Monday, October 31, 2016

"Go and Give"

"In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree." - Zechariah 3:10
A little boy quietly sat down next to a friend who was eating a candy bar. Once before he asked his friend to share; but he was told "no" because it was rude to ask. This time, as the candy bar was completely finished the little guy asked why his friend hadn't shared. The friend responded by saying, "Well, you didn't ask, so I figured you didn't want any". Some people have no idea what it means to share the good things of life with others.
On the other hand, when the Lord blesses His people, He always expects us to share with others. Whether in days gone by, this day or days to come, God gives us His saving grace to receive and to give away. As the prophet looks into the future, the Lord will bring about a new day and a great blessing for His people. But with that day will be the expectation to share the wealth.
When the Lord left the disciples as He ascended He gave the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20. In simple words, Jesus said go and give. They may never ask you to share, but will you invite your neighbor to come under your vine and fig tree my friend? When will you receive God's greatest blessing and "go and give"?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Our Spiritual "Leatherman"

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:14-17 
I remember the first Boy Scout knife I owned. It was more than cool; it had a knife blade, fork, spoon, and can opener. It was all a guy ever needed for the emergencies of life. Today I own a wide selection of knives that include a number of "Leatherman" products. A "Leatherman" is more than cool; it has multiple knife blades, a saw, scissors, multiple screwdrivers, a file and still more than I can list. It is all that a guy will ever need for the emergencies of life.
When Paul rounded out his counsel to young Timothy, he directed him to his spiritual "Leatherman". He reminded Timothy to continue to use it with confidence. He reviewed the many qualities of the tool and explained how useful they are in daily life. When all was said, Timothy was assured that the Bible was all a guy will ever need for the emergencies of life.
Take a moment to look at your spiritual "Leatherman"... isn't it more than cool? Do you have it sharpened in your heart and ready for use? Do you use this spiritual tool that God has blessed you with day by day? The Lord didn't give us His Word to set on the shelf. When he gave us the Bible, he gave us all we will ever need for the emergencies of life.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Passing the baton

"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." - 2 Timothy 2:1-2
During the Olympics we find a wide variety of competitive races. Most involve one athlete who will carry the whole race by themselves.  But the "relay" race depends on the involvement of many. At certain points in the race the next athlete picks up the cause until they pass it on to the next team member. The relay race is all about "passing the baton".
When Paul taught, mentored and wrote Timothy he was passing on the great truths of the gospel. He expected Timothy to do the same by entrusting these truths to reliable believers who would also pass them on to others. Gospel truths are not to be hoarded and kept as eternal trophies. They are intended to change our lives and be passed on to a new generation. We are expected to "pass the baton".
Every believer has great gospel truths to pass on to others. The theme of the "Great Commission" is the heartbeat of this passage. We are to "make disciples", who will "make disciples", who will "make disciples". Who are you mentoring today? Do you have someone to whom you are "passing the baton?"

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.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Heart Improvements

"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more... And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more." - 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 10
We live in a world that's all about improvement. Improve your looks, your job, your education, your car, or your house. We're never satisfied with the status quo. As in the Dickens classic, Oliver Twist, we are always asking, "Please, sir, I want some more".
What about our spiritual lives? Paul mentioned the phrase "more and more" twice in this chapter. He instructed these believers to "live in order to please God" more and more and "love all the brothers" more and more. In both cases he noted a current lifestyle of Godliness, but he didn't want them to settle for just enough. He wanted to see spiritual improvement, "more and more".
Have you become satisfied with your spiritual life, while being driven for more worldly gain my friend? What efforts are you making to improve your walk with God and your love for the brethren? The next time you want bigger and better or you're planning some home improvements, ask yourself, when was the last time you did some "heart improvements"?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Greatest Success

"We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Thessalonians 1:3
A good many years ago there was a nationwide retailer that gave its employees a vested interest in the company. The more they sold, the more shares they would be awarded. As they succeeded, the business succeeded, and as the business succeeded, so did they. This company learned that success comes from a healthy motivation.
Paul greatly appreciated the work, labor and endurance seen in the Thessalonians. He noted that they were a motivated group of believers who were driven by a much deeper commitment than most. Their faith empowered them to work hard, their love encouraged them to labor diligently and their hope invigorated them to endure to the end. Three spiritual qualities kept them motivated in the most difficult hour.
Faith, love and hope; every believer has these qualities, but not often drawn upon for motivation. From time to time, you will face the giants my friend, but every day you will have to deal with the little foxes that pester you in your spiritual walk. The work, labor and endurance will be difficult at times, but trust in the Lord with all your heart, love the Lord with all your heart and hope in the Lord with all your heart and you will be sufficiently motivated for the greatest success.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Right Comforter

“And all who look at you will shrink from you and say, ‘Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her?’  Where shall I seek comforters for you?” - Nahum 3:7
How often do we hear people refer to hell as a final party place? This idea centers on believing that there will be plenty of company in the place of judgment. A certain comfort is sought by thinking judgment day will bring about a comradeship of the rebellious.
The sobering truth is clearly stated in this above verse. No one grieves over the judgment of the wicked and condemned. They may be curious, but never comforting. The way of the world revels in the wickedness of the moment, but when the hammer of judgment falls they shrink away. As Jesus pointed out, the afterlife without Christ and His righteousness is "outer darkness". (Matthew 22:13, 25:30)
Be wise and assured my friend; there will be no comfort from fellow sinners on the Day of judgment. The only comfort that we are ever promised is from the Lord Himself when we come to him in repentance and faith. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) In the days of this life, before the coming judgment, may you turn to the "God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3) who will never shrink away.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Run to Him!

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” - Nahum 1:7 
When the thunderstorm comes upon us without warning we run for cover. If we're wise we look for a safe place that will protect from rain, wind and lightening. We don't run under a tree!
In the storms of life we should look for a refuge that is good, strong and is a perfect fit for our personal needs. That refuge is the LORD and when the rain falls, wind blows and lightning strikes we can be at peace, because He knows and meets our every need.
There is nothing simpler my friend. The LORD is good and there is no better refuge in the time of trouble. He knows you better than anyone, so when you run for cover - run to Him.

Monday, October 17, 2016


"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." - Colossians 3:12 
They say that clothes make the man. That may or may not be true, but clothes often tell a lot about the person. An immoral person will dress promiscuously, and a moral person will dress modestly. Most often the outer appearance is a reflection of the inner attitude.
Throughout this chapter Paul emphasizes the believer's daily choice of dress. He is focused on the spiritual clothing, not the material. When we have put on a "new self" (vs. 10), our heart changes and our outer appearance takes on a whole new look. When we are God's chosen people, we dress accordingly.
You are a child of the King my friend. The kingdom attire isn't expensive suits and gowns; the clothing of the court is "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience". Before you spend time in your clothes closet thinking about what you will wear today, spend time in your prayer closet putting on the clothes that reflect a new heart.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's all about Jesus

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." - Colossians 2:8
Occasionally I visit a book store... alright, very often. The shelves are full of self-help books written from the standpoint of human tradition. The content revolves around the idea that, "You can do all things through you". In other words, it's all about you.
Paul always directed his readers toward the sufficiency of Christ. He pointed out the inadequacy of hollow and deceptive philosophies. His was continually concerned that fellow believers wouldn't be caught up in empty worldly teachings. This chapter points to one great truth... it's all about Jesus.
Be careful what you choose to read my friend. Are you looking for help for issues and challenges in life? You won't find what you need in the self-help section of the bookstore. The answer is, and always has been, Jesus. Remember Paul's testimony in Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" ... It's all about Jesus.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Love and Compassion

"Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." - Micah 7:18-19
Dysfunctional families run rampant in our society. Anger and rage fills the air with bitterness lingering for years. Forgiveness is a rare commodity for most and keeping records of wrongdoing seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Where can we find a willing heart that is ready to put aside anger and extend the kind of compassion that pardons iniquity delights in long lasting love?
When most relationships crumble as a result of hard unforgiving hearts the Lord steps up and reveals a love that pardons and passes over rebellion and disobedience. When the soul comes in repentance and confession, the Lord "will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." The family of God is far from dysfunctional because there is love and compassion in abundance.
No matter what you have experienced in your earthly relationships my friend, there is someone who "delights in steadfast love" who will welcome you with open arms. He will pardon your sins, cast them into the sea and welcome you into His eternal family. Don't wait any longer, come to the one who offers rest to all who are weary and heavy laden (Matthew 11:28)... come to Jesus today.

Friday, October 14, 2016

No fees please

“‘Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’ He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”  - Micah 6:7-8 
We live in a society that believes you can buy your way out of most any infraction of the law. In addition, we have medications that allow us to live any way we want with little physical downside. There always seems to be a way to enable inappropriate living for a small fee. 
With such thinking we can easily conclude that our accountability before God can be fulfilled by various gifts. If we donate our money, our time or our labor to the Lord's work we are tempted to believe that God will be satisfied with a sin-sick life. 
What does the Lord look for in our daily walk my friend? He is never satisfied with a small fee that suggests freedom to live any way we want. He looks for that which is good ... just, kind and humble living. It's all about the quality of our lives, not the quantity of our gifts.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Peace from the Prince

“‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’… and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” - Micah 4:2-3
The latter verse is depicted by a statue at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. We find it used time and again in similar settings. It seems that we desperately want the peace without the Prince of peace.
Men are quick to take Scripture out of context to support man driven efforts. They strive toward a future Utopia, not realizing that evil must be purged and righteousness prevail before peace can reign.
As it is in the greater world so it must be in the little world of our hearts. The call is the same today as it was in the days of Paul; repent toward God and have faith in Christ (Acts 20:21). Only when you find the Prince of Peace will you finally find peace my friend.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Preaching the Word

 “If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” he would be the preacher for this people!” - Micah 2:11
Some things never change. Crowds gather every Sunday where they will hear heartwarming sermons that tickle the ear and bring a good laugh. The stories are interesting and the points reinforce "It's all about me!" Such sermons are preached by those who give the people what they want... not what they need.
I heard of a pastor who was encouraged recently for preaching the "hard stuff". I say amen and amen. The people of Israel needed a Word from the Lord, not the uttering of "hot air". The need is no different today, for we need a Word from the Lord that not only comforts, but corrects, counsels and calls us to new heights of discipleship.
Pray for your Pastor my friend. Ask that the Lord will give him courage to preach what people need... not what they want.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Philippians 4:8
When our boys were children we had all kinds of toys to entertain and challenge their abilities. One such toy was called "Domino Rally". After a lengthy domino creation was built, the last step was to knock the first domino down and watch the rest follow. Life is like falling dominoes. Tyrone Edwards put it this way... "Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny."
When Paul wrote to the Philippians he directed them into a life of humility, joy, gentleness and contentment. While all this comes from a close walk with the Lord, it begins in our thought life and from there the spiritual dominoes will fall. When thoughts are right, your actions and lifestyle will be right.
What are you thinking today? What preoccupies your mind? Only you can choose what you think about. If you want to live a Godly life, start with your thoughts and the rest will fall into place.

Monday, October 10, 2016

No time to Complain

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe" - Philippians 2:14-15 
Whenever I plan to make a major purchase of electronics, appliances or a car, I spend hours reading product reviews. They are some help, but the complaints are often beyond belief. Given the opportunity, people will complain about the silliest things and expend incredible time and effort in the process. It's such a joy to meet someone who doesn't complain.
Paul wrote about the humility and sacrifice of our Savior in this chapter. He pointed us to Jesus as our example for selfless living. This kind of lifestyle will always produce people who face life without complaining and arguing. As a result our lives shine like stars in the world, with quality, purity, and contentment. People will listen to our witness because they see our consistent joy.
No one likes to be around complainers. Arguments turn people away. But we have been sent into the world to bring the light and joy of the Gospel. The next time you want to complain, consider the Lord's selfless sacrifice for us and find reason to rejoice. To win people to Christ, you often have to woo them first.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

God of the Second Chance

"Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time" - Jonah 3:1
I knew a man some years ago that chose this verse as his life verse. He had trusted Christ at a young age and sensed God's call to ministry. Then he took a worldly path and fell out of fellowship for many years. But a day came when he returned to the Lord and this verse became quite personal.
Thankfully, we serve the God of second chances. In the wonderful grace of Jesus, we can begin again. Jonah is one example and Peter the apostle is another. As the Lord said much earlier, if His people would humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, He would forgive their sin and they could begin again. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Maybe you need a fresh start my friend. Don't waste time; take this verse as an encouragement to begin again. Paul reminds us in Romans 11:29"God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable." and in Philippians 1:6"... He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Don't give up, just come back to the Lord and begin again.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

No place to hide!

“But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.” – Jonah 1:3
As children, when bedtime came we would often find someplace to hide. We believed that we had escaped the presence of our parents. Yet, in a very short time we were discovered by our "omnipresent" mother or father. If we couldn't escape the presence of our parents, can we truly escape the presence of God?
We deceive ourselves when we believe that we can slip away from the presence of God. Jonah was determined to have his own way and reject the command of God. He became convinced that he could leave God behind by way of a ship to Tarshish. He thought that mileage would change everything, but he forgot the testimony of David in Psalm 139:9-10, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
My friend, are you comforted with the words of our Savior in Matthew 28:20, "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age"? Well, be aware that He also commissioned you and me to "make disciples of all nations" and there is no mileage that can change that fact. Don't be a Jonah by shipping out, share the faith, even with those you don't like, because the Lord is watching!

Friday, October 7, 2016


"For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head." -- Obadiah 15 
News reports return to Israel again and again. History records nations and leaders who have risen up to attack and abuse this nation. But after all the ages are passed and the day of the Lord comes, their deeds shall return on their own head.
The words of the Lord to Abraham were quite clear in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." May our own country take heed to the words of Scripture and the prophet Obadiah's warning.
Remember my friend, there is nothing political about God's elective and covenant relationship with His people Israel. Consider the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 11:28- 29, "As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." Therefore, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!" (Psalm 122:6)

Thursday, October 6, 2016


"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." - Ephesians 6:19-20
Fear can be a crippling emotion. There are those who are afraid of dogs, snakes, spiders, crowds, darkness, heights and some are even afraid of peanut butter. Fear is no respecter of persons or things. The truth is if we don't overcome our fears, our fears will overcome us.
Paul, of all people, asked for prayer to be fearless. He was passionate for Christ and burned with desire to see others come to know his Savior. Yet, he sought prayer to "fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel". In light of mentioning this twice, one might conclude that Paul struggled with fear. Yet, for the sake of the gospel, he chose to overcome and be fearless.
You may be afraid of many things my friend, but never allow fear to hold you back from witnessing. Pray and enlist others to pray that you will be fearless, " you should".  Rememberif you don't overcome fear, your fear will overcome you. Be an overcomer and make the good news known to someone today.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Don't Make Waves!

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:2-3
I've been in a large boat as the engine roared with incredible force to cut through stormy waters. I have also been in a small canoe when one stroke of an oar would propel us a great distance in quiet waters. Life is much like maneuvering a ship; the more peaceful the waters, the smoother the ride.
Paul often addressed the subject of peace to believers. One might conclude that such a concern would be unnecessary for the children of God. Yet, the instructions were given in detail to be humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. The Christian community should be a place where peaceful waters prevail, always providing a smooth ride.
Are you making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace? Do you treat others with humility, gentleness, patience and love? These are the ingredients that provide and sustain peaceful waters for a smooth ride. Stormy waters are never fun... so don't make waves!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Who will you follow?

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient." - Ephesians 2:1-2 
In 1998 Christopher Nolan directed a film entitled "Following". The plot tells the story of a young man who follows strangers throughout London for inspiration to write a novel. In time he is drawn into a criminal underworld as a result of following the wrong people. Following can be beneficial or it can be detrimental; it all depends on who you follow.
Paul referred to the life left behind in the passage above as one that "followed the ways of this world". Jesus called his disciples with the call, "Follow Me". In response, twelve men left the old world behind and followed the Lord in learning and serving. Their lives were dramatically changed for the better as they found someone worth following.
The most important question to ask when you rise in the morning my friend is: "Who will I follow today?" Will we choose to slip back into "the ways of the world", or will we follow Jesus wherever he leads? The day can be a blessing or burden; it all depends on who you follow.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Treasure God's Word

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.”  Amos 8:11-12
There are many ways to experience a famine of words. There are those who refuse to speak because they have been offended. There are those who refuse to listen, and therefore hear nothing because they are angered. Then there are those occasions when there are just no more words to express.
In the days of Amos there were no more words to say to a rebellious people and since no one was listening, the heavens became silent. Today we have a similar situation. There are so many that ignore the Word of God and deny the credibility of the Scriptures that we have a famine in the land. This famine comes from those who preach funny stories and steps to prosperity and success, but no Word from the Lord. Since people reject God's message, more and more pastors are refusing to preach the Word.
While there is a famine in the land my friend, don't contribute to the condition. Read the Word, memorize the Word, live the Word and share the Word. Pray for your Pastor and encourage him to stand from Sunday to Sunday and say "Thus says the Lord!"

Sunday, October 2, 2016

God's "Plumb Line"

“And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”” – Amos 7:8-9
I'm a little quirky about pictures and other hanging items in our house. They need to be straight or I can't be at peace. That's why I have a number of levels throughout the house. While I can see the tilted picture, I prefer to use a tool to make sure that everything is level.
God is just as concerned about our lives being straight. So, He has given us the "plumb line" of His Word to keep us level. For this reason we need to be in the Word every day. Furthermore, the Lord has placed Jesus in the very center of our lives so we would be conformed to His image. (Romans 8:29)
Remember that we have all fallen short of the mark my friend (Romans 3:23) and even redeemed and converted souls need to level their lives from time to time. But, never try to straighten things out by eye-balling the situation. Use the "plumb line" of God and line things up to be Christ-like.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Song or Soul?

“Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” -- Amos 5:23-24
God's people move from one church to the next for many reasons, but one that most often motivates the move is music. We need to have our tunes and they have to stir the heart or we can't really worship. Many believe if there is good music, God is successfully worshiped and therefore pleased with the worshipers. But, is it really that simple?
When the lifestyle is void of Godliness and goodness, all the music in the world will not please our Lord. It's like the image of Nero playing the violin while Rome burns to the ground. The cry for justice and righteousness rises above the melody and harmony of the singers. No well sung song can make up for a sin sick soul.
Justice and righteousness needs to be more than here a little and there a little my friend. God looks for those who worship Him to do so in spirit and truth (John 4:24) with a rolling lifestyle of justice and streaming conduct of righteousness. Is your worship all about simply crafted songs or spirit controlled souls? There is a marked difference.