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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Serving Better


Together we can defeat the giants of this world. This will not happen if we leave it up for somebody else to do.  There’s just to much to do. We’ve got to work together. You are Good Enough, but we can all get better!


Five Essentials for You to Serve Your Best

1. Passion: Be passionate about your service.

2. Focus: Keep your eyes on Christ and His work.

3. Strategy: Be clear in what you are trying to accomplish.

4. Team: Build community and trust.


5. Training: Take every opportunity to learn and get better at what God's calling you to do. 

What do you need to work on the most?

Be wise today and always - grow in the job God has given you.

 

Children

Children are a blessing from God. I have just finished a week leading "games" for a week at our Vacation Bible School. I was impressed by a couple things:
1. When we all work together, things really turn out so much better. The success of leadership is inspiring others to work as a team. When each member does it's part well then the "whole" project is a great success. Way to go team!
2. We can learn a lot about Jesus from children. I saw over 100 kids this week work, play, learn, worship, sing, and grow together. They cared not just for themselves, but for each other as well - "the least of these" you could say.

Jesus loves all of us but children have a special place in His heart and Kingdom. Remember the story from Matthew 10:14? They were trying keep the kids away from Jesus, and He said to them; "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

We all want to get to heaven, so maybe we can learn a lot from these little ones.

Be wise today and always - love God with the faith of a child.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Your Best


We should always give Jesus our best, but don't let the feeling that you don't have much to give stop you from serving.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT).

That perfectly describes many believers and churches today. It creates a church of passive spectators.

The “good enough” principle, allows more people to get involved.
Simplify things and accept less than perfect performance
It doesn’t have to be perfect for God to use and bless it.
Average people doing average activities in order to get extraordinary results.

 “Ordinary people doing what Jesus did, wherever they are.”

Be wise today and always know that you are good enough to share Christ. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good Enough


Is ‘Good Enough’ good enough?

 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. - Romans 12:3-8

Many Christians never serve because they fear they aren’t good enough to do so. They believe the lie that serving God is only for Christian superstars, and they don't know enough. The fact is If you know Jesus then you know enough!

The next couple of days we'll look at ways how we can be involved in God's work.

Be wise today and always - Jesus deserves to be served.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sharing Together


Remember that, No one can take your testimony away from you.

Romans 10:9-13 says, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

We’re all in this together: 
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God grew it. - 1 Corinthians 3:6
You are never alone. Jesus promises us that He will never leave us.

Living for God daily and sharing that testimony is evangelism.

Be wise today and always start sharing your faith today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Witness


One of the great obstacles to witnessing for Christ is getting past the fears we have when evangelizing.  Here are 3 things to remember on how to overcome the fear of sharing your faith. 

1. The need for hope and healing is greater than any roadblocks that confront us.
2. Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s supernatural. Allow the Spirit to guide you and convict the person you’re sharing with.
3. Experience and live for God daily! This is the greatest testimony you can have – people are watching you.

Revelation 12:11 tells us; And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. -

Be wise today and always – overcome your fears.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Evangelism


The next three days we will be looking at how to be an effective witness for Christ. Evangelism is about bringing the light of God in to a dark and dying world. Gary Cobb from the BGEA has a great plan on how to be an effective witness for Christ with:

5 SIMPLE STEPS FOR SHARING YOUR FAITH

1. Understand that your own life is a great part of your witness.
2. Realize that we earn the right to be heard by sincerely listening to others.
3. Recognize that people are looking for a cure.
4. Keep it simple. People need to understand what you are saying.
5. Stress the love of God. John 3:16God so loved the world… then Romans 6:23; For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you know Jesus you know enough! Be intentional daily and look for opportunities to share Jesus with the world around you.

 Be wise today and always – share your faith in Christ

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Faith Training


Proverbs 16:1-3 says,  To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.  Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
  
Faith Training Involves Five Steps:

1. Begin by seeking God’s guidance and direction.
Is your heart and mind focused on God for guidance and direction?
2. Continue to clarify the vision of what God wants done in your ministry. Pray all the time!
3. Take God’s vision and put it into terms that can be accomplished and measurable.What’s your plan?
4. Consider the resources that are available to do the job.
Are the things you need available?
5. Honestly evaluate how effectively the plan is implemented. 
Are you doing what you planned on doing?

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:10

Be wise today and always - do it God's way.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Searching


I heard someone say recently, If I don’t know what I’m looking for – How can I find it?

The Bible is real clear on this issue.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” - Matthew 7:7

This is all about God’s will and purposes not ours. We need to make God first in our lives.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Seek God with you all your heart, mind, and soul. Love Him unconditionally just like He loves you. You will see immediate change in your life. Accept Jesus as Savior, believe in Him, and live for Him every day.

Be wise today and always – seek God with all you got.

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Body


Do you ever think, What part of the body am I?

The church is called: family, the Bride of Christ, and the Body. Christ is our head but we must function as His hands and feet.

Paul illuminates this thought in Romans 12:4-5, For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Every part of our body is important in order for it to function properly. The same is true in the church. Make sure you are doing your duty. Every ministry and service is vital for us to achieve the purpose God has for us.

Be wise today and always – live for Christ.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grace


How highly do you think of yourself?

Paul instructs us in Romans 12:3,  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

We cannot serve Christ properly if we take the lead, and not follow Him. A humble spirit goes a long away in pleasing God. When we are not full of self, then we can be open to be full of the Holy Spirit. Amen?

Be wise today and always – be full of faith in God.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Die 2 Live


Can a dead person be used to serve God?

According to Paul that because of God's great mercy we are to offer ourselves as "living sacrifices" in Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

God has called all believers to "die to self" and find new life in Christ.   A sacrificial life is one focused on doing life God's way according to His plans and purposes. 
Romans 12:2 challenges us to,   Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Be changed in to the man or woman of God that follows and obeys His Word.

Be wise today and always - live for Christ by dying to self.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Maintaining


Peter writes, So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:19

The answer for most of our problems is maintaining consistency.
Behaviors we repeat often define the reality of our lives.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 
2 Timothy 3:14

5 Keys to Consistency
Get Positive – be around positive Christian role models
Get Connected – be active in serving with other believers
Get Inspired – read about the lives of Heros of the faith
Get Going – be Jesus’ hands and feet
Get Committed – The life of a believer is not a sprint it is a marathon.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Be wise today and always – keep keeping on for Jesus.

Your Children


We recently hosted at my church the Men of Honor Simulcast. It came from the church in Georgia that made the movies Courageous and Fireproof Here are some of the notes I took on our relationship with our children.

Whoever has your children's heart has their trust.

3 ways to win their hearts
1. Attention -give them all they require in time and energy
2. Affirmation - bless them! God verbally approved His Son Jesus in the Bible in public.
3.  Affection - pour it out on them, love them unconditionally.

5 Ways to lose their Heart
1. Abandonment
2. Anger
3. Harsh Words
4. Hypocrisy/Lying
5. Demean their Mother

Be wise today and always – win your children’s heart.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Consistency


Consistency counts when it comes to living in a way that pleases God.

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25

We have many potential areas which keeps us from accomplishing all the things that God would have us to do.

Reasons for our failures:
Time – usually not enough of it.
Tough – the task is just too hard.
Terrible – to describe how you feel
Trouble – people, systems, rules, etc.

Paul warns us, Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:9

So it is extremely important to walk with Christ and to continue to follow all of His commands. Today is a good day to consider where you are at in following Christ’s will for your life, and what keeps you from being where He wants you.

Be wise today and always – follow Christ every day.

Godly Dad


We recently hosted at my church the Men of Honor Simulcast. It came from the church in Georgia that made the movies Courageous and Fireproof. Here are some of the notes I took on Fatherhood.

7 Aspects of Fatherhood
1. Provider – in order to prepare for your children’s future
2. Protector – our children are priceless – We  must be their defense
3. Leader – loving them by giving direction and communication
4. Authority - teach to honor and respect
5. Teacher - truthful lessons about God and life
6. Example - living it out every day. It is what you do consistently.
7. Friend - You like to be around them and them you - trusting

What things do you need to work on?

Our relationship with God stems off our relationship with our Father. Start right now regardless of how young or old you children are now.

Be wise today and always – be a Godly Dad.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day


Paul in the Bible had a special relationship with a young man named Timothy. They truly had a “Father-Son” relationship in the best sense. Read through Paul’s letter’s to him and you will see how a Godly man instructs, disciplines, and encourages his son (or any younger man in the faith).

We can see his love in 1 Timothy 1:2, To Timothy my true son in the faith:
   Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I believe we can see a greater concern and care for Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:18-19, Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well,  holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

It is one thing to say “I care for you”, but it’s a different level when you become actively involved in their lives. I encourage you Dads to become active in the lives of your children regardless their age. Place great concern for their faith, and pray for them continually. Set the example of what a man of God looks like.

Be wise today and always – hold on to your faith and share it with your children.

Today


Happy Father’s Day! I want to encourage all Dads to be all God has called you to be. We have one of the most important jobs on earth, and God has a special plan for all of us. He desires us to be Godly men. We cannot be the best Dad, husband, son, brother, or friend until we put things in their proper order. God must come first in every avenue of our lives, and we have the privilege of modeling this to our families and the world around us. It does not matter how old your children are - you can still impact their lives. Consider these questions:

Do we teach our families by spending time in God’s Word and prayer daily? 

Do we place worship and church fellowship as a high priority? 

Does the world see us as giving financially to God’s work through His church? (We can look at our checkbook and day planners to see where our priorities are.)

Trust in God, and be about His purposes. You can do it with His guidance.

Be wise today and always - follow God's ways always.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Consume

Are you feeling a little lost these days? 

Do you feel like you are not making a difference in the world?


Maybe the problem is you're hungry!

Jesus said in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry."

Receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Listen, read, study, meditate, and memorize God's Holy Bible. It will fill you up, and give you direction and purpose.

Consume the Word - satisfaction guaranteed.


Be wise today and always - get your daily consumption of the Word.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hated

 If you are ridiculed for what you believe remember you are in good company Jesus said in John 15:18, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."

I think about how much Christ went through for me, and it makes me very humble. There is nothing in my life that seems so bad in comparison, but sometimes in ministry you can start to feel defeated. You work hard for the cause of Christ, and sacrifice so much. When you examine your results in numbers you become discouraged.


I had an older Pastor friend tell me one day this great truth. He said, " Jesus was the greatest leader, preacher, prophet, miracle worker, healer, and wisest person that ever walked on this planet, Yet even after all of that, plus returning from the dead, and ascending in to heaven His church still numbered only 120!"
It's not how big your church is, but what is your church doing for the Kingdom. That church of 120 from Pentecost forward turned the world upside down! 

Are you turning the world upside down for Christ?


Be wise today and always - be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Business


We are all so busy these days. We all have to earn a living, but God’s Word has something to say about what business we should be involved in. Jesus said in John 15:15, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

I find this verse one of great comfort and assurance. Jesus has made everything we need to know available to us. We are not in bondage, but free to be about God’s business. He will give us all the wisdom, knowledge, direction, provision, and protection we need.

What a friend we have in Jesus! Amen?

Be wise today and always - be about the Master's Business

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Song Theology


There is great theology in the songs I learned in church as a child.

Jesus Loves Me this I know for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.

Jesus Loves the Little Children all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.

He’s got the whole world in His Hands, He’s got the whole wide world in His Hands, He’s got the whole world in his hands – He’s got the whole world in His hands (babies, children, mothers and Fathers, You and Me Brother)

Before the age of 5 and hearing my first sermon I knew:
1. Jesus loves me, and the Bible is promises it.
2. Jesus loves everyone regardless of who they are.
3. God is in control of the whole world.

Those are things worth reminding each other about. Amen?

Be wise today and always – trust the One in Control.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Send Me


What a wonderful scene is described in Isaiah 6:3-8 where the angels called to each other and said, 

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies. The whole earth is filled with his glory.”
Their voices shook the foundations of the doorposts, and the temple filled with smoke. So I said, “Oh, no!  I’m doomed.  Every word that passes through my lips is sinful. I live among people with sinful lips. I have seen the king, the Lord of Armies!”  Then one of the angels flew to me. In his hand was a burning coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs.  He touched my mouth with it and said, “This has touched your lips. Your guilt has been taken away, and your sin has been forgiven.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom will I send? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:3-8 (GW)

In this passage we see worship and obedience. I think they are pretty closely related. They shouldn’t be stand alone items in our relationship with God. We are obedient when we worship, and when we serve with obedience it should be with a worship filled heart!

If someone ever asks you if you are serving or worshipping – answer YES!

Be wise today and always – be ready to go!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Keeping On


We all need encouragement. Paul in the Bible was great for that. In a letter to his protege, he reminds Timothy about what he knows through the Bible. He urges to keep on keeping on with that wisdom and foundation in Jesus Christ.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV1984)

Think of these words today: continue, learned, convinced, know, and faith.  

How do they apply to your life?

Be wise today and always – know the Word and apply it to your life.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Open Doors


God opens doors of opportunity for us all the time. It usually requires faith to step through them. Paul had that chance, and he wrote the church about it.
For the present, I'm staying right here in Ephesus. A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here. (There is also mushrooming opposition.) - 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 (The Message)

I find it interesting that in the same breathe he spoke of opportunity he mentions the opposition. Just because god opens the door doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect trouble from the world. (Remember they are against Him.) Even though the Adversary is against God’s work – His people should be more the willing to step up and through these God moments.

God is already there and wants us to be there working with Him! It will be a chance to use our spiritual gifts, and show our obedience.

Be wise today and always – step through any door God opens.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Giving Willingly


We must use what God has given us to do His work. Luke at a familiar miracle from Luke 9:
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” 13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

It says that Jesus took the fish and loaves and blessed them, and then He gave it back to them. The disciples distributed the food, everyone ate all they could, and there were 12 baskets of leftovers! When Jesus blesses what we have entrusted to Him, it will come back to us many times over. Just think about what God can do with your offering. Probably something we could never expect, but will be amazed at what He can do through willing followers.

If you notice, Jesus didn’t go looking for food, but accepted what was offered to Him. God is funny like that. He told a group of church people one time that after a poor widow gave a couple of coins in the collection plate that she was the greatest giver. Why? Because she gave all she had.  Jesus wants us to give our gifts of service, money, talents, and resources to do His work. When we have that same giving heart as the widow, God will accept it, multiply it, and allow us have it back to use it in ways we can never imagine.

 Are you ready to accept Jesus’ blessing?
Let’s follow His plan, church! It will be the greatest adventure we have ever been on.

We will see together, this Summer, His plan unfolding to us, as individuals, his church, and this community. Amen?

Be wise today and always - let's do it God's way. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Deeper


We have many great opportunities during the summer to reach the children and families in our area. Methods have changed over the years, but the message has hopefully remained the same. We want to introduce children to God, the Bible, and Jesus. We use many creative ways in doing so. Somewhere during all the crafts, games, songs, and skits, the great stories of the Bible are told. I dare say that is where most people receive their basic theology. Songs tell us about Jesus’ love, letting our little lights shine, and of course the B-I-B-L-E song creates lasting impressions for all of us. Many start their Christian walks by making decisions to follow Christ during these types of events.

A problem develops as we grow older, when our faith and Bible knowledge stays “childlike”. The stories we heard about Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the whale, baby Moses, and Jesus’ miracles are wonderful, but as we mature as believers our understanding of God’s Word must grow too. A deeper understanding of the Word of God can only occur if we spend time hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on it. The account of Jesus feeding over 5,000 people is one of these stories. We learn as children about Jesus’ love, using a little boy’s lunch, and the great miracle that followed. By digging deeper into this passage we can learn Biblical truths that give us direction, and help us grow in Christ.

We can learn lessons in giving, receiving, and blessings when we are doing God’s work. First we must be willing to give wholeheartedly to the work of the Lord. The boy in this story gave all he had to Jesus. In his eyes and those around him it sure didn’t seem like much, but because of his faithfulness, and belief that Christ can truly do all things, something unexpected was about to occur. In our lives, we may feel that what we have to give isn’t much, but when we give it all to Him, heaven rejoices. 

What in your life have you not turned over to the Lord for His kingdom’s work? 

Be wise today and always - He is waiting for you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Results


Have you ever heard the story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody?

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.  Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry at that, because it was Everybody's job.  Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.   The final result was that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Today, more than ever, somebody needs to be responsible for the mission of church - making disciples. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”- Matthew 28:18-20. Everybody is responsible, so church it's time to get busy and not count on anybody else. Amen?

Be wise today and always - be about God's work today..

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wise Listening


Consider Proverbs 12:15,
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.

The world tells you that, If it feels good do it
The Bible teaches Morality there is a right and wrong                    
The world gives you an evolving Definition of “Family”
God Created the Family A man then a woman and He said It was good!       
The world engages in Cover –ups (It’s only a lie if you get caught)
Jesus Christ uncovered our sin and died on a cross offering Forgiveness and Salvation to the world              
The world says Life leads to Death (You live then you die)
Jesus said Death leads to Life (Victory over death)   
The world will tell you that there are, Many ways, No truth, and life is short
Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life       
His Way is well defined. His Truth never changes, His Life is eternal!

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.  Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— they do no wrong but follow his ways. Psalm 119:1-3

Be wise today and always  - know and follow the Truth.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Calling On the Lord


Consider Psalm 120:1-2,
 I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.

This was written a long time ago, but could be written today as well. We are warned that in the last days that lying and evil will be prevalent.

The world gives you Facts and Statistics        
The Bible gives Godly Wisdom  
The world gives you Pleasure but it is Temporary    
Knowing Christ gives you Joy that last forever            
The world gives you Things to make you feel good – for the moment      
Jesus gives Hope that is Eternal
The world gives you it’s Opinions which change
The Word of God teaches the Truth that never changes 
                    
Save us, Oh Lord from evil, harm, and temptation. Allow us to be strong in You!

Be wise today and always – call on the Lord.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Focusing

Consider Psalm 121:1-8

I lift up my eyes to the mountain, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm —he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Thank you Jesus for always being there, never leaving or forsaking us

Remember what the past was.
Realize what the present is.
Rejoice in what the future will bring. – Jesus!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. - Hebrews 13:8

Be wise today and always stay close to the One who transcends time.

Changes


I am looking forward to Willowcreek’s Global Leadership Summit this summer. I recently was looking at some of the statements from last year’s speakers that caught my attention.

If you want to be a hero do what God tells you! It’s all about obedience and doing it God’s way not the worlds.

Failure means you can try again with experience. You’ve learned something that can help you succeed! Learn by doing, and keep your focus on Christ – Go!

 Every day we move closer or farther away from where God wants us to be. Our walk with God is intentional. There is only one way – His! May our desire be to get as close to Jesus as possible, and be His hands and feet to the world around us.

Be wise today and always – seek God’s wisdom.

You may have noticed I’ve “double posted” blogs the last three days. I was told recently that by posting in the evening it will double readership, so we are going to give that a try. Starting tomorrow I will only be posting in the early evening, and we’ll see how it goes. Thank you, readers for your encouragement and prayers. May Jesus be honored and praised every day!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

History Repeats


The definition of a Prophet in Hebrew means literally, “Speaking Faith”. In other words it is like God saying, “Here is what I got!”

There are two things God wanted to tell Judah in the book of Isaiah:

1.     They were too self reliant on their wealth, army, and intelligence.
2.     They were guilty of making alliances with un-godly nations, and their hope was in other gods not in the God of creation.

Sound familiar? We need to know our history. so we don’t forget the things of the past that can lead to ruin.

In Isaiah 6:1-13 the call goes out to, Who will tell them? The response then should be the same as today, Here I am Lord, send me!

Be wise today and always – be ready to go and speak God’s truth.

Your Mind


 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. - Matthew 22:36-38

It’s never too late to begin loving God with all your mind. Pray for the mind of Christ, and consider these four ideas to stay engaged:


1. Keep asking questions
Learning in community is the best way to learn. This is fellowship and discipleship.

2. Continue your education
Challenge yourself.The bible is deep and has no bottom! Drink deeply from the Word of God.

3. Learn outside your comfort zone
We will drift into comfort, but schedule discomfort. Change is good!

4. Learn from life
Life is a school all unto itself seen through God's heart, eyes, and mind.

Stretch your minds, but don’t become information addicts.

It's not about memorizing facts, but attaining Godly wisdom.  Be deliberate and passionate about the work you are doing for the Lord (which is everything).

Be wise today and always - renew your mind and grow in wisdom.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Say No


About a year ago I was at a bookstore trying to find my next reading “treasure”. As I was looking at a book I heard an employee next to me talking to a woman who had “borrowed” one of the stores carts. She had loaded it with items. The employee told her she wasn’t suppose to use it, and would take her books to the front where she could pay for them later. The woman strongly resisted saying, ‘You can’t have them. Somebody will steal them.”

That person left and shortly another employee came to relieve her of her cart but met the same resistance. It was getting a little weird, so I went to the other side of the store where the music is displayed. After laying down a cd I was looking at, a hand quickly reached in front of me grabbing the music disc, and putting it on her cart. Yes, the woman had followed me! I went down further and she reached in front of me again grabbing the item I was looking at. I quickly went down the row over to the next aisle, and within seconds she was standing at my side.

I asked, “Can I help you?” She replied, “I’ve ran out of ideas of things to put on my cart so I will take things you are interested in.” I prayed quickly and looked her in the eye, “You need to stop this right now.” She looked down and said, “I will, I promise, I am sorry.” She left her cart and walked away. I guess that was a hobby of hers to go around picking up all sorts of things, and then leaving without buying. The employees certainly were glad she was gone.

I thought about this later and came to the conclusion that this is like our relationship with God sometimes. We get busy doing all sorts of things that really don’t help others, but we don’t know how to stop. If we are in the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit we will be convicted to end this “sinful” behavior. It’s freeing when we’re told to stop! We can promise God that we will stop, say we are sorry, and then change our behavior. That’s cool. I think they call it repentance and forgiveness.

Do you need to “stop” certain behavior, thoughts, or words today?

Be wise today and always – confess bad behavior and ask forgiveness.

Act of Obedience

Consider what God's Word shares in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, 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.

When it comes to giving your attitude is an accountable action. You can't out-give God, but it sure is fun to try. It also puts a smile on His face.

If you are searching for God's approval then start with obedience! Verse 8 reassures us of this, 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.

Be wise today and always  - give cheerfully.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Obedience


I was using the ATM at my local bank. It’s set up like a lot of banks with a set of glass doors to the machine and then another set in to the bank. I always watch the people coming in while I’m making a withdrawal. I saw this man coming in the door at a pretty good clip. He comes in the first set of doors and turns right behind me and runs right in to the glass wall!

He falls to the ground hard, and his file and papers going flying. I turned and helped him to his feet. As I picked up his papers I asked if he was okay. He replied, “What happened?” I told him he ran in to a wall. He said, “That’s impossible, the man from the bank told me to come through the doors and turn right and I’d be at his desk.”  

Well, he was okay and went on through the second set of doors to his appointment. I thought now there is someone who takes instruction literally!

Even though it was kind of funny I can appreciate someone taking and following directions. Jesus said, “If you love me then obey my commands”. Makes you think. If God spoke literally to us and told us to go and do this or that, would we?

Wait a minute, I think He did.

Be wise today and always – obey the Word.

Immersed


Consider the prophesy found in Joel 2:28-29 - “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

Joel says that God will pour out his Spirit on all people. The Lord will draw near to men and women and make Himself known and felt in a powerful way. They are immersed in His presence.

John Piper gives this analogy-There is a great difference between perceiving a lake at a distance and being immersed in the lake. So there is a great difference between experiencing God as a distant object of knowledge and being immersed in his presence.

When God draws near to a person (immersed) by his Spirit, he does so to reveal himself. -of his beauty - power - mercy - truth – holiness – greatness, and His love. We are soaked by the presence of a holy God. This prophecy began to be fulfilled at Pentecost as reported in Acts 2. Until Jesus returns this same filling is available to all believers.

If you are not often moved deeply by God’s Spirit then pray Joel 2:28-29 and that the Lord would be seen in all areas of your life. Amen?

Be wise today and always – be filled to overflowing by God’s Spirit.