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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Christianity Lite

Given January 22, 2007
Living the Christian life is a rewarding thing. God is so good and He loves us so much, we can't even begin to imagine what it could be like, " Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20". Notice that I said what it could be like. Most Christians aren't experiencing the life they could be or working for the Kingdom of God in the power that's available. Why is that?

I think it has something to do with the "lite" form of Christianity. Most Christians have heard the plan of salvation, said "yes", accepted the benefits, but are uninformed as to the hard parts; the parts that take daily work and sacrifice. "...having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:5".

If we want to be the best we can be in God, we must be willing to pay the full price for it, not the bargain price! Too many churches are offering the lite version of the Gospel, the one that tickles the ears of the congregation but does not urge them to change. To be fully used by God, we must count the cost and step up and say, "Here I am God, use me. Your will not mine." "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28". It doesn't take much just to be on the team but it takes a lot to get in the game and make a difference.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It Is Good, 300 X 3

Given January 18, 2007
God likes us. We're His creation, made in His image, and He thinks we're cool. Granted, He doesn't like everything we do but He likes us. During creation, at the end of the sixth day, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31". I can imagine God looking at man He'd created, nodding His head, and saying, "That's good; that's very good!"

Now we know Adam and Eve gave sin a place in the earth and we were all born into sin after that. But, God sent Jesus to take our punishment and gave us the chance to be, "born again". I can now imagine when you and I got born again, God standing there nodding His head and again saying, "That's good".

But then, we sin and lose that close relationship with Him and it saddens Him. But He's provided a way for us to get back in fellowship with Him; repentance and forgivenness. So, when we realize we've sinned, we go to Him with a repentant heart and ask forgiveness, and He loveingly takes us back. I can imagine Him embracing us, nodding His head, and saying once again, "That's good".

Jesus told His disciples when they asked Him how many times they had to forgive their brother when he had sinned against them, "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22". He meant as many times as it takes. And in this revelation, God is not just saying to us, "It's good" three times but 300 times 3; as many times as it takes. Aren't you glad for that?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bring A Big Pot

Given January 8, 2007
One day in a land far away, (maybe not so far), the King asks his servants to come to the palace to receive some blessings. He asks the people to bring a container to carry the blessings home in.

One family hears the good news and says, “We’ve got some really big needs so let’s take the biggest pot we have in the cupboard so we can take care of our family.” They go to the palace and get a pot full of blessings.

Another family hears the same news and says, “Sure we’ve got some needs but our neighbors are all worse off than we are, let’s take the truck so we can help them out.” They go to the palace and get a truck full of blessings and distribute them in their neighborhood. They kept the leftovers for themselves.

The next day, a big tractor trailer pulls up to their house stuffed full of blessings. They said, “What’s this? We got our blessings yesterday from the King at the palace.” The driver says, “Yeah, we know. But the King noticed how you gave your blessings to your neighbors and wanted to bless you some more. Where do you want us to put this?”

The only limit to our receiving blessings is the size of our pot. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38”.

And, the King notices what we do in secret and rewards us in public. “…and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6.

Let's check the size of our giving pots.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Confirmation

Given January 8, 2007
I’m in the last few months before early retirement and I was lamenting, during my morning prayer, how I was confused and unsettled in my life about what I’m supposed to do. I know God has something planned for me but He’s not let me in on it or I’ve not seen what He’s trying to show me.

As I sorta whined about it, the Holy Spirit simply said, “Well, spend more time with me and you’ll see clearly.” I accepted that and realized the answers to all my questions can be found in the presence of Jesus.

When I got to the office and looked at my daily scripture calendar, the verse grabbed me! It was Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The devotion said, “You can have peace despite the storms. Stay close to Jesus Christ. Read God’s Word. Pray.

That’s what we know as confirmation! Now, it’s my choice to act on it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Secret To Success

Given January 5, 2007
This....is all there is to it.

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8".

If you want success, there you go!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

How Do They Know?

Given November 23, 2006
Well, the New Year reflections and resolutions have been made and I'm four days into it now. I want 2007 to be the best year ever for me and my family, don't you? I want to be a blessing and be blessed. I want everyone around to know I'm a child of God and for God to be proud of me, AND for Him to get the credit. But, how's that going to happen?

God get's glory when we bear fruit and are healthy and prosperous and we proclaim that He is responsible for it. "The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Matthew 15:31". When people see what God has done in us, it'll look good on Him.

I think sometimes, how would people know I'm a Christian. When you're at Walmart or somewhere and see all those people, how do you know which ones are Christians? In 2007, I want more people to know about me. "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8". That's it; SHOWING yourselves to be His disciples. Praying over your meals in the restaurant and giving a big tip, being extra nice to the checkout girl, smiling at people, being Christlike in difficult situations, offering to pray for someone's need-right then and there......

If this is something you'd like to join me in doing in 2007, why not comment on some other ways we can give God glory. Amen!