What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately I…

cat and dog (4-1-13)

Greetings My Friends~

As a humble pilgrim following Jesus through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life, I would like to humbly share some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately.

I pray that these thoughts are cushions in your shoes, balm to your burns, umbrellas for the rain, and shade to the scorching heat as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.


(please click on the Bible passages below to read the full text) 

(February 1st–March 31st, 2012)

I. Really Knowing/Loving Other People

A. People are so interesting—each has a unique story to share. Let’s listen to others & enter into their story w/the eternity-changing love of Jesus…

Matthew 9:10-13 NIV

II. True Worship

Next time we’re worshipping the LORD thru song, lets listen to the lyrics & make sure we’ll really do on Monday what we’re singing about on Sunday…

Isaiah 29:13-14 The Message

James 1:22 The Message

III. Beliefs and Doctrine Matter

A. Our theology affects our activity. Beliefs influence actions. What we think leads to what we do. Ideas really do matter…

Philippians 4:8 NLT

B. If we claim to be Christian but don’t believe Jesus is the only way to be forgiven/go to heaven, why would we risk sharing Jesus with others? If we claim to be Christian but don’t believe the Bible is without error, how can we know what to trust in Scripture when our earthly lives start to collapse? If we don’t believe Jesus really performed the miracles in the Gospels, how can we trust that He will bring us back to life once our bodies die? Our beliefs really do matter…

Titus 1:9 NIV

C. Believing in false doctrine at best affects the quality/quantity of our fruit-production for the LORD and at worst prevents us from receiving/accepting His eternal forgiveness. Let’s make every effort to conform our beliefs to the Bible and not vice versa.

2 Timothy 4:3 The Message

D. Right doctrine is important. You might be able to get on the team without it, but you’ll be playing the game without cleats for proper footing, with a hole in the web making catching difficult, without a hat to block out the sun on flyballs, without batting gloves for hitting.

1 Timothy 4:16 NIV

E. It’s often more difficult to unlearn a falsehood than to learn a truth.

Matthew 22:23-33 NLT

IV. Simple Living for Jesus

Oh, to someday live in a clean, simple room w/all my worldly possessions in a backpack & using my words/actions to share Jesus’ love with the whole world every moment of every day.

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 NLT

V. Living God’s Way

Magazine headline I just saw: “the new cool.” If you have to read about what’s cool, then you’re not; you can wear it but you’ll never be it if others have to tell you what it is. But don’t try to be cool by the world’s changing standards. March to Jesus’ beat…it’s the only melody that will last.

Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

2 Chronicles 30:6-9 The Message

James 1:27 NLT

VI. The True Identity of Humans

A. Humans are made in the image of God-we are different from animals: God put His creativity/skill in making them; He put His heart/soul in making us…

Genesis 1:25-27 NIV

B. You are a masterpiece of God…Live like it…and treat others like they are as well…

Psalm 139:13-15 NLT

C. The Nazis committed horrific atrocities because they DIDN’T SEE that other humans are also made in the image of God. Don’t be a “NOT-SEE”—ask God for wisdom to see Him as He is and to see yourself and others as He sees us!

Genesis 1:26-27, 31 NLT

D. Humans are meant to be leash-holders, not leash-wearers. Who/what is controlling you in an unhealthy/unBiblical way?

Galatians 5:1 The Message

VII. Living On God’s Power

I’ve been living for Jesus on my own strength as if I’m a sailboat furiously rowing with oars. The Holy Spirit is teaching me instead to lay down the oars and open the sails so His holy wind can power the boat.

Acts 1:5-8 NIV

VIII. Making the Most of Our Brief Earthly Lives

A. An 8 year old girl recently died in the Dominican Republic from appendicitis because of a lack of medical care. I had the same ailment 18 months ago…and I lived—I paid little money for the operation, drove 10 minutes to a great hospital, was home in 2 days. Why so simple for me? Because God allowed me to be born here. So what will I do w/this life-extension God has given me? To whom more is given, more is expected. Let’s love Jesus &all others w/EVERYTHING we’ve got each day……Anything less is insulting to God. The time is short…

Luke 12:48 NIV

B. Each week we are given 7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, and 604,800 seconds. Every moment for, in, because of, and about Jesus…

Psalm 39:4-7 NIV

C. Physical laziness has coronary consequences; spiritual laziness has eternal consequences…

Ecclesiastes 10:18 NIV

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NLT

D. Keep your head up—otherwise you’ll miss Jesus smiling at you… J

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

E. I am personally terrified of pouring out the water of my life for God and realizing, when I stand before Him, that my water landed mostly on the concrete instead of the soil. We must work smarter, not just harder…

Luke 10:39-42 NIV

F. How do I want to be remembered when my earthly life is through? I don’t want to be remembered at all. But I want to make such an impact that people look and say, “Wow. Jesus has really big feet.”

Matthew 5:15-16 NLT

IX. Rest In The LORD

A. Sometimes resting in God can be uncomfortable/awkward at first, like a warm soft mattress is strange initially for a person used to sleeping on a cold hard prison floor. But keep resting in Him—eventually you’ll never return to your prison.

Psalm 62:5 NIV

B. Holy Spirit, please help us to see the rays of sun/hope that You provide for us throughout our cloudy days; help us to see the hummingbirds and cardinals thru the back windows of our trials; help us to realize that our laughter is Your footsteps among us; help us to know that You are with us; help us to say yes to You…

Hosea 11:1-4 NLT

X. Joy and Pain

A. God mixes in joy w/grief: on Friday I officiated the funeral of a dear 15 year old, attended the wake of a 39 year old wife/mom of 3, and that same day took my 4 year old to a local daddy/daughter dance. May He add joy to your grief as well today. Look for it…

Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV

B. When life piles you with poop (or worse!), say, “Thanks! This fertilizer will help me grow taller and stronger!”

Romans 8:28 NLT

James 1:2-4 The Message

XI. Salvation

A. God the Father is the Composer and the Conductor, the Holy Spirit is the musician, Jesus is the song, and we are the instrument. Will you let God put you back in tune and play beautiful music through you for the rest of your life?

Jeremiah 18:1-6 NLT

B. I’ve always had very dry skin. Finally starting to use lotion, but I don’t like the “greasy” feeling of lotion so I often wash it off. Realizing now that the lotion isn’t making my hands greasy, it is making them healthy (but “healthy” feels uncomfortable initially). Similarly, many of us are not used to being loved unconditionally/sacrificially. Thus, when we initially encounter Jesus, we “wash Him off” right away to feel “comfortable” again. Just please remember: Jesus isn’t chaining us with chores/restraining us with rules; He is trying to liberate us through His love. Let’s trust Him. 

John 15:9 The Message

C. God is less angry than you think, more involved in your daily life than you realize, more powerful than your fears, cooler than you can imagine, more loving than you can understand & better than anything this world can offer you. Pursue Him…

Jeremiah 29:10-14 The Message

XII. Prayer

A. Despite the importance of our theological training and spiritual maturing as followers of Jesus, without prayer we remain stuck in “park”, revving our engines loudly but going nowhere.

James 5:16 NIV

B. Instead of asking you to pray for me because I’m preaching in the adult services at church this weekend, please pray for the more important work I am engaged in: loving my wife, children, and neighbors at home/in my neighborhood.

1 Timothy 5:8 NIV