Friday, June 29, 2012

Going with the corwd

Galatians 1: 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.


Laughter was the reaction from the crowd the first time I used foul language. That soon became a habit. Enjoyment was the reaction of the crowd as I played games instead of going to class. That soon became a habit. Being known for our parties caused our phone to ring constantly. That soon became a habit.

Everyone was pleased with what I was doing, but was I doing the right things?

  • I can always find a crowd of people who support my sin.
  • When I start sinning it is difficult to stop because the crowd will cheer me on.
  • If I seek human approval I will find it in the wrong places.

My fear was being labeled as being “boring.” I mean I didn’t want to become a hardened criminal but I certainly didn’t want to be labeled as a “Goody, goody” because they finish “last,” don’t they?

  • GOD knows the world will hate me for trying to follow HIM.
  • GOD knows I will be ridiculed for saying JESUS in public.
  • GOD knows I will not be popular for taking a stand for HIS ways but has assured me HIS way is the only way.

The crowd would have me doing things that are not pleasing to GOD. It’s not like I don’t have enough sin of my own. The crowd doesn’t want me to stand for GOD but let people remain in their sin. The crowd says “Who are you to judge, everyone sins especially you.”

Yes, I sin and GOD forgives me daily. HE provides me with hope and has called me to give that same hope to others but they must “confess those sins” and “HE will be faithful and just to forgive those sins and cleanse all unrighteousness.”

Pleasing GOD sometimes means pleasing people but always points to HIM.

  • Are you trying to follow the crowd?
  • Are you hiding your relationship with JESUS because of your title or the crowd you hang with?
  • Are you ashamed to let people know you follow GOD?
  • Can you stop trying to please people and learn to follow GOD?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Five steps to peace

2 Corinthians 13: 11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.


Living “the dream” was something I worked hard at. I mean trying to balance car notes, mortgage, new clothes, schools and an occasional vacation required a well-paying position. Unfortunately this position came with opposition and malice. Then the company faced peril and we faced a downward spiral that could wipe out many jobs.

I had a choice, fight with those who opposed me or restore them to achieve the goal. “Will there ever be enough peace to move forward” I thought to myself.

  • When I have worries I lose my peace.
  • When I am fighting with people I lose my peace.
  • When I am discouraged I lose my peace.
  • When I am in opposition with others I lose my peace.
  • When I am looking for a fight I lose my peace.

I thought living the dream was something to strive for then I found myself in a place without peace. Yes, there was an occasional accolade or two. We had wealth but no peace. Where was I going to find peace?

  • GOD wants me to rejoice in the middle of opposition and I will find peace.
  • GOD wants me to seek “full” restoration of my enemies and I will find peace.
  • GOD wants me to encourage people even when I feel discouraged and I will find peace.
  • GOD wants me to seek unity rather than competition and I will find peace.
  • GOD wants me to live in peace instead of picking fights and I will find peace.

Peace is not a destination it is a gift. All I have to do is open my eyes to what GOD wants me to do and I will have peace. HE said “I will be with you always even until the end of this age.” This statement alone gives me peace. When the enemy sticks his face in mine GOD steps in and protects me.

I no longer have to “wait to exhale” I can exhale through any situation and remain at “peace.”

  • Are you worried about something?
  • Do you have more “month” than “money”?
  • Are you facing some ailment or broken relationship?
  • Will you seek to restore “that” person?
  • Can you take a moment to praise GOD and live in peace today?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weak weapons Strong weapons

2 Corinthians 12: 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.


“Keep a level head,” “Treat people as you want them to treat you,” “Slow down when situations are escalating,” “Don’t stoop to low levels, take the high road” are amongst the many words of advice my mentors have given me throughout the years. As they watched me grow so did my career.

But the people they warned me about in some advice given, got on my nerves. I mean they deserved a few slanderous words and “when I take over I would get rid of them,” I thought to myself. Was I becoming like them?

  • Discord and jealousy get me nowhere but in trouble.
  • Fits of rage and self-ambition put me on an island that no one wants to be on.
  • Slander and gossip are tools for the weak and when I use them it takes away my strength.
  • Arrogance and disorder are the result of losing my cool and using weak weapons.

It takes strength not to fall to “that” person’s level and I have failed at that over and over again. When I do, I don’t want my mentors watching me. It seems like things get in a mess and situations begin popping up all over the place. BUT GOD gave me different weapons to use.

  • GOD gave me “prayer” which is an open door to come to HIM with any situation I’m in.
  • GOD gave me “faith” to be used when my selfish ambitions get in the way.
  • GOD gave me “promises” that if I serve others HE would reward me abundantly, if not in this life then in the next.
  • GOD gave me “love” to be dished out on those I want to slander so I can see the example HIS SON did for me.

“But they are acting a fool” I thought to myself. GOD says “Follow MY gently, faithful, kind, merciful, loving ways and you will always be fine. “I guess I better get back on the high road and not let them take me down” was the thought that set my course straight.

  • Is someone getting on your nerves?
  • Do you feel rage building up just thinking about “that” person?
  • Can you slow your thoughts down enough to see and hear GOD’s ways?
  • Won’t you listen to HIM and show “that” person some love?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

True Strength

2 Corinthians 12:But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


One hundred thirty pound weakling was the best description of me after college. I joined the local gym in hopes of gaining some muscle. Slightly intimidated, I eased my way into the free weight area and attempted to bench press. Muscle guys stared intently as I struggled to lift the weight. After I finished they asked, “are you done?”

“Yes” I said and they began to add weight and bench ten times what I was lifting. My strength was not adequate to help them if they needed a spot.

  • My strength will not get me very far in life.
  • My strength comes in short bursts and quickly runs out.
  • My strength sometimes feels helpless in situations I cannot control.

Whenever I am facing some difficult situation I think my strength is sufficient. I mean I start working on stuff as fast as I can in hopes that “my strength” can deliver me. There is one flaw to my plan. My strength isn’t strong enough to erase wrong or create right. My strength is laced with holes and powered by fear and weakness. My strength is not adequate.

  • GOD says “MY grace is sufficient for you” which means HE does not need “my strength.”
  • GOD says “MY power is made perfect in weakness” which means I have to admit I am weak.
  • GOD says “MY SON paid the price” which means I don’t have to seek a savior any longer, I found one.

GOD’s strength is infinite. HE handles all situations with extreme precision and wisdom. HE loves when I step back and watch HIM clear up the situation. HE loves when I recognize HIM as being GOD.

  • Are you trying to do things under your own strength?
  • Are you attempting to fix your own situation with sin?
  • Will you try GOD’s power for a change?
  • Won’t you step back and watch HIM work in your life?

Monday, June 25, 2012

When I’m weak HE is strong

2 Corinthians 11: 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.


“This is my year” I thought to myself. The promotion would be mine because our team worked hard and we delivered on time and well within budget. Now it was time to tell people about our accomplishments. Every year we would do performance appraisals and I listed all the things “I” oops “we” had accomplished.

When I didn’t get the promotion a mentor told me I need to learn how to brag about myself without sounding like I’m bragging. I wonder if GOD wants me to do this.

  • When I brag about myself I’m seeking approval from people who may not have my best interest in mind.
  • When I boast about my accomplishments I overlook the one who made them come true.
  • When I brag about my actions I may be trying to cover up flaws.

Boasting draws the attention to me and once everyone is watching, I need to keep on boasting otherwise they will see my broken parts. This vicious cycle does not work well with the LORD because I leave HIM out of the picture.

  • When I show others my weaknesses it takes their eyes off of me and puts them on the LORD.
  • When I show others my defects it enables others to bring their defects to the LORD.
  • When I show others my problems it opens the door for people with the same problem to give it to the LORD.

“Why am I bragging” is the question I had to ask myself. Is it to get another award or accolade? Do I feel better when others celebrate “my” accomplishments? Well, to tell the truth I believed bragging was my way to the top. BUT GOD wants me to use the light inside of me to focus the attention on HIS SON.

HE doesn’t want me to be proud of my weaknesses rather HE wants me to openly admit I have them and HE is the forgiver and gives me eternal life. He wants my weakness to point to HIS strength.

  • Are you busy trying to be something in front of people?
  • Are you seeking approval from people who cannot see GOD inside of you?
  • Can you stop trying to seek human approval and seek GOD’s blessings?
  • Will you open yourself up to show your weaknesses so you don’t have to hide any longer?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fake light

2 Corinthians 11: 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.14  15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.


Critical of another preacher, I left this church too. I mean it was obvious he was sleeping with half the congregation and taking their money. When I finally settled on a church I became a Sunday School teacher. This place was perfect because the congregation was a little older. I could still go out on Saturday’s and no one would know.

Then one Sunday someone came in and yelled across the room at me… “We had a great time at the club last night.” My high school students knew exactly which club and knew just how phony I had been.

  • When I try to act righteous I shine fake light.
  • When I try to act “goody-goody” I shine fake light.
  • When I try to act like I don’t sin I shine fake light.
  • When I try to act like sin and holiness can live together in harmony I shine fake light.

Fake light is produced when I try to manipulate the Bible’s words to get my way. When it is convenient to use its words in my favor I produce something that repels people away from GOD versus drawing them closer. If I want revenge then I can say “an eye for an eye” but when I have done wrong I can say “the LORD forgives sin.” Where is the true light?

  • GOD is not hypocritical so I can put my trust in HIM.
  • GOD’s word does not contradict itself so I should take it entirely in context.
  • GOD’s methods are unmatched so Satan’s temptation can never fix what is truly broken.

Fake light is dangerous. It goes out and seeks a crowd to justify its actions. It knows sin and is not willing to admit it. Justification is in fake light rather than sanctification. BUT GOD is the true light. JESUS volunteered to become the only human to live sinless. HE, being GOD, became lower than me and took my punishment. Now HE is alive and I am forgiven. Now that’s light!

  • Do you know the “true” light?
  • Are you following fake light and fighting to get your way?
  • Won’t you turn your life over to the true light?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I declare myself the winner!

2 Corinthians 10: 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 18 


Sitting at the traffic light with my eyes fixed on the red, I prepared to hit the gas the moment the light changed. Of course the driver in the lane next to me didn’t even know they were in a race. Every once in a while my minivan full of people would run up against a person in a sports car who was aware of my tactics leaving me in a cloud of dust. I couldn’t declare myself the winner that time!

  • When I think I am better than I am I fall on my face.
  • When I believe I am better than other people reality brings me back down to earth.
  • When I perceive my performance is better than it actually is then I open myself up for some harsh criticism.

I can rationalize myself to be better than “that” person or “those” people over there simply by setting a goal only I know or comparing myself to people who aren’t doing the things I’m doing. I hand pick my competition and wallop them without them knowing declaring myself “winner.” Then I boast about my achievement.

  • GOD enjoys when I point people to HIM and not on my self-declared status.
  • GOD loves when I point people to HIM and not on my self-declared accomplishments.
  • GOD elates when I point people to HIM and not on my self-declared righteousness.

All that I accomplish needs to be credited to GOD. HE needs to be the one who says “well done my good and faithful servant” based on how I treat others. HE looks at my thoughts and attitude and can easily discern my motives. My bragging should be that GOD is the only one who is “good” and all I have achieved comes from HIM.

  • Are you comparing yourself to someone?
  • Are you busy looking at your accomplishments thinking you are “good” or “bad?”
  • Can you stop comparing and just live for CHRIST at least for today?
  • Won’t you brag about what GOD is doing for you instead of trying to be noticed?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I have an arsenal available to me

2 Corinthians 10:The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


“Woe is me” I thought to myself many times. I mean “that” person didn’t treat me right or I didn’t win the contest or I was broke again or someone including myself felt sick. “Can’t I ever get ‘my’ way?

  • I fight against GOD when what I want isn’t what I need.
  • I struggle with GOD when HE delays my deliverance.
  • I wrestle with GOD when I lose my faith in HIM and try to go my own way.

There is something inside me that says “this GOD stuff is too hard, give up and go your own way.” The problem with that crazy statement is “which way can I go outside of GOD?” The very thought that I can do better without GOD puts me on the wrong path. Soon my thoughts attack HIS intentions and even still they attack HIS existence. How do I combat this?

  • GOD gave me HIS Bible to keep my mind focused on HIS wonderful promises for me.
  • GOD gave me five senses to see, smell, hear, taste and touch HIM daily.
  • GOD gave me HIS HOLY SPIRIT to live inside me and comfort me when things go wrong.
  • GOD gave me HIS SON who died in my place giving me free access to the FATHER whom I can ask for anything.

This little situation or that one cannot match the weapons GOD has given me. In fact, once I assess the situation I notice my faith is really being attacked and I am tempted not to use my weapons. GOD says “try ME out and watch the outcome.” HE changes me to be stronger to handle the situation while bringing others along.

The power is with GOD and while I may not get “my” way I will get the best way!

  • Are you battling something?
  • Is there something in your life making you doubt GOD?
  • Can you look at the weapons GOD has given you to protect you?
  • Will you help someone realize GOD’s power today?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Do I really “have” to give?

2 Corinthians 9:Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.


One dollar. What can anyone buy for a dollar? Yet this was my “offering” to my local church on a weekly basis. It’s not the dollar that’s the problem, it’s how much I earned that was the issue.  I was making a lot more than that dollar but my “lifestyle” had changed. I mean I wasn’t very extravagant and I had my needs.

  • I needed the new watch that would go with the suit I had just purchased or so I thought.
  • I needed some shoes to match the new suit I had just purchased or so I thought.
  • I needed a lavish vacation to fit in on the conversations at work or so I thought.

GOD doesn’t need my money but HE wants me to not love is so much that I don’t want to share it.  HE wants me to give and be excited that I am able to give. HE provides me with people who are generous and they show me great examples of excited giving.

  • GOD wants me to view my bills as the annoyance and my giving as excitement.
  • GOD wants me to sometimes do without in order for someone to have their needs met.
  • GOD wants me to surrender what I think is mine so HE can take care of me the way HE wants to.

At the end of my life the measure of success should not be my bank account rather it should be how much I have given. It actually is exciting to see someone receive a little relief from the debts that are sometimes hurled in our path. GOD loves when I am a part of helping someone.

  • Are you a cheerful giver?
  • Are you generous?
  • Do you know generous people or are you the only one giving?
  • Can you modify your thoughts on giving and remain cheerful?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Am I excited to help?

2 Corinthians 9:For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.


“What are you guys doing” my supervisor inquired. We had lost track of the time and didn’t realize and hour and a half had passed. “Have you unloaded the truck yet” were the next words out of his mouth. Our laughter and smiles were replaced with reluctance and remorse.

“Just watch yourselves; you know you can be replaced.” While these were not the most motivating words, they rang true. He wanted someone who wanted to be there to work.

  • When I do things out of reluctance I don’t put my all to it.
  • When I perform tasks I don’t want to do, I half do them without caring about the outcome.
  • When I see a painful thing coming towards me, I calculate just how much pain I can tolerate and it usually isn’t much.

Being ambivalent or having animosity towards a task or situation leaves me in a state of low enthusiasm.  I find myself going through the motions rather than attacking it with power and excitement. Unfortunately I treat GOD this way. I mean when I’m not getting my way I find myself giving up on serving HIM or waiting on HIM.

  • GOD wants me to be excited about HIS gift of salvation so HE wants me to be eager to help.
  • GOD desires that I know HE already has a great outcome to the problem so HE wants me to be eager to help.
  • GOD wishes that I understand HIS unconditional love and HE loves when I am eager to help.

My eagerness to show mercy, love, generosity and kindness draw people to GOD in ways I don’t understand. When I see people who are going through trouble, yet they are eager to serve I get inspired. I don’t mean to be phony, I mean they know they have issues and refuse to let them get them down.

  • Are you eager to serve GOD?
  • Are you excited to face whatever comes your way today?
  • Are you enthusiastic about the outcome GOD has determined for you?
  • Will you show someone your excitement today?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Got any spare change?

2 Corinthians: 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”


My first assignment downtown was an eye-opener. As I stepped off the train I found myself marching to the rhythm of the massive crowd migrating toward my destination. Amongst the flurry of activity of taxis, coffee shops and traffic I heard a voice, “got any spare change?” Of course I do was my first response and I donated gladly.

Days, months and years into the routine my zeal for giving turned into a critical statement. “Look at them… I bet they are using the money for drugs or alcohol. I’m not giving my hard earned money to them.” Then it hit me, I forgot to make my reservations in the three star hotel for our vacation. Three stars instead of five kept me humble right?

  • Many times I avoid people in need.
  • Many times I avoid direct contact with someone who wants something because I think I don’t have enough to give.
  • Many times I rationalize not giving and wind up using the money on myself.

It is extremely easy to avoid giving. In fact the more I had the easier it was to avoid seeing people who truly needed my help. I found myself in conversations with people discussing wine cellars and humidors when at one point I didn’t even know what those things were. Lavish vacations were quite enjoyable BUT GOD wants something different.

  • GOD says “The poor you will always have” and HE desires I seek to serve when I’m wealthy or be served when I’m poor.
  • GOD says “When you serve someone a cup of water you have served ME” so HE wants me to seek other to serve.
  • GOD says “Show and share your talents and I will give you more” which means HE will give as long as I’m willing to give.

GOD isn’t looking to make me wealthy just to be a snob, HE wants me to give when I have plenty and if HE takes my wealth away HE wants me to accept gifts from others. Humility in giving and accepting gifts is GOD’s balance.

  • Are you nervous about giving?
  • Do you think you don’t have enough to give?
  • Are you hoarding money for yourself or are you purposefully seeking opportunities to give?
  • Does GOD want you to give to “that” person today?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What kind of “sorry” should I use?

2 Corinthians 7: 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.


Let’s not dwell on how fast I was going when the policeman pulled me over. Let’s focus on my “usual” practice. I had my speech all ready and prepared in my mind in hopes I would not get a ticket. “I’m sorry officer” were the first words out of my mouth but his response surprised me and sticks with me to this day.

“Are you sorry you did this or sorry you got caught?” Wow, I never thought of it that way. I wonder what kind of sorry I was.

  • Sometimes I say I’m sorry because I feel that’s what the other person wants to hear.
  • Sometimes I say I’m sorry just to end the conflict.
  • Sometimes I say I’m sorry to get out of trouble and hopefully get away with what I’m doing.

GOD sees the depths of my heart. HE knows if I am truly “sorry” or not. HE can see when I am trying to get my way versus truly being accepting of whatever punishment I deserve. HE knows how I would act if I were truly “sorry.”

  • When I show “GODLY sorrow” I want to change my ways.
  • When I show “GODLY sorrow” I desire for everyone to know what I’ve done instead of hiding it.
  • When I show “GODLY sorrow” I seek to find what GOD wants me to do rather than trying to look good in front of everyone.

It’s not easy to admit when I have wronged someone or when I have blatantly disregarded GOD but when I use “GODLY sorrow” my mindset changes and HE delivers me out of the circumstance with a little punishment. Yes I said a little punishment and well deserved, but afterwards HIS mercy leads me to salvation and “no regret.”

  • Have you been committing blatant sins and have no intention of changing your ways?
  • Are you busy looking at what other people are doing and not looking at yourself?
  • Can you admit things to GOD and accept HIS actions?
  • Will you seek “GODLY sorrow” today?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HE promised to be with me.

2 Corinthians 6: 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”


“First days” seem to be a bit rough for me. On the first day of school I didn’t know anyone and it seemed everyone was playing as I stood and watched. I felt lonely. On the first day of the convention I walked around and it seemed like everyone knew each other. I was new and in unfamiliar territory. I felt alone.

  • Sometimes when I’m in a large crowd, I feel alone.
  • Sometimes when I’m in a room full of people, I feel lonely.
  • Sometimes when I’m in a place where I don’t know the people around me I feel secluded.

The desire to “fit in” becomes an obstacle to my walk with CHRIST. Even though people may be going against GOD I think to myself “wouldn’t it be great to have ‘fun’ like them?” GOD wants more from me.

  • GOD wants me to worship HIM as GOD not a wish maker.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIS ways not make ways for HIM to follow.
  • GOD wants me to “know” that HE will be with me always even when I think I’m alone.

I am never alone.  HE promised to be right there with me every step of the way. HE is my GOD and I am HIS person. HE protects me, guides me and comforts me in the time of my worries. HE is GOD.

  • Do you feel alone even when you are around people?
  • Do you think no one cares about you?
  • Can you trust GOD’s love for you?
  • Will you seek HIM today so HE can show you HIS love?

Monday, June 11, 2012

I am confident

2 Corinthians 5:Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.


Tense was the atmosphere we had during one of the reorganizations. You could cut the tension with a knife. Everyone was waiting to see if they had a position. Would they be pulled into the office down the hall? What would they say once in there?

They called me in and said “You have a position with us, go home and don’t discuss this with anyone at work.” I was relieved! I could go home and rest. My job was guaranteed and suddenly I could act differently and think differently. I could act with confidence. I wish I had this all the time.

  • My confidence is shallow when I depend on my job status.
  • My confidence is shallow when I depend on my money.
  • My confidence is shallow when I depend on my wits.

Sometimes I forget that GOD made me.  I mean sometimes I think I am on this planet for “my” ambitions not HIS. When I stop getting my way I lose my confidence.

  • GOD wants my confidence to be in HIM not in “me.”
  • GOD wants my confidence to be on HIS purpose not just my ambitions.
  • GOD wants my confidence to be centered on HIS faithfulness not on what I can see.

When I think about the things I cannot see, I get worried.  I say to myself “I can’t see how this situation is going to change.” Inevitably GOD steps in and shows HIS might and supremacy over the circumstance.

  • Where is your confidence?
  • Do you have more confidence in yourself than in GOD?
  • Can you start putting your confidence in GOD today?
  • Will you ask HIM for a double helping of faith?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Have heart, have hope.

2 Corinthians 4: 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


My hard working parents bought me a gift for Christmas but it wasn’t what I wanted. I cried and couldn’t see their effort nor could I see that actually the gift was better than the thing I wanted until I began to play with it.

My car died on the side of the road in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. I sulked and wondered why I had this raggedy car and couldn’t see that about ten minutes later a couple would pick me up and would pray with me. I guess I lose heart too quickly.

  • When I focus on my momentary troubles I lose heart quickly.
  • When I look at my current situation I build up worry quickly.
  • When I see my immediate problem I create fear quickly.

Every time I think there is no hope, GOD steps in and shows HIS marvelous plan.  HE knew I would be in trouble and HE knew I would need the thing HE planned.  I fret, fray and fight the situation meanwhile GOD is busy handling what is going on.

  • GOD renews my mind and SPIRIT daily.
  • GOD gave me eternal glory that outweighs any situation.
  • GOD is my guide to the other side of my problems.

HE placed HIS light in me to work out all situations, troubles and attacks. HE gave me another tool to fight fear and that is to focus on what is unseen rather than what is seen. GOD is on the other side of this and every situation which gives me hope.

  • Have you lost your hope?
  • Can you stop focusing on what you see and focus on what GOD is doing?
  • Will you believe GOD has this situation all worked out with a better plan than you can see?
  • Can you stop worrying for a short period of time to praise GOD today?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where does my confidence come from?

2 Corinthians 3:Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.


After hours of study I felt prepared.  You would think I would have done this kind of studying my entire academic career but this time it was do or die.  My vigorous study came after I had been placed on academic probation which meant if I did not pull my grades up I would be kicked out of college. “LORD I need your help” I cried out.  

I actually got on the dean’s list for great grades that semester.

  • Sometimes I think “I” am smarter than I give GOD credit for.
  • Sometimes I believe it takes extra effort from “me” instead of asking GOD.
  • Sometimes I surmise that I know it all and I need not consult GOD on my affairs.

GOD says “it is a fool who says there is no GOD” and I was acting as if HE didn’t exist. I never consulted HIM, never reflected on HIM and did not commune with HIM but when I wanted something I was willing to act deserving and then blame HIM when the answer was “No.”

When I got on probation in the first place I asked GOD to give me all the knowledge I needed at the last minute. Obviously “no” was the answer. That situation made me think about GOD a little differently.

  • My wisdom comes from GOD but I should ask for it instead of expecting it.
  • My competence comes from GOD but I still have to work at honing my craft.
  • My confidence comes from GOD but I still have to face the issues and solve the problems of today.

My expectations should be centered around GOD and HIS power.  Wisdom, knowledge and understanding are gifts I cannot take credit for.  At all turns, I need to thank GOD for what HE has bestowed on me.

  • Do you think you are smart?
  • Do you believe you have it all together?
  • Can you stop looking at yourself and give GOD credit for your wisdom?
  • Won’t you use the wisdom HE has given you to further HIS kingdom?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Does the Bible say “Forgive AND Forget?”

2 Corinthians:Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.

10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,
11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.


Way back in third grade I had a fight that I didn’t start. I remember. Also one time there was a bully who tried to beat me up. I remember. Oh yes I remember the hoods who robbed me and I remember the stuff “those” people did to me.  How can I “forget” what they did?

  • The longer I hold on to past issues the harder it is to forgive.
  • The more I replay the malefaction in my mind the harder it is to forgive.
  • The more comfortable I feel being a victim the harder it is to forgive.

I asked myself “where in the world the Bible says to “forget” the sin someone has committed towards me” and I honestly couldn’t find it. The Bible does tell me over and over to forgive. Satan wants me to replay the problem over and over so I will continue to be mad and hold a grudge.

  • Forgiveness is a conscious act of mercy and both parties are well aware of the issue.
  • Forgiveness is an action that enables me to release the plight of living in the past.
  • Forgiveness is a weapon I can use against Satan’s attack to drive “us” apart.

GOD forgets the sins I have done.  In fact HE removes my sin as far as the east is from the west. HE says “I will remember their sins no more” as HE pours out HIS love on me. This is great! I mean I am truly forgiven and GOD doesn’t walk around pouting and waiting on me to make a mistake.

I still remember the sins others have committed but GOD wants me to not dwell on the past. Forgive the person as an action and time will help me forget.

  • Can you forgive “that” person?
  • Will you look at forgiveness as an act of mercy?
  • Even if the person will not own up to the issue, can you be bigger and forgive them?
  • Can you use forgiveness as a weapon against the divisive attack on you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Something to depend on

2 Corinthians 1: 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


“I’m going to be there” I said to someone. I sent my response in and noted the event on my calendar. On the day of the event I couldn’t make it.  I was unreliable.

  • Many times I have promised things and let people down.
  • Many times I have good intentions but fall short on execution.
  • Many times I have plans that just don’t seem to come to fruition.

I am so glad GOD didn’t leave salvation totally up to me.  HE strengthens my belief in HIS SON and has set me apart for an eternal relationship with HIM. GOD has placed HIS SPIRIT inside me so I can reap the benefits.

  • Faith comes from GOD and it is a gift I desire more of.
  • Wisdom comes from GOD and it provides the right guidance to follow HIM.
  • Generosity comes from GOD and HIS SON modeled this action to the letter.
  • Salvation comes from GOD and there is nothing I can do but praise HIM for it.

GOD did a remarkable thing.  HE placed HIS seal on me and HIS SPIRIT inside me to guarantee my salvation. HE watches over me daily and guides me to peace.  HE holds my future and has protected my past. This is what I depend on.

  • Are you uncertain about your future?
  • Have you started believing lies about yourself?
  • Can you believe GOD has taken care of everything for you?

Monday, June 4, 2012

A way out of the fire

2 Corinthians 1:Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.


It seemed like the year of “death” was never going to end. We had attended more funerals than we could count on both hands and it just did not stop. Meanwhile bills mounted higher and the demands kept coming. Is there any relief?

  • There are times when troubles get to me.
  • There are times when life presses me on all sides.
  • There are times when I just want some relief from the trial.

During these pressing times it seems like GOD doesn’t hear me or care about me. I mean why do I have to go through the trial anyway? Can’t GOD just zap the lesson I’m supposed to learn in me without the trial?

  • When I go through trials it isn’t just to learn a lesson of discipline it is to learn empathy.
  • When I go through trouble it isn’t just for punishment it is to strengthen some weak areas.
  • When I go through tribulation it isn’t just for evil to “win” this time it is to show others what comfort GOD has shown me when I come out the other side.

GOD is the GOD of compassion.  HE knows what I’m going through at all times. HE definitely knows what trials I’m facing and what I’m worried about. HE knows I seek comfort and HE is ready to give it to me in abundance but it may be in a different way than I think.

HE may take me through a trial just to bring me through it to help someone else with that same trial. GOD has an abundance of comfort for me. HE tells me to hold on through this trial because HE is with me.

  • Are you going through trials?
  • Are you facing some trouble that seems like there is no way out?
  • When the trial is over can you tell someone how GOD brought you comfort?