This is the most astounding statement in the entire Bible
John 1:29 ESV
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
January 30th in Ohio and we just had a spring downpour. January showers bring February flowers? Probably not, but there is always hope. However, the Lord is always pouring down His blessings. Go stand under the showers of blessings.
Ezekiel 34:26 ESV
And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessings.
We all have these dreaded things in our life. They are seemingly insurmountable. What are we to do against such a formidable foe? Will they overrun us, destroy us....ahhhhh run for the hills. What am I running from? Zamzummims and Emims. There big, ferocious, strong, ugly....GIANTS! Read about them in Deuteronomy 3. Giants in the land.You and I have giants in our life that are breathing down our neck and at times have us on the run. Fear not, God is bigger than the boogey man (Veggie Tales). Read the story, God defeated and drove out the giants, He will so the same for you.
Martin Luther Kings Jr. infamous speach was inspiring, but there is only one way to overcome the injustices of this world that has been riddled by sin.
1 John 5:4-5 ESV
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Are you a man or woman of great resolve. This verse makes our resolve look rather whimpy!
Acts 21:13 ESV
Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."
Who is your heartthrob? Some Hollywood icon, some rockstar, the latest American Idol or that high school sweetheart? Maybe your world revolves around a family member or friend. Rethink your priorities.
Matthew 10:37-39 ESV
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Have you ever had you attention captivated? A sunset on the beach or across the colorful fall horizon. Maybe the actions of a newborn baby as a parent or grandparent. Some outstanding athletic move never thought possible during the Olympics. Awestruck with amazement because of some incredible performance by a musical child prodigy.....When were you last captivated by who Jesus is and what He has done for you?
Psalm 33:8 ESV
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
When we let ungodliness take over in our lives or in our homes, our churches, our communities or nation we end up deep pain and anguish. We are to drive it out, not welcome it in or vote it in. Wake up before the hook is set too deep. It may be too late for America, but not for you and me in our personal spiritual walk. Heed the warning below!
Numbers 33:55-56 ESV
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. And I will do to you as I thought to do to them."
An often quoted phrase from Scripture is found in:
But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.
It always catches up with us maybe nowhere else but in your mind, and oh what a drudgery to bear that weight. Best to do what scripture tells us and resist the temptation and run! Don't let sin run you down and rat you out!
Remember your sin found its way all the way to the cross.
If only I could love others as much as God loves me.
Romans 5:8 ESV
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 3:18 ESV
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Jacob worked 7 years for his wife and ended up with her sister. He the worked another 7 years and finally was able to marry Rachael.
Genesis 29:20 ESV
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
(above thought excerpt from Heaven Calling)
Feeling frustrated, disappointed wondering if God will ever come though? Will I ever be able to.....? Persevere! Its worth the wait.
Walter Payton rushed for over 9 miles in his career and was knocked down on an average of every 2.9 yards. Keep going, the endzone is in sight!
For the political savvy you will recognize the phrase riding the coattail. For those who think all politicians are corrupt, all liars go to Washington and you could care less if you every heard anything about politics...let the dictionary help. 1.coattails effect - (politics) the consequence of one popular candidate in an election drawing votes for other members of the same political party; "he counted on the coattails effect to win him the election". That might work for politics but it does not work with God. Mommy and Daddy(who went to church and loved God) can't help, your friends (who go to church and are "good people") can't help, even the church can't "get you in". Its all about you and God. God doesn't have grandchildren! Notice the personal pronouns in the following verse:
2 Thessalonians 2:14 ESV
To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So what are you counting on when it comes to your relationship with God? If your depending on someones coattails...I have bad news.
My grandpa was known as a man of his word. Hand shakes used to be as good as a legal written contract.
Numbers 30 reminds us that God desires that our word be honorable.
Numbers 30:2 ESV
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
So how honorable are your vows, promises and commitments? To your spouse, children, family, friends, boss, teacher, professor, neighbor or more importantly...God?
Preparing for funerals always causes a great deal of reflection, at least from my perspective. Are you ready? Death and taxes are unavoidable. You might not be ready for April 15th but you might be least prepared for the undertaker. In reality its not the undertaker you should be concerned about when you die. If you are ready and you know Christ "death ain't no big deal".
1 Corinthians 15:55 ESV. "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
On the other hand....if you aren't ready....OUCH! Taxes will be like a stroll in the park compared to your future.
Outside the front door of our house just up from Lake Elliot in Winter Haven, Fla. I remember as a child the incredible fregrance of the Gardenia flowers. There are few flowers that iminate any sweeter fragrance, I can smell them just retelling the story. The book of Numbers in the Old Testament gives instructions to the children of Israel about sacrifices and over and over again God says they are to be a sweet and pleasing fragrance. As I was reading that this morning I wondered if my life was that kind of sacrifice before the Lord? We are told to offer ourselves a living sacrifice(Romans 12:1)...so do I smell like the ever fragrant Gardenia or the local dump where sickening odors fills the air?
Simple question, profound declaration. Not meant for the faint hearted.
Romans 1:16-17 ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
An old song, for those who have grown up in church...yet a profound statement regardless of who you are. Written in 1835 the song really tells a story of how we can find hope in Christ in spite of ourselves. Whether you are coming to Christ for the first time to receive the awesome gift of eternal life or you are coming as one who has known Him for a long time you still come just as you are. How are we received? He receives us just as He is, because He gives to us His righteousness! WOW!
Just as I am, without one plea,But that Thy blood was shed for me,And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting notTo rid my soul of one dark blot,To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt,Fightings and fears within, without,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;Sight, riches, healing of the mind,Yea, all I need in Thee to find,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;Because Thy promise I believe,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, Thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down;Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, of that free love the breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,Here for a season, then above,O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Where is your trust? People fail, money looses value, possessions get old (your favorite Christmas present already lost value). What, Who, Where, When, How can we trust with confidence? To many disappointments, to many failures, to many missed opportunities? There is hope!
Isaiah 12:2 ESV
"Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
Proverbs 3:5 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
Have you ever gotten jealous? We would all have to say yes to that. Over a boy friend or girl friend or some other human possession, but what about being jealous for the sake of God and a righteous cause. Phinehas was (Numbers 25). I am not suggesting we take the javelin approach, but what ever happened to being so enamored and in love with God that we just couldn't stand for another thing that would offend Him and His holiness. Instead of being like Phinehas, we have become like the children of Israel in Numbers 25 who have settled down in ungodly places in our lives and begun "playing the spiritual whore". Ouch! Duck, the javelin might be headed our direction, or the plague that wiped out 24,000. Those the Lord loves dearly, He disciplines. Lord, help us be jealous for your sake! I don't thrill at the thought of being shish kebabed or dying from a plague! I am glad the Lord is merciful!
Don't take the glory! The results are not pretty. Give glory to God or the rocks will.
Acts 12:21-23 ESV
On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
So take heart to Scripture when it says whatsoever you do...do all to the glory of God. Also remember Scripture tells us if we don't praise Him the rocks will cry out. (Luke 19:40)
Are you glorifying God yet for what He has done?
Life flies by as the writer of scripture reminds us in James 4:14. Spending Christmas with aging parents and inlaws, performing my eldest sons wedding, then presiding over a baby dedication and then a funeral, all within a week and a half almost takes ones breath away when you think of how breaf your life is. So how have you spent your dash (1961-2013). That little, seemingly insignificant, dash between your birth and death will speak volumes. Life is fleeting, spend it well.
James 4:14 ESV
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
That is our reaction when for whatever reason there is no water flowing from the spicket at our house. With a family of 8 and sometimes more, no water is a problem. The children of Israel while traveling through the desert had a water problem. I know what Moses and Aaron felt like, well sort of, when the people began to complain about the water problem. "Dad how am I going to take a shower, where do we go to the bathroom.....whaaaaa!" So don't be so critical of the whining Israelites. But the big question is why. Why did God allow the children of Israel to go without water? So they would stink and whine? Reality is, every time we find ourselves, like the Israelites "without water", God is going to show us his power and provision. The second big question is will we whine and complain or pray expecting God to do what only God can do? Read Exodus 17 and Numbers 20 for the Israelites water problems.