February 20, 2019 – Letting Christ Consume you

What I read today;

Exodus 7; 2 Samuel 21-22; Psalm 51; Isaiah 51; John 10; Colossians 3-4

Our Christian life is a constant series of pushing and pulling against the world.  We start the week with good intentions, but by the end of the week, we realize the world has smashed us to bits.  The things we didn’t want to do we ended up doing.  The anger we wanted to keep in check, found a way to the surface, the reading and studying we wanted to do didn’t happen.  It’s the way our lives tend to work.

So how then do we overcome the world?  How do we put on Jesus for ourselves?  Colossians 3 gives us some hints;

Vs. 1 – Seek things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God

Vs. 2 – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Spend more time focusing on the love and mercy of God our father and the grace provided by Jesus.  Think about all the wonders and mysteries that God provides for us every single day.

Vs. 5 – Put to death therefore what is earthly in you

Every now and then disconnect from the news.  Stop focusing on all the bad news that we see on the news channels.  Disconnect from social media every once in a while.  If all you do is look at those things, it’s likely that you’ll believe the sky is falling.  Take a break.  Walk in the woods and view the majesty of our creator God.  Sit in a coffee shop and talk to other human beings.  Avoid those things that cause you to think about the coarseness and anger that permeates our culture.

Vs. 12-14 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Try looking at others the way Christ looks at you.  Even in Wal Mart when your fighting through the crowds.  Remember that you’re not perfect either.

Vs. 15-17 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Let Christ dwell in your heart.  Read the word of God, pray, listen to Christian music, go to church and attend a Bible Study.  Focus on the grace and mercy that God has provided you and me!

February 19, 2019 – Everything we ever needed!

What I read today;

Exodus 6; 2 Samuel 19-20; Psalm 50; Isaiah 50; John 9; Colossians 1-2

Colossians 1 is so rich but the truth is that the main message is simple and is meant for each one of us.

Verse 13 – “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son”

Jesus did this for us.  We did nothing.  He gave himself up for us so that we might see God himself.

Verse 14 – “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Jesus gave himself up to pay for our debt of sin so we could stand before a Holy God.

 

February 18, 2019 – How are the young people?

What I read today;

Exodus 5; 2 Samuel 17-18; Psalm 49; Isaiah 49; John 8; Philippians 3-4

Absalom had tried to take his fathers throne, his house and in the end, he worked to take David’s very life.  It had all backfired on Absalom, and he was killed by Joab.  How did David react?  Was it with joy?  Did he dance?  No, David wept at the loss of his son.

I think that somehow David felt the guilt of failure as a father.  I think he understood that it was his responsibility to raise his children in the word of God and that he had failed.  David failed because he was busy building an empire, David was consumed with conquest and he, at times, followed his own desires into taking on numerous wives, which led to rivalry amongst his own children.  At the moment that David should have been the happiest, he weeps for his son.

Flash forward to this very day.  We have raised up a generation that no longer knows who God is.  We see the results of our failure, our parents failure, and our grandparents’ failures.  We were pre-occupied with growing our retirement nest eggs, building our careers, buying houses and accumulating things that we failed to teach our children who God was.  Now, we are reaping what we sowed.

But should we weep like David did?  No, God is calling us to move.  He’s calling us to push back against the world that has overcome us and to begin once again proclaiming the Word of God to the young.  We spend millions of church dollars on the mission fields in Africa and Asia but fail to reach out into our own neighborhoods.  It’s time for us to regain our footing.  It’s time for us to stop weeping and begin praying and then start moving.

February 17, 2019 – What are you thirsty for?

What I read today;

Exodus 4; 2 Samuel 15-16; Psalm 48; Isaiah 48; John 7; Philippians 1-2

John 7 vs. 37-39, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as[f] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now, this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified.” ESV

Have you been outside on a hot day and not had enough water to drink?  Have you reached a point where your head begins spinning a little bit?  Have your cheeks ever gotten red hot?  Have you ever gotten to the point that you started to feel woozy and weak?  Do you remember when that water hit your tongue and the back of your throat?  How that felt when you felt the relief of the water and the shade of a tree?

We live in a world where the word of God has been lost by many. We seek out spirituality in every place but the son of God.  So many are thirsting for the life-giving waters of Jesus.

When Jesus said if we believe in him our hearts will flow with living water, he meant that we were to be the ones to spread his Gospel throughout the world.  We are the ones who are to take his message to those who are thirsty for the relief that it brings.

Who can you reach out to with living water today?

February 16, 2019 -Seeking the Bread of Life

What I read today;

Exodus 3; 2 Samuel 13-14; Psalm 47; Isaiah 47; John 6; Ephesians 5-6

What do we need to survive?  We need to breathe.  We have to have shelter.  We need water.  Finally, we need to have food.

You’ve heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” If we eat too much of the wrong food, our bodies start to break down.  We don’t get the appropriate nutrients we rob ourselves of the life-giving vitamins and minerals necessary to keep us from getting ill or having other physical problems.  Americans diets today are blamed for many of our ailments.

Our spiritual lives are the same.  Our spiritual lives are no different.  We need spiritual food to keep our spirits sustained.  If we take in too much of the world, our spiritual lives will be overwhelmed with the values of the world not God’s values.

In John 6 vs. 35 Jesus invites us to come to him for the food that gives eternal life.  He promises in vs. 39-40 that anyone who turns to him will never hunger spiritually again.

So many other things in this world lead to emptiness and brokenness.  Jesus never fails to fill that hunger inside of our souls.

February 15, 2019 – The Bitterness Trap

What I read today;

Exodus 2; 2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 46; Isaiah 46; John 5; Ephesians 3-4

How easy is it to get caught up in anger and bitterness.  We’re told that we deserve it all. We’re told that our lives are supposed to be full of sunshine and rainbows.  We can be anything we want.  That’s the message ingrained into us from the earliest age of our lives.

But it’s not true, is it?

Life is full of ups and downs.  We think we’re on track only to get pushed backward.  The old saying two steps forward and three steps back applies to most of our days.

In those times we’re tempted to fall into the bitterness trap we should remember Ephesians 4 vs. 25-32;

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.  Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

February 14, 2019 – How Much Does God Love Us?

What I read this morning;

Exodus 1; 2 Samuel 9-10; Psalm 45; Isaiah 45; John 4; Ephesians 1-2

How much does God love us?  Ephesians 2 shows us the incredible love that God the father showed us through his son Jesus.

Ephesians 2 vs. 4-6,  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

To make things even more amazing, our salvation doesn’t depend on our efforts or works.

Ephesians 2 vs. 8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

That’s how much love God has for you and me!  What a mighty God we serve!