Friday, May 24, 2019

Questions...

"He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do." -- John 6:6
Have you ever asked someone a question just to hear what they would say? You already knew the answer, but you were interested in knowing the thoughts of the other person. At times such answers will reveal more than just thoughts; they might open the door to their entire belief system... or unbelief.
Jesus wanted to test the faith and vision of Philip with his question. The Lord will also press our hearts with questions that rise from our time in the Word and prayer. He has already decided what He will do and how He will do it, but He probes our hearts. This is a time for deeper faith and spiritual growth.
Don't just passively read and pray my friend. Pay close attention to the questions that rise and allow time to open your heart to the Lord. Make room for God to do greater things than you have seen before and never place limits through unbelief. Remember... they gathered twelve baskets of fragments from the five barley loaves.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

An Encounter with Jesus...

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. " - John 5:39-40
How many Bibles do you own? How many "study" Bibles, "family" Bibles and various translations do you have around the house? How often do you read and reread your many Bibles ... daily, weekly or ... ? What do you find when you thoughtfully and prayerfully search those well worn pages? The more important query should be, who do you find within those precious pages of timeless truth?
As you enter this day, the joys, sorrows, hopes, fears, pleasures or pains of life are dancing in your head and heart. You turn to the Scriptures for a moment of counsel, comfort or courage. You find a verse or a phrase that hits the spot. You launch into the day prepared for the best and the worst.
Something is missing. Or should we say, someone is missing. As a popular devotional has been entitled, "Encounter with God", we really need an encounter with Jesus, not just a factual and inspiring word. It is Jesus that waits for you on every page to bring you fresh life for every day. "These are the Scriptures that testify about me ..." Slow down, and seek the face, voice and touch of Jesus in your Bible reading and find life for the day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

No Middle Ground...

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned." -- John 5:28-29
We go through school and receive grades according to our academic performance. The more we study, the better our grade. Then comes that frightful day when we take the road test for our driver's license. We don't get a better grade if we study more. We don't get an "A", "B" or "C" license; we either pass or fail by our actions. It's one way or the other, there's no middle ground.
Eternity is one of those tests that one either passes or fails. It's all a matter of choice in this life. If we choose life in Jesus and are changed into righteous people, we will pass into eternal life. On the other hand, should we choose to embrace evil throughout life, we will fail into eternal condemnation. It's one way or the other, there's no middle ground.
There are many people who expect their eternal destiny to be determined on a graded scale. You may figure that enough good works will bring a good grade and a well deserved place in heaven.  But the simple truth is, we pass or fail by our action of choice. Jesus is the only way, there's no middle ground. How will you choose?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

"At once" ...

"One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years... Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked." -- John 5:5, 8-9
There are many charlatans who offer great change for your life. They put on a great show and often include amazing examples. But when the dust settles very little has changed and we seek someone else who might have that special answer for our need.
As we consider the above passage we notice that when the Lord enters the picture there is great change. No one could just rise up and walk after thirty-eight years of inactivity... except someone who is touched by the Son of God. When Jesus brings change, it overcomes all obstacles and lasts forever.
Why seek change from those who are limited at best and are powerless to bring lasting change to meet your need. Turn to Jesus my friend and find out what it means to experience change "at once".

Monday, May 20, 2019

Never give up!

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." -- John 4:34-35 
Having lived in old houses all our married life has given our family an appreciation for the ongoing work that is needed. The list of jobs is never-ending and it keeps you going from one spare moment to the next. At times you might think the work is finished, but then you open your eyes and there is much more to be done. Some responsibilities take a lifetime and more.
Jesus was focused on a pressing task and all other pursuits came afterward. He was totally committed to finish the task assigned by the Father. At the same time he points out the ever present harvest of souls standing before us, if we will only open our eyes. The responsibility of reaching the lost and helpless multitude with the gospel is never truly finished. The task will take a lifetime, only to be passed on to the next generation.
Open your eyes my friend, and what do you see? Is it your neighbor, friend, fellow worker, classmate or family member? Do you see the crowds on your way to work or while you're shopping? How many of them are lost and helpless, in need of the Savior? The harvest will take a lifetime, and must be passed on to the next generation. Stay the course and never give up!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Harvest time ...

"Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her..." - John 4:6-7
Among the many popular family restaurants that are found today, there is "T.G.F. Fridays". The acronym highlights the relief found at the end of a busy week when one is thankful it's finally Friday. Weariness comes at the end of a long trip, stressful week or a demanding season of life. Are you tired from your journey today? Are you weary of the demands of others and the pressures of life? Do you seek a place to just sit and rest, away from the din of the crowd?
Take a moment and consider the Lord as He sits by the well; hot, dry, hungry and quite worn out from travel. The disciples have gone into town for food, so the moment is now quiet and restful. Suddenly, but most providentially, a lonely soul slips into sight and "Jesus said to her ...". So begins a wonderful exchange that leads to a woman's quenched thirst and a great harvest of souls.
In your weariness, will you make time today to greet the lonely souls that God brings into your path. Will you, as our Lord, engage in just one more encounter for the sake of their unquenched thirst? Then, as suddenly as such moments come, so will your own soul be refreshed."Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work." (John 4:34)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Light changes everything...

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." -- John 3:19
Studies tell us that one of the simplest steps of crime prevention is the flood light. As a result of that knowledge we have a number of floodlights installed around our home. I also have more flashlights than can be counted for the same reason. Light changes everything.
Criminals will always run from the light to hide their actions. Darkness hides evil from correction just as it hides vermin and insects from extermination. There are those who live in the dark purposely, so they can continue in their immoral or illegal ways. Other people choose the light of Jesus because they want to change their evil ways. Light changes everything.
Have you chosen to live in the dark, hiding your lifestyle from the light of the Lord? The verdict tells us why some make this choice, but it also tells us that Light has come to provide a way out. Will you make that choice? Remember, Light changes everything.