How Much Do You Care?

A steadfast faith, a willing spirit, and a caring heart are what the world needs to see in us.  We are not to be just a good worker, neighbor or friend.  We need to be a shining witness to the Lord with our love for others and our service. 

Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

True to Their Colors

In our back yard you can find gray squirrels, blue birds, red birds, black birds and green anole lizards. All but the lizards stay true to their colors.  The little lizards try to blend into their surroundings so they will not be attacked by others.  As believers, we need to be true to our “colors” even if it means we will be attacked.  The world would want us to adapt to our surroundings, to blend in. However, we should remember that we are not to be of this world.

 

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It Will Come

Joseph had dreams as a teenager of being in a position of leadership, yet the journey to get there took much longer than he might have expected.  David was anointed as king as a teenager, but it wasn’t until he was about thirty that he became King.  But God was faithful to them, and in the same way, you can believe and trust that God will be faithful to you!   

Be patient with the process God has you in. It’s so important to recognize the difference between the time you are anointed for something and the time God appoints for you to walk in it.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV)
24  The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Excel

In what areas do you excel?  As I watched the Olympics, I was amazed what all the athletes who competed could accomplish.  Then as I listened to the talent at the music awards, I found myself enjoying the talents where others excelled.  I will never excel in music or sports, but God is able to allow me to excel in His ministry.  He will enable you to excel for the sake of His Kingdom.  

2 Corinthians 9:8 CSB

[8] And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.

A Crack in the Driveway

I friend of mine has a driveway that he cannot drive on.  It all began with a little crack in the concrete driveway.  No one took the time to address the little crack and now it has grown to the point that a car can not drive or park on it.  Unfortunately, this driveway is like so many of us. We become so busy with life, so tossed about by every day cares, or perhaps so confident of our own abilities, that we become unaware of our own spiritual need. We go on in life as though we have no need to deal with the foundations of our lives, not realizing that tiny cracks are starting to form.

This kind of negligent thinking is usually accompanied by prayerlessness and insensitivity to the Spirit of God. A Christian who is too busy to get into the Presence of God is a Christian who will soon find himself in trouble, just like the driveway.

1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)
12  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

A Gentle Giant

My dad had a gentle way of instructing me when he found me going in a wrong direction.  Don’t get me wrong, he led with a strong hand. I can’t remember a time when he reacted out of anger.  His Godly example continues to guide me.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, a watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. Gal 6:1

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Forgiveness

Making a fist is a great example of unforgiveness.  We become angry and tense up.  With a closed fist, it is very hard to wave good bye to any anger, it is hard to grasp blessings and it is also difficult to hand off blessings.

 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

Are You Fishing?

What is the purpose of going to church?  If we are just using the church as a social gathering, then we are missing the mark.  There are people right now in our communities that don’t know God. There are children without fathers, without mothers, and families without hope. How are you reaching the lost and distraught? How do they know the church exists and its purpose? As believers, we should minister to those in need and share the gospel with the lost. 

Matthew 4:19 (NIV)
19  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)
8  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Just A Touch

I had the children in our Mother’s Day out program reach into a bag with out looking and tell me what they were touching.  Our senses are amazing.  The power that comes from a touch can change lives.  Take time and reach out to the Master, the Healer, the Comforter, the Provider and let Him do a great work in your life.

 "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. Mark 5:27-29 (NIV)

Want to get closer to God?

One time when a friend was trying to persuade me to go flying with him, he said, “I know a way you can get closer to God.”  Another friend replied, “Flying won’t get you any closer, Jesus said, Lo, I am with you always.”  The truth is that God is ever present with us regardless of where we are.  We just need to seek Him and He is there for us.

 

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call to him while he is near.  Isaiah 55:6

Dead or Alive

Almost ten years ago our area received a visit from Hurricane Ike.  Today you can still see the impact that before storm had on both trees and telephone poles.  Both of these are made of wood and some are still standing with the effects still showing.  While some of the electricity poles are still leaning, many of the trees that were once leaning are now erect with new growth directed towards the heavens. The difference is that the old wooden poles that are planted in the ground have no life, and the old wooden trees planted in the ground have life and are focused on the things above. After the storms of life pass over us, do we find new life and keep our focus on the higher calling?

 

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
13  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I Would Rather Die Than Do That!

If you recall, Jonah was asked to do something that he did not want to do.  In fact, he was willing to die rather than to do something that he did not want to do.  We need to remember that life is not about us, but about doing the will of God.  Christ’s prayer to His Father was, “Not my will, but your will be done,” is also an example for us.  We need to pray to know God’s will and do it regardless of how we feel or think about His will for our lives. So next time someone asks you to do something, check in with God and don’t let yourself get in the way.

 

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Luke 22:42 (NIV)
42  "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Reflective Markings

I drive to work on a winding farm to market road with a few little hills and dips.  Yesterday morning as I was driving in before the sun came up, I was thankful to the many reflective markings that were along the road. The street signs, the bridge markers, the speed limit signs, and the lane markers helped me to stay on path.  Yes, it was a dark morning with the overhead clouds and the fog in the dips, but the light reflecting off so many things made the drive a pleasant and safe experience.

With so many Christians reflecting the gospel light, it makes it easier for someone who is lost to find the eternal path.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14  "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Temper, Temper

Our home is equipped with a gadget that does two unique, yet related functions.  It can act as a thermometer or a thermostat. It can be used to communicate the temperature or control it.
Behind my teeth is a gadget that works much the same way.  I can use it like a thermometer or a thermostat. 

 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) 

From my  friend Danny Biddy

Remaining Present

Remaining Present

 

Do you have a Christmas present that you have not unwrapped?  I would guess not.  When someone gives us a gift, we tend to open it as quickly as we can.  As believers, God desires to bless us in great ways.  How many blessings from God do we leave on the table? 

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV)
6  Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
7  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Not Seeing But Believing

When we explain to others that we are born again and that Christ lives in us, how do they believe us?  We don’t see air; but when it moves, we see the affects. We don’t see sound waves, but they have an impact on us.  As believers, we need to put our faith into action so that others will be affected.

 

“You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway” John 20:29

Trees

I love to see big old trees that are alive.  Since the fourth grade, I have traveled on Main Street near Rice University in Houston.  I love riding underneath the limbs of those huge old Live Oak trees.  It is amazing how the light rays shine through the trees.  Because of the beauty of those trees, we planted five Live Oak trees around our house.  Now the grandkids are talking about building a tree house in one of our trees. My prayer is that I might live everyday as those Oak trees.  I want to be seen spiritually as a healthy old tree that not only brings joy to others, but that the rays of God’s light can be seen in me.

 

Psalm 1:3 (NIV)
3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Gut Check

Back in my high school football days, our coaches had a “gut check” drill. This drill was not something that we looked forward to in practice. When we seemed to be just going through the motions, a whistle would blow followed by a loud shout, “gut check”. This pain staking drill was designed to check our level of commitment.

With that in mind, how was your level of worship yesterday, how is it going today?

Isaiah 29:13 CSB

[13] The Lord said: These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service- yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me.

Deuteronomy 4:29 CSB

[29] But from there, you will search for the LORD your God, and you will find him when you seek him with all your heart and all your soul.

Matthew 22:37-38 CSB

[37] He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. m [38] This is the greatest and most important n command. …

Alexa...

When I walk into the house I can ask Alexa to turn on the television. And if I say it just right, I can get her to change the channel to ESPN.  Alexa not only will turn on and off lights, but she can brighten my day with a weather update.  Alexa is full of knowledge and can handle most of my questions.  Indeed, Alexa serves me well.  Sometimes I have seen people treat God like I treat Alexa.  They call on God to do things for them, wanting him to be at their beckon call.  If they don’t get what they want, they try asking other ways.  God is not to be treated like Alexa. We are the ones that should be serving Him. 

 

1 Samuel 12:24 (NIV)
24  But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

A Word to the Wise

People have been seeking wisdom and knowledge from the beginning of time. What were Adam and Eve tempted with?  They sought wisdom from the wrong source.  Think of ways in which God has given you wisdom in the past, whether it was in making an important decision, turning from a sinful way, or maybe in the way you gave encouragement.  Take time to thank Him for giving you the true wisdom.  Then pray for more wisdom as we each need it today.

Proverbs 2:2-6 (NIV)
2  turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
3  and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4  and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5  then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
6  For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.