Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sight or Vision: Time for an Eye Exam

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.(2 Corinthians 5:1-7)

These are not unfamiliar verses, but they are often overlooked and simply assumed. it takes courage and conviction to live by vision (faith) and not by what we see!

Dr. Myles Munroe says that living by sight can kill a person, especially in this world! Life is so full of depressing things that one has to learn to live by vision and see with the eyes of faith.

A friend of mine calls this seeing with spiritual eyes!

Living by sight can kill a dream, a career, a future. Remember that sight is the ability to see things as they are, and vision is the ability to see things as they could or should be.

Please read the passage again and allow it to cause us to examine how we have been seeing things lately . . . . (2 Corinthians 5:1-7)

Reality really bites at times; I know it does for me! However, to realy please the Lord, we must push through!

The writer of Hebrews said it this way . . . And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Walking (living) by faith requires vision from the Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.(Revelation 2:17)

Jesus addreses the church in Pergamum and lets them know that He knows all about their struggles in Revelation 2:12-16. He told them He knew Satan was all around them yet they remained true to Him. They kept their faith. They remained believers. Yet some still held on to false teachings, worshipped idols, and lived a promiscuous lifestyle. Some held onto doctrinal teachings more so than they cherished their realtionship to the Lord.

Jesus could address us in the same manner this day . . . 2011. Oh sure, we still claim Jesus as Lord and Savior. We still faithfully worship and share the Gospel, yet we still hold on to the idols of our day. We cannot do without the SUV, the large home, the clothes, the shoes, the newest electronic gadget. I need my ESPN, NFL and MLB networks. My child must have _____________ (fill in the blank). I just cannot shop at Wal-Mart or Target or Payless for my clothes and shoes . . . what will people think? Does any of this sound familiar? Oh, did I mention that my church is the best church? We have the best music ministry and just do so much for so many . . .

Yes, we love the Lord and trust Him with our eternal souls. But do we trust Him enough to worship Him and Him alone? Do we really believe the wise Solomon?(Proverbs 3:4-6)Do we live out the words of Jeremiah?(Jeremiah 29:11)Are we living sacrifices for the Lord, turning from this world's corruption and greed? (Romans 12:1-2).

There are rewards awaiting those who overcome the lusts and greed of this world. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What are We Afraid of anyway?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

John is addressing his dear children as he comes to the close of his life as overseer of many churches in Asia Minor.

He is concerned for their hearts . . . their true convictions and their real character.

Many are swaying the hearts of the believers here in the early church. People are teaching that Christ is not the messiah . . . He was not truly God in the flesh . . . the Incarnate One (1 John 4:1-4)

Does this sound familiar today? Churches tickling the ears of the congregations . . . young people swayed by this fad and that fashion . . .compromise after compromise to make things more acceptable.

So how do we know that God is in us . . . that He cares . . . that he is God? Glad you asked . . .

(1 John 4:13-18) We know because He lives within us. We feel His presence. We live like He lived despite those areound us. We do not back down from evil and we never ever compromise His Word and His ways! We never aologize for who we are and WHOSE we are!

Kids today need to see and feel Jesus; Adults do as well. Is he real? Does He care? People see Him in us and they feel Him in our authenticity.

Love is a verb . . . not a religion! he is a person . . . a relationship . . . a way of life! What are we afraid of anyway?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Workmen

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15)

Paul is encouraging young Timothy here to persevere through challenging times. Timothy is young and facing a lot of false teachers and others who doubt his authenticity. Paul not only tells Timothy to avoid such people, but be sure that his life is one of consistentcy and that he is is real to the people he deals with on a daily basis.

We all face those who doubt us and our God these days, especially our youth. They must be encouraged to press on each day . . . continue to honor God with their lives . . . and not to be two-faced. We must be there to help them and give them the tools to improve in their relationships with God and one another. They have to prove to the world they are really serious about their faith so others may see their God!

Are we (the old folks) ready to help our youth or just talk about them? The younger generation today is excited, energetic, and serious. Will we commit to see that they are excited, energetic, and serious about the Lord? Will we commit to them and to our God and let them see that we are workmen who do not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Choose Wisely

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!(Proverbs 16:16)

Wisdom
as defined by Webster is the accumulated philosophic or scientific learning; ability to discern inner qualities and relationships;a wise attitude, belief, or course of action. Wisdom is not simply knowledge or facts. Wisdom involves accumulated learning, discernment concerning things of the heart, and an attitude. Wisdom comes over time and according to Webster, involves interpersonal relationships and experience over time.

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,she raises her voice in the public square . . .(Proverbs 1:20). In his use of personification, Solomon also wrote that wisdom cries out to those who desire to hear from her. It is an understatement to say that there is a lack of wisdom in our world today!

The young would be wise to listen to their parents advice. Governments would be wise to learn from past mistakes. We parents and grandparents would be wise to learn from our past and begin discerning things in a more mature manner. Wisdom is not being sure our children have all the games, clothes, and things they want. It is setting the example and providing what they need! Our children need genuine relationships, discipline, and self-control! Oh wisdom is calling, much louder than riches . . . But are we listening to her voice?

How else will be able to handle the tragedies of life and still hold on to our faith? How else can we possibly get through a day of one disappointment after another? How else is one able to choose right over wrong and good rather than evil? How will we know without Godly wisdom? When all the things we face are put up against the wisdom of God and His standards, one will choose wisdom and understanding over the things the world offers. It is not easy, but it is wise!

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.(Matthew 24:35)The things of this world are temporary, no matter how long they last. Only God's Word . . . His TRUTHS, will remain! Choose wisely my friends!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jesus has Spoken

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.(Revelation 3:21-22)

Jesus went through a lot . . . that is an understatement! It was not easy winning our salvation. What makes us even think we are going to have an easy life? In fact, many times the unbeliever will have a much easier time through life, because he is no threat to Satan and he has little required of him in life.

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are und er the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (Romans 3:19)

While everyone will come face to face with God one day, the believer is responsible for what he does for Christ as well. As we suffer through the challenges of life, many time we face ridicule, discrimination, prejudice, even physical persecution because of our stand for the Lord! But as we overcome . . . as we keep our faith, God honors that and will not forget. Just as Jesus was given a high and lifted up position in heaven, so we too will be rewarded by our Father!

Are we listening? Jesus has spoken! Are we going to repond with a life of obedience and dedication to the things of God or the things of this world? It is a sacrifice worth living!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hold On . . . .

Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.(1 Thessaloninas 5:21-22)

Paul was encouraging the believers here to not give up. The Day of the Lord is indeed approacing, and we as believers need not to shrink back or be intimidated by evil, but hold on to what we know is good, perfect, and right!We as a Body must be sure to rejoice in these challenging times and be sure that everything that is done is done for the good of all concerned, not just the few. Wrong is never right and right is never wrong!(1 Thessalonians 5:15)

In these last and eveil days, we must be led by His Spirit and controlled by His Spirit, not simply our emotions. (1 Thessalonians 5:19) The Word of God is aways our litmus test. It must be our guide and source of wisdom.

James would remind us that if anyone lacks wisdom, we are to ask of God.(James 1:5) When all hell seems to breaking loose, God cherishes sharing His wisdom with His children . . . it's the only way we can hold on!

Monday, March 21, 2011

C'Mon Man!

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.(James 4:17)To know what is right to do and then do something else is well . . . stupid! Would anyone in their right mind choose the wrong thing? Would a contestant on a game show choose the wrong answer and lose the money? Would a singer in a talent show choose a song they could not sing well? Would you or I choose to buy a vehicle we did not like if had the resources to buy whatever vehicle we desired?

C'mon man!

The bible tells us we all sin and fall short of the glory, the perfection of God.(Romans 3:23) yet while we were yet sinners (even now) God made a way for us to be with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross.(Romans 5:8) We who trust Christ as Lord and Savior will not receive what we deserve, but be granted mercy and receive His grace . . . eternal life with God (Romans 6:23). One who truly believes and repents (true sorrow)of His sin will be forgiven, saved from their sin. (Romans 10:9-10)God promises to call this one His son (John 1:12)Then the believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable him to live a life worthy of a holy God. (Acts 1:8)

There is one way . . . one right way to be free from sin and eternal death (separation from God). It through Christ alone (solo Christo). Any other attempt to have a realtionship with God Almighty is the wrong way!

Man's attempt to find God is simply a relgion . . . a belief in a god with some organized form of worship. God's attempt to reach out to humanity is through a relationship . . . through Christ and the sacrifice He made upon the cross and His resurrection from the grave. He has power over sin and death.

Let's not choose sin . . . it is wrong! It is getting late!!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.(Revelation 3:11-13)

Hold on . . . It will not be long! I am not claiming to know the Day or even saying it is soon to come, but Christ's return is sooner than it was yesterday! One has to simply read the headlines, watch the news, and peruse the internet.

“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 24:4-8)

Sound familiar???? Do we have ears to hear and eyes to see? Hold on to your faith and share it now more than ever!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Still Victorious

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)

Seized by the Philistines, David places his trust in the Lord. No matter the enemy, no matter the power or size of the army. David had been through these kinds of things before and God had brought him through! God is faithful as we trust Him. I am sure Isaiah had this in mind too when God spoke through him:no weapon forged against you will prevail!(Isaiah 54:17)

As we face the many uphill battles in life, as we trust God and experience His guidance, direction, provisions, and wisdom, we learn to trust Him more and more as we go through life. As we look back we can see where God has made a way. Where we have stumbled, we realize it was not God, but we who failed!

After all, what can any man possibly do to us who call ourselves children of the Most High? Really????? If the worst they can do is kill us . . . take us out of this life . . . then we still are victorious!

Trust God. Let's keep our eyes upon Him and His plan. Watch Him work!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who's Number 1?

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.(Mark 10:45)

We are in March and it seems everyone is MAD! It used to be known as the NCAA basketball playoffs. Now it's March Madness and everyone is taking a piece of the action!March Madness slaes and discounts . . . march Madness pools at work . . . even bracketology classes!Everyone is an expert and everyone wants to benefit somehow from what began as sixteen teams vying for a college basketball championship.

Here in Mark, jesus had been tested by the Pharisees on divorce. He confronted the disciples for chasing away the little children. He addressed the rich young ruler.He talked about His impending death. Then James and John had a request:Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory. (Mark 10:37)After all Jesus had been speaking about, relationships, innocence, and unselfishness, those closest to Him asked the age old question: What's in it for me?

Jesus' answer in verse 45 was basically this: It's not about you! Me last as people say today! You (me)It is Jesus, Others, then You (me). JOY

It's madness alright . . .In a few weeks one group of students will be chanting throughout the campus . . . "We're Number 1!" Well, WHO is really number one . . . not you or me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Open Relationships

On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.(1 Thessalonians 2:4)

Paul (Saul) was never a people pleaser. As a Pharisee, he had directed the arrests, beatings, trials, and murders od Christians. Once convinced by the Lord Jesus of the TRUTHS of God, Paul was fired up and determined to do the will of God! Now he was the one chased down, imprisoned, beaten nearly to death and shipwrecked at sea. He was a man about his and no one would deter him from the task at hand!

Many today are approved by men. We all have our degrees, job titles, and prestigous positions of influence. We have passed many tests to get where we are in life. We qualify!But has God approved us . . . .

God tests the heart. He allows trials and tribulations not so man can see we are worth the efforts but that He (God)can see how much He can trust us. Paul was very open and honest with all he dealt with in life. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God(1 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

God deals with each of His children in the same way. he loves us enough to care for us, nourish us, provide for us, correct us ,and direct us. As leaders in the faith, we need to deal with others open, honestly, and directly . . . in love!

God knows our hearts and the hearts of others . . .let's love one another as God has loved us!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Diligence has its Rewards

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity.(Jeremiah 29:13-14)

So many want to know God. So many want to receive His blessings. So many want . . . yet so few give . . . sacrifice what is required. We must have faith!Without faith, it is impossible to please God!(Hebrews 11:6) But again, this kind of faith is shown in one who diligently seeks after God . . . with his whole heart . . . his entire being!



I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.(Proverbs 8:17)Solomonwrites of an eager search for the Lord. It is motivated by love and rewarded by God's embrace!Do we seek after God for His promises or because we love Him?

Finally Jesus said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."(John 14:21)

God is motivated by love. (John 3:16) Let's check our motivation and as we begin to love more diligently, we will not only get closer to our Savior, but others will see Him as well!Is that not why we do things anyway, so others will see Him and give Him glory?(Matthew 5:16).

The promises of God are to those who seek Him out of a sincere love for Him.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Got Your Helmet on?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.(Ephesians 6:10-11)

A soldier would never go into battle without the proper planning, the full amount of training and weapons, or the proper equipment. Why then do we as CHRISTians decide to battle our enemy with no weapons, little training, and without back-up? Why do we run into a cross-fire after being warned of the impending doom? Can we take an example from one of God's most successful soldiers?

Paul knew what the enemy could do . . . He fought with the enemy for years! As a Pharisee and persecutor of Christians, Paul(Saul) was responsible for many believers to be jailed, beaten,and killed. (Acts 7:54-60)Paul would warn us (Ephesians 6:12) that our enemy is not simply flesh and blood powerful strongholds and demonic spirits way beyond what we could imagine! Even after suiting up with the full armor of God , we must pray continuously (Ephesians 6:18).

Each day as we enter battle, and we do enter a war zone the minute our eyes open, we must be aware of sudden attack, hidden mines, and subtle ifluences from enemy spies. Satan is not a dummy! However, if we use the weapons and other defensive and offensive tools at our disposal, we can be victorious hour by hour, battle after battle, day by day. Our General has prepared us well and laid out our plan . . . let's follow Him into battle and realize the victory is won! We are not alone!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nicodemus, an Pharisee and member of the teaching leaders of the Jewish church had no idea. Once confronted by the Living Word, he was born again! He grew to be so bold as to be at the cross of Christ on Calvary. One who was once in darkness, was now able to walk in the light!

On this my 51st birthday, I am reminded that 18 years ago this summer, one week after my five year old daughter was saved at my present church's VBS, a minister clearly showed me that I was a sinner (Romans 3:23). He had me read that I could receive the grace of God (Romans 6:23) and if I would believe with my whole heart, repent, and confess that sincere belief in the Savior (Romans 10:9-10)that I too could be saved from my sin. I commited my life to the Lord that summer day in 1993 and became His child (John 1:12). I am convinced in my heart that He forgives me daily as I confess my sin (1 John 1:9).

Like Nicodemus, I am now born again and walk in the light of forgiveness and eternal security. It was not just words or a walk down the aisle. In fact, I was saved in a house. I had only been in the church I now call home when my daughter was baptized. That was the only time I had stepped inside the church.

I am eternally grateful on this my birth-day for my parents. But more so, I am eternally grateful for the grace of God, for second, third and millionth chances, for my bride and children, and for my one and only Pastor and other ministers and teachers who have diciplined me, taught me, encourged, me, and walked beside me along the way!

What about you . . . are YOU born again?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In _______ We Trust

No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me declares the Lord.(Isaiah 54:17)

What are we afraid of? God promises success in this life and for eternity as we walk with Him and follow His will. Riches are not promised. Wealth is not guaranteed, friends are not promised to us. In fact, we may do without quite often! we may just suffer a bit . . . as Christ did!

However, as we follow His will and honor His design for our life, we will leave a legacy of faith behind and enjoy an eternity with our Father and receive all the rewards He has awaitng those who trust in Him!

NOTHING can defeat the plans of God. We can forfiet them however by the choices we make! God is our defender and our foundation. In Him we have our hope and trust. No one, no thing, no place can ever do more. Why do we place our trust in anything else?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Real Nourishment

This kind can come out only by prayer (and fasting). (Mark 9:29)

Matthew and Mark both record this occurance of Jesus, just after His transfiguration, removing the evil spirit from a young boy. The disciples were dismayed: "Why could we not remove the evil spirit?", they asked. Jesus let them know that it takes prayer and fasting at times. The varying transcripts sometimes leave out the fasting part and versions of Matthew 17 leave out verse 21 altogether. Whatever translation one may read, we realize that without a deep and intimate relationship with God the Father, we cannot do anything!

Sincere prayer and concentrated fasting causes one to reluy upon the Lord for the very resources of life, namely daily nourishment. When tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3: "man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." Jesus had just fasted for 40 days and now was prepared for the battle in the wilderness.

The closer we are to the Lord the more ready we are for the battles life throws upon us. As we anticipate the enemy at times, we need to prepare more intensely. In the middle of a struggle, we may need to engage the enemy with a deeper and more concentrated battle plan, including fasting. These things, this kind of battle we know we cannot face with our normal, everyday strategy. We must go the extra mile and make the extra sacrifice in order to be in intimate communication with the Lord and under the power of His Holy Spirit!

Real nourishment comes directly from God. It is what believers live and breathe for daily. We should crave it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hope in Whom?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.(Romans 15:13)

What is hope? Is it a maybe or an unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is to dream about but yet there is no certainty of the fulfillment. It may be to desire very much, but with no real guaranteeof getting your heart's desire.

In God's Word, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word hope and according to the biblical usage, hope refers to certaintycertainty. Hope in Scripture means a strong and confident expectation. Though a bit old-fashioned today in modern terms, hope relates to trust and a secure outcome.

Many are hope-less today; no dreams, no vision, no future, no security. They see no future for themselves or their families. Desperation has set in. No job, forclosures, families split apart . . . yet there is hope in God;s Word!

I can only suggest that you try Him! God does not promise a rose garden here on earth . . . man ruined that idea in the Garden of Eden. Yet He does promise abundant life . . . eternal life with Him! This world is just a small portion of our life. As we live and trust in Jesus and the power of His Holy Spirit, we begin to live out His promises and enjoy our heavenly position as a child of the Living God!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Relationships

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.(Psalm 145:17-19)

God honirs those who know Him!However, knowing the Lord is not simply a statement made in the prayer room or a walk down the center aisle of a church. Knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord requires repentance from sin, commitment to a particular way of life, and an intimate relationship with the Creator! CHRISTians are a peculiar people.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.(1 Peter 2:9)

God requires obedience in order to Him to bless. Though God is patient with us and slow to use His wrath against us, He cannot be a part of a sinful lifestyle. Though the believer is still not sin-less, we strive to sin less and less as the Holy Spirit leads us. The difference between a believer and a wanna-be believer is the conviction of sin and the shame that comes from with it. We despise the sin within us and we hate the fact that we even consider sin!

True relationship with God is intimate and genuine. We share our pains, joys, trials, and most personal thoughts. Cry out to the Father today. Let Him know your feelings. He is waiting to confort you. His arms are outstretched . . . come to HIM!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Faithful . . . .

O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going. (Psalm 30:3)

As David dedicated the temple in this psalm, he recalled how fiathful God had been to him as he went through trials and tribulations. God is faithful . . .it is just Who is is!

As we struggle through life we realize it is not God who causes us to fall. It is from our own lusts, desires, and weaknesses. We give in. We give up. We give out. God remains faithful to His Word and His character.

Yet as we reach success and milestones in life, we at times tend to pat ourselves on the back too much. I planned . . . I studied . . . I made it!

Our focus tends to be on God when we fail more than when we succeed: "Why God?",we ask. However,when we succeed, we do not ask why too often! Oh, we are thankful, but never if at all question why!

God has a plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11). Most times the plans for ultimate success has some failures along the way. The question to ask is "What do I do in this situation Lord?" Show me how to react to this disappointment,this setback, even this success. How can I please You best? How can You best receive the honor at this point in my life?

Let's remember God is the good times as well as the not to pleasant times. He is faithful to us. He is always with us. It is He who allows things to occur. He is still in control . . . still steering the ship!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Like my Daddy?

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.(John 17:15-17)

What a beautiful prayer: from a Father to a son; from a grandparent for his young grandchildren; even from a teacher toward his or her most challenged students!

Imagine Christ speaking itimately with the Father concerning the ones He will be leaving behind, even sending out. He was asking for strength, protection and confidence for these struggling believers. He had given them all He could and was about to leave them to go home. It was the WORD of God . . . His TRUTH that would secure them.

We as parents and grandparents cannot ask that our children be isolated from the world. We want them to impact the world for Christ! We want them to go through Samaria, not around it! As frightening as that may be, it is the TRUTH and His WORD that will ultimately get them by . . . along with the visual and verbal examples we leave them.

Yes our words impact the children we have around us. More importantly, it is our example!

What do we do when pushed to the edge? How do we react to challenges? To Whom do we turn?

Do we go to the Rock or crawl under a rock? What do we say? Do our actions back up our words?

Jesus prayed for you and me and then acted on God's will in His power. What do our children see and hear in us? Do we want them to imitate our life?

It is my desire that my children say: "I want to be like my Daddy, becuase he wants to be like Jesus!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still Sufficient

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.(Lamentation 3:22-23)

Jeremiah witnessed the Lord's wrath upon Israel for her disobedience, yet he realized it could and should have been worse! As we witness the world around us, we too can see where God has judged and where He has simply left man to His own desires and the subsequent consequences.

Even in our personal lives, we can see clearly at times where God has chastised us. We have felt His sting. We have experienced the isolation of being out of fellowship with our Father. We have feared His discipline . . . I know I have!

Yet becasue of His great love, compassion, grace and mercy, you and I have not been consumed: Great is His faithfulness!God still holds out for us to turn toward Him and come to Him humbly for forgiveness and a desire to obey. But I often wonder how long will He will continue to be patient? How long is His longsuffering? How much more can He bear?

Thank God for His grace. It is still sufficient! Yet time is running out: He will return, sooner rather than later! Others need to know of His grace and we need to share it . . . TODAY!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ready to Bless

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.(1John 5:14-15)

As a parent of four and grandparent of five, I stand ready to bless my children. I am just waiting to reward them. In fact, if you ask my wife, I sometimes give to them because I want to, not because they have done something well! Whatever the case, my desire is for them is to do well, choose right, and be blessed.

God our Father is no different. I believe He cannot wait to bless His children. However, unlike me and most earthly dads, He cannot reward mediocrity or disobedience! God desires holiness, yet He stands ready to bless nonetheless.

I often say that God has a place for every one of His children on His refrigerator in heaven. He is waiting to place our picture, our artwork, our special and unique offering up for all to see, if we simply obey!

God stands ready to bless today . . .are we willing tomake the decision to obey? Be holy, because God is holy!(1 Peter 1:16).

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! ” ...