My Life Verse

Matt. 5:14-16
Matt. 5:14-16

This has become my life verse. It is what I live by: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:14-16.

I used to treat my faith, my beliefs… my God as something… personal. It was a private matter. You know, society tells you: “Avoid politics and religion in polite conversation.” It’s a touchy subject. People’s feathers get ruffled. So, keep it to yourself. Keep it internal. That’s between me and God.

Then I read Matt. 5:14-16 and it was like a lightning bolt to my heart. It leveled me. It left me in tears. It changed my whole life.

You don’t buy a lamp and then put it under the table. Who in the world would ever do that? You put that lamp where everyone can see it. You put it in a special place so the whole room is lit up. Without that lamp, the room is in darkness. You would stumble around and bump into everything. Turn the lamp on… and suddenly the room is easier to navigate.

My love for God and my service to Him is too big to hide under the table. It’s too important to me to keep it internal. Sorry, if bringing up Jesus Christ makes you uncomfortable because it makes me uncomfortable NOT bringing up Jesus.

You can’t hide a city on a hill. It’s impossible. It’s up there, man. It’s lit up for all the valley to see. Why would you even want to hide it? What do you want to do? Move it? Dig a big hole and bury that city underground? Who wants to live like that? You’ve taken the thing that makes that city so beautiful and snuffed it out.

So, the lamps in my room are all on the table. The city where I live is not hidden. In fact, we’ve added new brighter lights and a “bat signal” light like in Batman. We might even have fireworks tonight, I don’t know. But I can tell you this: We aren’t hard to find.

May God’s Love be with you

#cityonahill

You Get OUT What You Put IN

Col. 3:23
Col. 3:23

As an avid P90X user, I can tell you that the old adage: “You get OUT,what you put IN,” is absolutely true. I mean, you can get by with only doing Plyometrics half way, but what’s the point? Why even do it if you’re not willing to give it 100%? If you want maximum gains, you have to give maximum effort. If you kinda sorta try, you kinda sorta get results. Anything less is sort of… a waste of time.

Many Christians want maximum gains without putting in the maximum effort.

“I don’t feel God’s presence.”
“It’s like God is not listening to my prayers.”
“My faith is not as strong as it once was.”

Ever have questions like these? I know I have.

Well, instead of asking God questions, let’s ask ourselves some hard questions: Have I been spending time in study and meditation? Have I been putting in the time in prayer. Let’s get serious, have I been giving God my 100%?

P90X requires dedication and commitment. Without dedicating myself and committing to the grueling schedule, I cannot complain about what kind of shape I am in. The harder I work at it, the better the results.

Let’s be more intentional with our service to the Lord. Let’s be more dedicated to cultivating a relationship with Him. Let’s commit to giving Jesus our 100%. Then we can sit back and watch God do some awesome new work!

May God’s Love be with you

Ref: Col. 3:23

Walk With God

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If my wife agreed to go on a walk with me and then took off in a different direction, would you say we were walking together?

Amos 3:3 asks a similar question.

To walk together, you have to be in agreement. Our “walk” with Jesus is a metaphor for our way of life, but it’s also ture literally. There are many accounts of people walking with God; Adam & Eve, Noah, and Enoch. Jacob even wrestled God!

How is your walk with God? Are you in agreement? Or have you taken off in a different direction. If so, like the Matt Maher song says, “All you gotta do is turn around.”

God Bless!

Short Distance Relationship

James 4:8
James 4:8

Long distance relationships stink. Anyone who’s ever gone through one will tell you: They are hard and most of them don’t work. Hey, relationships are tough no matter what. Add distance to the equation, and you are almost doomed.

You wouldn’t make a relationship with someone you loved long distance on purpose, would you? Why make a relationship harder if it doesn’t have to be? You want the person you love as close as possible. If it was in your power to close that gap, you would. Right?

Jesus wants a close, SHORT DISTANCE relationship with you. He wants to be the first person you turn to in need. He wants to be there to comfort and guide you. He doesn’t want to be a world away. He doesn’t want to be the fourth or fifth or sixth person you go to. He knows what’s best for you, He knows God’s plan for you, and He wants nothing more than for you to succeed… so He can spend even more time with you.

It is you and I that create the distance. I say, “create,” because, it isn’t there until we put it there. We disconnect. We disengage. We cut the lines of communication. Jesus is always there. Always waiting. Always hoping. He is there waiting and hoping that we reach out to Him.

Skype is cool. Facetime is really neat. But there’s nothing quite like spending time with someone in person.

Take out your daily planner and set aside 10 mins every morning. 10 mins to just catch up with the Lord. Now, once it’s on the schedule, it’s on the schedule. There’s something about actually writing it down that makes it… more official. Know what I mean? You can’t break it… unless, of course, something more important than Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God comes up… then, by all means, take it instead. (Thanks to my Pastor, Dr. Rev. David Cyphers for this practical application.)

Long distance relationships stink. Jesus doesn’t want that. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” It’s in your power to close the gap. All it takes is that first step.

May God’s Love be with you

Up To You

Acts 26:28,29
Acts 26:28,29

It’s not my job to get you to believe in Jesus.

It’s not my job to “sell” you on Him. It’s not my job to make Him as appealing as possible so maybe, if I’m lucky, (fingers crossed!) you’ll give Him a try.

It is my job to tell you about Him. It’s my job to help you realize what Paul realized when he said, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Phil. 3:8 (New Living Translation)

It’s really up to you.

  • It’s up to you if you’ve continued reading this far.
  • It’s up to you if you think this is all nonsense.
  • It’s up to you if you let Him into your heart.
  • It’s up to you where you will spend eternity.
  • It’s up to you, not me.

King Agrippa told Paul that he was “almost persuaded.” (Acts 26:28,29) Almost doesn’t cut it. “Almost” might as well be “Not At All.” Paul gave his witness and then it was up to Agrippa. The ball was in his court. And he dropped it. Big time.

It’s not my job to get to you to believe in Jesus, but I’d be happy to help! Jesus is with me to the end of the age. (Matt. 28:19-20) Is He with you?

May God’s Love be with you always

Creation Waits

Romans 8:19
Romans 8:19

Did you know creation waits for us to get our act together?

It’s actually “frustrated” (Romans 8:19-22).

Earth and all the things in it – hope to be liberated from their shackles. Paul tells us creation is chained up and left to decay. It longs to be brought into the freedom and glory of God. It longs to breathe. It longs to live! Ever since Adam, creation has been cheated and it yearns to be restored (Gen 3:17).
Restore to what? Soon God will restore everything (Acts 3:21). He will reinstate a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13, Rev. 21:1).
Jeremiah asked, “How long?! How long will the land starve?” (Jer. 12:4) Not long, man. Closer now than ever. And what a day that will be!
God Bless!

Standby

1 John 5:13
1 John 5:13

Ever been at the airport and people-watched? That’s the best place to watch people. I think it’s so interesting; just observe people as they come and go. Where are they going? Where did they come from?

Ever notice the people who are prepared? They are calmly seated. They have their ticket out and ready to go. They are not anxious about anything except to just to get going!

Ever notice the people on standby? They are not calmly seated. In fact, they are pacing back and forth. They do not have their ticket out and ready to go because they are not sure if they are going to be lucky enough to get one. They are anxious alright. And actually they have every right to be! They may not have a spot on that plane. Then what?

God is all about us being confident. He wants a people who are not pacing back and forth wondering if they have a ticket or not. He wants us to be anxious… not because we aren’t sure if we’re on the manifest, but because we are so excited we can hardly contain ourselves!

Is it too bold of a thing for me to say to you: You can be sure that you are going to Heaven? Ok, well – do you believe that the Gospel is the Word of God? Of course you do. Then what do you think about 1 John 5:13? “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

So that you may KNOW! Do you believe in the name of the Son of God? Has He made something new out of the mess you’ve made of your life? Then what are you worried about? “Oh, I’m not sure… I hope I get to go to Heaven… but,… you know, I’m not sure…” What?! That doesn’t sound like Victory to me. Jesus didn’t die on the cross, glorify His Father, and take on our sins for you and I to be… uncertain.

God doesn’t want us spending all our time and energy fretting over our destination. He wants us spending all our time and energy praising His name, helping the poor, and getting as many other passengers on that plane.

John 10:28 says “no one can snatch them out of My Hand.” No one. Not even you! No one can snatch God’s children out of His hand! Why act like someone snatched you out of God’s hand? It’s not even possible.

John 6:37 “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:9 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

I could go on and on. There are so many verses assuring salvation… hmmm, maybe God knew we would need this many. Maybe He knew we would struggle with just flat-out accepting His amazing Love. So, like a good parent, He tells us over and over, down through time: You are saved.

This is my story. This is my song.

May you experience God’s perfect love today!

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!