Thursday, May 28, 2009

That Looks God To Me

Proverbs 16:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

1 We humans make plans, but the LORD has the final word.
2 We may think we know what is right, but the LORD is the judge of our motives.
3 Share your plans with the LORD, and you will succeed.

Have you ever grabbed a piece of fruit that looked good on the outside but on closer examination was actually rotten on the inside?

Our natural inclination is to go for the things that look good. When we make plans we make them for our own benefit. We do what we like because if it feels good do it. These things are centered around us, what we want. They may be even be good things, but they may not be God things and we might not get what we expected.

God wants us to take all our plans to Him because He already knows what the right answer is anyway. This is not a control issue with God because we can do whatever we choose to do. It's an issue of what is right for us.

What motivates you, the good thing or the God thing?

Share your plans with the Lord so you can say:

That looks God to me!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Peace Of Your Mind

Philippians 4:6-7 (Worldwide English (New Testament))

6 Do not worry about anything. Talk to God about everything. Thank him for what you have. Ask him for what you need.

7 Then God will give you peace, a peace which is too wonderful to understand. That peace will keep your hearts and minds safe as you trust in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever known someone who had so much peace that you couldn't understand it?

They seem to never be rattled by anything. If you could just have that kind of peace you think you would have it made. You can and you will.

God gave us His blueprint for peace.

1. Don't worry about anything.
2. Talk to Him about everything.
3. Thank Him for what you have.
4. Ask Him for what you need.

Put it into practice in your life. It's all about God. Do you believe Him, love Him, trust Him? God can astound you with His peace if you let Him. You may not understand it but you'll thank God for it. When you have His peace you should share it with others and amaze them by giving them:
a peace of your mind.

A dear friend of our family died of cancer this morning. The disease was very hard on her physically but she had that amazing peace throughout the ordeal. She entered into His arms and is now with Him. Thank you, Jeannette for being that example of Whose you are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You Have The Right To Remain Silent.

James 4:11-12 (New Living Translation)

Warning against Judging Others

11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.
12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

How many times have you felt that another Christian wasn't living the way that you thought they should, and then told someone else about it?

We slander people all the time and it's wrong. We see only the bad in others and then condemn them as if we know them better than God does. That's not the way that God intended it to be.

We are to love one another and do it in the same way that we want to be loved. God knows what's best for us and He tells us what to do, not the other way around. God makes the law and we obey it. It's very simple. The next time you feel compelled to talk bad about your brothers or sisters, remember:

You have the right to remain silent!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get Over It.

Ephesians 4:26 (New International Reader's Version)

26 Scripture says, "When you are angry, do not sin."—(Psalm 4:4) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

We live in an day and age where the word entitlement is ingrained in our vocabulary. We believe that we have certain rights because our laws say that we do. The right that we seem to exercise the most is the right to our own opinion, because we want our own way. We say what we want when we want to because we feel like it. This is an easy way to get into trouble and it's sin.

We usually behave this way because someone said or did something that we didn't like and we want retribution. It's personal and we're going to get them back. We do this most often to the people that we know and love. They know where to hit us and those kind of wounds are even worse. Don't fall into that trap.

We have to get past our hurt or it will never heal. It's like picking a scab, the more we play with it the worse it gets. God wants us to forgive and forget so we can move on. The sooner the better. We can be angry but retribution is not the answer. When this day is over tomorrow will be a new day with new challenges. Don't carry the old ones over, let them go and give them to God, you'll sleep better at night.

Get over it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Love You, Man.

Proverbs 27:5 (Darby Translation)
5 Open rebuke is better than hidden love.

Proverbs 27:5 (Contemporary English Version)
5 A truly good friend will openly correct you.

Our friends and loved ones do hurtful things and don't even realize that they are doing them. This often leads to misunderstandings that if left alone become even bigger problems for all those involved. We often see the problem and hope that ignoring it will make it go away. We don't want to confront our friends because we're afraid to hurt them.

We hurt our friends even more when we don't confront them.

People don't know that they are wrong unless someone shows them because they always assume that they are right. If no one tells them otherwise then their position is reinforced. We all need correction or we will go on doing things the wrong way without any thought about it.

This cycle will only stop if we stand up for the truth. Correction is always done in the spirit of humility and love. Don't try it any other way because that's the only way that people will listen. We want them to know that we really care, because we really do. Then they will know that these words are true.

I love you, man!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Mother Lode.

Proverbs 31:28-31 (Contemporary English Version)

28 Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says,
29 "There are many good women, but you are the best!"
30 Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised.
31 Show her respect--praise her in public for what she has done.

There is not much more that can be said than what is in this passage. When God blesses us with someone we should treat them as the blessing that they are, everyday. Honor your mothers and wives today.

After all, you've hit The Mother Lode.

Melinda, I Love You, Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I've Got You Covered.

Psalm 61:3 (New American Standard Bible)

3 For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy.

Life can feel like we are in the path of a tornado with no place to hide. Things fly around us and we try to dodge them, but it all seems hopeless. We try to outrun the tempest when we should really be running for shelter.

Some things are just too big for us to handle but we still try to deal with them on our own terms. We like to think we have control or that it will never get to us, but that's not always the case.

Now the weather service tells us that the basement or the inner most room on the bottom floor is the safest place in a storm. I know of one that is safer, a place in God.

Imagine a place where you have layers of protection that are stronger and stronger the further you enter. The type of place that could withstand the force of a nuclear explosion. God's place is much stronger than that. He even invites you in, just accept His invitation.

And you'll hear Him say, "I've got you covered."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Are You Lookin' For Trouble?

Matthew 6:34 (Worldwide English (New Testament))

34`So do not be troubling yourself about tomorrow. Tomorrow will have its own trouble. Today's trouble is enough for today.'

Do you ever worry about some future things that keep you from doing what you need to do today?

Sometimes we worry about these things and they paralyze us with fear. We may even worry about being worried about them. What we're really doing is looking for trouble. This keeps us from doing what we need to do, trust in God.

We can only live one day at a time. We need to make the best of today and stop trying to live in the future. It doesn't mean that we can't make plans, but living for today means taking each day as it comes. We put our faith in God to make it work out and He will make a way for us.

You might say that it's too simple.

I say, "Are you lookin' for trouble?"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Do You Understand?

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Have you ever thought about a situation and had it all figured out, only to have it turn out completely different than what you imagined?

It's our nature to control things, we have remote controls for everything. We push a button and we can quickly change things. Pretty easy.

It's not as easy when it comes to people and situations. If we can't change it then we want to understand it. If we can't justify it with our own wisdom then it won't ease our minds. If the situation seems impossible then there is no hope from our point of view.

God's way is much different. Trust Him with all that you are, your heart mind and being, and He will take care of you.

How can you do that when you don't even trust yourself?

Talk to Him about everything and let Him show you what to do. It takes time and can't be rushed. You can't do it remotely, you have to meet Him where you are. When you put your trust in Him, you'll be astonished at what will happen.

Do you understand?

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Are You Afraid Of?

Matthew 10:28

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Have you ever experienced adversity so strongly that it caused you to fear for your life?

We can all feel this way when we have little control over the circumstances in our lives. When we lose our jobs, our homes, our bank accounts or even when someone threatens us with a gun. We have no control over the situation and we fear that lack of control. No one person really has control, even the one with the gun, only God has it all under His control. Our biggest problem is letting Him have control over our lives.

We fear all the wrong things, people and circumstances, when we should fear God. This type of fear goes beyond just being afraid of what He can do, which is like our fear of people. He loves us and He wants us to listen to Him. This is reverent fear, respecting Him for who He is and what He has done for us. This takes having a relationship with Him.

What are you afraid of?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Whose Are You?

Titus 3:1-2

1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

Our natural tendency is to resist something or someone that we don't like. We want to use words like, I'll never do that or they won't make me. We may have strong opinions about our government officials, but the fact is that God put them there, period. They answer to the same One that we do. We would like them to share our opinions, but our citizenship is ultimately in heaven, not here on earth.

We have an obligation to influence the believer, and non-believer alike, with the things that set us apart as people who belong to Christ. When we do this we won't gossip, quarrel or act proudly but will exhibit a proper respect for others. This makes the difference that sets us apart.

Does what you do reflect whose you are?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Who Do You Love?

Luke 10:25-29

25 On one ocassion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 "What is written in the Law?" Jesus replied. "How do you read it?"
27 He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Have you ever known the right thing to do and then gave yourself an escape clause so you could get out of doing it?

Isn't it just like people to always look for a way out? We get on an airplane and they show us the emergency doors. In theaters they always have the exits well marked. We want to be aware of them, just like this lawyer.

He answered the question with an unconditional statement, love God with your whole being. He could do the first part. But he added a condition to the second part, who is my neighbor? When we don't want to do something we add conditions to give ourselves a way out.

We have an obligation to love everyone, even the unlovable and the ones who drive us crazy. Our neighbors are everyone we come into contact with, not just someone who agrees with us or looks like us. We need to treat others the way we want to be treated with no conditions. If there was any thing that I could leave you with today it would be this question.

Who do you love?