Posts Tagged ‘disciple’

  

“For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives.” (Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭10‬ NLT)

On February 26, 2015, Myriah Pointer of Atlanta, GA, sat down one evening with friends to hang out. What she didn’t know was that a friend’s hamburger was underneath her. That woman became enraged at Strickland, and what ensued was a 2-hour videotaped beatdown of Strickland by her 3 “friends”, resulting in facial fractures and broken teeth. All 3 women were arrested and all because of a flattened Burger King Whopper Junior. 

It’s easy for anyone to lose sight of what really matters. Whether at the job, at home, in hobbies, or even in church, spirit-filled believers can so focus on the immediate and temporary that we forget the needful and eternal things. A flap over a hamburger is just as silly as a church split over carpet color or a divorce over bathroom counter clutter!

Let what is important to God be important to you: seeing souls saved, being filled with the Holy Spirit, hungering for His presence, and aiming for Eternity. The temptation to focus on trivial or downright stupid stuff will always be around. Let God help you to instead focus on what really matters! You are loved today! 

  

“As each part does its own special work…the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭16‬ NLT)

While Queen Victoria’s status as the first known carrier of hemophilia is well documented, few realize just how devastating the spread of her genes were on the next three generations that followed her. A son, three grandsons, and four great-grandsons were all sufferers, most of whom bled to death. Since her children eventually married into other politically important wealthy bloodlines, Queen Victoria’s genes weakened the royal houses of England, Russia, Spain, and Prussia.

According to our text, the spiritual body of the Church is healthy when everyone is doing there part. So what happens if we don’t? Then not only is the Church and its people in danger of becoming unhealthy, but future generations of the Church also stand the chance of inheriting this destructive state since both activity and inactivity are learned behaviors. 

As Christians, we are made to know God and to make Him known. By doing the Christ Life right, we can prevent a spiritual equivalent of Victoria’s hereditary torment. Live right so that the future Church lives! You are loved! 



Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, do you love Me?'” (John‬ ‭21‬:‭16‬ NKJV)

According to Psychology Today, about 40 percent of all female murder victims die at the hands of a former or present spouse or lover. The home becomes a dangerous place for women (as well as for children). Nearly all male murderers claim that they committed the murder out of love, and possibly it was a result of loving too much. But can you truly destroy a life out of love? Is that how love acts?

In the text, Jesus is asking Simon Peter if his love is true. Just a few days earlier, Peter was emphatic that he would die out of love for his Master. Now, after denying Jesus in His hour of need, Peter reacts differently; he is broken. Jesus is trying to help His disciple to understand that he is not only forgiven, but that love doesn’t respond with emphatic hopes but with faithful future action: “Tend My sheep.”

People can be satisfied of our spiritual love because we say the right things. But what does God see? Love will be known by our faithfulness: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words.” (John‬ ‭14‬:‭23-24‬ NKJV) Let your love be true love, even as you are loved! 

IMG_1642

Who are you, lord?” (Acts 26‬:‭15‬ NLT)

My Mom was my 1st grade teacher. In our class that year was a poor kid named “Jimmy”. Jimmy’s Dad did not want his son to grow up to be a smoker. So, at the ripe old age of 6, he taught Jimmy how to dip snuff. As you can imagine, the nicotine wreaked havoc on his little system, causing him to have the scours and be sick everyday. It was a sad case of parenting gone wrong.

In this text, Saul is doing it wrong. He grew up around God, was trained to serve God, but was committing harm and atrocities in God’s name, never realizing that the God he was serving was the very God he was attacking! You can imagine the sense of ironic failure Saul felt, having to be introduced to “his boss”, whom he should have known all along.

As you live the Christ Life daily, do it right. What we do and how we live should reflect the God we serve, not the opinions or emotions we harbor. We should be the best advertising Heaven has! Live like you know the God you serve! You are loved today!

IMG_1619

They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.'” (Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Søren Kierkegaard was a 19th-century Danish theologian and philosopher. Still a lightning rod years after his death, Kierkegaard was known for his attack on the empty formalities and shallowness of the Church of Denmark. In reference to the issue of self-deception, something he saw both in the world and the church, he once said, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

We all like to see life through our rose-colored glasses because negativity is such a drain. But as Christians, we must live passionately for truth, even that which hurts us. A true disciple knows not only the sting of correction, but also the benefit of the needed change, as well as the love of a friend who may have shared it. When we practice self-deception (“I’m a good person”, “God knows my heart”, “They had that coming”…), we become blind to real truth, the things that set us free. And self-imposed bondage is the most shameful of all.

Be a person of truth! The hard admissions that we must reconcile only serve to make us stronger disciples, a people that can lead out of a true example, not a hollow shell of how we wish to be seen. Embrace hard truth! You are loved today!

IMG_1397.JPG

This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (James‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Could you willingly become a slave? In ancient times, this was a common way for impoverished people to provide subsistence for themselves or their family and provision was made for this in law. For example, the code of Hammurabi stated that “besides being able to borrow on personal security, an individual might sell himself or a family member into slavery.” In medieval Russia, self-sale was the main source of slaves.

In the biblical aspect, James is not talking about an auction block but a willingness to let God control his life instead of his own whims. To be a “slave of God” sounds crazy, until you understand that God is a more merciful and loving Master of our lives than we are to ourselves. And sin? Sin is the ultimate taskmaster of torture and abuse, ruining everything it touches!

In this life, we all will serve somebody: God, Satan, Self, Others… And if it’s not God, all the others wind up in the same pile. Learn to give up control to the One that doesn’t desire to hurt, abuse, or manipulate you. He’s the only Master that desires more for you, to make you His child! You really are loved!

IMG_1384.JPG

The path of the upright is an open highway.” (Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭19‬ NLT)

A friend shared with me a frustrating God-moment she recently had. While driving in the rain from Oklahoma back home to Arkansas, her three hour trip wound up being twelve! Three different times she had to pull off the interstate with belt issues, twice having it replaced. Each time, God sent people to buy, deliver, and install them for free, even getting a meal in the deal! Each time she tried to pay them, they all responded with the exact same words: “This is what Christians do.”

God gave my friend an open Heaven of provision, meeting her need at every step. For those that helped her, God gave them an open avenue to help a stranger, fulfilling a scriptural command to help those in need, which also leads to blessings. So, for everyone involved in this adventure, there was an “open highway” that led each to a place of blessing and affirmation.

The main point of this devotion is to realize that we who journey the Christ Life highway must be ready to do what Christians do, and that is to help others. By living faithfully, we are also in a prime place to be helped when we need it. So live your “open highway” this week! God is faithful and you are loved by Him!