Mr 3:5* He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Reach out your hand.” The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again! Mr 6:52* They still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, for their hearts were hard and they did not believe. Mr 7:7* ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.’ Mr 7:19* Food doesn’t come in contact with your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then comes out again.” (By saying this, he showed that every kind of food is acceptable.) Mr 7:21* For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, Mr 8:17* Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said, “Why are you so worried about having no food? Won’t you ever learn or understand? Are your hearts too h…
Sometimes I wish that God was more like me. Now, don't click me off--stay with me. I wish He was more punctual. I wish He paid more attention to time...calendars...more specifically MY calendar and MY appointments.
I just read this morning, "Divine timing is involved in every facet of your life." (Caroline Myss) This is what got me thinking about this again--Divine timing.
I have noted a few Biblical truths that bug me--
1000 years are like a day and a day is like a 1000 years for God. So I translate that like this: When I am in a hurry God isn't---when God is in a hurry, I'm not. God always takes His time in making a 'person.' Joseph is 17 years old when he receives his vision and purpose in life. At the age of 38 or so the vision becomes true. Moses is useless until he is 80 years old. Jesus spends 30 years banging and cutting wood before the Father releases Him into a short three year itinerate ministry. So I translated that like this: God i…
You are probably familiar with the story in John chapter four where Jesus is interacting with the Samaritan woman at the well.In Jesus' dialogues with the woman, Jesus challenges the woman to seek what I will call an eternal water springing up from within. This eternal water springing up within is juxtaposed to the water in the well.The well of water becomes the centre piece of the dialogue. Jesus asks for water---but then offers water.Jesus water is eternal; the woman's water is drawn from the well they are sitting around.The woman's water will eventually lose its thirst quenching ability.Eventually, you will get thirsty again, and need another drink from the well.
Jesus boldly asserts: "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14)." The point is clear: 1. ONLY Jesus supplies something that can satisfy--both initially …
Haven't we all made statements like this: Wow... you should read this person's books--they are awesomeYou should watch so and so's videos--She is really anointedI want to go to that person's church--He is an outstanding preacher We say these things because we are mistaken. We have fallen in the error of thinking a good harvest is determined by the seed--not the soil. What I mean is this: Jesus told his followers a story about a farmer scattering seed. There are four types of soil--but only one type of seed. The condition of the harvest is determined not by the seed, but by the soil. Jesus explained it like this. The seed is the Word of God. The four types of soil in the parable represent people's hearts and their relationship to the seed! The most successful harvest is defined by Jesus in these terms: "And the seeds that fell on good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest." …
Who am I? I am not what I do…I am not what I have…I am not what others think of me. That thinking creates a ‘false-self.’ I am who Jesus tells me I am. I am who the Bible declares I am. Society, my culture, and the devil wants me to live in my false self. I need to reclaim my true self. Henri Nouwen: “The spiritual life requires a constant claiming of our true Identity.” Life strips us of our identity. Ministry strips us of our identity. Satan strips us of our identity. People strip us of our identity. Circumstances strip us of our identity. Who does the Word of God declare that I am?
Ephesians 1:1-14 I am blessed in the heavenly realms I am united with Christ I am loved by God I have been chosen in Christ to be holy I have been adopted into God’s family through Jesus Christ I give God great pleasure. I am a recipient of God’s grace outpoured on me because of Jesus—God’s son. I have been purchased out of my sin and sinful life I am showered with God’s kindness Because I have been uni…
One of the things I sense I need to guard myself against--and I would encourage you to take personal inventory of--is entitlement. We are an entitlement culture. We have our 'rights'. We are protected by the law. This comes at us over and over again, in all sorts of ways. So, this morning I read about Paul's rantings in 2 Corinthians 11, where he goes into a somewhat defensive mode. I'm sure you've read this portion: ..."I have been whipped times without number...Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes." Wow--where is entitlement in that scenario? How would I react if I were beaten with a rod thirty-nine times because I preach Jesus Christ? About a month ago, I stood on our city hall steps in St Thomas and preached about Jesus--with a microphone! No boos. No beatings. No challenges. No jail time. Nothing! As a matter of fact--the crowd was quite civil and supportive. Paul--we know from the Acts narrative--had a worship…
Have you heard this? If you prayed for a thing once—that’s enough—don’t pray again—that’s a lack of faith.
Someone should have told Jesus that!
1. Garden of Gethsemane: Jesus, on the night of his arrest, knew his time was at hand. He was in the garden praying—asking for God’s help. The gospels tell us that Jesus prayed three times. Mathew’s gospel tell us: “So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.” (Matthew 26:44, NIV) Wow Jesus—not even different words? You said ‘the same thing?’ 2. Jesus’ encourages repetition: Mt 7:7* “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. (NLT) I have used the NLT because it perhaps betters translates the verb tense in this passage. Ask is a verb that is in the Present, Active, Imperative Present- The present tense can either be continuous/ongoing or undefined Active- The subject is doing the asking Imperative- It…
Paul tells the Roman church (see Romans 15:4 NLT)..."we wait patiently for God's promise to be fulfilled."
A follower of Christ, is a believer--one who has repented of sin and looks to Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and soon return--as the basis for purity, holiness, and right standing with God. This is a Christian who must learn to live by faith.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1-3 KJV).
Note: Faith sees things that are not yet presentWhat faith sees is 'the substance' --the un-seen things that ultimately will create a 'seen' thing Paul's direction--We wait patiently:
My life as a believer means--there are things yet coming to me that, at present, are unseenBut, jus…
Covenantal Pledge Christ’s Resurrection Lord —Hear my confession:
I confess today my need of salvation.
I confess today my need of a Saviour.
I confess today I am a sinner. Lord—I believe:
I believe Jesus died for my sins.
I believe Jesus rose again three days later.
I believe Jesus ascended into heaven.
I believe Jesus is coming back to earth to receive unto Himself—His followers. Lord—I receive:
Jesus as my Resurrected Saviour
Jesus as my Reigning King
Jesus as my Coming King Lord—I expect:
To receive forgiveness for my sins
To receive healing for my body
To receive deliverance in my life
To receive resurrection of my body when You come again Lord—I pledge:
To surrender to my Resurrected, Ascended, and Soon Coming King.
To follow with all my heart my Resurrected, Ascended, and Soon Coming King.
To serve with all my intention—my Resurrected, Ascended, and Soon Coming King.
And Lord, I pledge to tell others about the wonderful and awesome privilege of being a child of my Resurrected, Ascen…
Do you ever ask yourself this question: "I hope I'm not asking God for something that is wrong."
Think about this:
Saul--was doing the LORD'S work--arresting all those evil followers of Jesus--when Jesus knocks Saul off of Saul's horse and basically asks Saul, 'Hello Saul--guess who? It's me Jesus!'Think about the Israelites who cried and cried for a good meal of meat--which God gave them...and then God judged them and killed a bunch of them!
I just don't want to be asking the wrong thing--especially if God happens to grant it!
I've been thinking about the storms of life--which we all face. In the gospels Jesus does one of three things to/in storms:
He slept through them.He walks through them.He calms them.
Now, for me--I like option three--calming storms. But what God needs me to sleep through them--or walk through them?
All of this then requires relationship and walking with the Lord. This requires me to prioritize intimacy with God--and w…
There are many things, concerns, and ideas that bombard us in our 'church' or 'christian culture.' There are many ideas or activities that call for our time, effort, support and money. I am wondering if in the plethora of social media, magazines, posts, sermons, and youtube teachings we might be missing the core of our calling.
Peter, in Acts 10--is branching out with the gospel (fulfilling Jesus' prophecy of Acts 1:8). Here in this text Peter is taking the gospel to the house of Cornelius. As Peter explains why he had come to the house of a Gentile--he grapples with the real issue at hand--the gospel! He explains his core calling in these terms: "And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is ordained of God to be the judge of all--the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” (See Acts 10:42-42)
It is I who desires God? Or is it God who desires me? “Hunger for God will not go unanswered, because it is a gift from God. Our longing is already an answer from our heart as it is stirred by God’s Spirit. No one who seek God fails to find God, because she or he is already found by God. In seeking we are found. In longing we express God’s desire, God’s longing evoking our own.”
The soul speaks: ‘God, you are my lover,My longing.My flowing stream.My sun.And I am your reflection.’
God answers:‘It is my nature that makes me love you often,For I am love itself.It is my longing that makes me you love you intensely,For I yearn to be loved from the heart.It is my eternity that makes me love you long,For I have no end.’ (Mechthild of Magdeburg) We may be tempted to feel that the desiring of God is all on our end. But our desiring originates in God’s desiring of us…. David Benner p 82 Desiring God’s will IVP Books: Downer Grove Illinois, 2005
1. Read the above through once. Wait in silence fo…
Let's be honest--we are impressed with superstars. We love our heroes--even 'Christian' heroes. Have you read--so and so's--book? Seen her videos? Go to his website--it is awesome!
I am taken back afresh as I read John 13. Jesus begins this particular narrative by describing who He is--what makes Him tick: 13:1* ¶ Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love. 2* It was time for supper, and the Devil had already enticed Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to carry out his plan to betray Jesus. 3* Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. Notice: Jesus knew His mission was almost overJesus wanted His followers to know the "full extent of his love"Jesus knew:The Father had given him authority over everythingThat Jesus--had come from the FatherThat Jesus--was about to re…
A Place of Rest
Lord, Your Word tells me You are looking for a place of rest.
I think of myself as needing a place to rest—so I run to You.
I seek You out—but You also, by Your Desire —are seeking a place of rest—A place of habitation.
David sought a place for You.
David said: “I will not enter my house or go to my bed-- I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” Psalms 132:3-5, NIV.
Then, in an astounding response You Lord said:
“For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it--” Psalms 132:13, 14, NIV.
Does this mean LORD You still seek to rest in certain places?
Yes! This is what Your Word tells me.
So LORD—welcome today.
Welcome into me.
Welcome into every facet of me.
Lord choose me.
Lord find rest in me. Lord find a place of habitation in me.
Lord, shift what needs shifting…
Notice that it is a wheel.. which reveals constant motion. Spiritual progression is not an event.It is a wheel that keeps going round and round.Henri Nouewen: The Spiritual life requires a constant claiming of our true identity The more you go around, the easier, the quicker, and ultimately the less you go around. If however, you never begin the process you will stay the same—and never progress in intimacy and love with God.Points on the wheel: Recognition: You recognize something is amiss.. something is wrong. You begin to think/ dream/ imagine/ understand that there has to be more in your spiritual life. You see this variance between your spiritual experience/life and the spiritual life you read about in the Scriptures, or in biographies, or see in other people whom you know. (2Peter 3:18; 2Tim 1:5; 1Cor 11:1)Relish: You move past the … something is wrong… to desire… you relish to have more, experience more. You desire greater intimacy. You …