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.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Look and Live...

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." - John 3:14-15
"So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live." - Numbers 21:9
Let's consider the words of an old gospel song by William A. Ogden today, "I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah! This message unto you I’ll give, ’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah! It is only that you “look and live.” The quality of faith has always been the key to spiritual life with the Lord. It's all settled when we "look and live".
Jesus dealt with a religious leader who was raised with all the legal demands of Pharisaical teaching. His question in verse 9 says it all, "How can these things be?" Nicodemus was so tied to doing that he couldn't understand the simplicity of faith. Jesus took Him back to the moment in Numbers 21 when life was restored by gazing in faith at a bronze serpent. From the days of Moses to those of Jesus, to this day, it's always been the same; a new heart will only come to those who "look and live".
Have you ever turned your eyes to Calvary for forgiveness and new life my friend? And do you exercise that same faith every day by turning your eyes upon Jesus to find strength for the journey? Another old gospel song by Helen H. Lemmel calls to us as well, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace." From the first moment we turn to Jesus for life to every daily challenge, the life of faith is all wrapped up in these three words, "look and live".

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Amazing over time...

"... Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” -- John 2:9-10
You shop for a new car. The salesman treats you like a long lost brother and after your purchase you're lost again. The car you buy is absolutely amazing for a while, then time passes and it's not so amazing anymore. That's how life is: things seem to get less amazing every day. Is there anything that gets more amazing over time?
Our Lord's first miracle tells us so much about his future ministry in our lives. When we first come to the Lord it is so amazing. The sense of peace and joy is overwhelming and we wonder if the feelings will last. But as time passes the peace and joy only grows stronger and deeper. Far from the way of our world, when the Lord does his work, it only gets more amazing over time.
It was best said in Isaiah 55:2, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare." Choose wisely my friend and look to the Lord for his provision. When he blesses, it only gets more amazing over time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Share your joy...

"Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus." -- John 1:40-42
I wanted to tell the world the day I got engaged. I also wanted to tell the world the two days that my sons were born. We all have exciting life changing moments that motivate us to tell the good news to as many people as possible. Why do we make such an effort to spread the news? It's because we want everyone to share in our joy. 
When Andrew found the Lord and spent time with him, the very first thing he did was tell his brother. He was excited about finding the long awaited Messiah and he wanted everyone to know. He was overjoyed with his discovery and couldn't keep it to himself. He wanted everyone to share his joy.
Since you came to the knowledge of the Lord how has your life changed? Has the Lord blessed you in tremendous ways? Who have you told about these wonderful things? Why not be an Andrew today and share your joy with everyone?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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! 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!!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Instant understanding ...

"He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." - Luke 24:44-45
Some years ago I purchased a set of CDs that promised to open a whole new world of foreign language. These CDs were supposed to be the key that would bring instant understanding with very little effort. Well, after some time I disposed of them because I couldn't find the promised "key" to instant understanding.
As Jesus shared with the disciples, he didn't offer them a set of CDs or any other academic program. He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. As a result, as time passed we read, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) Jesus is the "key" to instant understanding.
Don't be afraid to open the pages of your Bible. Pray for understanding and read on. The Lord will give what you need and each day you will find new insight from him. Take the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation and look for the Lord on every page and you will find the "key" to instant understanding.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Really wanted ...

"So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them." - Luke 24:28-29
"Stop by and visit sometime!" These words are heard quite often, but do they express a genuine invitation? For some people who live quite casually, the answer is yes. But for most, such words are just a social nicety. In most cases we only stop in and visit when there is a sincere request for our presence. We need to know that we are really wanted.
This is quite an interesting moment as the Lord travels on the road to Emmaus. We are told that "He acted as if he were going farther". But those with whom He conversed "urged Him strongly" to stay with them. They were quite serious about their invitation and the Lord responded accordingly, "So He went in to stay with them". The Lord is no different than we are in this matter; He needs to know that He is really wanted.
Each day brings a new opportunity for close fellowship with the Lord my friend. The question is, do you extend a sincere invitation and "urge Him strongly" to commune with your heart in the quiet hours? He said it best in Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." He needs to know that He is really wanted.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Making a difference...

"Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God." - Luke 23:50-51 
Have you ever considered the minority reports of the Bible? You will find Joshua and Caleb among the distressed spies, David among a frightened Saul and his army, Jeremiah among misleading prophets and Daniel among jealous peers. These were lone voices in an ocean of resistance when the easy road would choose passive agreement. Yet, we remember these men, not necessary for moving mountains, but for standing their ground in the face of opposition.
Joseph of Arimathea was one of those minority voices among the Jewish council members. He didn't have the sway or support to move the group away from crucifixion. But he wasn't about to be moved away from his personal convictions. He had not consented to the decision and he was now courageous enough to care for the dead body of Jesus. He couldn't move mountains, but he stood his ground and made a difference.
When you are pressed by the majority and still have strong convictions, what do you do my friend? Are you willing to speak up and sacrifice for what you know is right? Or do you cave under the pressure of the crowd? While you may never move mountains, you can certainly stand your ground for Jesus; and that will make all the difference in the world.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Getting to Heaven...

"Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”" - Luke 23:42-43
In 1969 I worked in a computer office with a system that filled the room. It was complex and huge. Today, the world is inundated with touch-screen tablets that have far more memory than the old room sized computer. They are easy to use and small enough to carry anywhere. Technology has come a long way to simplify things for the end user. Religion on the other hand has complicated matters of the soul continually throughout the centuries. Getting to heaven has become a real complex trip.
In the last hour of our Lord's earthly life he encountered a repentant criminal. In this exchange we discover the truth about forgiveness and eternity. The simplicity of "touching" Christ with a heart of faith opened the world of heaven without complexity. As a result of trusting Jesus, this man was transported to glory that day, and not a moment later. Getting to heaven was a real simple trip.
Walking with God in this life and into the next life has always been quite simple. Adding to the picture just makes things more confusing and less achievable. Jesus said, the life of faith is easy to live and small enough to carry anywhere; "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30) and at the end of the journey... getting to heaven will be a real quick trip.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

How then shall you live?

"He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will." - Luke 23:25
In March, 2012, Spc. Dennis Weichel of the Rhode Island National Guard substituted his life for the life of a little Afghan girl. According to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard, a 16 ton Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle was moving toward  the child at a breakneck speed. Weichel saw the massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way; in the process, the armored truck ran him over. The little girl was fine, but Weichel died of his injuries a short time later.
At the time of his release, Barabbas hardly understood the significance of this exchange. His life was saved through the crucifixion of Jesus. This is the gospel in a pictorial nutshell. Jesus substituted His life for far more than one insurrectionist. He took our deserved payment for sin, so that we might walk away free of guilt and condemnation. This is called the substitutionary atonement of Christ. He died in our place.
Dennis Weichel was honored with a posthumous promotion. The greater honor would be for the little Afghan girl to live her life in the most productive and compassionate way possible. What are you doing with the life that Jesus gave you my friend? How are you honoring Him for the sacrifice He made on the cross? Don't just take the gift and run; embrace it and live for Jesus in the most productive and compassionate way possible.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Look...

"Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly." - Luke 22:60-62


When I was a little guy, life was pretty simple. I knew all was well, or not, by the look in my mother's eyes. If I was behaving as I should, her look was pleasant and assured me that all was well. But if I was getting into mischief, mom could look across a crowded room and I knew I was in trouble. I never wanted to see "the look".
On most days, Peter enjoyed pleasant looks from Jesus, as they walked and talked along the road. But this was not one of those days. Peter had been so sure of himself, and then he denied the Lord, not just once, but three times. Fear and doubt had gotten the best of him and he distanced himself from the Lord. But the distance was not enough to escape "the look".
I believe the look Peter received that day was one of disappointment. When we disobey the Lord, Paul says we grieve his Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30) Simply put, when we fail the Lord... we break his heart. As you turn to the Lord today, will you be met with a look that is pleasant and assures you that all is well? Or will you sense the Lord's disappointment as you're met with "the look"?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

He always cares...

"But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him." - Luke 22:51
Would you ask a grieving widow who just lost her husband yesterday to drive you to a doctor appointment? Or would you ask someone who just lost their home in a tornado to make an encouraging  nursing home visit? In most cases the answer to both questions would be an emphatic no. Moments of personal pain and sorrow are rarely occasions to show concern for others.
As you read this passage in Luke 22, take time to consider the Lord's emotions and personal trauma. He has been betrayed, turned over to be beaten and crucified, soon to be completely abandoned by His closest friends. And yet, He stops everything to reach out and heal a servant's injured ear. Nothing in His life would deter Him from caring for others.
Have you ever refrained from pouring your heart out to the Lord my friend? Did you think that He might be too busy or that your problem was much too insignificant for His involvement? Learn from this event in the passion of our Lord that there is never a day or hour that He doesn't tremendously care for you and every problem in your life.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Give Thanks ...

"And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, 'Take this, and divide it among yourselves... And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.'" - Luke 22:17, 19
We are inundated with ways to find happiness. The path to "good times" is wide and well traveled by more than one can count. When any occasion comes to express gratitude most people focus in on the bounty and blessings of life. Rarely is thanksgiving given for stressful and sorrowful days.
Jesus knew the path that He was taking and the suffering that He was about to experience. The pain would be excruciating and the darkness would be overwhelming. Yet, recognizing the approaching cross, He lifted the cup and bread and gave thanks. Our Lord knew the way to the crown passed through the cross, and He was grateful for both.
What are you grateful for today my friend? Can you only find happiness in sunshine and lollipops? Or have you found joy in Jesus as you experience the "good and the bad and the ugly"? Does your faith identify with God's orchestrating every event in life for your good? Isn't that what we embrace with the words of Romans 8:28? "And we know that for those who love God ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."  Maybe this was on Paul's mind when he wrote 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Unexpected ...

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” - Luke 21:34-36
I always had fun with my Dad. He was one of those guys that would let life so preoccupy him that he walked around in his own world. How could I pass up the opportunities to jump out of his closet or from behind a bush in the garden and scare the daylights out of him? Thankfully, he would just laugh it off and drift back into his world of thought. Dad was always unprepared for the unexpected.
The Lord will come for his Church and then after a time of world-wide judgment he will return to set up his kingdom. Both occasions will occur unexpectedly for most. When people become preoccupied with the pleasures and anxieties of life, they tend to drift into their own little world. Thoughts of the Lord's coming slip away and they're unprepared for the unexpected.
In truth, the Lord's return is expected. The time of his coming is unknown, therefore unexpected. Are you living in light of his return? Or have you allowed the pursuits of this life to lead you into your own little world? Even a believer can drift and be embarrassed when the Lord returns. "Be always on the watch" and pray for the daily strength to be prepared for the unexpected.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The joy of giving ...

"And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." - Luke 21:3-4
In the competitive world of politics every candidate is put under the magnifying glass. Whenever an election year rolls around the public suddenly becomes concerned with integrity, morality and charitable generosity. One area of interest is the pattern of church donations made by such wealthy personalities. When their abundance is carefully considered, the size of their gifts often seem to fade.
Jesus gives us a clear lesson on sincere, selfless, spiritual stewardship. The gift is only as significant as the the heart that gives. It's not how much we share as how much we sacrifice. Giving should never be about appeasing our conscience, it should always be about loving the Lord. 
The IRS received an anonymous check some years ago with a note that read: "Enclosed is ten dollars of back taxes I failed to pay; if I still can't sleep, I'll send you the rest". Do you give to the Lord so you can sleep at night my friend? Try giving because you love Him with a heart of gratitude. Yes, your giving will go up till it hurts, but your joy will be even greater and God's blessings will be overwhelming... read Malachi 3:10 

Friday, May 3, 2019

All are alive ...

"But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” - Luke 20:37-38
While speaking at a funeral service for a deceased deacon, the preacher wanted to emphasize the departure of the soul from the body. He said, "Only the shell remains, but the nut is gone". He meant one thing, but said something else as well. Life after death is a timeless truth found throughout the Bible. It is stated overtly by Jesus and subtly by Moses, but either way, to God... all are alive.
There will be a resurrection and Jesus spoke of this coming event regularly. Some have said that this doctrine is strictly found in the New Testament. But what we find in this passage is a clear reference by Jesus to the Old Testament belief in this truth. Moses meant one thing, but he said something else as well. We believe in the God of the living, and to him... all are alive.
There are two thoughts to consider today. Every soul will exist eternally. The question is; will you live eternally in heaven with Jesus, or will you live eternally in hell alone? The choice is yours to make, but only in this life. The second thought concerns your loved one who knew the Lord and has stepped into eternity ahead of you. You may be assured and comforted in the words of Paul in Philippians 1:23, "I desire to depart and be with Christ". Yes, they are with the Lord, because to him... all are alive.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Christian Citizenship 101....

"He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” - Luke 20:25
Throughout history battles have been waged between religious communities and  governments. America was founded by those who sought freedom to worship without state intervention. In our own day countries in the Middle East are torn apart because of religious differences with national leadership. Does the Bible have an answer for this timeless dilemma?
The answer to the above concern is a definitive yes. Jesus gave us a wise and irrefutable word of counsel in the above passage. While Caesar was a tyrant and madman, Jesus called for taxes to paid and respect given. The state was to be acknowledged with responsible citizenship. Yet, at the same time God was receive faithful worship and service from His people.
In your frustration with the government, are you still a responsible citizen my friend? Along with the above words, give careful thought to Romans 13:1-2"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." Honor God by being a good citizen and faithful believer.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

He wept ...

"And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it," - Luke 19:41
There isn't a week that goes by, when a tear-jerking video shows up on Facebook. You might see a soldier returning home, surprising a child in some family reunion. Or you might see the amazing rehabilitation of a badly injured young person. And then there are those sad moments when a loyal dog is laying beside the grave it's master. While stories of surprise, courage or grief may bring tears, will we weep over the unseen?
Jesus approached the city of Jerusalem and wept. What was it that He saw? He saw the lost souls of people. He saw the blind and selfish hearts that rejected God's grace. He saw the coming judgment with all the pain and anguish. Jesus saw the unseen opportunity for peace slip away from His people and He wept.
How consumed are you with the work of Christ and the souls of people my friend? Do you see their lost condition, blind hearts and impending judgment? Do you see the promise of peace slipping away as they reject the Savior? Do your eyes see the unseen plight of a harassed and helpless crowd (Matthew 9:36)? Never become so ministry conditioned that you no longer weep over the souls of people.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Entry Level ...

"And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’" - Luke 19:17
We hear the phrase "entry level" time and again in the workplace. These are positions that usually test the metal of a new employee. If they prove to be dependable and productive in a lesser position greater opportunities will be offered them down the line. The simple truth is; you have to start somewhere, and it certainly is not at the top.
Just as lifetime careers begin with "entry level" jobs, so does the Kingdom work of King Jesus. He entrusts us with "very little" and steps back to observe. The Lord looks for those who have servant hearts and serve faithfully. To such dependable Kingdom workers will be greater responsibility. In the face of eternity, this life is an "entry level" job.
How is it going in your "little" task for the Lord my friend? Is He finding you to be a faithful servant, staying the course whatever the cost? Remember; as a child of God you are just preparing for eternity and the job you are fulfilling today will determine the responsibility for tomorrow. Don't be discouraged in your "entry level" roll. Be true to your calling and greater opportunities will come your way.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Too late?

"And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way." - Luke 19:3-4
Have you ever seen people peeking through holes in a barrier fence? They may be watching a bulldozer as it tears down a building. Then there are others who are watching a ball game instead of buying tickets for a seat. But, no matter what, they are determined to catch the sight before it was too late. 
Zacchaeus was one zealous seeker. He was short and overwhelmed by the large crowd. Yet, he knew that Jesus was passing his way and he didn't want to miss Him. Seeing the Lord was more important than anything.  He was determined to catch the sight before it was too late. 
How much do you want to see Jesus in the morning? In a way, special moments with the Lord pass by early each day. Are you willing to climb out of bed and seek a close view of Lord in the pages of His Word? Will you be determined to catch the sight before it is too late? 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Be ready ...

"And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished." - Luke 18:31
This spring we have had a number of weather predictions that have failed to crystallize. During the last few years we have had various economic predictions that have fallen through. Along with these mistaken forecasts came the "end of the world" prediction by a radio Bible teacher that led many people astray. Is there any foreseen event that is certain?
Jesus presented the Words of the prophets as precise events that would be fulfilled in His life. He specifically stated that "everything" about the Son of Man was to be accomplished. As we read the rest of the Gospel account we find His words to be true with exact detail. Biblical prophecies are foreseen events that are certain.
Is it to our benefit to learn and understand the prophetic Word my friend? Since "everything" about the Son of Man was fulfilled in His first coming, His second coming will be just as certain. As Peter says in 2 Peter 1:19, "And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention..." Yes, "pay attention", live in expectation and be ready.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Don't give up ...

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up... Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”... Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”" - Luke 18:1, 39, 42 
Have you ever been turned away by a restaurant hostess because you didn't have a reservation? It can be embarrassing when you made plans and expected to be seated. It's even more embarrassing when someone without reservations harasses the hostess to be seated. People are unsettled and just want the trouble makers to leave. But what if you know the owner and he has invited you to his restaurant? Dinner is served!
At the outset of this chapter Jesus taught the disciples to pray and not give up. Toward the end of the passage we find just such a man who prayed and would not give up. Yet, people felt unsettled and they just wanted the trouble maker to be quiet. The blind man still showed persistent faith and he was blessed with healing. He bypassed the hostess and came to the owner and dinner was served! 
Jesus taught us to pray without ceasing and as we do, he welcomes our faith. Remember, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” (vs. 27) Don't be turned away by those who have weak faith and doubting hearts. Since you know the owner and you have been invited, just ask... and dinner is served!

Friday, April 26, 2019

"Ten"...

"One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”" - Luke 17:15-18
As summer approaches you will probably be invited to a wedding or two. Gifts will be given or sent and then the months will pass before your kindness is acknowledged. Maybe it will be sooner, but then again, you just received a thank-you note yesterday for the wedding gift you gave last May. What's so hard about saying thank you for the many blessings we receive in life? On a scale of one to ten, very few ever get a "ten".
Jesus was disappointed when only one out of ten returned to give praise to God for their healing. Furthermore, the one who returned wasn't even taught in the Scriptures; he was a Samaritan! It doesn't take a wealth of Bible knowledge to know how to say thanks to God for his goodness. As the years have passed, the Church has fine-tuned worship and praise services. Certainly more than one out of ten will return to give thanks to God this week, but sadly... very few ever get a "ten".
Has God blessed you lately with his goodness? Have you received his provision for your daily needs? Were your prayers answered for healing, for a job or money to pay a bill? Will you be in church this coming Sunday with your thank-you note? The question is... will you be number "ten"?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A matter of life or death!

"And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house — for I have five brothers — so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’" - Luke 16:27-28
Everyday we are given new warnings about health endangering food or medicine. The details are announced with great emphasis and vivid illustrations are given of those who have suffered from the products. Our emotions are greatly pressed to avoid the stuff all costs. After all, our very lives depend on the shared knowledge of these professionals.
Jesus gave warning after warning to those who would listen. He spoke with factual details as well as illustrations of those who were suffering. Our gracious Lord spoke more on the subject of hell as the eternal condemnation for unrepentant sinners than any other new testament writer. He did so because He is gracious and knows the ultimate sorrow and agony of hell. These are the words of the One who rose from the dead... the very Lord of life, Jesus Christ. After all, our very lives depend on the shared knowledge of more than a professional.
I trust that you have repented and trusted Jesus Christ alone to be your only means of salvation my friend. I hope that heaven will be your home when you breath your last on this earth. But what about your "brothers" or those in your "father's house"? Listen to the cry from hell and warn them. Point them to the One who rose from the dead, the risen Savior. This is more important than any health endangering food or medicine; this is a matter of eternal life or eternal condemnation!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Only one heart ...

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  - Luke 16:13
In  some ways there are two types of professionals. Those who have a career to provide and care for their family and those who have a family to make it easier to excel in their careers. One serves a loving family and the other serves a lucrative job. But whichever one you choose, you only have one heart to give.
In spiritual matters, Jesus made it clear: you have to choose. You can't serve more than one master at a time. In addition, when you serve one, your attitude toward the other is embittered. If you choose to serve money and temporal gain, you will despise God and eternal values. This sheds great light on our drift from the Lord when we prioritize our wealth because...  you only have one heart to give.
Who will you serve today? Who will receive your undying devotion? Will you choose the Lord and serve him with all your heart, soul and mind? Or will you serve yourself for the love of money? Remember...  you only have one heart to give.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Moments to celebrate...

" 'But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”  - Luke 15:32
Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, retirements... and the list of reasons to celebrate can continue. We are ready to celebrate over almost anything that comes along. Our family will celebrate the day before, on the day and the day after, just to be certain that we did it right. Over time we just celebrate to celebrate and the reasons grow less and less. Have we lost the sense of what's really important and worthy of celebration? In the words of a recent film Hitch"Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away."
Jesus tells a story that contrasts all the achievements and values of life with one great moment. That moment is the redemption of a lost soul. The father doesn't give a stern reproof or wisdom for future temptations on that day. He rejoices and leads the entire family in a huge time of celebration. His son was dead and is alive again. Every time I read "...he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him" (vs. 20), I am deeply moved. You see, the return of a soul to our Heavenly Father is worth celebrating because... it's a moment that takes your breath away!
The question I have for you today is: what have you celebrated of spiritual worth lately? When that little child or older neighbor trusted Christ last month, did you celebrate their new birth? Do we teach our children that moments of spiritual change and growth are tremendous occasions of joy? Consider a father, filled with compassion, embracing his wayward son, and remember... "Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away."

Monday, April 22, 2019

To win ...

"In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:33
Olympic swimmers wear very little when they compete. Their swim suits are designed for speed and competitive edge. They even wear caps to prevent their hair from hindering their progress in the water. They dress with one purpose in mind, to win.
The words found in the latter part of Luke 14 are hard and demanding for anyone who would be a disciple of Christ. Yet, the Lord's concern for those who follow him is to set aside anything that holds them back spiritually. The spiritual life is a demanding race for Christian disciples, and Jesus has one purpose in mind, to win.
Will you read this passage today with an open heart and mind? Will you take inventory of your life in light of Christ's demands? What's holding you back in the spiritual race today? As a disciple of Jesus "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1) Take your spiritual life seriously and have one purpose in mind, to win.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Compel them ...

"And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled." - Luke 14:23
Every week we are encouraged to participate in some condo purchase or new financial plan. There is no end to those who would sell us the Brooklyn Bridge if given the opportunity. On one hand, some of these dear people really believe in their hype and then others are just in it for the monetary gain. But, whatever the reason, they are determined to fill their quota.
The Lord portrays the Kingdom of God as a banquet. The invitations are systematically rejected with an ocean of excuses. Finally the direction is given to compel people from the highways and hedges to fill the house. This story has much truth to consider, but for the believer we are given a fresh call to invite others to accept our Savior's call. We believe the truth and it has given us great reason to compel others.
Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:20, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."  Be encouraged afresh my friend to "compel" and "implore" your world on behalf of Christ. It's well worth the effort!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

No day off ...

"Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, 'There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.'" - Luke 13:14
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away and many light-years ago family Doctors were available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I know this to be true because I was raised in such a galaxy. When, as a young man, I suffered a head gash on a Sunday afternoon, the family Doc had me come directly to his office and he took care of my injury, right then and there. There was no day off for those in need.
The Lord often made it clear that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27) Yet, religious legal eagles restricted compassionate care for others to any other day than the Sabbath. Fundamentally, this group placed God in a box and refused to believe that He would work outside their man made limits. Little did they know that with God... there is no day off for those in need.
You may not be a strict Sabbatarian my friend, but do you ever place God in a man made box? Do you expect God to only work within your parameters and theological confines? Is it possible for the Lord to perform the miraculous as He chooses, when He chooses? Is it just possible that the Great Physician might be available twenty-four hours, seven days a week in the most unimaginable set of circumstances? Could it really be, that with God... there is no day off for those in need?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Make a choice ...

"Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three." - Luke 12:51-52
In the New York/New Jersey Metro area there are Yankee fans and Mets fans; Jets fans and Giants fans; Nets fans and Knicks fans; sports teams divide people. Life is full of division. There are shore people and mountain people, dog people and cat people, casual people and formal people. The bottom line is this: you have to make a choice.
Everyone thought that Jesus came to bring total world-wide peace. Their view of peace was, and is today a "let's get together" peace. The idea sounds great, but the Lord made it clear that no such utopia was going to happen in this age. He came to offer a new life with God which differed greatly from the way of the world. The message included repentance and consecration to Godly living. As a result, people have to make a choice.
Division is a sad truth my friend, but it is reality. While the good news that Jesus brought should bring an overwhelming peace and healing of the nations, it doesn't. Why, you may ask? Because not everyone wants a new life with God. They prefer to live for themselves and follow ungodly paths. Until the Lord returns, peace is a personal gift from God and with God. (Romans 5:1) But, you have to make a choice.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Eternal Values ...

"And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing." - Luke 12:22-23
Clothing and food has gone through many changes in my lifetime. Styles of dress have changed more times than I can count and specialty restaurants have flooded the market. While there are many people who are living hand to mouth in our country and around the world, there are also a vast number who worry about dressing in style and what menu to serve upcoming guests. Don't they realize that life is more than that?
Jesus addressed the multitudes with words of comfort and guidance. He assured them that there was no need to worry over the mundane issues of life. God will faithfully meet the needs of His people, just as He feeds the birds and clothes the lilies. With this truth clearly presented we can redirect all our energy and wealth into seeking God's kingdom. Life is all about that.
Whether you are struggling financially or so well off you can't decide which color to wear today, this message is for you. There is a higher calling and priority for every child of God. When we simply trust in the Lord for the basics and focus on the bigger issues of eternal value, everything falls in place. Life is really all about that!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Coming to light...

"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." - Luke 12:2 
I remember the last time we had our carpets cleaned. A great deal floor space was open for the process to be done, but there were some places that needed to be uncovered. My office was one location that needed a chair mat to be removed before the cleaning began. I could have left the mat in place but the carpet would have remained unclean until someone else moved into that room. The dirt would eventually come to light.
Jesus warned his followers that a day of accounting would be coming. No matter how well our sins and trespasses may be hidden from others, it won't last forever. There are times when we believe that our lives are even hidden from the Lord Himself. We can sweep it all under the rug, but one day everything will be discovered. The dirt will eventually come to light. 
Is your faith only a surface experience my friend? Do you believe that the Lord only sees what you choose to reveal? Do you think if you ignore unconfessed sin long enough it will simply disappear? Have you swept more under the rug than you are willing to admit? Well, be aware that a day of accounting is coming. Whatever you haven't dealt with now, will most certainly come to light then!



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Do both...

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." - Luke 11:42
Life is full of choices. You can have vanilla or chocolate ice cream. You can use hot sauce or sweet sauce. You can have strawberry or blueberry pie. You can have a hot or cold drink with your meal. But we are often told that "you can't have your cake and eat it too!" In other words, you can do one or the other, but certainly not both.
There are some people who believe this must be the same in spiritual matters. They settle themselves by doing well in one Biblical area, but not any other. As Jesus rebukes these Pharisees, He addresses the issue of doing it all. He teaches us that we can and must do one and the other by doing both. 
In a phrase, are you a "holistic" believer my friend? Do you follow the tangible steps of tithing and various contributions, and at the same time find ways to show righteous support and loving care for those in need? We ought to do the first without neglecting the  latter. We don't have to choose one or the other, we can and should always do both.



Monday, April 15, 2019

The obvious...

"As the crowds increased, Jesus said, 'This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.'" - Luke 11:29 
There are currently 421 members of the "Flat Earth Society". These people believe that the earth is a flat disk centered at the North Pole and is bounded along it's southern edge by a wall of ice, with the sun, moon, planets, and stars only a few hundred miles above the surface of the earth. This only goes to prove that there will always be people who refuse to believe the obvious.
When our Lord spoke to the multitudes they were filled with unbelief and sought more miraculous signs. He knew that no matter how many signs would be given, unbelief would prevail. In God's divine design, only one distinct sign would be given... the resurrection. And yet, in a later account that Jesus speaks of in Luke 16:31 we read, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead". There will always be people who refuse to believe the obvious. 
This coming Sunday we will celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  The world simply recognizes the day as a holiday known as Easter. They give it no real credibility other than a time to give children Easter baskets with candy and goodies. Meanwhile, many people are still looking for that special miracle from God. But, the tomb is empty, He is Risen! What more does God need to do for anyone to believe? Why will you not believe the obvious? 



Sunday, April 14, 2019

Never give up ...

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Luke 11:9-10
Practically every political discussion will include expressed distaste for those people known as lobbyists. These are those people who legitimately, but obnoxiously seek to persuade members of congress to enact legislation that will benefit their group. They will press their issue, maneuver and manipulate until they succeed. They never give up.
In a way, the Lord invites us to be lobbyists as well. When we pray, we come to the our Heavenly Father, the very King of the Universe and seek His blessing and provision. He loves us dearly and desires the very best for us, but the prayer experience is a faith stretching event. We are instructed to press the issue again, and again; asking, seeking and knocking. We must never give up.
As you "lobby", or to be more biblical, "pray", take this ministry seriously my friend. While those who lobby in Washington D.C. may be a pain to congressmen, the children of God are never a imposition to Him. Our Father in heaven is always open to bless and provide good gifts for His family. Just remember, never give up.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What's your "10-20" ...

"However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” - Luke 10:20
A good many years ago my wife and I owned CB radios. They were popular for just about everybody on the road before there were cell phones. These archaic forms of communication served us in many ways. We would chat with each other when our schedules took us in different directions and we would share traffic information that would make our traveling easier. But, the most important information was our location.  This was given in answer to the CB slang "what's your 10-20?"
When the seventy-two evangelists returned from a successful outreach campaign they were overjoyed with the results. Miracles and spiritual victories were abundantly reported. The power of God thrilled their hearts and they couldn't say enough about His great provision. But the Lord redirected them to the most important of all works of God. He called them to rejoice in their names being written in heaven. The overshadowing question for every person should be this; when you leave this earth, what will be your 10-20?
You might have already noticed that our Scripture of reference today is a 10:20 passage. I would have you take this to heart my friend. There will never be any spiritual accomplishment or personal gain on this earth that will compare to whether your name is written in heaven or not. At the end of life's journey, the only important question that will remain is ... "What's your 10-20?"

Friday, April 12, 2019

Never look back...

"Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'" - Luke 9:62
On February 19, 1916 Joseph T. Higgins of Holy Cross College gave away a victory to Dave Caldwell of Boston A.A. in the 1,000 yard invitation race. The loss was a true curiosity since Higgins was one of the country's top middle distance stars and the captain of the 1916 undefeated Holy Cross College track team. Why did he lose this race you may ask? Simple, he looked back...
When Jesus calls us to follow Him he means business. As the United States Marines put it, He's looking for "a few good men". Discipleship was never meant to be an easy path, but with full concentration on the Lord and His goals much can be accomplished for His glory. To achieve such a "win" in life every disciple must keep focused and never be distracted by looking back... 
Stay the course my friend. Plow the field for the glory of God and be faithful in all your labors. Run the race with your eyes always "looking to Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2) and set aside all that would get in your way. "Press on toward the goal" (Philippians 3:14)  and never be found looking back...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The "Cutting Edge" ...

"And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone..." - Luke 9:35-36
I have had knee pain for ages. Arthroscopic surgery has helped to some degree, but I still take a Glucosamine supplement. Before I refill the bottle, I usually take time and read about newer competitive products. It's always interesting to see how many additional ingredients are included that supposedly make the product "cutting edge". We never seem to be satisfied with the basics in life.
Peter, James and John had traveled with Jesus for three years. They experienced the teachings, miracles and abundant provisions of the Son of God. One would think that Jesus alone would be quite enough for these guys. But Peter, like so many down through the years, thought three would better than one. Then there was a word from the Father ...  “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” The message? Be satisfied with the basics in life.
Jesus is far more than just "basic" my friend. He is our all, and in all, according to Paul in Colossians 3:11. Jesus is... Alpha and Omega, Author of Salvation, Ancient of Days, Almighty, Bread of Life, Bridegroom, Bright Morning Star, Creator of all things, Cornerstone, Captain of Salvation, Chosen of God, Chief Shepherd, Days-man  Defender, Door of the Sheep, Day-star  Emmanuel, Firstborn, Fountain of Life, Good, Gracious, Great Physician, Head of the Body, Heir of all things, High Priest, Holy, The"I Am", King of Kings, King of the Ages, Lamb of God, The Life, Lily of the Valley, Light of the World, Lord of the Harvest, Lord of Lords, Love of God, Man of Sorrows, Merciful, Mighty God, Messiah, Master, Name above every name, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Passover Lamb, Redeemer, Rose of Sharon, The Resurrection, Righteous, Refuge, Rock, Root of David, Savior, Shepherd, Son of God, Shield, Sun, Star, The Truth, True Vine, Wonderful Counselor, Wisdom of God, The Way and The Word of God, just to name a few names and attributes. So,we really don't need more than Jesus alone. Let's get back to the "Basic One" of life... for Jesus is, and always will be "The Cutting Edge"!  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

What's the gain?

"For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" - Luke 9:25 
Presidents die. Sports figures die. Actors die. Musicians die. Inventors die. Educators die. Artists die. Great heroes die. No matter how famous, successful or popular one becomes in this life, the day will finally come when they will die. The lingering thought still remains; while one may leave a huge legacy, what will they have in eternity? 
Jesus taught a great lesson in spiritual economics. Our lives are a stewardship with which to we can invest. We choose every day to invest in either earthly recognition or heavenly reward. There is a cost for both achievements, but the one of greater value calls for greater commitment. It all boils down to this; "whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it".
Do you ever wonder what will be written or said about you when you check out my friend? What's more, have you considered how quickly you will be forgotten by this world? If all you do is invest in the "here and now", it will all be lost in the "then and gone". Be wise and labor for that which will be waiting for you in eternity! (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Great expectations...

"Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him." - Luke 8:40
In the words of one sports commentator, March Madness may be best described as the "Super Bowl" of college sports. According to WalletHub, the average single-game ticket costs around $258.00. In addition, distracted employees cost businesses a loss of approximately $4 billion dollars per year. The fans follow the games with great expectation.
There was a day when large crowds gathered to hear the Lord speak and see Him do great works of healing. They knew the occasion would be rewarding and quite memorable for the rest of their lives. The results of each encounter were unknown but people knew that only good things could come from Jesus. The people always waited with great expectation.
What about today my friend? As you rise each morning, the Lord is ready to do amazing things in your life. Every week as we gather at church, He has tremendous plans for all who attend. But, will we welcome Him like the crowds at the Georgia Dome received their favorite basketball players last night? Do we wait for the Lord each morning and every week with great expectation?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Continuous Thanksgiving ...

"'Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.' And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him." - Luke 8:39
There seems to be a general perception that ingratitude prevails in our world. At least Genghis Khan thought so, as he stated on his deathbed, "My descendants will wear gold, they will eat the choicest meats, they will ride the finest horses... and they will forget to whom they owe it all." The old adage puts it well... "How soon we forget".
Jesus performed a profound, life changing work in the life of this man. This demoniac had been bound by evil "for a long time", and now he was free. While his first thought was to follow the Lord, he was told to spread the news. True gratitude is a lifestyle, not just a moment in time. When we consider to Whom we owe it all... we too should tell our world "How much He has done!"
While we are called to follow the Lord my friend, our lifestyle should always be one of incredible gratitude. May the world constantly hear our words of thanksgiving for the great blessings that God has given. In this way, we become "living epistles" as we proclaim "How much He has done!"