Showing posts from March, 2018

It's Quiet But . . .

It's quite here in my office as we put the finishing touches on tomorrows Easter Service.  It's going to be a great day and if you are in the South Florida area, come and worship with us. The day between Jesus' crucifixion and His resurrection was a quite one of sorts.  Life went on in Jerusalem.  The Passover was celebrated, and people went about their business.  They probably pushed all the ugliness of that last minute crucifixion out of their minds.  Jesus is dead, and there is nothing they can do about it. The disciples are hiding and mourning.  Stunned at what just happened, their minds had to be swirling with so many questions.  Are they next?  Will the Sanhedrin try to kill them too?  What are they going to do now?  Can life ever be the same again? The only scripture we have of any Saturday activity is found in Matthew 27:66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. The Jewish leaders thought that the disciples might tr

It's Good Friday

I am sitting here at my desk putting the finishing touches on Sunday's Easter Sermon. In that sermon, I will say, For followers of Jesus, the empty tomb is where Easter starts. It doesn’t start at the Last Supper, Pilates court, Jesus’ scourging or even the crucifixion. Easter starts with an empty tomb. A tomb that three days earlier was occupied. What is good about a man, falsely accused and convicted to death, nailed to a cross, publically ridiculed, and humiliated?   What happened to Him wasn't good.  Why it happened to Him wasn't good.  But He chose to go to the cross so that you and I could be forgiven of our sins, given eternal life with Him in heaven and experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives through His promises.  That puts the "Good" in Good Friday.  I am not good.  I am a sinner who needs His grace to forgive me.  This world is not good.  It is a place that needs to humble itself and seek Christ's will.  You are not

When It All Comes Unraveled

Thursday of the Passion Week was the beginning of the end.  Remember that Jewish chronology is lunar. Therefore, Friday starts at sundown on Thursday. Jesus has led the disciples in the Passover meal. What some would call the Lords Supper. He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, in agony. He is betrayal by Judasand the Sanhedrin arrest Him. He is taken to the house of High Priest and the Sanhedrin are convened.  Bu for one man, it all came unraveled for him.  Peter. John 18:10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Peter was ready to go to war!  People would know that it was Peter who struck the first blow for the new revolution.  Problem was, Wrong revolution, wrong war.  Jesus stops Peter by picking up Malchus’ ear and healing him.   John 18:26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden

All Is Quiet

Nothing is said of Jesus' activities on this day.  Either He rested or the day's activities were not out of the ordinary.   To say that Jesus is having a tough week is putting it mildly.   Judas is betraying Him.  The disciples are about to be tested.  Some of them will fail.  He has angered the religious elites, now they want Him dead.  He knows what He has to do, and it's tough.   So what did Jesus do?  What He has always done.  So let's learn from His actions.   Matthew 22: 34 - 40   34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two com

On This Day . . .

On this day over 2,000 years ago Jesus finds the fig tree that he cursed and teaches on faith.   He goes to the temple where He confounds and pronounces woes upon His enemies. On His way back to Bethany He delivers the famous Olivet Discourse. Judas makes the deal to betray Jesus. Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Time is ticking down.  Jesus knows that His days are numbered.  So what does He do?  What He has always done.   If you knew the day that you were going to die, what would you be found doing?  Going to work?  Taking the day off?  Watch TV or something?  I doubt it.  I suspect that you would have a "bucket list" of things to do and people to say goodbye to.  Not Jesus.  He kept doing what He had always done which means that He lived His life like every day was His last.   He taught people the Will of God in a way they could embrace it.  He lived His life in such a way as they would emulate it.  He healed

The Temple Tantrum

A friend of mine just did a Facebook live entitled.  The Temple Tantrum.  Thank you, Randy Brummitt, for the idea.  I apologize that I didn't get to watch the whole thing, the internet threw a temper tantrum. Matthew 21: 12 - 17 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”17 And leaving them, he w

The Son of God A Celebrity

Today is Palm Sunday.  The day that Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem.  He rode in on a young colt, people threw their cloaks and branches down in front of Him as He entered Jerusalem.  It was an entrance befitting a famous pilgrim.  Today we would call them a celebrity. While Jesus understood His entry into Jerusalem, the people didn't.  They saw a great man, healer, and prophet.  They shouted, "Hosanna!"  Which today means, "Praise The Lord."  But in Jesus' day, it meant, "God save us!". People were hoping that this, "celebrity" would be the answer to their needs.  The government was oppressive, there were many social ills and a poorly performing economy. Matthew 21:10 - 11 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” Jesus had stirred up a whole city.  Five days later they were going to shout for his c

So Tired I Can't See Straight

Growing up on a farm you worked, and you worked hard.  Towards the end of the day, I would hear my mom or dad say this old phrase.  "I'm so tired I can't see straight."  As a kid, I thought it was funny.  As I got older, I got it.   I got 4 hours of sleep last night.  I had to be at the church at 8 am this morning.  Then I had to help my wife set up a jewelry show across town.  Got back to the church and discover the guys working there needed some tools.  Off to Home Depot.  Then it was time to get the workers lunch, off to Publix.  Then I had to get my wife and daughter their lunch.  Made the lunch run, got back to church and then back to Home Depot.  After arriving with those items, it was time to pack up my wife's jewelry show and bring it back.  As soon as we did that it was time to go pick up my daughter at the dance studio.  Back to the church where it was time to set up the platform for tomorrow.  Oh dear, I missed something.  Back to Home Depot.  At thi

When Life Demands More Than You Can Deliver

There is this verse in the Bible that people often misquote. they will say, "The Bible says He will not give me more than I can handle."  Actually, it means, 1 Corinthians 10:13   No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability. This has nothing to do with life's demands. In fact, in his next book, Paul said, 2 Corinthians 1:8-9   8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. All throughout the Bible, we see people given assignments that were bigger than themselv

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Acts 1:9 - 11 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” What are you looking for?  What do you expect from your life, your marriage, your family, your boss?  Tony Robbins says, "What you focus on is what you get." Actually, some adages say the same thing.   So what do you expect from your faith?   Some people are like the disciples of Acts 1, gazing into heaven.  I know followers of Jesus who were are just waiting for Him to come back.  While the Bible tells us to be prepared for that day, it doesn't instruct us to sit around and wait.  Let's be found doing the work of God when He returns.   Some peopl

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Nope, I didn't blog yesterday.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get it done. So in the past 36 hours, I have driven to and from Lakeland, Florida.  Sit in 9 hours of meetings.  Taken my daughter to the dentist to have a tooth pulled.  My allergies are at an all-time high.  The church project which has occupied my every moment for the last two months is almost done.  Easter is coming.  I have to teach tonight.  A sermon to write.  Stair molding to find, because the supplier has lost it - again.  The list goes on and on. So where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Luke 10:38-42   Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the

Turn The Page And Seize The Moment

Proverbs 19:21 says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Life is like reading a book.  You turn the page and sometimes you change chapters.   Now I read a lot of books.  There have been books that drove me to turn the page and there are some that demanded me to put them down.  But every time a new chapter presents itself, my heart jumps at the opportunity to discover something new.   Do you look at your life that way?   Some people see as THE END.  They think that their life is over.  No it isn’t!  But it is going to be different.  Different isn’t bad but you have to be willing to seize the moment.   How do you seize the moment? Ask for wisdom.  Pray for God to show you what to do next. Get a great attitude.  An attitude of gratitude will give you momentum.  A bad attitude will only drag you down.   Trust your author.  God is the author of you life.  Trust Him.   PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to seize the moment.  AMEN 

When People Cry

Ever cried?  We all have.  We’ve cried tears of joy and sorrow.  Sometimes we cry because we are mad, sometimes we don’t know why. Psalm 56:8-9 8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?  9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.  This I know, that God is for me. God notices when we cry.  More importantly He cares why.  We live in a world that demands that we be hard, frozen and unemotional.  Don’t allow anyone or anything to get to you.  But that isn’t real is it?  What makes you cry?  Is it the pain in a loved ones eyes?  The homeless on the street?  A friends broken heart.  Compassion, even pity are God like characteristics.  But chances are that what makes you cry is a sign of something more significant.  Your human.  Your emotional.  That there is a special place in your heart for someone or something.   So go ahead and cry.  Pay attention to who or what you are crying for.  It is quite possible that ha

What Will It Take For You To Go To Church Sunday?

I am dog tired.  I've worked at the church for 13 hours today.  If you would like to see why then I suggest you attend Faith Family Worship Center tomorrow. Heb 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. If you're not going to attend church tomorrow in Palm City, then where are you going?  But you might ask.  Why should I go?  Well, thank you for asking.  Worshipping God with others encourages your soul.  Have you had a bad week?  Then you need some encouragement.  If you had a great week.  Then share your encouragement with others.  Worshipping with others is in obedience to Him.  Anytime you obey God He notices.   Be around people of like faith.  They are going through many of the same things you are.  Let them show you how to do it.   Jesus will be there.  He promised that He would be, so why not go spend some time with Him.  The Holy Spirit will do som

It's How Many Days Until Easter?

That's right, Easter is less than two weeks away.  So let's get a few things out of the way. #1 - Yes I know that Easter falls on April Fools Day.  But Easter is no joke. #2 - Easter is very early, but it is based on a Jewish Calendar.  Passover is March 31st. At this point in Jesus' life here on earth, He is making His way back to Jerusalem.  He knows what is waiting for Him there.  There are crowds of people who love Him, (Palm Sunday) and the ruling authorities who want Him dead. Jesus was ready to give up so you might be able to go up. It was time to change man's relationship with God.  From the time of Moses until then mankind's relationship with God was based on obeying the law.  The law itself wasn't what, "made" people acceptable in God's sight.  It was their love for Him that lead them to willing choose to obey.  But that relationship was limited at best.  Its purpose was to point to a new day, new hope and a new life.  That new

A Pot of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow.

It is St. Patricks day this weekend.  This week I ate at a favorite Irish restaurant and came to this conclusion.  I'm not going there this weekend.  Everything was green, and I mean everything!  So where did this whole idea of Leprechauns, pots of gold and rainbows come from?   Well, the myth goes like this. Once upon a time, the Vikings lived in Ireland, looting and plundering they burying their ill-gotten treasures all over the countryside. When they departed from the Isle, they inadvertently left behind some of their gold, which the leprechauns found. To ensure no humans could take what they now considered their gold, the leprechauns reburied it in pots deep underground all over the island. When rainbows appear, they always end at a spot where some leprechaun's pot of gold is buried.  Believers who've searched for the legendary pot o' gold always end up stymied, because they can never find the rainbow's end.  How here is the science.  It's true

The Smart Man Missed The Obvious

Stephen William Hawking passed away today at the age of 76. He was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. He was one of the smartest men alive. Many considered him to be in the same league as Albert Einstein. But Hawking made it know that he was "not religious in the normal sense" and he believed that "the universe is governed by the laws of science."  Later he stated that "The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws." Then in 2014, he declared himself an atheist. "Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is, we would know everything that God would know if there were a God, which there isn't. I'm an atheist." https://en.wikipedia.

(Insert Angry Comment Here)

We've all had those days. I'm having one of them today. It starts out ok. Then it all goes south. Then after that, it gets nasty. After it gets that bad, BAM! It gets worse. No, my day hasn't been that bad, but I've had a few of them in my lifetime. Sometimes you just want to scream and (insert angry comment here). James 1:2-7   Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. "Count it all joy", says James.  Really?  I'm supposed to be happy about being in trouble?  Well, maybe. First of all, James isn't say

What Is Normal?

There is a phrase that each of use again and again.  We use it to reassure people.  We use it to help people come to terms with something.  It is this.  "Oh, that's normal." Normal defined means to conform to the common behavior of society.  The problem is, standards are always changing.  What is, "normal" today may not be tomorrow.  This makes normal frustrating. Matthew 24:37-39 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Normal, for the follower of Jesus, isn't based on culture.  It's based on the Word of God.  To have a Biblical point of view.   Jesus is being quoted in Matthew 24.  He is, in essence, saying, normal for the world will be like it was just b

What’s Important

Luke 12:34  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also If you want to change the direction of your life, change your priorities. Jesus made it clear in Luke 12:34 that your heart will follow your passions.  Whatever you place value in, that is what you will pursue.   This evening I got to spend some time with my family.  With a couple of our friends, we watched the new Marvel movie, Black Panther.  Do let worry, no spoilers here.  My heart loves my family.  Sure I have 101 things to do.  But none of them are as necessary as them.  They are a priority to me. If your family is destined to destruction if your marriage is on the rocks if your future is looking bleak.  Change your priorities, and your heart will follow.   What is the most important priority in your life right now?   What should be your most important priority right now? If they are different, what are you going to do right now? PRAY: Dear Jesus, show me what my heart should be ch

The Price Of Success - W O R K

Proverbs 16:3  Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Work is a four-letter word to some people.  They don't like it and avoid it as much as possible.  I have witnessed people work hard at avoiding work.  In fact, I think that they worked harder at it than a regular job.  Crazy, right?  But the question you have to ask yourself is, what kind of work are you doing?  Everyone can do something.  But are you doing the right thing?  Here are a few questions you might want to answer.  Are you working within God's purpose for your life?  Do you enjoy putting all your heart into it?  Can you envision the results of your work?  Do the finished results put a smile on your face? If you couldn't work, would that make you sad?  When you work is given to God, a work that serves Him with all your heart, He will bless whatever you put your hand to.   PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I want to work for you today.  AMEN  

Sleep On It

Lamentations 3:25-26.  The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. If you want wisdom, wait for it. Often I advise people who are going to make a serious financial decisions to sleep on it. I advise people who want to get married to wait and pray about it. I would advise anyone who is going to make a career change to wait and seek good counsel. I think you get the picture. Wisdom wants to be a part of your life, but it isn’t going to be a crowbar.  It will not force itself on you.  Wisdom wants to be welcome and cherished like a close friend. Wisdom brings clarity. Wisdom empowers knowledge Wisdom loves to be coupled with joy. Wisdom enjoys the company of honor. Wisdom brings success. Wisdom helps you embrace peace. PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to make wisdom my best friend today. AMEN

When Life Changes Direction

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Things happen.  Things that make you think.  Some doors open.  Some doors close.  Why?   Why ask why?   God is in control.  That phrase never has or will ever imply that He will tell you what He is up to or that you need to give Him permission to do it.  So what do you do?  If change happens, do not become bitter about it.  There is a way to be better.  Don't focus on the loss, focus on the opportunity.  What can you do now that you couldn't do before?  Wait.  God will reveal His will in due time.  Don't allow your frustration with God diminish God's revelation for your life.  PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I love you, and I need you to help me change directions today.  AMEN  

Respect Is A Lost Art

Romans 12:10   Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. So, this morning I had to make a run to Home Depot.  As I arrive, I notice an attractive woman loading lumber into the back of her pick.  But what I saw next was painful.  Every man in the parking lot ogling and drooling.  Then as I walk through the store, I notice some women checking out some guys as they go by.   Everyone thinks this is normal.  It shouldn't be.  But in a world where people shout obscenities at each other.  In a world where use hand gestures to insult each other.  In a world where the value of another person is only equal to your current mood.   We lose respect.   But as a follower of Jesus, we don't embrace that option.  In fact, we are to do the opposite.  We are to value others more than ourselves.  It is called Agape love.  It is a self-sacrificing love that gives without expecting anything in return.   So let's take my story from

What Is A Crisis?

When you think of crisis, you probably go to something negative like a car accident or a divorce.  There is no doubt that these are crisis events.  But did you know that something, like buying a new house, welcoming a new child into a family or even moving, is a crisis? Genesis 12: 1 - 3 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Abraham is about to go into a crisis.  God tells him to move to a place to be announced later.   How would you react to this command?  Pack everything you own in a U-Haul and drive in a particular direction and keep driving until I tell you to stop.   Would you pack the truck? Would you drive 100 miles and qu

When God Changes Your Mind.

This morning, Duke Matlock , spoke in church.  Duke has been a dear friend of mine for years. God did something through his life for our church.  He told me after the service that the message he shared wasn't his original choice.  But that the Holy Spirit directed him in that direction. Isn't it cool how the Holy Spirit redirects our paths? Matthew 4:1  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Jesus has just been baptized by John the Baptist inaugurating the beginning of His ministry.  What's next?  Hold a huge crusade?  Preach a series of revival/healing services?  Start a Bible college?  Nope!  Go into the wilderness, fast and pray for 40 days and them be tempted by Satan himself.  What a way to start off, right?  When God redirects our paths, often we assume that it is to some glorious place of success.  When in fact God may be directing us into times of struggle.  Time in the wilderness.   If you find yourself i

When Reality Kicks In

I had a famous Christian Psychologist tell me one time, "If you don't like being Wiley Coyote, always getting the anvil dropped on your head, leave the cartoon."  His point was simple.  If you are living in someone else's fantasy, step out into your own reality.  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. There were a lot of people who thought, and still think, Jesus was a lunatic.  Either He is the Lord He claims to be or the lunatic that people believe He is.  The reality is simple.   Jesus realizes that you and I were living in a world with no hope.  Satan has convinced people that they can save themselves and turn this sinful world around.  That's why He came to earth and gave His life on the cross.  His sacrifice and resurrection empowers us to embrace His reality, and so we can reject Satans lies.   Have you ever had a moment in your life when you realize your perceptio

Running From God

I am studying Jonah right now.  Every time I read this book I think, “Jonah, did you actually think that you were going to get away with this?”  Apparently, He did. In chapter one we find him downstairs asleep.  There is a team outside that has the sailors scared out of their mind.  But Jonah doesn’t care.  Why is he asleep?  Why doesn’t he care.  We really don’t know but I have an idea. Jonah may be thinking that he is just going to wait God out.  That if he stays down there long enough that God will just give up.  No one ever accused Jonah of making good decisions.  But that got me thinking. How many times have we ever tried to, “wait God out”.  God tells us to do something and we ignore it.  Ignoring God is the same as running from God.  Even though our life is in the middle of a storm.  Even though everyone around you is wondering why your in the middle of a storm.  We act like nothing is wrong. God is patience.  It is an extension of His loving character.  God has all the