Showing posts from 2012

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I have the privilege of working with the Free Will Baptist Media Commission. Hopefully next Sunday you'll be able to view the National Association of Free Will Baptist Services on blogs just like this one.

More Than You Can Bear

Today was a pretty incredible day.

I was able to meet my new nephew for the first time. He was full of energy! I'm so excited for my brother and his family and I know God is going to do amazing things through them.

A few years back, I remember sitting in a church service after they had lost baby Miles, and I specifically remember the pastor that day encouraging us all NOT to quote this passage to Tyler and his family...

1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. This was the passage in my devotions tonight.  That pastor that day said this passage does NOT mean you'll be able to handle any situation that is thrown your way.  He said that you will encounter things in life that you can't handle and…

Sin and Consequences

Try breaking this one down...

"Why is it that it isn't only the sinner who suffers from their sin?"
Why does God allow our sin to break the hearts of those we love?  We are bound together so much more than we know and often times we don't see it until we face the suffering of those that we love.

Lord, we don't understand.  Heal us and heal those that we love.

The Message of the Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
I've been really chewing on this verse the last couple of days. The message of Jesus is foolish to those who are perishing. They don't get it. It doesn't make sense that the death of a Jewish man brings life to the world.

But to those who are being saved, this message isn't foolish, it is literally God's power at work. It is changing, remaking, renewing lives every day.

It's not my job to decide who should hear it. I just need to tell it.

Chains Hit the Ground

Really enjoying this song "Chains Hit the Ground" from Leeland...

Jawbone Hill

Judges 15 13 “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. 16 Then Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.”

Samson killed 1000 men with a jawbone. It's such an amazing feat that I don't think I've ever heard equaled by any fighting man. It's no wonder that this place became known as Jawbone Hill.  But what shouldn't be lost from this passage is this sentence "The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him."  Samson was able to do what he did only because he was empowere…

Scared of Men and God

I found this idea while reading about Gideon this morning...

Judges 6:27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
Gideon feels that he has just seen God face to face and is probably amazed to hear the angel of the Lord tell him that he will not die. And yet, when he takes instructions from God - the one who holds life in his hands - Gideon is afraid to carry them out in the daytime because of the men of his village and because of his family. Of course, Gideon was right, they were going to kill him.

You would think that if God told you to do something that you would be more afraid of God than anyone else, but it's not easy to overcome our fears and habits.

I think I'm not so hard on Gideon as I used to be.  
Lord give us an unwavering faith in you.  Hold us up when our fears and old habits cause us to doubt.  Use our lives, even as you've …

Starting Judges

I've started reading the book of Judges again.  Nothing profound, but just a simple reminder that if you leave a little sin hanging around, it will come back to destroy you.

Rescue or Wrath?

I love the idea "rescue is coming."  Unfortunately, as I read the 16th chapter of Revelation we also see "wrath is coming."  These will be some of the worst days that man has ever known.  But even as wrath is revealed the cry comes that God is always just.

5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; 6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” 7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
There have been awakenings in church history where the preaching about God's wrath seemed to push people to Christ. I wonder if there will be any more "Great Awakenings" before these events become reality?

Stones with Ears

We heard some excellent preaching at the Indiana FWB Men's retreat this weekend.  While listening to a sermon about Joshua, something struck me from this passage in Joshua 24:

24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.” 25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. 26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD. 27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.” 28 Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own inheritance.
Notice that the stone has "heard" all the words the Lord had said.  You've heard the phrase "if these walls could speak..."  My mind started wondering, Jesus speaks about th…

Kingdom Come

Eventually the Lord's Prayer is answered - Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done...

Revelation 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Someday soon, the Kingdom will come and Christ will reign victorious.

A Woman's Voice

As I listened to a powerful message about Life from Matt Chandler all I could think about was how could I convey my love for life and my hatred for abortion.  And I think I finally realized that we don't need a bunch of men's voices sharing their opinions on the subject as much as we need godly women to speak clearly about the biblical perspective of life.  The unborn desperately need a woman's voice to cry out on their behalf.

You can listen to Matt's message on life if you like.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

Blood-washed White

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes–who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:13-17 NIV84) 
 What an honor to serve God day and night in His temple. What a privilege to wear a blood-washed white robe.

Understanding Holiness

Revelation 4:8b Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” When I hear these words they almost seem foreign to me.  The four living creatures constantly cry out "Holy, holy, holy..."  It's as if they are so enthralled with the holiness of God, that it is all they can speak of day and night.  I sing about God's holiness and even praise Him as holy, but I have a feeling my understanding is so incomplete that I really don't have a clue about the true holiness of God.

I remember the first time I saw the Grand Canyon.  I had seen pictures that tried to project its majesty, but when I actually saw it first hand I was dwarfed by its grandeur.  There was no comparison between the pictures and the real thing.  I imagine that's what God's holiness is like.  I understand that He is perfect and demands perfection.  That he has the utmost hatred for sin and the greatest passion for righteousne…

Lost In The Temporary

It is so easy for me to get lost in the temporary and forget the eternal.  It is a constant battle.

Another reminder comes in the letter to the Church at Philadelphia...

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To be a pillar in the temple of God and to never have to leave it. What a wonderful thought.  The hope of all things being "right" again.

Lord, help me to hold on that I may celebrate in that Great City some day.

Good, But Not Good Enough

I was looking at the words to the Church of Ephesus today and it made me somewhat nervous.

Ephesus was doing a ton of things the right way...
2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.A great work ethicA won't quit attitudeA hatred for evilA willingness to test the spiritsA willingness to suffer I dare say there are many churches today that probably wouldn't be able to live up to the list in those 2 verses.  And yet it wasn't enough... 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 
It comes back to love.  We can work and shape and chisel, but ul…

He Holds The Keys

Not exactly sure why, but I felt like starting the Book of Revelation again. I always enjoy reading about the churches. What struck me tonight was a reminder that Jesus holds the keys to death and the grave. He controls them and has proved it by conquering them.

Revelation 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
We even sang about it today in the song "In Christ Alone."

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
Our Savior in rising again has proved that He is God over all.  And because of this we have hope that can even remove the fear of death. 
Lord, thank you for this reminder that you control death and the grave.  And that you have proved your promise of the resurrection for all who believe.  Increase my faith.

Righteousness has a Bright Future

Some things in the scriptures are not easy to figure out and others are not always clearly spoken, but this passage removes the veil for certain truths...

2 Peter 3:11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

We should be godlyThe heavens will be destroyed by fireA new heaven and a new earth are comingRighteousness has a bright future

A Faith as Precious as ours

2 Peter 1:1b To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
We were talking with the guys about answered prayer tonight at Alpha.  One guy was really encouraged as heard others tell of answered prayers.  He was a little down and had a specific prayer request and a different guy turned out to be an answer to his prayers.  God is amazing how he works.

I'm so thankful just to be a witness of God at work.

"I had to know God for myself."

Powerful Stuff.