Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grace vs Confrontation

For I delight in the law of God in my inner being, but I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this death? (Romans 7:22-24)

Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice . . . Which is your reasonable service. Do NOT be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God . . . Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. . . Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. (Romans 12:1-2, 9-12)

It's the SIN I hate, not the sinner. I hate the desire to sin . . . Even within me! However, I must continue to call it SIN, not a cultural choice or something I HAVE to do. Sin is a choice. We weigh the odds and choose sin. I used to choose pornography. I used to choose drunkenness. I used to choose fornication. However, someone pointed out to me that this was SIN according to God's TRUTH and that I had a CHOICE to make. Choosing to accept God's TRUTHS is a decision I make. Choosing NOT to sin is a daily struggle and a process of the Holy Spirit working in and through me. 

If someone had not CHOSEN to confront my sin in love though, I will still be dead in SIN! I would be a nice guy on my way to an eternal hell. Yes, Jesus is full of grace, but if we allow our friends and others to continue in SIN without pointing it out in love, they too will die in their sin and face a wrathful JUDGE. I love my lying friends, my fornicating friends, my friends who are controlled by chemical substances, and yes, my friends who practice or condone a homosexual lifestyle. Yet my heart breaks for them because they believe that God condones their SIN. 

Jesus DIED and ROSE from the dead so we too could die to sin and rise to life in Him. Oh how I pray that others can be reached before it is too late. Life is short. Death is real. Eternity too is real. Lord please allow me to be like You and reach someone for the Kingdom today. I pray for receptive hearts and the courage to confront in love. Let me know when to stay and when to walk away. Let me not walk in my own wisdom or that of others, but in Your wisdom. Use me today and every day left in my life to please You Lord and to bring others to Your TRUTH!

Monday, June 29, 2015

under construction . . .

Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. . . Who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. . . But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. . . For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. . . For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. . .  For we know the whole creation groans and suffers together until now . . . We ourselves groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption . . . In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray . . . And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose . . . what then shall we say then about these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?  . . . It is God who justifies. Who is the one who will condemn?   . . . Who will separate us from the love of God?  . . . For Your sake we encounter death all day long (Psalm 44:12). . . No, in ALL these things we have COMPLETE victory through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor heavenly rulers, nor the things that are present, nor things to come . . . Nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us  from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 81-39)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ungodly Leadership

The one who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but the one who is perverted in his ways despises Him....the household of the wicked WILL be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a person, but in its ends the way that leads to death...those who are evil will bow before those who are good, and the wicked will bow at the gates of the righteous... The wicked WILL be thrown down in his trouble, but the righteous take refuge even in the threat of death....righteousness exalts a nation but SIN is a disgrace to any people. The king shows favor to a wise servant, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully. (Proverbs 14:2,11-12,19,32,34-35)

Wise words from a great king who saw his kingdom fall apart after such great success and power. Wise words from whom the Bible calls the wisest man in history except for our Lord Jesus. History tells us that when the morals of a nation crumble, so does the nation. 

Heed these words or not, as for me and my house we WILL serve the Lord! We take refuge in The King of all kings and The Lord of all lords. 

Maranatha!

 



Friday, June 26, 2015

Not a Funeral March....

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. . . . (Psalm 23)

We often here this at funerals or at the least in times of struggles or depression. However, I was reminded this afternoon that these words are not simply meant to encourage the downtrodden or to dry the tears of the grieving, but to also keep us daily trusting in Him. 

These words of Psalm 23 remind us His daily commitment to each of His children. He supplies our needs. He strengthens me daily. He guides me by His Word each and every day. I do not fear today, tomorrow or yesterday for that matter. God fights for me when I do not even know it! He comforts me, refreshes me, nourishes me mind, body and soul. My desire is to dwell with Him for eternity, not just when I am weak and needy, because in all actuality I am always weak and needy.

No, these words are by no means Christian rhetoric. They give confidence and boldness. They enable me to face every day as if it were my last day . . . All to His glory!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Got time?

When they got out on the beach they saw a charcoal fire ready with a fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said, "Bring  some of the fish you have just now caught . . . Come have breakfast". . . (John 21:9-12)


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hold On...Don't Give In!

For I am sure of this very thing, that the One who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

At times it seems as though we are alone. We struggle to honor the Lord with our daily lives but many times it seems that the enemy is winning. Terror attacks, racism, family squabbles, health issues....

Hold on! Help...in the presence of Jesus, is on the way. He promises to never to leave us nor forsake us. He goes through the valleys with us. He walks upon the water and pulls us up when we feel as though we are drowning. Just when all seems lost, the tomb is opened and Jesus is no longer there but rather walking right beside us...even carrying us!

Don't give up. Don't give in. It is all worth the effort. Our labor is not in vain. Victory is ours!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Need a Revival!

If you repented and patiently waited for Me, you would be delivered; if you calmly trusted in Me you would find strength, but you are unwilling. You say, "No, we will flee on horses" . . . For this reason the Lord is ready to show you mercy. (Isaiah 30:15-18)

Courage: doing the right thing in the midst of fear and confusion. Many want to lash out and simply react because it seems right. Others decide to follow the crowd because it must be right. However, the prophet speaks here of repenting and patiently waiting ( not sitting idly by doing nothing) upon the Lord. 

God calls us to trust Him in challenging times not to simply do anything. He does not want us to run either! waiting upon God takes work. It takes fervent prayer. It takes time to listen and seek God. It takes time to have conversations. It takes time to repent . . . confess . . . prepare . . . correct.

No matter the issue, knee jerk reactions and being politically correct are not the answers. I have yet to hear any real plans for a revival . . . Literally calling God's people to simply come together and seek God's face. When the disciples were confused, they huddled together. Perhaps is was in fear. That was understandable. Yet they came together . . . prayed . . . waited upon God . . . and they received Power! (Acts 1:8)

Is is not right to the same now? I don't know about you, but I need a revival!







Monday, June 22, 2015

Outward appearances

Those who want to make a good showing in external matters are trying to force you to be circumcised. They do so only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. . . For neither circumcision nor u circumcision counts for anything. . . The only thing that matters is a new creation. (Galatians 6:12-15)

Everyone is concerned with the way things seem. Am I dressed right? Is the house clean? Do they like me? 

All dressed up and no where to go! Looking good on the outside but the inside is a mess. Accepted by everyone but never understood . . . Never really loved . . . No real purpose but to please everyone!

Paul reminds that our goal is not to fit in. It is not to be accepted by friends and family. It is not to be popular. The only thing that matters is if we are really and truly born-again . . . Have we been accepted by the Savior into His family? Have we accepted salvation on His terms?

There are many "in the church" but I am afraid very few "in the Body". Many are in the pews but not in the Word. True followers of Jesus Christ are not dying to fit in but striving to stand out . . . for Christ. We are not to blend in to the world for protection but to stand out and draw people to the One that draws us to Him. 

I choose to be the odd ball . . . The peculiar one . . . The one many do not understand . . . As long as God understands and is pleased! My life is not for everyone . . .

Friday, June 19, 2015

His Day....Not Mine!

He guides along the right paths for His name's sake. (Psalm 23:3)

Afraid of making the wrong decision? School choice....job searches....dating....marriage....friendships....vacation plans? 


God is more than ready and able to handle our choices. He desires to hear our dilemmas and counsel us along the way. 


Remember, as His children we were created to please Him, not ourselves!


Make Daddy proud, especially as we approach His day....yeah His day....

FATHER'S DAY!







Thursday, June 18, 2015

Christian humor poster: God's Facebook profile |

Christian humor poster: God's Facebook profile |

Danger Zones!

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. . . .Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil . . .   (Proverbs 4:1-2, 10, 23-27)

Solomon . . .the wisest man in history was not a perfect man, yet he understood what should be done. He witnessed his father David's successes and failures. He observed the consequences of his own sin. he did not want to see his children suffer the same . . . even worse consequences.

I hear from so many young people today that they want to experience things for themselves. We tell them what our experiences were, good and bad, yet they still decide to go left when they have been told there is danger lurking there.

Young folks . . . sons . . . daughters . . . grandchildren . . . please listen: Heed our advice. Do not do the things we have done! There are worse consequences ahead. Seek the Lord while there is still hope. Redeem the times. Be strong and courageous. Do the right thing. God is looking for people . . . young people to walk alongside . . . He will help you through the Danger Zones of life!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Everything?

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  Do everything in love.  (Coritnhians 16:13-14)

Paul is admonishing himself here as much as he is instructing others. Though things may not be as great as we want them to be, there are others in the struggle. We cannot allow our feelings to get in the way of the Gospel!

At times, we feel as though we have a right to vent, complain, even criticize. But Paul reminds us to be on guard. He talks about the struggles of Timothy, Apollos and others. He even spoke of his personal desires to travel elsewhere and even though he was being persecuted, he remained in the will of God.

Like Joshua, Paul reminds us to be courageous . . . to be strong. However, he also tells us to do everything we do in love . . . to the glory of God!

Only what we do for Christ will last . . .











Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Easier said then done!

 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:9-17)

Easier said than done . . . have you ever heard that statement before today? Well, read the above verses from the Apostle John and reflect upon them . . . really reflect! Just within the past week, how difficult has it been to love others as Christ has loved us . . . especially when they have been so cruel and unfair?

The CHRISTian life is not easy. I remind myself over and over again. I cannot seek to get even. I cannot lash out. I cannot simply ignore. I must love as Christ loves me!

It's the only way to really bear fruit for the Kingdom! Oh how I need the Vine Dresser today!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

A better plan of understanding . . .

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.    How then can anyone understand their own way? (Proverbs 20:24)

We all have plans and dreams. We all have a "to-do" list somewhere either in our heads, on a sheet of paper, or on our electronic device. We all have heard that if we fail to plan we plan to fail!

Yet we can plan all we like, but if the Lord is not in the plan it is a futile plan!

Rather than asking God to bless our plans, might we seek to discover God's plans for us this day and then see how we can take steps to bless Him? We just might get a better understanding . . .

Friday, June 12, 2015

Take time . . .

Jesus took time for the little things . . . Are we too busy doing "ministry" to see God at work in the little things? I am as guilty as the rest; trying to get this done or complete that task, yet I forget the time missed with my wife or the little things my children may need.

Take time today to simply observe your surroundings. Where is God at work? Is He calling us away from our  "to-do" list to simply sit with a friend, have a cup of coffee with our spouse, watch a movie with our kids, or even shoot a few hoops?

Look up . . . what do you see?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke19%3A1-2%2C5-7%2C9-10&version=NIRV

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Not Perfect, but BEING Perfected!


You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:13-26)

If only we would choose NOT to sin . . . wouldn't this world, our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, all be better off! While we are safe and secure for eternity through the blood of Christ, we are yet to be perfect. We could be, but the battle goes on between sin and righteous living. (Romans 7:7-25)

It is a daily battle . . . a minute-by-minute choosing if you would.  We must choose NOT to sin. Lord willing, I am sinning less and less day by day and year by year. However, sad as it is, I am not sinless quite yet! I must repent daily of poor choices. (1 John 1:9)

Not perfect, but BEING perfected . . . it's a work in progress!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Responsible adults and families


A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.  Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 3:12-13)

This is good advice for any household that claims the Lordship of Christ. Whether we hold an office in the church or not, we are to represent Christ well within our families so the world can observe a difference. 

We all that one or two within our homes. . . that independent, unique, special child. Admit it. We want to allow him or her to flourish but we need to have some boundaries . . . some sense of  normalcy.

So how are we to shape the will while preserving the child’s spirit intact? It is accomplished by establishing reasonable boundaries and enforcing them with love. Prayerfully, we also must avoid any implication that the child is unwanted, unnecessary, foolish, a burden, or an embarrassment. It takes prayer, advice, counsel, even some Godly correction and discipleship for the parents. God has wired our kids all differently and today's environment has a definite role to play as well. It definitely takes a village and also a lot of humility on everyone's part. Believe me . . . I am living it!

Husbands and wives, men and women, children . . . let's work on this so our light can indeed shine and where we go we can leave a little salt behind to change the flavor of the environment in which we live!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A crying shame?

Jesus saw her crying. He saw that the Jews who had come along with her were crying also. His spirit became very sad, and He was troubled....Jesus wept.(John 11:33-35).


Men are not supposed to cry! How often have those of my generation heard this? However, when Jesus felt the pain of Mary, Martha, and their friends, He too cried. Not a wimpy, feminine cry . . . Not a professional funeral goers cry . . . But a sincere, manly, sympathetic, heart-to-heart, emotional expression of love and compassion for His friends.

It's indeed ok to cry. However, as my bride reminds me . . .

Don't make it a habit!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Only One Priority!

Seek the Lord while He may be found...call on Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

We tend to put off our time God...shorten it...delay it...even forget about it for days. I'm not talking about the simple or ordinary prayers we whisper or the religious action we habitually perform. I'm speaking of real time with God.

How often do we just sit alone with God and have a conversation with Him? How often do we simply marvel at His majesty...His mercy...His grace...His patience...His provisions? Do we limit God to a few minutes and then dedicate our entire day to work, family, and other tasks? 

Is God really our priority or simply a crutch to lean upon when needed? I need to dedicate more quality time with my Savior so the rest of my time can be more productive! What about you?


Friday, June 5, 2015

Do It Anyway!

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Matthew 5:41)

In a day and age when it's all about "me", God still calls His people to be all about "others". It's hard . . . difficult . . . challenging . . . but we have to make the effort! It's God-honoring to humble ourselves and give despite the pain and even embarrassment.

But remember the cross . . . remember the pain . . . remember the sacrifice the Savior made on our behalf. Only what we do for Christ will last anyway!

Kill 'em with kindness everyone!






Thursday, June 4, 2015

Never on vacation . . .

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

Jesus is speaking to everyone here . . . for us to be salt and light to everyone! It's easy to become comfortable around fellow believers, but we too need a little seasoning now and then! We too need to have a little light shone around us at times!

While it is true that we should always be sharing the TRUTH to those who do not believe and sharing biblical views among the unbelievers, we too must not forget that we believers stray now and then!

Never get too comfortable. Sprinkle a little SALT as we go . . . preserve and defend God's Word when someone gets a bit too gnarly or coarse. Shed some LIGHT on the conversation or when the TV show goes too far left.

People, saved and unsaved alike, tend to wander into darkness now and then. I know I do. We all can be tempted to become a bit lazy or bland in our walk. So keep the SALT shaker handy and batteries in the LIGHT. We will probably be able to utilize both today!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Praying for Godly Wisdom and Knowledge

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . .(Ephesians 1:15-20)

As parents/mentors/educators, we have an awesome privilege and opportunity to disciple our young people. Though at time it may be challenging . . . even a bit irritating, we must NEVER stop thanking God for the position He has placed us! He knows we can handle even the most difficult of students because He has equipped us!

But do we allow God to use us?

We must keep asking God for the power . . . His power . . . to reach these kids. The same power from which He raised Christ from the dead is available to each of us! As we pray for the students we must also pray for one another.

God not only give us the knowledge . . . the wisdom . . . but also the power to reach these young people . . . so they may come to know YOU . . .for YOUR glory! 





Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Continuing Education

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:6-8)

Summer is upon us . . . schools are either closed or winding down . . .graduations all around us. . . . Like me, teachers are cleaning up, packing up and either planning to get away or planning for summer school (me!).

Education in the classroom is a good thing. However, we must be constantly educated concerning the things of God! All the degrees, diplomas and certificates won't do for eternity. Titles and offices will all burn off in the fire.

What matters most is Whom we know and what we know about Him . . . that we KNOW Him!

What are your plans for continuing in your education?


Monday, June 1, 2015

I need just a little more Jesus!

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.  Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. . . . Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19:20-21,27)

I look back over the past year or two and I stand in awe of my God and Savior! Oh, where He has taken me!

In the recent past, I had so many plans, so many designs for my own life and when they failed to play out I was so disappointed. I searched for whom to blame. Where did I go wrong? Why did this not work out?  What could I do to fix it?

If I had only placed my full trust in the Lord I would have avoided so much frustration and anger! Yes, He was disciplining me. He was preparing me. He was providing for me. However, I had been focused on me and my situation and not the Lord!

He had a plan!

I want to trust Him more. I want His will to show in my life so others can see and want to follow Him as well. I want to be a light on a hill not and mere ember in the wilderness. Yet it is His will . . . not mine! I pray for more trust and less doubt . . . more Jesus and less of me. Will you pray with me and for me?  

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

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! ” ...