Archive for April, 2014

Are you seeking great things for yourself?” (Jeremiah 45:5 NLT)

Imelda Marcos, widow of the former dictatorial president of the Philippines, is known for many reasons, but none more than her hunger for money and shoes. Today, since returning from exile years ago, she serves as a politician in the Philippines, is the 3rd richest Filipino at $5 billion in net worth, and has a museum that houses her 3,000+ pairs of shoes. In a poverty-ridden nation, she lives in continued excess and extravagance.

In the Christ Life, we must gauge whether we are still desiring more stuff, or are we desiring to be a better person. Some do try to live for God simply to get things from Him, but that account will soon dry up. As much as God loves to bless us and meet our needs, He is more concerned about long-term spiritual health than our immediate desires. A telling sign would be our prayer time: do we spend it just being in His presence or always asking for things?

Learn the value of desiring God’s presence more than His presents! By hungering for the right things the right way, you can ensure that you’ll have both! Stuff will never satisfy, always being replaced with more, but the richness of a true spiritual life is limitless! You are loved today!

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My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.” (Romans 15:20 NLT)

In 1835, Missionary Dan Bradley arrived in Siam, now known as Thailand, and served among the people for 38 years. By using science, medicine, and technology of the West, even creating Siam’s first newspaper, Bradley found innovative means for creating open doors for evangelism, which is still felt today.

Nearly 2 billion people (27.9 % of the world’s population) live in these unreached segments of society (people groups). These peoples are cut off from any access to the gospel and are largely ignored or unknown by the Christian world. While 90% of the missionary work force and finances are targeting already reached regions with the gospel, both have to be reached. For us in America, though we have churches on every corner, we still have those who have never been to church or read a Bible, much less living the Christ Life.

What can you do about it?
First, let God use you to reach the mission field of your own community, where many stay unreached in spite of churches being nearby. Second, pray for and correspond with missionaries, learning what God is doing in the world and encouraging those doing that work. And third, give financially to those that are ministering this way, such as Light For The Lost (lftl.ag.org/contribute). Make a difference in your world today! You are loved!

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Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” (Proverbs 29:25 NLT)

By 1959, J.D. Salinger had been thrust into fame and popularity, due to the success of his book, The Catcher In The Rye. He would become a recluse, writing much but publishing very little. He was quoted as saying that “a writer’s feelings of anonymity-obscurity are the second most valuable property on loan to him during his working years.”

Many people become recluses, mainly due to the fact of fear: afraid of being hurt, rejected, ridiculed, or unnoticed. Some of our fears are well-founded, stemming from a situation that was faced and never desired to be encountered again. But being afraid of people keeps us from creating relationships and fulfilling our duty to the Great Commission, which is to bring other people into right relationship with God.

Don’t worry about people. We all have the same propensity for inflicting hurt and letting others down. But we are also capable of much good too. By staying close to God and finding your identity in Him, there’s nothing people could ever do to you! And that makes you free to live and love others! You are loved today! Have a wonderful week!

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A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.” (Acts 2:43 NLT)

In 1947, welterweight boxing champion, Sugar Ray Robinson, was scheduled to fight in a prize match against Jimmy Doyle. However, Robinson had nightmares about killing Doyle in the ring, so vivid that he threatened to quit the match. Promoters went so far as to hire a priest to reassure Robinson that everything would be okay. So, on June 25, Doyle went down in the 8th with a TKO, was rushed to the hospital, and died the next day. That fight would haunt Robinson the rest of his life.

We live in a world where the supernatural happens everyday. Whether it’s good or bad, it happens: whispered warnings, spooky voices, miraculous survivals, premonitions of things, dreams… As Christians, we understand the fact that we are spiritual creatures having an earthly experience. But what about those that aren’t so aware?

As you come to church today, come ready to worship in a way that you can feel His very real presence! But be patient and able to explain the spiritual and demonic in a way that not only opens the minds of others, but invites them into a desirous, miraculous relationship with God. You are loved today! Experience it!

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Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” (Revelation 4:1 NLT)

Interesting food fact: A berry is defined as a fruit that possesses a fleshy interior and an outer skin, and it’s formed by the entirety of the ovary of the plant. That means that grapes, avocados, eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, and even chili peppers are botanically classified as berries, while blackberries and blueberries are not. Here I am in my 40’s and learning new things! Go figure!

Spiritually speaking, we are also able to learn new things about God and the spiritual journey, no matter age or experience. A higher state of mind and spiritual vision can only be achieved through the higher practice of personal character. If you live up to the highest and best that you know in the outer level of your life, God will continually say to you, ‘Friend, come up even higher.’ And God’s desire is to reveal more to us!

Don’t be afraid to admit ignorance nor to learn that you may be wrong, like a blackberry isn’t a berry! By learning more, we learn how to do the Christ Life better. Come to Church tomorrow and let your mind be expanded! You are loved!

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He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Everyone knows Wayne Gretzky as one of the greatest professional hockey players of all time. But in Brantford, Ontario, they knew before anyone else! As a child phenom in his hometown, he scored an amazing 378 goals in one season as a 10-year-old in minor hockey. His prodigiousness led to national notoriety in Canada before he was a teenager. He seemed destined for greatness!

God created an important, eternal work for each of us to do. It may not make news and almost certainly won’t bring in a fortune, but it’s still powerful! Because what God desires of us is to impact lives that never end, souls that never die. Long after the world forgets who we are, the ripples of our care can continue to touch lives, never knowing how the spiritual waves started but continuing nonetheless. And the simple acts of love and faithfulness lead our own life closer into God’s wondrous presence, something that does pay in the here and now!

As you begin a beautiful weekend, quit seeing life as meaningless and mediocre. All of our deadends are self-created. Live Christ-led, even through times of monotony and tedium. The days of small beginnings leads to a lot of hearts with your caring fingerprints all over them! You are loved today!

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