What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately X…

growing (7-11-13)

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 links to the Scripture chapter/verses below to read the actual Biblical text)

(May 16th–June 15th, 2013)

I. Biblical Love

Biblical love = meeting the needs and wants of others with the time/energy/creativity/resources that you would have used to meet your own needs and wants. Ultimate Biblical love is doing this to the point of losing your own physical/earthly life.

John 15:13 NLT

II. Obedience to God

A. While often well-intentioned, we humans put the “dumb” in freedom: we think it means we can do whatever we want. We fail to realize that true freedom is like driving a car: it is enjoyed most when it is done in full compliance with traffic laws, signs, and signals.

Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

B. Sing Jesus with your words, beliefs, thoughts, plans, and actions; don’t merely lip-sync with your lips.

James 1:22 NLT

C. I’m often humming a tune as I go into a grocery store but am unable to continue the melody because of the other song being played on the store’s loudspeakers.

It is similarly difficult to march to the beat of Jesus’ drum on earth because of the myriad of percussion instruments, rhythms, and players desiring a duet with our own personal cadence.

John 10:2-5 NLT

III. Prayer

When stressed, don’t pray in the name of Visa (retail therapy); partner with the Bank of Jesus–the great forgiver of spiritual debt.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT

IV. Idolatry

Solomon took nearly twice as much time building his house (royal palace) as he took building God’s house (Temple). Wow. What parts of our lives are we building larger than God?

1 Kings 6:38-7:1 NIV

V. What We Believe About God Matters

A. Here’s why the “Gospel” of Thomas wasn’t included in the Bible–because it paints Jesus falsely as someone who just wanted to improve our ethics/manners but who didn’t die on the cross to offer us forgiveness of sins. Beliefs matter:

“Readers of Thomas will be enthralled by the Jesus revealed here through his Zen master-like sayings. What emerges is not the canonical Jesus but, as Harold Bloom puts it in his skillful interpretation, a gospel that ‘spares us the crucifixion, makes the resurrection unnecessary, and does not present us with a God names Jesus…if you turn to the Gospel of Thomas, you encounter a Jesus who is unsponsored and free” (from the inside dust jacket of the book “The Gospel of Thomas”).

Colossians 2:13-15 NLT

B. Christ-followers, which is worse:

1. To insist that someone get out of a building fast because it is on fire (if in fact it really isn’t), or
2. To insist that someone enter/stay in a building that is cool/comfortable/safe (if in fact it’s on fire)?

#2 is what we do when we tell others that everyone will get to heaven, that they don’t need to accept Jesus to be forgiven by God. We might think we are being tolerant, kind, and progressive if we tell them this, but in fact we are harming them in the worst way possible. Beliefs matter.

Ezekiel 13:1-12 NLT

C. People who stay in the middle of the road of life tend to get in a lot of head-on collisions.

Revelation 3:15-17 NLT

D. God Is Nowhere. God Is Now Here. What’s your perspective, what’s your choice? I choose the latter. J

Romans 1:18-23 The Message

VI. Knowing Yourself

All humans are in one of four Groups–1, 2, and 3 are unBiblical:

1. Disobedience to God Due To Conscious Opposition to Him;
2. Disobedience to God Due To Unconscious Opposition to Him;
3. Obedience to God To Earn His Love/Forgiveness;
4. Obedience to God to Thank Him For His Love/Forgiveness.

Holy Spirit, help me to live in Group 4 every moment of every day!

Romans 12:3 The Message

VII. Glorifying God

Graduates of a university bring fame to their alma mater (and thus increase future enrollment/attendance) by the deeds they perform;

Similarly, followers of Jesus can bring fame to Him (and thus increase future attendance in heaven through people enrolling their faith in Him!) through the way we think, speak, plan, and live each day.

Isaiah 66:19 NLT

VII. Maturing In Christ…

Water He turned into wine; He is also turning my daily whine into praise for Him!

Ezekiel 36:25-27 NLT


True saints mourn for their sins (jonathan edwards) & then like peter get back up on the strength of Christ’s grace to feed His lambs! (mjs3)

Matthew 26:75 NIV and John 21:15-17 NIV

IX. Evidence Of God

He chose to make food delicious/enjoyable, with an almost infinite amount of combinations of herbs and spices.

He then chose to give us creative minds to discover those combinations and taste buds to experience them.

What further evidence is needed that God exists and has our best interests in His plans for us?

John 5:44-46 NLT

X. God’s Amazing Miracles

Jesus can melt the largest icebergs. I’ve been invited to my in-laws’ house for Father’s Day! After 13+ years of dating/being married to his oldest daughter, I finally get to meet my father-in-law in person!

Psalm 118:23 NLT

XI. Receiving Jesus As Savior and Lord…

Through Jesus, earthly death to self avoids eternal death of self.

John 8:23-25 NIV and 1 Peter 2:24 NLT

XII. Finishing Strong

In all seriousness, finishing well after being a pastor at a church is like attending your own funeral–you get to hear such encouraging and affirming and humbling words from loved ones you have served. 🙂

2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT