Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Line of Communication

I was blessed to have the opportunity to speak this past Sunday at my church. I always enjoy this chance to share what God places on my heart, and yet there is a load of responsibility that goes with it. Did I use the right verses? Did I misinterpret something? Did I make the point that was needed? Did I make a difference? All of these questions I used while praying for the message that God wanted. Now I do not claim to hear God's voice directly, but I believe that He uses subtle clues, i.e. lays on your heart what needs to be said. In this case it came from a young man that asked me what exactly is a personal relationship with God. I gave him an answer and had a good witness session with him, but the question kind of stuck with me. I started studying my bible and could not find anywhere that it used the phrase "personal relationship." This was perplexing. So I started thinking about what it means to have a good relationship. This lead me to a sermon. One of the big keys that I discovered while studying was the need for communication. Most of us sadly only seem to pray when we are at church, before we eat, and at bedtime. Lets think just for now about your spouse, significant other, special family member. How would your relationship be with that person if you only spoke to them before a meal, right before sleep at night, and three other times a week? The divorce rate might be higher. This lead me to think, what is the status of my relationship with God. When to I talk to Him? I come to find that my relationship was not too good. I mean, if you think about the person that only talks to you when something is wrong or wants something, does God see us the same way. Don't get me wrong, I know that God loves us all, but do you think He gets tired of us trying to use Him, instead of serve Him. Psalm 145 teaches that God draws near to all who pray to Him. We need that closeness with our creator. One of the other ways to best communicate with Him is constant study. The bible is the life story and legacy of Christ. By taking time to read and find out who He was, what He did for us, and what He expects of us, deepens our relationship. We have to ask the question, do we really know our Lord, and does He know us? John 10:24-28 reads "The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." So I ask again. What is the state of our relationship with our Lord. Do we commune with Him often, or only at the appointed time or when we need something.

Thanks and God Bless You all this week!

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of Time?

I know that many of you have heard about or seen in the news about this group of people that said the world would end soon. That the rapture would have been this past Saturday at 6pm and the actual "Doomsday" would be in October. Well, I am still here. I have not gone anywhere. The truth of the matter is that none of us know when the world is going to end. Matthew 24:36 reads "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Jesus Himself does not even know when the rapture is going to be. Only God the Father does. With that being said I would caution you when you here someone say that they have figured it out. What makes them great enough to be let in on a secret from God that He will not even tell His Son? But, one thing that this whole false prophecy has done, is to cause people to think about the end of time. Should we be actively searching the scriptures for a secret that will tell us the exact day? No! Should we be selling all we have and quit working because it will all be over soon? Definitely not. What we should be doing, is carrying on what Jesus told us to do before He returned. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commanded "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." And if you flip your bible over the the book of Acts in the first chapter verses 7-11, it teaches that the disciples were chastised for watching the clouds. Is the end of the world coming soon? I believe so. But, instead of looking for the end, I feel it more important to witness and share the Gospel of Christ with as many people as possible. The exact day in which I will be raptured, or the appointed time for me to die is none of my concern. That is God's business. My business is to do the best I can with what time God has given me.

Thanks and God Bless you all this week!

Monday, May 16, 2011

That One Person!

I know that many of us have had a experience with that one person that just gets under your skin. It is either the things that they do, and they way they always seem to be working against you, or trying to get you in trouble. Sadly, our world is filled with such people. And it is even worse when they know that we are Christians. It seems that they work extra hard to see if we will slip up. What does the Bible say about times like these. Matthew 5:43-44 reads "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This is one of the main ways that we are different from other religions, in that we are commanded to love everyone, including our enemies. When the situation comes that you are being wronged by that person, the best thing you can do is be thankful and pray for that person. But, what if it is really bad, and you are not sure how to handle it. For those situations I will refer to two scriptures. Psalm 56:1-4 reads "Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me. My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?" And Matthew 5:10-12 reads "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Remain faithful and put your trust and faith in the Lord. He will see you through all of the problems that you face with that person. Who knows, maybe that person will come to know the Lord, because of the way that you treat them back.

Thanks and God Bless You all this week!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How can God use someone like me?

Before I begin this post I would like to thank the Lord for the way that He has used me and this small blog. I have just received notice of people from Canada and Germany taking time to read these small devotionals. God Bless you. I never dreamed that these small devotions would be seen outside of the country. I have learned never to doubt what God can do. This led me to think about why God would want to use someone like me. I have no special divinity degree. I am not a seasoned pastor or church elder. I do not have the experience that some of the church goers that I look up to that have been saved for many years. I know that many of the people that I talk to on a daily basis usually do not have a lot of ways to serve because they believe that they are too young, have not been saved long enough, or do not have the knowledge and experience of others. But things like that mean nothing to God. When we read through the Gospels, Christ did not choose the people who were the big religious people of the times. He picked common everyday people to be His disciples. All He really needs is a willing heart, and someone with faith. If we remain faithful to Him, and trust Him, He can do great things through us. It is not because we are anything special. Acts 13:24-26 teaches that even John the Baptist said that He was not even worthy to untie his sandals. When we have the attitude of service for our Lord, an attitude that it does not matter what anyone thinks but my God. That is the type of person that He uses. Whether it is to preach, teach a class, clean the church, serving in a witness ministry, or to hand out bulletins when people go into the church, God is using you. And our God is great enough to do great things through anyone. Even me and you.

Thanks and God Bless you all this week!

Friday, May 6, 2011


It is nice to be back to where I can share some personal thoughts of what God is doing in our lives. I apologize for the brief absence. I have had the opportunity recently to spend a great deal more time with my children. I am truly blessed with two young persons, and personalities for that fact, the God has blessed me with. It never ceases to amaze me at some of the things that they do and say. It is fun sometimes to stand in the hallway and listen to what goes on while they are playing. One of the other things that I have noticed, is how dependent they are on what my wife and I say. If we tell them something, or explain something to them, it is better than gold to them. They will stand you down if someone says something that does not match what we tell them either. They have complete faith in us that what we tell them is true. And they need no other supporting evidence to convince them of it. My, how that mirrors how our relationship with Christ should be. Luke 18:15-17 reads, "And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." We have often heard of childlike faith. Just like our children believe everything we say, we should have that same belief in Christ. It is what it is because God said so. End of story. Sometimes we spend to much time trying to analyze why God says to do something, or argue over doctrine. How much more simple do you think our lives would be if we all just took everything that He left for us at face value. Belief to the point that nothing will ever change our minds. Belief that seems irrational to the rest of the world. They can think that I am irrational if they like, but God sees me differently. And that is all that matters. I will always believe what my Heavenly Father says over anyone else, and I hope you do to.

Thanks and God Bless You all!