Monday, January 31, 2011

For Better or Worse-DD 1/31/2011

"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first." 2 Peter 2:20

As a Christian, you know from what you come. More to the point, you know from what the Lord has delivered you. We were all in darkness and enslaved to sin. We were without hope and without God in this world. He saw our plight across time and made an accommodation for us through the sacrifice of His son Jesus before we were created. We now stand justified, sanctified and purified. We need only obey and walk in His light to receive the vastness of His promises.

Our problem can sometimes be that we suffer from spiritual ADHD. We take for granted the blessings of the Lord and because there is not always an immediate consequence for our transgressions, we can find ourselves slipping back into old habits.

Beloved, the ultimate price was paid for our salvation. Let us not squander this great blessing. And let us not find ourselves worse off than we were in the beginning.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, January 28, 2011

Are You a Child of God?-DD 1/28/2011

"And I shall give them one heart and shall put a new spirit with the. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do the. The they will be My people and I shall be their God."
Eze 11:19, 20

God has always loved us but we have not always loved Him. From the beginning, He created, nurtured and provided for us. And from the beginning, we have rejected His ways and therefore Him. The love of God is steadfast and everlasting, however. Every time His people departed, He made a way back to Himself for them.

Beloved, how many times have we departed Him from whom comes our help? Whether it is a brief indiscretion or an outright turning away to return to the things of the world, we have all done it at one time or another. As it was with our ancestors in the faith, His love and patience is with us to this day.

In order to return, however, we must have the desire to be identified as His and the willingness to do what it is required. To be considered an employee of your company, you must obey the policies and procedures and do the things you are paid to do. To be a student at your learning institution, you must be in attendance and complete your assignments. To be a child of God, you must live a life that is consistent with His ways and laws and not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. It is only then that He puts His stamp of approval upon us and calls us His own. Based on the life that you are living, are you a child of God?

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Knowing What They Desired to Know-DD 1/27/2011

"It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look." 1 Peter 1:12

The bible is God's love letter to mankind. It is full of historical accounts, poetry, genealogies, correspondences, songs and proverbs, all inspired by Him to communicate with us. Among these writings are stories of God's people and his interactions with them. Even as God interacted with the prophets, priests, writers, kings and people during the period we have come to know as the Old Testament, they themselves desired to know what lay ahead. "The prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating..."1 Peter 1:10-11

Beloved, our spiritual (and physical) genealogy includes those we read about in our bibles. They longed to know what we take for granted. As they looked forward to Christ with many questions, we can look back to his life, wherein are found many answers. We are truly blessed among all that have ever lived, because we are the recipients of God's grace delivered through the sacrifice of His son and the revelation of His great mystery. Even now, we have the privilege of having an active, living relationship with our Savior. As we endeavor to live lives worthy of our calling, we join our spiritual ancestors in anticipating the day when we will see him face to face.

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recognition-DD 1/26/2011

"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus." Acts 4:13

Historically, it was the Gnostics, those that espoused the supremacy of knowledge, that were the biggest opponents of the gospel. As is typical with our God, He gets more done with less and builds the great with the humble. He sent His son, not high born into a palace, but of commoners in the dwelling place of livestock. Christ's forerunner, John, was not some well known speaker but one who cried out in the wilderness, ate bugs and wore animal skins.

Likewise, those who were closest to Christ were mere fishermen, revolutionaries and tax collectors. None of them were educated in the post secondary system of the day. All of them were, however, given the best education possible in that they learned directly from the source.

Beloved, more critical than this, however, is that his disciples were recognized as having been with him! What an incredible badge of honor. What an incredible privilege. What speaks loudest is that it clearly had to be their actions that earned them this recognition. As we go through our daily lives, can the same be said of us? Let us endeavor to make it so if it is not already.

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Providing Help by Needing Help-DD 1/25/2011

"But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." Heb 3:13

This Christian journey is not one that was meant to be walked alone. In fact, we need each other. None of us can expect to make it through without the help of another. Our first thoughts about help most often include gaining assistance from someone in a time of need. Would it surprise you to know that you can be helped by someone elses need?

Beloved, we must learn to give, learn to listen and learn to be there for others. In so doing, we exemplify Christ. If we lead lives of solitude and self sufficiency we would never be able to do the things that we are called to do by our Savior. Likewise, we must give others the chance to serve through our need.

As long as we are actively engaged in providing opportunities to be Christ like to others, we facilitate souls being saved from destruction. Let us always remember to help others as we have the opportunity and provide others with the opportunity to do the same.

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, January 24, 2011

Rejoicing in "Yes"-DD 1/24/2011

"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. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. "I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David's sake." 2 Kings 20:5-6

King Hezekiah had contracted a mortal illness. God sent his prophet Isaiah to warn him that his life was shortly to come to a conclusion. As any of us would upon hearing such news, Hezekiah immediately went into prayer and besought the Lord.

There are many things that move us to prayer. Though it is a means for us to communicate with our Maker, most often we are requesting favor for ourselves or others. Depending on where we are in our faith, we seek Him anywhere from the beginning of our troubles, having learned to trust Him, to a time that is at he very end of our own efforts, having no other options. In either case, we are fervently looking for an answer, prayerfully a positive one.

Beloved, God hears our appeals and is sensitive to them. In this case, His answer was both immediate and positive. Though His will is the final arbiter of such things, it is especially gratifying to experience the times when what we desire is in fact consistent with His will. God is to be thanked for every answered prayer, but we rejoice all the more when His answer to us is "Yes."

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, January 21, 2011

Giving an Account-DD 1/21/2011

"So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." Rom 14:12

We know that there will be a judgment day for each of us. We will all stand before His holy throne and answer for the lives that we have lived. The standard will not be what others have or have not done, but what thus saith the Lord.

What story are we writing every day? Are the pages being filled with obedience, benevolence, love and neighborly behavior or sin, excess, selfishness and defiance? As much as we try to please and impress others, it is only God's judgment that ultimate matters.

Beloved, as we go through our lives, let us live as if we will have to explain everything we do...because we will.

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nothing But the Best-DD 1/20/2011

"It was necessary therefore that the copies of things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us." Heb 9:23,24

The Hebrew writer penned his letter primarily to make the case for the supremacy of Christ over all who had come before. There were people who were leaving the Christian faith to return to what they felt they knew best. They had begun to fall back to their traditions and religious habits that had since been superseded in innumerable ways and measure.

In short, everything that has and is being done is mere practice for heaven. The temple worship of old and all of its tenants and implements were symbolic of things in heaven (Rev 4). Even they, however, required the sacrifice of bulls and goats to make them clean. In order for you and I to gain the actual heaven, far more was needed. In fact, it required the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus to make it possible.

Beloved, many times in life, we get by with the next best thing. Rather than insisting on purity, the genuine article or the name brand, we compromise for one reason or the other. Know that God is the master of quality. Our reconciliation to Him required no less than the perfect sacrifice. Knowing and requiring this, He sent the only one of his kind. He sent nothing but the best. Dare we give Him any less than our best?

Loving Like Jesus,


Is There A Word From God?-DD 1/19/2011

"Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is:" Jer 37:17

As we examine the world we live in today, there are often more questions than answers. There are wars and rumors of wars, economic woes and senseless killing of innocent people. We are surrounded by a world of deteriorating morality, incurable illnesses and the prosperity of the wicked. These and many other things beg the question, "Is there a word from the Lord?"

Beloved, surely there is. God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. There has never been a time when he has not been with us. He has communicated His will and way to us from the very beginning of our existence. This has continued to this day: "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." Heb 1:1-2

In challenging times like these, His word still speaks to us. Though the bible was written thousands of years ago and directed to a particular people of a particular time and place, the principles are absolutely timeless and can be applied to every aspect of our lives. After all, the words of this passage were uttered during a time of extreme duress for the people of God and His prophet in particular. Just as God spoke then, He still speaks today. Can you discern what He is saying to you?

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hard Work, Easy Rest-DD 1/18/2011

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going." Eccl 9:10

Our lives are gifts from God. During the brief time we have on the earth, there is much to learn, know and then do. It is during this wisp of time that our eternity is decided. Will we be obedient to the God that made us or will we reject His salvation?

To be sure, we are very busy constructing our eternity, whatever it may be. Either we are leading lives that our pleasing to God or leading lives that are pleasing to the Adversary. As much as we might try, we cannot please both (Matt 6:24).

Beloved, we must, as Noah did, work as hard as we can for as long as God allows in order that we might be prepared for the coming conflagration. As it was with Noah, it will not be our hard work that will save us, but God who equips us. Our salvation is His gift and cannot be derived by our own works. But it is our works that honor God and make salvation known to others through Him. And this we must do today, for there surely will come night when no one can work. It is then that the workers will enter His rest.

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Sharing Eternity-DD 1/17/2010

"So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." Rom 10:17

This first day of the rest of our lives, let us ponder how we became believers and subsequently Christians. Did you come seeking for him as was said by Isaiah: "I was found by those who did not seek me. I became manifest to those who did not ask for me?" Or was it a friend, neighbor, co-worker, relative or clergyman that planted the seed of an idea about Christ that germinated and grew over time? Have you ever contemplated what your life and even eternity might be like if that person had not taken the time and that conversation had never happened? Is it possible that someone else's eternity hangs on whether or not you share the word?

Beloved, Paul once wrote: "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" Rom 10:13-15. In this case, a preacher is simply someone who brings the good news of Christ. That is all of us. And according to the scripture, we are all sent. Surely we were made for a purpose and sent to a people, just as those were who shared with us.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, January 14, 2011

Are You Sure? DD 1/14/2011

"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:13

Even among the people of God, if asked about the certainty of our salvation, many are anything but. For those plagued by this doubt, the source almost certainly comes from our limited grasp of the concept of salvation, our intimate knowledge of our own shortcomings or our failure to understand the power of God.

The fact that salvation is a multifaceted gift causes us to struggle at times. For as long as we can remember, we were taught to work hard for what we want. Yes we know what a gift is, but the concept of the gift of eternal life tests the bounds of credibility and our own understanding. In fact, legalism sprang from this very idea. To this day there are many who, by virtue of the way they live their lives (and teach others) are trying to earn heaven. Eph 2:8,9 states that, "For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

The opposite side of the coin of earning your way is feeling the hopelessness of knowing that we are sinful creatures. How often have we heard or said that God can never forgive us for what we have done or that we are undeserving, leaving us too ashamed to lift our heads, let alone darken the door of a church building? Beloved, we must understand and believe that God knows each and every one of us even better than we know ourselves. This knowledge and His love caused him to perform an act greater than creation itself: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Rom 5:8.

Finally, if we suffer from either of these thought processes, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the power of God. And because God exceeds us infinitely, this is understandable, however, He has given us His word that we might understand what He wants us to know. Those who feel they can earn salvation should know that it can only be supplied by Him. Those who feel that they can never be saved should know that the same God who spoke the universe into existence in all of its vastness can surely preserve you and I. The Spirit inspired John to "write these things that we may believe and that we might know." Rest assured brothers and sisters. God has seen to it.

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taking Our Temperature-DD 1/13/2011

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would that you were cold or hot."
Rev 3:15

In his letter to the church at Laodecia, the Lord was dealing with a problem of people being lukewarm. They were so prosperous that their relationship with the him had cooled to a nodding acknowledgement of his existence, but little more.

Beloved, sometimes we are too blessed. God has been so good to us that we have forgotten what it is like to truly need and depend upon him. When we are in "the valley of the shadow of death" we know exactly who He is and where to find Him. We cry out to Him. We beg Him. We plead to Him to deliver us from our circumstances. When He does, however, we forget the pain and the deliverance and busy ourselves enjoying the goodness of life He provides. Prayer, study, worship attendance and ministering to others all start to slip and the lessons are lost...until we find ourselves in another valley.

We must continue to stoke the fire the Lord within ourselves. The same God that made us and saved us is still with us and still loves us as much as He did when He did those things. We must remember our first love (for Him) and constantly live in it. Yes we get distracted from time to time, but we must always come back to what brought us to Him in the first place.

One last thought: in your mind, what does being "on fire" for the Lord look like? Do you have that picture in your mind? Now ask yourself what the difference is between that ideal and where you are in your walk right now. If there is any difference at all, add fuel, stoke the fire, fan the flames or do whatever it is necessary to do to heat up your love for the Lord, then "let your light so shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" Matt 5:16

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Gifts of God-DD 1/12/2011

"Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you," 1 Tim 4:14

In his great benevolence and loving kindness, God, through the Holy Spirit, supplies each of us with an amazing gift. During the first century, many gifts were given that were supernatural in nature.
  • "But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." 1 Cor 12:7-11
During these times, the people relied on signs and miracles to prove the existence of God. Even John wrote of the many miraculous exploits of Jesus, "that we might believe." Today, however, we walk by faith and not by sight.

The good news beloved is that God still gives gifts liberally.

  • "For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." Rom 12:4-8
First century or today, the tie that binds is that the gifts of God are created to be used for the benefit of each other and the glory of Him who made us. Each and every one of us has a gift. Let us identify it, develop and use it for what it was intended.

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Running This Race-DD 1/11/2011 (repost)

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Heb 12:1

Who among us does not swell with pride at the winning performance of loved ones or favorite teams on the fields and courts of competition? Do we not also perhaps remember our own competitive days during which we heard the encouraging screams and yells from fans and supporters of our own?

Our scripture for the day analogizes just such a thing. First, our fore runners in the faith are cheering for us to carry the gospel forward by both sharing it verbally and leading godly lives. Imagine a packed stadium dotted with Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Ruth, Esther and so many others urging us forward. They are described as "so great a cloud of witnesses." Surely this speaks to both number and accomplishment in the Lord.

And while you were perhaps competing, do you recall hearing those encouraging yells urging you onward to even better performance? The second part of the verse is designed to do just that. There is an inherent warning that the things that can hinder our performance and therefore affect our outcome are never far away and are an ever present danger. The admonition is to be aware of those things, shed them if you've got them, keep them away if you don't and to stay the course. That is the only way that we can participate in the victory that has already been won.

Those witnesses? They ran before we did. But before they stopped, they handed the baton to us. To whom will you pass it?

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Are You Ready?-DD 1/10/2011

"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matt 24:42

Is there any of us that does not expect to wake up tomorrow and do what we might do on any normal day? Whether it is going to work, school, community based activities or working around the house, we all expect to do what we always do. If we are leading lives that involve loving God with all our hearts, all of our souls and all of our minds, this represents a plan for success. If we are not, that is another matter all together.

Without giving it much thought, we assume that one day will lead to the next and the next and the next. If any of us gives thought at all to what comes after life as we know it, we typically push it out years if not decades into the future. The problem with this is that we do not assign any urgency to improving the aspects of our lives that are wanting. We think we have all the time in the world. Without constant vigilance, we may find that our lives could be required of us at any moment and that we may not be ready. It was said of those of Noah's time, "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be." Matt 24:38-39

The positive beloved, is that we have today. This moment is the only one of which we can be assured. And it is at this moment that we must take inventory and work on the things that are lacking. Just as we shore up our personal security by locking our homes and cars, we must, with the help of the Holy Spirit, shore up our spiritual lives. We do this by constantly seeking God's face and doing his will. Let us all get ready and stay ready, for surely the Lord is coming.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Up Side of Suffering-DD 1/7/2011

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God." Job 1:21-22

Beloved, there are so many things for which we have no answers. When we see someone suffer in ways that to our human mind are needless or even when we endure hardship, the inevitable question "why?" comes.

It is as if that because God exists, He should provide us with lives in the lap of luxury or at minimum, a pain and inconvenience free life. We take no thought of the possibility of a larger picture, most often because we are consumed with out own situation.

I visited with a dear sister last evening who has endured a great deal of pain and suffering as a result of a medical situation. She asked members of the body to pray for her last Lord's day due to the fact that her flame was beginning to flicker in the midst of such difficulty. She shared with me during our visit that she told a medical professional about my plans to visit with her. The therapist was shocked, relating that she could not imagine her minister coming to visit her under any circumstance. Our sister continued on telling her about the warm, loving and supportive reception she received when she attended worship this past week. The therapist was stunned, citing that nothing like that has or likely ever would happen at her church. She went on to say how self absorbed and uncaring the people there had been during her time of need. Our sister simply stated, "You are in the wrong church."

Now I'm not church bashing, but simply making the point that trials provide testimony. It remains to be seen what the Lord will do in this situation, but had our dear sister not been suffering, she likely would not ever have met that particular medical professional nor made this particular profession to anyone. In the midst of her suffering, her light shone forth and was an encouragement to someone else.

God does not cause our suffering but it certainly can be used to encourage others and glorify Him. Paul famously wrote, "there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me — to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." 2 Cor 12:7-9

The next time you find yourself suffering and perhaps failing to understand why, access your faith in Him who made you. Surely it will not last always and some good, somehow, somewhere at some time will come of it.

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maintaining Your Fortitude-DD 1/6/2011

"I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."
Rev 3:8

Does it ever seem to you like the whole world is loosing its mind? A brief glance at the paper or the evening news shows reveals that society seems to have lost its moral center. This is true because individuals are distinguishing themselves by their excesses rather than their fortitude.

Is the size and financial health of your congregation shrinking? Even those who call upon the name of Jesus can get distracted by the things the world has to offer. As things that used to be absolutely taboo become more and more acceptable, many in the church move right along with the current and find that though they continue to believe, they have developed a "different view" of things.

And what about you? Do you pray as much as you once did? Do you find yourself making excuses to miss worship? Do you spend more on entertainment than you do on giving? Do you read the word of God at all?

Beloved, the Lord sees all and knows our struggles and triumphs. As with many things in life, there are benefits to persevering, overcoming obstacles and staying the positive and correct course. He has promised great things to those who are not overcome by temptations, led astray by fickle desires or are influenced to slide back into the darkness from whence we came. Be it society, congregation or even a lack of personal fortitude, let nothing prevent you from walking through the door that Christ has opened. We have come this far by faith. Let us remain diligent until the very end.

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Certainty in the Midst of Calamity-DD 1/5/2011

"Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, " You of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matt 14:31

The apostles, who found themselves on a ship (at Jesus' direction) in the middle of a storm on the Sea of Galilee, were terrified. Jesus came walking across the water in the midst of this storm and Peter caught sight of him. Seeing this and having enough faith to believe he could also walk on the water if Jesus would just call him to the task, did in fact step out of the boat and on to the waves. Famously, however, he took his eyes off of the Savior and began to sink.

Beloved, it is easy to have an intellectual faith in God. This is the type of faith that says, "I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and accept him as my Lord and Savior...but..." There are many things we can do with this kind of faith, but it is insufficient to carry us all the way. When the waves rise and the winds increase, we tend to take our eyes off of Jesus and begin contemplating either how we are going to handle the situation ourselves or how it is going to consume us. We forget all about the fact that Jesus is present with us in the midst of our storm and that he has given us power over it.

Let us not be limited to an intellectual "half faith." Let us, "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding." Prov 3:5. As he did with Peter, he will lift us above our circumstances and then take care of the circumstances.

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Quiet Fight-DD 1/4/2011

"The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent." Ex 14:14

From a very early age, we are taught by our parents to fight back. I remember my own mom telling me that "If someone hits you, you hit them back!" This was designed to build in us an ability to defend ourselves and not let others take advantage or abuse us.

This foundational learning runs like a thread through our lives and can be seen throughout. We can see this mentality manifested in politics, relationships, sports and even traffic. We develop a tendency to attempt control of our environment, impressions of ourselves in the minds of others and even the things that may happen to us in the future.

The interesting thing about this is that we really do not control anything, with the possible exception of our responses to the things that happen to us. The way we respond, however, is more often a demonstration of our lack of control than the other way around. You see beloved, fighting back is a response. It is a reaction to being attacked. We do not control the attack at all.

Despite our best efforts to plan, set goals and even build defenses, it is not the least bit unusual for us to face circumstances and situations that we hoped would never come. Our response is to not only defend, but to sometimes go on the offensive. I invite you to consider God's advice to the Hebrews. They were under attack from the rear and facing an insurmountable obstacle in front of them. How often we do find ourselves in this situation. God says to trust Him, be still and to leave it in His hands. As it was with Moses, He will tell you what to do and when to do it. In His good time, you will see the power of his might...and your salvation, in life as well as in your seemingly insurmountable situations.

Be encouraged.

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, January 3, 2011

The Great Anticipation-DD 1/3/2011

"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:2-3

The hope of every Christian is to see his or her Savior face to face and to live with him for eternity. How gratifying it is to know that despite our sinful nature, we have a Lord that sees past our sins and takes care of our needs. Surely we need to be sin-less people, but for those that walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses of all sin.

This cleansing is necessary to our salvation. It is only through this process that we can look forward with great anticipation to the promises that he has made. Imagine Christ preparing places for us in God's heavenly house. This means that we will be in close proximity to the Father. It means that we will have access to Him. It means that He has made arrangements for us to interact with Him.

Beloved, we look forward with baited breath to many things. It may be a birthday, anniversary, holiday or vacation, but whatever we cast our hearts favorably toward, pales in comparison to our anticipated access to the Lord. What a great day that will be. Let us live lives commensurate with the privilege we have in Him.

Loving Like Jesus,