Given December 23, 2008DC Talk sings, “I wish we’d all been ready.”, referring to the state of humanity at the second coming of Jesus. Of course we all need to be ready; to give our heart to Jesus and live our lives for Him. Being ready, I think, means more than a one-time thing. We must strive to be prepared every day so as not to miss an opportunity, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15. Remember the disciples who couldn’t cast the demon out of the boy? (Matthew 17) Jesus told them that kind only came out by prayer and fasting; you had to be prayed up and prepared. The disciples obviously wern’t. We not only need to be ready for the second coming but be ready each day for what God may have planned for us.Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Do you think she was ready? You know, she wasn’t praying for God to send the messiah to earth through her. But God knew who she was. “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” Luke 1: 28,30. Whatever Mary had been doing had gained the favor of God; she was ready!We don’t know what God has planned for each of us, but there’s something. How sad it would be if God scours the earth for someone to do something for Him and He looks at us and says, “No, we can’t use them this time; they’re not ready.” I encourage you, as we celebrate the first coming of Christ, to be ready for His second coming AND the time in between. Be blessed!
Given January 17, 2008
With the current political campaigns in full swing, we see and hear the candidates touting their qualifications and fitness to serve. I realize they can say anything to any crowd gathered to listen and sometimes,what they say differs with the crowd who is listening. They show a lot of strong limbs and healthy-looking leaves but my question is, “Where’s the fruit?”
Those professing to be Christians, followers of Jesus, can be the same way. Jesus said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20.” What we say and even sometimes what we do is not really who we are. It’s the fruit we display that counts. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4“.
If we’re not “attached” to the vine, we’re not going to have fruit to show. We may have a lot of limbs and leaves…but no fruit. We can say how good of a believer we are but the proof is in the fruit. Where’s the fruit? As I go about my daily business, I want people to see my fruit. I want them to SEE I’ve been with Jesus.
Given November 28, 2007
During my morning devotion time, I was thinking about Christians being the “light of the world”, Matthew 5:14. I realized that we, as Christians, are supposed to shine wherever we go but that’s not always the case. So how do we increase our luminance?
One way is to realize we have a gift of fire within us and we have to stir it up, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6“. Paul told Timothy to stir up his own gift into a shining flame that others could see and be drawn to. We do this by prayer, saying positive things, hanging out with Jesus, joining with others of like mind, listening to uplifting music, being reminded that we are stronger than the enemy and of past victories, and staying in the Word.
Then I got a vision of another way to light our fire. Think of a football coach giving a pep talk to his team before the big game or high school students whipped into a frenzy at a pep rally. With that thought in mind, I saw my pastor before a crowd of thousands in front of our church. He was stirring up the crowd with the encouraging and edifying Word of God. Soon, out over the crowd, one started to shine, then another, then five, then ten until the whole crowd was shining brightly. The light could be seen for miles like it is with a football stadium at night.
Then the people started leaving and going up the road to their neighborhoods and homes, lights brightly shining as they went. What a picture! It’s like the end of the movie “Field Of Dreams” where you saw the car lights coming to the field in the dark. And these well-lit Christians would now be shining the light of God wherever they went. Oh, what a difference we could make in our communities if we all were bright, shining lights!
Given October 27, 2007
“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45“. God’s sun shines on everyone and His rain falls on all as well. Here’s what I was shown on this scripture today: For instance, if I pray for rain for my crops, it will also rain on my neighbor’s garden too. They will be blessed because of God’s favor toward me.
In addition, if my unjust neighbors know that I am one of “the children of your Father which is in heaven”, because I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and reached out to them, they are more likely to hear what I have to say. If I show God’s love and help them when they’re in need, that will open the door a little wider the next time. When this situation develops, God will give me what I need to reach them. Maybe they won’t let Him in but thy will me and God will supply me and use me as the “go-between” to get His message to them.
Here’s the point: always show the love of God to your neighbors no matter how bad they are and they will see your good deeds and soften up to the Gospel. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16“. Do this and God will supply you with whatever resources you need to get the Word to them. But it starts with living the Christ-like life before them.
Given October 19, 2007
There are lots of things wrong in our country, no doubt. We can read the paper, watch TV, or look on the magazine rack at the grocery store and see the influence of evil everywhere. It seems there is a flood of lawlessness growing stronger every day. Who will stand up for what is right?
“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19“. I heard this scripture today and it reminded me of the men and women through the years who have taken a stand against spiritual wickedness in high places. Many will complain about the problems but few will do anything about them. But when someone does stand up for what’s right, others are more willing to get in line behind them.
We, as Christians, should be the ones taking the stand, stepping out from between the pews and encouraging others to join in. If we don’t, our freedoms will slowly and methodically be taken away. We can all agree that the enemy is coming in like a flood so why isn’t God raising a standard against him? The revelation for today is that Isaiah 59:19 says, “the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard”. Where is the Spirit of the Lord today? He’s in us!
We, as Spirit-filled Christians, are the ones who must raise up the standard of righteousness in the face of the flood and turn this country back to God. Just like in facing a natural flood, we will get wet, dirty, maybe injured, maybe even drowned but when we make the commitment, others will get behind us. Someone has to step out and raise that standard high! Will it be you?