Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be ready for opposition

Acts 17: 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

 5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.


“This is the wrong class” I said to the teacher.  I was supposed to be in Honors English but they put me in the regular class.  I had to fight this for two weeks. Finally I was placed in the correct class.  The Honors English teacher was tough and very unforgiving; in fact she gave me an “F” for the quarter because I had missed a major assignment during the two weeks I wasn’t there.

“Hey that’s not fair” I said to her. Her reply was “life’s not fair.” What was I to do? I had to study harder.

  • Life will dish out situations that are not fair.
  • Life will dish out circumstances that are against me.
  • Life will dish out challenges to my path even though I am trying to do what is right.

Paul and Silas were trying to preach about JESUS but the religious politicians felt their wealth and power were at stake. They falsely accused Paul and Silas and started a riot.  After this incident a lot of unfair things happened but Paul and Silas held their ground and preached about CHRIST in spite of being falsely accused.

  • Even though life may be unfair, I have to persevere towards CHRIST.
  • Even though life may be unfair, I must continue to preach about JESUS’ unconditional love.
  • Even though life may be unfair, I need to depend that GOD has the situation handled.

Any time I take on the challenge of living for CHRIST, I will face opposition. Things will break and relationships will sever. BUT GOD will heal all and fix all with HIS might, grace and love.

  • Are you facing unfair situations?
  • Do you feel you are being wronged?
  • Have you examined your life to see if you are living for CHRIST?
  • If you are living for CHRIST then “why don’t you expect opposition?”

Monday, January 30, 2012

What to do when being attacked.

Acts 16: 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.


Country Western and Blues seem to be how I can describe various times in my life.  You know lyrics like “my dog died”, “my horse left” and “my woman burst into flames.” It seems like there are times when I am trying my hardest to live for CHRIST yet situations come up that feel like I am being beaten with rods. What should I do?
  • There are going to be times when it seems like everyone is against me.
  • There are going to be times when it seems like I should give up and stop trying.
  • There are going to be times when it seems like there is no way out.
Paul and Silas actually praised GOD during their beatings. Wow! You mean they were trying to live for GOD and got beat in public for trying to do what is right? YES! They were publicly humiliated and physically beat for preaching about JESUS.
  • GOD does not want me to be harmed but knows I will face opposition.
  • GOD does not want me to feel like giving up especially when the going gets tough.
  • GOD does not want me to turn away from HIM even when I’m boxed in with no way out.
Praising GOD is amazing! I mean when all circumstances look bleak praise HIM. When everyone around you is losing their heads and blaming it on you, praise HIM. When the road seems to be invisible and speed bumps keep getting larger, praise HIM.

Paul and Silas had a miracle happen when they praise GOD in the midst of their troubles. I have seen the same happen to me.
  • Are you at the end of your rope?
  • Do you feel many if not all people are against you?
  • Do you believe in GOD’s strange tactics?
  • Have you tried praising GOD?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Do you consider me worthy?

Acts 16: 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.


Construction school taught me a lot as I searched for a profession outside of technology. But while I learned a lot, I was inexperienced and I knew no one would hire me at top dollar. I felt I was not worthy of my wages.

The first job I took paid pennies on the dollar. I truly needed to hone my craft so I could eventually charge top dollar. I had to ask to serve as an apprentice.
  • Many times I think people will want my service just because I offer it.
  • Many times I have the misperception that “these people” should feel privileged because I am serving them.
  • Many times I behave like my service is worthy of many pats on the back but I never ask “am I worthy?”
Lydia showed an approach to serving that I feel I am truly missing. I mean I arrogantly jump in there and start serving without asking “what do you need” or “how do you want me to help?” She asked to be examined to see if she was following the LORD and if so “then” she would serve. Wow, I never thought of that!
  • When serving others I can’t look down on them because GOD thinks highly of them.
  • When serving others I must be confident in my skills without being arrogant in my approach.
  • When serving others I have to ask them “am I worthy” to serve you and accept “no” as the answer sometimes.
False humility is a flaw in my service. I believe “asking” how I can serve will help.
  • Are you arrogant in your service approach?
  • Do you really think you are doing “that” person a favor?
  • Are you worthy to serve?
  • Can you have someone examine your approach to serving others and provide you with constructive feedback?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Go back and help.

Acts 15: 36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”


“This party was going to be great” I thought to myself. I had just purchased a new shirt and that coupled with my new cologne was a winning combination to get the ladies to notice me. One of my fathers asked me “what are you doing with your money?”  What a strange question, but I was quick on my feet. “I don’t know” was my retort.

He showed me how to invest and kept following up with me. Wow, what drove this man? I wish I could do something like that!

  • People need me to mentor them even though I may not have much to offer.
  • People need me to reach back and show them the path especially when I fall off it.
  • People need me to develop them and I need people to develop me.

The HOLY SPIRIT told Paul and Barnabas to preach the great news about CHRIST. They were obedient, preached and went on their way.  GOD said, “that’s not enough.”  Go back and check on them and see how they are doing.

  • Mentoring takes time but it’s worth it.
  • Developing others to achieve great things is wonderful especially when coupled to CHRIST.
  • Growing someone to follow the ways of JESUS is the ultimate action I can take.

GOD wants me to seek mentors and be a mentor to someone. With the love I show for others someone will believe in HIS SON.

  • Are you actively seeking a mentor?
  • Do you think you are too old for a mentor?
  • Do you think you do not have anything to offer someone by being a mentor?
  • Are you purposefully seeking ways to grow people in CHRIST?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stop making GOD a religion!

Acts 15: 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”


Appreciation for worshipping in a different style was an acquired taste. I was a self-appointed church critic who gave many reasons why I didn’t attend churches. “This one was too loud” while “that one was too quiet” and “those people were too dressed up” and “those people were not dressed up enough” or “their music just isn’t my music.”

My list had grown quite long. I wonder if I can find a church who can meet my “high” standards!

  • My false expectation of what church should be gets in the way of hearing GOD.
  • My false expectation of how GOD should act takes my eyes off of what HE is doing around me.
  • My false expectation of who should be in “church” makes me seek “comfort” instead of seeking “GOD’s kingdom.”

Rules without grace do not equal a relationship with GOD. Whether it’s a dunk tank versus the ocean it’s still baptism. Whether its rock or rap it’s still singing. The “church” is not a building rather it is a group of broken people gathered together to prepare ourselves for JESUS.

  • I need to listen to what GOD is saying instead of criticizing the preacher.
  • I need to understand that GOD will deal with preachers who preach falsely so it’s not my job to be a critic.
  • I need to treat the gathering of broken people to turn our sins over to GOD as a very sacred time that GOD cherishes.

GOD is much more powerful than my rules; in fact HE doesn’t “need” my teaching, money or prayers. HE gets excited when I willingly gather with people who don’t look the same or act the same but we all are there for the same purpose namely to praise our LORD and SAVIOR who is JESUS.

  • Do you have expectations of what “church” should be?
  • Are you seeking GOD or are you looking for a club to belong to?
  • Can you drop your expectations on how you should “hear” GOD and just listen to HIM?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How committed am I?

Acts 14:  19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

 21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.


Being part of “the club” was an aspiration of mine. After a number of golf lessons I was actually accepted but only on the perimeter of “the club.” I overheard a conversation talking about the body parts of specific coworkers. “Should I join in and compromise the values I stood for?” “Sure” I quickly thought to myself. I was finally in “the club” but at what cost?

  • One reason living for GOD is so tough is because I want my sinful way.
  • Another reason living for GOD is so difficult is because I want the things GOD doesn’t want me to have.
  • Yet another reason living for GOD is so hard is because I don’t want to be uncomfortable or mistreated because I am associated with HIM.

“The Club” represented wealth, great food, and incredible vacations at exotic locations. What it did not have in it was faith, purity, and love. These strange things meant I had to actually give up being in “the club” in order to live for GOD.

I actually tried using faith, purity and love in “the club” and noticed I was placed back on the perimeter and finally I was out of “the club.” The more committed to GOD I became the more “the club” opposed me. I wasn’t even trying to convert them or even win them over nor did I judge their actions. After a while “the club” viewed my kindness as weakness and they hurled stones at me.

Thank GOD for rescuing me out of the club because now I can speak about HIM without worrying about what others think of me.

  • Are you trying to be in “the club?”
  • Are you following behind others who are not committed to CHRIST?
  • Are you actively seeking GOD and things are getting harder for you?
  • Won’t you “hang in there” even if life gets more difficult?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who likes rejection?

Acts 13: 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:

   “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
   that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


Walking across the dance floor seemed like the longest walk in the world. I don’t know how but the boys always ended up on one side and the girls on the other. With confidence I asked someone to dance and with dejection I lurked back over to my friends who were busy laughing.

I mean all I wanted was a dance. Why did I get rejected in front of my friends?

  • Many times I don’t speak about CHRIST because I don’t want to get rejected.
  • Many times I don’t speak about CHRIST because I want to keep my status.
  • Many times I don’t speak about CHRIST because I don’t want to look like a religious fanatic.

Memories of public rejection actually helped me become bolder about speaking about JESUS. I mean actually it was quite funny when I replay the rejection in my mind.  Hair uncombed, untrendy clothes and glasses as large as windshields made for a situation comedy that I later learned to laugh at.

  • When I don’t take myself too seriously I can share my issues with others and speak about JESUS.
  • When I understand that some people will accept what GOD has to say and others won’t, it makes it easier to speak about JESUS.
  • When I drop “my way” and understand “GOD’s way” then I know the person is not rejecting “me” but they are rejecting GOD’s message.

Paul and Barnabas fully understood their words would be twisted but they insisted on telling people about JESUS and spoke to those who would listen.

  • Are you afraid of being rejected?
  • Are you afraid of looking weird because you speak about JESUS?
  • Are you more afraid of humans or are you afraid of not following what GOD wants you to do?

Friday, January 20, 2012

How can I hear GOD?

Acts 13: 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.


“Man, the women are going to be premium!” a coworker said to me. I had never been to a strip club before so I said “sure, why not?” It had been years since I went to church and I was fresh out of college. Then I heard “that” voice say to me “Don’t go in there.”

Of course I quickly ignored the voice because I didn’t want to look like a punk and I wanted to see what I was going to see. After seeing the sad scene of married men ogling over women who really seemed miserable I heard “that” voice again. “Leave and don’t come back.” Okay, this time I better listen.
  • GOD speaks to me all the time I just refuse to listen.
  • GOD speaks to me all the time I simply ignore HIM to get my way.
  • GOD speaks to me all the time I just don’t want to hear what HE has to say.
When the HOLY SPIRIT was placed inside me because I believed JESUS took my punishment in my stead, I now had a leader who speaks softly but firmly. The HOLY SPIRIT tells me exactly what to do and what not to do. All I need to do is listen.
  • When I listen to the HOLY SPIRIT I show grace when it’s clearly the other person’s fault.
  • When I listen to the HOLY SPIRIT I pray for the person who doesn’t deserve prayer.
  • When I listen to the HOLY SPIRIT I step away from the sin I am about to commit.
  • When I listen to the HOLY SPIRIT I serve people out of love not obligation.
Fasting doesn’t make me any holier than anyone else only hungrier, but when I fast, my hunger reminds me to listen to the HOLY SPIRIT. Prayer doesn’t change GOD’s mind, but when I pray I can hear the HOLY SPIRIT calming me down and taking charge of the situation. Praising GOD doesn’t take my problems away, but when I praise HIM, the HOLY SPIRIT clears my thoughts to face each problem head on!


The HOLY SPIRIT reminds me that GOD is so much more powerful than any person, any situation or any sin I have committed. HE is my guide to whom I need to seek and listen to.
  • Can you hear GOD?
  • What is HE saying to you?
  • Have you tuned HIM out to get your way?
  • Do you believe HE can use your broken body for some marvelous works?
  • What are you doing to “seek” GOD today?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

There is no problem that GOD can’t handle!

Acts 11: 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.

10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”


Worries, fears and doubts have attacked me throughout the years. Whether it was someone close who was sick or that boss who seemed overbearing, I have wondered in my mind if I was going to make it through “this” situation.

With my mind racing in every situation the only thing I could think of was doom or maybe a little gloom.

  • In the middle of my problems it’s hard to see GOD.
  • In the middle of my fears it’s hard to see solutions.
  • In the middle of my worries it’s hard to understand the positive side.

Problems can blind me into doubting GOD’s power BUT GOD is faithful to deliver me anyway. HE delivered Peter from an impossible situation because HE had another plan for him. GOD says don’t look at the doom and gloom. HE wants me to look at HIM when trouble comes.

  • GOD is there to rescue me no matter how difficult the situation.
  • GOD is there to protect me even though there may be danger.
  • GOD is there to comfort me in the middle of any pain.

I truly believe GOD has major plans for me and no problem or situation can stop HIS plans!

  • Are you worried about something?
  • Do you realize the problem you are going through is part of GOD’s great plan for you?
  • Can you focus on GOD for a little while and watch HIS deliverance?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Am I too prejudiced to tell others about GOD?

Acts 11: 19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.

20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.


Sitting in a room with a group of people it was quite easy to tell I was the only one of my race. My native language was being spoken, but for some reason, I couldn’t pick up on all of the conversation. References to people I had never heard of and places I had never been made me feel inadequate.

I slowly crept back into the shadows. How can I reach others if “they” don’t include me?

  • Culture will always be a barrier if I let it.
  • Racial differences will always be an excuse if I let it.
  • Other differences in the way people live will always be a reason not to love if I let it.

When I assume people won’t want to hear from me because I look and act different from them I am placing my own prejudice in GOD’s way. “They won’t accept me” is the first thing on my mind so I figure “why try?”

  • GOD can and will use me to speak to any nation HE pleases.
  • GOD’s message is pure and it’s up to me to keep HIS message pure no matter who HE sends me to.
  • GOD uses my uncomfortable situation to “scatter” me to places I never would have dreamed and speak to people I never would have spoken to.

When I try to protect my feelings and even my body I reject GOD’s commandment to me telling me to “go” to all nations. HE simply wants me to have compassion for all humans knowing HIS love is bigger than any cultural, racial or lifestyle differences.

I know JESUS is GOD who died because I sinned. HE is now alive because HE was raised from the dead. Now I am free from the eternal consequences of sin. What great news! Now my message is for anyone who will hear that JESUS is the CHRIST and HIS compassion is endless!

  • Are you segregated in your worship?
  • Do you feel someone of another race or culture will reject GOD’s message of love?
  • What is stopping you from speaking to “that” person about JESUS?

Friday, January 13, 2012

LORD I’m scared!

Acts 9:  11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”


With my mind racing and thinking what could go wrong I entered my boss’s office and asked “why was I chosen to go to the new division I just got on this new project and I want to finish it?” His curt retort was, “my boss’s boss likes you and you are getting a promotion so be happy.”

  • Sometimes the unknown is scary.
  • Sometimes the unknown seems dangerous.
  • Sometimes the unknown looks bleak.

The “unknown” is a place that can be filled with one of two things, fear or faith. If I fill the unknown with fear, doubt and worry then nothing good will happen. I will hide in the shadows, not take the risk or even worse not encourage “that” person whom GOD told me to address.

  • GOD wants me to walk with HIM so I can be fearless.
  • GOD wants me to walk with HIM and accept HIS plan.
  • GOD wants me to walk with HIM to watch HIS might, wisdom and love.

Ananias and I have something in common, we both don’t liked to be stretched by GOD, but when I accept HIS challenge, life becomes adventuresome.

  • Are you afraid of becoming great according to GOD’s plan?
  • What is holding you back?
  • Can you drop your fears and live for CHRIST today?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Someone needs your words

Acts 8: 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

 32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

   “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
   and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
   Who can speak of his descendants?
   For his life was taken from the earth.”

 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.


Disastrous is the best word I could use the first time I went out to “street witness.”  I talked “at” people flinging scriptures over their heads and all but stared them down demanding them to accept CHRIST right then and there. Thoroughly ineffective!

  • GOD wants me to relate to people in order to draw them to HIM.
  • GOD wants me to share my sins with people to let them know HIS power to save anyone.
  • GOD wants me to stop trying to be a know it all and get out there and really help people.

People accept the words I tell them at their own pace. GOD delivers people who are seeking HIM directly to me or HE sends me to places where they are seeking HIM.  HE actually makes it easy for me all I have to do is be ready and obedient.

  • Are you ready to tell people about the GREAT News about JESUS?
  • When is the last time you opened your mouth and told someone about CHRIST?
  • Do you realize you don’t have to know the Bible backwards and forwards to tell someone about CHRIST?
  • Have you said the words “I don’t know, but all I can tell you is JESUS saved me?”
  • Won’t you tell someone about GOD’s greatness today?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What do you do when they are kicking you?

Acts 7: 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.


Bodybuilding was my excuse for lifting weights but in reality I got tired of being pushed around. I just wanted a peaceful existence but I seemed to attracted “intimidators.” From scrawny to brawny I transformed myself into one of the in crowd. Now I could do the intimidating even to my enemies!

  • Fighting evil with evil never works.
  • Protecting myself from intimidators causes me to fight under my own strength.
  • Feeding my temper and rage only leads to disaster.

Instead of praying for my enemies, I wanted to take them down.  My motto became “I’m not going to take this anymore!” I found myself fighting my way to the top and being called “brave” during the ascent. Was it “bravery” or “bullying?”

  • Obtaining my own strength will wear out, but GOD’s strength remains forever.
  • Obtaining my own wealth will disappear, but GOD’s wealth will never be stolen or rust.
  • Obtaining my own pleasure will satisfy me for a moment, but GOD’s way will satisfy me eternally.

I will be the first to say “don’t take my kindness for weakness.” GOD however has taught me that it is HIS strength that makes me mighty.  HE will take care of my intimidators, slanderers, and those who seek only their way. My job is to pray for their wellbeing and hope GOD will intervene in their lives so one day they receive the ultimate gift of true salvation through JESUS.

This isn’t easy so HE gives me practice on a smaller scale daily.

  • Is someone kicking you while you are down?
  • Are you being intimidated?
  • Do you know you will be truly blessed by praying for your enemy?
  • Won’t you let GOD take care of the vengeance and you take care of the grace?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GOD knows

Acts 7: 33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’


On the way back to school I was pulled over for speeding and received a hefty ticket. A month later on the way to court, I was driving the speed limit when a car sped past me yet I was pulled over and given a ticket!

With two tickets under my belt and having barely enough money to pay rent and school I hoped to save up to pay the second ticket which caused a lapse in the fine. Now I owed more! “LORD where are YOU?” I screamed.
  • There are times when GOD seems to have disappeared.
  • There are times when GOD seems so far away.
  • There are times when GOD seems like HE isn’t listening or doesn’t care.
When the pressures of life come crashing at my door I sometimes cave in and just want peace. It makes me want to be silent about the goodness of GOD and slink back in a hole. BUT GOD says something different!
  • No matter how difficult the situation may seem GOD is there with a plan of salvation.
  • No matter how tough the going gets GOD is there to fight my battles.
  • No matter how bleak the situation looks GOD is there to give me peace.
Moses knew he was chosen for something but wasn’t quite ready for what GOD had in store for him. GOD had to take him through the desert otherwise known as “difficult times” to prepare him for true leadership. GOD does the same with me. HE has and is taking me through difficult times to show me HE is in control.

My tiny wisdom and tenacity are useless in difficult situations, BUT GOD’s plans are marvelous and HE is building my faith to follow HIS ways.

  • Are you trying hard to fix your situation?
  • Are you trying hard to fix “that” person?
  • Won’t you let the person or situation go and watch GOD work HIS plan?
  • Can look at “letting go” as not giving up rather you are yielding to GOD and not seeking credit?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bad times are being used for good.

Acts 7: 9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.


Survival was my goal growing up in the city.  I weighed as much as a wet gnat, had un-comb-able hair, tattered clothes and my fighting skills included hiding inside of my nylon jacket. After coming though bullies, robberies, threats and other evil sorts, I wonder how I ever survived.

  • When I’m going through difficult times it’s hard to see the good that can come out of it.
  • When I’m faced with forces of evil people it’s hard to see GOD at my side.
  • When I’m placed in unfamiliar territory with mean people I feel trapped and helpless.

Guns, gangs and graft have never been a match for my GOD.  I have faced muscle bullies and corporate bullies alike, each meaning harm and sometimes it was personal. While I couldn’t see it then I can definitely look back and see GOD was there protecting me all the time.

  • In spite of the bullies, GOD protected my passage safely to and from school.
  • In spite of evil people, GOD raised me higher than most people during my corporate tenure.
  • In spite of thieves, GOD has provided abundantly for me and my family.

GOD has used evil situations to enable me to turn my face back to HIM. Many times I have lost focus on HIM and HE showed HIS unfailing love for me blessing me in spite of me. Now I know “what was meant for evil is now being used for good.”

  • Have you been bullied or abused?
  • Are you being falsely accused about something?
  • Do you realize your story can help someone who is going through the same situation?
  • Won’t you tell others about GOD’s blessings in spite of your situation?

Friday, January 6, 2012

What does GOD want me to “do?”

Acts 6: 1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.

3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”


“Hooray and thank you LORD!” was my exclamation as my running back ran in for a touchdown. I was down in my fantasy football league and I prayed “LORD let me win this game!” The payout from my winnings enabled me to take my family out to dinner.

All the weeks I had put into studying the stats had paid off. I guess I don’t have to give in order to receive since I received without giving… right?

  • Life is so much more than what I can get out of it.
  • Life is so much more than filling my pockets.
  • Life is so much more than winning.

Please don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to watch football and play fantasy football and there is nothing wrong with it. Life, however has more to it than winning a couple of dollars. Life has broken people who have lost everything. Trust me… I understand the need to blow off steam from the pressures of life, but how much?

  • Serving others is a sacrifice to the LORD.
  • Serving others takes a concern away from them and enables them to listen to GOD’s great news!
  • Serving others really isn’t as scary as I thought and I only have to do what I can handle.

Preachers are always looking for help or money is what I used to think. BUT GOD is truly looking for “fruit” from me. HE wants me to sincerely help others in order to draw mankind back to HIM.  My act of service can start in my home and blossom out to my neighborhood and believe it or not GOD will stretch my heart to fit the community and more.

Now that I have served, I do see that I could spend a little less time playing fantasy football and a little more time serving others. GOD is the one who stretched my heart to serve others.

  • Are you absorbed in what you can get from GOD?
  • Have you served lately?
  • Have you burned yourself out on serving?
  • Won’t you pace yourself in serving?
  • Will you add serving to your actions today?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Keep praising GOD anyway.

Acts 5: 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

 41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.


I always wondered if I would have enough faith in GOD to face an extreme situation like the one the Apostles faced with the religious fanatics. I mean they were simply talking about JESUS and what they actually saw with their own eyes. Would I be faithful?

Then the test of my faith arrived but in a much different form when I was challenged to let everyone know my faith or hide it for the promotions. I made it to the top but at what cost?

  • Anything that stops me from talking about JESUS is not where GOD wants me to be.
  • Anyone who tries to douse my message of JESUS is not sided with GOD.
  • Anyplace where I have to hide my relationship with JESUS in order to gain more worldly trinkets is not a place where GOD will grow fruit through me.

I have learned to be excited when I have trials because JESUS and HIS apostles went through extreme difficult times. I can actually see the murky unpopular path that GOD wants me on rather than the clear heavily travelled ungodly path.

If my plans to serve GOD fail, they were not of GOD but of human origin, but if they succeed then those who oppose will find themselves fighting against GOD. The trial is worth it!

  • Have you ever been persecuted for preaching or teaching about CHRIST?
  • Have you ever tried to start living for CHRIST and everything seems to fall apart?
  • Can you stay the course and remain “following HIS way?”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lying to GOD

Acts 5: 1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.


“LORD if YOU would just get me out of this situation, I will never do that again!” I said as I bargained with GOD thinking HE had caught me in my sin and was punishing me for it. “The escapades the night before must have caught up to me and this is why I have this intense pain in my chest!” I thought to myself.

I laid in my apartment in pain because the doctor’s office near me was closed. A day later I found out It was severe gas coupled with the normal pains of weightlifting.

  • GOD cannot be manipulated by my false promises.
  • GOD cannot me moved by my phony act of service.
  • GOD cannot be impressed by my false humility.

Wanting my way while serving GOD has been a struggle for me for years. I dreamt a sinful dream and ignored GOD in my pursuit. Needless to say I broke my promise with GOD, this time with no immediate consequence. “I bet HE is alright with my sin” I reasoned.

  • GOD wants me to worship HIM with my heart not just obligation.
  • GOD wants me to “want” to be with HIM.
  • GOD wants me to place HIM before anyone or anything.

Second, third and fiftieth chances are what GOD has given me over the years. HE taught me that it would be better not serving at all than serving to manipulate HIM. HE also taught me that serving HIM is supposed to be my pursuit so I should seek purity as best I can.

  • Have you ever made a false promise to GOD in order to look good to others?
  • Do you take your promises lightly?
  • When will you start seeking GOD the way HE wants you to seek HIM?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Acts 4: 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.


Green grass has been a pursuit of mine for the longest. What I mean by “green grass” is a society in which everyone respected, helped and especially loved one another.  No problem would be too great for my dream society. Unfortunately I had to wake up from the dream and I noticed many splotches in my “green grass.”

  • The world is never going to be perfect.
  • My dreams will always be challenged by an evil adversary.
  • When I obtain a piece of my dream something else falls apart.

It seems like I can never achieve “heaven on earth.” People seem to act as individuals instead of banning together when the going gets tough. What should I do?

  • GOD says continue to testify about JESUS being LORD!
  • GOD says know the community exists and keep serving in spite of not seeing it.
  • GOD says seek those in need and lay my treasures at HIS feet.

Utopia on earth does not exist or at least I don’t deserve to be in it. I am a sinner and if there is a Utopian society then my sin would mess it up. GOD says I sent my SON to die for the sins of mankind. Belief in HIM enables me to get a free pass into HIS perfect society!

  • Are you frustrated because you don’t have your perfect job or home situation?
  • Are you tired of being sick and tired?
  • Can you focus your attention on the gift of peace from GOD?
  • Are you willing to give up some of your possessions to help others?