Friday, February 27, 2009

Can we lose it?????

In Galations chapter 3, Paul is teaching on Faith.

He says that our attempts at righteousness are futile. If we think we can get into eternity by the "good deeds" we do, we are sadly mistaken. The Bible is clear in that there is only one way to eternity with God. That is through the Son, Jesus Christ.

The realization that we must come to is "we can't be good enough to get it on our own, and we can't be bad enough to lose it. His grace is more awesome than we can know or imagine. The closest we can come to understanding it is by comparing it to the love we have for our own children. There is nothing they can do to stop us from loving them.

I challenge you today to step out in Faith. Trust God when He says "I am near", "I will never leave or forsake you", and even when He says "I love you". It's as easy as ABC, Admit your sins, Beleive in your heart that Christ paid the price for those sins, and Confess with your mouth He is Lord. I think that involve surrendering your life to Him (Let Go of The Wheel).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Christian, what's that?????

We are all at least familiar with the word, I think. But, the question I have, is "are we using the word correctly?" You ofter hear Christian used as a religious view, or as an adjective describing a movie, or tv show, or an action or lifestyle. You might hear "that is not a very Christian attitude", or "that's not very Christian-like".

The word Christian is defined as a noun and an adjective. However, I am not sure this was the original intent. The definition of the word used as a noun is "a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity" and also "a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ". Here we see that Christian is referring to a who, a person, used as a noun.

I often hear people claim Christianity as a religion, just as they would claim Caucasian as a race. That is not the intent. Christians are those people who have surrendered the wheel of their life, to allow Jesus to steer it. They are "fully devoted followers of Christ". I think we should all resolve to be a Christian, rather than just acting like a Christian.

Get to know the King of Kings. The bible says in Romans 8 that 6The mind of sinful man[e] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind[f] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Therefore, peace is available through the Spirit of God.

Peace, wow, that is a blog in itself. People search for it, they pray for it, they die for it, but people seldom find it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making Plans

How many of us spend most of our day planning tomorrow? We make plans for dinner, plans for the weekend, plans for vacation, and even plan our future. The bible tells us to Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

We often times wonder why our plans don't work. I like to say "plans are made to be broken, so don't bother making them". I don't really recommend anyone to not make plans. Maybe we just shouldn't put so much stock into our plans. I usually get upset when plans that I have stressed over don't come to fruition. That is why I try not to get too hung up on plans. I think we should all listen to what God says to us and about us, and make our plans accordingly.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”- Jeremiah 29:11-13

Monday, February 23, 2009

Redo please?????

How often do we say something and immediately start trying as hard as we can to reel it back into our mouths. I visualize someone trying to reel in a really big fish. We call it "putting our foot in our mouth", "letting our mouth overload our rear", and even "shooting our self in the foot". Whatever you call, I am sure you can relate.

I was wondering today, "why do we choose to be the rudest to the ones we are closet to, and love the most"? Maybe it is because they know our "hot buttons" better than anyone. I don't think that gives us the right to REACT the way we do sometimes. We should try to respond rather than react. Responding involves careful thought and articulation, while reacting is just that, reacting with whatever comes out.

The bible tells us in James to be "QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK, AND SLOW TO GET ANGRY". Wow, what would our lives look like if we took that advice. Have you ever wondered why you have two ears and one mouth. Maybe, we are suppose to listen twice as much as we talk.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Live out your "Dash"

What a message last night by our youth pastor Bodie Sanders. Bodie talked about having offensive faith. Not being offensive, like rude; but rather being offensive, like being on the offense. When a team is on offense, they are trying to score, no matter what sport is being played. The offensive teams goal is to get more points, to get to the goal. As Christians, we should be on offense. We should seek to help a lost and hurting world just as Jesus did.

Bodie spoke of a book that talked about "living our you dash". The premise is, at cemeteries, headstones are marked with a birth date, and a death date. Separating the two dates is a small dash. That in essence is our life. That dash isn't very big on the head stone, but we think our life lasts a long time. The idea of "living out your dash", is to ask yourself "what will I be remembered for?". Most people spend about half of the dash (their life) not living for God. Will people remember me for the time I lived for God, or the times I was living for the world?

I pray you will consider the influence you have. Everyone has an influence; either with children, siblings, parents, friends, co-workers, etc. I hope we can all be prepared with an answer for the hope that lies within us.

1 Peter 3:15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We are all told as young children that we can do anything we put our minds to. We are told to "make our own luck". Basically, we are taught to become independent. I think we may have been done a dis-service. I wonder what the world would look like if we would have been taught to trust in the Lord. Would there be professional atheletes hitting their chests after touchdowns? Would there be greedy, prideful executives taking salaries of millions and millions of dollars? What would this world be like if we all trusted in the Lord the way we should?

Jeremiah 17 says
5 This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Proverbs 3:5 says to lean not on our own understanding, but rather turst in the Lord, it goes on to say acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He will make our paths straight. Who could use a personal GPS? Who knows exactly what tomorrow will bring? God knows. Trust Him today, He is waiting for you to open the door.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Heart/Mouth Connection

We are told in Proverbs "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". That means the words we say are derived out of the things we really believe in our hearts. This is why it is so important to only speak positive, faith filled words that line up with what God says about us.

We are told to call (speak) things that are not, as though they are. That means speaking to situations, poverty, illness, whatever the situation is, and call it to be how you want it to be (as long as it lines up with the will of God). In Romans 10:9, the bible tells how to be saved. It says that it is with the mouth that we confess, and with the heart we believe. I think that principle can go for more than just salvation.

We are also told in the bible that God wants us to have the desires of our hearts. Try to follow me here, if we say we are depressed, or overweight, or stupid, or whatever, we must believe that; because we are told we believe with our hearts and confess with our mouths.

Rather than confess these negatives, speak what you would like to see your life to become. Call things that are not, as though they are.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Me and My Big Mouth

I want to start this week with a disclaimer. I may often times sound like I am preaching. That is my intention, however, I want to make sure everyone knows I am preaching to myself.

I heard a small clip from Joyce Meyer, it was really the right Word for me at the right time. Here is my interpretation.

Words are containers, inside the containers are powers. The words we speak can be either creative or destructive. Consider the first chapter of Genesis, everything God created, was created by His spoken Word. Relationships can be enhanced or even destroyed by the words we speak. The Bible tells us that when two or more agree, we get what we agree upon. The devil wants nothing more than to see destruction in our lives, therefore, he is in agreement when we say hurtful things to our loved ones, or when we say harmful things about ourselves. You see, the devil understands the power of Words. His work is made easy when we agree with him.

Do you ever wonder why you are in the situation you are in? Most often we "speak" ourselves into the situations we are in. Words have power, it is important the monitor closely what we say. When we tell ourselves we are ugly, or worthless, or over-weight, or poor, or whatever; the devil agrees. That starts the seed time/harvest principle into motion. We sow seeds with the words we speak, the devil agrees with the destructive seeds, and boom, here comes the harvest.

From now on, I promise to be careful with the words I speak. I apologize for the destructive, hurtful words that I have let slip. I hope I can be forgiven by those I have hurt. I challenge you to take inventory of those words you speak. Make sure they line up with what God says about you, so you can be in agreement with His promises.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gracious and Merciful Love

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. It is the day that has been set aside (by retailers I think) to express our love for those close to us. I wonder what it would be like if we could all learn to love every day of the year. We are told in the bible that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed and the new has come. You might say, "well, I just can't express my love, I was never taught how. I would challenge you to attempt to experience the "unfailing" love of God. God's unfailing love in mentioned over and over in the book of Psalms. It is not until we experience it, and know how it feels that we can actually show that kind of love to someone else.

I truly believe that the world would be a different place if we could understand the grace and mercy freely given to us by God. Grace is defined as the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. While mercy is defined as an act of kindness, compassion, or favor.

So, it looks to me as though God expects nothing return, but offers the undeserved favor and love, shown with acts of kindness, compassion, and even His favor. I hope I can offer this kind of love in my life. As a husband, I am supposed to treat my wife as Christ treats the church, with grace and mercy. I am deciding to day to ask myself "how would Christ respond?" when I get moody and angry.

Love with grace and mercy just as God loves you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What about Love?

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Here we are told that Love pretty much holds everything together. We often times only try to Love our friends and family. We are told over and over that we are to Love our neighbor as our self. Did you eat today, did you get a bath, comb your hair, brush your teeth? These are all activities we take care of because we "Love" ourselves. We may not have to perform all these hygiene activities to everyone else, but we should at least make sure other people have the resources to help themselves.

We have to learn to Love. We all have been conditioned with what our idea of Love really is. Some are good, others are bad. Love is a choice, a decision, a commitment. That feeling comes and goes, we have to Love even when we don't feel like Loving.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Clothe yourself......

In Colossians 3, we are instructed to "clothe our selves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. "

Here, we are told again how to be a reflection God. We are to put on love more than all. When I think of love, I often think that people have the wrong idea of what love really is. Most people think that love is just something that happens, something to fall in or out of.

However, I think most people are wrong about this. Love to me is a decision, a choice. Consider the most ultimate demonstration of love. When Christ died for us, He chose to go to the cross. Remember, He asked the Father to "take the cup" from him. He wasn't real excited about what waited for Him. But, He did it anyway.

The next time you tell someone you love them, remember that love don't always "feel good". But it is always necessary, always.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Go ye Therefore....

In Matthew Chapter 28, Jesus commissions the eleven remaining disciples to go and make disciples and to baptize them. "19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost".

This can also be understood in modern day language as "While you are going", or even "While you are on your way". The point that He is making, is that while we are living, we should be teaching others, discipling them. Christianity is not an individual sport, but rather a team sport.

If everyone could disciple another person for six months, and then the two disciple two others, the entire world could be discipled in just a couple of decades. That is the power of exponential growth.

Decide today that you are going to "show" others the Love of God by the ways you choose to live you life.

Go ye therefore....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Deal or No Deal

We've all heard of the show, Deal or No Deal. A contestant has to choose which briefcase to open. The bible tells us that have a pretty sweet deal available to us from God. Many promises have commands attached. The first command with a promise says to obey your parents so that you can live a long and healthy life. We are told that we will be made prosperous if we will obey the commands.

For the believer, all promises of God are yes and amen according to 2nd Corinthians chapter 1.
"18But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes" and "No." 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas[b] and Timothy, was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes." 20For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

Get off your seat and on the street and get lined up with God's purpose for your life. Let's get moving together and see what God has planned for us.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reset your Heart

I was talking with my son last night on the way home from basketball practice. We were discussing the verse from Luke chapter 15 that says that the angels of God rejoice when 1 sinner changes his heart.

He made the comment that it is like when you give your heart to Jesus, He replaces your heart with His. I thought about that for a while, and then said, Yeah, that is how it should be. However, how often do we allow that to happen. We would really rather walk the fence. We aren't always ready to give up our old life, but rather, we just like the idea of having fire insurance.

Today I challenge you to allow Jesus to "reset your heart". Let Him come in and clean out the old, dirty, bad, sinful habits that you have become accustomed to. Jesus wants to dwell in the temple of Almighty God, that would be your heart.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What's Next

Yesterday was the Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Steelers were crowned "World Champions" by the NFL. What a great game, and intense passion shown by both teams. I guess the next big event will be the winning team and their families taking a trip to Disney World.

I just want to ask today, What's Next for you? Many people feel a let down right after the Super Bowl because they are so used to watching football on the weekends. As our pastor says, let's get off our seats and onto the streets. We all have a passion, and God has a plan. Let's allow our passions to be used by God to fulfill His ultimate plan.

You might say, well I don't know where to start. I would say to you, just as Thomas Edison said, "Good things come to those who hustle while they wait". Get up, put one foot in front of the other, and ask God to reveal His plan, and start sharpening your gifts and passions. Romans 8:28 tells us that "all things work together for the good, for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.