Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Path Taken

The purpose of this life is only found in Jesus.  One’s journey will be weighed in the light of this one measure.  True success lies in this outcome.  Likewise, true failure is found in any path that does not lead to God’s own Son.    

As it is written, the path that leads to life is narrow.  Broad is the path that leads to death.  All are on one path or the other.  The path taken determines the destination, whether beginning or end.

Friday, January 30, 2009

So Much More

If we limit our understanding to mere reason, and our view of existence to the crude instruments of our own hands and minds, we ignore the greater part of creation.  We are like ants in an anthill, unable to comprehend or suspect the earth in which they dig.  It is that very part of creation at the hand of God that makes the mound possible.  

Comfortable in the dirt and oblivious to their ignorance, they take pride in their own accomplishments.

There is so much more

Brothers and Sisters

Romans 8:28-29 (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Many ask, “Is there a reason?”  Is there a reason for all this?  The answer is yes.  The answer is God.  He has a purpose.  It is that we would be with Him, many brothers to His beloved Son.

He sees the end from the beginning.  All is before Him.  His Word will be accomplished.  Predestination refers to what we will become.  It is not about exclusion but inclusion.  It is about the many that would come.

It is written that Jesus is the exact image of the Father.  If we are conformed to His image, we take on the image of God Himself.  This is what it means to be holy, pure, merciful, just, faithful, and loving.  Following Jesus, we begin to transform into what we are meant to be. We will be like Him.

As brothers and sisters to Christ, we are children of God.  As children of God, we are brothers and sisters to each other.  All who would come are welcomed.  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Share The Faith

Philemon 1:6 (NIV)
6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

Faith that is not exercised and shared is stunted.  The Spirit works in the midst of our faith.  Little faith results in little understanding.  Little faith brings little life.  

It is in the sharing that we experience the good things we have in Christ.  It is in this flow from the river of life that waters, sustains, and brings abounding life.  Let us open the gates of our hearts that we might receive and give. May we immerse in the good things of Christ.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got Love?

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (NIV)
1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
3 But the man who loves God is known by God.

Paul is answering a particular question here, but his answer gives insight to a basic truth of the kingdom of God and applies to all our interactions.  The key is the third sentence.  

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 

The one who focuses on loving God is the one who has true knowledge.  Paul speaks of a knowledge that is based on our relationship with the Father.  It is from this relationship that all things flow.  To be known by God is to be loved by God.  To be known by God is to love Him.  

Love is real.  Merely thinking about it is not. 

Got love?

Monday, January 26, 2009

That Shines In The Darkness

John 1:1-5 

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


Here John identifies Jesus as the Word of God, eternal and part of God.  Jesus has ever been the expression of God.  He performed the Father’s will in bringing forth creation, and spoke the Father’s words to us while on earth.  He is one with God in a way that we cannot fully comprehend, but accept in faith.    

This reveals the uniqueness of the man Jesus Christ as God Incarnate.  This is the reason He states that He is the only way to God and we are to believe Him. 

He gave life in the beginning and will restore us to life when He comes again.  

He is the source of life, gave that life to us, and sacrificed that life for us. 

This life is the light of the world which conquers the darkness of death.  

We begin to partake of that life and become the light of the world.  It is His light within us that shines in the darkness.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spiritual Insight

Is there anything in creation that cannot be viewed from a spiritual perspective, and thus spiritual insight gained? 

Is there anything, good or bad, that cannot be used by God to teach some truth?

In Him we move and have our being. 

Are not all things relative to God, either leading to Him or leading away from Him? 

Can it not be said this is the purpose of creation that we would seek and find Him? 

Is this not praying without ceasing, seeing and experiencing all things from a kingdom view, guided by the presence of the Holy Spirit?  Is this not the mind of Christ?


In all things we are to give thanks

In all things we are to praise the Lord

In His living water we find life

The fountain of the Holy Spirit

Ever flows with the wisdom of God

His love endures forever

The Mind of Christ

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (NIV)
12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

How is it that many in the world ignore or ridicule believing in Jesus and the things of God?  Here we are told that without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to make sense of anything beyond the natural world.  The Holy Spirit is available for all, but only if one responds to that offer.  The Holy Spirit comes and opens the eyes of the one that looks beyond the self.  Until then, the things of God are like water poured out on a flat rock.  There is no chance of penetration, of understanding for a heart is hardened by the ways of the world. 

The one who realizes he or she is not complete and lost is ready to believe in Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is then given to the believer, opening the way to the inexhaustible riches of God.  We are connected and have within us the Lord’s own Spirit.  That is why we are able to spiritually respond to and discern the things that the natural man finds foolish. It is given to us to understand the world as it truly is, from God’s revelation and is why it is said that we are not subject to any man’s judgment.  God’s Spirit provides insight and judgment beyond that of a person without the Spirit. 

This adds to our understanding of being one with Christ, just as He is one with the Father. There is one Holy Spirit through Whom we are joined together.  It is this Spirit that gives us the mind of Christ; God’s own Son with Whom He was well pleased.  We become brothers and sisters of Jesus, children of the same Father.

Do You Believe This?

John 11:25-26 (NIV)
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Do you believe this? 

Salvation is believing and faith in Jesus.  It is as easy as that and it is as hard as that.  This is the necessary foundation for everything else.  Nothing else will do.  That is what God tells us in His Word.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

His Spirit Reveals

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (NIV)
9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

How awesome it is to consider the wonderful gift and work of the Holy Spirit.  Our own spirits are contained in these bodies.  They reside in this flesh, unable to leave its mortal home.  Unseen by others, our spirit is alone in the witness of our thoughts and feelings that we hold to ourselves.  This gives insight to our longing for intimacy. 

This passage describes the Spirit of God in the same way, except the Holy Spirit is free to go where He chooses.  He searches all things, even the deep things of God.  He speaks only the things of God because He is God, the Spirit of God. 

The amazing fact is God’s own Spirit comes to us, and communes with our spirit.  We become intimately united with God Himself.  This union exposes us to the things of God, to the riches He has prepared for us in advance.  It satisfies the hunger within that can not be satisfied any other way.  This is the bread of life.  We become one with God, therefore never alone.  We begin to know as we are known.  Our spirits are awakened to a new life in the kingdom of God.  We are guided by the Holy Spirit as He reveals the mercy, wonder, and comfort of the Father.  We are drawn to the day when our spirits will no longer be bound by this flesh.  He will make us ready.  He will get us there.  His Spirit makes it possible and guarantees the outcome.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Must We Do

John 6:25-29 (NIV)
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
26 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Jesus tells us plainly what God requires for eternal life, for salvation.  He is the one sent.  He is the way that has been approved by God and is the way to God.  He has always been here. 

He tells them it is good they are looking but they are not looking for the right reason.  Those seeking God with the right heart will find Him.  Those looking through the eyes of the flesh will not. It is not through the eyes and mind of the flesh that the answer is found.  When we accept Jesus as the Son of God, our spirit is quickened and we are able to apprehend the things of the Holy Spirit of the living God.  We partake in the true bread of life.  This bread satisfies with eternal life.  There is no other.

“What must we do?” they ask.  How do we obey God? 


Monday, January 19, 2009

Where Are You Staying

John 1:35-39 (ESV)
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,
36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
39 He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

This encounter contains the essence of the gospel at work.  Upon hearing John speak of Jesus as the Lamb of God, two disciples follow after Him to learn more.  Jesus turns and asks them what they were seeking.  Their reply is in the form of a question but it contains the answer we all seek.  The true answer is “Where You are staying.” 

We seek to be with Him for in Him is life, and life everlasting, even when it may not be apparent to the seeker.  He receives them like He does for all that come to Him.  He says: 

“Come and you will see.” 

They came and they saw.  He taught them because they came and stayed with Him.  The number ten in the Bible stands for divine completion or perfection.  In that hour they had come to the divine connection, the mercy of God was active among them. They had entered into the will of the Father.  They would find what they sought. 

Jesus asks the same question of us: “Where are you staying?  

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shout With Joy

Psalm 66:1-5 (NIV)
1 Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
2 Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!
3 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." Selah
5 Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!

There is a reason to shout with joy for God has done a most wonderful thing for you and me.  Anything else that brings us joy here on earth should pale in comparison to the joy that results in the gift of forgiveness and life He has accomplished.  If one truly considers what He has done, singing His praises with joy cannot be helped.  There is no greater gift.  There is no greater love. 

We read in His Word what He has done.  We can see something different in the lives of some of those around us.  We feel His presence. We see the work of His hands.  

Join in the song of praise, all the earth!  Come and see what God has done!    

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Falling Away

2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NKJV)
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

Recent polls have confirmed that the Word of God, the Bible, is not regarded as the truth revealed by God.  This belief manifests itself all around us, but the polls reveal in stark terms that the “falling away” referred to in this verse is well underway.  Even the majority of those who identify themselves as Christians in these polls state they do not believe in the basics of following Christ.  

Not believing in Jesus or agreeing with His teachings is known as being antichrist.  Not agreeing with God and obeying His commands reveals the victory of the deceiver, the one referred to as Satan, or the Devil. 

Any so called truth opposed to God is a lie.  Even if the motivation is for inclusion, feeling good, or for what is agreeable to one’s own standard for what is right or wrong, if it is not in agreement with God, it will not stand in the light of judgment.  God alone will judge on that Day that will come.  

Please let no one deceive you by any means.  Read the Book for yourself.  Think about what it says.  Listen to your heart.  Give yourself a chance.  God has provided one. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Yoke Is Easy

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Jesus understands our condition and offers the very thing which we long for and need.  In Him we find rest.  Apart from Him rest will not be found.  This is the rest which truly satisfies and provides the peace we seek. 

The yoke does not imply burden, but just the opposite.  When two oxen are yoked together, they proceed in the same direction and supply strength to a common goal.  What was too much for one can be accomplished with two. 

Jesus speaks of His coming along beside us and relieving our burden.  He offers to help us by teaching the way of rest for our very souls.  His way is one that is easy and light.  His strength, power, and grace become ours.  As we work together with Him whose heart is gentle and humble, we will find our heart becoming like His.  

It is our choice to do things the hard way or the easy way.  In this most important decision it is best to take the easy way out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tears In Your Bottle

Ps 56:8 

8 You have kept count of my tossings;

put my tears in your bottle.

Are they not in your book?


This scripture reminds us that God is intimately aware of every aspect of our life.  He alone knows of every tear we shed.  They are not forgotten.  He watches over us in our sleep as we toss and turn with our troubles.  We are not immune to the difficulties that come our way, but we have at our side the One Who comforts and is supreme in all things.  Just as Jesus, His own Son, learned and chose obedience during His time on earth, we are here to do the same.  It is in the crucible of life that we begin to learn of God and place our faith in Him.  On that day when we are with Him, all tears will be dried, replaced by joy.  Then they will be forgotten.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Paying Attention

Acts 16:11-15 

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.


Lydia was a worshiper of God.  She was not a Jew but worshipped God with them. If the town did not have enough Jewish men to warrant a synagogue, it was customary to gather by water for worship and prayer on the Sabbath day.  No men appear to be in the number gathered before Paul.  Often women seem more able to hear the Spirit and more likely to respond.  

Here we see the work of the Holy Spirit combined with the service of Paul.  Paul spoke the words, but the Holy Spirit is the One Who beckons and works within the heart.  We come into play as we plant the seed of the Word.  That seed prospers based on the interaction of the Spirit and the individual.  There can be no boasting on our part for the light we bring is His, not ours. 

Paying attention is another way of saying “let those with ears hear”.  True hearing leads to belief, which leads to walking with God.  She did not merely agree with Paul, but acted on that belief.  After her baptism, she opened her house to Paul and his companions.  She had opened her heart after the Lord had knocked at her heart’s door.  A heart that seeks God will find Him.  We only have to pay attention.      

Friday, January 9, 2009

Small Things

God reveals Himself in small things

Intelligible to our senses

Yet spoken without words

A still, quiet voice

Spirit borne

In a moment of pause

The whisper of a breeze

A glorious sunrise

The laughter of a child

Of surprise

Finding a flower unfolded

Its beauty revealed

For beauty’s sake

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Romans 15:13

15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


The presence of the Holy Spirit does not bind or contain the believer in some sort of restrictive life as some think, but just the opposite.  He frees the believer from the chains of sin that result in death.  Where once we were bound, we now abound, free indeed by the power of the Spirit.  Abundant life is given that goes beyond this mortal life in this earthly cup.  With the wings of grace we are able to rise above our fallen nature and an earth that bears the scars of disobedience.  This new perspective allows us to see things as they really are.  We enter into boundless joy and peace that comes from His indwelling.  Though we are faced with troubles and trials for a short time, the Spirit comforts us in our hope and expectation of the One Who will come.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Persecuted For Righteousness

Matthew 5:10-12 

10  "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11  "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  12  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


 Doing the right thing does not always result in the praise of those around you, though it is what God expects.  Often going with the flow or ignoring something is the preferred mode of action.  This can be our own attitude or of others.  Doing otherwise can bring ridicule or loss. 

For those who walk in the way of the Lord and witness to that fact, despite what others might think, do, or say, will find their true reward.  Their praise comes from God.  This is the praise that counts.  Their footsteps already fall in the kingdom of heaven.  

Only in a fallen world is it possible for one to be persecuted for following after God. 

Darkness hates the light.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Matt 5:9 

9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


This peace begins in the heart.  True peace is when we are at rest with God.  Peace with God is the fountain which allows our peace within, which then continues its course into the world.  The basis of this peace is forgiveness.  God forgives and accepts us.  We are then to forgive ourselves and others.  This frees us to embrace the abundant life given by Jesus. 

This peacemaking takes place between the individual and our Creator.  This is accomplished through His one and only Son.  We are given the peace of Jesus through His reconciling sacrifice on our behalf.  We follow Him into new life as sons and daughters of the Father.  The full fulfillment of that reality is to come, but our status at present as children of the Most High God is no less real or certain.  This fact is proclaimed and promised by the One Who is faithful and true.  It is His Word that assures us and His Spirit which confirms this Truth.  It is His Word that counts. 

They shall be called sons of God.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pure In Heart

Matt 5:8 

8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.


 This is a frightening verse.  Who is pure in heart?  For those who have become aware of what lurks in the heart and how Godless our nature can be, this is a cause for despair.  

Take heart, for this discovery is the only way that leads to a pure heart.  It is only when we discover our poverty we are able to seek the riches of God.  Through faith in Christ we are given the Holy Spirit.  The presence of God comes into our heart.  The presence of God is pure.  That presence is saving and transforming.  Cold darkness gives way to warmth of His light. We become His children and are sealed for His return.  Because of what He has done and what He is doing, we will see Him.  We will know as we are known. We will be like Him.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Blessed Are The Merciful

Matt 5:7

7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.


God’s grace and mercy toward us is not dependent on any works of our own, so what are we to make of this? 

All good things come from God.  When we reach out to Him in faith, we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  As that Spirit lives and moves within our hearts, so it is that we begin to change.  The fruit of the Spirit will manifest itself and grow.  As we come to understand and experience God’s love, it will fill us and overflow to others.  That is the nature of the living water, it is alive and moving, without end.  Love and mercy beget love and mercy.  The more we participate in this new life, the more we will receive.  The more we receive, the more we will be like Him.