Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'd rather have GOD's view of "fairness!"

Romans 5:18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


I sometimes think GOD is unfair. I mean Adam sinned, shouldn’t he be the only one punished? Why do I have to go to Hell for something he did? Unfortunately my thinking comes from a sinful selfish position.

GOD made Adam and Eve as perfect humans. HE said “it is good” when HE made them. Satan chose to ruin humans by tempting them to sin. He lied and took advantage of the naivety of the two humans. Adam stood next to Eve to see if she would die if she ate the fruit from the tree that GOD told them not to eat from.

Adam still had a choice to follow GOD’s instructions or not. When he ate from the tree it was like drinking spiritual poison. 
  • GOD is full of love. 
  • GOD made free will. 
  • GOD allows me to sin even though HIS rules state that sinners must be eternally separated from HIM. 
  • GOD repaired the problem by volunteering to die for all humans.

GOD knows HIS rules and knows that Satan tried to ruin HIS creation. The change was physical and spiritual in humans. Through one man and one act, all humans are blind, deaf and dumb to GOD’s grace. It’s almost as if there was a bomb in the middle of the garden. One touch would cause it to explode changing lives forever.

I could focus on being angry at Adam. I could focus on being mad at GOD for punishing me for what he did or I could focus on what GOD did to repair the situation. I chose to believe in the cure which is GOD’s SON.
  • GOD knew I would sin, yet HE created me anyway. 
  • GOD did nothing wrong, yet HE took the blame for my sins. 
  • GOD’s love for me is so great that HE would rather lose to see me win. 
I honestly don’t know what GOD has saved me from. I try, but I can’t conceive what it would be like to be separated from GOD “FOREVER”, alone and in an ever increasing painful place where there is no rest. 

Death has no power over me because I believe JESUS healed my sinful condition. HE is the one who knows the consequences of my condition and HE took my place.
  • Are you blaming GOD for what you are going through?
  • Can you see HIS marvelous gift or are you stuck on what you are going through?
  • Do you understand what JESUS did for you?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to get "hope."

Romans 5: 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I sure don’t like going through trials. I like when times are peaceful and things are going “right.” Unfortunately I don’t appreciate the good times enough and during those times I act like a spoiled child to GOD. 

During good times, I saw people in need and I would judge their situation. Were they worthy of my help? Do I really have time to help this person? What’s in it for me if I help this person? All of these questions come back to haunt people either in this life or the next.

GOD sees my motive and knows if they are pure or not. HE sees through my schemes and shakes things up for me so that I can see HIM and HIS glory. GOD takes me through trials to strengthen me. Is HE punishing me? Well, I believe HE does correct HIS children, but the correction serves another purpose.
  • GOD takes me through trials to get my attention. 
  • GOD takes me through trials to show me others who are in need. 
  • GOD takes me through trials to show HIS power over trials. 
  • GOD takes me through trials to strengthen my faith. 

GOD speaks through Paul when HE said suffering produces perseverance which produces character which produces HOPE. This is a process that cannot be modified.  
  • I have to suffer in order to become strong. 
  • I have to persevere in my suffering for a prolonged time to become a better person. 
  • I have to be a person of character in order to receive hope. 
Paul then goes into a great analogy. He tells me that I can count on the “hope” GOD gives me to handle my trial well. He says I can count on this hope because GOD did a magnificent thing that in the middle of my sins, CHRIST died for me. 

CHRIST could have punished me for my sins, yet HE took compassion on me and showed me mercy instead. Since HE did this while I was in the middle of my sin, I can trust that HE has a great plan for me. The trial is only temporary and I have to trust that it is a process.

The longer the trial, the greater the task GOD has for me when the trial is over. I have a responsibility to tell people about the HOPE they can place in JESUS. I can tell people their suffering is temporary, but life in CHRIST is eternal. I can tell people I am rescued even before it happens.

GOD helps me persevere which makes me a better person who sees other suffering people. HE then gives me hope that relief will come in this life or the next.
  • Are you going through a trial?
  • Do you need rescuing?
  • Have you trusted GOD and put your hope in HIS rescue plan?
  • What do you put your HOPE in?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Have "Unshakeable" faith!

Romans 4:20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


I'd like to say my faith is "unshakeable", but it's not. I think I have "circumstantial" faith rather than "unshakeable" faith. What do I mean? When the circumstances are right, then my faith is strong. I can brag and boast about what GOD is doing and tell others to clean up their act.

When things are going wrong, watch out! I'm the first to run out the door screaming "help me!" Unshakeable faith is not like that. 
  • When I have true faith, then GOD is first and my plans are second. 
  • When I have true faith, people around me are affected in a positive way. 
  • When I have true faith, I watch GOD do HIS thing and I don't care how long it takes. 
  • When I have true faith, there is no question that GOD is in control of the circumstances.
Paul writes about Abraham who is credited as the "man of faith." Abraham was a scoundrel and a liar like me, yet he believed what GOD said about having a son in his old age. He and Sarah were supposed to have a miracle baby in their old age. He believed this would happen and his faith didn't waiver.
  • GOD wants me to believe in HIS promises. 
  • GOD said HE would "never" leave me nor forsake me. 
  • GOD said HE has great plans for me. 
  • GOD promised to protect me. 
GOD also said there would be problems while I live on this planet. HE knows there are people who have not fully given their heart to HIM and their faith is shake able. HE knows there are people who will try a little of everything just to cover the bases.

When I was younger, I was superstitious. I wouldn't step on cracks for fear of breaking my mother's back. I would read horoscopes and fortune cookies. I believed in the news as a predictor of the future. Now that I have matured in faith, I believe in GOD.
  • I believe GOD's SON is about to return. 
  • I believe GOD is shaking the world up so we will notice something BIG. 
  • I believe GOD is continually working in my life to reveal truth. 
  • I believe in GOD.


Belief that JESUS died for my sins gives me "unshakeable" faith. My words, actions and life should reflect GOD's grace and mercy daily. By showing this, I show others the example of "unshakeable" faith!
  • Does your faith waiver?
  • Are you nervous about something?
  • Where does faith come from?
  • Do you believe GOD has a great plan for you?


Sunday, June 27, 2010

MY HAND IN GOD'S by Florence Scripps Kellogg

Each morning when I wake I say,
"I place my hand in God's today;"
I know He'll walk close by my side
My every wandering step to guide.

He leads me with the tenderest care
When paths are dark and I despair--
No need for me to understand
If I but hold fast to His hand.

My hand in His! No surer way
to walk in safety through each day.
By His great bounty I am fed;
Warmed by His love, and comforted.

When at day's end I seek my rest
And realize how much I'm blessed,
My thanks pour out to Him; and then
I place my hand in God's again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"I Thought Of You & Said A Little Prayer" by Mahalia Jackson

This morning when I woke up
And saw the sun above
I softly said "Good morning, Lord"
"Bless everyone I love"

Then right away, I thought of you
And I said a little prayer
That he would bless us especially
And keep us free from care

I thought of all the happiness
A day could hold in store
I wished it all for you
Because no one deserved it more

I felt so warm and good inside
My heart was all aglow
I know God hears my prayer for you
He hears them all, you know

I thought of all the happiness
A day could hold in store
I wished it all for you
Because no one deserved it more

I felt so warm and good inside
My heart was all aglow
I know God hears my prayer for you
He hears them all, you know

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Am I good or is GOD good?

Romans 3:22This righteousness from GOD comes through faith in JESUS CHRIST to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD, 24 and are justified freely by HIS grace through the redemption that came by CHRIST JESUS.


One thing that’s hard for me to grasp is the fact that GOD loves me in spite of what I have done. Just my birth alone causes me to go to hell. What? You mean to tell me that I deserve to go to hell for doing something I had no control over? Yes!

GOD made free will. HE allowed humans and angels to have choices. I don’t know why HE did this, but my guess is since HE is made of “pure love” the only way for love to exist is by choice, not force. Unfortunately Satan chose wrong. He chose to look at GOD as a pushover and tried to take over as ruler.

GOD of course didn’t allow this to happen, so Satan tried to take over another way. He tried to get all humans to follow him so he introduced sin to the very first human to ruin all of mankind. He thought he had done his job when Adam sinned. All humans were ruined at birth.

GOD’s laws cannot be broken, especially by HIM. HE set a law in place that whoever sins once, that person has to be eternally separated from HIM. Since Adam’s seed was cursed by GOD, all humans suffered the consequences. Something had to be done!

GOD sent HIS SON who volunteered to save the humans, as the perfect sacrifice. HE allowed the humans, who HE was trying to save, to kill JESUS. This death had to take place. Somebody had to die.

My righteousness is disgusting to GOD as blood stained rags.

My thoughts of what is good or fair are so far from GOD’s thoughts.

My view of GOD’s creations has to be modified to see HIS humans as HE does.

Free will definitely is not “free.” We have the choice to choose salvation through JESUS or to go our own way. In many ways the Great News about JESUS doesn’t make sense to many.

Humans want control of their life and destiny.

Humans desire to feel special.

GOD’s laws and words only point to HIM which does not make individuals feel special.

GOD wants every human to feel special so HE enables a one on one relationship though HIS SON.

GOD simplified everything. If the statement were said, “Will everyone who is a sinner please raise your hand”, would you believe there would be many who would not raise their hand. Perhaps you are one of them. I know I am a sinner. I can’t deny it. My life compared to CHRIST falls short immediately.

Are you a sinner?

Do you believe the “good” you do will save you?

Do you even believe you need to be”saved” from anything?

Does being saved mean everything will go “well” here on earth?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Am I better than "that" person?

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.


When I was a baby I threw tantrums and did things I wasn’t supposed to do. I wanted all the attention in the room and would cry when I wasn’t getting it. How do I know I acted like that? Because most babies act out not knowing any better.

As an adult, if I screamed and threw a tantrum people would look at me like I was crazy, I should know better. How should I know better if I haven’t been taught? Fortunately for me, I was taught how to act around people. But is there any excuse for someone who wasn’t raised to discern right from wrong?
  • GOD wrote HIS law on every heart so that I would know right from wrong. 
  • GOD made sure that every human would have a choice. 
  • GOD knows HIS creation will always choose sin over HIM. 
  • GOD introduced GRACE, LOVE and MERCY through HIS SON JESUS “THE CHRIST.”

I am taking my time while reading this very important chapter because it points out the unrighteousness of humans. Sometimes I think my attempts of being “good” can change GOD’s mind about me or that I can sway HIM to do something different in my circumstance.
  • GOD didn’t leave the most important act of “eternity” up to me.
  • GOD knew I would not act perfect so HIS perfect SON volunteered to die in my place. 
  • GOD knew I wouldn’t choose HIM, yet HE made me anyway.

God speaks through Paul to me and says I am not righteous nor are my family, friends, neighbors or anyone on this planet. HE says that some people attempt to live by the “law” but their attempts just point out the dreadful fact that all humans are sinners. 

What are we to do? Is there any hope? YES! GOD gives us only one way to have hope and that is to believe JESUS died when we should have died.
  • I can’t trust humans, but I can trust JESUS.
  • I can’t trust myself, but I can trust JESUS. 
  • I may run into liars and cheats, but I can trust JESUS.

The FATHER says “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” This plan includes protecting me for eternity!
  • Are you trying to get out of your situation by being good?
  • Are you straightening up your act temporarily or permanently?
  • Is it your righteousness or GOD’s mercy that saves you?
  • When does GOD “not” like you?(The answer is HE ALWAYS loves you!)
  • How much more does GOD have to do for you outside of the death of HIS SON?


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Follow the "rules", like 'em or not!

Romans 3:3What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? 4Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:

"So that you may be proved right when you speak

and prevail when you judge."


I have to admit there is a part of me that does not like GOD's rules. The evil part of me says "who is HE to put rules in place I can't follow?" See how crazy the evil part of me is. Unfortunately I go through this battle quite often.

I question GOD every step of the way. "Why", is my most common question, like I know better. "Why do I have to go through this" or, "Why did 'that' have to happen to that person?" I even misjudge people saying "They are being punished for their sin."  
  • GOD created life knowing that HIS creation would turn against HIM. 
  • GOD is visible and audible, I am just blind and deaf to HIM most times. 
  • GOD knows my blindness causes me to not follow HIM. 
  • GOD has a plan that includes fixing the pain that humans go through. 

I question GOD and ask HIM, "Why good versus evil?" HE says to me "Where were you when I created life, the heavens and the earth?" Sounds harsh, but it is quite true.  
  • I wasn't there instructing HIM on how to create "free will."  
  • I wasn't there when Satan chose to try to be GOD.  
  • I wasn't there when the first man sinned, causing all humans to fall. 
  • I wasn't there when GOD saw all of the evil humans would do and decided to die in their place. 

GOD speaks through Paul when HE tells me that my lack of faith does not nullify what HE did or is doing. In other words, just because I'm blind and deaf doesn't mean there isn't something to see and hear. 
  • Just because I don't see GOD's blessings on my life, doesn't mean HE isn't blessing me. 
  • Just because I can't see HIS promises being fulfilled, doesn't mean HE isn't fulfilling promises daily. 
  • Just because I won't agree that I have committed sin, doesn't mean I shouldn't be punished for my sins.

I love GOD's promises, unfortunately they come with a caveat. I have to follow HIS rules, not mine. I want to be the free"est", richest man in the world. GOD has chosen a different route for me. I argue about my route but the HOLY SPIRIT that GOD placed inside of me calms me down. 
  • When I submit to the HOLY SPIRIT I am able to see and hear GOD. 
  • When I submit to the HOLY SPIRIT I am able to relax and have peace about my circumstances. 
  • When I submit to the HOLY SPIRIT I am able to be "free and rich", just not in a worldly way.

Following GOD takes faith and trust that HE is taking care of "everything" even in my blindness. HE knows the right situations to put me through to help me see HIS glory, mercy and LOVE.
  • Are you going through something and wondering why GOD is putting you through this?
  • GOD has the power to change your situation instantly, why hasn't HE?
  • GOD loves you dearly, so could the thing you are going through be a lesson instead of punishment?
  • Can you get energized by GOD's greatness in spite of your circumstances?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Are you walking "your" talk?

Romans 2:18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."


It seems like the more I know about the Bible, the more I want to warn people about GOD and HIS ways. I read about the wrath and destruction GOD has done and I got nervous. In my zeal, I desired to tell people about their sins so they could "straighten themselves up."

In my preachy tone against others, I did not notice my own sins. It's real easy to see what someone else is doing wrong, but hard to look at myself as the problem.  
  • I may not curse anymore, but what about my "judgmental" conversation? 
  • I may teach about not stealing, but did I bring home even a "paper clip" from work? 
  • I may teach about not lying, but what have I said to "get ahead" in life? 

What I have noticed about life, especially now that I have children, is that people are constantly looking at what I do and comparing it to what I say.  
  • I tell people to "have faith", yet when trouble comes, I go cower in the corner.
  • I tell people to "trust in GOD", yet when I don't hear from HIM, I go with my own plans. 
  • I tell people to "have patience" yet when I drive, I have NO patience! 

GOD clearly states through Paul that if I am going to preach about HIM, I have to walk the "talk." It's real easy to point fingers at other people and difficult for me to look at myself and say "what a mess." 

As a corporate leader, it was difficult to show weakness of any sort. When someone asked, "How are things going?", I rolled "fine" off of my lips even though I was hurting or nervous inside. I learned this is not good. I have to be truthful with myself and others. 
  • GOD would prefer that I teach about the sin that's still in my life rather than trying to clean other people up.
  • GOD would prefer that I tell the truth rather than wearing a mask and pretending I am good.
  • GOD would prefer that I point people to HIM rather than trying to get credit here on earth while receiving "pats on my back."

To serve GOD I have to be genuine in my faith. I can't let my pride get in the way of serving GOD. Now when I teach a lesson, I prayerfully speak the truth and apply it to "my" life first.
  • Are you inconsistent in your walk?
  • Do you hold people to a different standard than you hold yourself?
  • When you complain about someone, do you do the same things to GOD?
  • Have you given people advice that you should take yourself?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Footprints in the Sand

One night I had a dream--
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
"I don't understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
"When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Your secret is "no secret!"

Romans 2:14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


Sin is an amazing thing. I remember when... (this sounds like I'm old), but I remember when I was a child wanting a popsicle from the ice cream truck. Having no money, I took some from my father's fifty cent piece collection.

Of course I didn't tell him. By the way, he is reading this message right now. This little crime was going to be my secret. I guess I didn't plan this out very well. My parents asked me how I was able to buy a popsicle. I thought of my trusty lie "I don't know", I said.

Well the rest is history and I don't have to go into the details of my punishment. Let's just say I probably didn't sit down for a while. Sin is like the scenario I just detailed. It's like a kid who doesn't quite think about everything, especially the consequences.

  • My sinful secrets are not secret to GOD. 
  • My sinful secrets will be exposed to humans, on this earth, in my lifetime. 
  • My sinful secrets hold me back from exclaiming GOD's righteousness.
  • My sinful secrets grow shame so I work harder to wear a mask of doing well.

I have learned to tell “all” of my secrets. Paul warns me that GOD will judge my secrets and my conscience, thoughts and heart will be witnesses against me. In other words, I will have no excuse.

  • GOD wrote HIS law on my heart. 
  • GOD only has one requirement, believe HIS SON died when I was the guilty party. 
  • GOD will judge if “I believe” or “reject” HIS SON.


Many people think following JESUS is being good, going to church and giving money. Unfortunately a lot of good people will go to Hell because they do not believe in JESUS as the replacement of their guilt.


They believe "anything goes" in their lives and they can do things in secret while putting on the front of being good in public. I have felt this way when my lust flared over sex, material things or power.


GOD says "nothing is hidden from ME." My battle is believing that every time I sin I take GOD with me and force HIM to watch the rejection of HIS goodness. Yes, HE understands I’m a sinner, but this is no excuse.


This scripture is one of the main reasons I try my best not to cheat people, lie or commit some other sin. I don't always succeed, but when I do, GOD is there to cheer me on!
  • What "secrets" do you have?
  • Do you really think you "got away with" your sin?
  • What would happen if your "secret" were posted on the news?
  • Does your lifestyle glorify GOD or is your "secret" holding you back?
  • Can you openly confess your "secret" to your loved ones and remove your guilt?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let GOD do the "judging" you do the "loving."

Romans 1:26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


I have realized over the years that when I read the Bible, I'm not reading it for someone else. I'm reading it for me. I have to read the passages to see what GOD is saying to me and me alone.

When I do this I get a different perspective from the scripture that usually applies directly to my life. In this scripture I am learning a lot about sin and a lot about GOD. 
  • Sin causes me to be blind. 
  • Sin causes me to crave more sin. 
  • Sin causes me to question GOD and HIS ways. 
  • Sin causes me to really want my way. I win, GOD and everyone else loses. 

GOD makes up the rules because HE is the creator. I can't even question "why did YOU create me?" GOD is GOD. HE is passionate about HIS love for me and desires what is best. HE knows the affect of sin on my life and knows the more I sin the weaker my testimony will be.
  • GOD uses broken people, yet HE allows me to choose "following HIM" or doing wrong. 
  • GOD forgives all sin, yet HE tells me that blatant disregard for what HE says will be dealt with. 
  • GOD loves every one of HIS creations, yet HE won't interfere with me choosing to sin versus following HIM.

Paul speaks very clearly about sin. He was inspired by GOD to tell us that we can get pleasure out of even the littlest sin. Once I seem to "get away" with sin then I will do more sin an bigger sins. 

What hurts the most is the Bible says "Although they know GOD's righteous decree." In other words I know what is right, yet I ignore what "GOD wants" and do what "I want." 
  • It's important for me to love people instead of judging them. 
  • It's important for me to see humans as GOD sees them. 
  • It's important for me to understand what people are going through rather than point out their sins.


GOD will make it extremely clear to the sinner that they need to stop doing what they are doing. HE has the power to change hearts. I know this because HE is changing mine.
  • Are you blatantly sinning?
  • Is GOD changing your mind about sin or are you going to dig your heels in?
  • Do you believe you are forgiven for your sins?
  • Are you acting like you are forgiven or are you telling GOD you will not change and HE better accept you on your terms?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are you too "busy" to serve people?

Romans 1:8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.


I do not want to admit this but sometimes people are an inconvenience to me. The schedule is set and the priorities are in place then someone comes along with a problem that changes "my" plans. Don't they know "this" is important?

My sister has tried to get together with me for "prayer" for the past week. PRAYER is a wonderful sacred time, yet our busy schedule has prevented us from stopping for a moment to collectively talk to GOD. 

Busy schedules seem like they are impeding many from having a wonderful relationship with GOD. I think the one thing GOD craves from me is time. 
  • When I get too busy I fail to read GOD's Bible and I come up with my own solutions. 
  • When I get too busy I see people as an inconvenience to my schedule instead of allowing GOD to work "in the moment." 
  • When I get too busy I actually get worried because I have not settled my heart with prayer. 
"Busy doing what?", I had to ask. When I broke it down I usually was "busy" doing my own plan or "busy" being on automatic pilot. I would abandon the prayer and reading the Bible to start doing something to fix my problem.

Once I got busy doing "that" thing, I would stick to the plan until I accomplished my goal. People and their needs would instantly become an inconvenience to "my" plan.

Paul gives me another perspective. He "longed" to be with the people. In other words, "people" were never an inconvenience to his schedule because people "were" his schedule.
  • When people are the priority my plans become secondary. 
  • When people are the priority then I can truly have "abundant life." 
  • When people are the priority I feel the hole in my heart fill up. 
  • When people are the priority I can serve them without needing something back from them.

GOD put us here for each other. I should never look at someone as an inconvenience, rather a chance to serve GOD by serving HIS people.
  • When is the last time you got together with someone for prayer outside of church?
  • Do you desire to be around someone who has solid faith so yours can be strengthened?
  • Do you really desire to be around people to serve them?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Open your "eyes", "ears" and "heart" to understand GOD.

Acts 28:26" 'Go to this people and say,
"You will be ever hearing but never understanding; 
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving."

27For this people's heart has become calloused; 
they hardly hear with their ears, 
and they have closed their eyes. 
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, 
hear with their ears, 
understand with their hearts 
and turn, and I would heal them.'

28"Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!"

My relationship with GOD is quite strange. I try to serve HIM, but I find myself falling into "holes." A "hole" is a place where I feel alone, like during a trial or an uncomfortable situation.

During these times I open my mouth and demand that GOD change the circumstances and I want HIM to rescue me out of the "hole" that I am in. I pray about the "hole" and then I get upset that HE isn't rescuing me fast enough or the way I want to be rescued. 
  • GOD does things in HIS time, not mine. 
  • GOD rescues me HIS way, not mine. 
  • GOD uses HIS great plans for me, not mine. 
  • GOD uses HIS strength to resolve situations, not mine.

When I am in the "hole" I can't see what GOD is doing. I need someone to come along and tell me that GOD is great and that HE isn't punishing me, rather HE is transforming my heart to be more like HIS.

Paul was told to speak to the most stubborn people in the world. He was sent on a mission by GOD to reach people who "had it all together." GOD knew they would not accept Paul, yet HE gave them a chance to believe.  
  • When I am not open to day to day changes sent from GOD, my ears are closed. 
  • When I ignore my neighbors, coworkers or family, my eyes are closed. 
  • When I hear GOD's message about belief, faith and grace and I still blame and judge people, my heart is closed.

GOD wants me to open my eyes to see what great things HE is doing. HE doesn't want me to focus on the "hole" rather HE wants me to focus on the BEING who made the "hole."

GOD desires that I open my ears and hear what HE wants me to do. I have a problem with hearing because I try to do it with my mouth. I beg and beg HIM for the wrong things like a baby asking for the "sharp, harmful thing" just taken from them.

GOD craves my "open" heart. This is the heart that believes everything will turn out just as HE planned. This heart believes thoroughly in GOD and what HE is saying to me through HIS Bible, HIS creations and HIS SPIRIT.

Salvation has been given to me and now HE says "Go tell those who 'I' send to you that salvation is theirs if they only would open their eyes, ears and hearts."
  • Can you "see" what GOD is doing in your life or are you stuck on your situation?
  • Can you "hear" the still, quiet voice of the HOLY SPIRIT trying to calm you down?
  • Is your "heart" open to GOD's message of faith and courage?
  • Are you listening to "you" or GOD?

Monday, June 14, 2010

GOD is with you even when mistakes are made.

Acts 27:22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."


I look back at times in my life where I goofed. I mean I "blew it" and then I felt rotten. I wish that I could learn lessons without bumping my head, but alas, I tend to learn the hard way. 

I could mention some light things like touching hot stoves as an example of a lesson learned the hard way, but what impact would that have? I'd rather go into sexuality. Oh boy! This is a tough one. 

I will try to keep it PG-13 rated. In college I made the mistake of beginning my sexual journey. Back in the day there wasn't much discussion about sex, just "don't do it." GOD has very clear guidelines for sex.

GOD said sex was supposed to happen when I got married. GOD also said I would enjoy sex with the mate HE would supply, for as long as we remain alive and well. GOD said sex should happen between a man and women and that's it.

I said to myself "well, at least I'm having sex with a women and maybe I'll marry this one." I tried to justify what I was doing as being "right" or "better" than what someone else was doing.
  • GOD says "sin is sin" no matter how large or small. 
  • GOD says "be open about telling people about my sins and maybe they will see their own." 
  • GOD says "care enough about people to warn them about the sins I have committed." 

Paul warns experienced sailors not to sail because they would become shipwrecked. They didn't listen to the warning and did what they wanted to do. They sailed when it was calm but GOD sent a hurricane and the men were so scared that they began to make irrational decisions.
  • GOD saw the mistakes I would make before he created me. 
  • GOD forgave me for those mistakes and created me anyway. 
  • GOD sent HIS SON to take the punishment for my mistakes. 
  • GOD still does not take sin lightly. 

GOD says I can't change the past, but I can help someone's future. By gently and lovingly telling people about my sins, I hope and pray they can see their own and not "shipwreck" their lives.

Even "when" they do fall into sin, they are forgiven. How do I know? HE forgave me.
  • Are you stuck in sin even though GOD clearly says not to?
  • Do you believe that JESUS' death and resurrection wipes away "ALL" your sins?
  • Can you forgive yourself for your sins?
  • Can you forgive someone for their sins they committed against you?
  • Are you afraid to talk about your sinful past in efforts to try to cover it up?
  • Who are you trying to impress, GOD or humans?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I am a Christian by Maya Angelou

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I am saved."
I'm whispering "I get lost"
That is why I chose this way.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need someone to be my guide.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I am weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are too visible
But God believes I'm worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
Which is why I seek HIS name.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority
I only know I'm loved.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

God Is Great

All creation cries to You

Worshipping in spirit and in truth
Glory to the Faithful One
Jesus Christ, God’s Son

Chorus: God is great and His praise fills the earth fills the heavens

And Your name will be praised through all the world
God is great, sing His praise all the earth all the heavens
cause we’re living for the glory of Your name
The glory of Your name

All to You oh God we bring
Jesus teach us how to live
Let your fire burn in us
That all may hear and all may see
Holy is the Lord
The whole earth sings
The whole earth sings

All creation gives You praise
You alone are truly great
You alone are God who reigns
For eternity

Friday, June 11, 2010

How "passionate" are you about CHRIST?

Acts 26:24At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane."

25"I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do."

28Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?"

29Paul replied, "Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."



I can't lie, I am very passionate about CHRIST. Actually there are times when I get a little too zealous about telling people the Great News and it becomes a turn off. I realize this is the single most important thing in life and I want everyone to know and accept it.

The problem is that I wish for people to accept "GOD's gift" on "my terms." I have seen people accept the great words about CHRIST and they believed and were saved right in front of my face! What a rush! I wanted that to happen again and again.

I told someone else about CHRIST and they said "Get that out of here!" "Hmm, what went wrong?", I would ask myself. So I would try another way. Maybe if I am nicer or if I am more involved in their life then they would believe. Then I realized that GOD doesn’t "need my help" rather I should spread the Great News because I am excited, not because I am forced to do so. 
  • GOD has the power to convince everyone of HIS existence. 
  • GOD has the power to force everyone to "believe" in HIM. 
  • GOD has the power to allow HIS humans to choose HIM rather than forcing their hand. 
  • GOD has the power to guide people to me and it's my choice to spread the great news.

Paul was facing death and his last words were going to be about CHRIST. That's passion! Paul decided to preach about HCRIST in a smart way. He used "confession" as the tool to convince people that CHRIST is the SAVIOR.

Paul told everyone that he was a murderer and a religious fanatic who was focused in the wrong direction. He confessed that he enjoyed watching believers of CHRIST being slaughtered. In fact he pursued them in foreign cities.

  • GOD can use the worst scoundrel for HIS purpose.
  • GOD can use the deepest sinner to preach HIS great news.
  • GOD can capture the most powerful human and leverage them as a tool to bring people back to HIM.

The King said "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?" Paul said in so many words "I hope so, for you and everyone." I know that speaking about CHRIST brings persecution from the world to me, yet I stand only for HIM and I will continue to preach HIS word.
  • Are you afraid to tell people about CHRIST?
  • Is your life reflective of HIS salvation?
  • Are you excited or wallowing in pity?
  • Is there someone you can tell or pray for that they may believe in CHRIST JESUS?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All arguments are about GOD and HIS authority.

Acts 25:18When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.

I like to be right, ask my friends and family. It feels good being right. People respect me and ask my opinion. Sometimes my desire to be right or even to be heard can get in the way of how GOD wants me to act.

I soon realized that other people feel the same way. They too desire to be right and to be heard. The problem with being "right" is that it is from "my" sinful perspective. I may not always have a pure GODLY motive behind being "right", nor does the person I have a conflict with.  
  • When my motive is not aligned with GOD, I cause arguments. 
  • When my motive is not aligned with GOD, I desire to get my way. 
  • When my motive is not aligned with GOD, I want "what" I want "when" I want it.

GOD's ways are pure and without sin and they hit the core of our soul. If everyone on the planet were to follow HIS ways, then we would never have an argument or dispute. Life would unimaginably great. 

Unfortunately life on this earth will remain as it is, in peril. Human selfishness will continue to cause life to be a struggle because we all want be right. Paul was great at causing riots and arguments. It was never his intention, but he firmly believed in CHRIST as our risen SAVIOR.

The judges of the courts could not understand the concept of "GOD" and scoffed at his "religious" remarks. Paul's accusers were "religious" church goers who killed the person claiming to be GOD. Who should the judges believe?
  • I believe that JESUS died for me, in my place.
  • I believe that JESUS rose from the dead and is now preparing a place for me.
  • I believe that JESUS sent the HOLY SPIRIT to live inside me and HE helps me serve others.

This belief in JESUS will continue to cause disputes on this earth. Wars and power struggles will ensue because of the struggle against what is "right." My place is to follow what the Bible says is right. But there are so many interpretations of the Bible. Which one is right?
  • Have you read the Bible for yourself?
  • When you don't understand something about GOD, do you look for an answer?
  • When life doesn't seem fair, do you look to GOD for the answer or do you sulk and complain?
  • Do you seek to be "right" or to have "GODLY peace?"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How to have a clear conscience.

Acts 24:14However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

Which do I follow, the Law or Grace? This is a confusing question to me. When I read the Old Testament, I see there are over 600+ laws to follow. There are obvious laws like "Do not put any god before ME" or "Do not kill" or "Do not commit adultery."

Then there are laws I don't keep like touching a dead animal and the purification laws. I even work on the Sabbath which is controversially on Saturday, yet I go to Church on Sunday.

Confused? Well I get confused at times. I have to read the Bible every day to understand GOD and even then I don't have a grasp of what or who HE really is. I can best explain it this way:
  • GOD made rules for me, they are HIS rules. 
  • GOD loves me, so HE made the rules for safety and not as a test. 
  • GOD forgives my sins because I believe in HIS SON, yet HE did not do away with the law. 

GOD has a special relationship with each human HE made, so I shouldn’t go out and rob and kill people. While I would be forgiven for my sins, it's more complicated than that.

  • GOD is pure Love and there is no sin in HIM. 
  • GOD hates sin and wants no part of it. 
  • GOD knows I can't control myself, so HE died in my place. 
  • GOD rose from the dead and still hates sin. 

GOD says through Paul that one day everyone will rise from the dead. Some people will rise and be eternally separated from GOD and some will rise and be with HIM forever. Now what does this have to do with sin?

  • When I choose to do wrong I blame GOD or everyone else when the outcome is bad. 
  • When I choose to do wrong it is difficult for me to see GOD’s love. 
  • When I choose to do wrong I cannot serve GOD well. 

Paul says that he “strives to keep his conscience clear.” This means he follows grace and he tries his best to keep the law. The law cannot save me or keep me saved, but I have no guilt when I follow the law. In fact I feel wonderful that I’m serving GOD who saved me!
  • Are you knowingly doing wrong?
  • Is your conscience clear?
  • Does your life represent a person who has been saved by GOD?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When GOD is with you "Take Courage!"

 Acts 23: 9There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. "We find nothing wrong with this man," they said. "What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" 10The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.


11The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."


Wow. I am still amazed at how many times GOD says "take courage!" It seems like I just wrote about this the other day. No matter how rough and tough my situation gets, I guess I am supposed to take courage.


But what happens when I just can't do it? Am I sinning because I can't muster up the courage to get things done? It makes me feel worse when I am afraid and wondering if I disappointed GOD in some way to be going through this situation.


Then when I read this scripture I see that GOD still doesn't work the way I think HE works. 
  • When GOD has a plan no one can stop it. 
  • When GOD has a plan things may seem dismal, but HE always has a way. 
  • When GOD has a plan I have to accept what HE is doing with HIS plan, even the outcome.

Paul was in a very messy situation. He was nearing the end of his journey and was about to face death, again! GOD said "I have another plan for you."

  • When GOD changes "the plan that I see", I shouldn't fight it.
  • When GOD goes in a different direction, I should be ready for an adventure not a miserable ride.
  • When GOD shows me what HE can do, it should give me faith, not discourage me.


GOD protected Paul for another discussion. Forty men vowed to kill him, yet GOD had him escape to speak about HIS SON another day. I don't know about you, but life is a daily adventure for me. God and bad things happen, yet GOD is still there with me.
  • Are you discouraged?
  • Can you see that GOD may have changed the plan that you see?
  • Is there some difficulty that you are facing?
  • Is GOD powerful enough to change your situation?
  • Why hasn't HE changed the situation yet?

Monday, June 7, 2010

What has GOD "chosen" you to do?

Acts 21:14"Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'


I have said many times before that I'm no one special. I think of myself as being quite ordinary. When I hear about "GOD's will" I get nervous. What in the world can GOD do with ordinary me.


I hear about some great men and women who gave their lives for what they believed in. They sacrificed their time. talent and finances to serve GOD. But what about me? I don't think I'm anywhere near as dedicated as these people.


In fact, some time ago I complained that the preacher went too long or the choir wasn't singing my song. I would judge the leaders of the church for trying to sleep with all the women and then as I gave my $5 I would complain that someone was trying to steal the money anyway so why give?


When I am selfish, I can't hear GOD.

When I judge someone else, I am too busy talking and not busy listening.

When I complain, I am not praising GOD.


GOD has some simple tasks for HIS humans. HE simply wants people to turn to HIM and believe in HIS SON. Paul was a scoundrel who could not wait to eradicate the people who believed that JESUS died in their place.


HE thought he was doing the right thing and was not concerned about understanding what people were going through. He wanted his way and that was it. Paul was the perfect servant for GOD.

  • GOD calls people who are broken.
  • GOD calls people who are scoundrels.
  • GOD calls people who know they are sick.
  • GOD called me.

Until I realized "I" was the problem, I could not serve GOD the way HE wanted to be served. I couldn't hear HIM much because I was too busy complaining that something is wrong. It's funny how GOD works in my life. HE tends to be extremely quiet when I have a complaint and screams loudly when I sit and listen.
  • I can hear GOD's will when I read the Bible.
  • I can hear GOD's will when I seek to truly serve someone without expecting something in return.
  • I can hear GOD's will when I turn away from the sins that distract me from hearing HIM.

If GOD shouted with all HIS might nothing in creation would be left. GOD speaks in a small still voice when HE has my attention. I can hear HIM loud and clear when I read a verse pertaining to my situation.

He orchestrates circumstances in my life that I know only HE brought me through. Now HE is giving me a very simple message today. "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.' "

  • What is GOD's will for your life?
  • Are you too busy complaining that you cannot hear HIM?
  • Have you sat down and just listened to HIM?
  • How are you seeking GOD?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DID YOU HEAR MY JESUS by William Stickles, 1948

If you want to go to heaven, come along,

come along
If you want to go to heaven, come along,
come along
If you want to go to heaven, come along,
come along
Hear my Jesus when He call you

Did you hear my Jesus when He call you
Did you hear my Jesus when He call you
Did you hear my Jesus when He call you
For to try on your long white robe

If you want to se the angels, come along, come along
If you want to see the angels, come along, come along
If you want to see the angels, come along
Hear my Jesus when He call you

Friday, June 4, 2010

Who do you "care" about?

Acts 20:22"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.


There are times when it's all about me. I say "I'm hurting" or "I'm lonely" or "I'm mad" or "I'm happy" or "I want this" or "I need that." If I were to record my prayers through tough times, I would see that it's all about me.

But wait a minute, shouldn't I be able to go to GOD with "my" problems? What about my pain? I mean, I helped "that person" last week and I went to church and I gave my money. Shouldn't I catch a break sometimes? 

As I pondered my relationship with GOD I soon realized that sometimes even my serving was all about me.

  • I am serving myself when I "give" on my terms. 
  • I am serving myself when I "try to serve" GOD the way I want to serve HIM. 
  • I am serving myself when I "act" deserving of more than salvation. 
  • I am serving myself when I "pout" at GOD's decisions.


GOD has shown me that it shouldn't be "all about me." Paul was led by the HOLY SPIRIT and was nearing the end of his missionary journey. He knew that he turned the world upside down by preaching the GREAT NEWS about CHRIST.  

Wherever he would go next he would face beatings, hatred, bitterness jail or even death. Paul's life was led with purpose. He knew this life was just a temporary one. He dedicated his life to telling people about CHRIST no matter what. 

Later in this chapter he mentions that he works hard for his money. In other words he was not serving CHRIST to get wealthy or to get out of trouble. He served CHRIST because GOD made him "care" about people.  
  • When I care about others, my problems seem to go away. 
  • When I care about others, GOD sees what I am doing and stores up treasures in heaven for me. 
  • When I care about others, it fills the hole in my heart. 
  • When I care about others, I actually feel excited instead of exhausted.


You would think caring for someone else would be draining but it actually fills me up when I do it right.

  • When I serve someone “without caring” for them then the whole effort is draining.
  • When I serve people “without knowing who I'm serving”, then I do it sloppily.
  • When I serve people with the purpose of “getting out of my trial”, then GOD sees through my ploy and HE leaves me in the trial.


GOD has taught me that I actually have to "care" about other people in spite of my circumstances. HE wants me to spread HIS messages of true salvation even though I face hardship.


I don't know what GOD has in store for me, but I know HE wants me to truly care for people even when they don't care for me.

  • Check yourself and your attitude... are you thinking only about you?
  • Are you in despair?
  • When is the last time you have truly served other people without looking to gain something?
  • Have you opened your mouth and told someone about the GREAT NEWS about CHRIST lately?
  • Have you thought that maybe your despair is because GOD wants you to help someone?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You are very special to GOD!

 Acts 19:11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.


I get envious of people with supernatural or extraordinary powers. I am just a plain ole guy that ordinary things happen to daily. I don't see fire come down from heaven or bodies of water parting in front of me. 

Sometimes since I am so "ordinary" I question if GOD is using me. I mean, shouldn't there be some sort of magic or at least one of my enemies dropping dead at my feet?  

I have heard preachers and Bible scholars try to explain the book of Acts and they state that the miracles were performed for "that" time and maybe only for that specific need. The problem I have with that statement is throughout history, GOD did extraordinary things. 

Even after HIS SON JESUS was raised and taken to heaven, miracles like the one listed here pointed people to HIM. I believe that GOD still does part bodies of water, heal people supernaturally and feed thousands from a small amount of food. Just because I don't see it or hear about it doesn't mean it isn't happening.
  • GOD made me for a purpose. 
  • GOD made me special. 
  • GOD made me just the way I am. 
  • GOD made me specifically to reach a person or a group of people. 
  • GOD made me and HE is not wrong for making me the way HE made me.

I see that Paul has supernatural powers that were from GOD. He didn't know his sweat would be used to heal people, nor was he trying to be special. GOD chose him for that purpose. GOD chooses people for specific purposes and I should not be envious of someone else’s special power.

  • When I envy another person's talent, I do not glorify GOD. 
  • When I envy another person's talent, I cannot see what GOD is doing in my life. 
  • When I envy another person's talent, I think of myself as being less than someone else.
  • When I envy another person's talent, I don't give GOD enough credit for making me special!

 GOD uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

  • When I face adversity with a smile, it is a miracle.  
  • When I rejoice about salvation, its a wonder GOD saved me.
  • When I pray for my neighbors, friends and family, it’s amazing that GOD listens to me.

I am quite amazed at the relationship I have with GOD. My lack of faith makes me want to see the blind healed and the lame walk at my command. I must believe that GOD did these things and is still quite capable of doing them today.

HE does everything with a purpose. HE does miracles to point people to HIS SON and HE made me just the way I am to... guess what... point people to HIS SON!
  • Do you know you are special to GOD?
  • Do you realize you were made for a purpose?
  • Are you living up to your purpose in life?
  • Is sin, worry or doubt clouding your eyes and you cannot "see" your purpose?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When GOD says "Do not be afraid" then believe HIM.

Acts 18: 9One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." 11So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

I am absolutely amazed at how many times GOD sprinkled the words "do not be afraid" in the Bible. I guess HE put these words here specifically for me. I have said many times before that I am afraid of my shadow!

Fear is a strange thing. It seems to pop up at the strangest time. For me, fear attacks in the morning when I am about to begin my day. I think about all of the "stuff" I have to do or the people I haven't talked to and my mind begins racing.

Immediately my mind begins to drift to other needs. "Are my wife and kids okay?" "Did I pay that bill?" "Can I pay that bill?" "What about Aunt Ethyl's health?" If I had an Aunt Ethyl. Then the little flame of worry starts.

I begin to fan the flame of worry by thinking some more. "My wife and kids need this and they need that." "Wow, it's been a long time since we did this or since we did that." I begin to mix anger with my worry. "GOD, why do you have me in this spot?!", I cry out to HIM.

I guess that's why GOD wants me to read the Bible everyday. HE wants me to have peace in the middle of all the storms that I "have" to face. I ask HIM "well, why do I have to go through the storm?" HE answers me "I even went through the storm when I went to the cross for you and I asked MY FATHER the same thing." 
  • When I live for CHRIST I have to expect storms. 
  • When I live for CHRIST I know that GOD will protect me in spite of what's going on. 
  • When I live for CHRIST I should not separate myself from people because of my shame. 
  • When I live for CHRIST GOD increases and I decrease. 
  • When I live for CHRIST GOD is ALWAYS with me!

I have seen GOD do some amazing things in my life. HE has protected me from many scoundrels and dangerous situations. HE has healed my love ones from deadly diseases and provided for my family when there was no way to explain how or where the money was going to come from. 

I guess I had to think about these things in order to face today’s' fears and worries. Paul was not making any friends along his journey. He found the truth about CHRIST and was on a mission to tell the world about HIS greatness! 

HE went to the Jews and the Gentiles and was met with the same stubborn hatred. They sought to kill him everywhere he went just because HE spoke about JESUS being the only way. GOD said "do not be afraid" and Paul believed HIM. 
  • GOD knows what I am going through. 
  • GOD knows how to protect me. 
  • GOD knows when I am afraid so HE sends peace by telling me "do not be afraid." 
  • GOD gives me tools to be able to cope with life’s troubles.

When I read this message, life’s anxieties melted away. HE doesn't want me to focus on the future, that's HIS job. Yes, I can plan, but planning is all I should do. I should set a course and focus on what GOD has told me to do. Oh wait... that means I have to listen to HIM. 

  •  My SPIRIT tells me to move forward not backward.
  •  My SPIRIT gives me discernment to listen to messages from GOD through humans.
  •  My SPIRIT jumps when I read a message that pertains to my life right now.
  •  My SPIRIT fills me with joy when I face trouble trusting that HE knows what is best for me! 
I guess I need to hear "do not be afraid" again and again because my faith is temporary. I am glad GOD understands this and protects me anyway.

  • What are you afraid of?
  • Do you believe GOD will take care of what you are going through?
  • Are you telling people about HIS SON?
  • Do you expect trouble to come up against you?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Take GOD out of the "box."

Acts 17:23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’


I try to put GOD in a "box" all the time. I know it's wrong, but I limit HIS power with my thinking. I sometimes think HIS love is predicated by my actions. I also have thought that I could steer GOD by telling HIM what to do.

GOD is very hard to conceive. We have the Bible which tells us "what" HE did, but we don't know "why" or "how" HE did anything. A few weeks ago I spoke to my earthly father and he said something about GOD that I enjoyed pondering. He said "GOD has made some things for HIMSELF that no one has or will ever see."

That statement means that GOD's power is so great that we cannot understand it. HE does things on HIS own terms.  
  • GOD is all powerful. 
  • GOD is all knowing. 
  • GOD is everywhere. 
  • GOD has always existed. 
  • GOD will always exist. 
  • GOD does things for HIS pleasure. 
  • GOD is.
When I read this scripture, it made me realize that GOD is much bigger than I thought. HE is bigger than my circumstances and much bigger than those who think they put me in my circumstances.
  • I don't know why GOD created humans through one human.
  • I don't know why GOD causes people to rise to the "top."
  • I don't know why GOD causes people to fall
  • I don't know how GOD spoke everything into existence.
  • I don't know how GOD made free will.
  • I don't know how GOD tolerates my sin.
I know I have a lot of questions about GOD, but HE has given me enough answers to live a very full life.
  • I know that GOD loves me.
  • I know that GOD takes care of my needs.
  • I know that believing in HIS SON's death and resurrection saves me.
  • I know that GOD is in control of every circumstance.
  • I know that I am HIS child.

 GOD knew what my life would be like before I was created. HE knew what sins I would do and what efforts I would make to try to please HIM. In spite of my mistakes, GOD made me anyway. 
  • How "big" is GOD to you?
  • Is GOD bigger than your circumstance?
  • Is GOD in control of what you are going through?
  • Do you know GOD has a wonderful plan for you?
  • What is HIS plan for you? Have you asked HIM?