Monday, February 28, 2011

I want to “grow up.”

1 Peter 2:  1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.


“Let me help you with your bags” I said to my parents as they were leaving to go on vacation. This was the first time I was going to be left alone at home. “I wonder if they will leave the car keys” I thought to myself. To ensure my plans for fun would not be thwarted I placed some clutter over the extra keys to the car.

I knew the radiator had some minor problems so I bought fluid, then I bought gas and raced all over town. When I got home I noticed the little gas and antifreeze I put in was now gone and I had to repeat the process all over again. “Wait, this is getting expensive. I hadn’t planned for this” I thought to myself.

  • Being sneaky takes more work than following GOD’s ways.
  • Being hateful to others brings GOD’s judgment on me.
  • Being a hypocrite only impresses me not GOD.
  • Being jealous of what others have makes me look like a spoiled brat instead of a follower of GOD.
  • Being a person who “slings mud” at others only makes me plant insecurity in my own future.

“Grow UP!” is what GOD says to me. As long as I’m sneaky, hateful, envious and full of poisonous words, I am no use to GOD. My old ways of “getting my way” will not produce the fruit that GOD’s ways will.

  • Growing up in my salvation means being honest with myself and others.
  • Growing up in my salvation means reading GOD’s Bible for me not doing it for show.
  • Growing up in my salvation means craving a pure relationship with GOD the way HE wants it.

My sin nature will one day be removed and I will be given a new body that never gets sick and will never shed a tear of pain and misery. Salvation promises a great life after this life but until then I must take my sin a little at a time and give them to GOD.

  • Are you being sneaky with something?
  • Do you know GOD knows what you are doing?
  • Can you stop doing what you are doing for at least one day?
  • Will you try to “grow up” and live for GOD more and more each day?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Make my time useful.

1 Peter 1 24 For,
   “All people are like grass,
   and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”


“Who wants to clean toilets forever” I thought to myself. “I’ll just finish the job quickly and I can slip away for a little ‘me’ time.” When I returned, I could hear the familiar sound of keys jingling as my supervisor walked around looking for me.

Disappointment was the look he gave me when we connected. “I thought you were good” were the words that pierced my soul to this day. I had not made good use of my time.
  • Hoarding money is a waste of my time.
  • Being combative and using people is a waste of my time.
  • Fulfilling every lustful sensual pleasure is a waste of my time.
  • Forgetting to help people while I lay around on vacation is a waste of my time.
My time on earth is very limited. When I look back on the times I have spent doing nothing or mistreating GOD’s humans I shudder because I could have been doing something better with my life. Fortunately GOD has given me the present so I don’t have to dwell in the past. Here are the changes I can make right away.

  • I can focus a small portion of my day communicating with GOD because HE likes to talk to me.
  • I can give a little of my money instead of buying everything for myself because someone needs help.
  • I can forget my troubles by helping someone who is in trouble because GOD gets excited when I serve HIS humans.
Time is much too short to fill it with complaints or plots to get my way or evil plans that will amount to nothing but GOD’s anger towards me. I have no idea when GOD will call me home but in that time I could pray, serve, laugh encourage, be kind, be loyal, and most of all love.
  • What are you doing with your time?
  • Are you serving others?
  • Can you reach out to help someone today?
  • Will you choose to make better use of your time?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I have more faith than I think.

1 Peter 1: 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


Fire stretched out for miles burning down hundreds of houses. The blaze covered the city with smoke and ashes. This was definitely a time in which we needed to pray.  After our prayer I felt peace that only GOD can bring. 

We went to the edge of the fire which was about five miles from our house. The winds began to blow away from our house and our community. We felt so happy that we had to serve those who lost their homes.
  • During tough times it is hard to serve the invisible GOD.
  • During tough times it seems like GOD is not listening.
  • During tough times it GOD seems so far away, especially when I am scared.
Salvation was given to me through belief in JESUS. When I believed that I deserve Hell as my sentence, HE rescued me.  When I admitted I have a sinful heart HE saved me eternally.
  • It takes faith to serve the invisible GOD.
  • It takes faith to serve others during trials.
  • It takes faith to serve those who are difficult to serve.
GOD is with me and I am in HIM.  HE will never leave me, yet there are times when I pretend HE isn’t there. HE waits patiently for me to come back to HIM and when I do, HE blesses me thoroughly.

Yes GOD is invisible, but I can see HIM in people and nature. Yes GOD hasn’t used an audible voice but I can hear HIM in testimonies and HIS Bible. Yes I want to choose wrong, but GOD placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT inside of me to show me the right way to go.
  • Do you have faith in GOD?
  • Are you trying to accomplish things on your own strength?
  • Can you serve GOD even though you haven’t seen HIM?
  • Will you admit today that you are a sinner?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prayer is powerful!

James 5:  13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


One of my grandmothers had enough of difficult living. She had come to the end of her life, looked back and saw her efforts of training her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren in the LORD were good. I was blessed with studying the Bible with her.

During one of the last sessions she said something very strange. “Please don’t pray to keep me here on this earth” she said “If you do then the LORD will grant your prayer but I’m ready to go home.”

  • Prayer is a time where all mighty GOD stops and listens to me.
  • Prayer is a time when nothing else is important than listening to me.
  • Prayer is a time when GOD gets excited because HE created me to be with me.

GOD loves prayer! That’s about as plain as I can make it. HE loves when I communicate with HIM in all circumstances, not just trouble. HE enjoys a good, fresh conversation that describes my thoughts and HE really gets excited when I give HIM credit where credit is due.

But sometimes it seems like my prayers aren’t heard. Well, they are.

  • My prayers are always heard but many times I’m not ready for the answer.
  • My prayers are always heard but sometimes the answer is no!
  • My prayers are always heard and every time I’m the one who gets changed, not GOD.

I am declared righteous by GOD because I believe JESUS died for my sins. I can now ask the FATHER for any and everything and HE will listen. HE especially loves when I am not selfish and I pray for someone else’s wellbeing.  My persistent, earnest prayer yields results every time. I have seen disease cured, disaster averted and depression dispersed.

I pray, GOD listens, that’s a nice relationship!

  • Are you in trouble?
  • Do you feel excited and elated?
  • Is your day just so-so?
  • Have you prayed to GOD today?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ever had one of “those” days?

James 5: 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.


Everyone was loaded in the car headed to breakfast. My wife reminded me that we needed to take the car in for inspection because it had been acting a little strange. On the way to the mechanic the transmission went out and that was the start of the day. It seemed like every part of the day was filled with more and more bad news.

News of pending death, disease or disaster kept coming in. During times of problem solving something else would go wrong. As we sat at the end of the evening trying to resolve the largest issue the light blew out.

  • There will be days when everything goes wrong.
  • There will be days when problems seem to mount higher than plans.
  • There will be days when it seems like there is no hope to be held.

Job was an extreme example of wealth and peace and GOD allowed him to go through many disasters because HE had something much better in this life and after. GOD knows the troubles I will encounter and allows me to go through them in order to strengthen my faith.

  • I have to persevere during troubled times because there is something better waiting for me.
  • I have to persevere during troubled times because it really isn’t as bad as it seems.
  • I have to persevere during troubled times because GOD truly does have a good plan for me that includes “this” problem.

GOD knows exactly what HE is doing when HE lets me go through trouble. HE knows exactly how to strengthen my faith and bless me in the middle of pain. Only GOD knows the future so HE patiently watches me and applauds when the situation doesn’t get me down.

GOD loves when I realize HE is “full of compassion and mercy” for me.

  • Are you going through troubled times?
  • Does it seem like life is not going in the direction you planned?
  • Can you rust GOD to bring you out of your troubles?
  • Even if HE doesn’t, can you trust that HIS kingdom has more to offer than this life?

Monday, February 21, 2011

I have no idea what’s in store for tomorrow!

James 4:  13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.


Our conference call was going well. We were planning the next years’ projects to move the business forward. I took the conference call from home so I watched the news on silent as we worked. As soon as the call was over, I saw a plane crash into a building. “What a tragedy” I thought to myself. Then another plane crashed into the other building.

In that moment everything changed for everyone in the United States and perhaps the world. All of our plans were for naught.
  • Planning is necessary but without GOD it has no future.
  • Planning without GOD can only bring on disaster.
  • Planning helps me get a good perspective on business, but what business can survive without GOD?
Just yesterday, I was talking about my business plans and didn’t mention GOD. I have no idea what’s in store for tomorrow! GOD could whisk me away in the blink of an eye then where would my plans be?

GOD did me a favor by leaving the past in the past and the future in HIS hands. I shouldn’t worry about either because HE is the one with a great plan for me.
  • GOD said “I have a plan for you.”
  • GOD said “I will not harm you.”
  • GOD said “I want to prosper you.”
Planning is necessary in most projects, businesses or vacations. The problem comes when I brag about “my plans” to become successful as if they were my plans in the first place. GOD has my life in check so I can’t brag about myself. The only statement I can truly say is “if the LORD says so then ‘it’ will happen.”
  • Do you have big plans for tomorrow, next month or next year?
  • Have you asked GOD if this is the plan HE has for you?
  • Are you ready for something to go wrong with those plans?
  • Will you be alright if GOD thoroughly changes your plans?
  • Do you know that GOD has plans for you that are all for good?

Friday, February 18, 2011

I want a better life!

James 4: 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


While standing on the outside of the conversation, I listened intently as a few people in my meeting were discussing cars during our break. “Which will you buy” was the question. “The top of the line Mercedes” was the answer. At that time the cost of the car was literally more than my mortgage.

Something came over me. Was it lust or envy? I don’t know but I felt determined to be on the other side of that conversation stating the type of fancy car I was buying. “Maybe I should become more ruthless” I thought to myself.

Quarreling and fighting is where I end up because I can’t satisfy my lusts. In this world of pleasure seeking I wanted the best so I convinced myself that taking “that” person down was the right thing to do. If I could just get my way then I could get that promotion and then I can get all the “stuff” I crave.
  • You desire but do not have, so you kill.
  • You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
  • You do not have because you do not ask God.
  • When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
GOD knows my motives for temporarily “being good” are to get out of my trials just to get back into my lusts. In times of plenty I could care less about serving GOD rather I seek to get the latest gadget or toy. BUT GOD wants more.
  • GOD wants me to submit to HIS ways, timing and circumstances.
  • HE desires that I resist the Devil’s "temptations to take my eyes off of GOD" and stop fulfilling my lusts.
  • GOD wants me to take one step toward HIM and HE will run towards me.
  • HE desires that I wash my hands and clean up my act so I can be a good example of HIM.
  • GOD wants me to take my heart and focus it on HIM.
Material things are fine and wealth is never a problem with GOD. The desire to become wealthy and remain wealthy is the thing that gets in HIS way. I wind up mistreating GOD’s humans in order to get a “better life” for myself. HE wants me to focus my attention, desires and wealth on HIM because HE has much more for me.
  • What material thing do you crave?
  • Would you lie, cheat, steal or slander for it?
  • Can you focus some of your desires on giving to or serving GOD?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Self-ambition is great when used right.

James 3: 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.


Christmas morning finally arrived. Food was being prepared in the kitchen and the kids were circling the presents. It was time to fellowship and celebrate the birth of our Savior, JESUS who is the CHRIST but not for me. Instead I dialed into the conference call that was scheduled the night before.

There was a serious situation at work that needed to be addressed and I had to participate in the solution. Of course this serious situation was different from the last serious situation so I was justified in being mentally absent from the family, right? I mean I could have gotten a promotion out of this!
  • Self-ambition is great but can be easily misused.
  • Self-ambition can blind me of what is truly important.
  • Self-ambition can sometimes be fueled by jealousy or a desire to have that higher position no matter the cost.
  • Self-ambition can stir up pride that leads me in a direction that says “I don’t need GOD.”
There is nothing wrong with hard work or taking pride in my craft. GOD is pleased when I work hard and live upright. HE doesn’t like when my self-ambition is motivated by greed, lust or envy. Yes, I will get more stuff and a classy title but lose myself in the process.
  • GOD wants me to be motivated by love not lust.
  • GOD wants me to be motivated by grace not greed.
  • GOD wants me to be motivated by mercy not money.
  • GOD wants me to be motivated by consideration not con games.
  • GOD wants me to be motivated by peace not pay dirt.
By telling people that GOD loves me so much that HE died just for me and is now alive, gives them hope and peace. My motivation should be focused on serving others with sincerity instead of being self-serving.

GOD has called me to bring peace to many people. I now take steps in managing a healthy life with CHRIST focused on “sowing” the right things.
  • Are you ambitious?
  • Can you focus some of your energy on GOD today?
  • Can you be driven and self-motivated in helping someone today?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I must watch what I say.

James 3:  9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.


“Wow, I’m running behind. Let’s see, do I have everything I need for this important meeting?” I thought to myself while driving. Then “she” got in the way. She was the driver who had nowhere to go and no time to be there. She stopped at every stop sign and obeyed the speed limit to the letter. She inadvertently turned on her signal a couple of times only to turn it off and stay in my way.

When she finally turned, I screamed “you idiot!” and I sped off. My kids, who were in the back seat, heard me and they stared with a surprised shocked look on their face. I guess my lesson of “be nice to people” wasn’t valid anymore.
  • I say the worse things about others when I only think of myself.
  • I say the worse things about others when I am trying to make them lose.
  • I say the worse things about others when I have poison in my heart.
Teaching people about GOD should be accompanied with a gentle tongue but if my heart is filled with impatience, lust, greed or junk, then that’s what will come out of my mouth. In my selfishness I can say the wrong things which do not draw people to GOD.

  • My heart for others has to change otherwise it will spew out garbage.
  • I must view “every” human as GOD’s instead of thinking they are an inconvenience.
  • My thoughts must be trained to focus on GOD so my actions and reactions follow HIS ways.

It takes practice to have patience with people, especially when I have practiced impatience for so long BUT GOD is willing to clean the junk out of my heart and use it for HIS purpose. It takes GOD to keep my tongue focused on encouragement and praise!
  • What is in your heart?
  • Are you constantly saying how others are doing things wrong?
  • Do you complain, curse or coerce others?
  • Can you encourage someone today?
  • Do you have a compliment or praise for people or are you constantly picking fights?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Do something!

James 2: 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.


Bright shining sun began to fill the room as we shut down our marathon night of fun and games. It was Sunday morning in the dorm and a few people were up early, dressed and ready to go to church. There was no way to avoid them as they quickly approached me and invited me to go with them. They were probably going to feed the hungry or something!

I quickly thought of my lie to shake them off. “Maybe next time” I said to them as I trudged off to bed.
  • I will always have an excuse for not serving GOD.
  • There will always be more work to do or fun to be had that gets in the way of serving.
  • When selfishness is in my heart I can’t bring myself to serve others.
It takes more than “belief” to show faith. If I am capable, my “belief” should be put into action.
But many times life seems to get in the way of serving others.  My work schedule along with other responsibilities seems to dictate my day. How can I serve when I don’t seem to have any time?

Serving doesn’t have to be “big” rather deliberate.
  • I can serve others by smiling when everyone else is frowning.
  • I can serve others by remaining calm when the storm of life presses against me.
  • I can serve others by teaching people to serve GOD by serving others.
GOD gave me a purpose in life and that is to serve others so that HE can draw people back to HIMSELF. HE allows all humans to go their own direction and HE loves when I choose to serve HIS creation. I can no longer sit idle while people are hungry and losing their homes. 

It takes practice to serve others so I had to start small and grow into it. GOD has now called me to be a resource to many so HE delivers people for me to serve.
  • Do you believe in GOD and have not served anyone in a while?
  • Are you too stuck in your own situation to serve someone else?
  • Can you take the focus off of you for a moment to encourage someone today?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prejudiced? Yeah that’s me!

James 2: 1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?


When the train arrived everyone was focused on getting to work. An ocean of business people flooded downtown focused on the day’s meetings and events. A group of homeless people waited near the train station. “I’ve seen this guy before” I thought to myself. “Why doesn’t he get a job and why does he have new expensive gym shoes? I’m not giving him any money!”

  • Prejudging someone is always wrong.
  • Prejudging someone implies I know better than that person.
  • Prejudging someone is an easy way for me to shirk my GODLY responsibilities of getting to know the person.

Prejudging people was my defense mechanism. I looked at their wealth, title and position in society and made judgment calls about them because I wanted to be wealthy like them or protect myself from giving to them depending on what they wore.

Treating people inconsistently is truly a problem with GOD.  HE wants us to treat every human with respect, dignity and love. HE doesn’t want us to laugh at the poor and praise the wealthy. GOD wants me to see HIS humans as HE does.

  • Every human is a creation of GOD.
  • GOD delivers some humans to me for the purpose of me showing HIS love.
  • No matter what status a human has placed on another human, GOD is still over all.

It actually takes practice to treat everyone the same because of wounds or past unfair actions. BUT GOD wants me to erase my memory and take each person on a case by case basis.  I should serve in all countries, languages and social standings because I can never tell how my kind actions can positively affect the person.

  • Have you ever prejudged someone?
  • Do you make snap decisions about people based on what you see?
  • Can you get to know a person who you wouldn’t normally interact?
  • Will you serve someone today without prejudging them?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do what I say, not what I do!

James 1: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.


“Clean up this mess!” “The clothes should be washed!” “Why is this pile on the floor?” These are statements I have barked at my family that have, at times, fallen on deaf ears. “Why aren’t they doing this” I wondered.

Well maybe it’s because I had never touched the washing machine, my pile while little, was still on the floor and the garage and office had junk piled to my chin. Maybe it was my bark or heavy hand. Maybe it was my example.

  • People are always watching me and I am always an example.
  • People notice when I do “opposite” of GOD more than what I do for HIM.
  • People watch what I do “more” than listen to what I say.

“Doing” what GOD says is not always easy because I have a selfish nature that wants it my way. GOD has some difficult lessons that eradicate sin from my life and puts HIM in charge.  HIS lessons of grace and love are a hard pill to swallow when I want to “win” the argument or get revenge on “that” person.

GOD wants me to believe in HIM, learn HIS Bible, show love to everyone and sin less and less all while controlling the thought that I have control over GOD and circumstances. Whew! Just the thought of this gets me tired! But there is an easier way to think about it.

  • GOD has declared me holy so my service is a celebration not a duty.
  • GOD has blessed me daily so it’s up to me to recognize HIS blessings.
  • GOD has given me clear directions on what to do so I must study “and” put HIS word into action.

I can tell when I’m not showing enough “faith,” “grace,” “mercy” and “love” to my family because arguments flare up, fear sets in and poisonous tongues lash out. By “doing” what GOD says, people can actually see the reality of GOD’s love through my life.

  • Have you taken a good look at yourself?
  • Are you following what GOD says or are you just merely spouting out scripture?
  • Is there an area of your life that could be changed just for GOD?
  • Can you make a “small” change in your life to become a better example of GOD today?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You mean my actions are “my responsibility?”

James 1: 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


Last week we received a coupon for a free product because the old one had a defect. I took the old back to the store with the coupon and due to some confusion I got my money back like I was supposed to, but I also got the product and the receipt.

After leaving the store the thought popped in my head. All I had to do was go to another store of this chain and get more money! Where did that thought come from and what would GOD think about that?

  • Humans are born with the lust of the eyes.
  • Humans have the lust of the flesh.
  • Humans love themselves so they have the pride of life.

Sinning is what “I” do, not what GOD puts in front of me.  HE isn’t using life as an experiment to see who will choose HIM or not, rather HE already knows that no one would choose HIM yet HE died for me anyway.

GOD doesn’t set temptations in front of me to see how I will react. HE doesn’t stand around with a clipboard marking down problems when I yield to sin. HE knows I am born with a sin nature that doesn’t want to follow HIS ways. HE also knows I don’t want to help HIS people, especially the ones who don’t like me.

GOD is pure love. HE wants the best for me and all humans. HE wants me to realize that sin has a devastating effect on me that I truly don’t understand.

  • My own lusts tempt me, so I need to put them in check.
  • When I am tempted then I want to sin, so I need a way "out" before I sin.
  • When I sin I am supposed to go to Hell, so I need a savior from this terrible sentence.

Fortunately for me, GOD died just for me and HE is alive for me! HE placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT in me and now when temptation arises I am reminded that I don’t need to sin because I have something better. I have GOD. HIS promises are much better than the medicine of sin.

  • Are you falling to your own temptations?
  • Are you blaming GOD for your decisions or the circumstance you got yourself into?
  • Can you take responsibility for your actions?
  • Can you thank GOD for being so patient with you?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LORD please grant me wisdom!

James 1: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.


An empty light socket was a magnet for my childish curiosity.  I couldn’t reach it so I climbed up the metal pipe dripping with condensation. One second felt like an eternity as the shock surged through my body. Fortunately for me I fell down in the process. That wasn’t very wise!

  • Human wisdom is not very wise.
  • Human wisdom does not include GOD’s supernatural powers.
  • Human wisdom focuses on how, but can never answer why.

It seems like the smarter I became the dumber I got with GOD.  I’m not saying all intellectuals don’t know the LORD, but in my case I questioned the validity of the Bible, GOD’s ways and even HIS existence. I rarely communicated with HIM and when I did it was a half-baked prayer requesting something I didn’t believe I would get from GOD.

  • GOD wants me to believe.
  • GOD wants me to have faith in HIM.
  • GOD wants me to rely on HIS grace, love, power, wealth and truth.

Any doubt in GOD makes me try my own plan which usually fails miserably. HE has shown me time after time that HE is in control. From little to large miracles, GOD has continued to amaze me over the years. 

It actually takes maturity to see GOD in action.  How does the sun never burn out? Why hasn’t gravity stopped working? Why does HE love me? These are questions I can’t answer but maturity helps me know where to go.

  • GOD will give me wisdom in abundance if I ask HIM.
  • GOD will give me faith in abundance if I ask HIM.
  • GOD will give me love in abundance if I ask HIM.

GOD wants me to have the best, but what I consider the best may not be the best. I may desire the best material things while GOD wants me to have the best spiritual things. Only HE can grant me the wisdom to follow HIM the way HE wants me to.

  • What are you lacking?
  • Does GOD have the power to give you “that” thing right now?
  • Why is HE taking so long or why is HE saying no?
  • Are you trying to manipulate GOD into getting your way?
  • Can you remove your doubt and ask GOD for wisdom, faith and love today?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thank GOD!

Hebrews 13:  15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


In the middle of trimming the bushes I remembered we had to be somewhere so I started to hurry up. This was our first home and I liked to keep it just so. The bushes were tall and overgrown so this trim was a long time coming.

As I reached up with one hand standing on my toes, my electric trimmers began to tip over. It was reflexes that made me catch the high speed sharp blades with my bare hand. When I peered at the bloody mess I only needed stitches. Thank GOD I didn’t lose my fingers!

  • Troubles and trials are used to get my attention.
  • Troubles and trials show me how good I actually am living.
  • Troubles and trials help me truly praise GOD!

Praising GOD takes practice. I could go a week or a month or even years without praising GOD. When life is plentiful I go into “habitual prayers” halfway thanking GOD for food with no worries about where the next meal is coming from. When life has famine then I have a choice.

  • When life is tough I could complain to GOD or praise HIM for what HE is doing.
  • When things aren’t quite going my way I could gripe or seek GOD to see what HE is doing.
  • When everything is out of control, I could react with pouting or praise GOD who sustains me.

JESUS is GOD and HE took my punishment for me. HE died in my place and is now alive and I should praise HIM for it daily! I should be so excited that I actually use my mouth to “profess HIS name” to others and tell them about JESUS’s position above all trials and troubles.

Sharing the gift of GOD’s grace is so exciting to HIM. HE truly loves when I share how great HE is to others, especially when I do it without judging them. My excitement should become contagious and my praise should increase in spite of trials.

  • Have you fallen into the habit of complaining?
  • Do you look at many situations to find the problems to fix rather than seeing how GOD is blessing you?
  • When is the last time you openly praised GOD to someone else especially in the middle of a trial?
  • Do you feel GOD is worthy of your sacrifice of praise to HIM?

Monday, February 7, 2011

I’ll do anything for money!

Hebrews 13: 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
   “Never will I leave you;
   never will I forsake you.”


Snow, snow, snow was the prediction last week and boy they were right for a change! Before the big snowstorm hit I threw some bread crumbs out on the patio for the birds from some old stale buns. I also threw some sunflower seeds on the step.

Then the big storm hit! Fifty mile per hour winds blew the tops off my barbeque grills that sat “on the patio.” When the storm was over I went to the front of the house and 3’ 6” drifts conquered our driveway. When I looked in the backyard drifts were the same except in one small area. The breadcrumbs were still there and so were the sunflower seeds! Birds gathered and ate!

  • Loving money is truly a problem.
  • Loving money causes me to worry when I don’t have it.
  • Loving money makes me fight anyone to try to keep it.
  • Loving money distracts me from giving.
  • Loving money thwarts any efforts of being generous.

Generosity is not a factor of how much wealth I have rather I am either generous or not. I have seen many people with far less than I have be far more generous. Unfortunately my generosity has been guided by how much I see in the bank rather than what GOD sees in me.

  • If I don’t have money then I can share my home.
  • If I don’t have a home then I can share my food.
  • If I don’t have food then I can share my joy.

GOD wants me to be content so I can cheerfully give to others. HIS church is comprised of people with needs and HE wants me to meet those needs without worry.  When I saw the birds feasting on breadcrumbs GOD had preserved I remembered that HE takes care of them, wouldn’t HE take care of me that much more?

Being content takes practice. Bills piled high and income low doesn’t always put me in the place where the words “be content” add comfort to my worries. BUT GOD does mean “be content” during tough times.

  • Be content during times of plenty.
  • Be content during very lean times.
  • Be content during peaceful situations.
  • Be content during trials.

Being content helps me keep the right perspective which is focused on GOD’s wealth, not mine!
  • Are you content with your current situation?
  • What are you worried about?
  • Can you release your worries and focus on GOD’s strength?
  • Do you have joy in your heart no matter what the circumstance?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Deepen my reverence for GOD.

Hebrews 12:  28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”


Six NBA championships just proves there is no basketball greater than you know who. At least that’s how I see it because I went to see him play on a number of occasions. I guess you could say I revered his talents, drive and determination.

He inspired me to yell at the television, play armchair coach and pay lots of money to see him perform. Wow! What talent!

  • Human talent is limited.
  • Human talent is flawed.
  • Human talent is fleeting.
  • Human talent can cause envy.

Reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe. Awe is an overwhelming feeling of admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like. There are times when I have leveraged my talents to win a competition and people admired my efforts but this was only a moment in time.

  • GOD is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing and ever present.
  • GOD is love on its greatest scale.
  • GOD is mercy and the ultimate forgiver.
  • GOD is judge, jury and executioner of those who oppose HIM or HIS people.

Sometimes I make GOD a little too common.  I blow HIM off during easy times and beg for help when I get in trouble. I cheapen HIS abilities by jumping in with my plan and get disappointed when HE doesn’t follow them. I treat HIM with disrespect when I act apathetic with my “get around to it later” attitude.

  • The creator of the universe deserves my deep respect.
  • The being who has “always been” and will “always be” deserves my immediate attention.
  • The entity who holds Heaven and Hell deserves a healthy fear.

There are times where I have feared humans more than GOD because of their position or title. Fear of their retribution drove me to cater to their every whim. BUT GOD wants HIS position to be higher than that of any human. HE wants me to revere HIM and remain in awe of HIS SON.

GOD is a consuming fire, without the proper respect I could get burned.

  • Do you respect GOD’s position in your life?
  • Do you have a healthy fear of GOD or do you think HE is your pal?
  • Do you demand things from GOD or do you approach HIM with respect?