When God Shows Up

Last night was Missions Night at District Council.  There we heard about a great need that is half way around the world.  Pastors being persecuted for their faith.  Great opposition to the Good News that you and I can embrace everyday. 

God showed up and moved graciously, powerfully and beautifully in the lives of people.  It reminded me of the verse in Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

 I also noticed was who else showed up.  

A complaining spirit that flowed from hearts of people who were ungrateful. 
A doubting spirit who questioned what was really happening. 
A arrogant spirit that said it was better than others. 
A ambitious spirit that said the ends justify the means as long as you get the results your looking for. 

None of this changed God’s plan.  He showed up in a big way to those who were there to worship Him, celebrate Him and embrace Him.  They walked away with love, zeal and hope.  

What spirit are you operating in today?  Yours or God’s?

PRAY: Dear Jesus, may I walk with you today and may my heart be like Your’s.  AMEN. 

Don't Forget

So we are staying in a house outside Orlando for District Council.  (Way cheaper than a hotel and you get Eric to cook breakfast.) We go to turn on the TV and the previous family who rented this house left their Netflix signed in.  (Lesson for the day: Never leave without signing out your Netflix.  People go creeping on your watched list later.)  So we figured out that it was mom, dad, and two young kids.  Then we signed their account out for them.

Deut 8:11 - 20 11 Make sure you don't forget God, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today . . . 14 make sure you don't become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God, your God, the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery; 15 the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness, those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions; the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock; 16 the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you.  (MSG)

When we forget our history, we are doomed to fall back into it.  God rewrites your future when you give it to Him.  He reshapes your hopes and dreams.  But don't forget His Word, to pray and to love others as He has loved us.

When we forget the sin, He brought us out of and the doom we so deserved, we become arrogant.

17 If you start thinking to yourselves, "I did all this. And all by myself. I'm rich. It's all mine!" - 18 well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors - as it is today. 

With all the knowledge and wisdom we can accumulate, even at the end of our life, we still don't have enough to save us.  Don't forget. We need Jesus.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I need You, Oh, I need You, every hour I need You.  AMEN

It's Really Late

Got up early and drove to Orlando to attend the PFDC District Council.  Drove through a lot, I mean a lot, of love bugs.  Finally got to our destination with just enough time to take a shower, go to service, enjoy the after party, and get some supplies.  It's 11:41 at night and I'm exhausted.

But there was a song they sang in the worship service that I would like to share with you.  Take some time to listen to this and remember these words all day long.  Play it a few times while getting ready for your day.  Hum the tune all day long!  OUR GOD REIGNS!

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, YOU REIGN!  Amen

Change Happens

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

The story of the Israelites is about change.  The change God brought and the changes they inflicted upon themselves.  

It was God that delivered them from Egyptian slavery. 
But they rebelled against God and failed to enter the Promised Land. 
It was God that lead Joshua and the next generation into that Promised Land. 
But it was their idolatry that weakened their defenses and allowed their enemies to overrun them. 
It was God who provided Judges to deliver them upon their repentance. 
But they desired to have a King rule over them, which lead to a series of bad kings and corruption. 
It was God who provided prophets and others to save the nation again and again.  

You get the picture.  As the old saying goes, "Out of the frying pan and into the fire." Except in their case, it was out of the pan, into the fire, back into the pan, back into the fire.  

God would bring positive, life-giving change, but the Israelites would eventually wander off from His Word and create, change of their own.  Change that dishonored Him, change that sinned against Him, change that led them to destruction. 

When we follow God and His will, He leads us through the changes we need to face to ultimately get where He wants us to go.  Change isn't easy, and sometimes it is painful.  Change can look, and it can look horrifying too.  Sometimes we try to change what God is doing in our lives.  We decide to change His change.  But in the end, we only shortchange ourselves.  

What is happening in your life right now that is changing things?  Do you like it?  Do you hate it?  Take the time to ask God what you should be doing about it?  You will find that His wisdom in your heart will help you accept what He is doing and bolster your trust in Him. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, change is happening in my life.  Show me how to glorying You through it.  AMEN  

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together.

How many of you were raised on the "A-Team"? No, not the movie, the 80's TV show with George Peppard, and Mr. T.  George played the part of Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith, leader, and mastermind of some of the craziest solutions to impossible problems.  When it was all over, usually in a cloud of smoke and destruction, he would say, "I love it when a plan comes together."  

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

God has a plan, and it always comes together.  Now I don't believe that God sits on His throne in heaven, saying, "I love it when a plan comes together."  But I do think that it pleases Him when we follow His plans for our lives even if we don't know that they are happening.  

For example, recently, I started teaching the Book of Romans in our Advance Life Group on Wednesdays.  This isn't your average Bible study.  We get into the deep theology that makes our heads spin and Ph.D.'s giggle like school girls.  But we get a lot out of it.  

Then I started preaching a series on the Prodigal Son entitled, The Wanderer.  I had no idea that the older brother, which my message is about tomorrow (Sunday), and the theme of righteousness from  Romans had so much in common.  I'm talking, mind blown, stuff.  

God put two seemingly different sections of the Bible together and taught me a whole new facet to my relationship with God.  What is God doing in your life right now?  How is he bringing things together?  What is He showing you?  What are you learning?  

Don't you love it when a plan comes together? 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to see what you are doing in my life.  Show me something new about You.  AMEN  

To Blog Or Not To Blog, That Is The Question!

Of course, I am borrowing from William Shakespeare's famous soliloquy, Hamlet.  The line 'to be or not to be' has been debated extensively.  But usually, it is interpreted as meaning, "Is it better to live or to die?"

Death comes in more ways than you might imagine.  There is physical death, spiritual death, death of one's vision for their life.  There can be the death of a friendship, a relationship, or even marriage.  One's career can die as well as one's hopes and dreams.  

A question, we should be rightfully asking is, "Should I be doing this?  Should I be working at McDonald's?  Should I be dating this person?  Should I be working towards this specific degree?  What is your question? 

John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

We know that God is the author of life, and He has the last word over death. We know in Hebrews 9:27, "it is appointed for men once to die..."  So we can safely conclude that life and death are a part of God's whole plan for our lives.  

Jesus has all authority, even over life and death.  But when we focus on what we have lost, then we forget what He has given us.  More importantly, we forget what He can do afterward.  Never did Jesus, The Apostles or the early church fixate on the His death.  They proclaimed His resurrection and His power over it.  

Should I blog, yes I believe so?  Jesus isn't done with me yet.  There is so much more He has to give me.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, give me life above death and let me focus on You, not my losses.  AMEN