Friday, February 28, 2014

God Knows Our Limits!

But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in mercy and truth. (Psalms 86:15) 

Our Lord understands our limits. He realizes our struggles. He knows how much pressure we can take. He knows what measures of grace and mercy and strength we'll require. He knows how we're put together. 

Frankly, His expectations are not nearly as unrealistic as ours. When we don't live up to the agenda we have set, we feel like He is going to dump a truckload of judgement on us. But that will not happen. So why do we fear it could? 

Hope Again 

Back in high school, I used to be a very avid and albeit intense baseball player. I was the kind of guy that would be the very first to jump at the chance to break every single record that was made at the position that I played (right field). I have grown to love the game of baseball as well as basketball. There was only one problem...

I was too passionate and gung-ho for my own good. In spite of my passion the said games, I had trouble recognizing my own physical and mental limitations. In one baseball game, I set out to break the stolen base record for right fielders. In my attempt to steal second base, I ended up dislocating my wrist. Did I break the record? Yes. But guess what else what broken to? My physical and mental resolve. With 5 or 6 games left to the end of the season, I found myself sitting in the bench as my team made its championship run in the group 4 playoffs. 

My dear friends, the moral of the story is this. When we fail to understand our limits, God will allow us to crash and burn. God has already known what my limits were long before I knew what it was. It took for me to break my wrist to come to that understanding. It was a MAJOR reality check! In spite of all that, my competitive spirit continue to burn within me. God provided me an opportunity to engage in mixed martial arts specializing in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Wing Chun. The difference in my approach now compared to those days in high school is that I refuse to allow arrogant pride to get in the way of enjoying what I love to do. 

My example is a purely physical and mental one whereas yours may be purely emotional and intellectual. Even if it happens to be the latter, we must keep in mind what our limits are and ask God to grant us His wisdom in the process. The very first time I heard the following quote, "Pride comes before the fall.", I could not help but smile and simply look up to God and tell Him that He has an amazing sense of humor. It was only after I learned the above quote that I learned another one. Here it goes. . . 

"Let Go. . .Let God"

Yes friends, all that passion that I had (and still have) for athletics is now transferred into my passion with God, self, and others. My passion is now fine-tuned into this blog as God has provided me an avenue to be outspoken about as many different subject matters as possible providing all of you a biblical worldview at the same time. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you always in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU ALL AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God's Way Is Right!

Trust in the LORD forever: for in the LORD GOD is everlasting strength (Is. 26:4) 

God's way is always right. It doesn't always make sense---in fact . . . it is often mysterious. It can seldom be explained. It isn't always pleasurable and fun. But I have lived enough to realize that His way is always right. . . . 

I believe that not until we embrace God's sovereignty will we have the ability to reason our way through life. Until then we will be too important in the plan. Man's opinion will be too significant to us. And we will churn and wrestle and struggle our way through this Christian life, trying too hard to please people rather than living it relieved and relaxed in His plan. 

The Mystery of God's Will 

Thus says the LORD, Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the nations are dismayed at them. (Jer. 10:2) 

The above scripture verse is a classic example of the wrong way to follow. Every time we read the newspaper or watch the news, all we can read and watch is the incredulous acts of the people that we are surrounded by in our culture. Everyone ranging from politicians to Hollywood celebrities to even those people that we personally know have often disappointed us and so many others as role models and examples worth following and looking up to. My dear friends, is the "way of the nations" the way you really want to go?

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is proven: he is a shield to all those that trust in him. (Psalms 18:30) 

The above scripture verse is definitely the right (and perfect) way to go! The Word of God (Bible) has been around for millennia. God's way (although perfect in every way) has been and still is a mystery to all of us today, especially for unbelievers. Granted, God's way may not always make any sense to us. As a matter of fact, God's way can take us through many detours and u-turns. God's way may often take us through the mountaintops and valley lows. It may also take us through the desert and plain. Regardless of which way God's way takes us, it will always be important to remain faithful to the route that God has prepared before you. Always remember friends, God is the Shield that stands before you to protect you in your travels. In spite of the uncertainties that lie ahead as we walk God's way. The sure-fire certainty that we will have as believers and for the unbeliever that finds Christ is eternal life. With all that said, which way would you follow?

The "way of the nation"? 

or. . . 

God's way? 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you all in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Take Life As It Comes!

In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand: for you know not which shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both alike shall be good. (Eccl. 11:6) 

The only way we can come to terms with reality---is by trusting God, regardless. No ifs, ands, or buts. If I am a farmer and God allows a flood to come and wash away my crops or God chooses to give me the beautiful season rains and a bumper crop, I trust Him and I give Him praise. If I am in industry or some profession and someone throws me a curve and God allows my whole world to be reversed, I trust Him and I give Him praise. I take life as it occurs. I don't waste time in the pit of doubt. Nor do I worry over crop failures and strikeouts. 

We can't wait for conditions to be perfect. Nor can we wait for things to be free of all risks---absolutely free, absolutely safe. Instead of protecting ourselves, we have to release ourselves. Instead of hoarding, we are to give and invest. Instead of of drifting, we are to pursue life. Instead of doubting, we are to courageously trust. 

Living on the Ragged Edge 

I have to admit! There have been so many seasons in my life where I have experienced one surprise after another. Given the unpredictability of our daily living, it's often pretty hard to be able to take life as it comes. I have often heard it said to me or me saying it to others that "tomorrow is not promised to anyone". That's absolutely true in every sense of the word! 

With that said, all we can ask and hope for as Christians is to simply trust God with our daily affairs and living. Right? Think about that for one second and let the reality that "tomorrow is not promised to anyone" sink in. If there has been anything in my life that I have learned and learned well is to never to take life for granted. 

Life is beautiful. It is beautiful because God Himself created it. Is life unpredictable? Yes. Are there moments in life when it can get hectic and trying? Definitely! It is not only in these moments in life where we can experience God, but most especially in those moments where all we need to do is stop for a minute and simply bask peacefully in Him and really enjoy life in His Presence. 

Ask yourself this one very important question...

What would life be like if God was never apart of it? 

As far as I'm concerned, I would not be alive. I would simply be existing. Yes my dear friends, there is a MAJOR difference between living and existing. There will never be a better way to live our lives than to live in Christ. Ready to take life as it comes with Jesus by our side? Good! I know I am!...:-)

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-D

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Object Of God's Concern!

Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation. (Psalms 61:1) 

I've had times when I found myself wondering about the things I've believed and preached for years. What happened? Has God died? No. My vision just got a little blurry. My circumstances caused my thinking to get a little foggy. I looked up, and I couldn't see Him as clearly. 

That's what happened to John Bunyan back in the seventeenth century in England. He preached against the godlessness of his day, and the authorities shoved him into prison. . . . But because Bunyan firmly believed God was still alive and working, he turned that prison into a place of praise, service, and creativity as he began to write Pilgrim's Progress, the most famous allegory in the history of the English language. 

When we hit a tough spot, our tendency is to feel abandoned. . . . In fact, just the opposite is true, for at the moment, we are more than ever the object of God's concern. 

Elijah: A Man of Heroism & Humility 

Who is the object of God's concern? You and I.

God cares about everyone, especially His own children. Like every caring parent, God cares deeply about every single detail of our lives. In the last article I posted, I mentioned the importance of providing words of affirmation in the lives of everyone we meet in our lives. Words of affirmation is just one of many ways that God expresses His concern for every single one of us. 

My love for God has grown over the course of many years because of what He has done, but even more importantly, because of Who He is. God is love. God loves us so much that He has a specially vested interest in how your develops spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and last but not least, financially. His vested interest in your life should serve as motivation to seek out God's best for your life and the lives of those around you. 

I strongly recommend that all of us really take the time to reflect on God's genuine love, care, and concern for our lives even when it seems like He is most distant. Having that kind of mentality has helped me through some of the darkest moments of my life. Have I ever thought that God doesn't care about my life. Of course! Have I also thought that God has left me to my own wares? You bet! It is when we are confronted with the reality that life without God is life not worth living, you will gain a deeper appreciation for God's Presence in your life. God truly cares about where you are right now. Don't seek God's hand my friends, seek His Face then His hand will move on your behalf. Keep the faith. Keep the trust. Keep the hope that God's concern for you is to provide you a future filled with the abundant blessings of His kingdom. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you always in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wonderfully Made!

I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. (Psalms 139:14) 

The next time you pick up your little baby or grandbaby, look into the face of that marvelously made child and say, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." And it wouldn't hurt to repeat that statement throughout her childhood. Children need to know how valuable they are in God's sight---and ours. Nothing gives them greater security than a strong sense of self-esteem. 

Hear this well, busy parents---especially you who tend toward impatience, who are always on the run. . . . Your children have been put together in an altogether unique fashion, like no one else on earth. . . . They need you to help convince them they are unique persons, each one different, each one his or her own person. Children arrive in our arms longing to be known, longing to accept themselves as they are, to be who they are. So when they wade into the swift current of their times, they will be able to stand firm, and won't depend on peer pressure to give them their standard. 

Growing Wise in Family Life 

We are fearfully and wonderfully made! 

God definitely has a way with words! He has a way of providing all of us all of the affirmation we need! God has created us with the need for assurance. When someone approaches us and genuinely shares their thoughts about us in a manner that is encouraging and uplifting, it empowers us to continue to do the same and encourage others to continue the affirming in the lives of those in their lives. 

My childhood was anything but easy. Growing up in a single-parent home and especially being the youngest of four kids had its challenges. The third child was born with Spina Bifida and was only given six months to live. I on the other hand, happen to be born on the year that Roe v. Wade was officially made law in the Supreme Court. Given the circumstances surrounding my birth, there's reason to stand why anyone in similar circumstances would be in constant need of affirmation, at the very least during the years of childhood and adolescent development. 

Those initial years will play a major role in how that child will develop during their teenage and adult years. By God's grace, my mom, even though being a single parent of four, has taught us well in the areas of family values and spiritually in regards to our relationship with God. No Christian parent is perfect, but by the grace of God, they are motivated out their love for you and others to make an immediate impact in our homes and in effect create the ripple effect needed to influence others for Christ and encourage them with positive and godly affirmations. Look at me. 

My dear friends, let's make every effort to encourage everyone around us that they are fearfully and wonderfully made because that is what God tells us in His word!

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)    

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Reach Out To Others!

The liberal soul shall be made rich: and he that waters shall be watered also himself. (Prov. 11:25) 

Close, open relationships are vital. A glib "Hi,how are ya" must be replaced with genuine concern. The key term is assimilation. When I use the word here, I'm referring to people reaching out to one another. 

Being absorbed in the function of the family of God as a participant (rather than a spectator)

. . .relating to 
. . .working with
. . .caring for others whom I know and love. 

As I read it over, I see written between the lines the reminder: 
            This is
             I am personally responsible.
  So are you!

Dropping Your Guard 

"Reach out and touch someone" used to be the famous slogan that has been heard from AT&T on our tv screens or radio programs for many, many years. In spite of the fact that the purpose of that slogan was part of a marketing campaign, there's amazing truth to it. 

As Christians, "reach out and touch someone" should serve more to us than just a marketing gimmick to try to get us to buy their cell phones. It should serve an even far greater purpose in our calling to be servant leaders. As Christian (not just secular) servant leaders, we have an opportunity to make an eternal impact in the lives of those we lead. 

Jesus epitomized (and still epitomizes) servant leadership to this day. It all started during the three years of His ministry and still continues to this day through people like you and me. God has called all of us as His children to reach out to others with courage, compassion, and love. Jesus is our chief example. Let us be the same example to not only the unbelievers, but to the other brothers and sisters in Christ within the body (locally and abroad).  Ask God today to give you the strength, courage, and compassion to continuously reach out to others without strings attached. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Weight Of Worry!

Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7) 

How wonderful that God personally cares about those things that worry us and prey upon our thoughts. He cares about them more than we care about them. Not a single nagging, aching, worrisome, stomach-tensing, blood-pressure-raising thought escapes His notice. 

This is how the Phillips translation renders 1 Peter 5:7:"You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern."

Isn't that good? He genuinely cares. He is able to bear all the weight of your worry. Because you are His personal concern, you never disappear from His radar screen. 

Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 

Why worry? 

Matthew 6:26 is an amazing revelation of how much God actually cares about us as His children. If God truly cares about all the delicate details of all the animals, plant life, and even the details of life the cannot be seen with the naked eye, how much more will He take care of you and me? 

I often say that God is indeed Faithful and True. I have said those words so often throughout my life that I am totally convinced that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Any (and all) concerns and cares that I have have been given over to God in prayer. As a result of making that conscious decision in my life, I can be at peace with whatever comes my way because God has already taken care of it all. 

Every single area of my life (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially) are in God's hands. I'm not only at peace, but have also found comfort that God has already dealt with those areas even though I have yet to see some of those areas in my life materialize. That is when faith comes into play. Even though certain areas of my life have yet to materialize, I remain hopeful and confident in my trust and love for God that He will one day intervene in my life and make an immediate and eternal impact in the lives of those He already has around me and those whom He will one day surround me with. It is that hopeful confidence and expectation that builds my faith, hope, love, and trust in God. 

I hope and pray that this post will encourage you and remain firm in your relationship with God as you entrust God with all your cares and worries to Him. To be honest, this will be one of my favorite posts (if not, most) during this extensive series on the path of godly wisdom. My dear friends, take the "weight of worry" off your mind, soul, and spirit. Always remember...

Let go...Let God! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset!

For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellence of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to them that have it. (Ecc. 7:12) 

God has given mankind the ability to see beyond the present. And He has not given that ability to any other creation. He has given us eternity in our hearts, without which "man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end." 

I have italicized "the end" for the sake of emphasis. Let me tell you why. It doesn't take a lot of brains to realize that if there is a sunrise, there must also be a sunset. To borrow from the astronaut's word, if there is an "earthrise," there must also be an "earthset." 

So let's take that one step further. If there is an earth beginning, there must also be an earth ending. And if I'm existing on this boring earth without God, then I'm certainly not ready for an earth ending when I must face the One who made me. 

Living on the Ragged Edge 

I am a die-hard fan of a very popular tv show on the National Geographic Channel called Doomsday Preppers. In a nutshell, the show portrays various families around the country that go through great lengths to prepare their families for various doomsday scenarios that can take place in our country ranging from natural disasters to martial law. With that said, I'm a very strong advocate for emergency preparedness. My security background in both public and private forums totally understands the payoff of being able to prepare for any event that can potentially befall us. 

I'm all for emergency preparedness, but if there's one thing that I have to gather from any kind of preparation is this:

Are we prepared to meet Jesus when He comes back again? 

This is the kind of question that needs to be addressed to everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike. In today's world, we need to be more prepared for Jesus' Second Coming. Do we need to learn how to shoot a machine gun or build an underground bunker to prepare for Jesus' return? No. All we need to do is have faith that He will not only come back again, but He will restore this world to the original order of things prior to the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve. How do we do that you ask? Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and begin to put into practice (with God's help of course!) what you read from God's Word. As you are firmly established in your walk with God, you can then move on to help encourage other people to do the same in their lives. 

My dear friends, as I have said before, I'm all for emergency preparedness. It's not only appreciated, but it is a vital function to assist in lowering as much human calamity as possible. With around 7 billion people living on this planet now, human casualties are essentially going to happen. What it boils down to is of all those people that do die, how many will be ready to meet their Maker? When it's all said and done, it's our spiritual preparedness that really matters. In one of the episodes that I saw of Doomsday Preppers, there was family that literally grabbed all their belongings and had them transported via a shipping container to move to Costa Rica. On the surface, it makes lots of sense given the deteriorating condition of the United States. But what good will that do if it turns out that this family has never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? None. If the family happens to be Christian, to God be the glory and they will have otherwise have made the greatest decision they could have ever made from both a logistical and spiritual standpoint. Be ready friends! The sun will rise and set upon Christians and non-Christians alike

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

God --- Incomprehensible!

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:3) 

What are the benefits of realizing God Incomprehensible? We no longer reduce Him to manageable terms. We are no longer tempted to manipulate Him and His will. . . or defend Him and His ways. Like the grieving prophet, we get new glimpses of Him "lofty and exalted," surrounded by legions of seraphim who witness Him as "Lord of Hosts" as they shout forth His praises in antiphonal voice (Isa. 6:1-2).

In a world consumed with thoughts of itself, filled with people impressed with each other, having disconnected with the only One worthy of praise, it's time we return to Theology 101 and sit silently in His presence. It's time we catch a fresh glimpse of Him who, alone, is awesome---incomprehensible. 

Day by Day with Charles Swindoll 

Normally, I can be pretty outspoken at times about most topics. But...

This is not one of them! 

Why? I couldn't even begin to put words into God's holiness. Any words that I attempt to use to express God's holiness will not do any justice to this post. There is one exception though. Yes, there is one word that I can use to describe God and holiness. Wanna know what it is? Ok, I'll give it to you! Here it goes!


Got that? Our God is an awesome God! He reigns from heaven with wisdom, power, and love! Do those words sound familiar? They should! That is because many of our churches have been singing this song since we have been little kids. Because we serve such an awesome God, we can experience the following: 
  • His awesome wisdom.
  • His awesome power.
  • His awesome love. 
And this is only the beginning. If I were to attempt to list all of God's awesome attributes, I could easily spend the rest of my life in my finite attempt to explain God's awesomeness. Ok, maybe awesomeness is not a word, but you get what I mean. Obviously, everything that I have said about God's "awesomeness" has been said in jest. In all seriousness, God is definitely awesome and given the fact that we may know a lot about Him, there are far less Christians who actually know Him. Just when we think we have God all figured out, God always teaches us something new about Him, His personality, and His character. That is what makes God---incomprehensible. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Money Can't Buy Everything!

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (Prov. 16:16) 

Foolish indeed is the person who considers himself safe and sound because he has money. . . . 

And another reason it's foolish to trust in riches for security is that money, in the final analysis, brings no lasting satisfaction, certainly not in the area of things that really matter. There are many things that no amount of money can buy. Think of it this way:
  • Money can buy medicine, but not health.
  • Money can buy a house, but not a home.
  • Money can buy companionship, but not friends.
  • Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
  • Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
  • Money can buy the good life, but not eternal life. 
It is God (alone) who is able to supply us "with all things to enjoy." As Seneca, the Roman statesman once said:"Money has never yet made anyone rich."

Strengthening Your Grip 

I happen to live in a country that is capitalistic at its very core. I also happen to live in the "wealthiest" country in the world. The United States is the only country in the world who can claim that its currency is circulated and accepted in practically every single country. This country as of late has built its foundation of sand called money. Yes, you heard that right. Money. Anyone (including myself) that has the basic understanding of what the Bible tells us about the house built on sand will understand that the house is bound to collapse sooner or later. 

Personally, I have never bought into the notion that "money is what makes the world go round and round". Money is extremely important to our daily living as it provides us with the means to be able to pay off debt, stay on top your bills, make charitable donations, and most importantly, contribute to godly causes in order to advance His kingdom. In a nutshell, money provides options and that is always a good thing. Money, when looked at from an ungodly perspective, has the tendency to pull people toward greed. That is how we get the following verse: 

For the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10) 

This is only the beginning of the verse as it goes on to explain that some will covet money, err from the faith, and pierce themselves with many sorrows. This is exactly what will happen to all of us if we don't give God His rightful place in our lives as it relates to our finances. That is why God will allow us to be stricken with poverty so that we will have no other choice to find security in Him and in Him alone. When we give God His rightful place in our finances, the following verse will take effect in our lives:

Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10) 

That is what I call a wonderful promise! It is in God alone that we will be able to gain the godly wisdom to learn how to be excellent stewards of the finances He provides. I ask God everyday to help me to learn how to be a godly steward of ALL the resources He provides, especially money. The subject of money is a very sensitive subject to a lot of people. The best advice I can give is to make sure that all of us give God His rightful place in our finances and to be able to view money as tool to be used for the glory of God. I must also take heed of this advice because it would be foolish for me to encourage anyone else if I don't put the advice into practice as well. Be encouraged friends! The days of miracles have not passed us. If you happen to be one of those that desperately need a miracle in your finances, please refer to Malachi 3:10. You will be blessed!

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in the name of Jesus! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Savor Satisfaction!

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding. (Prov. 4:7) 

The good life---the one that truly satisfies---exists only when we stop wanting a better one. It is the condition of savoring what is rather than longing for what might be. The itch for things, the lust for more---so brilliantly injected by those who peddle them---is a virus draining our souls of happy contentment. Have you noticed? A man never earns enough. A woman is never beautiful enough. Clothes are never fashionable enough. Cars are never nice enough. Gadgets are never modern enough. Houses are never furnished enough. Food is never fancy enough. Relationships are never romantic enough. Life is never full enough. 

Satisfaction comes when we step off the escalator of desire and say, "This is enough. What I have will do. What I make of it is up to me and my vital union with the living Lord.

Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 

I must admit! I used to be the kind of guy that had to keep up on everything including "keeping up with the Joneses". Practically every year you would see me with the newest iPhone to every two years where I would purchase the latest laptop. Yeah. I know. I was the most vain person on the planet...:-). In all likelihood I was. I'm not here to bash my head about it. I'm simply pointed out a major flaw in my own life. Pride.

This is one of those posts that will humble me like very few posts can. In order for the spirit of pride to be defeated and cast out from my life, I had to lose it all. I can certainly elaborate on the losses that I have experienced over the years, but that will most likely require another lengthy series or a book. Like so many other things in my own life, I have learned to not to be too fixated on worldly satisfaction, but to be fixated on my satisfaction in Christ. Without Jesus in my life, it will be very hard for me to be satisfied in and with anything. 

My dear friends, have you found satisfaction in Christ? I really hope and pray that this is the case as worldly satisfaction is temporal at best. Finding satisfaction in anything that the world has to offer would provide a limited measure of pride and satisfaction. But satisfaction in Christ and everything related to Him will provide us with the satisfaction we can achieve during our time on earth, but more importantly provide eternal assurance and satisfaction while at the same time reaping the blessings we have here. When it's all said and done, we can only truly savor satisfaction when it's centered and grounded in Christ. 

Thanks for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Good Job!

How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (Psalms 139:17) 

Most of us are good at criticizing ourselves and finding fault with what we have done or failed to do. I'd like to suggest an alternate plan---spend some of your leisure time finding pleasure and satisfaction in what you have done as well as in who and what you are. Sound too liberal? Why? Since when is a good self-esteem liberal?

There are times we need to tell ourselves, "Good job!" when we know that is true. That isn't conceited pride, my friend. It's acknowledging in words the feelings of the heart. The Lord knows that we hear more than enough internal put-downs! Communicating in times of leisure includes self-affirmation, acknowledging, of course, that God ultimately gets the glory. After all, He's the One who makes the experience possible. 

Strengthening Your Grip 

The first scripture verse that comes to mind is Matthew 25:21...

His lord said unto him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your lord. 

As Christians, those have to be the words we most look forward to hearing from our Lord and Savior, Jesus on the day when we are before His Presence. Those words alone should motivate all of us into continuous Christian service that is molded in such a way that it will bring glory to God in every single area of our lives. Talk about encouraging!

My personal motivation behind the creation of my blog, Christian Living is to continue to build on the anticipation of one day hearing those words from Jesus. It is that exact motivation that that also enables me to continue seek God's face and give Him glory in every other area of my life. My hope and prayer is that all of you who read this post will also be motivated in the Lord to not only hear "well done, good and faithful servant", but to also be "rulers over many things". 

That is one one of the most beautiful promises in the Bible. God knows absolutely everything we desire to achieve in our lives. God has placed the desire that is unique to our present circumstances so that we can make an eternal impact in the lives of everyone we cross paths with as well as those He has surrounded us with. There is so much more to this verse than meets the eye. This short post would not do any justice whatsoever. All I can suggest in regards to the "ruler" part is that we ask God Himself to help us to be the godly stewards of everything that He provides so that we are not only blessed, but we can also be a blessing to others. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Full Of Grace And Truth!

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (Jn. 1:17) 

While thinking back on his days with Jesus, John (one of The Twelve) remembers there was something about Him that was like no one else, during which time His disciples "beheld His glory." His uniqueness was that incredible "glory," a glory that represented the very presence of God. In addition, this glorious One was "full of grace and truth." Pause and let this sink in. It was His glory mixed with grace and truth that made Him different. In a world of darkness and demands, rules and regulations, requirements and expectations demanded by hypocritical religious leaders, Jesus came and ministered in a new and different way---He alone, full of grace and full of truth, introduced a revolutionary, different way of life. 

Remembering that uniqueness, John adds, "For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace" (John 1:16).

The Grace Awakening 

Jesus is the epitome of what modern day Christians should be looking like in this day and age. We live in an age or era where we have ministers such as Joseph Prince and Joel Osteen that preach from the pulpit about God's grace while at the same time failing to preach the truth with the same passion they have for God's grace. Don't get me wrong friends. God's grace has a proper place in biblical doctrine and must me taught in our churches. The problem that is found in the above examples is that too much emphasis is given to grace and nowhere near the same (if at all) the same kind of emphasis is given to moral law. 

One thing that I have learned during my time in street evangelism is the EXTREME IMPORTANCE of applying the moral law (the Ten Commandments) in evangelistic outreach before sharing God's grace with the non-believer. Without talking about the moral law, it will be very difficult for the non-believer to understand why Jesus was crucified in the first place. When I first started out in street evangelism, I used to be the kind of guy that would put the proverbial "cart before the horse". I often made the mistake of simply sharing God's grace without the moral law. It took me many years of really learning how to evangelize to non-believers. There is obviously an immense difference between evangelizing at a church compared to the streets. It is usually in street evangelism where the moral law is most often applied, but can also be applied as  well at churches. An excellent example of street evangelism would Ray Comfort's ministry, Way of the Master. 

Jesus was a revolutionary in ever sense of the word. Jesus is amazing example of someone that went against the status quo, the political-correctness of His time. I have often learned tons of wonderful qualities about Jesus during my time in Sunday School, but have never really known Him the way I have come to know Him now. Does Jesus have a loving and compassionate side? Definitely! Does Jesus also have some "rough edges" in His personality? Definitely! It is that side of Jesus that is missing in our churches and more importantly among our religious leaders of this day. Does grace play a prevalent role in our lives today? Of course! Does hyper-grace? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!! Remember friends, it's only Jesus that is full of grace and full of truth! The only way you will know that for sure is by reading God's Word.

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!....:-)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Fruitful Life!

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That you might walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10) 

Have you ever been in an area of the country where there was a lot of fruit ripening in the sun? Maybe on some cool September morning you've taken a walk through the apple orchards of the Hood River valley, or along the Columbia River in Oregon. It is pleasing to the eye to see such an abundance of sweet, delicious fruit hanging on branch or vine, ready to be plucked.

A fruitful Christian life is like that---sweet, refreshing, nourishing, fragrant, sustaining, delightful to be near. But such a life requires careful cultivation. . . . A deeper, more consistent walk with Christ requires time and attention every day. If that happens, you will bear fruit. 

Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 

A particular verse came to mind as I was writing this devotional: 

You shall know them by their fruits. (Matt. 7:16) 

It's remarkable how Jesus pointed out that by their fruits we shall know them. For us to be able to see the fruit(s) of anyone we meet usually takes time. In the same way it takes time for us to see our own fruit and the fruit of others grow, it also takes an even shorter amount of time to really see the results of the fruit. The results of someone's fruit is largely dependent on the kind of seed that has been planted in them. 

If a negative seed has been planted into someone, the resulting fruit of that person is usually going to be negative. As Christians, there's always the possibility that negative seed has been planted in us at one time or another. In order for us to recognize this, it will be extremely important for us to stop and take a moment by moment evaluation of our daily living in order for us to be able to sift through the seeds to figure out which seeds are healthy and which seeds are corrupted. It's the corrupted seed that we want to get rid of. 

Once we have given over the negative seed to God, God will begin the process of cultivating the positive seed in your life by surrounding you with God-fearing men and women that will be the for you to help you to continue to cultivate the positive seed while at the same time remaining vigilant to make sure that no negative seed arises in the midst of the healthy batch of seeds. My dear friends, ALWAYS remain on the lookout for any negativity that takes place in your life and don't allow the enemy of our souls to corrupt you and rob you of the good fruit that God has placed in you. Last, but not least, don't be known by the bad fruit, be known by the good fruit!

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you always in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)