Monday, January 31, 2011

Instructions to persevere

Hebrews 10: 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


When I took a deep breath the sharp pain in my chest grew worse! I couldn’t sleep, I was single, the doctor’s office was closed, the emergency room was far away and I had no friends in that city. Crazy thoughts ran through my mind. “This is it! I’m going to die! Give Up!” Where in the world did that last thought come from?

The next day the doctor examined me and I had severely bruised a muscle. What a relief, but where did those crazy thoughts come from?

  • Sincerely drawing near to GOD gives me full assurance that HE will take care of me through all circumstances.
  • Even though I sin, my conscience is clear of guilt because I believe in the one who erases sin.
  • My hope is never crushed because I hold unswervingly to GOD and HIS promise to never leave me.
  • My heart is never empty because I fill it with serving people and praying for others.
  • I don’t get discouraged because I meet with others and tell them my problems instead of running off to be by myself.
  • When I get exhausted, I fill up on encouraging someone.

Life can get difficult and there are always circumstances that make us nervous, fearful and filled with doubt. BUT GOD wants us to focus on HIS power. HE declared me holy in spite of my sins because HIS SON took away my sins, now that’s encouraging!

Now that I am no longer guilty I can encourage others to persevere in your belief and HE will help remove the sin from your life which will bring greater rewards.
  • Are you discouraged?
  • Can take a step of faith today?
  • Will you thank GOD for removing your sins through JESUS’s actions?
  • Can you encourage someone today?

Friday, January 28, 2011

I’m still a work in progress!

Hebrews 10: 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.


Years ago a challenge was set before me. “If your faith is strong enough then you won’t need an alarm clock to get up the next day.” I thought this was cool! GOD being my personal alarm clock sounded like a good idea to me.

With excitement I didn’t set my alarm that night. No sooner than I hit the pillow slumber came immediately. I woke up well rested with a smile on my face only to have terror run through my mind.  I had overslept a half hour.

  • Immaturity causes me to “test” GOD to see if HE is listening.
  • Immaturity makes me look for GOD in the wrong places.
  • Immaturity is riddled with doubt, fear and uncertainty that GOD truly loves me with no strings attached.

JESUS sacrificed HIMSELF for me and took care of all my sins past, present and future. HE takes me through many circumstances teaching me valuable lessons along the way.  HE guides me to “holiness” softening my heart every step of the way.

  • The road to holiness begins here on earth with my belief that I have a sin problem with GOD.
  • The road to holiness starts with me being led by the HOLY SPIRIT who was placed in my heart after believing in JESUS.
  • The road to holiness arises when I realize that none of my efforts make me holy.

GOD is the only being who can declare anyone holy or unholy. HE knows what holiness is and declares me “holy” through HIS SON. When I am finished with this life, all of my thoughts, deeds and actions will be judged. Wait, isn’t my belief enough?

Yes, for salvation, BUT GOD will reward my sincere attempts to serve HIM so HE works on my earthly holiness. HE knows I will make mistakes and HE knows I am a work in progress.

  • Do you think that you are better than others?
  • Have you “arrived” by your beliefs?
  • Are there some areas of your life that you have not surrendered to GOD?
  • Can you let go of your worry, doubt and fear today?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It’s going to be different this time!

Hebrews 9: 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.


When we finally arrived it was dark. Some had to pitch the tents in the dark while others gathered wood for a fire. I went over the packing list in my head and thought I was prepared for everything. As I worked on our tent, it started to rain and I wasn’t prepared.

It seemed like mud got on everything, even my soul! Most would never go camping again after that experience but I looked forward to the next time because I was going to be prepared.

  • JESUS chose a single point in time to become a human and die for me.
  • HE voluntarily sacrificed HIS blood since “blood” was required as the payment of sin.
  • JESUS’s death, burial and resurrection cleanse all who believe.

After HIS resurrection, JESUS went away to create a new place for me. In six earthly days HE created the heavens and the earth. Imagine what 2000+ years of earthly days will bring. HE sent HIS HOLY SPIRIT to remain with us while we are on earth to help us make GODLY decisions.

BUT one day our lives will change. JESUS will return and this time it will be different. HE has fulfilled all promises and is returning for those who believe in HIM. I am looking forward to HIS return so I am trying to prepare myself.

  • GOD is looking for those who have been generous to others in need so I give.
  • GOD is looking for those who love especially when they have been wronged, so I pray for my enemy’s.
  • GOD is looking for any and everyone who will accept what the SON has done, so I travel trying to convince people not to reject the truth that’s already in their heart.

When JESUS returns, HE will not be looking to build great wealth, drive a nice car and obtain opulence. This time HE will gather those who believe with all their heart that HE is the salvation. Most nights, especially when it’s clear and starry, I look up waiting on HIS return. This time I am going to be prepared!

  • Do you believe that JESUS will return?
  • Since no one knows the day or the hour, are you ready for HIS return?
  • Can you see the changes in the world point to HIS return?
  • Are you “waiting” on JESUS?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why should I give?

Hebrews 9: 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.

9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.


Kitchen clean, Check! Bathroom clean, Check! Uh, did I get all the garbage out of the house? Yes, Check! “Maybe if I’m extra nice then maybe, just maybe they won’t notice the dent I put in the car” I said to myself. I mean the accident wasn’t my fault and the guy’s motorcycle was barely damaged.

I hope this cleaning will do the trick.
  • Whether I like it or believe it GOD set a rule that requires me to die because of my sins.
  • There is no gift I can give GOD to bribe my way out of eternal separation from HIM.
  • When I think my “acts of kindness” or “donations” make me a better person then GOD takes issue with my actions.
Laws were put in place to show humans they had a fatal flaw namely a sin nature. You and I are born with this nature and birth leads to eternal death. ”How unfair is that?” I thought to myself. How can I be saved?
  • GOD is the only being who can declare anything Holy.
  • GOD became a human, allowed HIMSELF to be murdered, was raised from the dead and now lives above everything.
  • GOD did all of this just for me and because of my belief, HE declares me Holy.
So what does all of this have to do with giving?  Well imagine losing a pocket full of money and someone returning it. I would give the person something for their troubles because I’m thankful.
  • I give to GOD because I am thankful for my family and my food.
  • I give to GOD because I am thankful for my house and my health.
  • I give to GOD because I am thankful for my life and GOD’s love.
GOD actually doesn’t want my “gift” when I’m giving out of obligation or coercion. HE definitely doesn’t want it when I am trying to bribe my way out of the consequence of sin. BUT GOD loves when I sacrificially give simply because I love HIM and HIS humans. Why should I give? Because HE loved me first.
  • Do you hesitate when people mention giving?
  • Can you change your mind about giving and do it out of love rather than obligation?
  • Is there someone, who clearly has a need, you can help today?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A promise is a promise!

Hebrews 8: 10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
   after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
   and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
   and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
   or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
   and will remember their sins no more.”


My childhood was mild compared to some in my neighborhood. I may have stolen some money from my parents to buy a popsicle, but that kid is going to jail for stealing a car. I’m pretty good right? As I mentioned before, sin is personal.  I can look at someone else all I want and GOD won’t budge.

Even the least of sin is wicked to HIM. HE cannot and will not hang around evil when it’s all said and done.  HE gives me ample time during this life to turn to HIM and believe. One day however HE will reveal the promises HE has already kept.

-GOD has already put HIS law in every heart so there is no excuse for not believing in JESUS.
-GOD is already GOD and HIS people are still being collected daily.
-GOD sent me to persuade people not to reject HIM, but one day all teaching will end.
-GOD is building a place for the least to the greatest but the “greatest” are currently the “least.”
-GOD already has forgiven my wickedness from the smallest to the greatest sin.
-GOD has already forgotten the sins I’m going to commit.

GOD’s promises are strong and dependable in fact they are about the only thing I can depend on in this life.

-Do you know GOD’s promises for you?
-Are you afraid HE will go back on HIS word?
-Can you realize what GOD has done and is doing for you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I am “completely” saved.

Hebrews 7: 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.


“Virus Detected!” were the dreaded words that appeared on the screen just before “it” happened.  I tried and tried to save all of the files, years of pictures and gigabytes of music. For hours if not days I fought to keep our “electronic” life in order.

I managed to save the important files, all the pictures but some of the music and recorded programs were lost. I was just thankful that I could save 98% of our stuff.
  • My efforts to be good can never 100% save me.
  • My effort to be superior to other humans is not an argument that will work with GOD.
  • My effort to rid others of their sin is actually quite arrogant on my part since I still have a log in my own eye.
Laws were put in place to serve GOD in a very unique and specific way. GOD had to point out a flaw in humanity which is “sin” otherwise we would be blind to our way of thinking and end up separated from HIM forever. But knowing right from wrong doesn’t keep me from doing wrong.

Unfortunately sometimes knowing “wrong” is available attracts me to the wrong rather than doing what I know is right. My selfish sin nature kicks in and I want things my way, when I want them and how I want them. BUT JESUS did something remarkable.
  • JESUS became a human as a volunteer.
  • JESUS faced every temptation, if not more, every minute of every day.
  • JESUS walked this earth for years and years not committing a single sin.
  • JESUS was falsely accused, treacherously convicted and maliciously murdered for me.
  • JESUS is now alive and pleads my case because HE went through my temptations.
JESUS’s death burial and resurrection “completely” saves me. There is nothing missing from HIS efforts. Once I believe in what HE did I am “completely” saved. My prayers and efforts are not meant to keep me saved, rather they are a sacrifice to my LORD who saved me.

It takes practice to “praise” and it takes practice to “complain.” Realizing my sin and understanding GOD’s grace for me helps me praise the one who save me, namely JESUS.
  • Do you think you are “good?”
  • Are you comparing yourself to other people?
  • Is GOD pleased with your actions to be righteous on you own?
  • Do you believe you need to be saved from eternal separation from GOD?
  • Can you believe that JESUS is now alive interceding just for you?

Friday, January 21, 2011

I can be certain GOD loves me!

Hebrews 6:  13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.


Fast pace was the atmosphere at work. Someone asked me for an extra report and I said “of course” but in the back of my mind I knew I couldn’t get it to them because the workload was too great.  Now I had a dilemma, go home and tell them I couldn’t do it or stay and not see the family.

After working thirty six hours straight I finished the report.
  • Promises are meant to be kept, no matter how small.
  • The words “I swear” has heavenly implications we don’t understand.
  • Broken promises to GOD seem to be worse.
Have you ever done something bad, got hurt in the process and found yourself saying “I swear GOD I will never do that again.” Well those were my words on many occasions regarding a variety of sins.  I didn’t want the consequences GOD would dish out so I figured HE would back off if I told HIM what HE wanted to hear.

BUT GOD wants something different from me. HE wants me to keep my promises instead of telling people what they want to hear. Why, because HE always keeps HIS promises and cannot lie to me.
  • GOD said HE loves me so I believe it.
  • GOD says HE loves every human who believe in HIS SON, so I believe it.
  • GOD says I will have eternal life so I believe it.
  • GOD says HE will be with me always even till the end of the world so I believe it.
I have told GOD and others what they wanted to hear in order to get out of consequences or feel good about the situation, BUT GOD never does that. If a circumstance is going to cause pain, GOD will tell it like it is for example HE said I will face many trials and tribulations because I belong to HIM. HE wasn’t lying!

GOD also promises me HIS generosity, HIS love, HIS comfort and HIS peace.  That is something I can be certain about!
  • Do you doubt GOD’s love for you?
  • Do you think HE has left you?
  • Do you realize GOD will NEVER leave you no matter the circumstance?
  • Do you know GOD’s love for you cannot be compared to anything?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

GOD remembers me, now I have hope!

Hebrews 6: 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.


“Give up” were the words that flashed in my mind several times. Cheering grew louder and louder in the distance. As I turned the final corner I could see the crowd jumping and then I heard my name. My legs were so tired but the cheering seemed to give them new life. I actually caught up, passed a guy and finished the race!
  • Giving up too early makes me miss out on GOD’s blessings.
  • Giving up on people does not make me better or more faithful.
  • Giving up on GOD leaves me in the wilderness and most times in a worse position.
Finishing what I start is very important to GOD. HE sees every sincere and insincere act that I do for HIM.  HE remembers the time I helped “that” person or prayed for another. Any act of LOVE I have done is noted and remembered by GOD.

BUT GOD also knows my love will not come without opposition. There will be people who try my faith, patience, fortitude and core beliefs. HE knows the more faith I exert, the more opposition I will face, but HE wants me to “hold on.”
  • Hold on to my faith and put my trust in HIM.
  • Hold on to my family and keep loving them.
  • Hold on to my dream and be persistent in its pursuit.
  • Hold on to my love for GOD is the root.
GOD sees the finish line and is cheering for me to finish well and not give up. HE wants me to continue to put my trust in HIM, show faith and persevere with patience. HE wants me to know that HE is pleased with my efforts regardless of those who scoff at my attempts. In the end HE will reward my hopes and dreams.
  • Are you getting weary?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you “hold on” knowing that GOD sees and hears you?
  • Do you believe HE truly loves you and wants you to finish the race?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I’ll take the weeds instead of the fruit today!

Hebrews 6: 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.


There we were, in the middle of a disagreement. How did we get there? Why were we there? The only thing I could think was that person was wrong and I was right… plain and simple! But it’s not that plain nor is it simple. If it takes two to make an argument, what was I doing?

  • Being around humans that disagree with me is actually quite humbling.
  • Being around humans that disagree with me shows me that I’m not always right.
  • Being around humans that disagree with me helps refine me into something better for GOD.

My goal for my family is to send them out of the house smiling. Missing chores, broken things, misspoken words thwart that goal and in my retaliation I produce “weeds” not “fruit.”

  • I produce weeds being impatient, fruit when I wait on GOD.
  • I produce weeds being fearful, fruit when I show faith.
  • I produce weeds being poisonous in my words, fruit when I speak encouragement.

The Bible has a lot of “rights” and “wrongs” but head knowledge of these things is not enough for GOD. HE wants me to have “heart” knowledge which requires grace, mercy and unconditional love.

Wow, how can I give these things if I feel empty? The answer is “I can’t” at least not on my own.

  • In order to show “grace” I must remember the grace JESUS showed me.
  • In order to show “mercy” I must be willing to admit when I am wrong especially when I can’t see it.
  • In order to show “unconditional love” I must point at the savior who is the only one who can do that.

My heart is supposed to be GOD’s “land.” I can fill it with seeds that produce fruit or weeds. I can fill it with compassion for others or pity for myself. GOD’s heart looks forward not backward and I want to produce the “blessings” HE sows for others.

  • What is in “your” heart right now?
  • Are you focused on greed, lust, vices, or drugs?
  • Can you find out what GOD wants you to plant in your heart today?
  • Can you stop waiting on “perfect” conditions before you produce fruit?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grow up and act your age!

Hebrews 5: 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.


“Oh no, he’s going through my stuff”, I thought to myself. The Spitster was his nickname and spitting was his game. I hadn’t played with these toys in five or six years. In fact they probably could have been given away but it was the “principle” of the matter.  The Spitster was probably five or six and I was probably eleven or twelve.

When I went to plead my case to my mother to control “her” house guest, she said “grow up and act you age.”
  • When I was a young follower of JESUS, I judged other people instead of looking at myself.
  • When I was a young follower of JESUS, I didn’t read the Bible for “heart” knowledge.
  • When I was a young follower of JESUS, I looked at people who truly were trying to follow HIM as being fanatics without a life.
  • When I was a young follower of JESUS, I craved “human” success and accolades.
  • When I was a young follower of JESUS, I treated GOD like HE was my servant.
Not everyone who follows CHRIST will become mature.  They will look at me like I’m the problem for following GOD meanwhile they are not trying to produce fruit in their lives. But that is not nor should it ever be my problem.
  • As a mature follower of JESUS, I need more grace and less justice.
  • As a mature follower of the CHRIST, I need more application and less talk.
  • As a mature follower of GOD’s word, I need less comparison and more action.
It’s real easy for me to say what someone “is” or “is not” doing for CHRIST, but what am “I” doing? Am I growing to serve so GOD will say “well done my faithful servant” or am I pouting and doubting about how someone else is blessed by GOD? HE wants me to understand HIS ways on a deeper level not just on the surface.

This “heart” knowledge will be the basis of all my decisions, the cornerstone for all my actions. This requires me to “grow up and act my age!”
  • Are you growing in CHRIST or are you looking at what everyone else is doing or not doing?
  • Are you seeking what GOD will have you do or are you still operating on your own?
  • Do you try to grow daily or are you criticizing someone else’s growth?
  • Can you take another step to maturity in CHRIST today?

Monday, January 17, 2011

How gentle can I get?

Hebrews 5: 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.


  • What if someone is wrong? Do I dance in their face and wield it over them?
  • What if someone is not living right? Do I judge them and tell them their downfalls?
  • What if someone is irritating? Do I brush them off and shut down on the relationship?

The quick answer to all of the above is NO! Why, because I am not infallible to making the same mistakes. One of the reasons GOD “appoints” or calls me to minister to others is not to point out flaws or issues “they” have, it is to show what issues and flaws “we” have.

All humans sin and require mercy and grace at some point. I’m sure I make mistakes daily and require grace quite often. I figure it like this, the more grace I can show others, the more grace GOD will show me… I actually know it doesn’t work that way since HE has already has shown me tremendous grace, the most one could give.

I still feel obligated to show grace and mercy just like HE did.

  • Did someone treat you wrong?
  • Can you be gentle with them?
  • Can you show them “grace” and “mercy” today?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting rid of my fear this year!

Hebrews 4: 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Which weakness should I write about? My fear of the future, lust, pride, envy, gluttony, work-a-holism, doubt, selfishness you name it, I probably have it. I used to think it was SO hard to follow JESUS’s example. I mean HE was perfect and I heard many preachers tell me that I had to be perfect too.

GOD says “Be holy, for I AM holy.” What does HE mean “be holy!?” Well back in 2003, I was perfect about 15 minutes into the New Year because I was asleep.

  • GOD doesn’t expect me to be sinless throughout my life.
  • GOD doesn’t expect me to save others by my sinless actions.
  • GOD doesn’t set a high standard for me to constantly fail at.
  • GOD doesn’t wait for me to fail so HE can hit me with a brick.

JESUS who is GOD decided, long before HE made me, to die for my sins. HE came to earth and lived the perfect life for me. HE never sinned yet was tempted to sin every day. HIS perfection took care of all my sins and when HE was raised from the dead, it showed that HE truly did perform HIS mission.

Now I get it… JESUS is declaring me “holy” for HE is holy. My belief in HIM makes me holy, not my actions. I can approach HIS throne of grace with confidence. I can get mercy when I need it!

Grace means getting a great thing I do not deserve. Mercy means knowing I am at fault for a wrong and knowing the consequence, yet being excused for the malefaction. JESUS pours out HIS “Grace” and “Mercy” on me in healthy doses.

So I can sin all I want, right? Wrong! There is still something wrong with sin that I honestly do not know the effects even though I am saved. All I know is when I reduce or stop sinning, GOD blesses me in ways I could not imagine, but “when I sin” I can come to JESUS’s throne confidently receiving “grace” and “mercy.”

Now I do not “fear” getting rid of my sins this year, because I cannot fail!

  • Have you sinned the same sin again?
  • Do you think HE won’t forgive you this time?
  • Can you believe HE understands your weakness and forgives you anyway?
  • Will you confidently look at JESUS’s perfection instead of your own?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Words are more powerful than I think.

Hebrews 4:  12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


Foul language was the norm with those who were “cool.” It seemed like the fouler the better. Of course I wanted to be “cool” so I tried my first word. No one applauded or laughed, but wow “I can curse and nothing will happen to me” my simple mind thought.

Later I got good at “the Insult.” I had people laughing “at” other people. My words could tear you down to nothing. I never once thought “is GOD listening to me?”
  • GOD spoke worlds and universes into existence.
  • GOD spoke and what HE made was good according to HIS declaration.
  • GOD spoke and gave humans HIS Bible to follow all of their days.
Words are extremely powerful.  I can use my words to “appreciate” or grow someone in value. I can also use them to depreciate or tear someone down. I can use my words to inspire or I can use them to cause division. It’s my choice but what will happen to my words?
  • My words will be measured to my actions by GOD.
  • My thoughts will be judged to see if I had the right motive.
  • My attitude will be compared to GOD’s love and compassion.
Every word, every infinitesimally small thought, every secret, every encounter will be placed in front of GOD. HE will look at the sincerity of my belief and determine if it was true or if it was just mere “words.” When I said “I believe” in HIM, do I really?
  • When HE says “I will be with you always” why do I fear HE left me?
  • When HE says “I love you” why do I feel HE is trying to destroy me?
  • When HE says “It is finished” why do I feel I have something to add?
GOD’s word is first, final, absolute and utmost. HIS word is supreme and HIS word is the SON.
  • Do you truly believe in JESUS?
  • Can you allow HIM to take control of some of your thoughts and actions today?
  • Have you taken time to judge your own motives to see if they are selfish?
  • Will you look at GOD’s Bible from now on to guide your life?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Soften my heart

Hebrews 3:  12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.


My heart was pounding as the numbers went higher and higher. Ninety eight, ninety nine, one hundred! I was finally driving one hundred miles per hour for the first time! This exhilaration would lead to many speeding tickets and impatient driving tiffs that could have turned into accidents.

Oh no, I sound like an insurance commercial! Right in time for my daughter’s driving lessons.
  • Sin is exhilarating!
  • Sin is exciting!
  • Sin is elating!
  • Sin is my enigma!
Have you ever just stopped and wondered why GOD who made us doesn’t want us to sin? Well, I did this morning and there is something about sin that is quite fascinating.
  • When I sin I rationalize my need to sin.
  • The more I sin the more I rationalize the sin.
  • The more I sin the worse I feel about GOD and HIS “rules.”
  • Somewhere I rationalize that I no longer need GOD or HIS “rules.”
My heart can get hard quite rapidly with sin. My first question is “why does GOD seem to always have a rule against the stuff that seems ‘fun?’” Whoa! There is my problem. Anytime my question begins with “Why does GOD…” as it relates to my comfort then I always end up on the road to a hard heart.

Here are some better questions I could ask myself.
  • Why does GOD love me so much?
  • Why does GOD stop and listen to me when I pray even though I’m a scoundrel.
  • Why did GOD take my punishment when I fully deserve the consequences?
Sin makes me question my relationship with GOD which in turn makes me question HIS ability, power, motive, presence inside of me and HIS position as GOD. I get deceived into wanting “my way” and thinking GOD’s way is crazy, slow, wrong or over there. I then blame other people or GOD for the “crop” that is growing from the seeds of sin “I” have sown.

GOD wants my conscience clear so I can hear HIM. Thank GOD for forgiveness and a new day!
  • Are you blatantly sinning?
  • Can you “reduce” your sin a little today in order to hear GOD?
  • Are you actively seeking to hear GOD daily?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I’m not only “in” the house I “am” the house!

Hebrews 3: 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.


When the phone rang I had a sense of confidence. It was the call I had been waiting for. The company was calling to schedule my third and final interview. I told my friend who referred me and he responded “you are in the house!”

Okay this was a long time ago, but I still remember the smile on his face. He meant I made it. I now belong to the group. I’m favored. “The house” has other meanings:

  • Church buildings are referred to as the “house” of GOD.
  • Church buildings are places where people gather to worship GOD.
  • Church buildings have special meaning but humans are more special.

From David to this current day we built places to worship GOD even though no human-made building can contain GOD. We get excited over this “house” and hold it sacred. BUT GOD wants us to look at another “house” that is more important.

  • When I believed in JESUS I became GOD’s house.
  • GOD decided to place HIS SPIRIT in me because I declared HIM LORD.
  • Now that I “hold firmly to this confidence and hope” I remain HIS house.

Building buildings and going to buildings is nice. The disciples tried to get JESUS to focus on the architecture of a building once, BUT JESUS told them HE was going to tear down the temple and build it up again in three days.

GOD’s “house” is very special. In fact it is so special that HE lives inside it and loves it daily. I am grateful GOD decided to live inside me, making me HIS “house.”

  • How are you treating GOD’s house?
  • Do you believe GOD HIMSELF is living inside of you?
  • Have you let JESUS do what HE wants to do with HIS house or are you still in control?

Monday, January 10, 2011

JESUS has empathy for me.

Hebrews 2: 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.


My stomach growled so I looked in the refrigerator and there wasn’t anything there. I guess I hoped something magically appeared in there because I looked in my wallet and nothing was in there either.

I looked in the cabinet and found a can of corn. I was so delighted.  “I have something to eat!” I thought to myself. Little did I know this event was going to happen several times more in my life. Later I learned there are many people who starve daily. I could only empathize a little.
  • Empathy means truly understanding another person’s feelings.
  • Empathy means I went through the same thing you did.
  • Empathy means I’m with you during “this” trial.
JESUS is full of empathy for every human. HE felt laughter and sadness. HE knew about loneliness, love, fear, joy, doubt, humor, worry, elation, pride, lust, misery, pain and the list goes on and on. HE knows about these things because HE became a human.

This was Satan’s last stand. If he could tempt JESUS into the smallest of sins then JESUS would not be worthy of judging the world and all would be lost. BUT GOD knew what HE was doing. JESUS came through every temptation with flying colors!

GOD has some limitations that I can think of.
  • HE can never cease to exist.
  • HE can never “have” existed. (Sorry for the poor wording)
  • HE can never create another being greater than HIMSELF.
BUT GOD could become a human to show HIS undying relentless love for me. HE could have made me, put some rules into place and watched me fail or HE could do what HE did.
  • GOD made me for HIS purpose, amusement and gratification.
  • HE knew I would sin yet HE made me anyway.
  • GOD wants to love me forever and ever so HE sentenced HIMSELF to death.
  • HE became a human, felt “every” temptation and lived a perfect life without sin.
  • GOD allowed HIMSELF to be murdered for my sins.
Now that HE is alive, HE empathizes with me daily.
  • Do you have empathy with the poor, lonely, or destitute?
  • Do you have empathy for another situation you have gone through?
  • Can you show compassion for others today?
  • Can you thank GOD for HIS empathy?

Friday, January 7, 2011

The most important thing

Hebrews 1:  

8 But about the Son he says,
   “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
   a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
   therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
   by anointing you with the oil of joy.”


Driving down the road to my class I listened to my favorite cassette (yes I said cassette). As I proceeded through the intersection another student made a left turn in front of me. My already raggedy car was totaled. This was the first of a series of events that seemed to go wrong.

I hadn’t prayed much nor had I attended church but during this stretch of “bad luck” I decided to pray. “GOD… why are you doing this to me?” The rest of the discussion went downhill from there. I think I mentioned that I was good or something.

Sometimes I view my salvation as something I deserve to have.
Sometimes I treat GOD like HE is mine.
Sometimes I look at GOD as a buddy who doesn’t mind my sin.

There have been many times where I have been selfish and wanted to tell GOD how things should be done. I focus on my problems and situations and ask GOD to focus on me for a moment. BUT GOD looks at things differently.

The FATHER raised HIS human SON and placed HIM back over everything.
The FATHER declares what is holy and what isn’t.
The FATHER anointed the SON with joy for saving me.

GOD wants me to look at the SON with reverence instead of getting angry at what I’m going through.  HE desires that I understand the SON’s position and place my faith in HIM.

What have you placed your faith in?
Are you depending on money or insurance to save you?
Are you blaming GOD for a situation you are going through?
Can you praise GOD today?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The "SON" is shining!

Hebrews 1: 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.


HE saw that I would sin yet HE made me anyway.

HE knew what HE wanted to make and spoke it into existence.

HE is GOD yet HE volunteered to become a human.

HE took the full wrath of the FATHER and was murdered for any and every sin I ever committed.

HE now sits in the highest position where HE came from.

HE has a name and title that no human can understand.

HE is so powerful that no force can oppose HIM.

HE is so loving that no evil can harm HIM.

HE is the one who I put my faith in.

HE is GOD the glorious SON!