Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Man in the Mirror!

“For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
James 1:23-25 NLT.

Most people, including myself, look into a mirror every day, usually multiple times a day. Mirrors are everywhere. Very few restrooms are mirrorless. I'm not real sure why. Do you need to see your face as you wash your hands after using the restroom? I certainly need to watch as I shave so I don't cut myself.  I'm not shaving in a public restroom. I really don't find it necessary to see what I look like. Good or bad, I am who I am. I am more interested in how I look to others. I'm not talking about physical appearance. I'm talking about how people perceive me and my life.  My "image" is so important if I am going to bring others to Christ. This is a real problem for me. I, literally, look like a grumpy old man. YET,  I truly enjoy life. Yes, I can be too serious at times, but I love life and I love people. I want everyone to know that.

If I'm going to change the world, I need to start with the man in the mirror. It's not my physical appearance, but my attitudes, my reflection of Christ, and what he has done in my life. Those are the key things others should see. They should see Jesus in me every day, every moment during that day, through good and bad. I need to reflect Christ to those that know me well and the stranger on the street. I'm not the person I want to be. I want to continue to strive toward that goal.

Dear Lord, Help me be the person YOU want me to be. I know I am far from that goal and I know I can not change on my own. I need your help. YOU are perfect Lord, I want to reflect you to my family, friends, and even the stranger on the street. I love YOU Lord. I praise you for my wonderful life and the blessings I have been given and know what I deserve. I am humbled by your love, mercy, and grace. Amen!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Undivided Loyalty!

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
James 1:5-8 NLT.

God is amazing. I'll be honest. I pray for wisdom all the time. I'm not the smartest person and sometimes I just don't "get it" as quickly as most people. Yet, I feel myself leading in ways that shock me. I hear my own words and can't believe it was ME that came up with them. Do you know what I'm talking about? Have you ever completed a task, said something, or stepped out of your comfort zone and asked "Who was that?", knowing full well it was NOT you but your Heavenly Father speaking through you?

It seems completely unfair that we should receive ANYTHING for accepting the guidance of the Holy Spirit! That's how grace works. That is exactly what happens. I have such a wonderful life. I have been in leadership positions in everything I have done. The only reason is the power of my God. The times my weaknesses show through is due to MY "humanness". When I get out of the way and let God truly control my life, amazing things happen. I see myself doing things that would not be possible through my own power. Praise God for his grace, mercy, and power in my life.

Dear Lord, I am humbled by your presence in my life. I absolutely owe everything in my life to you and your love. I honor you for the patience you have had with me. You have been with me my entire life and I have not always been open to your guidance. Forgive me. Guide me. Take me through this life with your purpose, not my own. Amen!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Such Wonderful Words

“But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”Titus 3:4-7 NLT.

Such wonderful and needed words. 

I am a man of routine. Every morning I get up, make my lunch, get my cup of coffee, sit down, and watch the news. I am confident I can say, "This world is a mess." We have a group of religious radicals bent on destroying us and beheading Christians. The attorney general recommends we defeat them with love. We didn't defeat Hitler with love. We have a completely dysfunctional federal government protesting on the floor of the house instead of getting together to talk compromise. Both sides are so bogged down in their own propaganda, they have no sense of reality. We have a choice between a liar and an arrogant SOB running for leader of the free world. Another police officer was killed. Blue Lives Matter! ALL LIVES MATTER!  This world is crazy!

It would be easy to lose hope. These verses give us the hope. Grace, God's grace and mercy give me complete hope. I have the great privilege being filled with the Holy Spirit. That alone would give hope. I have been declared righteous and WILL receive eternal life. Praise God. I can walk through this mixed up, crazy world with the power of Jesus at my side and my eyes focused on eternity. PRAISE GOD!

Dear Lord Jesus, Our world needs you. Our world is lost and needs your love, mercy, and grace. I need your hope. Fill me with your spirit. Give me the power to share that hope with confidence. Fill me with joy that comes from knowing my ultimate destination, Eternity with you! Amen!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What are you thinking?

15Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:15-16
How can you tell if you are living the life Christ designed for you? 

Your thoughts and attitudes are the strongest predictions of your life in Christ. This is a huge struggle for me. I am not always the most positive person and can drag my life down by looking at things from a pessimistic viewpoint. Satan focuses his attack on our hearts and minds. I have to fight that battle constantly.

As Christians we have a choice. We can look at life through the eyes of hopelessness or we can live a life knowing we are already victorious. Living a life knowing Jesus is in charge should put a spring in your step. If you realize what Christ has done for you, that he is with you through every moment of every day, and he has gone to prepare a place for you when you leave this earth, you can't keep from looking at life with joy! We can't let people bring us down and keeping Christ in the forefront of our mind is the best way to keep those pure thoughts. 

I find that Christians, many times, are the most negative people in this world. I don't like to hang out with people that can't or won't look at the positive side of life. I want to be with people that know God and live like they know him. I want to be the person others look to for a positive lift to get through the day. I want people to see my joy in Christ. I want them to see a reason to explore a life devoted to my savior. The joy I put on display every day of my life is directly related the thoughts and attitudes I have. I need to control those thoughts and attitudes to be effective as a recruiter for Christ!

Dear Lord, Help me to live the life you have designed for me. Help me to control the thoughts of negativity. Help me to bring out the positive and share the joy of life in Christ. I love you Lord. I am honored to be one of your servants. Help me to be obedient to your call, to serve you with joy, and to look at life as a precious gift! I praise you! I am humbled by your love! Amen!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

God has seen it all

“Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.”
Habakkuk 1:3-4 NLT

I am always surprised at how "in touch" the Bible can be. Habakkuk could have written these verses yesterday instead of thousands of years ago. Evil is not new. There has been evil around since the beginning of time. As long as we have sin in the world, we will have people following through with evil deeds. God has seen it all. 

It is so easy to panic with all the craziness in the world today. I can really get stressed out thinking of my grandkids and the world they live in. You can get a sense of hopelessness when you see terrorism and hate for Christianity. The rapid moral decay of our society is beyond words. God has seen it all and he knows the victory that lies ahead. I find my relief from the anxiety and stress through my savior. I do that through constant reading of Gods word. I find my relief through praying without ceasing. I can handle the rampant sin through worship and praise. I share my faith as a way to hold back the tide of endless messages of hate and intolerance. I share Jesus to save others from their own destruction. 

There is always hope, even in the a world infatuated with sin! Praise God he provides hope in darkness!

Dear Lord, I praise you that you are here to comfort me, to provide peace in a world of chaos. I know we don't deserve your power and strength, yet you always are there to share that strength and power everyday of my life. I love you Lord and look forward to sharing life with you in eternity.Amen!