Spinach In My Teeth

Gal. 6:1
Gal. 6:1

What if you had a bright-green glob of spinach stuck right in the middle of your two front teeth? Then you went the whole day and no one told you. Wouldn’t you wonder, with all the people you came into contact with that day, why no one told you?!

If someone did tell you, it would probably be embarrassing at first. It might even make you feel stupid. However, later on, you would thank them. Right?

If no one told me, I would think that the whole day, people were actually ignoring it. They had to have been distracted by this giant glaring piece of vegetable lodged in my teeth! Oh, you know they saw it, right? I mean, there’s no mistaking it!

Well, it takes guts to tell someone there is something stuck in their teeth. The whole time you’re thinking, “Should I tell them? Nah, it’s not that bad. Maybe someone else will tell them. Maybe it will become loose and just fall out on its own. How do they not know? Look at it! Wow, its huge!… Great, too much time has gone by and it would look weird if I mentioned it now. Ok, this is making me uncomfortable. WAIT! Maybe I’ve got something in MY teeth! AHHHH!”

If I did tell you had spinach in your teeth, how would you respond?

“MY TEETH? Look at YOUR TEETH! You think YOUR TEETH are so clean? They are just as bad as mine! Not to mention your breath! I’ve been meaning to tell you: Your breath is pretty rank, buddy. Why don’t you use some mouthwash? THEN come back and tell me about MY terrible spinach infestation!”
Of course not. You and I are not like that, are we? We would thank that person and get that dastardly spinach out of our teeth right then and there and FOREVER! Right?

I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Pride is a funny thing. It can topple even the strongest person. It can blind even the brightest of people. We have to fill ourselves with the Holy Word of God and align our steps with His only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. That’s the only way any of us even have a chance.

And if someone loves you enough to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth? Thank them. Thank them for being so brave and honest.

God Bless!
#BearOneAnothersBurdens
Ref: Galatians 6:1

Sent Ones

Mark 16:15
Mark 16:15

God sends.

He sent Abraham to Canaan. He sent Moses to Pharaoh. He sent Nathan to David. He sent John the Baptist to pave the way. Then He sent His Son to this world. He sent His Holy Spirit after that. He sent the Apostles to the rest of the world. And now?

Now, God sends us. Now, we are the sent ones (Mark 16:15).

He sends us out to spread the good news of His Risen Son. He sends us out to love in a world filled to the brim with hate. He sends us out to bring hope to the hopeless and to set the captives free (Luke 4:18)!

He sends us out to represent Christ.

Sent ones carry the authority of the Sender (Romans 10:15). The US Ambassador to the United Nations is just a man, but with that title, he represents the United States, it’s president, and it’s people. We are just men and women, but clothed in the precious Blood of the Lamb, we represent Jesus’ Love, Mercy, and Peace.

What a privilege! What an awesome responsibility! It is joyous and terrifying at the same time, isn’t it?

Now more than ever, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matt. 10:7). Just as Jesus submitted to His Father, We must submit to Jesus. (John 17:18)

God sends you. Are you sent?

God Bless!

#SentOnes #KingdomofHeaven

Please and Thank You

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How about we make year 2014, the year of Please and Thank You.

Please, God, mold me.
Please, Lord, help me get closer to You.
Please, Father, give me the Peace that passes all understanding!

Thank You, God, for all You’ve done for me.
Thank You, Lord, for the Cross and all that it stands for.
Thank You, Father, for loving me, for remembering me, and for saving me.

I think if we can make 2014 the year of Please and Thank You, we will all have a very blessed year!

God bless!

Victorious Limp

Genesis 32:24-32
Genesis 32:24-32

Are you wrestling with God over something? Who isn’t, right? Did you know that someone actually did wrestle with God? And I don’t mean “wrestle” metaphorically either. I’m talking literally. God wrestled Jacob in a straight-up, hand-to-hand wrestling match. The first-ever Smack Down occurred in Genesis 32:24-32.

In fact, God wrestled Jacob all night. They wrestled until daybreak and when God saw that He had not prevailed against Jacob, He touched Jacob’s thigh and dislocated it. Just a touch. That’s all it took. This showed that obviously God could’ve won at any moment. As dawn was breaking, God said, “Let Me go.” No one can see God’s face and live. But Jacob replied, “No. Not until You bless me.” Ha! Imagine that! The gumption of this guy! God then (I envision with a smile on His face) changes Jacob’s name to “Israel” which means, “he who wrestles/strives with God.”  Then He blessed him.

Why did God do that? If He wanted to challenge Jacob, He could’ve picked any kind of contest: a race, a riddle, or tic-tac-toe. Why wrestling? Well, any of those other contests are not interactive. They keep contestants separate. Wrestling is more intimate. God picked an activity that involved actual physical contact.

I’m not sure, but I figure Jacob had that limp for the rest of his days. I also imagine that he limped proudly. It became his badge of courage, his price for a blessing, and his evidence of a God that loves him.

We all wrestle with God, maybe not physically like Jacob here, but spiritually? You bet. All the time. It’s the “old man” in us rising up. It’s the rebellious tickle in our ear. Envy. Pride. Gluttony. Pick one. But here’s the thing, God will wrestle you right back. He will step into the ring. He wants to bless you.

Wrestling with God, however, does come with a price. You may carry a limp for the rest of your days. But you won’t view that hurt as loss. You will view that hurt as victory. You will want to tell everyone about your limp and what it means to you. You will want to tell everyone how much God loves you and how much God loves them.

God bless!

This post owes a lot to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones‘s “Victorious Limp” via Tim Keller‘s “The Theology of the Cross and Walking with a Limp,” I encourage everyone to check out these incredible links!

The LORD Sits

Psalms 29:10
Psalms 29:10

For our honeymoon my wife and I were blessed with a trip to Paris. While we were there, we visited the Palace of Versailles. Once the center of political power, Versailles is now France’s foremost tourist attraction. Besides it’s sheer grandeur, one thing stuck with me about that palace: the thrones.

It is there that I learned what a throne represents. I mean, of course I knew that a throne represented power. It is obvious that to have people come to you is a demonstration of power. But, it is absolute power to have people come to you as you remain seated.

Ever thought of that before?

The Throne of God is mentioned several times throughout scripture. I won’t bombard you with all of them. Most famously it is described by Ezekiel (chapter 1). I’d like to mention also that the angel Gabriel refers to the Throne of God in Luke 1:32-33 because… he should know, he’s been there. He’s actually seen it!

God is mentioned as “sitting” multiple times as well.

• “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.” – Psalms 29:10

• “He that sits in the heavens laughs” (at the futile efforts of man’s rebellion) – Psalms 2:4

• “Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high?” – Psalms 113:5

Sitting on His Throne, God is The Absolute Power. He is the Power of the Power. There is none above and all below. Yet, He makes Himself low to guide and love His fragile creation.

In your quiet time with the LORD today, reflect on our God’s astounding ability to speak stars into being and also whisper encouragement to His children all in the same all-powerful breath. He does so with perfect love from His magnificent Throne.

God Bless!

Picture Jesus As

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Try picturing Jesus as:

With one hand He is holding yours and with His other hand, He is clearing your path.

One of the most beloved of David’s poetry is Psalms 23. It describes God as the caring Shepherd and the dependable Guide.

He leads us beside quiet waters and refreshes our soul. With one hand He gently guides us along the right path and with the other, he makes a banquet. Even as enemies approach, we have nothing to fear for God is with us.

By allowing Jesus to guide us, we trail in His goodness and love and we dwell in His house forever.

How beautiful.

How simple.

How could you refuse Him?

God bless!

A Man Named Philip

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There was a man named Philip… not the Apostle Philip, but another Philip,… who treated an audience of thousands and an audience of one with the same zeal. A man who did not discriminate between race and class. A man who was miraculously transported across the land. He was a man who, no doubt, inspired countless missionaries with his wisdom and compassion.

Let’s take a second and remember Philip.

In Acts 6, the early church has just gotten started. Now, you would assume that it was perfect, right? However, it had problems just like today’s churches do. The conflict in this instance was that certain widows were being overlooked with the food distribution.

So they appointed seven men to handle the food. The qualifications for these deacons were: they had to be full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. Philip was one of the seven chosen. Therefore, we know that Philip was respected as being full of the Spirit and wisdom.

The next time Philip is mentioned is in Acts 8:5-40.

Here is where it gets really interesting!

The early leaders were commissioned with spreading the Gospel outside of Jerusalem. Philip is spreading it in Samaria. Why is that significant? Well, the Jewish people held the Samaritans as “half-breeds” and therefore hated them. Philip’s example demonstrates that the Good News is for everyone, regardless of class or color. Hatred, bigotry, and ignorance have no place in spreading the Good News of our Savior!

Now, skip down to verse 26.

Philip is approached by an angel and told to go to Ethiopia. On that road he runs into an Ethiopian eunuch who is reading the Book of Isaiah. The eunuch was having a hard time deciphering it. Starting there, Philip begins preaching the about Jesus.

Philip baptizes him and is “taken away.” He then “appears” many miles away. Did he fly? Was he teleported? Who knows, but anything is possible! There’s nothing that the Spirit of the Lord cannot accomplish!

So what can we glean from the life of Philip? What can’t we?!

• He was full of the Spirit and wisdom.

• He did not discriminate who could and could not hear the Gospel.

• He also could share his witness with a whole nation or a single person because both are equally important.

What a great example. Take some time to meditate on Philip and his admirable characteristics. How can you apply these to your walk?

God bless!

Let Go and Let God

Psalms 55:22
Psalms 55:22

Well, I’ve done everything I can do. Nothing left for me to do but pray, I guess.

Ever hear that? Ever say that? To be honest, I have. I’ve thought and/or said that very same thing myself many times.

Psalms 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.

My wife said something the other day that really struck a chord with me, “Let Go and Let God!” How simple. How true.

But, how difficult!

Let Go

and

Let GOD!

Give God the reigns of your life. He is a much better driver anyways. Letting go is hard for us humans, isn’t it? We have to be in control of everything. It’s almost as if we’re admitting defeat if we let someone else take over. If someone is more qualified, then why not? And if anyone is more qualified, it’s the LORD. Why is this such a struggle?! It’s OK to let God in. It’s OK to let Him be the deciding factor.

Allowing God full access to your life doesn’t mean you will be without hardship. In fact, it all but guarantees it. The more the world senses you are a Child of The King, the more it will hate you. The more it will sniff you out. The more it will try to crush you. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18. “You will be hated because of me” Matt. 10:22.

So, be ready.

Think of it this way, Jesus was the first to say Let go and let God! He prayed the hardest prayer: “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Submission to the Father is scary but it’s the only thing that leads to ultimate peace and joy. John 16:33 says it all. Look it up. Memorize it. Live it.

Let go and let God! God Bless!

#LetGoAndLetGod #YHWH

You Remain The Same

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Sometimes I’m irritable. Other times I’m patient. But I’m hardly ever consistent. Hebrews 1:12 tells us that God “remains the same.

That could be bad if God were capricious or unreasonable. But here’s the thing – He’s not.

He’s constantly and reliably good. He is Love and love always loves. The fact that He’s “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) should give us great comfort. It means He will always hold us, catch us, save us and forgive us… even when we least deserve it.

May you experience God’s steadfastness today!
God bless!

Exposed By The Light

Eph. 5:13
Eph. 5:13

Exterior Photography 101: If the sun’s at your back, your subject will turn out dark. Flip the composition around, and the subject is exposed.

Similarly, if we keep THE SON at our backs, we will be in darkness, but put THE SON in front of you then your pathway will be illuminated.

Eph. 5:13 tells us everything exposed by the light becomes visible. Don’t you want a visible path?

May you bathe in the light of THE SON today!

God Bless!