Archive for February, 2014

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth…” (1 Peter 1:22, NLT)

In 1986, The Independent News of Sullivan, MO, published an article of four local high school boys that skipped classes to miss a test, all of them saying that the car they shared had a flat. A sympathetic teacher told them that they had missed a test & could make it up with a very quick, one question, pass-or-fail quiz. As they sat confidently with pen and paper, the teacher simply asked, “Which tire was flat?”

Obedience is difficult for all of us. While WE may be satisfied with only a partial obedience to what God says, God is more concerned with our lack of it. We might not want to sacrifice what we want, but our wants often lead to our falling short too. Even in little things, the Christ Life is about obedience that leads to holiness, which leads to Heaven.

In the words of my friend, David McGhghy: “While obedience may be better than sacrifice, obedience is often THE sacrifice.” Let God help you to do what is right, instead of falling short on your own. A clean conscience is a golden commodity for living! You are loved today! Have a pure weekend!

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Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” (Mark 3:4 NLT)

In 1980, William Murray, the son of well-known athiest activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, became a Christian and eventually a minister. In response to his decision of faith, O’Hair commented:

One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times … he is beyond human forgiveness.”

Hatred is a toxic emotion that destroys anything it touches. In this text, Jesus is calling the hatred of religious leaders on the carpet; it was poisoning the beauty of the Sabbath day by trying to keep Jesus from saving a life. Christian or not, hatred is an equal-opportunity destroyer that seems to move through all of us.

As a Christian, you are called to save a life by living above harmful emotion. Many have been destroyed by hatred, even by those who mask it with the Church. Live free of this! Be one that gives life & life will be given back to you! You are loved to forgive!

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God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17 NLT)

According to ESPN, on Saturday, February 15th, Renaud Lavillenie broke a 21 year old pole vaulting record, having cleared the bar comfortably at 6.16 meters (20 feet, 2.5 inches) almost to the day the pole vault great achieved 6.15 (20’2″) on Feb. 21, 1993. While I ran long distance events 100 years ago in high school, pole vaulting was NEVER my skill. Some things we can do, some we can’t.

Just as God blessed Daniel with wisdom, Esther with beauty, Sampson with strength & Solomom with a silver tongue, He gifts us as well for the jobs He needs us to do. Mary was a good Mom, Job was a good Dad & some unnamed weaver made curtains and carpets for the Temple. Everyone doing something.

Your skill set was created by God just for you! From public speaking to banana pudding making to pole vaulting, it all matters if lives are being touched. Let God use you to make a difference, just the way you are. You are loved today!

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Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.” (Galatians 6:6 NLT)

A few Sundays back, as I was greeting people entering our church for Sunday School, a little girl approached me very shyly, handed me a note, and as a big, toothy grin broke across her face, she darted down the hallway for her class. I opened up the note, looked at the colored hand drawn pictures, and read a simple note that said, “Thank you for being our Pastor! I love you!” Needless to say, my day had been made!

As the scripture tells us, we have many in our lives that encourage us along our spiritual journey, teaching us the vital things that we need to know in order to live this life right. While gladly doing it for nothing, a simple word of gratitude or a small gift of appreciation goes a long way, giving them fuel to keep teaching and training for the kingdom’s sake.

Take a moment this week to send a text or call to someone that has played a role in your spiritual growth: teacher, pastor, mentor, parent, friend… By sharing some love, you’ll make their day! You are loved to love! Pass it on!

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And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 NLT)

Smith Wigglesworth was an illiterate plumber when God began to move upon him towards ministry. Having been taught to read by his wife, Polly, and finding new strength in the Holy Spirit, Smith would become a major proponent in early Pentecostalism at the turn of the 20th century.

While he was an extraordinary evangelist that made a huge impact spiritually, one still felt today, what I enjoy most about Smith is the fact that he was an ordinary man that God changed. Simple, everyday people like you & I can be used of God to change a world, but only if we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our wisdom & creativity mean nothing if it’s not led and strengthened by God Himself.

Live today knowing that your life matters. But if you want to make the most of how God made you, live on His terms, being used by God to help others the way that He knows works best. No matter how ordinary you think you are, God knows better! Be empowered to impact! You are loved today!

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But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction.” (Jude 1:10 NLT)

In this verse, Jude is mentioning dangerous people in the church. Prior to that, he was warning about dangerous angels and dangerous people in life. The moral of Jude? Be careful! There’s dangerous things in life!

We don’t quit living just because some things seem out of balance or people misbehave. Neither should we be ready to give up church when things of life show up there. Be wise, be gracious, but also be present. As the saying goes, evil reigns when good men do nothing.

Come to church today! Be willing to worship no matter who is there & make sure that Jude’s tale doesn’t apply to you! You’ll find many more like-minded people who are glad you came and ready to get there worship on with you! You are loved today!

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