Friday, October 28, 2016

Consider your ways

"Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways." - Haggai 1:4-5
We live in the historic district of our community.  There are various guidelines for the maintenance and decoration of the homes on our block. Most of our neighbors are literally obsessed with the appearance of their homes. Yet, the churches around our neighborhood are not as pristine in their looks. Why is that? 
The idea of "me first" is clearly evident when we consider the way private houses are cared for more faithfully than the Lord's house. When our roots are more deeply planted in this world than eternity, our priorities are so reflected. In short, we care most for that which has our heart the most.
Haggai's counsel is more needed today than ever my friend. "Consider your ways." As Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, "... where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  If the Lord is your treasure, then put Him first in heart and house. Seeking the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33) is a lifestyle that should effect every activity of life.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

And little bit more

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." - 1 Timothy 6:17-19
In response to the question "How much money is enough?" John D. Rockefeller answered "Just a little bit more". This is the aim of many who are in pursuit of wealth. They are all about the acquisition, not so much the usage. Such a goal in life becomes an end in and of itself and everything else becomes secondary. Their whole life centers on "Just a little bit more".
The command of Paul was focused on the usage of wealth for the blessing of others. His counsel was to hope in God, do good, be generous and share. Such a life seeks to be a blessing, and when asked "How much blessing is enough?" will answer "Just a little bit more."
Has God provided for your needs? Have you acquired any amount of wealth over the years? What do you do with your monetary blessings? Are you hoarding your pennies for the days ahead or are you being a blessing to those in need? May each day be a new opportunity for blessing others "Just a little bit more".

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


"Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:14-15 
Rules, rules, rules... growing up was so hard to do, with all the rules. "Don't run with scissors", "No cookies before dinner", "Wash behind your ears", "Call if you're going to be late" and the so the rules went on forever. What a relief to leave home so we could leave the rules behind. But then we found new rules at college, in the military or at the work place. Why so many rules? ... They keep us on course.
Paul was concerned and burdened for "God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth". He knew that certain rules of conduct were necessary for the health and effectiveness of God's household. Paul wasn't into legalism; he just wanted the church to be a spiritually strong foundation of the truth. Why so many rules? ... They keep us on course.
There is no home, business, school or army that can run smoothly or be "all that it can be" without rules. You may run from rules or fight against rules, but they are there for a purpose. Your church and its leadership are bound by the rules of Scripture to be a strong foundation of the truth. Don't fight it or keep asking "Why so many rules?"... They keep us on course!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

the King eternal... the only God

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Timothy 1:15-17 
We live in a world that focuses on self-image to a fault. You can subscribe to such magazines as "Self", "All You", "Ego" or "Me" and learn how to be the center of your universe. In this world there is no place for "sinners" or people in need of mercy. In an age of "me, me, me", there is no place for someone else to be the King eternal... the only God.
Paul was more productive in his lifetime than any CEO could ever hope. He was a highly successful leader, writer and motivator. But when Paul looked in the mirror he only saw the worst of sinners who received mercy. It could be that God chose to use this man because he had a realistic view of himself and his Lord. In humility, Paul worshiped and served the King eternal..the only God.
Have you figured out what hinders your spiritual growth the most my friend? As you begin each day, do you freshly establish this fact: There is a God... and you're NOT him? Are you willing to face each day recognizing that you are a sinner, saved by grace and living under the merciful care of the Lord? God uses humble people who depend on him. Believers grow to unbelievable heights when they worship and serve the King eternal... the only God. 


 "For this is what the high and lofty One says— 
he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 
“I live in a high and holy place, 
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, 
to revive the spirit of the lowly 
and to revive the heart of the contrite."

Isaiah 57:15

Monday, October 24, 2016

Happily ever after

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." - Zephaniah 3:17
The tale is told of a princess held captive by an evil monarch. As time passes a knight in shining white armor arrives and saves the day. The story concludes with the words, "They lived happily ever after". Will there ever be a day when the citizens of God's kingdom will live happily ever after?
The answer to the above question is a resounding yes. The Lord will certainly bring purging and judgment upon an arrogant and rebellious world. Yet, the day will finally come when the LORD, who is might to save, will be in the midst of His people. He will rejoice over them, quiet them with His love and sing songs of exaltation. And they will live happily ever after.
Is this your hope my friend? Then walk humbly before the Lord and serve Him faithfully. Be encouraged when the days are dark and discouraging, for your Knight in shining white armor is on His way. "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war..." (Revelation 19:11)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Be a Lighthouse

"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter." - 2 Thessalonians 2:15 
We collect lighthouses. We visit them while on vacation and regularly add to our collection of miniatures and pictures. Lighthouses remind us of being a light in the darkness and a guide to wayward. They are those great stone edifices that stand firm in the storms and send forth the light that saves from a watery grave. God also places lighthouses on the shores of this world to save souls from eternal damnation.
Paul writes of coming days of increasing evil and tribulation. He assures believers of their deliverance from this time, but until those days arrive he calls us to stand firm and hold to the teachings passed down to us. The winds of time may bring change, but the truth remains the same: Those who refuse to love the truth will perish, and those believe the truth will live eternally. As we spread the light of this truth, we are God's lighthouses.
There is no lighthouse of worth that doesn't stand firm in the midst of the storm. The lighthouse serves the mariner with the same purpose today as it did hundreds of years ago: it gives light to show the way to safety. Stand firm my friend, hold to the teachings passed down to you and be the lighthouse that God called you to be.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Choose Wisely

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation." - Habakkuk 3:17-18
There have been books written which were entitled, "Happiness is a Choice" and "Love is a Choice". Such titles alone promote thoughtful consideration over and above the chapters found in the books. Is it possible to experience happiness and love by choice and not by result of good things?
After a lengthy prophetic pronouncement of the Lord's coming judgment, Habakkuk settles down in the fact that he could be happy and find joy. When we walk with the Lord there is always sufficient reason to rejoice. When all else leaves us, we have the God of our salvation.
Is your joy and love based on the blessing of God or the presence of God? Stop for a moment my friend and reflect on the unchanging love and care of your Lord and choose wisely. When you know the Lord, happiness and love is your choice to make, every moment of every day.