Too Many Friends

www.bible.com/72/pro.18.24.hcsb

Is it possible to have too many friends? You can be friendly with many people, but cannot have too many good friends, and even fewer best friends. Consider your close friends. Do you have more than five? Ten? These are people that know you inside and out, not just the image you project to others. How many people know your heart? I’d say it’s not very many.

Of these close friends, who do you consider to be the best friend? Maybe one or two? Who is the first you call when you’ve got that new job or that tragic diagnosis? Are there many?

Jesus said “I no longer call you servants. I call you friends.” There is a friend who is closer than a brother. I hope you have one. Thankfully, we all have a friend who is closer than that.

God bless you today.

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When King Uzziah Died

www.bible.com/1713/isa.6.8.csb

Isaiah’s call was memorable. He notes that when the wicked King Uzziah died, he went to the Temple, and there had a vision of the Lord, where the train of the Lord filled the Temple. And the Lord said to His attendants, “who will go for us?” Isaiah, being awed by the spectacle, volunteered for service. He had no idea that this one act would result in his death at the hands of wicked King Mannaseh by being dawn in two, according to tradition. But that would not be for many years, and the longest book of prophecy and hope would be written by his hand.

Isaiah is the greatest writing prophet of the Old Testament, but we might learn something, not from his prophecies, but his willingness to serve. We too live in a world of wicked rulers. God is still looking for someone who will stand up for righteousness and be willing to follow Jesus. Would you be that person today?

May I encourage you on this Monday to listen for God’s voice in your daily work. Be attentive to those moments that righteousness is needed, not conformity. Keep your lips ready to speak a word of kindness or encouragement to others. For this day is a precious gift from God.

God bless you today.

Little Commentary Needed

www.bible.com/1713/mat.6.34.csb

Do you ever worry? That little that creeps up in your gut when you’re unsure what the future holds, or if the paycheck will make it to the bank before the check you wrote on it? (guilty) Some of us like to live dangerously. Others worry. This verse is my go to verse on worry, for I love the last phrase. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

He’s right. Go thou and do likewise. God bless!

Back to Normal

www.bible.com/1713/col.3.23-24.csb

What we find ourselves doing this week is seeing school start back up and work taking a more normal routine. The local college move-in won’t be far behind and our community will resume normal operations until May. Ugh.

So I want to take this moment to consider the verse above and think about all the things we do. We do many things to make others “happy”. I do things around the house to please my wife. I counsel and direct the kids when they need it, but also get them something special if I think they need that too. I go to work and my supervisor appreciates my presence and the fact I do that consistently. I check in with my folks periodically just to make sure they are doing ok. I do a lot of things for a lot of people to make them happy. But this verse reminds me that none of them are my master. In fact, none of them can deliver what I need most.

I need peace. I need grace. I need an Almighty God to look upon me with favor, and not with judgment. I need greater faith, strength to resist temptation, and the hope that comes with eternity. Those are things I truly need. Without them, I will either, even though my outward man appears healthy. My inward man will draw in upon himself and die while I live. I must have, I crave spiritual sustenance, and that can only come from my Lord. Blessed are you when you hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be satisfied. I pray today that I would be satisfied in these. For then may I live life more abundantly, the better life than what this world offers.

May you share in this quest with me. God bless!

Just a quick one for tonight

www.bible.com/1713/pro.19.21.csb

Sorry for the long delay today. Been a very busy day and life happens. But wants to make sure you woke up to a good word when you rise for worship in the morning.

We make plans. And we ought to. But God is the One who makes sure they work out. And if they are to work out, they must be according to His purposes.

I hope that today you don’t experience that frustration. God be with you today, as you go with God.

God bless!

Examples

www.bible.com/1713/php.4.9.csb

Have you ever been witness to a real Christian? Sometimes they are hard to spot in the wild. Someone who has integrity, honesty, and a winsome personality. Have you seen them? Sadly, many alleged Christians I’ve seen complain, wear sour faces, or forget to act like they were bought with a price and owed their eternity to a loving God who spent the blood of his own Son to save their souls.

I know it’s hard to always appreciate your faith and it’s implications because life happens. Life discourages us. If we let it go too long, it makes us hard. And that’s what I see a lot. People who have been hardened by hardship and sorrow. Like they’ve forgotten who they are. Or whose they are.

Many Christians live like practical atheists until Sunday comes around. Then they take their glum looks to church and glare at those that have any pretense to real worship. I’ve been on both sides of this, among those that disapprove and those that raise their hands anyway. I know the feelings and justifications offered and received. So I know why some, coming into the church, prefer the solemnity to the joy.

Life is supposed to be hard they reason. God is to be respected and worshipped with reverence, not with awkward posing and shouts. Being a Christian ought to be quiet and private, not public and obvious.

I admire those of quiet faith who have been tested and refined and still love the Lord. But I also admire those whose faith is on their sleeve, who speak of Jesus as their best friend and speak of Him constantly. And I believe everyone is needed in the Body of Christ. And everyone is an example to someone. They may be a bad example, but they are an example.

I want to encourage you this morning to look for those that are examples of Christian Faith, be they alive or dead, and learn a little about their journey. What brought them to Jesus? How did they decide to follow Him? What made the difference in life? Take a moment today to learn something about those who have walked the journey before us.

God bless!

Power to Glory

www.bible.com/1713/eph.3.20-21.csb

Looking at this verse a couple things jump out at me. First, the nature of the power that works in us is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. It is this power actively moving in us. To do what? If this power is not realized in miraculous events, what is all this power for? I think that as Christians, we rely on God’s power daily just to do ordinary Christian things. It is the power to pray to the King of the Universe. It is the power to resist temptation. It is the power to hunger and thirst for God’s Word. It is the power to display the fruit of the Spirit in our daily walk. We completely rely on this power as Christians, for it is the hope during the crisis, the trust in the sorrow, the faith to do when there’s no way we can. That’s true power. Miracles and healings are temporary. This power is eternal.

Second, the glory to Him in the Church. Who is tasked on earth to glorify God? It is the church. If the church is to glorify God, it is to make His Name great. We use His Name in holiness. We have respect for the things He has said. We walk the talk. Hypocrite should never be said of the Christian, because that is the opposite of glorifying God. It is not mere singing songs on Sunday. It is life.

May God bless you today and everyday as you seek to follow Him.