Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Way, The Truth, and the Life

I heard a great quote yesterday as I was listening to Chuck Swindoll. I want to share it with you. The quote is attributed to Merrill Tenney as he was referring to Jesus as the way, the truth and the life. "In the way there is the going, in the truth there is the knowing, and in the life there is the living."

Jesus is truly everything we need!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pillar of God

There is an interesting scripture that states the reward to the over-comer. Jesus says in Revelation 3:12 "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God." What a great and precious promise. But have you ever stopped to think about what that means? Let me share with you a few thoughts.

1. A pillar was placed to honor a very important person (a dignitary)

2. A pillar was meant to adorn the front of the entrance to a temple

3. A pillar is to reflect the glory of the one who built the temple.

What an honor to be given a place of importance, and to be given the opportunity to reflect the glory of the one who gave His life for us.

Open Door

The sight of an open door invites action or at least curiosity. How many times have you stood before an open door and peered just inside to see where it goes? The fact is that all of us have done that very thing. When should you go through an open door? Glad you asked.

1. When you know the one that holds the key to the open door

2. When you are certain that no harm will come to you.

3. When the key-holder will walk through the door with you.

In Revelation 3:8 Jesus tells the Church of Philadelphia that He holds the keys, and no one will shut the open door. He also promises to be with them.

What great assurance that the Lord can give to us as we stand before an open door. What open door is standing before you, fear not He holds the keys!

Who Approves of You?

The race for approval in our society is a never ending quest. This quest is characterized by outward modifications and image. But, can you really find approval and acceptance through this quest?

The answer is no.

Then where do we find approval?

I am glad you asked. We find approval from the Lord. Let me explain.

In 2 Corinthians 10:18 we read that the Lord commends the faithful and approves of their person. Aren't you glad you didn't have to try to earn it? It is simply doing what God has asked you to do, and doing it.

God loves His children and He approves of them, not because of who they are. But because of who He is.

From the Rising of the Sun

There have been many times that I have read a scripture and thought I knew what it meant. Then there were times that someone taught on that scripture and illuminated my mind.

In Psalm 113:3 we read "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets the name of the Lord is to be praised." What does this mean?

This is what I think it means.

Wherever in the world we call home we have a responsibility to praise the Lord. Christianity is not just an American product or is it geographical specific. Just think about it, right now in some place on the globe the name of the Lord is being praised.

Don't miss your opportunity. As the sun touches your part of the world, open up your mouth and praise the Lord.

Sow What?

Have you ever wondered why it is that your neighbor has more tomatoes than you do? Could it be that you only planted a few tomato plants and your neighbor planted many plants on 10,000 acres of his farm? Sowing makes a big difference in what we reap. The Bible states a principle in 2 Corinthians 9:6 "... whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (N.I.V.)

What would you say is your situation? Do you never seem to have enough? Do your pockets seem to have holes in them? Maybe you should ask yourself, "am I sowing into the Kingdom of God?" If you are sowing into the Kingdom of God generously you will reap a bumper crop of blessings. One man said "God loves a cheerful giver, but He also receives from a grouch."

I challenge you today to sow into the Kingdom of God, the returns are out of this world.

Too Busy Not to Pray

About 4 years ago I read a book by Bill Hybels "Too Busy Not to Pray." I would recommend this book without reservation as Bill tackles a common topic with uncommon Hybels style. If you are unfamiliar with Bill Hybels, read this book. I was reminded of this book in my devotions this morning as I read Nehemiah chapter 1.

Let me share with you my thoughts about this chapter.

  • His heart was broken by the report of what is going on in Jerusalem, (he was in modern day Iran)
  • He set himself to pray for four months! After this time he had clear direction of what to do about the situation in Jerusalem.
  • He asked the Lord for favor as he would make his request of the king. (Read chapter 2 for more details.
Could I challenge you to bear with a broken heart to the Throne of God the things that trouble you. Secondly, would set a time aside to pray about these situations? Finally will you ask the Lord for favor?

If we go before the Lord He will hear us and He will give us what we ask.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Do You In A Crisis?

There is a passage of scripture in Daniel 6:10 that is good advice to anyone in the midst of a crisis. I am sure that you remember the story. There was a plot among the wise men to catch Daniel doing something wrong. But the only thing they could fault him with was praying to some other god besides King Darius. "Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem, ... and prayed ... just as he had done before." (Dan. 6:10 N.I.V.)

When you are in a crisis, don't fret. Make it your habit to pray just like you always do.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The End of Pride

God is a patient God. God even warns us about coming consequences. The biggest problem we have is pride. We can become proud and forget the warning from God. Let me tell you about a man who was proud and God humbled him.

The man's name is Nebuchadnezzar. He was the king of Babylon (Iraq) when Daniel was alive. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream and Daniel interpreted the dream. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he would be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals. He told him that he would eat grass like cattle. You would think that Nebuchadnezzar would change his ways right? Wrong.

He going on about his prideful way. He was so proud of himself and his accomplishments. Then as he was speaking a voice came from Heaven (Daniel 4:31-32) and repeated what Daniel had told him. Immediately he went insane and began to eat grass like cattle. At the end of seven years he was restored to the throne. This time he was humble.

Nebuchadnezzar said "and those who walk in pride he is able to humble." (Daniel 4:37) God keeps His word, what has He spoken to you?

Rescued or Not

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the Three Hebrew children who don't worship the golden statue. I like this story because of their response. They are looking for words to say, and they are bold to proclaim their faith in the God who saves.

1. They know who to talk to (God, not Nebuchadnezzar)
2. They are confident that the God they serve will rescue them.
3. They are not afraid of the punishment that is ahead of them.

Bible stories are not just for Sunday school, they are for daily living. Could I challenge you to serve the God who is able to save?

Useless Faith

I am so glad that Jesus is no longer on the Cross or for that matter in the tomb. But what would life be like is the Resurrection were not real?

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:17-18 the following.

1. Our faith is useless.
2. We are still going to have to pay for our sins, no hope!
3. Those who have died with the hope of Heaven will be lost forever.
4. We only have hope in this life.
5. We are the most pitiful people that have ever lived.

Good news, Jesus is in Heaven preparing a place for those who have prepared to go there. Have you prepared for Heaven?

I Need You!

Have you ever felt insignificant among the 6 and 1/2 billion people in the world today? Well good, I don't feel so bad. It is not easy to see how you contribute to the bigger picture if you don't feel needed. I have good news for you. There are no insignificant people in the Body Of Christ.

It is a fact that the body is made up of lots of members. Each member has its assignment and when each member does what it is supposed to do, then the body functions properly. You may wonder what is my part in the Body of Christ? Am I an eye or ear or something else? Only you and the Lord know where you fit and what your job is. The most important thing to remember is that you matter.

Let me be so bold as to say that if you don't do your part, then I can't do my part. Or in another words you are needed, and you are so very significant. Thanks for being a part of the Body Of Christ!

Did You Forget Something?

It is easy to take people or things for granted. Think about the things that we rely on that we don't give a second thought. Now what would happen if these things were taken away from us? Some of us would be forced to do without these things. Now let's look at something else we may take for granted.

The cleansing of our past sins. Wow! Let that sink in for just a moment. This is something that we would never want to forget, yet we probably have taken this for granted as well. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:9 "But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." (NIV)

What is Peter talking about? He is referring to the qualities of Christian growth found in 2 Peter 1:5-7. If we refuse to grow up in Christ we lose our spiritual vision and our recollection of our redemption.

Let this be your prayer today. "God let me grow in grace, and never forget what you have done for me!"

His Command

What is the command of the Lord to us today? It is found in I John 3:23 "And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us."

1. God sent His Son for our sins. (John 3:16) God wants us to believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.

2. God showed His love to us. (Romans 5:8) God wants us to show others His love today.

His command requires us to trust Jesus for our future, and to share the reason why we do not fear the future.