Monday, July 30, 2012

Division


Society separates all of us into little groups.  The world tries to separate us by color, income bracket, political beliefs, and even the way we dress.  But Paul writes in Galatians “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Boys rule and girls drool, sure, but in Christ, neither rules nor drools.  And can we stop seeing different colored skin, please?  This generation is the closest man has ever been at being color blind and not seeing one race better than another, but we still have a very long way to go.  You might find yourself putting down the poor saying “well go get a job”, or judging the rich saying “you should’ve sold that and given it to the poor.”  Or thinking that men are better than women… And that goes for everyone thank you very much.  So there is neither black, nor white, nor brown or polka dotted, nor people with tattoos or without tattoos or piercings, or green hair, or homeless but we are all one in Christ.  Division will keep us crippled, but unity will bring us strength, and strength influence, and influence will bring change, and this whole world could use a little changing!  Remember, God looks at the heart, and that is something we cannot see.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Signal

Paul is on a ship sailing for Rome, and he warns the others with him “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also”.  But the men ignored God’s warning and sure enough a storm blew in and destroyed the ship, and the men escaped with only there lives.  When a storm is in your path of life, listen closely for God’s warning.  God can help you steer clear of storms.  I know sometimes I look back on disaster and say, “Oh ya, I remember when God was trying to steer me around this mess.”  When tragedy strikes, we sometimes say that God is teaching us something.  But maybe it isn’t God teaching you something; maybe you just didn’t hear the warning.  Job’s life got pretty messed up at one point, but when he stopped being angry at God for his mess and spoke the words “My Redeemer lives” his life was restored, and he ended up with twice what he had lost.  Jesus is our Redeemer, and he lives.  He will restore you and if a person runs a red light and hits another car, maybe this wasn’t God’s doing, maybe he just needs to remember to stop next time when he sees the signal. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Paving the Way

How do I tell others about Christ?  This can be an awkward conversation to get into, so many avoid it.  And randomly yelling at people who walk by to tell them they are going to burn isn’t always effective.  In Acts 22 Paul is arrested, and as he’s being hauled away he talks the commander into letting him address the crowd that had gathered.  And the guard lets him.  When you purpose in your heart to tell the gospel to others, God will make a way, and Paul takes the opportunity to preach, but what does he tell them?  Does he just tell the story of Christ?  No, he tells his story with Christ.  He tells them his personal story of how Christ changed him on the road to Damascus.  Jesus has changed you, what is your story?  People want personal testimony.  They want to know how it worked for you!  Paul told his story well.  He was obviously ready to tell it, so that it would be full of impact.  Your story is a great one, and it’s yours.  You tell stories all the time about stuff that has happened to you!  So be ready to tell others how you came to know Christ, how it felt, and what changed.  God is real, Jesus changed you, and you are real.  Now go get em.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Armor of the Lord

When David was going to take on the giant Goliath they had him try on King Saul’s armor and sword.  But it wasn’t right.  Nothing fit.  David couldn’t use someone else’s armor and sword for his battle.  He needed to find the weapon that would suit him, for his situation.  He used a sling and some rocks, and Goliath took one in the head.  You have giants to fight in your life.  And quite often, someone who means well will attempt to tell you how they would handle it, and they will proceed to try and give you their armor and sword.  But it probably won’t fit quite right.  You need to do like David.  Go to the word, and let God arm you with the armor of the Lord, and the sword of the spirit.  God has the perfect solution.  Then when you trust God and come out victorious, you begin to trust God more, instead of trusting in the advice of man.  There is wisdom in council, and David did at least try on Saul’s armor, but if you find it doesn’t fit, don’t give up.  Go to the bible.  David found out in the word that a man who blasphemes God must be stoned to death,  hence, death by rock.  And Jesus is our Rock.  He can defeat your giant.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

God Spoke


Have you heard the saying, it’s a man’s world.  Well I’d like it a whole lot better if we all saw it as God’s.  Sometimes women don’t feel like the world values them and the wisdom God has given them.  Society for many years has presented women as being less then men.  But there’s good news ladies, God don’t feel that way.  In Judges 4 God had a woman running things… the bible says that “Deborah, a prophetess, was leading Israel” And the word of the Lord came to her that all of Israel was to be delivered from the Cannanites.  God spoke through her to the commander of the Israel army. And she instructed him exactly how Israel was to defeat the Cannanites.  She was telling him what to do according to God’s will.  Ladies - God will speak through you.  Paul writes that in Christ there is neither male nor female, meaning that all are equal in Christ.  Now if we could just get the rest of the world to think that way.  Ladies, God has a word for you, he has a plan for your life, and he needs you to help Him.  In the words of God himself, “Wisdom is on her tongue”.  The world should thank God daily for you. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

You Thought Your Creditors Were Rough

In II Kings a woman’s husband dies, and leaves her in a lot of debt.  Unlike today where a person might lose there house or car, she is about to lose her two sons as slaves in order to pay off debt.  Wow, you thought your creditors were rough.  She asks the prophet Elijah for help.  So he says what do you have?  God is looking for you to use whatever you have to the best of your ability.  Well she had a little oil.  Then he said go and get as many jars as you can, ask all your neighbors.  She did this.  Then he said, pour the oil into each jar that you have.  And by a miracle of God the oil kept flowing until every jar was filled.  She sold the oil, and paid the debt.  You may find in your life you sometimes run out.  Run out of whatever?  Ask God to help.  God wants to fill your jars with whatever you need.  But how many jars can you believe God to fill?  It seems to me that in this story God would have filled as many jars as she could’ve gotten her hands on.  She should’ve gotten a gjillion jars.  God wants to fill you up to overflowing.  What do you need?  Peace?  Joy?  Health?  Wealth?  Well go get some jars. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Send Me

Jonah ran from God’s purpose for his life, and ran into a lot of trouble.  He got himself and those he was traveling with in a tight spot.  A storm blew up on the boat he was on and it nearly drowned all who were around him. He was tossed overboard and got swallowed by a big fish.  Wow, you thought your day was tough.  If life is crashing down all around you, and you find yourself pulling others down with you, or you feel like you’ve been swallowed up by this world, it may be that you have strayed away from God’s path for you or you may be running from what God is calling you to do.  God loves you, and wants what is best for you.  He wants to clothe you better than King Solomon, and bless you like he did Abraham.  Our God is a good and just God,  but when we leave God’s will, like Jonah, life can really blow up like a storm all around us.  In it all Jonah was saved by God when he cried out.  God does the saving, but sometimes we do the straying.  So ask God today about His will for your life.  Say “what would you have me do, hear I am Lord, send someone else”… No send me

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Waiting For What?

So what are you waiting for?  A lot of people are planning on getting there life together and really making a decision for Christ and a new lifestyle, but not just yet.  Why is that?  Somewhere along the line the world has gotten the idea that a Christian life is boring and stuffy.  Not mine.  In a world of reaping and sowing, a Christian life is way more fun and fulfilling.  Cuz sowing goodness reaps goodness.  A cheap thrill in the world is just too short to last, and not nearly as thrilling as you thought it might be.  The world’s joy lasts for a moment and must always be topped.  Like when you finally get that car you’ve always wanted, and you thought that would make you happy.  It did, but only for a little while.  Then you’ve gotta have something else.  Don’t get me wrong, God wants to bless you, he wants you to have nice things.  But don’t try and draw your happiness from things.  Draw your happiness from serving God.  God’s joy is complete.  Don’t wait to give yourself to God.  There’s no better time than right now to say to God, “Okay Lord, here is the rest of my life, use me how ever you see fit.”  Then get ready.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Do You Believe

In Matt 10 two blind men kept following Jesus around asking for mercy.  They wanted to be able to see.  So Jesus asks them…  “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  “Yes Lord,” they replied.  Then Jesus touched there eyes and healed them.  There are areas in your life both spiritual and physical that might be in need of a little healing.  Whether it be a disease, a common cold, an addiction, or even a mean hangnail.  We can learn a lot from the story of the two blind men.  First, they had to ask for healing.  So ask.  Next, realize that Jesus is asking you a question.  “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  Well do you?  Jesus died for our sins and our sicknesses.  Remember that Jesus could do very few healings in his own home town because the people there did not believe.  So ask Jesus for your healing, and believe that He is able to heal you, believe that you have received and you will have it.  There are tons of miracles in the Bible, and this same God is our great God, He sent His word and it has healed us.  And remember this, as crowds of people came to Jesus for healing, Jesus never once said NO.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lead

If we want to lead people to Christ we need to learn how to lead and before we try and lead others, we must first learn to lead ourselves.  Leading yourself is the preparation part of learning to become a great leader.  Preparation takes time.  Jesus started his ministry by not eating for 40 days.  Fasting is a great tool to putting you in charge.  When we don’t eat, we are sending a message to our body that it is not the boss of us.  Your body has lots of different desires, but you need to show it who’s in charge.  Your mind as well likes to think about things it just shouldn’t be thinking about.  Once again, you must remember that you are in charge, and you can tell your mind what to think.  Sometimes your emotions might tell you you’re in a bad mood and that just makes everyone around miserable, but remember, you’re the boss.  Tell your emotions to be submitted to God’s word.  This is learning how to lead yourself.  After Jesus fasted he was tempted, but Jesus was prepared, and he didn’t listen to the devil.  Instead, he quoted the word.  So call in your body, your mind, and your emotions into your office for a meeting, tell them you’re in charge now.  As you follow Christ, then lead!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Battle

The Israelites have a big battle to fight, and they are greatly outnumbered.  The king, Jehosaphat, sends out his worshippers first.  He tells them to praise and worship God.  Well that seems a bit confusing, sending the musicians ahead of the army.  Who sends the band out ahead of the soldiers?  People must have thought he was crazy, I’ll bet the band was a bit freaked out by it.  But it works, as they begin to worship the Lord, thanking Him for His goodness, the enemy is defeated without the Israelite army having to raise a finger.  You have battles in life.  A key to being a winner is to Praise and Worship God in the midst of trouble.  It’s easy to be thankful to God when everything is great, anyone can do that.  Being thankful when it looks like all is lost, and you’re really freaked out, that’s what I’m talking about.  Praise and Worship doesn’t exist just to start off a church service, or for your musical entertainment, Praise and Worship is there to help you and to have God help you.  Who wouldn’t want help from God.  So the next time you are in a battle, try looking to God and thanking Him, even sing HIM a song, and watch everything clear up, God style.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jesus Said

Listen, what goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, what comes out of his mouth is what makes him unclean.  What kind of stuff comes out of your mouth?  Do you find yourself saying things like “I hate that guy”, or “did you here what you know who did?”  Or do you sometimes expect the worst with your words, and say things like “OH bad stuff always happens to me” or “I’m a moron”, or “I can’t do it”.  Maybe what comes out of your mouth isn’t the truth, especially when your trying to come up with an excuse to keep you out of trouble.  “Officer, you must be mistaken, I wasn’t speeding” Be careful of what you say.  The word says that out of the abundance of a man’s heart the mouth speaks.  Change your confession, that is, change the way you talk.  You think quite often that you are only describing your circumstances in life, but the truth is, you are creating your circumstances with your words.  Instead of saying “I feel down and depressed”, say, “I’m getting happy.”  If you want things to get better, you start by speaking it.   Say good things about yourself, your situations, your friends, and your God, and watch your life take a turn for the better.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Eating Better

The devil likes to mess with what kind of things you eat.  No really.  Think about the very first temptation.  It was about food.  How about a little tasty fruit?  The devil tempted Eve with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  Never eat a piece of fruit that has a name that long.  But Eve fell for it.  And how about when the devil came and tempted Jesus, the first thing he brought up was food.  He told Jesus to turn the rock into bread.  But Jesus wasn’t buying it.  The devil would love it if you wasted your body away on twinkies and soda.  But, you’ve got a lot of stuff to get done here on earth, so you need to take care of your body.  You would never put a bunch of junk in your car gas tank and then expect it to get you where you want to go.  I’m not saying we should eat gas, I’m saying we should eat better.  So stop shoving in whatever is convenient, fast, or tastes good.  If you can control your body enough to eat right, you can probably over come anything.  Can I take your order, yeah give me a number 1 with fries and uhh, hey is that thing still recording, turn it off..

Friday, July 6, 2012

Go and Make Disciples of All Nations

Hmm, what to do today.  What to wear?  What time do I have to get up?  And I have to make disciples of all nations to?  Our lives are way to busy for us to stop and think about making disciples of all nations.  Attempting to change the world, that is a bit overwhelming, might even seem impossible.  Lucky, nothing is impossible to God.  You can change your world, by starting in YOUR world, that is, the people and places you are around.  Start there.  So how do you reach the people in your world?  Start by inviting those people to church.  Which means, of course, you have to have a church.  And begin to pray.  Its very important to Pray for your family members and friends.  God will make Himself just as real to those you know as he has made Himself real to you.  Also, don’t be afraid to tell your story, how did Jesus change you?  We are all concerned about our unsaved family and friends, but it’s not enough to want to share the gospel with others, you’ve gotta do something about it.  I’m inspiring you to come up with a plan of action, and take action.  It shouldn’t just be something you think about in passing, it should be part of your daily focus.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Devil Just Needs You to Believe One Lie

Genesis 3:  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals –That’s right.  The devil is sneaky.  And he starts talking Eve into eating the fruit that they were not to eat.  And the devil convinces her, saying   “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you be like God, knowing good and evil”  Hmm.  First of all if a snake ever starts talking to you, don’t listen. Adam and Eve were made in God’s likeness and image, so the serpent was using God’s truth and making it into a lie.   To win the Devil just needed Eve to believe this one lie; “You can be like God”.  And that’s what makes the devil so sneaky.  He just needs to get you to believe one lie.  He just wants you to think its okay to get just a little drunk.  Or he might tell you … that hey, the bible doesn’t say not to do meth.  Or he might try and convince you your husband doesn’t love you anymore.  Eve eats the fruit, and gives some to Adam, and it cost mankind 4000 years of bondage.  Remember, if temptation comes, ask yourself, is that crafty devil trying to trap me?  Cause the answer is yes. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Upon This Rock

So Jesus ascends to the heavens after being raised from the dead, and He leaves His disciples with an assignment. So what did they do, I mean, what did they dedicate the rest of their days on earth doing. And then Paul joins in and helps, but helps with what? What was Peter doing, what was the purpose of the letters, who were they for? What did Paul do? What was John doing? James? They were all doing the same thing, each of them were planting churches, growing churches, writing letters to churches, training up leaders of churches, teaching in the churches, and telling people about Jesus, and as these people were saved they would organize them into a church. This is what Jesus left for them, he said to Peter in Matthew 16, upon this rock I will build my church. These were great men of God carrying out their assignment. You also can carry this torch, we can learn from the early Apostles and gain focus of what to do today and tomorrow, let's grow the local church.  It's the body of Christ, even the bride of Christ. Think today, what you can do to help grow your church, and if you aren't in one, well pray and ask God to help you find one.