Someone Called Me Senile

First thing this morning someone told me that I was at the age when senility should start setting in.  (I'm 53).  Now, to be honest it was a joke.  But it did get me to thinking.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

outer self is wasting away - I think that Paul understood getting, "older".  Probably one of his young hipster disciples pointed it out to him.  But he also understood, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  Or in other words, while our age may slow our bodies down, it doesn't slow our lives down.  Jesus renews, refreshes, revives and restores us daily.  We are never too, "old" for Jesus to do something great in and through our lives. 

Take the time to enjoy the day around you. 
Take the time to be grateful to God for what you have. 
Take the time to worship Him with all your heart. 

And don't call your pastor senile. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, Thank you for all that you have done for me and all that you will continue to do.  AMEN.  

Frustrating Isn't It?

I forgot to blog yesterday - please accept my apologies.  I don't know how I did it, but I did.  Usually, when I do something like this, it means that I need to take a day and review how I manage my life.  So, again - sorry.

But frustration is a part of life, isn't it?

While in Bible College there was a minister in Chapel who was telling us how "Frustration is eventually productive."  Meaning, that if you keep working on it, it will usually work out.  His story is what got my attention.

He was, as a young minister, preaching in a small church in Northwest Arkansas.  He was the main speaker at the youth rally.  However, because it was one of the first sermons he ever preached, he was quite nervous.  So he held on to the pulpit like it was trying to run away or something.  He was sweating profusely and standing very still.  Too still as it turns out.  He had locked his knees and as a result passed out.  Remember though, he had a death grip on that pulpit.  A large wooden pulpit. So as he passed out, he fell backward and pulled the pulpit on top of himself.  Ouch!  His point was, as frustrating and embarrassing this was, he didn't quit.  Obviously, years later he was an accomplished pulpiteer.  Then he announced the name of the church.  It was my home church in Rogers, Arkansas.  I knew that pulpit!  It was as big as the bulkhead of a battleship!

Remember Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Whatever you are facing today remember this.  God is bigger. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to face my frustration with my faith in You! AMEN! 

Belief vs. Unbelief

Have you ever read a passage in the Bible and wondered to yourself, "Why haven't I ever seen that before?"  Here's what happened to me.

Matthew 28:16-17 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

Now we know that Thomas had some issues in John 20:25.  But after Jesus appeared to him, he recanted his disbelief quickly.  Here we see that there are others who still having a hard time believing that Jesus has resurrected from the dead.  Now call me weird if you like, but if the guy is standing right in front of you what more could you ask for?  

Being slow to believe isn't a bad thing.  I don't see Jesus or anyone else rebuking these people for their doubts.  Apparently, the disciples were satisfied to allow these people to work through it.  If you are struggling with your faith, that's ok.  As long as you are working on it and not using it as an excuse to avoid your unbelief, you should be in good shape.  

Being quick to not believe in the obvious is a bad thing.  During a meeting I was preaching at in Brazil a man stumbled into the church from the street.  He was obviously drunk and totally wasted.  At the end of the service, I asked if anyone experience some kind of miracle in their life.  Some people came forward and shared how God had indeed done something for them.  Then this man walked up and began to speak.  To make a long story short, he had been listening to me preach from the sidewalk outside.  He then responded to the challenge I had issued at the end of my message.  He prayed and was instantly sobered up.  He then began to speak in a language he didn't understand (tongues) and wanted to know what that was about.  The church erupted in praise.  But one man near me quipped, "I doubt that ever happened."  Really?  

God is doing something right in front of you today.  Are you looking for it?  Will you choose to believe that He is taking action in your life today?  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to see what you are doing in my life today and to give you thanks for it.  AMEN  

The End - or is it?

Many people work hard to get ready for Easter.  The aftermath of which makes your church staff look like they have fought a pitched battle against an overwhelming enemy from another galaxy.  But is this the end?

After Jesus had risen from the dead, he was on this earth for another 40 days.  We don't have a lot to go on, but the fact that He appeared to over 500 people suggests that He was busy.  I'm sure that the disciples had lots of questions.  Jesus takes the time in Matthew 28:18-20 to give His final commands to them,

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

With that, He ascended into heaven.  But before He went He commanded them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father.  10 days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled and baptized the 120 believers who were in the upper room, evidenced by speaking in other tongues. 

Easter isn't the end - it is a time for new beginnings.  
- If you attended church, go again. 
- If you made a commitment of faith to Jesus by asking Him to forgive you of your sins.  Follow up on that. 
- If this Easter's service really made an impact on you, then allow it to inspire you to do something more for Jesus. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to grow in my relationship with You now more than ever.  AMEN  

Do You Know What You Are Looking For?

After Jesus' resurrection, He visited a number of people.  Paul speaks of nearly 500 eye witnesses.  Luke talks about the two disciples (not of the eleven) who were walking to Emmaus.  There are accounts of Jesus confronting Thomas' doubt, the restoration of Peter and more.  But there is a theme that occurs in the beginning that you need to pay attention to.

The disciples and followers of Jesus were not expecting a resurrection, therefore, they were not looking for Jesus.  Mary and the women at the tomb were shocked to see Jesus.  Peter and John ran to the tomb because they couldn't believe that He was alive.  The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were shocked to discover that Jesus was sharing a meal with them.

Luke 24: 39 - 43 a 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

What are you looking for today?  Can you see Jesus in your life today?  Look around you.  Think about it.  Jesus has been there the whole time.  He never left you but He has been waiting for you to ask Him into your life.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Many people are looking for money, love, joy and hope today.  This evening they will lament that another day has passed.  Don't waste another day.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, let me see you today.  AMEN

This Monday Isn't Blue

I don't know exactly how the disciples felt the day after Jesus' resurrection.  But I have a feeling that they were not bemoaning their Monday.

For most of us, Monday is almost a curse word.  But going back to work the first day of the week doesn't have to be awful.

1 Thess. 5:18 - give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Hold it, Pastor, you want me to do what?  I'm not giving thanks for my overbearing boss or that ungrateful co-worker.  That's not the point.

- Focus on Christ, not on your problems.  Think about it.
- Choose to give thanks, don't let others choose for you.  You're are in more control than you think.
- Remember what Jesus has already done for you, then remember - He isn't finished.  The best is yet to come.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I am giving thanks today for everything you have done for me.  Please do not let my day distract me away from you.  AMEN.