Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ancient Paths

"Thus says the Lord“Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’" -- Jeremiah 6:16
"The Times They Are a-Changin'"... and so they continue to change forty-seven years after this album by Bob Dylan was released in 1964. Yes, the times are changing, but there are some things that never change. Only in the unchangeable truths will anyone ever find rest.
Israel found many religious roads and new ideas surrounding them every day. The passages of immoral and unjust behavior read like this morning's newspaper. Yet, there are as many editorials and blogs that say "Peace, Peace, when there is no peace" (verse 14) There comes a time for every generation to stand and look for the ancient paths, where they will find the good way.
Have you tried to deal with changing times by walking in new paths my friend? Did you think that ancient paths were too antiquated and irrelevant for 2016? Well... have you found peace and rest for your soul? May I suggest another way that is firmly fixed and secure? Consider the words of Psalm 119:89-90, "Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast." 

Friday, April 29, 2016

We're Not O.K.!

"An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?" -- Jeremiah 5:30-31
Why do people flock to churches that have "fun" events and entertaining services? What is it that attracts them to worship centers that send them home every week with little more than a positive "I'm OK, You're OK" message?
Our sin-sick hearts never want to be confronted by the truth. Just as we avoid the Doctor's diagnosis of illness, so we refrain from spiritual x-rays and M.R.I.s. We just want someone to tell us that we're alright with God and the world. But, "what will you do when the end comes?" 
The truth is, we're not OK my friend. Sin eats away at our souls like a cancer and it destroys our lives if we don't deal with it. We need physicians of the soul to be honest with us and apply the right spiritual medication to bring healing. The end will come before long, and entertaining services will never prepare us for the inevitable.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

God-Hearted Leaders

“ ‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." -- Jeremiah 3:15
What do we expect from a Pastor or Bible teacher? Should they be well dressed and skilled in story telling? Must they have great organizational abilities like the CEO's of large companies? What should be their most important quality?
The Lord promises Jeremiah shepherds after His own heart. Time may pass, but the flock of God still needs those who are shepherds after the Lord's own heart. It's all about heart... God's heart reflected in the heart of His servant-leaders.
One of the weaknesses in Israel at the time of Jeremiah and the church today is a lack of God-hearted leaders. Your Pastors and teachers desperately need your prayers my friend. Those that seek the heart of God need the support of God's people. These are those who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No better way

"Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lordfor my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water." -- Jeremiah 2:12-13
Over time we all grow up and set aside the things of our youth. We look for new and better ways that will be fitting for adult lives. Some will forsake the simple teachings of their parents and embrace the odd philosophies of their college professors. After all, don't they know what works best, since they are wise and learned?
The words of rebuke recorded in this passage are no less needed today than then. The people of Jeremiah's day sought new religions and gods. Certainly the surrounding nations had better ideas than the ways of their childhood. But the Lord was shocked at their evil practices. And in addition, their choices turned out to be broken, unable to satisfy.
Have you selected "new" ways in the place of the simpler and basic beliefs of your youth my friend? Did you think that there was a better path to follow and a greater source from which to receive provision? Remember the Lord's words recorded in Isaiah 46:3-4... "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save." 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Consecrated before birth

"Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." -- Jeremiah 1:4-5
Take time to consider the overwhelming implications of this passage. God is at work in the lives of His children before we are even conceived. He has plans for our lives to serve and glorify Him. Furthermore, the Lord affirms that He formed us our Mother's womb. Each one of us is a personal creation of the Sovereign of the Universe. We are no mistake and as God's workmanship, we are of great value. Lastly, before we enter the world, God consecrates us to His purpose and work.
All of the above thoughts establish the fact that God does have a "perfect will" for your life. He doesn't simply bring you into this world and set you lose to pick and choose "whatever". I emphasize His title "Sovereign" and remind you my friend, He is our King and we are His servants. Paul worded it this way in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Do you love Him?

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” -- John 21:15
The most popular time of the year for weddings is fast approaching. Two people will stand before the Pastor and he will ask... "will you love, honor and keep...?" By that time the expected answer is always, "I will". When we love someone, we will honor them and care for them more than anything.  
Three questions and three answers... each with a clarion call to care for His sheep. A simple challenge is given to all who will follow Jesus. If we love Him, we will love his children. If we love Him we will care for His sheep. If we love Him, we will honor him by valuing those for whom He gave His life.
Do you love Him? How much do you love and honor him? How many do you love and care for in His name? Who do you love with selfless compassion on His behalf? Do you love Him and his more than anything?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

He calls us by name

"Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)." -- John 20:16
To whom does the honor go of experiencing the first meeting with the resurrected Christ? Like the first Bethlehem viewing having gone to simple shepherds, so this occasion went to a humble, but devoted woman. While Jesus appeared to the disciples soon after, this moment belonged to Mary. She was called by name and given the blessed assurance of the resurrection.
Today is the Lord's Day... every week we gather on this day to worship our Risen Lord. As you rise today to greet your living Savior, remember that each one of us is loved and blessed by name. We read earlier this month in John 10:3, "The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name..."
Before you join together with your church family, take time to quietly meet alone with the One who has risen from the dead and calls you by name. Visit with your Lord, listen for His voice, and bow before Him in humble adoration and worship.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Who is your King?

"... He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” -- John 19:14-15
Have you crucified your King? This is done by sinful actions of many kinds every day. We face each day beholding our King and yet, at various moments throughout the day we state "We have no king but..." Who is your king my friend?
Don't blow off these Jews as a hardened people who are just opposed to Jesus. Yes, Pilate presented them with a final opportunity to set the Lord free, and they rejected Him. But to claim Caesar as their king was an outright political ploy to get what they wanted. Are you any less open to embracing new kings that provide the means to push Jesus away?
The end of this thought is found in the fact that we can have only one king in life. The crowd was right in saying, "We have no other king but..." Who is your king today?

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Garden

"When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples." -- John 18:1-2
Where can we go to find refuge from the storms of life? Is solace found in a place or a person? While a garden may be a peaceful scene for quiet talks with the Master, it can also be a place of open betrayal. No place is safe from the devouring lion of evil, and no place is removed from the devoted Lamb of God.
Would that we might be comforted in the serene surroundings of the lush garden paths? Oh that we could find a calming air as we walk along a gentle stream in the cool of the evening. But, the real rest and tranquility is to be found in the One who often meets us with refreshing words of hope.
It was in the Garden that God called out to Adam, and in another garden that Jesus called out to Mary. While trouble may be ever present my friend, be at ease in the promising presence of the Prince of Peace. Come to the garden of His presence and hear His words afresh... "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Split or Stay?

"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one." -- John 17:15
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going"... or at least some people get going. They go as far as they can from anything that's tough. It's easy to split, but it's often necessary to stay. So Paul wrote in Philippians 1:23-24, "I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account." 
Jesus prayed for his disciples with the knowledge of coming days of tribulation. He didn't ask that they be delivered from the fray, He only asked for spiritual protection. There was a great purpose for them to stay and serve, so they were kept from the power of the evil one. 
Do you pray for freedom from the tough days my friend? Have you ever given thought to the possibility that God had a greater purpose for you to weather such times? Pray with Jesus, and seek the protective presence and power of the Lord, and rather than slipping away in the night, stand strong in the light.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In Time...

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." -- John 16:12
Patience is a virtue. And so our walk with God must be a patient one. First of all, we too are not always ready for the deeper things of the Lord. There is often a need for growth and maturity before we can be entrusted with greater truth. Then there are things that we have no need to know until the time.
As the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon the Disciples to guide them into all truth, so He settles into our lives as believers. When we grow impatient and yearn for greater knowledge, sooner than we should, He gives us peace and the patience to wait. And, at just the right time He will gives us understanding and truth.
Don't be in such a hurry my friend. Wait on the Lord as the watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:6) The light will dawn in your heart when you are ready, just as the sun rises in the morning hours. Remember... "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day." (Proverbs 4:18)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Abide in His Love

"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." -- John 15:10-11
As my boys grew up they did abide in my love. How was that you ask? Because I loved them I provided them with nutritious food to eat, not just candy and cookies that they might have preferred. Because I loved them I insisted that they attend school and complete their school work. To this end they both have seminary degrees and possess sharpened skills to succeed in life. As a result they are joyful servants of the King of Kings.
In the same way, the Lord has given commandments to express His love and fill our lives with blessings and joy. With this thought in mind John wrote in 1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."
I never pressed my sons with meaningless rules and expectations and the Lord doesn't do this either. His commandments are intended to bring spiritual growth, blessing and joy into our lives. Step back and consider the love of God my friend and give thanks for the way in which he guides your steps... that your joy might be full.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Success or Service?

"For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." -- John 13:15-17
Ah yes, the success syndrome... we have been inoculated with this virus and it has taken its toll. God's children have been led down the yellow brick road of glory and prestige. From one season to the next; comfort, abundance, health and wealth dance like sugar plums in the heads of believers. Is this not their right and privilege as children of the King of Kings?
Yet, the King sets a very different example for his followers doesn't He? He reminds us that we are His servants, and a servant is never any greater than their master. If our master humbles Himself to fulfill the lowly task of foot washing, shall we resist the simple task of serving others?
What is your ministry my friend? But wait... what is "ministry"? One definition suggests a rushing about in the dust, caring for the needs of others, without any concern for self. Does this define your ministry? Are you seeking success...or service? What was the example that Jesus left us again?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Secret Believers?

"Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God."  -- John 12:42-43
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10) From the very earliest days, there have been frightened and misdirected believers. They have been those who love the world more than the Lord. As a result, they become "secret believers".
What kind of believer are you my friend? Are you satisfied with the kingdom of heaven as your real 401K? Are you willing to suffer loss that Jesus might be glorified? Or do you hide your faith from those who would ridicule and humiliate you? Remember, the Lord's blessing belongs to the persecuted for the glory of God, not to those who live for the glory of man.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Specimen or Significant?

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." -- John 12:24-25
Some years ago I stumbled onto a small robin's egg laying in the grass. It was abandoned and lifeless when I found it. The eggshell looked cute, but while it remained intact it failed to bring forth life. It sat on my shelf for quite a long while as a specimen.
As Jesus noted, when we choose to live to ourselves, unwilling to give up our protective shell, we can never bring life into the world. When we are willing to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel, there will be significant fruit. We will no longer be a specimen.
Are you satisfied with your protective shell my friend? Will you live out your life on a small shelf somewhere just being seen but never producing fruit? Don't live your life as a specimen, be significant for Jesus.

Friday, April 15, 2016

“But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” -- John 11:4-6
How often have you prayed for the Lord's intervention only to be left waiting? Did you wonder, if only for a fleeting moment, if God really loved you? Were you filled with various questions concerning God's intentions? And did you struggle with God's timing, which called for patience and faith?
This event is commonly heard at funerals with the resurrection promise highlighted. But, rarely do we hear an emphasis on the Lord's waiting for two days. The situation was clear; Jesus knew the need, made His plan and loved His friends. All of the above worked together for God's glory, while at the same time demanding great patience and faith from Martha and Mary.
The end of the day brought a miraculous work of God that rocked Martha's, Mary's and Lazarus' world. The next time you find yourself waiting on God for an answer to prayer my friend, remember... He loves you, and has a serious plan for His glory and your faith. Give Him time and trust Him, because He knows what He's doing!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

THE Voice!

"When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice." -- John 10:4
Do you remember some trip or special occasion when you were somewhere unfamiliar? The most secure moments were when you heard familiar voices. You found great assurance when you were surrounded by your traveling companions. Being all alone can be frightening.
Life is a journey into the unknown. We need someone who will go ahead and lead the way. We need someone who calls us His own and calls us by name. We need a voice that will set us at ease and calm our fears. That someone is Jesus.
When moments press in and bring unfounded fear, where do you turn? To whom do you look when you feel lost and unsettled? Turn your eyes upon Jesus my friend, and listen to His voice as He speaks softly from His Word. As He leads the way, He calls you by name and reminds you that you're His. Follow Him and fear not.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rejoice in the Simplicity

"He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”" -- John 9:25
How disturbing it is when the simplicity of Jesus is confused with man-made demands. We resist the work of our Savior by demanding all the answers now. The writer of Hebrews made it rather clear in 11:1, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." We may not know all the details, but we do know that the Lord is doing wondrous things in our midst.
The religious leaders were stifled by the miracles and because they were unable to explain them, so they rejected them. The Lord didn't fit into their mold as he continued to minister outside of the box. Those that had faith experienced spiritual sight while unbelief brought true blindness.
Do you see the Lord at work in your life my friend? Does your faith take hold of the unseen and find "the assurance of things hoped for"? Rather than waiting for all the details to be explained, rejoice in the simplicity of Jesus and give Him room to do great things.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jesus Divides!

"Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them." -- John 9:16
There are those who see Jesus as a wonderful Savior and there are those who only see religious confusion. Some people are open to God breaking into their lives and others have closed their hearts. So, in every generation Jesus brings division.
The Pharisees were completely convinced of their religious viewpoint and allowed for nothing new. To put it simply, they had no room for God. Still others were moved by the works of Jesus and were open to God interrupting their lives. Jesus is the watershed for the hearts of men. Some are closed and others are opened.
As we give thought to the heart condition, is your heart opened or closed my friend? Are you looking for God to do great and unexpected things in your life? Will you move out of your comfort zone if the Lord prods you? Are you a statue that's fixed in concrete or are you a servant that follows His call? Jesus divides... where do you find yourself?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Are you Abiding?

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." -- John 8:31-32
What does "abide" mean? When you plant a tree right, it will "abide". When an apple tree "abides" it grows apples and you know beyond a doubt that it's an apple tree. A real apple tree produces apples and only apples come from an apple tree. This seems rather simplistic, but it explains a lot about disciples.
When Jesus spoke of "abiding" in His Word, He pointed out that by doing so one proved their identity as a disciple. Furthermore, abiding will lead to Biblical knowledge and spiritual freedom. In other words, a true disciple "abides" because of who they are and as a result of who they are they "abide". It's simple, but profound.
Check your spiritual pulse my friend. Do you "abide" in the Word of God? If you do, you are a true disciple and in your discipleship there will be a lasting result of knowledge and growth. It's all about who you are... and whose you are!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Never Forget!

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." -- John 7:38-39
In 2009 Francis Chan wrote a book about the Holy Spirit entitled "Forgotten God". As for the title, one reviewer suggested that it might be an overstatement, or it may very well be an understatement. Have we been so resistant to over-emphasizing the work of the Holy Spirit that we have all but forgotten Him?
Jesus tells us that when we come to faith in Christ, there will be an anointing of the Holy Spirit that will flow like rivers of living waters. Our lives will have the clear evidence of God's presence, with a powerful and evident dynamic. As Jesus stated before his ascension in Acts 1:8; "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." 
Are you walking in the Spirit my friend? Do others see the witness of His presence in your daily life? Is there holy conduct and passion for the kingdom of God? Do you hunger after the Word of God? Are you driven with compassion for the souls of others? Such is evidence of the ""rivers of living water" and "power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you". The very Spirit of the Living God dwells within your heart... never "forget" this great truth and always seek to live in His power.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

He Never Leads Astray!

"If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority." -- John 7:17
Have you ever gotten lost? Was it due to someone giving you wrong directions? Well, no matter how sincere we may be, wrong directions will get us lost every time. While this maxim may always be true, when we genuinely desire the Lord's direction, we will always find His way.
Jesus spoke to those that questioned his teaching. He revealed the truth that when you're willing to do God's will you will know His leading. Those who might worry about missing the way as they seek the Lord's leading should take this to heart.
Do you seek the will of God in your daily walk? Is His leading first and foremost in your mind? But, do you fear that you might lose your way my friend? Have no fear; God will never lead astray those who have a willing heart to do His will.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Blessing OR...

"Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you..." -- John 6:26-27
Why do people go to church? Why do they pray? We may know why they should seek the Lord, but do they? The blessings of God are wonderful, but why settle for less than the best? Why be satisfied with the blessings when you can have the One who blesses?
The multitudes followed Jesus throughout his ministry for many reasons. Yet, as He points out in this passage, the most common cause was to get something from Him. In this way the world has little changed, people still seek God to get something. What we really need is Someone... and that Someone is Jesus.
Be wise in what you seek my friend. And be careful in that for which you ask, because you might just get it. But how sad, if when you get what you ask for, it satisfies for only a moment. Things will always pass away, but Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And when you seek HIM, your cup will always be overflowing (Psalm 23:5).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Greater Things

"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.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"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".

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Harvest

"Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest." -- John  4:35
I have been blessed and greatly influenced by my late pastor, mentor and father-in-law. I am often reminded of his dedication to the harvest. Pastor George Bogan visited more people in his lifetime than anyone could count. He looked for every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with someone new. To him, the harvest was as ripe in his latter days as it was when he began his ministry.
Jesus was clearly dedicated to the harvest and used every opportunity to pass on such zeal to his disciples. It is no wonder that the Lord's last commission to his followers was focused on the harvest. And it is still his commission to us today... the fields are white for harvest, therefore go and make disciples.
George started well, ran well and finished well. He worked the harvest and reaped more souls than can be counted. How about you my friend? Have you been working the harvest lately?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Increase and decrease

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -- John 3:30
Our entire purpose in life is to contribute to the increase of Jesus' glory. We are called to lift Him up, give him praise, give Him service, give Him love, and give Him worship. After all this is done we are commissioned to make Him known.
As John stated, we must decrease... "It's not about us". And Jesus must increase, "It's all about Him". There is no better way to honor Him than to serve in humility as we hide behind His cross. There is no greater success than to be unknown that He may be renowned.
John also stated, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven." (vs. 27) In light of this truth, what are you doing with what you have received my friend? Are you investing your time, talent and treasures to magnify the Lord Jesus as the humble anonymous servant? Remember... "It's all about Jesus", so He must increase and you must decrease.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

In His Presence

"But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man." -- John 2:24-25
We are often misled by others to believe things about them that are just not true. No matter how much time we spend with them and how much we learn about them, we never really know them, do we? No one can know what is in another person... Really? No one?
From the very beginning of the Lord's ministry he gave evidence of his complete knowledge of the hearts and souls of people. He began with Nathanael in chapter one and continued in this account. The Lord knows our every thought and every secret motive, even before we think them.(here and in Psalm 139:4) You can run... but you can't hide.
Never believe for a moment my friend, that your ways are hidden from the Lord.(John 1:48/Psalm 139:3) He knows your secret thoughts from afar and one day you will be stand accountable before him.(Romans 2:16) Remember, as you live every moment, that you live in the very presence of the Lord.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Be Amazed!

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." -- John 1:14
Be amazed my friend. Never take this for granted. Jesus, the Living Word, by whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16), in whom all things are held together (Colossians 1:17), became flesh.  The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), the Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) came to dwell among us.
He who made every tree, died upon a tree (1 Peter 2:24), for you and me. He who made every rock was placed in a tomb, cut in a rock, (Matthew 27:60) for you and me. He who made every lamb, became a sacrificial lamb (John 1:29) for you and me. He who made every blood cell, poured out his blood (John 19:34) for you and me. He who created the air that we breath, gave up his last breath (Luke 23:46) for you and me.
Be amazed my friend. Never take for granted that... "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us". Bow and worship... and give praise to the Living Word, Jesus!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

"We'll leave the light on for you"

"There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage." -- Acts 28:14-15
Tom Bodett, spokesman for Motel 6, coined the phrase "We'll leave the light on for you" and it has been a smashing advertising success. People are drawn to the idea of someone waiting to welcome them after a long day's journey. It's really nice to find a taste of home wherever we travel.
Paul had been through the ringer on his trip to Rome and when fellow believers opened their homes to him, he "took courage". He found brothers along the way and at his new home in Rome. With the family of God there is always someone who will "leave the light on for you" along the way in life's journey.
When you travel, do you look for a good church to visit and Christian family members to befriend? And when you find a brother or sister believer passing through your life, do you welcome and encourage them, my friend? Let it always be said about the family of God... "We'll leave the light on for you".