show DEPENDENCE upon the One who supplies!

Friday, September 26, 2008

09 26 08 We Stand In Grace

We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we have received God's grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God's glory. And that's not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on. The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope. And hope will never let us down. God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us. At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:1-8 NIrV)

If not for the grace of God…We hear that phrase so often. But really think about it: where would we be? We exist because He was gracious enough to create us. We have some means of health because He saw fit to sustain us. We have families, jobs, homes, cars, and other things because He was kind enough to provide us the means to obtain them. WE STAND IN GRACE…unless we fall! Even the trials and sufferings we may go through are a result of His grace…because it could be worse if He allowed to be so.

If anyone experienced the grace of God, it was Paul. He was as he said, the Hebrews of Hebrews (Philippians 3:5)! He had attained high levels in society, in government, and in his schooling. Yet there was still a void within his life. He did not have that unconditional peace, or that hope to endure affliction, or that love that only the grace of God can give. We too fall into the trap of believing we can (or have) accomplished so many things on our own merits. After all, we put the hours in for the schoolwork. We invested the overtime hours and sacrificed leisure time for that promotion. We earned our home, our vehicles, and our reputations. Yet when we see how futile it all is, we have to realize WE STAND IN GRACE!

“My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.” (James 1:2-4 NET)

Instead of blaming God for out pitfalls and setbacks, we need to be reminded that it’s because of them that we are where we are today! His grace has allowed us to see just how much He does for us. If not for God’s presence in our daily lives, we would be a mess. So as we are challenged day to day, we gain in grace, we gain in patience; we gain in our dependence upon God. So though we are not happy to go through financial challenges, illnesses, disasters, or any other physical or emotional pain, we rejoice that God is at work! He cares…He loves…He is right in the middle with me, even carrying me through, in His arms of grace. The reason I stand, we stand? WE STAND IN GRACE !

Thursday, September 25, 2008

09 25 08 MY JOB SITE

“Anyone who refuses to work doesn't plow in the right season.
When he looks for a crop at harvest time, he doesn't find it.”
(Proverbs 20:4 NIrV)


Sluggards (those who refuse to work when needed) are procrastinators, rationalizers, weary of resistance, and tend to be rather foolish. The Bible says the sluggard will go hungry (Proverbs 19:15) and will find many roadblocks along the way (Proverbs 15:19). Poverty tends to discover the one who chooses not to labor hard in life (Proverbs 6:10-11). When the sluggard looks for reward, he finds a mess and then wonders why?

God has little pity on the sluggard and as does Paul and many other writers of the New Testament. It is clearly laid out that if we follow the guidelines God has set out, we find reward. If not, we find a mess at the end of life. That mess is an eternal hell! How many will get to the end and wonder “why?” Why didn’t someone tell me? Too lazy to find out…too foolish to listen, or was I too busy or too selfish to tell them? What am I doing while on MY JOB SITE?


“He told them, ‘The harvest is huge, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
(Luke 10:2 NIrV)


The harvest field is MY JOB SITE! To reap a harvest, the work must be done prior to the harvest. We must invest time, sweat, sacrifice, disappointment, drought …but we must keep plowing ahead…leaning forward…no looking back…not giving up! We have to forget about the past and push toward the high calling, the prize that awaits us in heaven. In that pushing, we labor. We work to set the example for others to follow. We labor to seek those who have no idea what God’s love is and the power we have found in the cross. We toil to show a living faith, a confident faith, and a faith that not only saves, but gives power to endure. We sacrifice our rest, our money, and our possessions for those who not only need things, but need to see God’s love at work. I don’t believe Jesus went to the cross for me to just sit here and be prosperous or to gather the things I am entitled to on this earth.

My prosperity is in heaven. Oh sure, I may just be blessed with abundance of riches, health, friends, and more. But that is God’s prerogative. I was instructed to go, disciple, and see that those I meet have an opportunity to meet the King. My lot in life is to accept His will for me and still live like the prince that I am! I am a child of the King and I am to do His work while here on earth, whatever He decides that work looks like. I may not necessarily be rich in finances and possessions, but I am privileged: privileged to do His work and be in His presence forever. MY JOB SITE is this earth. My home is in heaven. When my work is through, my Savior will punch the time clock for me and call me home. He did not say “wait”…. In fact, I can’t wait to see my Savior’s face! But I want to give Him something in return…so I give Him my life, my labor. Therefore, while I’m living, with the breath I have left, I’m living for Him. Pray with me for more laborers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

09 24 08 Highest Education

“Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NET)

There is nothing better than an eyewitness to the truth. It is the best testimony one can have. On the same note, learning from one who has been there and done that beats any book knowledge one can ever gain. Experience remains an excellent teacher. It’s much better to learn from someone else’s experience, so you and I do not fall into unnecessary pitfalls along the way. So as we go along in life and seek the HIGHEST EDUCATION to prepare us for the brightest and most successful future, both for ourselves and generations to come, where do we go to learn? I believe we first go to the One who has been there forever and seen everything that has ever been done! I desire for myself and those I love to seek first the wisdom of the Omnipotent One and the Creator who has been an eyewitness to all of History! The knowledge of the world comes in addition to the Truths of God and His Word. All the knowledge in the world and all the experience of every one who has and will live on this earth pales in comparison to what the Word of God is capable of doing. His is the HIGHEST EDUCATION.

No scientific discovery or archeological find can disprove His Word. The Old Testament writings were verified by Christ Himself and the eyewitness accounts found in the New Testament have been discovered to be some of the most (if not the most) reliable writings in history. The Bible is inspired by God and empowers the reader throughout history to live by its purposes. The Holy Spirit brings it alive within our lives!

Traditional education is accepted as preparation for a career and in general to live and communicate in society. But can math, science, history and other subjects prepare the heart and soul for the real issues of life? Can they teach me how to be patient? Can they show me how to correct in love? Can they guide me morally and bring me to an intimate relationship with the One who holds my life in His hands? What subject will convince me to live a life to serve others over myself? Can any subject taught in our public classroom convict me that I am a sinner and bound for eternal hell without the grace and mercy of a loving, caring, and forgiving God?

Education is not enough, no matter how many titles go before or after the name on the diploma. To be fully equipped for this life and the next (and there will be a next), one needs the HIGHEST EDUCATION. Knowledge is not enough to save us from this world’s fatal ending. It must be through faith. Faith in the true God comes from hearing and hearing the Word. His Word is Truth. His Word is the HIGHEST EDUCATION!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

09 23 08 REAL SERVANTS
“The greatest among you will be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12 NET)

REAL SERVANTS don’t seek the spotlight. They simply serve when a need arises. They look to help, not to be seen helping. They find their joy in bringing even just an ounce of joy to someone else. REAL SERVANTS bring the love of Christ to those who simply just can’t feel His presence in the situation in which they find themselves. REAL SERVANTS are content with quietly serving in the shadows and trusting Christ with the outcome.

Joseph (Genesis 50:18-31) is a great example. He didn’t seek notice for himself, but calmly served Potiphar, his jailer, and even Pharaoh’s baker and wine taster, and God blessed that attitude. But when Pharaoh promoted him to a position of importance, Joseph still maintained a servant’s heart, even with his brothers, who had betrayed him.

I have witnessed many Joseph’s in my lifetime: my wife, my pastor, many on our church staff, and most recently, those in ministry in the Gulf Region with the EFCA Disaster Relief. To Tamara, Pastor Bob, Pastor Dwayne, Pastor Reg, Pastor Carlos, Min. Rich, Pastor Harry, Pastor Mike, Pastor John, Scott, Emily, Sandy, John, Mark, and many more; thank you for your sacrifice for the Lord, for His will, and for showing me how to serve with humble commitment. I have seen you give time, sweat, tears, finances, and when you were worn out…you gave more. Most of the time, no one noticed. You could very easily have held positions in the public limelight, but you serve right where you are, where God has you. When the spotlight came your way, you deflected it to the One who used you. But I saw you. Most importantly, God saw you and still does. He is pleased and has rewards stored up for you!

Growing up an athlete, I must admit I had learned to seek the prize and the applause of men. It is a constant fight, now in the mission field, not to give in to the disappointments and rejection. Success is not defined the same way in ministry as it is in the world. Having such a great cloud of real-life witnesses to fall back upon, I can press on. I have been taught and shown that nothing but what I do for Christ will last. Man’s applause is but for an instant. Trophies rust and crack. Headlines fade over the years. Only what is written in the Lamb’s Book will endure. When God writes it down…it’s forever! This assurance brings confidence and excitement to my efforts.

Thank you, family and friends, for being Jesus with skin on for me. Thank your for your perseverance. Thank you for your sacrifice and obedience. Thank you for your commitment and love for the Gospel. Thank you for allowing me to see how God’s love works in action. Thank you for the legacy you are still building to leave behind. Thank you for being REAL SERVANTS! Never grow weary in doing good. May God continue to strengthen you when you’re weak, lift you when your burdens weigh you down, and give you rest when you physically are exhausted. God give you every desire of your heart as you walk faithfully with Him!

Monday, September 22, 2008

09 22 08 It’s Time

“The Lord says, ‘Suppose you have run in a race with other men.
And suppose they have worn you out.
Then how would you be able to race against horses?
Suppose you feel safe only in open country.
Then how would you get along in the bushes near the Jordan River?’”
(Jeremiah 12:5 NIrV
)

Well it's time to make that change,
people of the world today are fading;
all of us have our ups and downs,
you better think about it or you won't be around….
What is the world coming to,
seems like everyone is running from the truth;
we must stand up and fight,
walk into the light,
we're the people, we can do it, if we try…
It's time, time to make a change,
we are the people who can do it...

(Written by Bernard Bell and Marvin Winans, Carvin Winans, and Teddy Riley; recorded by The Winans)


Jeremiah realized IT WAS TIME some 2600 years ago. The world was crumbling all around him yet even as he proclaimed the judgment of God, people, even his own Jewish people, thought him to be foolish. He was dishonored, put in stocks, thrown into a cistern (water reservoir), and suffering frequent pain and disappointment. Yet he remained faithful and consistent, amid fierce and often extended conflict. Jeremiah accepted the burden of proclaiming God’s plans to the people, no matter how unpopular of politically incorrect. IT WAS TIME!

Has it changed much since 5-600 B.C.? Times are hard. Friends, neighbors, even family are turning away from the doctrines of God’s Word day by day. The more we stick up for God the more we seem to be ostracized and humiliated. We feel like giving in at times: perhaps retreating into our own little world; maybe even just a bit tempted to try their way (a lottery ticket, here or there, a jaunt to the slot machines, perhaps tiny bit of cheating on our taxes or time cards).

But the Lord warns us through Jeremiah that if we can’t win the world’s small games, how do we expect to beat it as the stakes get higher? As the Winans sang in their song, “IT’S TIME” to change things! We have to stand against the status quo and fight the apathy and the lies. We have to act as children of light. We have to accept the burden of proclaiming His Word! We are His people and we can do it!

It’s encouraging to know we do not fight alone. We have one another to lean upon and we have Jehovah Nissi leading the way. The battle is not our, it’s the Lord’s. We are his foot soldiers. And now, as one of my wife’s favorite sci-fi characters would say: IT IS TIME to “Engage!”

Friday, September 19, 2008

09 19 08 WE MUST REMEMBER

“Remind God's people to obey rulers and authorities. Remind them to be ready to do what is good. Tell them not to speak evil things against anyone. Remind them to live in peace. They must consider the needs of others. They must be kind and gentle toward all people. At one time we too acted like fools. We didn't obey God. We were tricked. We were controlled by all kinds of longings and pleasures. We were full of evil. We wanted what belongs to others. People hated us, and we hated one another. But the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared. He saved us. It wasn't because of the good things we had done. It was because of his mercy. He saved us by washing away our sins. We were born again. The Holy Spirit gave us new life. God poured out the Spirit on us freely because of what Jesus Christ our Savior has done. His grace made us right with God. So now we have received the hope of eternal life as God's children. You can trust that saying. Those things are important. Treat them that way. Then those who have trusted in God will be careful to commit themselves to doing what is good. Those things are excellent. They are for the good of everyone.” (Titus 3:1-7 NIrV)


Paul identifies Titus as his true son in the faith. Titus would join Paul’s missionary team at one point. Yet the first thing Paul had for Titus was to hold the Corinthians to their financial stewardship (2 Corinthians 8:16). After Paul and Titus served in the Island of Crete, Paul left Titus behind to straighten out what was left unfinished and to appoint qualified elders (Titus 1:5). There is no doubt that Paul trusted Titus with the things he taught him. Yet of all the things Paul taught Titus, he reminds him here that even when confronting others of lies, deceit, and false doctrine, WE MUST REMEMBER where we came from!

It’s good to not think we have ever arrived. It’s good to remember where God found us and that it was He who rescued us from that mess. No matter how bad we were, we were bad. We were enemies of God. We were idolaters, thieves, liars, and fools! We were sinners. It’s only by the grace of God that we are forgiven of that sin. There was nothing we could do about it. It was His grace!

So no matter the foolishness we face today, WE MUST REMEMBER that but for the grace of God, there we are. As we challenge others to do good, we must let them know why. As we confront lies, we must share the Truth. To be able to convince others to make sacrifices for others, we must let them see the sacrifice Christ made for us…and for them. We were born again! We who have been transformed by the saving blood off Jesus Christ will never be the same. However, to be sensitive to the needs of others and the cultural challenges they face, WE MUST REMEMBER, their basic need for the mercy, grace, understanding, and love of Christ.

We have not arrived, we are saved. We are not immune to this world but accountable to reach the world. As Paul built into Titus and saw him grow in effectiveness for the Kingdom, so we need to grow. Someone has built into us, probably many folks if you are like me! We in turn need to seek out chances to build into others by meeting their needs, confronting inappropriate language, and challenging folks to do right. After all, WE MUST REMEMBER, it wasn’t long ago that we were them!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

09 18 08 ME AND MY TROUBLES

“The Lord is good. When people are in trouble, they can go to him for safety.
He takes good care of those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7 NIrV)


Nahum shows us how badly each generation needs a response to the Lord. It does not pass by osmosis to each generation. Salvation is not inherited…it is a personal commitment to obedience and holiness.

Jonah preached to Nineveh near 760 B.C. The entire city repented in humble response. Yet as the Assyrians grew in power they returned to being a haughty, brutal, and proud people. Now Nahum was raised by God to deliver a message of condemnation and destruction. Strong and seemingly invincible, (100 ft. high walls, watchtowers throughout the city, and a moat 150 ft. wide and 60 ft. deep around the city) the people of Nineveh again felt unconquerable.

We need only to observe history to realize that nothing is invincible. The strongest nations have fallen. The most fortified walls have bee torn down. The most powerful dictators have been toppled. Well structures homes and buildings have fallen to wind, floodwaters, and other disasters.

Strength is not found on Wall Street. Protection is not guaranteed within the storm shelter. Flood gates and levees do not hold back every flood. Security is not defined by the size of the army or weapons of choice. Christ offers protection that lasts. When facing troubles, we can go to Him for shelter. When overwhelmed, we find safety in His arms. Even facing death, we find life in the Savior. It’s not about ME AND MY TROUBLES, but about me and my Savior!

“We take a major step toward maturity when we finally realize it's not about us and our significance. It is all about God's magnificence…His holiness…His greatness...His glory.” (Pastor Chuck Swindoll)


Often we ask, “Why me?” when faced with challenges and difficulties. However, we seldom ask that when we receive a bonus check, or go on a wonderful vacation, or haven’t been ill in months. I have come to realize that it is through my struggles that God can receive even more glory than through my successes. I guess my question should be, “Why not me?” After all, Jesus was tested with trial after trial and because He came through sinless and perfect, God received glory beyond description.

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging his name. And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.” (Hebrews 13:15-16 NET)

So it’s not about ME AND MY TROUBLES, but God and His glory. I can’t live off of my pastor’s experience of my grandfather’s legacy. I must make choices to accept God’s will for me and be obedient to that. Every individual, every family, every generation must decide for themselves whom they will serve. Yet as we read concerning Nineveh, God is watching. God is ready to judge but also ready to bless. He is pleased with the sacrifices we make to honor Him by helping others. He is pleased with our obedience in choosing holiness over happiness. He is pleased when He receives honor and praise through our decisions, despite the challenging situations we face. It is not about ME AND MY TROUBLES, but God and His glory!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

09 17 08 Come Back Later
“Suppose you have something to give. Don't say to your neighbor,
‘Come back later. I'll give it to you tomorrow’." (Proverbs 3:28 NIrV)


There are real people with real needs all around us and God is watching to see who is going to respond and how we the church respond in particular. Are we to found faithful with the resources we have? Are we ready and willing to invest in people, especially God’s people? When others are pleading for our time, our prayers, our comfort, our sacrifice, and yes, our resources, will we (those to whom Christ gave His life) say “Come Back Later”?

Real servants pay attention to needs. Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. When they see a need, they seize the moment to meet it, just as the Bible commands us: “Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10 GWT). When God puts someone in need right in front of you, he is giving you the opportunity to grow in servant hood. Notice that God says the needs of your church family are to be given preference, not put at the bottom of your things to do list. We miss many occasions for serving because we lack sensitivity and spontaneity.
John Wesley was an incredible servant of God. His motto was:” Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
(From Pastor Rick Warren: Real Servants Pay Attention, PurposeDrivenLife.com, a Ministry of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA 92630)


I’m so glad Jesus didn’t tell me to “Come Back Later” when I asked Him to forgive me, cleanse me, and secure me for eternity. I am so glad my church family did not say “Come Back Later” when I professed my faith in Jesus Christ and asked to become a member of this Body. God help us not to say “Come Back Later” when those who have lost everything need us.

Seriously, do I really have to eat today if I know someone has absolutely no food in their home? Do I honestly (before God) need the new car, the bigger home, the newest outfit? Is it possible for me to fast from lunch for a week and donate that money to those whose home has been washed away by flood? Is it beyond reason to give my last $25-$50 to help those with no hope and put my hope in Jesus to supply what we might need? Would I consider giving up a luxury vacation to sponsor a team to serve a disaster-stricken region for a week, or even go myself?

It’s when we have nothing that we realize Jesus is all we need. Everyone needs Jesus and we all need to share Him with others in need. There is no time to “Come Back Later”!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

09 16 08 WHY DO YOU STAND HERE?
“‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.’ After he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven’.” (Acts 1:8-11 NET)

The disciples must have been devastated. Not only had they recently witnessed the brutal death of Jesus and no doubt feared what would be next politically, socially, and for their personal lives, but suddenly they heard news He was alive. They went to the tomb and saw it was empty. Jesus then appeared to them and even hung out with them for a while…just like old times! He began to give them even further instructions for the coming days of how they would travel and tell about Him all over the known world; only to leave them again, right from their midst in a cloud.

Yet the angels asked them >“WHY DO YOU STAND HERE staring into the skies”? You see, Jesus had given them as set out list of instructions. They were to stay together and receive power from God in the person of the Holy Spirit. He would be with them as they would face trials and resistance in representing the Risen Christ from Jerusalem, to Judea and the rest of the world. This ordinary, working-class, not-so-special group of people would be the initial thrusts of cross-cultural evangelism. Yet they stood staring…perhaps in shock once again that Jesus was gone. But they obediently went back to Jerusalem and went about God’s business, trusting Him into unknown territory.

What was their qualification? They knew the Risen Savior. They had a personal relationship with Him. They had invested their lives in Him and Jesus gave His all for them. They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. They had their instructions from their God to go!

We are all qualified as believers to do His work. Yet many times, I look in the mirror and ask, “WHY DO YOU STAND HERE?” With all the need in this world, I ask you, “WHY DO YOU STAND HERE?” We are too qualified and there is too much need for us to just stand and allow others to do the work. I know for me, I simply will not allow God’s Spirit to take complete control. There is still too much doubt, too many worries, too little faith. I need to just use the power within me and be used. Whether it is finances, merchandise, sacrificing sleep, giving my time, or using old fashioned blood, sweat, and tears, I need to commit to do the work I was called to do and let God take care of the details. Pray for me as I pray for you. Let’s DO THIS!

“This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back…”

Monday, September 15, 2008

09 15 08 No Time To Wait
“Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters. Work because you know that you will finally receive as a reward what the Lord wants you to have. You are serving the Lord Christ…Spend a lot of time in prayer. Always be watchful and thankful. Pray for us too. Pray that God will open a door for our message. Then we can preach the mystery of Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-4:3 NIrV)

Paul, imprisoned in a Roman prison, took time to write to the Colossi people, though he had never visited them. He writes over concerns he has heard from Epaphras’ report, that the mainly Gentile group of believers were being tempted and swayed by false teachings. Christ alone is sufficient. Christ alone is God and Savior. Christ alone is head of this Body we call the church. Christ alone is why we live and spreading the Truth of His Gospel is our reason for living.
Yet when faced with the challenge to put our faith into action, we find so many excuses. Oh they sound good and make perfectly good sense, but if Paul could take the time to write to a people he had never met (and from prison) because of his concern for their very souls…

I’ll do it when I have more time...Maybe when the kids are a little older. There’s just not enough money right now. The timing‘s just not right. I have my own problems I’m dealing with at this time…Sound familiar?

Well, when will we have more time to do anything? Do we really think we’ll have more time later? The kids get older and need more of our attention. There is always more month left over at the end of the money. Timing…only God’s timing counts! As for my problems, I have found they only lessen when I focus on others’ and not mine! There is NO TIME TO WAIT. Decisions need to be made now, while there is still time!

Every thought, every word, every action we take in life reflects our love and commitment to Christ and His Gospel. We have to begin to focus on God’s timetable and not our own. We indeed need to be prayerful; for our selves and others. We need to be in tune with God’s agenda and join in His work…all around us. Whether it’s physically getting into the trenches or supporting the labor taking place, we need to make sure the Word is getting through the doors God has opened up.

God is opening doors all around the world and right in our own backyards. There is NO TIME TO WAIT! Nothing we do for CHRIST will go unnoticed. Better to sacrifice the pleasures of this world for the sake of those in need, then to selfishly grab hold to the things of this world and miss the blessings of our Father. We may only get the chance we have today. Only what we do for our Savior will last. It’s time!

Friday, September 12, 2008

09 12 08 Evacuation Plans

“Make for yourself an ark of cypress wood.”
(Genesis 6:14 NET)


Imagine being warned of a coming activity you have never experienced and one that no one had ever witnessed. It would be a storm of epic proportions, destroying all life in its path, with no means to withstand it power. Despite the technology and scientific marvels, this storm is the one. This monster will definitely consume everything in its path.

But there is one way out…and only one way. We have a choice: heed the warning and believe the news or make our final stubborn and prideful mistake. EVACUATION PLANS have been laid out in specific details, even down to the type of wood used to secure the survivors. The ark would be the place of security and protection from this never seen before disaster.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, not all EVACUATION PLANS succeed. Some are too little too late. Some are ill-planned and hastily put together. Still others can be very efficient, yet the people believe they have a better plan! Ultimately, it’s in God’s hands. We have to trust him at some point!

Like in Noah’s day, there is a storm coming that we have never experienced before; one that will never be seen again after it hits. No one can really describe it; we can only believe it to be true! The source is very reliable. I can vouch for Him. This storm will bring fire, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, and worse! It will destroy all living things and the entire earth. But there is an ark of safety for all and any who believe; not just one family, but any individual who chooses to believe!

The ark is Jesus. The storm is coming. It poses an end to this world and life as we know it. God has laid out the EVACUATION PLAN in His Word, through prophets, through preachers, even in the very nature he created. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of your sins, and be saved from the storm; the eternal storm of hell’s torment. Receive Christ’s mercy and grace and run to the safety of His arms. It’s the only way of escape. No plywood, no hammer and nails, no physical shelter, no SUV can help. Jesus is THE EVACUATION PLAN for soon coming disaster! I’m so glad so many of my family and loved ones are safe and secure!

Don’t believe me…believe GOD!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

09 11 08 Nine-Eleven

“Treasure is kept in clay jars. In the same way, we have the treasure of the good news in these earthly bodies of ours. That shows that the mighty power of the good news comes from God. It doesn't come from us. We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn't make us lose hope. Others make us suffer. But God does not desert us. We are knocked down. But we are not knocked out. We always carry around the death of Jesus in our bodies. In that way, the life of Jesus can be shown in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NIrV)

NINE-ELEVEN has had new meaning all over the world since September 11, 2001. Whatever memories and images are carved in your hearts and minds from that tragic day, there are a few things we all must never forget. We do not control our own destiny. We cannot continue to think we can earn our way, fight our way, or negotiate our way into tomorrow. We are not at the mercy of our enemies as some may think however. We are at the mercy of God!

Many are still grieving the loss of friends and family that never heard the words “I love you”. Many never had the chance to say “good-bye”. Sadly, many breathed their last breath without hearing the saving message of Jesus Christ. Nine-Eleven still brings regrets. It may still stir feelings of anger, fear, or retribution. But for me, Nine-Eleven is about His grace.

As believers, our treasure is in Christ. Though beaten down, attacked, or pressured from every side, we know God is with us! He has not abandoned us.


His grace allowed my wife to be called into full time ministry a little over a year before September 11, 2001. She would have been at the Pentagon that day for a normal day of work. His grace held back the enemies plans, even over the skies of Pennsylvania, or more lives would have been lost. His grace allowed many in the midst of tragedy to make last minute phone calls, rescue burning men and women, and guide a government through unchartered territory. His grace then urged me to accept His call more diligently throughout the following year. His grace is allowing many today to tell of the events and survive despite the memories.

God gives us the grace to survive in this world. He gives us grace to help others through the worst of tragedies. For me, Nine-Eleven reminds of His grace for me and my responsibility to purposely seek opportunity each day to share the love, forgiveness, and comfort of Christ...His grace.

I won’t wait for another tragedy to occur before I seek to share His grace. It is by grace that we are saved…by our faith in Christ. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than to hear someone ask Jesus to forgive them and to save their soul from hell. Then if tragedy strikes, at least I can say I know where they are and I will see them again. At the very least, I can say I tried. His grace…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

09 10 08 Beyond Understanding

“Don't you know who made everything? Haven't you heard about him?
The Lord is the God who lives forever. He created everything on earth.
He won't become worn out or get tired. No one will ever know how great his understanding is. He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those who are weak. Even young people become worn out and get tired. Even the best of them trip and fall. But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not grow weak.”
(Isaiah 40:28-31 NIrV)


God covers time and space. He has always been and always will be. As much as that is BEYOND UNDERSTANDING, this is probably the first step of a Christian’s faith. In order to believe in a holy and perfect God, the Creator of every thing that ever was, and One who has the right to judge everyone and everything as well, one must believe that He is Who He says He is. It does not make sense to the human mind that God was not created and will not die. Before time, He was. In our lifetime, He is. After all life on this earth is over, He will always be!

It makes no logical sense in my mind, but in my heart, oh here it makes all the sense in the world...in my world! God is definitely BEYOND UNDERSTANDING! He is the reason why a man will turn down a royal future to go up against a nation and its powerful leader for the freedom of his people. He is the reason why a powerful civil and church official will risk position, career, and social status, and take a stand for a radical religious movement. He is the reason why a young struggling couple will leave family and friends to make necessary sacrifices to protect an unborn baby and then raise him and guide him. He is the reason why many today choose a life of service over the luxuries we are able to obtain so easily.

Isaiah reminds us that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present. As the eagle is the picture of strength, power, poise, and vision, so we find our sustenance in our Father God. He lifts us when we are weak. He carries us when we are burdened. He keeps us focused when the light grows dim. God only ask for our commitment in return. This is BEYOND UNDERSTANDING! God gives me all I need simply in exchange for my heart commitment to Him! WOW! Thank you DADDY!!!

This day I pray for all those who over the years have said yes to the call of God within their hearts: Moses (the Prince of Egypt), Paul (the Pharisee of Pharisees and the Hebrew of all Hebrews), Joseph and Mary (the young couple on the run), pastors and missionaries, teachers and parents, and my wife. Thank you all for showing me that God’s plan for me is above any plan I have for myself. Thank you for opening my eyes to His Word and my heart to the cross. Thank you my God (my DADDY) for so loving me; thank you my Jesus (my Rock) for sacrificing for me, thank you Holy Spirit (my Strength) for leading me. It’s BEYOND UNDERSTANDING for me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

09 09 08 BECAUSE HE SO LOVED US

“If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love. We love because He loved us first.” (1 John 4:15-19 NET)

John has a rather simple message: believe on the Lord and live out that belief. The more we (the believers) understand the nature of God we can better understand one another and live in fellowship such that the watching world will then seek out the One we so believe in! BECAUSE HE SO LOVED US and we so love one another, others will want that kind of love. They should see it in our actions and then they’ll desire that kind of intimate and personal relationship for themselves.

In a world where we face fears of home foreclosures, concerns over job security, relationship breakdowns, and natural disasters occurring week after week, people live in fear! Yet the worst that can happen to a born-again believer is to die and even then, we have the confidence of being safely in the arms of our Savior!

If we don’t fear death, why do we fear the economy? If we don’t fear the after-life then why do we worry about this present life? Fear is facing a Holy God who judges sin. Fear is knowing there is no hope without the blood of Jesus. Fear is not knowing what happens after death! However, perfect love, an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, removes all fear. This is the kind of love we need to show the world and show them through our actions!

Christ brought peace to troubled relationships. He brought healing to grieving hearts. His gentle Spirit and soothing words made the outcasts feel like family and the rejected became the redeemed. BECAUSE HE SO LOVED US, we so love others. So…what are we gonna’ do? We love on people!

Monday, September 8, 2008

09 08 08 Finalize the Plans

“A person plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps.”
(Proverbs 16:9 NET)


We all have good intentions for the most part. Most of us want to provide for our families, do an admirable job at work, and help those in need. Trouble comes when we make so many plans yet have no clue how to carry them out. It’s good to plan and it’s good to plan to be successful, but success has so many different meanings in this world! To be successful in God’s eyes, we must allow Him to FINALIZE THE PLANS.

We can lay out our desires and then ask God oversee them. He loves to be a part of every detail of our lives. It brings Him joy to be a part of the little things and big plans as well. God knows the bumps ahead and the traps that have been set in the jungle. Giving Him final navigational control prevents costly and some times deadly mistakes. Know matter the odds we face, when we face them with DADDY in the lead, we face them successfully. I don’t know about you, but His experience far outweighs my skills.

“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ announces the Lord. ‘I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.’”
(Jeremiah 29:11 NIrV)


God had not terminated His relationship with Judah. He remembered His promises of restoration from Deuteronomy 30. We are no different. Even though we stray, God still desires for us to return to Him and to find that personal and intimate relationship with Him. No matter how often we fall on our collective faces, God will bring us back to that place of peace, tranquility, and security only He can give if we gently seek His presence.

To experience that relationship we need to be humble and respond to His calling in a reverent, repentant, and respectful manner. We can’t have it both ways: pleasing the world and pleasing God. To be in close relationship with a holy God, we need to live a holy life. This is only possible by being in submission to His Holy Spirit. We can’t do it in and of ourselves. It must be by His guidance and under His direction.

God knows His plans for us. Even when we face the most challenging situations, God has already figured out a way for us to not only make it out, but to bring Him glory as well. He can do what He wants, when He wants and how He wants to, but He won’t force us to accept it. Are we willing to let Him carry out the plans He has for each of us? Will we let Him FINALIZE THE PLANS? If so, we have to hand over control to the Master planner. We have safety in His presence and an anchor in a turbulent world.

“The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High God
will be kept safe by the Mighty One.
I will say about the Lord,
‘He is my place of safety…’ ”. (Psalm 91: 1-2)

Friday, September 5, 2008

09 05 08 LIVE OUR FAITH OUT LOUD

“You are the salt of the earth. But suppose the salt loses its saltiness. How can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything. It will be thrown out. People will walk all over it. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can't be hidden. Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 NIrV)

We are not instructed to repent, receive the forgiveness of Christ, receive the Holy Spirit and wait. We are told to occupy our timego and make disciples, teach others about all that we have learned through Christ and others. We are not told to wait for hard times to come and then be holy. We are told to be holy because God is holy. We are not told to let others discover the Good News all by themselves. We are instructed to be a light to their dark path, salt in their bland and predictable world, and friction into an otherwise tolerant lifestyle.

At times, we believers are caught waiting for opportunities instead of looking for them, even creating them. God is at work right where we are every day. It’s a matter of joining in the process. We don’t have to search too far or long to find a stranger in need of a warm conversation, a frustrated gentleman at the side of his disabled vehicle, or a child in need of a few cents to make up the purchase price of a candy bar or ice cream cone. Nearly every day someone at the job could use a word of encouragement. The delivery person would appreciate a gift card for the local fast food restaurant. Even closer to home, our spouse and children need our time…our sincere hugs and kisses… our commitment to them and to Christ. We need to LIVE OUR FAITH OUT LOUD in this world!

There is no time to tolerate lies and bigotry concerning the Gospel. There is no time to put up with the slander of our DADDY’s name and character. There is no time to continue allowing our friends and family to slip away without hearing and seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no time to continue to see the news and hear the stories of suffering people, even our own neighbors, and not sacrifice to help. It’s time to begin to LIVE OUR FAITH OUT LOUD!

Jesus had a direct and planned out 3-year plan. Nothing happened by chance. His life was calculated and directed by the Holy Spirit and according to the will of God the Father. There was no time to waste. Time is now for us to do the same. There is plenty of work to be done and we as believers are qualified to do something! We have been forgiven. We have received the Holy Spirit. We have been given our marching orders to go into the world and teach what we have been shown and taught. We are to LIVE OUR FAITH OUT LOUD to the glory and praise of our Father.

Turn up the volume…let’s go…beginning right now!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

09 04 08 A Ship Without a Sail

They left the crowd behind. And they took him along in a boat, just as he was. There were also other boats with him. A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, ‘Teacher! Don't you care if we drown?’ He got up and ordered the wind to stop. He said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down. And it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Don't you have any faith at all yet?’ They were terrified. They asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’” (Mark4:36-41 NIrV)

Trouble can just happen. It is rarely planned or calculated. Deaths, illnesses, natural disasters, may be somewhat expected, but when they occur the reality is still shocking and traumatic. It was this way in the Sea of Galilee for the disciples. They knew the suddenness of a windstorm from tropical air forces meeting the colder air from the nearby hills. Great turbulence would stir up swarming waves and fishing was no longer a job, but a life challenge!
Though the disciples took Jesus along with them, they did not feel His presence. Their faith was not quite in what they could do because of Jesus, but what He could do for them. They felt they were in A SHIP WITHOUT A SAIL. They needed Jesus to take control! His simple words: “Peace, be still” (NKJV) calmed the seas, but the disciples were yet terrified. Why? They were slowly coming to realize this was no mere prophet, but it was God. Only God could control nature! They were in the presence of God!

“Then they cried out to the Lord because of their problems.
And he brought them out of their troubles.
He made the storm as quiet as a whisper.
The waves of the ocean calmed down.
The people were glad when the ocean became calm.
Then he guided them to the harbor they were looking for.” (Psalm 107:28-30 NIrV)


Here in Psalm 107, the psalmist describes the faith the fisherman has knowing it is God who controls the seas and God who controls their future as well. God brings us through storms and guides us to a safe place, even if just within our spirit. As trouble may be blowing up all around us, His Spirit calms the inner soul of His children as they trust in Him. Yes, God can calm the storm, but He can also calm the child!

At times, we as believers refuse to use the power within us; that same Spirit that raised the dead and healed the sick can calm us in the middle of the worst challenges. It can bring peace to all chaos. It can bring safe harbor to a frightened heart. It can dry tears of loneliness and repair broken families. But we must bring Him with us where we go. We have to realize he is nor sleeping, but keeping a watch over us as we go about life. He’s waiting for us to call His name and use His authority to say “Peace, be still” and trust He will work it out. There is no need to be terrified when we know He is with us and we know He is God. We are not A SHIP WITHOUT A SAIL. We know who our Captain is.

The question for each of us is this: How long will we be tossed about the seas until we give him control of the ship?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

09 03 08 Saved to be Sent

“I heard the voice of the sovereign master say, ‘Whom will I send? Who will go on our behalf?’” I answered, ‘Here I am, send me’” (Isaiah 6:8 NET)

Having been in the presence of God, the prophet had been forgiven and was so overjoyed, he was willing to serve God any way he could. However, the Lord also told Isaiah that he had to go and preach to a nation that would not listen to him or the Word of God. That had to be a bit frustrating, but he obeyed nonetheless. Sometimes it’s better not to know the outcome of our work! However dismal it sounded, Isaiah obeyed because God promised that some would hear and eventually the Savior would come forth from these people. (Isaiah 11:1)

“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.’ And after he said this, he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:20-22 NET)

Imagine the downhearted disciples of Jesus: Their Savior dead. Their King buried. Their lives at stake! Then here He was, in their presence, ALIVE! They saw the awful marks He bore from the beatings and the crucifixion. However, He brought a message of “Peace” and He brought a challenge to His followers: “Go and tell everyone what you know of Me and what you see now. Tell them everything I have told and modeled in front of you. I send you!”

Isaiah was SAVED TO BE SENT as were the early disciples. Jesus is still sending His followers today. He sends us to our families and to our co-workers. He sends us to the stores and the playgrounds. He also sends us to the uncomfortable and challenging places that my not be so familiar. Like Isaiah we have been forgiven. Like the disciples we have received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and possess the power to do the things even Jesus did.

Here is the challenge: will we answer, “Here I am, send me"? We are SAVED TO BE SENT. Will we uphold our end of the bargain?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

09 02 08 THE AUTHENTICITY OF OUR FAITH

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-6 NET)

Paul’s desire for the Church to be one is a major concern of his ministry. Here in 2 Corinthians, Paul continues to instruct the believers in Corinth to be in proper relationship with Christ and with one another. One way is to identify with the suffering of Christ with our life struggles and to in turn be in position to then comfort others, as Christ comforts us.

As believers, we no doubt all go through tribulation. God comforts us not only to bring relief, but to make us comforters as well. What we receive from God becomes a gift we give freely to others who suffer. Being more than willing to offer physical as well as spiritual hope mirrors THE AUTHENTICITY OF OUR FAITH.

Even though Christ suffered, He was always more than willing go offer a word of hope, an act of charity, or a sacrifice of service. Though it was not yet His time, He made new wine available at the wedding feast. He went out of His way to heal the sick and speak to the ignored and outcast. As He was being taken into custody in the Garden, He healed the soldiers wound. Even upon the cross, He found time to minister to the repentant sinner next to Him. He shared what He had and used what was available; some water, some fish, some bread, or just a word of hope and consolation.

Let’s not be so consumed with our troubles that we have no time, resources, or comfort to share. Sometimes it’s just a word: other times it takes great sacrifice to respond in faith. How we respond indicates THE AUTHENTICITY OF OUR FAITH. It reveals our intimate relationship with Christ and others see Him!

Monday, September 1, 2008

09 01 08 There is Someone Who Gives Rest

“So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NET)

As Paul addressed a struggling church in Corinth during his missionary trip Ephesus (A.D. 56) he had to point out all sorts of areas that needed improvement. Corinth was a commercialized city, with diverse ethnic groups, widespread immorality, and a fixation upon sexuality and beauty. This sounds so much like our culture today! There was no doubt some disappointment and despair among the followers of Christ to press on with the Gospel.

Today (not just in this era, but TODAY) we face much in the form of opposition to the Gospel. Tolerance, political correctness, party platforms, and individual freedoms challenge our mandate to make disciples of all nations. We must remember we have all authority in heaven and on earth to do so by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We must not back down!

Many ask the question that if God so loves, why is all this stuff going on? Why the immorality? Why the corruption? Why such laws? Why such crime, sickness, and natural disaster? Without getting too deep, it’s because we live in a sin-stained world and God gives us free will to follow Him or the world. Unfortunately, many follow the world and God has allowed us to have the consequences of our choices. The world is winding down to an end, and only those who know the Lord while they are breathing will escape eternal judgment. It’s my plea that everyone I know will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior before it’s too late.

One thing all the devastation makes us aware of; our need for someone to rescue us! There must be someone who can fix things; someone who can make it all better and wipe away every tear. THERE IS SOMEONE WHO GIVES REST and His name is Jesus. It is every believer’s task to live a life that allows others to see Jesus at work in this terrible world. In our family, people need to see Him. At our jobs, people need to see Him. In the grocery store and at the gas station, people need to see Him. When disaster strikes, hurting and desperate people need to see, hear, and feel HIM!

Will you pledge with me to let others know THERE IS SOMEONE WHO GIVES REST, someone who cares? The present situation may not change for a while, but. Jesus changes the future outcome. People need to know that there is a hope and a future that brings joy and victory. It’s not in this world or the things we possess while here. We must fix our eyes, our hearts, and our hope on Jesus!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain…” (Hebrews 6:19 NET)

The writer of Hebrews rests in the anchor of hope that reaches into the Holy of Holies, the place where the Spirit of God dwelt in the Jewish Tabernacle. It refers to the confidence that God alone knows our deepest needs and promises to hold onto us in the palm of His precious hand. People need that anchor, that hope, and that rest. We need to let them know! THERE IS SOMEONE WHO GIVES REST!

one stable foundation,

Then  as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings  are here! ” ...