May 292014

Then God blessed them and gave them this directive: “Be fruitful and multiply. Populate the earth. I make you trustees of My estate, so care for My creation and rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that roams across the earth.” Genesis 1:28 (VOICE)

God’s directives to newly created man and woman: 1) to be fruitful and multiply and 2) to take care of the rest of creation. I think both parts of this directive point to the fact that we were created to be fruitful. We were created both to populate the earth and to productively take care of it. We were created to do work. And while Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden their work was less toilsome. The curse on man after he decided to be disobedient was that the work would be wrought with hardships. (As would the “being fruitful” part for women) But, even though our work is filled with hardships, it is still what we were created to do. So, work hard because in doing so you fulfill one of the purposes for which you were created and you will experience the satisfaction of doing what you were created to do. And, whatever work you find yourself doing, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men… It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

May 282014

Just look at the contrast! The Eternal is the True God: He is the living God and eternal King, not some lifeless idol. The whole earth trembles when He is angry; nations crumble beneath His wrath. Jeremiah 10:10 (VOICE)

There are a lot of gods in our world. In fact, we can make just about anything an idol. But there is only One who is truly God. Our pitiful substitutes are lifeless and impotent. Our Father is Life and omnipotent. Look at the contrast! He is the True God, all the rest are false gods, made by our own hands and imaginations. The True God is higher than our thoughts and imaginations. He is great and powerful, but also loving and merciful. Let’s cling to Him and throw away all our worthless idols.

May 212014

We, on the other hand, continue to live through the Spirit’s power and wait confidently in the hope that things will be put right through faith. Galatians 5:5 (VOICE)

Live. Wait. Hope. That’s what we are to do. Live through the Spirit’s power. Wait confidently knowing that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. And remain steadfast in our Hope that God will keep His promise to us that one day He will put all things right.

May 202014

The grass withers, the flower fades; nothing lasts except the word of our God. It will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8 (VOICE)

Do you remember when cars were made of metal and would last for years & years? It seems like we don’t make things to last anymore. It’s cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy a replacement ink cartridge for the one you own now. Looking at these things we might conclude that the world has really gotten worse. But that’s just an illusion. Isaiah says there is only one thing that truly stands the test of time; one thing that lasts forever. That is the word of our God. It will stand forever. If you want something steadfast and permanent in your life, open up the Bible and absorb the words He’s spoken to us. Bury them deep in your heart and you will have a lasting treasure that does not spoil or fade. All the pretty things around us are only here for a season. They will wither and fade. But His word is eternal. Grab hold of some “forever” today.

May 192014

And in the face of such oppression and suffering – silence. Not a word of protest, not a finger raised to stop it. Like a sheep to a shearing, like a lamb to be slaughtered, he went – oh so quietly, oh so willingly. Isaiah 53:7 (VOICE)

Do you complain when things aren’t going your way? Do you feel
mistreated and think everyone should know about it? Well, that is not how Jesus faced His darkest trial. No, He was silent before His accusers. He let His character speak for itself. He willingly submitted to the opposition and suffering. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got quite a lot of growing to do in this area…

May 182014

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me on the narrow road, then you are not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38 (VOICE)

The choice is yours. The choice is mine. Will you accept or will you refuse? Will you follow Jesus or will you go another way? Jesus is calling us to follow Him – to look at the world the way He looks at the world and to live differently than the world lives. He wants us to follow Him back to our Father who loves us. This narrow way leads to life. What do you say? Let’s choose Jesus today!

May 172014

His leadership will bring such prosperity as you’ve never seen before – sustainable peace for all time. This child: God’s promise to David – a throne forever, among us, to restore sound leadership that cannot be perverted or shaken. He will ensure justice without fail and absolute equity. Always.The intense passion of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will carry this to completion. Isaiah 9:7 (VOICE)

Prosperity. Peace. Sound leadership. Justice. Equity. It’s what the world dreams of. Before WWI and WWII it was thought that we could make this world better and better until we had all those things. But then the world wars set us back a few decades…

But there is only one place where these things come to fruition… around Jesus. He is the one who makes it all possible. The intense passion of the Eternal will carry it to completion. Do you want peace? Hang around Jesus. Desire sound leadership? Seek out Jesus. All the things we look for are found in Him.

May 162014

The devil had no more temptations to offer that day, so he left Jesus, preparing to return at some other opportune time. Luke 4:13 (VOICE)

I’d love it if I had a day where this statement could be said about me. The devil had tried all the temptations he had to offer that day (and I had actually resisted all of them), so he left… Wouldn’t that be a great day?!?

Three things we should glean from this: First, we can resist all of the devil’s temptations. We have His Spirit in us that provides a way out for us – we just need to look for it and take it. Second, if we resist He will leave. He’s not always there, only when there’s a chance we are weak enough to give in to the temptations he offers. Third, even though he leaves, the devil will not stay away, he will prepare to return and look for a more opportune time to return and tempt again. Don’t be caught off guard. He is a “devouring lion” looking for any unsuspecting and unprepared prey. Stay strong in the Lord and in His mighty power! (Ephesians 6:10)

May 152014

Brothers and sisters, if someone you know loses his way and rebels against God, pursue him in love and bring him back to the truth. James 5:19 (VOICE)

Our whole goal for accountability with our brothers and sisters in Christ should be to ensure they remain in the truth. We should never rejoice in pointing out their failings or weaknesses, but always be engaging them with love. Pursue them in love and restore them back to the truth. That’s our mission of love within the church.

May 142014

I thought to myself, “Age should speak first; those advanced in years will teach wisdom.” But alas, it turns out it is the spirit in a man, not age, and the breath of the Highest One within him that lends understanding. Job 32:7-8 (VOICE)

Someone told me once that everyone will grow older, but not everyone will grow wiser or more mature. As this young man in our verse today waited for the aged to speak wisdom, he found that it’s not how old you are, but “the breath of the Highest One within him that lends understanding.”

Are you giving God a chance to breathe His life and understanding into you? As the minutes of your life pass you are either growing closer to Him by seeking Him out and listening to His words, or you are simply drifting along wherever time and circumstances might take you. Choose to draw closer to Him today…