Sunday, August 31, 2008

Preach not yourself...

Again this Sunday, I will share with you from a passage in scripture that was used in Sunday morning worship. Preacher was speaking about great deliverance from numerous strongholds in our lives. He started with 1 Chronicles 11:14. Then over to 2 Corinthians 4:4-6.

I won't be following the same lesson plan as he did. I will be using verses 3-7..."But if your gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

One of the biggest keys in this passage is that if we show not the gospel outwardly, it is hidden to the lost. The saved already have it, so it's not hidden to them. When we stay silent, it is the lost that we put in jeopardy. Makes me think, how about you?

The god of this world (satan) tries to keep their eyes hidden from the truth. Like the song says..."You're the only Jesus some will ever see"...Let that soak in for a minute...If you don't spread the love of Christ in word and deed, who will? Are you expecting someone to do follow-up work in your daily walk?

We don't preach ourselves...who does your conversation magnify? This points right back at me, too! When the focus is on us, people get misled. The end of verse 5 says we are servants' for Jesus' sake. That means we are doing it FOR HIM!!! I know it's a daily struggle to give up yourself and let God lead, but that's what we're called to do.

The light of God should shine in our hearts, not anything for us to boast or brag about, but as verse 7 states..."we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God"...

May your words and deeds reflect your Father in heaven. If you are reading this and looking for the answers to your problems and need to know Him, please let me know. There is no time like right now... Have a blessed day!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Be transformed...

Romans 12:1 & 2..." I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.(2) And be not conformed tothis world: but be ye transformed by the renewng of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

In my reading this morning, I came across this familiar passage. Many times we get stuck in the rut of "me first" thinking. But, when we think God first, we open ourselves to an inner trasformation.

This is not just an idea to think about, and get back to Him about, but is rather our "reasonable service". If you think about it, it's the least we can do!

We are also compelled to be separate from the world, that we may prove the will of God. If we are doing the same as everyone else, where is our witness? Also, if we are a part of the world's ideals, how would we discern the will of God anyway?

Think on these things today...may your life be a shining light of God's will to others around you!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Labourers needed...

I have been spending my evenings before bed reading the new book by Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase. Some of you know how hard it is for me to sit and read anything, but this book has been a pleasure to read. If you want to read a book that will challenge you spiritually and make you think about your relationship with the Lord, pick this one up. Okay, that said, it's time to share a few thoughts for the day...

I was doing my reading this morning and was touched by how Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the multitudes. He saw an opportunity, not a waste of His time. Too many times, we get busy with our daily schedules and can't find the time to look around and see who we pass that needs a helping hand.

Look at Matthew 9:35-38..."And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease among the people.(36) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.(37) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;(38) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth the labourers into his harvest."

Like I stated earlier, we get too caught up in what WE are doing to notice what HE has set before us. Many times this week this has been pointed out to me. I was watching a video from the NOOMA series by Rob Bell the other evening entitled, Noise. The whole concept was that with all the noise and commotion we are surrounded by everyday, is it any wonder we can't hear what God is saying to us? Also in Wild Goose Chase last evening I was hit by a research done on seminary students who were studying on the Good Samaritan story and had to give a speech about it. I won't give away the whole story, but when we want to minister, we need to slow down and look for the opportunities.

This is too true sometimes...we're too busy in our "ministries" to do the "ministering". Thanks for the line, Mark. Notice it says our ministries. We get too wrapped up in what we're doing for the kingdom to stop and let HIM do the work through us.

We have several events coming up this fall at our church and I pray that we can keep things in perspective. If we get too caught up in the work aspect, we could miss out on the ministry of the events. May you get a chance to slow down and turn the radio or TV off and get a chance to hear what God has to say to you today. God Bless!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Think on these...

This morning, I was reading through chapter 4 of Philippians when I came to verse 8..."Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely , whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

This passage brings to mind that in our Christian walk, not only is our outward testimony important, but also the things we take in and think on. Basically, it goes back to the saying, "garbage in, garbage out".

It's not enough to make a good appearance if the heart is not in it. The first part of Proverbs 23:7 puts it rather plainly..."For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he"...

There is nothing hidden from God and our very thoughts can cause us to fall. May you think on the good things God has created for you today. Yes, I said for you...when He created the earth, you were on His mind. Take a moment to grasp the love He has for you and walk in that love today!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Come boldly...

Hebrews 4:15 & 16..."For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.(16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

This is a note of hope for all of us. When we have sin in our lives, God is not off fighting for someone else with His back turned to you. He is our All in All. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He can do all things for everyone at once. He is ever merciful and gives us the necessary grace to make it through the battles we face.

There is line from a song that says "If He carried the weight of the world on His shoulders, I know, my brother that He will carry you"...There is no problem that He can't solve. No disease He can't cure. No battle He can't win. Read the end of the Bible...I think you know who wins!!!

With our faith in a God so powerful and wanting to help in times of need, we must COME BOLDLY, not timidly. Remember, in Matthew 21:22, Jesus said "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." The key element of this verse is BELIEVING. When we ask in faith, all things are possible.

I would like to leave you with one final passage. It comes from Matthew 11:28-30..."Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

So, next time you have a trial or a tribulation you are facing, come before the throne boldly and lay cast all your cares upon the One who can carry them. He wants to give you rest and peace in a world that knows nothing of either...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Run the race...

There have been many selections that I have read today, but the one I am sharing comes from I Corinthians 9:24-27..."Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.(25) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.(26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:(27) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

This is a very pointed passage, telling us to be ever cognizant that our "walk" matches our "talk". It also stresses that while the world is running for material gains, we are running for riches that will be laid up above. It also states that since we run for incorruptible gain, we should run that much harder.

Another message is that we run, not with uncertainty, but with a purpose. It also states we fight, not as someone out of control, but rather being led by the Spirit. All too often, we think we can't stand up and be heard. In these times, we must stand for our Christian rights or we run the risk of losing them.

Most importantly in this passage is verse 27: We must keep our bodies under subjection!!! I am speaking to myself as much as anyone here...if we aren't careful, the deeds or misdeeds we do may cause our witness to falter. In this section it states that when we have given the Word to others, we could be "castaways". That's pretty strong!!! What we do outweighs what we preach...Hmm, practice what you preach and be ever mindful of the outward appearance.

I pray that your walk stays along the straight and narrow. If there is something you are fighting personally, I would ask you to give it to God. He can handle all your heavy burdens. If I can say a prayer for your situation, let me know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Give your best...

Colossians 3:23-25..." And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (25) But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."

Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily...was he speaking of mowing your lawn, being a friend, singing, working, etc. He says whatsoever, which means everything!!! We should do everything as unto God. We should work, walk, talk, play, recreate, do anything we do as though it is for God. We say we want Him to get the glory for everything we do. If we aren't doing it well, does that bring Him glory???

Be mindful to do everything as to God, because you never know who is watching you. Many in your path are watching because you're the "Christian" they see. Do they see Christ in you, or simply someone trying to get by?

Also, be mindful that when we do wrong, we will have to pay for the sin we commit. It's not always something we want to talk about, but it is a fact of the matter. But, remember, don't lose heart, we WILL receive the reward our inheritance, for we do serve the Lord Christ. Let others know about the AWESOME GOD we serve!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A charge to keep...

This morning in our worship time, we spoke of the enduring of hardships, while being faithful to the Lord. One of the passages is 2 Timthy 4:7. I came home and was reading the beginning of the chapter and would like to share a thought or two with you...

In verse 2, we are called to preach the Word, be the same always, and teach with longsuffering and doctrine. Verse 3 says the time will come when men will not listen, but will follow after their own lusts and listen to those who tell them what they want to hear. Verse 4, they will turn away from the truth. Verse 5, watch the work of an evangelist (Tell others), let people see what you are. Verse 6 his time has come. Verse 7 he has fought the good fight and kept the faith...The key point in verse 8... there is laid up a crown of righteousness not only for me, but to all that love his appearing...

Be sure that there will be trials and tribulations in your Christian walk, especially when you make a stand for our beliefs. The good news is that the pains we endure as Christians on earth will be overshadowed by the blessings we receive in heaven.

If you are going through a struggle today, I pray that a peace will come over you, and the hand of the Lord will be seen in your life. Fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Do you thirst???

This morning, my reading came from Psalm 63, which was written by David while in the wilderness of Judah.

Psalm 63...(1)"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (2) To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (3) Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee."

This passage has so many key elements to our lives being on track. First, we seek the Lord early. I know this is challenging in our daily schedules, but it sets our mind on things above and opens our hearts to what God has for us today. Start the day with the Lord and He will guide your steps the rest of the day.

Second, what do we thirst for? We should literally thirst to be filled by the Spirit each day. And, I do believe spiritually we are in a dry and thirsty land, where the water (of the spiriual nature) is hard to find. We should be looking for the power and glory of God to be evident in our lives, just as was seen in the sanctuaries. God still works, we just limit Him from working the way He wishes to.

And third, if we believe that God's love and kindness is as important to our lives (as we say in our church gatherings and christian surroundings), then we should praise Him in everything we do.

A final note that I would like to point out about the passage is in verse 7..."therefore n the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice." Amen. With His protection around us, nothing can beset us. May you feel the coolness of the shadows under His sheltering wings!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Does your face shine???

In the past several weeks, the Lord has spoken to me many times about the story of Moses going to visit with Him on the mountain, and how, when he had done this, his face shone so that everyone he came in contact with noticed. The passage is Exodus 35:29-35...

This just sums up why we should stay in contact daily with our Lord and Savior. In these days, people are looking for an answer. They don't know where to look, but when they SEE it in someone, they recognize it. When we spend time with the Lord, OUR LIFE SHINES!!! You can see it on a person's face, hear it in their speech, and see it in their actions.

Why wouldn't christians want to spend time with the Lord? Well, many times, we get hit by what we are doing wrong or not doing at all. And this applies to all of us. We miss opportunities on a daily basis. Think over the last 24 hours...has there been someone who you came in contact with that seemed down, needing a kind word, having a rough day? These are the ones we reach by simply showing the light of Jesus, whether it's sharing our testimony, giving simple encouragement, or inviting to an activity, whatever is needed. But if we don't take the opportunity, there's no guarantee someone else will.

Simply put, if our lives SHINE for Christ, people will notice...and they will want to know more of what we have. It's like the saying my dad used to quote..."Your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you're saying"...What are your actions saying today???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walk worthy...

Ephesians 4:1-3 "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called (2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; (3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Today, I was touched by this passage of not only looking inwardly, but making sure we stay unified for the cause of Christ.

May we always be mindful that the works which are accomplished are not because of what we have done. When we get too caught up with what WE are doing, that sets us up for a fall. Our time in prayer and in the Word is a necessity for spiritual growth. If we are grounded on true foundation, there is nothing we can't do through Christ (see Phillipians 4:13).

May we not take for granted our relationship with God. When we try to build human relationships, spending time with one another is key...building a relationship with God is no different.

Make time today and everyday to spend in prayer and in won't regret it!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A joyful noise...

This morning, our men's group had a great time of prayer and devotional reading. We read from Ezra 3:10-13 about the rebuilding of the temple and the foundation that was laid. In verse 11, they gave thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endureth forever toward Israel. I also found it interesting that when the foundation was laid that the elders wept, while many shouted for joy. People afar couldn't tell the difference in sorrow or joy, just that they heard noise afar off.

Since then, I've been reading in Psalms 100. I am reminded that when we come into His presence, we are not to be silent and sit quietly in our seats. We are to make a joyful noise and come singing, it says. It doesn't say for the trained only to sing, but we should make a joyful noise one and all.

Too often, we worry about what others are thinking when we worship...what if I don't wear the right clothes, sing off-key, what if I raise my hand, etc. Yes, even in Baptist congregations, people raise their hands. It's not about the's about the heart. God is about the heart!

In Matthew 6, Jesus said not to pray as the hypocrites, for they love to pray when in the synagogues and other places where they may be seen of men. We need to worship, serve, pray, sing, as if we were in a closet and only God Himself could hear us. That's what true worship is.

May you have a great day, and may you truly worship the Lord with all your soul, mind and strength...not because people are watching, but because the Lord is.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do good unto all men...

This morning, while doing my devotion, I read through Galatians 6 and was immediately hit with verses 9 and 10...
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we will reap, if we faint not.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

This especially hit me this morning after a night of little sleep. All too often we get caught up in the works WE are doing to be gratified, yet God honors those who have a servant's heart. In John 3:30, it states... "He must increase, but I must decrease." I believe this to be one of the toughest things for a Christian to do. Though we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, we still have the human nature that wants to have its way.

It also puts it plainly to help those who are of the "household of faith", or Christian brothers going through tough times. We all know someone that fits in to that category. My prayer is that today you will reach out to a hurting brother or sister and be a comfort for them in their time of storm.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In God We Trust???

Many of you have heard about the atheist who is challenging the motto "In God We Trust" on our U.S. currency. This isn't the first time that Christians are being put to the test. In the previous battles, we have lost prayer in schools and public outings, unborn babies lives, and we could also lose "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

What will it take for us to wake up and take a stand??? We get mad and sit around ranting to one another about what is happening. Notice, I said sit around!!! We can't sit around anymore, we must be on our feet in the trenches fighting for our Christian rights.

In Psalm 53, we see where the fool said there is no God, but we also see that there is NONE that doeth good. That includes us! All our righteousness are as filthy rags...ring a bell? We are sinners saved by God's grace and need to be out there sharing our story to a lost and dying world.

If a story like this can't strike a chord that something needs to be done, what will it take? I challenge you to talk to ONE person about your testimony and pray that God will give more opportunities after that. Remember the old chorus "Pass It On"? ...It only takes a spark to get a fire going...Get out there and let's set the world on fire for Christ!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Errant Judges

As I was watching the Olympics last night and getting aggravated with some of the judging decisions made during the All-Around Women's Gymnastics, a passage in scripture came to mind...Matthew 7:1-5. I was sitting there ripping the judges in my mind and was stopped by "Judge not!" Here I was judging these "judges" when I know little, if any, about what they are looking for. I was buying in to what the media was telling me, which is exactly what we preach not to do.

I am an Olympic fan to the extreme and root unendingly for the U.S.A. and have followed the Michael Phelps phenomenon, cheering like a little league parent. The problem is, when we judge others, we are also putting ourselves out there to be judged... How can I judge an errant Olympic official when I am an errant human??? See where I am coming from? In this passage, it clearly tells us not to point out others faults when we have faults of our own... Ouch! That hurts. Verse 5..."First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Strong words for what I was thinking was simple rooting for MY team...

Maybe next time we sit and watch the Olympics, we can enjoy the fanfare and competition, and forget about the bickering...Go U.S.A.!!!!

May you have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I want to say hello and thanks for checking out my new blog. I will share what God has given and is doing in my life on a semi-regular basis. Please give me some time, as this is all new to me.

Today, I have been doing some study on what God is and what He looks like. In Deuteronomy 4:15-18, God says that Moses saw no form or anything to describe or picture God. I have begun realizing how many times we try to make God an image, an idea, which is so off what He wants us to see. That is just it...He is not for us to figure out, but rather have faith in.

I am reminded of the words the psalmist penned in Psalms 46:10..."Be still and know that I am God". Simply put, that's it. I pray that you have a blessed day and can "see" God's hand in your life today...