Friday, October 29, 2010

The Claiming vs.The Calling-DD 10/29/2010

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side." Luke 10:30-32

It would be a great speculative exercise to wonder where the priest and the Levite where going as they passed someone in such distress. One should have no trouble determining what a priest is. For those who do not know, however, a Levite was one whose tribe members were responsible for attending to things associated with the temple, the worship that took place there and the needs of the priests. Where could they both be going?

Before that is further pursued, the fact that they "passed by on the other side," away from someone who had been injured is of particular note. Certainly tradition holds that this took place on a road that was frequented by robbers. Perhaps they were both concerned about their own safety and decided to give the situation a wide berth.

Suppose they were just in a hurry. Suppose they were in a hurry because they were late. Suppose they were in a hurry because they were late for a temple worship or class. Suppose they were in a hurry because they were late for a temple worship or class where they were scheduled to discuss how to treat one's fellow man. Just suppose.

Beloved, Christianity is not a claim, it is a calling. It is not for show but for shouldering. It is not just for hearing but for helping. It is not just for believing but being. I wonder how often we pass up the opportunity to do good on the way to "church"...where we are told to do good.

Faith without works is dead.

In Revival,


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Establishing Your Priorities-DD 10/28/2010

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Matt 22:36-39

Any questions?
In Revival,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seeing Is Believing-DD 10/27/2010

"Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done." John 11:45-46

Jesus had just accomplished what arguably was his greatest miracle; he brought a dead man back to life. There are three other instances of bringing a person back to life in the bible. Elisha was the first to do it in the case of the widow's son. Jesus brought back to life a young girl and Paul a young man who fell out of a window. What distinguishes the case of Lazarus is the length of time he was dead. Popular Jewish belief stated that the life force lingered near the body for 3 days. Jesus waited four days to resurrect him despite having had the ability to prevent his death. Further, the scripture says that the body had begun to stink from decomposition at this point. This is what makes it such a tremendous miracle.

This, however, is not the focus of the message. The focus is about the effect all of this had on the people that witnessed it. There were those who "believed in him" on the strength of seeing him do the absolute impossible. They were also fully aware that he attributed the ability to do this to God. Jesus once told Thomas, who doubted, that he was blessed because he had seen and believed. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, many believe that the reason Jesus did so many miracles was to prove who he is. When John asked if he was the Messiah or whether they should wait for another, Jesus instructed John's disciples to report back to him with what they had seen him do.

The other effect was that there were those who saw the same thing that immediately fled and reported the events to the ruling council. One must question the motive for doing such a thing after witnessing something never before or since seen. It was no secret that these men were the enemies of Christ. Were the tattlers advising the that their end was near because of the great power seen in Jesus, or were they merely gossipping and in so doing, warning the council that it was "their move?" Who can say? But the telling thing about all of this is that belief in him was not attributed to them. We know that without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

Beloved, miracles are done in our lives every day. Let us allow them to build our faith and strengthen our belief. That is what they are for.

In Revival,


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hold On-DD 10/26/2010

"Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come." Rev 2:25

Jesus is addressing some issues in Thyatira, one of the seven churches in Asia discussed in the book of Revelation. It seems that they had some problems with immorality of both a spiritual and physical nature. Far too often we who know better because we have been taught better, fail to do better. This is particularly true as it relates to things that become popular in society. It has become unpopular and politically incorrect to criticize homosexuality in our country for example. As a result, their are some religious organizations, claiming the knowledge and love of Christ that give their consent to that lifestyle and even have gay clergy. Clearly they have not read the first chapter of the book of Romans.

Ahead of Christ's admonition, however, he says, "I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first." Rev 2:19. This demonstrates two things. One is that they knew better and the other is that they were doing better and better. It is clear that under the best of circumstances, sin still has the ability to creep in. It is also worthy of note that the effect was not limited to individuals, but can be attributed to the congregation.

Fortunately beloved, there is always a remnant. God ensures that there are a precious few who will maintain the cause of Christ. To these, the encouragement is to hold on to their deeds, love, faith, service and perseverance. It is these things that are pleasing to God and that distinguish us from those to whom stern warnings and grave prophecies are given.

In Revival,


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hearing God-DD 10/25/2010

"A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul." Acts 16:14

It is not important where we are from or what we do for a living. It is important that we worship our God. We must always worship Him in spirit and in truth for He desires such. It is our faith that separates us from those that do not believe. There is a difference between being a child of God and those who are not.

In our worship, we must be attentive to that which God has to say to us. He has many ways of communicating with us. We must attend to His word, be it preached, taught or read. We must also pursue active prayer lives, for truly the Spirit conveys His will to us. He will send the spirit of discernment by which we can learn to hear God above the noise of life's many distractions.

When we accomplish these things we will find that our hearts will be opened. And what is it to have our hearts opened but to have our minds opened? The scripture does not refer to that which pumps blood to the body, but to our intellect, our understanding and our emotion. Once we have an understanding of who God is, limited though it may be, and what His purpose is for our lives, we will have no choice but to respond.

Beloved, we were made through love, of love, by Love. By the grace of Almighty God, through His son and our Savior, we respond to Love.

In Revival,


Friday, October 22, 2010

Let Your Light Shine-DD 10/22/2010

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matt 5:16

Beloved, we are called to be examples. Through his sacrifice and our faith in him, Christ rescued us from the darkness and filled us with his holy light. As the ultimate source of fire, he lit each of us as candles to, in turn, light others. As those filled with light, we are to push back the darkness and rescue others from it by pointing them to Jesus.

By letting our light shine, others will be able to see. They will be able to see past their circumstances and witness the joy that can be seen in us. They will be able to see that we have been equipped to accomplish the will of God. They will see eternity through the things that we do. It is not, however, about us. It is about glorifying God.

When others ask who we are and why we do the good and beneficial things we do, the answer is both simple and profound: because of Him that made us and because of Cavalry. All we do and all we are is purposed and designed to glorify God. So be sure to let your light shine!

In Revival,


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Most Difficult Command-DD 10/21/10

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials," James 1:2

Last night, a dear friend shared with me that he considered today's scripture to be one of the most difficult things to carry out in all of scripture.

It did not take long to agree. As people of God, we are called upon to be optimistic. In reality, we have so much about which to be positive. Among the countless blessings, God has assured us that all things work together for good for those of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose. This means that even when we look at our various situations which would seem to be less than positive, knowing that we will overcome them should bring us joy. Knowing that we are being shaped and molded by our Father through life circumstances should make us happy that He knows us and cares for us.

Beloved, it can certainly be hard to smile sometimes. Rising above our circumstances can be challenging to say the least, however, if we would just have faith, we would find that we can move mountains. Even in the midst of walking in the valley of the shadow of death, know that He is with you and will never forsake you. Allow His love to fill you, His goodness to comfort you and His provision to satisfy you. Keeping this top of mind will keep you joyful, come what may.

In Revival,


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grumbling vs. Gratitude-DD 10/20/2010

"Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; and you grumbled in your tents and said, 'Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us." Deut 1:26-27

Contextually, Moses is relating the history of the house of Israel since the Exodus. In this particular passage, he reminds them that though God had given them full assurance that He would be with them as they crossed into the land which He had promised as they moved to take possession of it (and He had a great track record of doing exactly what He said He would do...every time).

As it turned out, the people more readily believed the reports of adversity and challenge than motivation and confidence in the Lord. They rebelled and grumbled amongst themselves.

Beloved we must be careful with our murmurings, which can be indicative of our failure to recognize our blessings and possibly, our lack of faith in God. Note that the people still have their exodus from Egypt and concerns about threats from their enemies on their minds. How quickly they seemed to have forgotten that they were in slavery in Egypt. How quickly they seemed to have forgotten that God had vanquished their enemies over and over again after miraculously delivering them from bondage. They seemed to have forgotten that He gave them food and water out of His own hand, yet still they they felt they had things about which to grumble amongst themselves.

Sometimes we need to take a good, strong, sober look at where we are and what we have compared to where we were and what we lacked. We may not be living in the best of times and conditions but we are by no means anywhere near the worst. We must adopt the attitude of Joshua and Caleb who were confident in the Lord and what they could do in power of His might. This they recognized despite what might seem to the weak in faith as insurmountable odds. Anyone can grumble in a tent. The difference is made by those who are willing to take up the charge, obey God and be part of the solution.

We must choose reward or punishment: "But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go. "Then the Lord heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, ' Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the Lord fully.'" Deut 1:32-36

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Filling Half Full Faith-DD 10/19/2001

"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." Rev 2:10

Scriptures like these can have a depressing effect on Christians, particularly those who are either new or weak in their faith. It can give one a "glass half empty" view of the faith. It may cause some to ask if it is worth it to pursue the kind of life that seems to necessarily include suffering.

A more careful view of the scriptures can alleviate some of the concerns brought to bear by passages such as these. First, it is important to know that this particular verse is found in the book of Revelation. Suffice it to say that there are several different ways that people interpret this book. One such way of looking at it is called the "preterist" view. In short, it states that the events in all but the last four chapters of Revelation occurred some 2000 years ago, shortly after John penned it. Therefore, the specific suffering and commensurate jailing by the devil was a warning to the people of that time.

Second, advice and direction is given which will enable those subject to suffering to endure: be faithful, even up to death. When we think about the fact that Christ never faltered in his faith and that he maintained it throughout the entire crucifixion experience, he is our example and encouragement. Though the message was to the people of that time, it represents a transcendent principle that still applies to us today. We are told throughout scripture to maintain our faith.

Finally, we are reassured of an eventual reward for maintaining our faith. The bible records that we will receive a crown of life. We will receive the promises of God that include our salvation, everlasting life and entry into His presence forever and ever. Is this not the goal of leading the Christian life?

Beloved, we are so often blown off course by the things and circumstances around us. We must see past the difficulties that Jesus told us would be ours in order to receive the blessings which he likewise told us would be ours. Most of us know nothing of the suffering endured by our ancestors in the faith. It is not likely that we know or have even heard of anyone who has been martyred. We must therefore then, thank God for His goodness and his protection and look forward to that which He has promised, despite any discomforts that may be associated with living the Christian life. This is not a "glass half full" faith, but one that is in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!

In Revival,


Monday, October 18, 2010

Almost Slipped-DD 10/18/2010

"Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked." Ps 73:1-3

To this day, many are concerned with "keeping up with the Joneses." We look at their lives, the possessions they own, the jobs they have and the things they are able to do. We also take note that often, they are not members of the body of Christ. Whether the "Joneses" are luminaries like the Gates' and Oprah, or the guy with the biggest house and the nicest neighborhood, we some how feel that it is all so unfair.

Beloved, we must be careful about thoughts like this. To the Christian, life should not be about the material. Jesus said, that we are not to concern ourselves with earthly possessions, but to store up our treasures in heaven.

Though the wicked may seem to prosper for a time, it is not worth losing our inheritance to do what they did to get what they got. There is a consequence for unrighteousness, be it prosperous or not. The Psalmist further relates, "When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my mind until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!" Ps 73:16-19

Let us maintain our footing in the Lord.

In Revival,


Friday, October 15, 2010

He Hears-DD 10/15/2010

"Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you."
2 Kings 20:4

Many of us struggle in our prayer life. We sometimes wonder if our prayers make it beyond the ceiling. We sometimes wonder if God is home or if He cares at all. It may be that we feel this way because we don't always get what we want. Make no mistake, it is understood that some of the things we want are entirely and sometimes urgently needful. We pray out of pain, fear, concern for another, worry, imminent danger and other things we consider critical. We are subject to becoming despondent and shaken in our faith if we feel God does not look at things the way that we do.

Beloved, it is our faith that should carry us through the times when it seems that God is missing in action. It is our trust in Him that should remind us that all things work together for good to them that are the called according to his purpose, even and especially when things seem that they are at their worst. We need to remember the agony suffered by God's only begotten in the garden of Gethsemane. Remember that God did not allow that cup to pass. Remember that if He had, there would be no salvation for you and I today. Remember that despite Christ's great suffering at our hands and on our behalf, he is even now at the right hand of the Father advocating for us. We can only hope that the times that God may say "no" would accomplish an end so noble and beneficial. Lastly, remember that God is never absent. He is everywhere at all times knowing all things with every ability. That said, he also has the ability to be silent.

Let us also not forget the times when we have prayed and received an immediate response. Many of us cite those times as proof of His existence in our own minds. Whatever it is that you think, understand that His ways are as high above ours as the heavens are above the earth. God knows exactly what He is doing. We must know that fact too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank Without Ceasing-DD 10/14/2010

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:18

Have you ever allowed someone to get in front of you in traffic and gotten annoyed at the fact that they did not acknowledge your kindness with a simple waive of the hand? Have you ever held the door for someone who walked through and kept on going without a word?

Beloved, how often to we treat the Lord this way? He who supplies all of our needs so often goes without the gratitude that rightfully belongs to Him. We should thank Him for everything. It is with and because of thanks that we have all things from Him: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Phil 4:6

It is the most basic courtesy, one taught from the earliest ages, to simply say "thank you" for that which we have received.

In Revival,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

About Those In Need-DD 10/13/2010

"Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?" James 2:5

Have you ever been in traffic and seen one of those unforunate people who are situated at an intersecection with a sign asking for assistance and wishing you God's blessing? What do you think about such people? Some, I'm sure, think about how sad it is. Others wonder if it is all a scam and if they have a nice car parked around the corner somewhere. Still others have blinders on and have conditioned themselves to not notice such people.

I'm reminded of "the poor, the maimed and the halt" who were the eventual invitees to the King's banquet when the "haves" of the world were too consumed with their riches and their attendant blessings to accept His invitation. I'm also reminded of a rich man who dressed in finery and ate well each day while another lay at his gates begging crumbs, experiencing compassion only from dogs that licked his sores. At the end of life, it was the poor man who found riches and the rich who found poverty.

Beloved, there are two lessons we should learn from these references and from that which life shows us daily. First, there, but for the grace of God go any of us. Particularly in this day and age of recession, a down economy, forcloseures and the like, we could find oursleves out of work and threatened with losing our homes. In that we are constantly asking ourselves what Jesus would do, we should stop asking and actually do what he would do. None of us will miss the dollar we give to a person in need. Never mind their motives or true situation. That is between them and God. Our helping another person (or failure to do so) is between us and God.

Second, let us not be so consumed with the blessings from God in this world that we lose sight of the Provider Himself and the even greater blessings available in the next. Focusing on adjusting the onboard entertainment in our vehicles that cause us to miss a person in need can just as easily and just as surely cause us to miss heaven. If we are too distracted to do the work of God, we are too distracted. We are the reason the righteous should never be forsaken nor their seed begging bread.

In Revival,


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

That Which He Supplies-DD 10/12/2010

"Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." Deut 6:10-12

God has given us abundantly more than we could ever dream or ask. Think about your life. Consider your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your ability to move about freely and not have to worry about from where you next meal comes. We have so much that we take it for granted. We have so much that we now want things we do not need.

That having been said Beloved, God has promised even more. The things we value do not hold a candle to the things of which our God is capable. He supplies that which we can neither conceive or provide for ourselves.

The key, however, is to remember from whom our blessings flow.

In Revival,


Monday, October 11, 2010

Doing Our Part-DD 10/11/2010

"The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God." Ps 18:20-21

In this day and age it can be challenging to be a Christian. Take a look at the assault society is levying against morality and faith. Sex sells everything. Loose behavior is glorified in reality television shows with the greatest amount of mis-behavior receiving the greatest amount of reward. It is not uncommon for couples to co-habitate years before they get married. Prayer has long been banished from schools. The lyrics of songs are filled with debauchery and are directed toward kids more often than not. And increasingly, the righteous are seen as weak and ignorant of reality.

Fortunately, there is good news for members of the household of faith. "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor 6:17-18. There is a difference between those who endeavor to lead holy lives and those who do not. There are spiritual blessings and everlasting promises that are the exclusive gift to those who call up on the name of Christ. Though at this time we have no other planet to which we can go, we must separate oursleves in word, thought and deed in order to maintain this status.

Recognizing this Beloved, how great will it be to have a clean conscious toward God? To be sure, we have all sinned, but we should know that "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Rom 8:1 This having been said, it is not our own righteousness that gives us a clean conscious, but that which was imputed to us by our Savior. We must, however, do our part to keep our hands clean, to keep the ways of the Lord and to never depart from him.

In Revival,


Friday, October 8, 2010

Just Say No-DD 10/8/2010

"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7

Sometimes it seems that Satan is on our backs. At every turn, there he is, hanging something in front of us that tempts us to deviate from the path. He has an impeccable sense of timing as well. Whenever we are at our lowest and most vulnerable, he seems to be right there.

Beloved, the answer to how to deal with this problem is closer and simpler than you think. The contemporary way to express it is to "just say no." To be sure, this is at times easier said than done, but if you were to think about it, you would see that it comes down to just that. You either allow yourself to be overtaken in a fault or you do not. You give in to temptation or you do not. You do the wrong thing or you do the right thing.

To help us with this problem, God through the Holy Spirit and the pen of James gives two pieces of advice. First, we must submit to God. Submission means primarily to be obedient. It is to replace your will with His. In so doing, you can become equipped. Second, he says to resist. In this context, resisting is the opposite of submission. When Satan shows up, we are not to be swayed by his allurements, but instead, we are to take God's part and leave Satan to be disappointed at not being able to turn our heads. As with most things that are bad for us, the more we resist, the easier it will become. It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes effort, but it can be done.

In Revival,


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Compassion-DD 10/7/2010

"Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted."
Gal 6:1

As much as we do our best to lead lives that are pleasing to God, there are times when we stumble and sometimes fall. We know the difference between right and wrong but that knowledge does not always dictate our actions. There are times that things happen quite accidentally, times when we just get weak and times when we premeditatedly abandon what we know to be the way we should go.

For times like these God gave us each other. Far too often, the world is willing to pile on to those who are down. It is popular to exacerbate the situation, often from the perspective of a bystander with no stake in what is going on. We, however, are members of one body and what affects one affects all. God made us a body to, among other reasons, see to the needs of the individuals that make up the body. We are to encourage one another to stay on the path and when one deviates, help correct them. None of us should ever take pleasure in the failure of a member of the family.

When we come to the aid of another, it is also important that we treat the one who was "overtaken" as we would want to be treated. Since we all fall short of perfection, surely that day will come and there will be a chance for the spiritual to restore you, hopefully in a manner that is overflowing with the love of Christ. Let us learn from one another.

In Revival,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Greatest Gift-DD 10/6/10

"...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:14

Think a moment about the greatest gift you have ever received. Consider whether it was something sentimental or functional, beautiful or practical, needful or just nice to have. Often times, the greatest gifts are the simplest and most basic ones. Do you remember the first piece of macaroni art your first child brought home from preschool or kindergarten? Do you still have it? Whatever the case, we are filled with joy, happiness and gratitude when we are the fortunate recipients of the love and kindness of others.

Christ promises us the gift of water, but not just any water. He promises water that has eternal benefits. As with all things in Jesus, there is more to this gift than meets the eye, and we scarcely have the capacity to understand it. It is revealed to us that, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;" John 7:38-39. We know very well according to Acts 2:38 that when we repent and are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift that keeps on giving. Observe some of His many benefits:

This is not an exhaustive list. The many benefits of the gift of the Holy Spirit are incalculable, permanent and beneficial to all who receive Him. Have you offered someone a drink of water lately?

In Revival,


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good News-DD 10/5/2010

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him." 1 Thess 5:9-10

Sometimes we just need good news. Sometimes we need to be reminded of who we are in Christ Jesus. As Christians, we are afforded such great privileges both in this life and the next.

There are so many things that we see going on around us. In this day and age of a depressed economy, people out of work, homes being foreclosed upon and a world whose morality seems to worsen every day, it is understandable that we might become discouraged or despondent.

Beloved we must remember that though this is the world we live in, it is not the world to which we belong. We have already been made to sit with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6). Surely there will be bad news for those who reject God, but for those who accept Him and are obedient to His will, the benefit will be unimaginable.

So when you are down, when the world closes in on you, remember this is not your world. God has so much more in store for you.

In Revival,


Monday, October 4, 2010

Words of Grace-DD 10/4/2010

"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Col 4:6

It is popularly said that, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." The magnitude of the untruth of this statement is stunning. Words are capable of causing wounds that never heal while sticks and stones cause temporary bruising.

For this reason beloved, we must always choose our words carefully. There is power in the words we use. This power can be used for great good as in evangelism and encouragement or great evil as in blasphemy and any of the great "isms" (racism, sexism, ageism, etc.) that continue to plague us.

As Christians, we should, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." Eph 4:29. We should be a source of uplifting, not just to each other, but to the world. If you recall the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, the population flocked to the churches. Imagine the difference between being greeted with "Oh NOW you show up" and "Welcome, come and be healed." The same goes for any of our brothers and sisters in the faith that may have been overtaken in a fault.

There is so much good that can be done with the right words. Remember the ones that brought you to the knowledge of Christ and share them. Surely they are words of grace.

In Revival,


Friday, October 1, 2010

It Is Your Choice-DD 10/1/2010

"This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psa 118:24

Do we ever really stop and think about the gift that every waking day is? I believe that many of us wake up every morning, trudge through our daily preparations and dread having to go to work, school or any number of other activities that require our attention on a daily basis. We drag ourselves to whatever is set for us that day and eventually give in to it, looking forward to the evening when we can experience a little leisure and get back to bed.

I suppose that is one way to look at the day, however, there is an alternative. It starts with experiencing wonder and expressing thanks for waking from the nearest we come to death on a regular basis. It continues by noticing that you are rising from a comfortable bed in a temperature controlled environment with the ability to go into a room where there is hot and cold running water and the ability to clean and refresh yourself. This room is often near another in which you keep enough clothing to where something different every day for a month. You may not be a breakfast person, but thank God that you have the ability to obtain it if you desire.

Whether your activities take you outside of the home or not, what a blessing it is to have the ability to accomplish tasks and to have tasks to accomplish. These things add purpose to our existence. For those who would complain about their jobs or supervisors, imagine what it would be like to have neither yet desire both. And while the majority of the world walks, what number and forms of transportation do we each possess to carry us where we both need and desire to go?

Beloved, gladness is a state of mind that is a result of choice. We can choose to be pessimistic and complain about every little thing, or we can choose to count every little blessing and be thankful. It is the individual that is the sole determiner of perspective and outlook no matter what the challenges of the day, week, month, year or life are. Today is all we have. Let us make the most of it. And if God sees fit to allow us to see another day tomorrow, let us approach it with gratitude for seeing it, breathless wonder at its supply and determination to enjoy it, if for no other reason than the next one is not promised.

In Revival,