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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Time In Heaven

Given January 24, 2006
I was thinking about my time and the things people like to do to spend their time. I spend about 6.5 hours sleeping, 8.5 hours working, 2.5 hours eating, 2 hours at the computer, (while not at work), maybe an hour or so watching TV, and an hour for prayer/devotions/bible reading/tape listening. That leaves about 2 1/2 hours for everything else!

If we're spending all this time doing these things here, what are we going to do in Heaven? I can't see us watching TV, talking on the phone, or surfing the web in Heaven. My point is, we need to be doing more of the things we'll be doing in Heaven while we're here on the earth. Things like spending time with Jesus, worshiping, and praising.

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:1-2" Think about it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Rock That Is Higher

Given February 24, 2006 and previous
I was reading my morning devotional on this Friday morning when God showed me one of those powerful visions that had tears running down my face. I read the scripture in Psalms, "lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalms 61:2" The devotion was speaking about when we're surrounded by swirling circumstances, we should "go to the rock" for relief.

I could see myself in a valley with difficult circumstances all around but I looked up and saw Jesus at the top of, like a cliff, beckoning me up, out of the mess. I immediately was reminded of another vision I received a couple of years ago of being in a peaceful, joyful valley and seeing jagged rocks on the cliff rising above. And there were people hung in among the rocks suffering. The revelation then was to realize that when things are going good for us, there are hurting people around that need our help.

In this vision, however, I'm the one in the place of trouble but I can see and hear the call to, "come up higher" to the place of safety. So, I start climbing up to the "rock that is higher than I." But....the climb is hard, the rocks are jagged and cutting, and, as in the other vision as I climb, I see those people stuck there crying out for help! I can't just pass them by as I climb to my place of safety so I stop to help. Then the part that made the tears flow. As I was helping those hurting people, I looked up at Jesus, standing on the rock, and He was nodding with pride and saying, "That's my boy."

Oh man! What a revelation! When we're in difficult circumstances, we need to look up and go to Jesus. The climb will be hard, maybe dangerous but while we're on the way, we need to look for others that we can help. While we're trusting Jesus and climbing out of our circumstances, we should help others along the way and take them to the rock with us!

I've heard it said that we're either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or about to go into a trial. let's look for others that we can help. We won't have to go out of our way to find them, they're in our way. Look!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Plant, Water, Wait

Reminded February 22, 2006
Notice I said "reminded" above. That means that god gave me this revelation a couple of years ago but reminded me of it this morning, so here it is.

When we pray for something or we give something God's told us to give, it's like planting a seed in the ground. Now, I'm a gardner and I know when I plant a bean seed, my responsibility for that seed is not over. In fact, I had to do some preparation even before planting. I had to get the right seed for the plant I wanted, prepare the soil to receive it, and then make the effort to plant it. Once the seed's in the ground, I have to water it, maybe fertilize it, make sure the animals don't dig it up, and then.......wait.

I've planted beans before so I know, since I put it in the fertile ground, it will come up. Even if I plant something new, I can read about it, (words), and believe if I follow instructions, it will come up and produce the crop I need. But the waiting is crucial. If I don't think anything's happening beause I can't see it, and go dig the seed up to see what's going on, I've destroyed it. I've got to wait, believe it's growing even though I can't see it, and wait some more.

Prayer and giving are the same way. First we prepare by learning what God's Word says about the situation, we pray according to that Word, and we wait. We speak words of belief and faith, (watering), and we wait for the result. The answer is not usually something that comes quickly; we have to wait. If we say things like, "Oh, this is not working." or "I'm never gonna get out of this.", what we're doing is digging up our seed.

Leave your prayer or giving seed in the ground, water it with faith-filled words, and wait. God will make it grow. "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6"

Monday, February 20, 2006

Let God Drive

Given January 24, 2006
I'm the kind of guy that has to plan everything. I guess it's a curse. If I'm doing a presentation or teaching a class, I have to have everything thought out and every potential problem solved. If I'm driving somewhere unfamiliar, I use Google Maps and my Delorme software to plan every turn. And you know what happens....I rarely think of everything and frequently make wrong turns.

But you know, if I'm attending a presentation, going to a class, or riding with someone else, I don't get stressed out at all! If someone else has the responsibility for planning or driving, I'm cool. God brought this to my attention recently about the driving thing and reminded me how I could relieve myself of all that stress. He basically said, "Let Me drive." "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7"

I know that's what I'm supposed to do. But how many times do we know what to do but don't do it? Shame on me and on us. God wants to drive. He wants to direct our lives and take us places. He says, "Calm down son, I'll take care of it. Just move over and let me drive."

If this thing in my life is a curse, I have the power to bring it to nought, (1 Corinthians 1:28). When I feel the stress coming on, I need to say, "Hey, not this time! Father, here's the wheel. You drive." Then, sit back and enjoy the trip!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Blessing Chase - Part 2

Given Spring 2004
As I mentioned in the previous post, most people want to be blessed and, I hope we realize, we can create an atmosphere of blessing in which blessings will more frequently come our way. I heard something the other day that reminded me of this revelation of blessings I received a couple of years ago.

I got a clearer picture of the relationship between us and these blessings God has for us. If we pursue blessings, they will usually outrun us. So how do we "get together" with our blessings? The answer is in Deuteronomy 28: "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 28:2"

Here's how I see it. If we chase after blessings and pursue them, if we spend our energy and resources trying to get blessings, they'll usually stay just ahead of us and are rarely obtained. Now, I'm talking about the blessings of God. Sure, we can attain what this world says are blessings but the Bible says they are fleeting, Proverbs 21:6.

But....if we pursue God, if we focus on catching Him, then, as it says in Deuteronomy, the blessings will overtake us! They'll even jump out on us from the side of the road! Another way of saying this is: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33"

Pursue God, love people, be a servant, give and you'll find many good things overtaking you and being added to you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Blessing Bubble - Part 1

Given Spring of 2004
If you'd ask people if they would like a blessing, most of them would say, "Why, of course. Bless me!" Most everyone likes to be blessed and, for Christians, that's part of the benefits of having God as your father. However, those same people might say they aren't receiving all the blessings they desire. So why do some of God's children get blessed more than others?

I would offer this answer: We can create an atmosphere of blessing for ourselves that makes it easier for God to send blessings our way. You might visualize this as a, "blessing bubble", that surrounds us wherever we go. Here's what Peter says about it: "Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:9"

By blessing others, being nice to EVERYBODY, and even going about looking for ways to bless people, God will see you as someone who is in the place to receive a blessing of your own. Look at it this way; if you've got two kids and one of them is a stinker and the other does everything right....come on now...your tendancy will be to give the "good" kid what he asks for. You love both of them the same because they're your children but....isn't that the way it is? I think God's the same way. So, go about doing good and see if blessings don't start showing up around you, in your "bubble".

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Don't Work For You Anymore

Given January 27, 2005
Jesus told the Jews when they were questioning Him about who was their father, " You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire." John 8:44. I imagine they got a little riled about that as evidenced by them saying He was demon possessed. Well, that got me thinking....

Let's say you work for a hard boss; someone who's unreasonable, orders you around and takes advantage of you as a worker. Well, you get fed up with it and God releases you to quit and get another job. So you do. Then this old boss of yours comes to your new job and starts telling you what to do and ordering you around just like he did before. Well now you can tell him, "Hey, look here buddy. I don't have to do what you say, I don't work for you anymore! Hit the road, Jack!"

That's just the way the old devil, our former boss, tries to do us. When we get saved, we move over to a new life, old things are passed away and all things become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17. We've got a new boss! But the old boss, (the devil), still comes around and tries to trick us into doing what he says. And why in the world we do it, I don't know, but sometimes we listen to that rascal!

But listen here....if you're saved, Jesus is your boss and you don't have to do anything the old boss says no matter how he lies and makes it sound good. Tell him to, "...hit the road, Jack!" And if he gives you any trouble, pull out your sword of the Spirit, (which is the Word), and jab him with it. He'll leave.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Still, Small Voice

Given February 4, 2006
I've heard the question several times lately from a pulpit, "Do you hear from God?", "Does God speak to you?" Of course, I can't hear what people's answers are but it's obvious from this blog that sometimes God speaks to me.

I sense that people who think, (and I mean they think), they haven't heard from God either can't tell when He speaks or are not listening. As I've mentioned, God usually speaks....now wait a minute, let me explain. I've never heard the actual voice of God. When I say He speaks, I mean I get an unmistakable impression or vision or thought inside me that is related to what I'm doing or thinking. And, it usually happens when I'm praying, listening to teaching tapes, or music, all of which I do while driving which is where I got the title of this blog.

OK, back to what I was saying; God usually speaks to me during times when I'm alone with Him, when it's quiet and I have no distractions around me. I can't recall that God has tried to holler at me at a ball game or tried to get my attention while I was watching TV or something. He doesn't do it that way. "And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still, small voice." 1 Kings 19:12

I think God is speaking to us all the time but most of the time we can't hear Him because the "noise" of our lives is all around us. We have to be quiet, in a quiet place to hear from God. Otherwise, we miss that, "still, small voice".

Try it. Get in a quiet place, sit down or kneel down and ask God to speak to you. Say something like, "Here I am Father, I love you. What do you want to tell me?" Then, be quiet and listen! It will be uncomfortable trying to be quiet. Don't ask again, just be quiet and listen for as long as it takes. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Now, you may be convicted to repent and ask forgiveness but, if so, that's what God is telling you to do first. He's speaking...are we listening?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is Your Faith Dead?

Given December 4, 2005
Have you ever felt that your faith was so weak that it was, well...dead? I sure have. There have been times when I felt my prayers weren't going anywhere. We know when we pray for someone, we join our faith with theirs and believe for results. But what about when the other person's faith is weak or absent. Can they receive anything from God?

I asked God about this and He reminded me of Lazarus. He received from Jesus and he was dead! How was this possible? Well, I went to John 11 to find the answer and found two reasons. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus. "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." John 11:11. And Lazarus' family asked Jesus for help. "So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." John 1:1.

Of course there were other reasons Jesus raised Lazarus but these two stuck out to me. Are you a friend of Jesus? He's said He loves you but have you spent time with Him, talking with Him and getting to know Him? That's what you do with a friend. And, do you have family who will earnestly pray for your needs? It can be blood family or spiritual family, it doesn't matter as long as they join their faith for you.

Do some preparation. Spend time with your Friend. Pray for others and love them and when your faith is weak, you'll still get an answer from Jesus.