Monday, September 26, 2016

Convenience vs. Commitment

Charles Stanley said: "Too many Christians have a commitment of
convenience. They'll stay faithful as long as it's safe and doesn't
involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in
the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way
their friends are going."

What did Jesus say about commitment? "If anyone is ashamed of me and
my words..." (Mark 8:38)
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization
  and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all
  agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends
  Barnabas and Paul--men who have risked their lives for the name of
  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 15:24-26 NIV)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Have you seen sci-fi movies where an artifact of ancient, other-
world technology is found that appears to be long dead? Then some
action awakens it and it powers up--as potent and powerful as it
ever was. It usually threatens the galaxy or something like that.

I believe God can activate in us what we thought was long dead. He
is life and the source of power. What enables His life and power to
"power up" in us? Faith--in the context of relationship.
  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with
  a stone laid across the entrance. "Take away the stone," he said.
  "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time
  there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Then Jesus
  said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the
  glory of God?" (John 11:38-40 NIV)

Thursday, September 15, 2016


It is difficult to be spiritually-minded when: Bills are due and
there is no money to pay them or the children are ill or you are
late for work (again) or you just received very bad news... (I am
certain each of us can add many things to that list!)

It is said: "Life goes on." And so it does. But we must always keep
in mind that there is life beyond what we experience and endure
here. That "life beyond" is our purpose, our goal, and our
destination. Never lose sight of it no matter what you have to do.
Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the
  prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All
  athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize
  that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run
  straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a
  boxer who misses his punches. (1 Cor 9:24-26 NLT)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Let Go!

Do you regret your past? Are there things you wish you had or had
not done, or said, or lost? Are you, like me, hard on yourself,
"beating yourself up" over your failures?

As one who has been there, let me say to you: Your past has value,
not the least of which is that it got you to where you are today.

And from where you are today, you can choose to allow God to use
your past to propel you into the future He has for you.
See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to
  be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong
  to this world don't know God, so they don't understand that we are
  his children. Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and
  we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But
  we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see
  him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves
  pure, just as Christ is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 NLT)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hang on!

When you are in difficult circumstances for a long time, it is easy
to lose hope and give up--sometimes out of sheer weariness. You feel
that you just cannot take any more! But please don't give up.

God can turn any situation for your good in the end. It is just the
part between the beginning and the end that is so hard to endure...

From my experiences, I can say: This is true and worth the wait.
I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through
  cold and sleepless nights. Yes, twenty years--fourteen of them
  earning your two daughters, and six years to get the flock. And you
  have reduced my wages ten times! In fact, except for the grace of
  God--the God of my grandfather Abraham, the awe-inspiring God of my
  father, Isaac--you would have sent me off without a penny to my
  name. But God has seen your cruelty and my hard work. That is why he
  appeared to you last night and vindicated me." (Gen 31:40-42 NLT)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What God wants

What does God want for your life? Don't know for sure? Maybe not at
all? You are not alone. Here's an idea in 3 steps that may help:

  Step 1: Ask God to cause His purpose for your life to be.
  Step 2: Give the concern of it to Him and trust Him.
  Step 3: Give it time--maybe a lot of time.

  (But don't worry about how much time. Remember,
  you gave the concern of it to Him in Step 2.)

After a while, when you look back, you just may be amazed at what
God has done in your life.
They found no just cause to execute him, but they asked Pilate to
  have him killed anyway. "When they had fulfilled all the prophecies
  concerning his death, they took him down from the cross and placed
  him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead! (Acts 13:28-30 NLT)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Did you know that there are conditions to meet before some prayers
will be answered? In today's verses, we like "...ask whatever you
wish...". We do not like "If..." because it implies a condition.

The condition Jesus taught in these verses is relationship.

Through relationship, there are no limits. Without relationship,
there are no possibilities. Through relationship, He can give us
everything. Without relationship, He can give us nothing.

Everything in the kingdom of God works through relationship.
  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I
  in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown
  away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire
  and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask
  whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's
  glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my
  disciples." (John 15:5-8 NIV)