Monday, July 30, 2012

I should act “chosen”

Ephesians 1:Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.


“Predestination” is hard to explain. Okay it’s impossible for me to explain.  GOD chose me way before I ever “believed” so does that make me a robot? I don’t think so.

  • Just because GOD made me I can still reject what HE wants me to do.
  • Just because GOD wants me to live I can still chose to follow the path of death.
  • Just because GOD desires that I love I can still show hatred and judgment to “those” people.

GOD saw me and forgave me before the Earth was made but I still have “choice.” Choosing to reject GOD and HIS ways somehow holds more consequences than losing some rewards in heaven. I should never get comfortable and think “I am saved so I can sin as much as I want to.”

  • GOD chooses people but HE still wants me to tell people about HIS SON.
  • GOD draws people to HIMSELF but HE still wants me to go out to all nations and speak about HIS SON.
  • GOD wrote HIS rules on every human’s heart but HE still wants me to reach out to as many people to keep them from rejecting the HOLY SPIRIT.

GOD chose me before HE made the “foundations of the earth.” HE loves “all” humans yet HE knows all of us would not choose HIM. HIS SON volunteered to die for my sins and through belief in the act of love I can have eternal life. I no longer reject GOD’s ways but accept HIS supreme leadership. I can now act like I have been chosen and show love to others.

  • Are you stuck on trying to eradicate a single sin out of someone’s life?
  • Are you focused on trying to stop sin rather than pointing people to CHRIST?
  • Is your life an example of GOD or are you a poster child against GOD?
  • Can you praise GOD for your blessings today?

Friday, July 20, 2012

From tragedy to triumphant

Galatians 6:Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.


Disturbed by another heinous act of violence I ran through many emotions and thoughts this morning. “Why did another shooter take so many lives?” was the first thought on my mind. Then I immediately tried to figure out who to blame. What a tragedy! Can’t we ever just live peaceful lives?

  • When I think other people will bring me peace I am highly mistaken.
  • When I blame others for stealing my peace I am highly mistaken.
  • When I believe circumstances are too bleak to ever have peace I am highly mistaken.

There are many tragic situations that happen on a daily basis. In fact it seems more like they are happening each hour! BUT GOD doesn’t want me to be shaken by tragedy rather focus on triumph!

  • When I encourage someone I overcome tragedy.
  • When I choose to praise GOD instead of venting frustration I overcome tragedy.
  • When I place blame in the grave and uphold the ways of the SPIRIT I overcome tragedy.

I could point to others and say “look at this sick society” or I can say “how can I lift someone up today?” I believe it’s obvious which one GOD wants me to do. GOD wants me to exclaim the GREAT NEWS about HIS SON who went through tragedy and became triumphant.  

  • Are you feeling defeated?
  • Do you blame others for your situation?
  • Do you blame others for the direction the nation or the world is headed?
  • Can you take today’s tragedy and become triumphant?
  • Won’t you encourage someone today and defeat tragedy?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

But “they” are wrong!

Galatians 6:Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.


Peering in his eye and listening to his words, I sensed inconsistencies that just didn’t add up. There was a hint of sincerity but the actions just weren’t there. His cry for help fell on deaf ears and I gave up on this so called transformed alcoholic. I mean he brought it on himself right? Hmm… it’s complicated!

  • I spend way too much time assessing if someone needs my help instead of giving help.
  • I spend way too much time thinking how to get out of helping people instead of asking the LORD for more strength.
  • I spend way too much time judging if people “deserve” my help instead of just helping.

Passing the usual homeless person or avoiding the new business owner or speaking harshly to the person who obviously messed up became habits I could easily justify. I mean they brought it on themselves right? Yeah… maybe BUT GOD wants me to view things differently.

  • GOD’s job is to save or punish as HE pleases, my job is to restore.
  • GOD’s job is to take vengeance if necessary, my job is to pray for my enemy.
  • GOD’s job is to penetrate the heart, mind and soul, my job is to take care of those HE delivers to me.

I have to tell the truth, when someone does some low down stuff, “on purpose” I get pretty angry and I’m ready to fly off the handle. GOD wants me to think “full restoration” for that person and HE will handle the rest. In fact the more harshly I want their punishment the harsher HE will be on me “when” I commit the same sin. HE is teaching me to restore others and carry my own load.

  • Has someone obviously messed up?
  • Can you get beyond what they have done and move on the way GOD will have you move on?
  • Do you realize the incident has stolen your peace?
  • Can you restore them so you can get your peace back?
  • Are you on guard not to fall to the same sin?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Keeping in step with the SPIRIT

Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 24 25 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


“This party is off the charts!” someone said to me. Yes I said charts. We had the right combination, good music, silly people, drunkenness and lots of women! After a pretty “fun” night, the next morning I slugged to the cafeteria. A person was there trying to persuade me to go to church. “Who are they?” I said to myself.

I believe in JESUS already.  I’m just having “fun.”

  • When I do what I want I get out of step with GOD.
  • When I ignore GOD I lose my direction.
  • When I lose my direction I feel hopeless.

After my “fun” I always seemed to have a sense of loss as if I had an opportunity to please GOD and I let HIM down. Yes I know “once saved always saved” but it seems like there is more to life than just being “forgiven by GOD.”

  • GOD placed HIS SPIRIT in me to bear the fruit of love, joy and peace to show others HE cares.
  • GOD placed HIS SPIRIT in me to bear the fruit of forbearance, kindness and goodness to show others HE desires a relationship with anyone who wants HIM.
  • GOD placed HIS SPIRIT in me to bear the fruit of gentleness and self-control to help others when they are down.

When I am out of step with GOD I don’t feel very fruitful.  I feel like running and hiding, which doesn’t help anyone. GOD wants me to bear fruit.  HE wants me to remain “in step” with the SPIRIT. HE shows me HIS fruitful attributes and desires that I do the same. The more “fruit” I add to my diet the more “fruit” I will bear.

  • Are you bearing fruit?
  • Do you feel your lifestyle is drawing people to CHRIST or repelling them?
  • Can you add one or more items of SPIRITUAL fruit to your actions today?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spiritual Yeast Infection

Galatians 5:“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”


Lies were not easy to tell around my house because it seemed like my parents were always on top of things so I moved my “lying” operation to my classmates.  It was easy to lie and make up stories that would make me look good. I got better and better at my lies.  Once I was in the middle of a lie and asked myself “what will I gain from this lie?”

  • If I start lying then my lies grow bigger and I get better at it.
  • If I take a paperclip from work then I will justify taking more and more.
  • If I use one person then I will seek more to use.
  • If I scam someone then I can scam my way to get what I want right? Wrong!

Yeast is sin and it only takes a little to ruin me or even worse ruin a group of people.  Once my morals have been breached then it is only a matter of time in which I am dragging others down in the gutter with me.  How can I get rid of this “yeast infection?”

  • When I see others as GOD sees them then I remove my “yeast infection.”
  • When I crave to be mature in CHRIST then I remove my “yeast infection.”
  • When I do what GOD wants me to do instead of doing what I want to do then I remove my “yeast infection.”

A little sin does ruin the entire person and takes down entire groups of people. It blinds people to the truth making them think they are well when they really aren’t.  I should know, I think I’m fine every day. BUT GOD knows my “sin” illness very well and the more I turn to HIM the more HE works through me.

HE is the only one who can eradicate my sin and declare me innocent of my guilt. All I have to do is “admit” my guilt to HIM and HE will do the rest.

  • What path are you on?
  • Do you believe you are healthy by your own actions?
  • When is the last time you have admitted your wrong actions to GOD?
  • Since CHRIST paid the price for your sin, does that give you a license to continue to sin without admission?
  • Won’t you make some effort in giving up some of your sin by asking for help from GOD?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Am I consistent?

Galatians 4: 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.


Lunch was a time we looked forward to.  We would head out with zeal to our favorite grazing areas.  Soon we would think of excuses for taking longer and longer lunches. Our zeal for leisure turned into careful planning. We had developed elaborate games to increase our enjoyment. This required others to tell us when our boss was coming so we could “look” like we were working hard.

“You guys haven’t unloaded that truck yet” my supervisor exclaimed. We thought of some lie to get him off our back then we went back to work. I wonder if they appreciated my work ethic.

  • I fail in my character when I am good in front of one group and faulty around another.
  • I send mixed messages when I am good sometimes and sneaky other times.
  • I misplace my “zeal” when I use it for things that may not be as pleasing to GOD.

My zeal can cause me to act inconsistent. I can want something so bad that I alter my behavior to get what I want even if it is not aligned with GOD. Then I try to “act” good when in reality GOD is watching my every move and knows my faulty plan.

  • GOD knows my thoughts so I should control them to focus on HIM.
  • GOD knows my actions so I should reduce the things I do wrong and try to focus on what HE wants me to do.
  • GOD knows my heart so I should practice placing the right things in it in order to act consistent.

From my appearance to my shallow words I had to “appear” polished as an executive. No matter how bad things were going I had to look as though nothing were wrong. BUT GOD wanted me to act different. HE wants my character. HE wants my consistence. HE wants me to act in the truth.

Character and consistency brings peace to all my actions because I don’t have to remember lies.

  • Are you inconsistent with your example of CHRIST?
  • Are you one way with some people and different with others?
  • Can you become more consistent with your walk with CHRIST?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weak forces make me weak

Galatians 4:But now that you know God—or rather are known by God —how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!10 


Nimble footed was my practice as I hopped over each crack in the pavement. “Step on a crack, break your mothers’ back” was the superstition I was trying to avoid. I also took special care not to break any mirrors which was supposed to bring seven years bad luck. When things went wrong I wondered what superstition had I missed. Did I walk under a ladder or something?

  • When I believe in “luck” more than GOD I’m on the wrong path.
  • When I believe in “fate” more than GOD I’m on the wrong path.
  • When I believe in “dates” more than GOD I’m on the wrong path.

I would attribute bad situations to Friday the 13th or Halloween. It seemed like luck, fate and dates were running my life. BUT GOD has something different in mind for me.

  • GOD’s power is greater than any worry I can have.
  • GOD’s love is greater than any sin I can commit.
  • GOD’s grace is greater than any doubt I can muster up.
  • GOD’s mercy is greater than any malefaction I can commit.

My superstitions got in the way of having a clear view of what GOD could do in my life. I wanted things to go my way so I placed my hope in things far weaker than GOD. I searched for four leaf clovers and hoped the lottery would come through someday. GOD’s power is greater than any charm, scheme or luck I can ever fall into. I put my trust in GOD and HE has brought me peace.

  • What have you placed your belief in?
  • Do you trust other things outside of GOD?
  • Can you turn your trust in GOD a little more today?
  • Will you let go of one of your superstitions today?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It takes faith to let them be them

Galatians 3: 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 28 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


“Slam, bang, clack, clack, clack” was the noise that finally stepped on my last nerve. My neighbor above me had a tendency to move things around and drop items on her hardwood floor at 2:00 A.M. I went upstairs and knocked on the door. “Could you please hold it down” I said to her.  These were my first words I had ever spoken to her.

Her response was “You know what you need… you need a house!” Before I could come back with a snappy retort I actually thought to myself maybe she’s right. Why am I trying to change her?

  • Many times I want others to be the way “I” want them to be.
  • Many times I try to change others to fit “my” comfort level.
  • Many times I place “my” expectations on how others should act instead of changing myself.

But you say “that” person was in the wrong. Yes, that could very well be true BUT GOD wants me to think differently.

  • GOD wants me to know other people are forgiven just like HE forgave me.
  • GOD wants me to know that HE is not only LORD over me, HE is LORD over everyone.
  • GOD wants me to know HE does not segregate or isolate rather HE permeates and saturates.

GOD wants men and women from all backgrounds to fall to their knees and worship HIS SON who died for the sins of mankind. It truly takes faith to let others be themselves especially when I want them to worship GOD the way I do. GOD loves differences that’s why no “two” of anything is exactly alike.

HE created a world full of differences and it is up to me to accept them and even appreciate a different view. HE wants me to have the faith that HE knows how to handle “that” person because HE made them.

  • Do you think “that” person is worshipping GOD wrong?
  • Are you sure GOD needs to change their heart or yours?
  • Can you see what GOD is doing in your life?
  • Won’t you reach out to someone you may not be comfortable talking to about CHRIST?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I’ll take it from here

Galatians 3: 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?


Independence is what I sought for the longest. I wanted to be all “grown-up” without the lessons. With my hand held out I reluctantly asked for money from my parents. I was trying to peel as far away from my parents as I possibly could but alas, I was broke. When they gave me what they could I said, “I’ll take it from here” meaning I won’t need you anymore.

  • When times are good I tend to forget GOD.
  • When things are going well for me I tend to leave GOD out the picture.
  • When everything seems to be going right I tend to think I’m the cause of creating a good situation.

No matter how many times I got in trouble, GOD bailed me out and then I felt a sense of relief. Unfortunately I got comfortable in that relief and I forgot that GOD was the one who delivered me in the first place. I would bask in the accolades and soon I would start believing the compliments from others.


“Yeah, I am pretty good” I would think to myself. Soon that thought would turn into “I’m pretty good and you’re not so good.” I wound up in a place where the HOLY SPIRIT did not lead me.


  • When I stay with the HOLY SPIRIT I remain humble.
  • When I stay with the HOLY SPIRIT I stop trying to do things on my own.
  • When I stay with the HOLY SPIRIT I view “success” as a trait of GOD not my accomplishment to take credit.


GOD wants me to be totally dependent on HIM. HE doesn’t just want me to come to HIM when I get in trouble and when the situation is resolved, leave HIM by saying “I’ll take it from here.” GOD wants me to walk with HIM through thick and thin. Why? Because HE always walks with me no matter what I am going through.


  • Have you forgotten where you came from?
  • Do you think your accomplishments come from your abilities?
  • Can you give credit where credit is due?
  • Won’t you turn back to following the HOLY SPIRIT instead of listening to your own ways?


Monday, July 2, 2012

It’s the GOD in me

Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


Many of my “mom’s” and “dad’s” are aging now. They have been through many circumstances, situations and impossible surroundings that would make you cringe just listening. When I go through my situations I always wonder… how did they make it? I mean I think I would have given up. What kept them going?

  • My situation blinds me to what I am here for.
  • My circumstance blinds me to what is truly important.
  • My surroundings blind me to what really matters.

When I am feeling down and despondent I think the world is crashing around me. I think there is no way out and I feel like just sitting and doing nothing. Then I start feeling “deserving” where I ask “Why don’t YOU care anymore LORD?” The answer always comes back the same… “I do love you.”

  • GOD loves me dearly and knows what I am going through.
  • GOD loves me wholeheartedly and gave HIS own body to save mine.
  • GOD loves me unconditionally and forgave ALL of my sins.

GOD placed HIS SPIRIT in me to seal my eternal life. HE wants me to live for HIM instead of trying to live for me. When I live for HIM my circumstances seem to diminish, no matter how large. I can face the day knowing that whatever happens, it’s part of GOD’s plan and what a great plan it is.

  • Are you living for you or GOD?
  • Are you focused on your situations or HIS?
  • Do you believe you are in the middle of HIS plans or are you nervous about yours?
  • Will you stop focusing on you for a moment and focus on what GOD wants you to do?