Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just do it!

Today my heart is heavy.  It is bittersweet.  You see, God opened the door for me to visit with an elderly friend who doesn't know the Lord.  I was elated to have the opportunity but saddened that he still chooses to reject God's gift.  I know that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts and draws men to Him, but oh how I wish to participate in the harvest of this man.  Please pray for him, God knows his name.

Some time back Nike used the slogan "Just do it!" as a part of their ad campaign.  Did you know they stole it from the Bible?  Well, not really.  But if you read John 2:1-12 you can almost hear Jesus' mother saying, "Just do it."

Here's the whole story (paraphrased by me) -

Jesus was at this wedding and there were alot of people there also.  It was a big shindig.  Either the party-goers were drinking alot or somebody didn't plan for this big of an event.  Regardless of the reason (I lean toward the latter), they ran out of wine.  Enter Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She observes the situation and knows that Jesus can solve the problem.  So she tells Him what is wrong and then tells the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

Okay, so here's my thoughts...

Are you aware that Jesus is able to solve your problems today?  Regardless of what your issue is, He is the solution.  But just like the account of His first miracle, Jesus may not solve it the way you might think. 

See when they ran out of wine you couldn't just run down to the corner market and get some more.  When the wine was gone, the celebration was over. ~Problem  So what's a guy gonna do?  Jesus, being the Creator God, told the servants to fill up water jugs and serve the contents to the head of the celebration.  Doesn't sound like a solution you or I might have thought of, does it?  But the servants just did it.  They obeyed and all were blessed.

When we trust the Creator God and just do what He says, our lives will be blessed.  Maybe the solution to our problem comes in the way we would have considered, but I guarantee it is better than anything we could have devised on our own. 

"Whatever He says to you, do it."  Alright, I stole it too.  But this is the key to life.  We are to do what Jesus tells us to do.  In order for us to know what He wants us to do, we must read His Word, the Bible.  Someone once told me the B-I-B-L-E stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.  It's true.  Jesus has given us instructions on how to live our lives.  It's not surprising that when we obey His Word we are blessed.  That's were you and I are today.  We may not understand the "Why" of what He tells us to do but when we act in obedience He will change our lives. 

So read His Word and then...


Monday, August 30, 2010

The Call of the Master

Reading John 1:44-51, I am reminded of the call of Christ, "Come and see." from my previous reading.  How quickly Phillip found Nathanael and imitated Christ.  "Come and see." he said to his brother.  Before he even knew Phillip was a disciple, sharing his knowledge of Christ with those he knew.

This poses a question for me though; who have I encouraged to 'Come and see'.  Some say that you need to build a relationship before asking folks about their faith or inviting them to check out yours; but what happens to those who die before we take the time to talk to them about Christ?  They die in their sins!  God forbid, simply so we can be more comfortable when we share our Savior?  No!  No longer will I wait for the 'time to be right.'  This doesn't mean that building relationships isn't important.  What I'm trying to say is our relationship with God should be more important. 

Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." [Rom. 1:16].  Come and see should be shouted from the rooftops and on the lips of every believer.  Come and see what Christ is offering to you.  Come and see how you can be free from sin.  Come and see.

Christ has the power to change lives and yet we as Christians often fail to do our part in sharing this Christ with the world.  Now is the time to muster the Church into proclaiming the power of Christ to the salvation of all who believe.  Now is the time to answer the call of the Master, "Come and see."  I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What do you seek?

This question begs to be answered and how we answer it reveals much regarding the condition of our hearts.  John 1:34-43 is the basis for my contemplation. 

John writes a narrative describing the beginning of Jesus' ministry.  Jesus was just 'outed' by John the Baptist as the Son of God, and some of John's disciples (followers) approach Jesus to check Him out.  That's when Jesus asked this loaded question.

I think its a question He is asking you and I today; "What do you seek?"  Are you seeking fame and fortune, friends, acceptance, happiness, peace, revenge, solitude; the list could go on forever.  What are you seeking?  Do you even know?  Many times we walk aimlessly through life, content just to make it through another day.  In responding to this question, we must begin by being honest with ourselves. 

With the disciples they started out saying, "Teacher, where are you staying?"  Curiosity, interest, investigation of this man called Jesus.  Maybe you are where they began, curious about who He is.  Maybe you are frustrated with life or people in your life and are looking for a way to cope.  Perhaps life is going your way, but you lack peace, joy, and love.  In either circumstance Jesus responds, "Come."

"Come.  Follow Me."  Following Jesus is not something one should do on a whim.  Jesus accepts us where ever we are, but He will not leave us there.  Following Him requires us to change.  For Simon it began with a change of his name.  For you it might be something small.  The goal is for us to want what Jesus wants; to submit our will to His own.  That is what it means to be a Christian.

So today, as you evaluate where you are, ask yourself, "What am I seeking?"  Jesus said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (the things that you need in life) will be added to you." [Matthew 6:33].  What are you seeking?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


In a court of law, witnesses are called to testify as to what they have seen or heard or know to be true.  I have been a witness and required to testify and found that the experience was not as exciting as you might imagine. 

As Christians we are also called to testify as to the active hand of God in our lives.  Unfortunately, we are not excited about what God has, is, and will do in our lives.  As I read John 1:14-34 today, I tried to put myself in his shoes and understand his testimony regarding Jesus Christ.

{My paraphrased version}
John, who do you think you are? ...some prophet like Elijah?  Well, spill it?

I am nobody, but I point the way to the Christ.  He has been right here and you've missed Him.  You know, when He comes I will fade back into the background.  He is more important than me.  Why aren't you asking who He is?  I'll tell you, He is God.  The Eternal One.  I've seen Him, and I tell you the truth, He is God.

Can you imagine the excitement running through John as He told everyone about Jesus.  He was privileged to point the way to Christ. Now, here's the kicker, you and I have the same privilege that John had.  We are to testify to the world and point them to our Savior Jesus Christ.  Of course, this means that we must seek God's involvement in our lives.  We have to open the door, get out of the way, and let Him sit in the driver's seat.

Jesus is our perfect example for how this is to work.  He submitted to the will of the Father.  He left heaven and came to earth as God incarnate (in the flesh).  He lived and died to offer you and I the gift of eternal life.  By the grace of God, we should testify every chance we get.

There's lots of excuses for staying quiet:
* What will people think of me?          * People won't listen to me.
* God has better speakers than me.   * I'm scared.
* I don't know what to say?                 * I'm not the type to share.        

Each of these are lies the devil uses to convince us not to talk to people about God.  You can chose to listen and be deceived or you can be strong in the Lord and step out in faith that God will give you the words to say and His witness to a lost and dying world.  The question is will you?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting Into God's Word

One of the hardest questions I had as a believer was, "Out of 66 books in the Bible, where do I start?"  This question is a common one and perhaps one you have asked yourself.  Whether you are new to the faith or a mature Christian take this word of advise that was given to me: "You can never go wrong with John."

The book of John was written by one of the disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ, for the expressed purpose "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name." [John 20:31]

**  This is my prayer that this blog may point those who read it toward my Savior Jesus Christ. **

This morning I was reading in John, chapter 1, verses 1-13.

As John opens, He immediately points everyone to Christ.  You see, everything (yes, everything) points to Christ.  John clearly states that Christ is the Creator and Sustainer or all things.  vs. 3 - "Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made."  Take a moment and ponder that thought.  Jesus Christ, who created the stars and the planets and then hung them in space, created you and me.  Psalms 139 says, "You knit me together in my mother's womb."

That may shed some light into a life that feels unfulfilling.  You see, we were created for a purpose.  (A friend of mine said, "If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.")  And if you aren't living for Christ, you aren't living up to your full potential.  Even as a Christian, there are times when I chose to live the way I want rather than as God desires me to live.  This selfish behavior has been labeled -- SIN.

It is because of sin that man rejected Christ when He came and why they continue to reject Him today.  Sin is pleasurable for a season, but it will always take you further than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay.  That's the nature of sin.  Sin also causes a breach in our relationship with God. When Jesus, God's Son, came to earth He showed us what perfect harmony there can be for those who choose to obey God.  "If we confess your sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." [1 John 1:9].

There is so much more that could be said about this passage, but here is the main question I will leave you with:  Have you made the choice to follow Jesus?  How you answer this question will determine if you will reach your full potiential or not.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Beginning

John said it best, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." [John 1:1]

I am not the Word nor am I anywhere close; but Lord willing, I am being conformed to His likeness more and more each day.  To accomplish this I have rewritten this verse (and don't be concerned that I am rewriting Scripture...) to focus my eyes on Jesus: 

"In the beginning of each day I will seek Jesus, He is with God and so He brings me into God's presence, He is God and therefore God is with me through the day."

That is my goal: to seek Jesus every day and to walk with Him throughout the day.  This is not a simple task, in fact, it is complex.  It requires that I lay down my wants and desires and choose rather to do as He directs.  I know this is the will of the Father.  The trouble is I have developed the habit of doing what I want, when I want to do it.  Each of us struggle with the same problem; its called sin.  Satan tries to capitalize on my weakness, tempting me to depart from the will of the Father.  But I can't say, "The devil made me do it!" because it is my choice.  That's right, sin is a choice.

Either I choose to follow Christ or I choose not to follow Him.  Left on my own I will fail every time, but thankfully, Christ offers us the strength to follow Him.  "Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might." [Eph. 6:10]  So I am trusting Him to give me the strength.  Will you trust Him?