Friday, September 30, 2011

What the “Good News” is all about.

John 1: 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.


Wow! I guess the Bible is clear about JESUS being GOD especially in that last verse. I really could not think of a life lesson I could share today because this recording of history says it all.

The “final say” became a human and lived with us. People brought their problems to HIM and had expectations that HE would resolved everything the way they wanted HIM to resolve them. They mistreated JESUS without knowing HE was GOD.

I treat JESUS the same way.  I put an expectation in my mind and blame GOD when HE does something different. Fortunately for me GOD has limitless grace and unshakeable mercy. Sometimes I say, “Who cares, JESUS died for my sins, so what does that have to do with my current situation?”
  • In a world of uncertainty JESUS is the only one who provides me with absolute truth.
  • In a world where hatred reigns JESUS is the only one who gives me grace to its fullest.
  • In a world of egotistical, power hungry, manipulative, greedy whoremongers JESUS is the only one who provides me with forgiveness for being that way.

Any and every one who can see their need for a savior can reach out to JESUS and be saved from eternal separation from HIM. HE gave me a lifetime to serve HIM, how much of it is squandered on a worthless path? JESUS, GOD, decided to forgive me, that is “Great News!”
  • Do you say to GOD “what have YOU done for me lately?”
  • Have you tried to make GOD your servant?
  • Will you praise GOD for coming to your rescue?
  • Are you willing to take off your spiritual blindfold and see how GOD is working in your life?
  • Can you audibly tell someone about JESUS today?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I can’t see you my assumptions are in the way!

John 1: 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.


“I’m late and this guy isn’t here” I thought to myself. I waited in the hotel lobby and there were only a few people. “I’m sure a man of his wealth would be on time because he has to be a busy person” I surmised.  

A guy dressed like a wrinkled farmer caught my eye and said my name. “Are you looking for me?” he politely said in a calm tone. “I watched you for ten minutes but I wasn’t sure you were looking for me” he said.  “This is the guy who makes $2 Million a month; you’ve got to be kidding?” I thought.
  • How many angels who were dressed as a person in need have I passed?
  • How many people who I assumed didn’t “deserve” my help have I turned down?
  • How many names have I conjured up for those who annoy me or have gotten in my way?

Assumptions are little packaged expectations wrapped in prejudiced and ignorance. GOD operates with “fact” and I never have to assume anything about HIM.
  • JESUS came to Earth as a human to HIS chosen people who rejected HIM.
  • JESUS, who is GOD, volunteered to die for the sins of all humans no matter how heinous the sin.
  • JESUS knocked on the door of my heart and it was up to me to let HIM in
Sometimes I expect GOD to speak to me in a loud echoing voice and appear with some sort of blinding light. I think HE is going to give me some strange, yet specific, message to drop everything and go on some wild pilgrimage. I keep waiting but all these needy people keep interrupting!
  • GOD wants me to help the needy, that’s how HE is speaking to me.
  • GOD wants me to deliver HIS message of deliverance, that’s how HE shows HIS love.
  • GOD wants me to keep my heart soft for others so HE puts me in circumstances that enable me to empathize.
When I assume how GOD is going to work, I am usually wrong. I look for HIM in the wrong places and I definitely mistake how HE is going to guide someone’s life. But when I don’t assume and accept HIS plan, HE never disappoints me!
  • Are you trying to manipulate GOD into getting your way?
  • Do you assume that since you are following HIM things would be better?
  • Are you willing to follow GOD even if it means “that” person would leave you?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is JESUS “the Word?”

John 1:  1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


Promises are a bind that requires the future task to be fulfilled. Many times I have said “I will do ” and it may not seem credible.  But when I tack on a very important expression it adds credibility. “I give you my word.” This means I will do everything in my power to accomplish the task.

Well… I only have so much power and my word is quite different than “The Word.” What is “the Word?”

  • The Word is the final say nothing else can change it.
  • The Word is the truth anything that opposes it is false.
  • The Word is the light which shines bright and no darkness can overcome it.

In my opinion JESUS is “the Word.” I need to be careful when I do this illustration because I do not want to rewrite the Bible.

Read the first verse inserting JESUS.  In the beginning was JESUS, and JESUS was with GOD and JESUS was GOD. Now read the rest of the verses. Wow! What a discovery. JESUS is GOD who made everything, who has life in HIM and was with the FATHER and the HOLY SPIRIT from the beginning.

How did I come to that conclusion just by these verses? Well it wasn’t just by these verses that I draw my conclusion but when I did this exercise, something clicked and the Bible made sense. JESUS is the final say, the truth and the light. HIS way is the only way and when I argue with HIS way, I am against HIM who made me.

  • Is JESUS GOD to you?
  • What makes HIS death and resurrection so special?
  • How do you know GOD can keep any of HIS promises?
  • Will you stop thinking GOD doesn’t know everything about you and every situation?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No more doubts no more fear!

Luke 24: 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”


Timid steps toward the middle of the first room caused my heart to pound. “I dare you to go into the next room,” I heard someone shout accompanied by their laughter. A few of us stuck our foot into the next room then someone screamed “AHHH” and we all ran out of the supposedly “haunted” abandoned house.

My heart was beating a mile a minute but the fright quickly turned into laughter. Why couldn’t life be like that?

  • Life brings on some frightening circumstances that cause my mind to race to the negative.
  • Life brings on some evil situations that make me wonder how I am going to survive.
  • Life brings on some circumstances that make me cry out “GOD do you care?”

Peace is what GOD is constantly trying to give me yet circumstances, situations and troubling news takes my eyes off of this lovely gift. My feeble plans tend to trump GOD’s rest and my blindness to HIS greatness gets in the way.

  • GOD the FATHER wants me to relax and listen to HIS small still voice.
  • GOD the SON wants me to have peace during this and every circumstance because HE took care of everything!
  • GOD the HOLY SPIRIT wants me to chill because HE is in me reminding me of all the situations HE has brought me through in the past.

GOD has given me all I need but it truly is frightening at times. I can only get down on my knees and say “help” sometimes. But there are other times when I say “Okay LORD, YOU got this one. I can’t wait to see YOUR plan unfold.”

HE says “Peace be with you” to those who can “hear” HIM. When I feel lonely, anxious or flat out fearful, GOD says “I will be with you always!” That means right now, tomorrow, next month and ten years from now! GOD works hard to give me peace all I have to do is accept it.

  • Are you frightened about something?
  • What are you nervous about that GOD cannot handle?
  • Have you set your expectations so high on “that” thing that you are blinding yourself to GOD?
  • Won’t you choose to not worry and let the situation play itself out watching GOD do HIS work?

Monday, September 26, 2011

I want “heartburn.”

Luke 24: 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.


My faith in GOD is pretty weak at times. I want to see some of the cool stuff happen that’s written in the Bible. The only problem is I want to see the miraculous situations before I believe GOD and HIS power. I mean, why did HE do all those marvelous things in front of the people in the Bible and not in front of me?
  • JESUS can be sitting right in front of me and I am too blind to see HIM.
  • JESUS can be saying something to me and I am too deaf to hear HIM.
  • JESUS can be walking with me and I am too scared to notice HIM.
JESUS explained how the entire Bible was written about HIM to Cleopas and his friend. On this seven mile journey to Emmaus JESUS explained everything.
  • HE talked about how HE walked in the garden with Adam and Eve.
  • HE explained how HE would meet with Moses and how HE showed him HIS glory as HE walked past Moses.
  • HE explained how it was HIM in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
  • HE explained ever interaction HE had with the prophets and David.
JESUS is the only ONE who can tell humans what the Bible really means. Preachers and teachers do a good job but they can only relate to GOD’s messages. JESUS can set my heart on fire so that it truly burns. This requires me to open my spiritual ears and eyes to what GOD is doing right in front of me.

When my eyes are opened, there GOD is right in front of me. HE usually appears as the person in need or HE sends me the antagonist who is trying to thwart HIS plans. Either way the HOLY SPIRIT stirs my heart to act as only GOD would want me to act. HE wants me to serve because HE sacrificed everything for me.

  • When you “hear” a message from GOD through reading, listening or seeing does it stir you to actually do something?
  • Do you have a sense of urgency regarding your relationship with GOD?
  • What message is HE giving you to tell “that” person?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Accept GOD’s methods and plans

Luke 23: 39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Many times I expect GOD to act like Hollywood’s special effects department. I think when I have a problem some angel with a fuzzy glow would come and speak to me telling me a special message. I also think GOD should zap my problems away just like in the movies. That’s how I approach prayer sometimes, with “Hollywood” expectations.
  • Setting false expectations of GOD actually builds a barrier between me and HIM.
  • Setting false expectations of GOD gets my hopes up so high that they have a longer way to hit the ground.
  • Setting false expectations of GOD is actually arrogant especially when I’m telling HIM the plan to execute.

One of the criminals in this historical setting didn’t really believe in the Messiah, rather he heard JESUS could do tricks to help others. “Maybe I could get healed” could have been his thought as he insulted JESUS. He had a false expectation that JESUS would help him and his stony heart.

When I look at myself, I do the same as the insulting criminal. I treat GOD as common like HE is a pal, a peer or sometimes my servant.
  • I get upset at GOD for giving, who I call evil people, all the wealth and power they want while I see people who try to serve HIM suffer.
  • I get mad at GOD for not fixing my situation right away and even still bringing another situation into my life before the first is fixed.
  • I get angry at GOD for answering my prayer differently than I “expected.”
GOD’s plans cannot be changed by my prayer for many times my prayers are bathed in selfishness. HE actually changes me when I pray to be more accepting of HIS plans and HIS ways. HE changes my mind to forget “me” this time and to serve others like HE does.
  • Are you mad at GOD for not doing things your way?
  • How willing are you to ask HIM to keep you in the situation for as long as necessary to truly change you into what HE wants?
  • Will you admit to HIM you are a sinner and allow HIM to bring you into paradise?  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peer pressure got to me!

Luke 23: 22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.


It felt great being on my own for the first time. I could do with my body or someone else’s body, what I wanted to. When I got around the crowd, I could be the life of the party.  My language changed from holier than thou to holy . My peers egged me on.  I was the “man” or so I thought.

  • Each time I choose my sinful life over JESUS I lose.
  • Each time I downplay my relationship with JESUS HE does the same to me.
  • Each time I stand for “nothing” I’m actually standing against what JESUS says.

Pilate could care less about JESUS as he saw HIM as only a mere man. I guess sometimes I do the same.  Oh yes I know HE is GOD and HE died for my sins, but I treat HIM like HE isn’t quite in charge of my life rather I am. 

With bad plans in hand I go about trying to please myself or others not once considering what GOD wants.  When I even think I’m not going to get my way, my nerves get on edge and sin ensues.

  • Choosing JESUS over peer pressure isn’t easy but it’s the right thing to do.
  • Choosing JESUS over peer pressure actually makes me make some hard choices about my current behavior.
  • Choosing JESUS over peer pressure seems to never look easy but has always benefit me and those around me who I feared.

Killing an innocent man to protect his wealthy lifestyle and power is definitely a bad decision, BUT GOD looks at my life and says my sins are equal if not worse than Pilates because I know better.

  • Are you afraid to audibly say JESUS’ name to “certain” people?
  • Do your peers enjoy your sin?
  • Will your peers get punished for the sin you commit?
  • Will you get punished for the sin you commit?
  • Does GOD punish anyone or is HE just a big pushover?
  • Does GOD’s love for me have room for me to ignore HIM or even go against HIM?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kill “the unknown” monster!

Luke 22: 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.


My first camping trip, going away to college, moving into my apartment in another city and moving to another region of the country all have the same thing in common. I faced “the unknown.” “The unknown” is a scary thing that can easily be exploited by the enemy.

Questions rapidly pop into my mind when I faced “the unknown.” “How will you make it?” “You’ve never faced this before, what if you fail?” “You may lose everything then you will be on the street, what then?” “What if you get sick?” “What if you DIE!?”

  • “The unknown” is a scary thing for me that does nothing but drives fear which is not from GOD.
  • “The unknown” leads me to some wild fantasy of my demise rather than focusing on GOD.
  • “The unknown” tempts me to dream up a plan that doesn’t include GOD.
I can’t tell you the wild thoughts I have had over the years. I thought everyone was against me when my high paying job was eliminated. I thought I was going to be eating flies when I went on my first mission’s trip. I thought my life would come to an end when the dean of my college approached me and said you are no longer in college. (I did graduate!)

  • GOD has a way of putting a situation in front of me that causes me to depend on HIM.
  • GOD has a way of allowing me to go through the trouble to make me stronger.
  • GOD has a way of getting my attention to really, really communicate with HIM in earnest prayer.
You mean even JESUS who is GOD the SON asked GOD the FATHER to not die for the sins of the world? Yes, but obedience trumps discouragement. The FATHER had to send an angel to strengthen JESUS because this voluntary act would mean JESUS would be blamed for every sin ever committed.  Someone had to take the fall for my sins.

JESUS said one important thing namely “not my will but YOURS be done.” When I give up my will, I can’t fail. In fact when I ask GOD to take control of my plan I give HIM the right to smash it to the ground or to take it to heights I never would have dreamed. Giving up my will kills “the unknown” monster.
  • Are you facing a very difficult time?
  • Do you have fear of the unknown?
  • Can you realize GOD is in control of the unknown?
  • Will you let go of your plans and say “not my plans but YOURS?”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Denial of GOD only makes it worse.

Luke 22: 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.


“Come on let’s go out to the bar” was the beginning of a weekend of bad decisions. I would just have a few drinks, flirt a little, dance a little and release some of the cares I had from the week.

That phone number along with my pounding head would once again keep me from going to church. I mean GOD will understand the need to release my anxiety by having a little fun right?

  • It’s amazing how much I deny GOD’s words on a daily basis.
  • Many times I don’t believe GOD would do anything to any human.
  • Sometimes I think it’s crazy to believe in demons.
  • Other times I question the existence of Hell and the possibility of me going there.
  • Still other times I dare GOD to sequester consequences on the sin I’ve just committed.

Invisible, inaudible and only words and feelings describing HIM make GOD look like a fable to me sometimes. Then that thing would happen. A difficult situation that requires HIS mighty power would somehow pop into my life at the wrong time. “GOD I need YOU” I would cry out!

  • You would think GOD would say, “But you sinned when you knew better”, but HE doesn’t.
  • You would think GOD would say, “You should have thought of that before you got yourself in this mess”, but HE doesn’t.
  • You would think GOD would say, “You flat out denied me and chose sin to solve your problems”, But HE doesn’t.

Why doesn’t HE say these things about me? It’s GOD’s loving nature that pursues me even when I try to go my own way. I deny HIM, HE pursues me trying to get me to see that my sinful plan won’t work. Only HIS plans have a future so I can’t deny HIS words, existence or JESUS’ position as GOD the SON.

  • Are you denying GOD by the sin you are planning?
  • Did you deny GOD last night?
  • Which part of the Bible don’t you believe?
  • Are some of the miracles far-fetched to you?
  • Won’t you stop trying to figure GOD out with your mind and add faith to your heart?

Monday, September 19, 2011

How can I serve you?

Luke 22: 24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.


Lack of confidence has not been an issue with me in the past. “I am the most humble person I know.” In fact “I am the best at not only being humble, but I’m the best at not bragging.” Hopefully you caught the joke in that statement.

When I stopped doing certain sins I was humble, or at least I thought I was, but something happened when my zeal for others to stop their sins became more important than the person. I confidently approached people about believing in CHRIST but made it seem like they had to be perfect before GOD would help them. How naive.

  • When I judge others I am not serving them.
  • Even if I’m on a “serving” committee my heart may not be serving.
  • When I’m so wrapped up in telling GOD to fix my problems I can’t seem to serve.
  • Even if GOD brings me out of the situation I forget my promises to HIM and go back to my sins.

False humility can creep in quickly when I try my best to stop sinning and I look at what others are doing.  Yes the Bible does say to correct each other in love and to correct those who sin against me. But the GOD also says be very humble and careful about my approach otherwise I “will” fall into the same sin.

My goal should not be to receive awards from humans for what I’ve done to please GOD. I should do the things GOD tells me to do without the need for a thank you or a notice of recognition.

  • My service to others is recorded by GOD.
  • Every act of kindness I perform should be done without bragging so the benefactor will focus on GOD, not me.
  • Even if I’m the “boss” I need to serve my employees and those who support my efforts.

Serving is becoming a lost art. “WIFM” is what’s in it for me? GOD’s answer to WIFM is “your eternal salvation along with heavenly treasures for humble serving is in it for you.” I have to remember my greatness is only because of GOD’s greatness.

  • Do you think you are in control of your life?
  • Are you upset at GOD’s plan for your life?
  • Can you recognize the need to be humble while serving others?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Act with “love” for you never know…

Luke 22: 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”


Tears flowed down my wife’s face as she announced the death of a friend’s sister. Death has not been a stranger to this family as it has visited each year for a number of years in a row. Is GOD in the middle of death?  I know I’m getting older, but death seems to be coming at an alarming rate amongst people younger than me.

  • As a follower of GOD it’s tough for me to understand that I have a very specific day and way I am going to die.
  • As a follower of GOD it’s tough for me to understand why people have to suffer in life.
  • As a follower of GOD it’s difficult to not feel lonely when yet another person passes away.

JESUS knew the specific time and method of HIS death.  HE acted with pure love every day HE walked the earth.  HE truly wanted to be with HIS adopted family one last time before HE would be murdered and blamed for all “my” sins.

This was a time of mixed feelings.  “Hooray” should have been shouted because the KING was there to save anyone who believed in HIS position as savior of the world. Yet it was a downer because the healer, friend and teacher was no longer going to be with them until their death.

  • JESUS knew I would miss loved ones when they die so HE sent the COMFORTER to me.
  • JESUS knew I would miss loved ones when they die so HE gave me hope to see them again someday.
  • JESUS knew I would miss loved ones when they die so HE wept for me in true sorrow for what I have to go through.

HE has pure love and compassion unlike humans who side with their cause of the day. HE loves and gives me a future so I need to live each day with grace, mercy and love for I never know when a loved one will not be here.

  • Are you angry at that person?
  • Can you find it in your hear to reconcile before it’s too late?
  • Is it already too late?
  • Can you find it in your heart to forgive yourself and keep living for GOD?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stand Firm!

Luke 21: 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

Have you ever had one of those days when it feels like “everyone” hates you and what you stand for? Well I have had many days like that.  It seemed like the very mention of my name would drive rage in others.  I guess on those days I should get my battle gear on and come out swinging right? Wrong!

  • Standing firm for GOD means giving an extra dose of mercy when I have the power to crush my enemy like a grape.
  • Standing firm for GOD means showing more love to those who take it and trample it to the ground.
  • Standing firm for GOD means praying more for the person who has a bad attitude to prosper instead of wanting their demise.

On those days when “everyone” hates me, I actually have to do a self-inventory to see if I have in fact done something stupid, mean or arrogant. I still may have so my prayer is for “that” person and for me.

GOD has kept HIS promise so far. Not a hair on my head has been harmed and HE has kept my eternal future secure. HE wants me to focus on the true finish line instead of the changing circumstances of the day. 

I can’t even remember the trouble I faced last year because of the troubles I face today! It means that I should not worry about “this” circumstance because GOD brought me through the last one. GOD wants me to “stand firm” HIS way and I will win LIFE.

  • Are you having one of those days?
  • Does it seem like the “good” you do for others is misinterpreted as picking a fight?
  • Are your efforts of love not being recognized?
  • Can you realize that GOD sees your efforts and loves you with supreme love?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Does a title give me respect?

Luke 20:  45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”


After a number of leadership classes and meeting the right people, I was finally “heard” as this was a burning desire of mine for years. I was respected by everyone or at least I thought. When the time came to cut people from the workforce, I had my blade ready and sharpened with my list.

“They’ll be fine and if they aren’t then maybe they shouldn’t have been working in the first place” I justified to myself never once thinking of the widows.

  • Human titles mean nothing to GOD.
  • Human titles do not bring GODLY respect.
  • Human titles can cause me to act arrogantly.

I once overheard someone ask “who is he” about me and the response was “he is the leader of the entire organization.” Wow, that sounded kind of nice and I would try to do anything to keep that power.  I would fire my mother if they told me to.

  • GOD wants me to leverage human titles to be compassionate to many.
  • GOD wants human titles to only be a part of me and not consume me.
  • GOD wants me to be mindful of those in need. (That’s a period at the end of that sentence)

Unfortunately today, titles come with the responsibility of making the “hard calls.” The easier I can make the hard calls the higher the title and the better seat I can get at the banquet. GOD doesn’t mind me being at the banquet as long as I put HIM in the best seat.

  • Would you do “anything” for that title?
  • Would you rearrange your morals to achieve that role?
  • Have you lost who you are trying to be something other people want you to be?
  • Do you even need to be “that” title?
  • Can you achieve that title GOD’s way instead of your way?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I’d rather be broken by GOD!

Luke 20: 17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

   “‘The stone the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone’?

   18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”


There have been times in my life where I flat out made the wrong choices.  I don’t know what drove me to the bad decisions I made. Was it lust? Was it greed? Was it fear, doubt, or worry that drove me to a bad decision? It was probably all of the above.

Sin seemed like the right choice at that time but it “always” made matters worse. Where was I to turn, what was I to do?
  • GOD wants to break my life so HE can save it.
  • GOD wants to break the chains of my small thinking in order to give me freedom.
  • GOD wants to break my habit of trying to do HIS job so that I can sit and watch HIS deliverance!
Pride and arrogance are two things GOD can’t stand about me. I fuel them when I think “I” accomplished something without GOD’s help. HE has infinite ways to crush arrogance and pride out of me.
  • Crushing is final, breaking can be repaired.
  • Crushing means GOD wants nothing to do with me, breaking means HE is fixing me.
  • Crushing is what GOD does to worthless items, breaking is how GOD refines HIS precious implements.
Just like glass is recycled, GOD breaks me, tosses me into HIS furnace of uncomfortable situations and reshapes me into something HE can use. I’d rather fall on “the rock,” as the old folks would say, than have it fall on me.
  • What parts of your life are you trying to hold on to?
  • Is pride and arrogance leading you to be crushed?
  • Have you asked GOD to break you so HE can refine you?
  • Are you trying to manipulate GOD with false humility?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why should I praise GOD?

Luke 19: 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

   “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

   40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”


When I look at life, sometimes it doesn’t seem like I have a lot of good news to spread. You heard it before. The economy is bad, someone else is sick, and “those” people don’t like me. Shouldn’t I praise GOD “after” HE has done something in my life?

  • My complaints are abysmal to GOD.
  • My complaints are only my blindness to what GOD has already done for me.
  • My complaints are my lack of faith in GOD’s love and great plans for me.

JESUS wept over the city of Jerusalem as HE approached it, going on HIS last journey of HIS earthly ministry. HE said “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” You mean I can have peace right now? Yes!

  • GOD wants me to “know” all my problems are not problems they are only delays to heavenly treasure.
  • GOD wants me to “know” my situation has HIS personal attention and HE is not trying to harm me.
  • GOD wants me to “know” HIS plan for me is ultimate and no one can change HIS undying love for me!

Why should I praise GOD you ask? I praise HIM for saving me, for raising me, for teaching me and for seeking me. With every breath, with thought I say thank YOU LORD!

  • What complaints do you have in your heart?
  • Can you control your hear for a little while to praise GOD for what HE is doing in your life?
  • Will you take time to look back at all the times HE has rescued you?
  • Is there someone you can tell about how great GOD is?
  • Have you said these words out loud “Thank YOU heavenly FATHER, Thank YOU JESUS, Thank YOU HOLY SPIRIT for living inside me!?”

Friday, September 9, 2011

My fight should not be with GOD!

Luke 19:  26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.


Many times I have prayed for something very specific.  “LORD please let me pass this test” or “LORD please make this cop change his mind about giving me this ticket.” Sometimes these requests were answered with a “yes” and other times “no.”  GOD seemed random and harsh.

I mean I followed a couple of HIS “rules” yesterday, I went to church this month at least once and I tithed in offering this time, yet I’m in this mess. GOD’s way seems too hard, maybe I should find another way.
  • When I believed JESUS is GOD who died specifically to save me I joined a group of people who would be persecuted.
  • When I believed JESUS is GOD who died specifically to save me I stopped fighting with HIM and began serving HIS humans.
  • When I believed JESUS is GOD who died specifically to save me earthly rewards don’t excite me as much rather I seek heavenly rewards.
My plans will not get me very far without GOD and my complaints about HIM are quite arrogant. “Why do YOU do things ‘this’ way or ‘that’ way” are words that should never cross my lips. I need GOD in every plan and in every battle. My fight is not with HIM because HE saved me and wants the best for me.
  • GOD wants my faith.
  • GOD wants my time.
  • GOD wants my service.
  • GOD wants my belief.
  • GOD wants my love.
HE specifically gave me talents to use for the furthering of HIS kingdom. My fight should be against the things that prevent me from using those talents for HIS purpose. Instead of fighting GOD my battle is with me.
  • Has GOD given you talent or gifts or abilities that you are wasting serving yourself?
  • Have you asked GOD “what do YOU want me to do?”
  • Are you chasing after someone else’s love and not pursuing GOD’s love?
  • Yes times are difficult and GOD still wants you to serve, now what?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is GOD a joke or is HE real?

Luke 19: 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


My life has not been that bad when it comes to cheating, stealing and lying. I mean I did all the above but there are no warrants for my arrest. So that makes me good, right? Wrong!

  • Admitting sin is hard to do especially when I don’t even realize when I have sinned.
  • Admitting sin is hard to do when I have covered up my sin for so long.
  • Admitting sin is hard to do when people made me popular because of those sins.

Zacchaeus was good at stealing from people. He stole and called it his job, namely tax collection. It wasn’t personal, it was business. As a follower of CHRIST, I would go to work and try to leave HIM in the car.

There I would turn into a stone cold warrior who dared people to get in my way. Not praying about my plans I forged ahead to take down my dishonest, arrogant power hungry opponents. Little had I realized I had become like them in order to take them down on their turf. I can’t imagine going back in time and repairing every little sin.

  • When it comes to GOD’s humans, it “is” personal, not business.
  • When it comes to GOD’s humans I should be aware of my proximity to GOD at all times so I can treat them the way HE wants me to treat them.
  • When it comes to GOD’s humans I need to conduct my business above the level at all times.

Just because people around me are acting low down and dirty doesn’t mean I have to do the same. Remaining above the level takes a special relationship with GOD that opens my heart to others while remaining firm in HIS beliefs. HE will protect and defend me in all situations.

  • Is there a sin you have become very good at that you would not admit to anyone?
  • Do you think GOD wants you to hide your sins and keep them only between you and HIM?
  • Can you imagine going back to all those you’ve sinned against and repaying them for your sin?
  • Don’t you want to be free from the guilt of your sins?
  • Do you realize that sin has no power over you if you confess them to the crowd?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I too scream “JESUS!”

Luke 18:  35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
   “Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.


This is one of my favorite passages of the Bible! They tried to shut the beggar up and he screamed for JESUS louder. I remember times of pressure and not knowing where to turn but I put my faith in CHRIST. Let me tell you, when times got tough many people will tried to give me “their” plan and looked at me like I was crazy for trying to follow GOD.

  • When times get tough and I don’t have a plan my soul says “scream JESUS!”
  • When all my plans seem to fall apart and things don’t seem to go my way my soul says “scream JESUS!”
  • When I look around and find more and more people in pain and I don’t have a solution my soul says “scream JESUS!”
I guess the reason I like this account of history is because it showed a person who was in dire need trying to work his plan, begging. Yes, that would feed him, maybe clothe him but he really desired more.

He screamed “JESUS” when he felt the opportunity was about to pass him by! He knew this was his last chance and he wanted to become whole. JESUS made him whole so guess what… I too scream JESUS!
  • Are you blind about something?
  • Do you feel you have lost your direction?
  • Are your plans failing?
  • Have you tried calling on JESUS with every fabric of your soul?
  • Will you believe HE can and will “fix” everything in your life the way only HE can?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GOD Wants One Hundred Percent.

Luke 18:  29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”


Okay, I will admit my greedy dream. There is a specific spot on the lakefront where chemicals have been discharged for years. The stench of air pollutants permeated the air. I wanted to be a billionaire to be able to buy the entire area, clean it up with no excuses and turn it into a high rent district. Why, to make perpetual money and have my slice of paradise here on earth.

  • When GOD makes me wealthy HE expects me to give HIS money to people.
  • When Satan makes me wealthy he expects me to want more and more stuff and less and less GOD.

  • When GOD blesses me with a family HE expects me to follow HIS ways no matter what.
  • When Satan sees I have a family he tempts me to believe I can fix all of their problems so I hold on tight setting false expectations no one can keep

  • When GOD tells me to go and serve HIS people the first thing I need to do is pack and say goodbye.
  • When Satan hears I may go to serve then family matters, relationships and other obstacles seem to surface.

Wait, Satanic that sounds a bit harsh! Anything that takes my eyes “off” of GOD is not “of” GOD. “You should not have any gods before ME,” GOD says. It’s easy to see money can be a god but I never knew my family could become one as well.

GOD owns the money HE has given me and the family HE entrusted to me. HE can do with them as HE pleases. HE wants me to give HIM one hundred percent of my life and stuff.  HE wants me to focus my busy schedule on serving HIM at work or to spend my day seeking people who truly need to hear HIS message. GOD wants me to love HIM more than anything or anyone.

  • Do you want to serve GOD more but you just can’t seem to find the time?
  • Are you waiting for things to be perfect before you begin serving HIM?
  • Can you give to GOD even when your income is lower?
  • Do you think GOD wants ten percent of your money or one hundred percent?