Archive | February 2018

Acts 13:2 “While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘ Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ “

What the Lord requires of me is completely different from what He is calling you to accomplish for Him.  But we have all been set apart or selected by God…entrusted with the divine call to share the Gospel Message with others.  Yes, your calling is to your co-workers, friends , and family…those in your circle of influence.  But it’s also to those people He brings across your path daily…the sad looking waitress, the harried, young Mom waiting in line with you,  or the neighbor who’s just received devastating health news.  You have been set apart for all them…called to bring the Good News of Jesus to those who desperately need it.

Psalm 108:3-4 ” I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples. For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

Having a really bad day?  Go outside then, take a deep breath,  and look up into the sky.  Now celebrate the fact that God’s majesty is on display just for you.  Thank Him that He sought you out in your brokenness and worked a miracle in your life.  Proclaim to Him again your trust in His son, Jesus Christ.  Gaze up into the sky and recognize… that vast expanse above you can not start to contain God’s love for you.

II Corinthians 4:4 ” The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.”

The god of this age, Satan, has fogged over the minds of unbelievers…dulling their perception of God and causing them to be indifferent and apathetic.  In I Corinthians 1:18,  Paul  says that the message of the Cross sounds like foolishness to the unbeliever…something so ridiculous and stupid as not to be believed.  It’s only when the light of the Gospel breaks through this fog, dawning upon the minds of unbelievers that they can see clearly the uncertain path before them.  The Gospel message is called the Good News for a reason…it’s not only  proclaiming the Kingdom of God and salvation through Christ, but it’s the truth piercing through the fog, illuminating our wretchedness,  but also offering  forgiveness, peace, and hope.

Nehemiah 8:9 “Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Lord.”

The words of the Lord should move us when we hear or read them.  “For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)   The word of God should touch us and evoke emotion from within. For from nowhere else can you be divinely encouraged, comforted, inspired or convicted.

Matthew 6:6 ” But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, Who is unseen. Then your Father, Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Praying shouldn’t be a publicity stunt for the cameras while seeking  15 minutes of fame. For it’s our personal, intimate conversation with God…and He takes prayer very seriously…and so should we.  As a Believer, I’ve seen the power of prayer and witnessed how intercessory prayer can literally  change the atmosphere.  But we tend to think of prayer as some sweet little poem we recite at the dinner table before meals and not the authoritative commands we can speak under the power of  Jesus’ blood.   To paraphrase I John 4:4, Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.  And if we could but grasp a glimpse of just how powerful our prayers are…this world would be shaken, and all the evil in it.   May I then be so bold as to encourage  you to prayer walk around your town…around your schools…around the area you live in.  For we are all asking ourselves the same question, “What can I  do  in the face of all this evil in the world?”  The answer is prayer…bold, impassioned prayer.

John 17:17 ” Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.”

In this chaotic and deceptive world today, how do we know what’s true and what’s false?  With fake news and questionable anonymous sources spewing misleading information…where are we to find balance and  authenticity?  So I ask you this,  how can we not search for the truth from the Creator of all truths?  God’s words are trustworthy, (II Samuel 7:28).   The truth found in the Bible is absolute, transcendent, and divinely revealed to you…if you but open the book.  When you are armed with God’s truth,  you will not be easily swayed or deceived…for when God’s word is your bedrock,  you will be able to look past confusion and see God’s hand at work.

Hebrews 9:26 ” Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

No matter how many animal sacrifices were made in the Temple…they never fully removed the people’s sin.  It wasn’t until Jesus Christ gave Himself up as the unblemished Lamb of God that humankind was finally delivered from the guilt and punishment of sin.  Hebrews 9:12 says, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.”  God offered His only son, Jesus, to take our place on that Cross.  He died as an atonement for our sins…His blood being shed once for all.  Which means He only had to died one time, not over and over again like the Temple sacrifices.  For it was Jesus that took upon Himself the sins of the entire world that you and I might be redeemed and set free.

John 1:48 ” Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Phillip called you.’ “

You were on the Lord’s mind long before you had ever heard of Him.  He saw you saved and made whole when you were at the very lowest point in your life.  He saw you doing great things for Him way before you had the confidence to step out in the abilities He had given you.  For the Lord not only knew your name… He saw the person you would become through Him.

Psalm 112:5 ” Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.”

Jesus summed up best how we should conduct ourselves when it comes to the people in our lives that are unappreciative, ungrateful, and just plain mean.   In Luke 6:35-36 Jesus tells us, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  Doing the right thing for someone who is critical and inconsiderate goes against everything we’re made of…but Christ reminds us that He shows mercy to all, and we should also.

Philippians 3:12 ” Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus to hold of me.”

The Apostle Paul readily admits here that he’s not yet arrived at perfection in his spiritual life.   So how come we think as soon as we become a Christian we’re  a mature Believer that can’t fail?  I Timothy 6:12 tells us to, “Fight the good fight of faith.”   The journey of our Christian walk is going to be a struggle…it’s going to be a battle between good and evil,  with us sometimes coming out of the skirmish bruised and battered.  But we need to get back up and not allow failures to define who we are in God.  Failures simply mean we’re still trying…and still fighting the good fight of faith.