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!

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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!

Good Morning All!

www.bible.com/1713/1sa.2.2.csb

So glad to be back with you on this Thursday morning. What a great God we serve, Amen? There is no one else who loves us like He does, who expended His own Son for our sins, proving beyond doubt that He loves us. No greater cost for no greater reward than the soul of mankind. Our God is in love with all of us, for when He looks into our eyes, He sees His own image. We are blessed to be His special creation, not a random accident or chance. We are His and today we worship Him as our Father, our Creator and Lord. Will you worship with me today?

Holy Father, thank you for making me. Thank you for constructing my inward being so that I could be your representative and share your love with others. I pray dear Lord that you make today a day that when I lay down to sleep tonight, I will know that I have done your work. I love you Lord. Amen.

It has been a very different year this year putting these vignettes together every day, but I hope you have been blessed by then. God bless you and your work today. There is no one like our God!

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.

Present or Future?

www.bible.com/1713/isa.12.2.csb

What’s next for you? Have you made it yet? Are you coasting to the finish line? Is it all downhill from here? I hope I never find myself there.

In my field, it’s not unusual to go from college to grad school, and not rare to go from grad school to doctoral work. But even to have those initials after your name, it’s still not enough, because you find yourself still yearning to learn. There is a constant need to build upon what you’ve learned, and after each hill you’ve surmounted, there’s still a higher one just beyond. The more you learn, the more you find you don’t know yet.

So while this text on the surface sounds very much like an encouragement to serve God and experience His power in your life, reading a bit before this verse in chapter 11 and then in verse 1 indicates that these are promises to Israel once she has returned to the land and conquered all her enemies and becomes the seat of God’s power on earth. All will look to Zion to find God. Hence the premise of the title. Is this a reference to present reality, or to something in the future? Because in Christ, all that this verse says is already fulfilled. The Lord is our salvation. He is our judge, but also our salvation from judgment. He did this when He took our penalty for sin on the cross.

So do we look to Zion because of a future King enthroned there, or because if a crucified Lord that was risen there? Because I enjoy the benefit of His salvation on account of His resurrection, and that all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Him. Jesus is the King we have been looking for, not sometime in the future, but now.

Are you waiting for Jesus to be King someday, or celebrating His Kingdom every day? Present or future?

God bless!

Faithful and Just

www.bible.com/1713/1jn.1.9.csb

Good morning. Another selection from 1 John reminds us that confession and forgiveness are an ongoing reality for Christians. Even after we have been forgiven from sin, we still need this reminder of where we come from. We have always been wont to sin. Temptation dogs our heels everywhere we go. While we live, we will always be tempted, and often we sin. This reminder is here to tell us that God forgives sin. If you have sinned, if you’ve fallen, and especially if you think you can’t get up, God offers forgiveness. He is faithful and just. Jesus has paid the penalty for sin. Justice has already been met. We have only to ask and sin is forgiven. Jesus paid for all our sins. Forgiven is guaranteed, but it is not always felt.

If you fail victim to a particular sin, like gluttony or pornography or something equally damaging, it can be hard to experience God’s forgiveness because you’ve gone back to that well so many times. I think this verse here is a reminder that there is still forgiveness. There is still hope for those who think they are beyond help. For those caught in the trap of addiction, this verse is hope. God forgives. God’s chief goal is to have you in heaven with Him. Because Jesus has paid the penalty for sin, forgiveness is guaranteed. But for your sake, for your own sense of need, ask.

A burden shared is a burden lightened. A burden shared with God is a burden lifted. That’s why He tells us to confess our sins to Him. Sins are a terrible burden to bear. He knows all about it. He calls us to share the burden of our sins, to face the reality of them, to be accountable for them, so that we unload that burden to Him. Confession is good for the soul.

I hope you all have a great Monday. Let the worship and filling from Sunday overflow and fill your week. God bless!

What Love the Father Holds for Us

www.bible.com/1713/mic.7.18.csb

I cannot conceive of this love. It is too powerful, too awesome for me to comprehend. It is an overwhelming love, such that I’ve felt from anyone. No human love, not even mother to child, can compare with this love. For this is God’s love for His creation. He enfolds it and envelops it in His Being. He is Love. He inhabits His love. We benefit from this love daily. How great the Father’s love for us, for it is beyond all measure.

On this day of worship, I want to encourage you in your walk. No matter what you are going through, what trials you face, what heartbreak you experience and still labor to be free from, God still loves you with an everlasting faithful love. He holds you in His arms. You are not enduring this pain and suffering alone, but that your Father holds you close. We have but to open our eyes to Him and feel the warmth He brings to our soul. God loves you more than anything, more than the majestic stars and galaxies, more than the heavenly host. He loves you as He loves His own Son, because you are His child. We are co-heirs with Christ.

My kids introduced me to “Rick-roll”-ing yesterday. But Rick Atchley’s famous song is descriptive of God’s love for us. Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and desert you. 😁

Love you all. God bless you today.