But God

Ephesian 2: 4-9 – But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

In business school, we were taught the “art” of team building. One of the words we were told to never say is “but” because it meant that we were not in agreement with what the other person was saying. The word “but” might not be acceptable in the business world, however, the Bible is entirely built upon the word “but” because that one word translated means God’s grace.

The word Grace means the unmerited favor of God toward man.  In other words, it is not deserved, but given to us freely by God.  When we fail God in action or word, we rely on God’s forgiveness and grace to bring us back to where we need to be.  In other words, when we sin and confess our sins, we can rest assured that a “but God” is coming next.  Two simple words, “but God” are our promise of His grace in our lives.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

No Other Gods

Deuteronomy 5:7 – You shall have no other gods before Me.
 
I occassionally meet with people that have walked or fallen away from God. Normally they will see it more as God walking away from them, but rarely will they admit that it was they that moved. Unfortunately, a series of “little” steps away from God result in one big move in the wrong direction. What happened?
 
In today’s verse, God tells us You shall have no other gods before Me.”. The first Commandment that God gives us is to make sure that God is first and God is the only god in our lives.  That means that nothing or no one can come before Him or take the place of Him. In my experience, when people walk away from God it is because they have placed other gods in front of God. There are many “gods” that I could list here, but the list would be different for each person. In the end, a “god” is whatever we allow to take the place of the one true God. My prayer for each of us today that as we begin our journey today, we will allow God to lead our way and not allow others to come before Him. God is good and God is great. None can repalce Him. None can compare. May all you do glorify and honor the only One worthy of such praise.
 
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

With All of Us

Deuteronomy 5:1-3 – Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully.The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. 
I remember guest speaking at a church one Sunday and at the end of the message, as I greeted the members of the church, they told me that other people in the church “really needed to hear your message today”. After hearing this several times, I was very excited to meet these people. Unfortunately, “they” never introduced themselves to me. While it may seem like a funny story, in my opinion it concerned me.
In today’s scripture we are told, “The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.” The covenant being discussed here are the Ten Commandments and what we are reminded of is that God’s Word doesn’t just apply to others, but more importantly, it applies to us. My concern that Sunday morning was that people perhaps thought that God’s direction and guidance applied to all others, but not themselves. May we all be reminded that before we can concern ourselves with the spiritual health of others, we must first concern ourselves with our own spiritual health. Remember God did not make His convenant with our fathers, but with you.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

I Make All Things New

Revelation 21:5 – Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

While new things are good, some can be a little scary. New jobs, new schools, new relationships are exciting, but it is “the fear of the unknown” that makes them a little nerve racking.

In today’s verse, Jesus tells us, “Behold, I make all things new.” Jesus has promised that He will always take what was old and broken and make it “new”.  Today begins a new week and maybe a new season or journey in your life. As you enter into this new time, remember that it is Jesus that has made this new moment in your life. And, it is Jesus that will be with you and guide you through your “fear of the unknown”. May the Lord bless you today with something new and exciting in your life.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

At the Feet of Jesus

Luke 10:38-42 – 38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

While on vacation, my family decided to go swimming at the hotel swimming pool. It was a hot summer day so the pool was very crowded. In fact, it was so crowded that nobody noticed a young girl drowning — except for my wife. As soon as she saw the little girl in trouble, she instructed one of our sons to pull her out of the water. Luckily, she was OK. Unfortunately, although there were many people around, everyone was distracted and missed the obvious right in front of their eyes.

In today’s passage, we read of two sisters who had an encounter with Jesus. One, Mary, “who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word”. The other sister, Martha, “was distracted with much serving,”. Martha is a good reminder to all of us that if we allow ourselves to get distracted with “things”, we will miss the obvious right in front of our eyes — Jesus. My prayer for you today is that you will not be too distracted to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Keep Your Promises

Numbers 30: 1-2 – 30 Then Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

“I promise” is easy to say, but a very difficult vow to keep. “I promise” has almost become an automatic response that we say without first thinking about what we are saying. “I promise” may make someone, including yourself, feel better when it is said, it will always make someone/yourself feel worse when it is broken. Not only do we break promises with people, we also break them with God.

In today’s scripture Moses says, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”  We often will try to negotiate with God when it comes to prayers. We “promise” God that we will do certain things if He answers our prayers. Unfortunately, God does not negotiate. God and only God  determines how He will answer our prayers. When we promise God something, Moses reminds us to “do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth”. Don’t make promises you can’t keep and keep the promises that you make.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

A Life of Offering

Numbers 29:39 – 39 ‘These you shall present to the Lord at your appointed feasts (besides your vowed offerings and your freewill offerings) as your burnt offerings and your grain offerings, as your drink offerings and your peace offerings.’”

 

I recently performed a graveside funeral.  As I waited for the service to begin, I walked and looked at all of the grave markers. As I looked, I began to wonder about all of their lives. Who were they? What did they  do? What were their greatest accomplishments? Did they know Jesus? So many graves, so many people, so many stories.

There are several chapters in the Book of Numbers that speak of the many offerings and sacrifices that Israel was to give to the Lord at various points in time. As I read these chapters today, I was reminded of those grave markers. What is the purpose of your life? If you are to live your life to honor the Lord, your daily life should one of offering and sacrifice for the Lord. May everything you do be a pleasant offering to the Lord. May every sacrifice you make bring Glory to God.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

The Taste of Cakes

Numbers 11: 7-9 – Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil.When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.
 
It think it is quite natural for people to wonder why they must endure trials and struggles during their lifetime. Especially, after they have become a Christian. There is a false belief that once we give our lives to Jesus, we get to live on “easy street”. Unfortunately, this idea is not correct. In fact, it might be that just the opposite occurs. Why would that be?
 
In today’s scripture, we read, “The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil.”  In order to make somthing sweet tasting, the ingredients must go through a process to get them exactly where the baker needs them. Like ingredients of a cake, the Lord will also take each of us through a prosess in order to get us exactly where He needs us. While trials might not be fun, they are necessary so we can become what God wants us to be. Remember in the end, we will be a sweet tasting cake to the Lord.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!