Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Praise God First

You ever work and work and work and then it just doesn't seem to amount to anything? Well, one of the things that happened when  Adam sinned was that God told Adam that as he worked, the earth would no longer produce for him. Thorns and thistles is all that you will get Adam. Psalms 67 teaches us another way though... It says in verse 5 "May the people praise you, Oh God. Then the land will yield  it's harvest." Ah ha, I just had an Ah Ha moment. We want our work to grow into that harvest. We want our work to produce, to make a  difference, to be successful.  But the fact is most of us think of praising God after the big blessing comes in, but here God shows us His  plan, and it sounds different than our plan. He says that we should praise Him first. Then after the praising the harvest comes in. God  wants to be thanked even before we see the blessing, or the victory. And you know why He is giving us this secret today, well, it's  because He's excited to see you win, He's excited for your harvest, He wants you to succeed.  Then when that harvest comes in, well, to  be God be the glory. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All Things Are Possible With God

Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, and as they got ready to go in 12 spies
were sent to check out the Promised Land. 10 came back saying, "no way, we can't go
over there." and the other 2 said, "we can do it, and the land is rocking." They all saw the
same thing, but had different reactions. We are presented with the same opportunity in life every day. Looking at the same mountain, some will see an obstacle, others will see an opportunity.  Those 10 who said it was impossible got exactly what they believed. They ended up dying in the wilderness. But the two who said it could be done, Joshua and Caleb, they ended up making it to the Promised Land, both recorded as heroes in the bible. Every day we can choose to believe God, or to listen to our worries and fears. We can believe God, and what he has promised, and all that Jesus has achieved, or we can believe the doctors, the newspapers, or we can see the bad instead of the good. God has given His children the land. You are a child of the King, all things are possible with God. There are two choices, choose to believe to see the good. Today, be Joshua and Caleb.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Before The Sun Goes Down

Ah yes, time to go to sleep…Set the alarm clock, turn off the lights, charge the phone, it's time to go to sleep. Let's see, what am I forgetting? Well there may be something more important than making sure there is a glass of water on my bed side table, or than saying all your good nights. Oh, ya, turn the tv off?  Nope that's not it either. Ephesians 4:26 says ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Notice anger itself is not sin. But here we find out it can become sin if we fall asleep while angry. God knows how we are built, he made us, and he knows if we don't let our anger go, then it can get rooted deep in our heart. Sure, we may wake up feeling fine, even having forgotten about our anger, but it's still in there, deep in your heart, just waiting to jump out and say something terrible. So before that sun sets on your day, let go of your anger, forgive. Let's see, get my gym bag  ready, say my prayers,  I'm drifting off to sleep, and oh yeah, smile, don't you be mad. Forgive, forgive, And don't be mad at me for saying it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Healed All

Jesus is out changing the whole world, and in Matthew 12:15 it says “Many followed him, and he healed all their sick”  First of all, many followed.  Notice not everyone followed, but many did.  Some people are going to reject Jesus even if they see Him in person.  Well that stinks. It goes on to say that  “He healed all their sick.”  All of them.  Jesus said that He only does what He sees the father do, and only does the will of God.  So it was God’s will to heal all of their sick, and so Jesus did it.  He didn’t just heal a few.  He never said, “well you, no, I’m not going to heal you.  Next - I don’t know you.. I’m not sure what you’ll do with this healing…” or “maybe it’s not God’s will for you to be healed”  I think that is an important bit of wisdom.  When we come across people that we can serve, help, or love, we should be willing to help all, like Jesus.  To pray for any.  To give a buck, and to speak the seed of God while we do it.  Jesus was teaching truth, and then helping others.  Jesus was willing to help everyone.  Didn’t matter age, social status, or color.  We can do this too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Can Love, You Can Forgive

I John 4:19 says "For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot
love God, whom he has not seen" Okay, so growing up I can say I didn’t always love my brother.  And it’s tough to show love to a brother.  The second most important commandment Jesus gave us was to love others. Now, have you ever noticed that it is those that are closest to us, around the most, that we have the hardest time showing our love. But I would say its more important to learn to show our love here than anywhere. It’s like the real training ground.  I mean learning to really show our love to our spouse. Our siblings, our family. So this is a great hurdle most of us can work on. Think about, how can you show your husband or wife your love today. Something that says "baby I love you". Or for that brother always buggin you, always in your business, how can you show your love? Well love, forgives, it doesn't think about our own needs, it forgets all the times people broke your stuff and said mean stuff. Rise above it all, be more than average, and love people, practice by showing love to those closest to you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Listen To Your Elders

Esther 2:10 “But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecia had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.”  Okay, so Esther is doing what the guy who raised her told her to do.  Now not every kid does what Mom or Dad says.  But listen to this, her following this one, kind of strange order, ends up being key to winning, it saves her life, and the life of the entire nation of Israel.  She could’ve said “hey, I don’t have to do what you say,” or “I’m not ashamed of where I came from, I’m not hiding…”  It was a weird rule this guy had given her, but she did it.  Sometimes those older people who tell us what to do, know some things we don’t.  It doesn’t say she totally understood why, it just says she did what he said, as normal.  Like she usually did what he said.  Sometimes the voice of God plays out through the voice of those who are trying to help us, who love us.  If she hadn’t listened, if she had said “well I don’t agree”, well, she might have lost everything.  Okay, so now you have to do what I say… oh well, just kidding.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Working In The Trenches

Ever asked to do something that isn’t your job.  Or even expected to do something that you didn’t sign up for.  Ohh, man… In our world people get a job description, and then refuse to step out of that agreement.  “Hey, that’s not my job.  I don’t have to do that.”  But don’t get caught up into how the world thinks.  At one point in Jesus life, he stops and washes His disciples feet.  Ever wash someone’s feet?  Peter was like, “No way, this isn’t your job.”  Really, Jesus, the King of kings, anointed one of God, washing the grubby feet of a bunch of dudes.  Really?  Jesus shows us a different attitude.  Jesus was, well, willing to get His hands dirty.  And its not like people had socks.  So them feet must have been nasty.  (Maybe he was tired of smelling their feet.)  Jesus wasn’t scared of a little hard work.  Well He’s Jesus, so He’s not scarred of anything.  But He showed us that the willingness to do whatever, to serve in whatever way, was the key to being the biggest of leaders.  It is the leader that is willing to get down in the trenches that gains the deepest respect of the people.  And I always think that if Jesus could wash some stinky feet, well than so can I.