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Monday, September 30, 2013

Life Choices

Choices, choices, choices! Life is full of them. A few years ago my parents were visiting us and we took them to a NJ Diner. The menu is like 20 pages. My Dad was overwhelmed and just couldn't decide what to pick. I asked him, If you could eat anything you wanted tonight what would it be? He replied, Pork chops! That's what we ordered, and that is what he got.
 
God wants to help us in our choices. When we ask for anything in His will we are promised to receive it. There is nothing that can stop it from happening if God is in it!
 

Romans chapter eight reminds us:
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

In Christ We Are More Than Conquerors!

 

Be wise today and always - live in the victory and choose the "right" things.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Season and Out of Season

I love this quote by Matthew Henry concerning Jeremiah’s call and commission: Because he had no reason to fear the wrath of men if he were faithful; for the God whom he served would protect him, and bear him out, so that they should neither sink his spirits nor drive him off from his work, should neither stop his mouth nor take away his life, till he had finished his testimony.

Two things Jeremiah (and we) must consider:
Our calling – your vocation in Christ.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. - Ephesians 4:11-13

Our commission – sharing the Gospel with the world.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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,  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

What are some ways to bring our calling, our commission, and the church together?

God has given Jeremiah a great task. He is sent in God’s name to proclaim judgment against rebellious people. The Lord gives warnings of his judgments beforehand, so that sinners may repent and become obedient to God’s Word.

The prophet is instructed to share God’s message. All Christ followers are given the same instructions; Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. - 2 Timothy 4:2
 
Be wise today and always - be ready to carry out your calling.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Do you have God’s hope in this fallen world?

I read recently about three things vital to live a good life: rest, renewal, and realignment. Each one of these has to do with our physical as well as our emotional health. A balanced life will include ways of getting healthy, staying healthy, and responding to changes in the world around you.

What does rest, renewal, and realignment look like in your spiritual life?

Do you have the appropriate disciplines in your life to bring restoration?

A long time ago Jeremiah receives his calling as an evangelist and prophet – a spokesperson from God. It is healthy to know and understand God’s purpose and plan for your life.

What does calling look like in today’s culture and in the church?

“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. - Jeremiah 1:17-19

Jeremiah reminds us to be faithful and obedient to God’s Word.

Two things he (we) must be faithful:

(1.) He must speak all that he is told.

(2.) He must speak with everyone God instructs him to share.
 
Be wise today and always - finish the work God has given you.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Starting Over for Your Own Good

Part of experiencing a call from God is examining God’s Message. In Jeremiah’s case it was that the Lord was going to destroy and then start over (vv. 9-10) 9-10God reached out, touched my mouth, and said, "Look! I've just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered! See what I've done? I've given you a job to do among nations and governments—a red-letter day! Your job is to pull up and tear down, take apart and demolish, and then start over, building and planting." (The Message)

Jeremiah’s and our challenge is much the same, pull up, tear down, take apart, and demolish! What would happen if we applied these instructions to any life situations that don’t bring the Lord glory?

1. pull up – This means the roots and foundation.

2. tear down - We are to knock down obstructions.

3. take apart  - We must disassemble what was.

4. demolish  - We should remove and clean as if it wasn’t there.

And then start over, building and planting."- God’s way this time. (verse 10)
 
Is your hope in Christ even if it means starting over?
 
Remember that eternal hope through Christ brings present hope for your life.
 
Be wise today and always - listen carefully to God's instructions.
 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm Diving In

As we dive in to this first chapter of Jeremiah we will see that there are three distinct parts to God’s plan: 1. The Calling 2. The Excuses we give and 3. The Examining and Challenge Let’s first look at the elements of the Calling in verses 1-5. This is God’s side of the calling - remember He does the process! There are four parts to consider:

a. Time (vv. 1-4) There is a distinct time in your life when God speaks clearly to you what He expects.  1-4 The Message of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah of the family of priests who lived in Anathoth in the country of Benjamin. God's Message began to come to him during the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amos reigned over Judah. It continued to come to him during the time Jehoiakim son of Josiah reigned over Judah. And it continued to come to him clear down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah over Judah, the year that Jerusalem was taken into exile. This is what God said: (The Message)

b. Relationship (v. 5a) God has an intimate knowledge of who you are, and what you are capable.  5"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.

c. Plans and Purposes (v. 5b) God sees not only your potential, the the reality of who you are meant to be. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you:

d. Job description and title (5c) There is a specific position and occupation in God’s kingdom for all believers.  A prophet to the nations—  that's what I had in mind for you."  

It’s kind of sad to say, but the second part of our calling is our hesitation and excuses we give not to obey. This is the human side of the calling. (vv. 6-8)  6But I said, "Hold it, Master God! Look at me.  I don't know anything. I'm only a boy!" 7-8God told me, "Don't say, 'I'm only a boy.'  I'll tell you where to go and you'll go there. I'll tell you what to say and you'll say it. Don't be afraid of a soul. I'll be right there, looking after you." God's Decree. (promise/covenant) (The Message)

There is a big difference when we say “but”, and when we read in Scripture “but God”. Our “buts” are excuses and complaints. But God, can change a negative to positive immediately.

Our response should be obedience. Let’s take a look at our questions vs. God’s answers.

You want me to do what? God is not surprised and doesn’t make mistakes.

Where am I supposed to start? God tells us where to go.

What could I possibly say to them? God tells us what to say.

What if they don’t understand or like what I am saying?  God tells us not to be afraid.

Who is going to help me? God promises us that He will not leave us.

Be wise today and always - respond to God's call with obedience.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Responding to the Call

We continue today with Jeremiah chapter one, and how he was called in to ministry. There are many examples of “calling” in the Bible. Some of the more famous ones include:
Abraham (The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3)
Moses (Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:4-10)

Samuel (The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”1 Samuel 3:10)


Elisha (So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” 21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:19-21)

Isaiah (Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Isaiah 6:8-10)

The New Testament Disciples - Jesus said to twelve men, “Come follow me”. And they did!

God calls all believers as well. Have you responded to His call?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Your Hope and Calling

You can’t hope in something that you do not know. We have to experience this hope even it’s just a glimmer. Praise God that He doesn’t make us wonder or guess about His intentions. He makes His plans and calling for our lives clear.

Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones that you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I want to encourage you make the most of this study for the next nine weeks. As the saying goes. “You will only get out of it what you put in to it”. We will be learning incredible life lessons from a man who lived a long time ago named Jeremiah over the next eight weeks. His hope came from God, and it started with a word from Him.

In the opening first chapter in the book of Jeremiah a young man hears from God and receives his calling as an evangelist and prophet. In other words he becomes a spokesperson from God. Your calling from God is your profession or occupation in which you earn a living, but also have the opportunity to share God in that working environment. We still receive callings today. When you listen to God’s direction for your life you will find yourself firmly in God’s will and in His purpose for your life.

Be wise today and always - the journey with Christ is eternal.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Focus on Today

The lessons for life that we can learn from Jeremiah’s story are invaluable. Many times we feel we have failed because we don’t see instant results. The fruit of ministry may not come immediately but it will come eventually. We are to stay faithful - focused on God’s plan for our life. Jeremiah gives us a great model on how to live with integrity in a sinful world.

We long for heaven but we must live for God in the present. Even during hard times we have promises for today. Look up these verses concerning:

God takes care of our needs – Matthew 6:11
God provides a Savior – Luke 23:43
Jesus is eternal - Hebrews 13:8
We need to respond – Hebrews 3:15
My goal and desire for, Lessons for Life, is that we can learn from Jeremiah how to stand tall with God’s help in a fallen world, and live for God today.

Be wise today and always - live, follow, and focus on Christ today and every day.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

God's Answer

My love for the book of Jeremiah started in August of 2011. I was at the Global Leadership Summit and one of the speakers quoted from the book. It's probably not the one you are thinking of. We all know and sometimes cling to God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11 -” “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

But the verse they shared was Jeremiah 33:3 -  Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ This one verse started me on a 2+ year journey in to the teaching and wisdom found in this incredible Old Testament writing. I would love for you to come along side me over the next nine weeks as I blog, teach, and preach Lessons for Life from Jeremiah.

The next two verses the Lord led me to were:

Jeremiah 15:16 - When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.
Jeremiah 17:7 - “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
In this fallen world we live in we need this hope that can only come from God. May we call out to God and listen to His great answer of unsearchable things. Amen?
Be wise today and always - consume His Word with joy and be blessed.

Introduction for Lessons for Life

There are many lessons for life that we can learn through Jeremiah. He is sometimes referred to as the “weeping prophet”, because of all the hardship in his life. He lived in a time of religious and political upheaval. This prophet was called to lead stubborn disobedient people back to God.

 The world he faced sounds a lot like the world we live in today. A world that has turned away from God, and does not want to hear of their sin or the consequences it will bring upon them. As a believer and follower of Christ we must be obedient to God’s call to honor Him in all we do. We must always speak the truth - even if others do not want to listen.

Jeremiah reminds us that:

God is the “power-source” for our calling.

We will encounter criticism and confrontation as we minister.

We must not only tolerate change, but become agents of change.

Believers should never lose their desire to tell the truth.

A Christian must stand firm on the truth and God-given wisdom even when the world around you has turned their backs on God.

Be wise today and always - keep your worship vertical not horizontal.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow's News

Starting tomorrow I will be preaching, teaching, and blogging about Jeremiah. Even though it was written a long time ago there are many life lessons we can learn. We live in a fallen world but God brings us hope.

Jesus lived a long time ago but His Words still direct us today. In His three year ministry as Jesus walked the earth He transformed nearly everything and everyone around Him.

 “Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. Ephesians 1:21-23

 Jesus echoed the words of Isaiah when He said,

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19
 
Jesus wants to make a difference in your life, right where you are. The larger impact of the church is only what it is because of the transformational power of Jesus’ resurrection in the lives of individual people — people just like you and me.
 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Be wise today and always - be "new" in Christ.

Friday, September 20, 2013

God Chasing

We spend too much time looking around in this world instead of looking up! I have been reading a book called Vertical Church recently. It is a great reminder that God calls us in a relationship that involves Him first every time. When we focus anywhere else we miss His presence.  
 

Be wise today and always - focus on God and nothing else.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Winner Winner...

When you are living out your faith in todays world you may feel like you have a target on your back. The bad news is you do, but the great news is that we are more than conquerors! God's love will see us through any crisis or battle.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39
 

Be wise today and always - remember God's promise and presence in your life - even when it's hard.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Listening Skills

It is important to know what the needs are in your community. This knowledge will allow you and your church minister more effectively. Christ Followers are to have the mind of Christ and a heart of service.

 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25-28

Jesus wants His children to be givers, and serve those He has put in our spheres of influence. The key is to know those needs and act accordingly. Next time you ask someone how they're doing - listen with your ears and heart.

Be wise today and always - think of others first.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Your All for Your All in All

I like to think that kneeling or being on my face helps me pray better. It may help me from being distracted, but God cares more about how your heart is positioned in your conversation than your posture.
 

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13
 
God deserves "all our hearts, minds, body, and soul". 99 1/2% is close but won't do.
 
Be wise today and always - give the Lord your everything.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Be Set Free

One of the great things about being with a group of Christ Followers, the church, is that we are reminded of God's promises. This reminder can come in different ways; a word, a prayer, a Scripture, or by being with others who are seeking God's face and touch. 
 
We have so many problems and crisis in our lives. Our hearts are broken over so many things. But God through Jesus wants to heal us. In Luke 4:18 Jesus proclaims the words of Isaiah have become reality,  "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed".
 

Be wise today and always - allow healing and freedom to become real in your life through the power of God.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

National Back to Church Sunday

Today is National Back to Church Sunday! Bill Hybel says that the local church is the hope of the world, and I agree. It is the organism that Jesus set up to change the world with the Good News.
 

Days like National Back to Church Sunday are important. They remind us to stay in church, start going back to church, or begin attending church.
 
Be wise today and always - love God's Family - the church.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Change Your Behavior

They will know we are Christians by our love... Good Scripture and song but do we show the world God's love? We are capable of it but life gets in the way and people see a whole different side of ourselves. I believe it is not in knowing what to do, but the doing it consistently is the problem. We are to apply the Word to our lives and live like Christ.
 
Changing our behavior will allow us to be a better Christ follower. Keep a witnessing tract in your wallet or purse. Keep your Bible open during the week - you'll be more likely to read them. Develop good discipleship habits and commit to being fed and active in your local church. See what changes will occur - your friends will!


Be wise today and always - changes of behavior can make you more like Christ. Be at church tomorrow!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sparks Will Fly

I challenged my church to become "sparks" recently. We sometimes become fixated on the fire or spiritual bonfires so to speak. God calls us to start the fires of relationship, evangelism, and revival in the world around us. A kind act, a word of encouragement, being an attentive listening, and sharing Christ's love and hope can cause a fire to burn in someone's heart.

 
Romans 1:16-17 states: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
 
Be wise today and always - live and share your faith daily.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

No Hide and Seek

I recently had the honor of hosting two former Pastors at a service at my church. Between us we represented more than a third of a century of ministry at that church. It's pretty humbling when consider those who have gone before us. Ministry is the same but in a different time and world. Look what Psalm 40 says about how we are to work for God:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened—burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.


We are all ministers of the Gospel. Let His light shine in your life today.

Be wise today and always - live God's will.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not Enough Time

There never seems to be enough time for most things in life.
Have you ever thought how much time it would take you to tell of all of God's attributes and how He has blessed you? The Bible shares that a man after God's own heart thought about it.

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. - David Psalm 40:4-5


Be wise today and always - share of God's greatness - you'll never run out of things to tell!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Saved by Singing

It is good to know various ways of sharing your faith. Memorizing key salvation Scriptures, practicing your testimony, and using tracts are some of the more well known. Have you ever thought about singing as evangelism?

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. - David Psalm 40:1-3

People will be attracted to our praise of God! It doesn't make any difference if you have a good voice or not. It does depend if you are sincere and honest in your praise of God.

Be wise today and always - praise the Lord for all your worth!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

We all have problems. King David, a man after God's heart had plenty of them. Some were self imposed, but others were cast upon him. It was during one of these times that he wrote in Psalm 34:1-9:

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. - David

This is a great model for all of us. Even when we are facing a crisis or even death we should:
1. Tell of His greatness
2. Give Him praise and glory
3. Encourage others
4. Rely and trust in God
5. Know where your true salvation comes from
6. Fear God not man (or the things of this world)
7. Experience God in new ways (even in your pain and sorrow)
8. Accept his protection and provision
9. Be strong and courageous
10. Do not be afraid Christ is always with you

Be wise today and always - accept God's promise and apply them to your life every day.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Love Somebody

Don’t be discouraged when your service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Keep on serving God! “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” I Corinthians 15:58 (MSG)

 
Even the smallest service is noticed by God and will be rewarded. Remember the words of Jesus: “If, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42 (LB)
 
Be wise today and always - love God by serving others.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Change Your Mind

Serving God starts in your mind - we need a new way of thinking!

 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV)

 Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes:

- Servants think more about others than about themselves.

- Servants think like stewards, not owners.

- Servants think about their work, not what others are doing.

- Servants base their identity in Christ.

- And servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation.

When you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectations of others, and that allows you to really serve them best.

Imagine what could happen if just 10 percent of all Christians in the world got serious about their role as real servants. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people?

Be wise today and always - think of Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself third = JOY!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Using What the Lord Gave You

A great lesson we learned from A Purpose Driven Life is that God deserves our best!

“Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be.” Romans 12:5 (MSG)

He shaped you for a purpose, and he expects you to make the most of what you have been given. Don’t let another day go by. Start finding out and clarifying what God intends for you to be and do.

Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities. The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service. Until you’re actually involved in serving, you’re not going to know what you’re good at.

Consider your heart and your personality. This is simple - Paul advised, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.” Galatians 6:4b (MSG)

Examine your experiences and extract the lessons you have learned. Review your life and think about how it has shaped you. Moses told the Israelites, “Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him.” Deuteronomy 11:2 (TEV)

Forgotten experiences are worthless; that’s a good reason to keep a spiritual journal. In Heaven we are going to serve God forever. Right now, we can prepare for that eternal service by practicing on Earth. Like athletes preparing for the Olympics, we keep training for that big day: “They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” 1 Corinthians 9:25 (MSG)
 
Be wise today and always - use what the good Lord gave you!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Waiting on God

Hope is one of the greatest gifts God gives to us. The hope of Christ's salvation, forgiveness, presence, love, wisdom, direction, provision, protection, and so many other gifts of hope that await God's children.
 

 
God hears our prayers, and will answer: yes, no, or wait. One of the hardest things to do is to wait. We lose patience quickly. Throughout Scripture we are informed to wait upon the Lord. It's for our own good, and it will help us grow.
 
Be wise today and always - wait on God - He hears you. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lead God's Way

God tells Israel's new leader Joshua; To be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. God will be with you and will never forsake you. - Joshua 1:9
This same statement is true for us as well. God calls all of us to be leaders, and to
 
 
Where are you leading today?
 
Where should you be leading?
 
Do not allow fear to keep you from being obedient to the Lord's calling on your life.
 
Be wise today and always - go where God tells you and do what He asks.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ready to pass It on?

Do you remember the song from the 1960-70s called Pass It On?

 It only takes a spark To get a fire going And soon all those around Can warm up in the glowing That’s how it is with God’s love Once you’ve experienced it You’ll spread His love To everyone You’ll want to pass it on.
 
Look what Paul has to say about those who want to "pass on" the Good News in Romans 1:1-­17.  Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God  the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,  and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[ by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from  faith for his name’s sake.  And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.  God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you  in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—  that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.  I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,  that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.  That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[

 
Three insights for those wanting to change their world.

1.Surrender - respond to your calling (vv. 1-­7). 

2. Strategize, pray, and plan for open doors (vv. 8­-15). 

3. Share the Gospel Without Shame (vv. 14-­17).
Be proud of the Lord. Boast in Him. Brag about Him. Tell others of Him. You never know what's going to happen when you share the gospel like that.
 
 
I'll shout it from the mountaintop,
I want my world to know.
The Lord of Love has come to me.
I want to pass it on.
 
Be wise today and always - be passionate about sharing the Gospel.