TRUE-ing Gum: Truth To Chew On Everyday…
Some loathe the practice of taking quotes from outside of the Bible and including them in sermons, believing that such a practice mixes the dirty in with the pure and teaches us to value the thoughts of humans over the thoughts of God. There seems to be some cautionary wisdom here on the one hand—there are many sermons that have little or no Scripture references!
On the other hand, an insightful thought can help us to understand a Biblical Truth more completely, just as in a darkened room, sometimes you need to light a match in order to find the lamp switch on the wall…
…this, therefore, is my goal in sharing these thoughts that God has blessed me to have over the years. My prayer is that they would help us grow closer in our friendship with Almighty God by guiding us to His Word, the Bible.
(Please click on the Bible chapter/verses and definitions below to read more about them)
(For True-ing Gum II, please click HERE)
(Unearnable Love/Forgiveness Offered Through Faith In Jesus Christ)
Day #1: G.R.A.C.E.: God Readily Accepts Contrite Enemies.
Day #2: S.A.F.E.: Sincerely Accepting the Forgiveness of Elohim
Day #3: Spiritual Bowling: Jesus got many strikes so that you could get a spare…
dont throw an eternal gutter ball by rejecting the perfect game 300 that He threw for you.
Day #4: Verdict: Unwilling humans ignore God and mistreat those who share His love/truth;
Jesus’ Response: He wants to gather those unwilling humans together & love them;
Reality: Unwilling humans refuse Jesus–they won’t let Him love them.
Day #5: Milk has an expiration date–if it’s not purchased in time it’s thrown out.
Humans also have an expiration date–if we dont allow Jesus to purchase us we’ll eventually be thrown out too.
Please click HERE if the above seems unfair.
Day #6: We who have received Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness still face problems on earth
but not The Problem after earth (eternal separation from God).
We get pebbles in our shoes but wont ever be crushed by The boulder.
Day #7: Jesus is the true & perfect Samaritan Who notices, stops & offers to heal and forgive
broken & battered humans who hate Him.
Day #8: If someone gave you free front-row season tickets to your favorite sports team, would you wait til the last game to attend?
Please don’t wait til your deathbed to receive Jesus’ free forgiveness.
Day #9: Through receiving Jesus’ forgiveness, earthly death TO self avoids eternal death OF self.
Day #10: It isn’t “nice” that God offers to live inside humans through His Holy Spirit;
it is disgraceful, scandalous, offensive, and humiliating (to God).
If I, a sinner, often feel dirty at some of the thoughts that scamper through my mind,|
how much more is the pure and holy LORD Almighty disgusted by them…
If I, a sinner, am often ashamed of some of my actions,
how much more is the perfect Ancient of Days when I drag Him through my mud?
And yet He still offers Himself to us willingly and cheerfully,
not merely to stand beside us but to take up Personal residence within us. Wow.
Day #11: Trying to do “enough” for God?
Jesus already did enough for you on the cross!
Receive His free forgiveness today!
Then ask Him daily to help you use your thoughts/plans/words/actions to spread His fame.
Ask Him to be the wind in your sails—He will!
Day #12: Does anyone ever still feel stress/pressure/guilt about a bill that you’ve already paid off?
Then why do we so often feel shame over sins that Jesus has already forgiven/paid for?
If we’ve humbly asked for His forgiveness then He has graciously/willingly given it to us;
let’s now live in the center of His unconditional forgiveness today and everyday
and in the process invite others to do the same…
Day #13: I have been following Jesus for nearly 14 years now and just recently realized
that I’ve been acting lately like a spiritual teenager:
I have forgotten where I came from—
what I learned at the beginning and received with wide-eyed wonder.
I have replaced soaking in God’s unearnable love for me
with a forceful striving after the next horizon of personal growth
to show God that I am worthy of His love.
In my unquenchable thirst to be a spiritual adult I have forgotten Jesus’ words
that the only ones who will enter heaven are those who receive Him like a spiritual child.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
Day #14: God the Father is the Composer and the Conductor,
the Holy Spirit is the musician,
Jesus is the song,
and we are the instruments.
Will you let God repair you, put you back in tune
and play beautiful music through you for the rest of your life?
Day #15: I’ve always had very dry skin.
I’m finally starting to use lotion,
but I don’t like the “greasy”
feeling of lotion so I often wash it off.
I’m now realizing 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.
Day #16: 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…
Day #17: “All You Need Is Love” was released by the Beatles 46 years ago today (July 7th, 1967).
The song title is partially true–love (the “what”) may be all we need,
but the Source of that love (the “Who”) is just as important–
not just any love will meet the deepest desires of our immortal souls.
Day #18: Yesterday long ago God attracted the animals to Noah’s saving ark;
today, yes TODAY!, God attracts His image-bearers to His Son Jesus’ saving cross.
Day #19: Jesus’ sinless life, execution and return to life has–for all who believe–
extracted the claws/fangs from the lion of death so that we only face its toothless roar,
only endure its menacing glare,
but no longer live under the oppressive fear of its tearing bite.
Day #20: Jesus is a door to door Tradesman,
looking not to sell you anything
but rather to offer you His perfect life in exchange for your sinful one.
Sweet deal…for us…if we accept it.
Day #21: Looking at the small ID card for a leatherbound journal–
decided on filling out the blanks from a different perspective:
Address: 777 Jesus Way
State: Eternal Joy
Zip Code: 77777
Phone #: 777.564.6316 (JOHN-316)
Blood Type: Jesus’
In Case of Emergency Call: On the Name of Jesus 🙂
Day #22: My two year old stuck her tongue out at me in utter disgust
when I didn’t give her what she wanted.
Hurt me deeply.
How often I’ve done the same to my Savior…yet He still loves me!
Day #23: Holy Spirit, please help me to soak daily in Your love from which NOTHING can separate me.
Flow Mt. Heaven’s crisp, crystal streams to the dusty canyons of earth.
Day #24: The devil wants you to not care about Jesus & eternity…
…OR the devil wants you to get as close to Christ as possible w/out accepting His forgiveness.
Be certain of your salvation!
Day #25: The Book of Life contains the names of those who are going to heaven (Revelation 21:26):
Its pages are made out of the parchment of Jesus’ Cross.
Its binding is the unchanging faithfulness and certainty of the promises of God.
It’s written in the ink of Jesus’ blood.
Its quill is a feather of the Holy Spirit.
Its Scribe is God the Father.
Your name can be there too…trust in Jesus today for the forgiveness of your sins!
Day #26: Jesus lived the perfect life we should have lived.
If we trust in Him as Savior, we get HIS gpa (perfect) and HIS graduation diploma (phd)
with a full-ride scholarship to heaven (paid for with His suffering on the cross).
As we then study in class (learning to be obedient to Him)
for the remainder of our earthly lives,
we do so not to earn grades (love) or graduation (heaven)
but rather to thank Him for His love
and to help invite others to choose to enroll in His amazing salvation school!
Day #27: Many Christians arent broken that much (or some) of the entertainment we choose to
experience spiritually fattens us for the race God has marked out for us.
Day #28: If the single initial sin of Adam & Eve set in motion such catastrophic and painful
consequences both for humans AND God,
why do we allow ourselves to get so close to the edge of sin?
Why do we think our own “little” sins won’t do that much damage in our lives,
aren’t “such a big deal”?
Why do we allow “cute” little tiger cubs in our homes,
forgetting that they will eventually become 600 pound carnivores to devour us?
Would we drink water with tiny drops of deadly poison in it? Flee from sin; Run to Jesus.
Day #29: When Jesus-people choose to sin we drag Christ again and again
through that vile spiritual mud since He lives in us through His Holy Spirit.
Do we need any further reasons as to why sin is so reprehensible in the sight of God and
in the lives of His forgiven ones?
Day #30: Sin is not just a mistake; it is treason against God.
When we sin we are telling God that we don’t need Him,
that we can live just fine without Him,
that we are in charge of our own lives (that we are, in fact, God).
And while no one can kill God,
when we ignore/disbelieve in God we “kill” His presence and His role in our lives.
We pretend He’s not there in the hope He will disappear.
Even more than that, we treat other things
(whether ourselves, another person, fame, money, popularity, success, etc.) as if it is God.
We cheat on God when we make other things or people more important than Him.
If your husband/wife cheated on you every day for ten years without being sorry,
would you want them to move to heaven with you? We wouldn’t, but God still invites us!
His love is amazing…sin is still serious…
Day #31: True saints mourn for their sins (written by jonathan edwards)
& then like Peter get back up on the strength of Christ’s grace to feed His lambs! (soulspartan)
Day #32: Looking to “get lit” this weekend?
Instead of being filled with drugs and alcohol,
Jesus wants to fill you with the Light of His presence
so you can truly shine like stars in the universe!
Day #33: Understanding and detecting sin is like teaching
wetness to a fish,
foul odors to a pig,
darkness/colors to a bat;
sin is all we’ve ever known and thus we have grown used to it
and have even learned how to enjoy it to the point that we
recoil from dryness, cleanliness, perfume, and light.
We’ve limped so long that we aren’t sure running is possible
and might not want to leap if given the chance…
Day #34: Like moths to flames to sin’s heat we are drawn,
Its pleasures bloom but with’ring soon are gone,
And leaving in its ‘stead a pois’nous weed,
That chokes our wants and also what we need.
Day #35: God mixes in joy w/grief: on a Friday in 2012 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…
Day #36: When life piles you with poop (or worse!), say,
“Thanks! This fertilizer will help me grow taller and stronger like Jesus!”
Day #37: A stick, broken in two with the halves side by side, is much more difficult to break again.
Perhaps God is breaking you in half right now to make you stronger. Stick with Jesus…
Day #38: His name is The Ancient of Days…
& He will be carrying us all day today,
handling all of our problems
& causing all of our victories!
Let’s trust in Him and rest in Him!
Day #39: God will bring good out of our suffering if we keep trusting Him each day!
Day #40: “Everything happens for a reason” is true—
for those who have received Jesus as Savior,
God is working everything out & moving it toward His “reason,”
just as cowboys herd cattle toward the ranch…
Day #41: Why does God allow us to feel pain?
Because the pain of God NOT doing the surgery on our character
would be even worse than the pain of the surgery…
Day #42: Why then do we need surgery?
Because we’re born with spiritual broken bones (original sin) that have started to heal crooked.
God has to re-break our spiritual bones to re-set them to heal properly.
This all causes immense pain in the short run but great relief in the long run.
God ALWAYS values the long run over the short run…
Day #43: Regarding knowing God’s plan in our suffering:
Our job is not to understand what the surgeon is doing;
our job is to stay on the operating table.
Day #44: When we suffer for obeying/loving Jesus,
we develop power to overcome our personal habits of/addictions to sin (1 Peter 4:1).
But when we don’t suffer for Jesus…
Day #45: The word “suffer/suffering” in regards to doing what is right/following Jesus
is translated 43x in the New Testament.
Hardships (arguably more than anything else) characterized the daily life of NT Christians.
What does it mean if we Christians in the United States rarely (or never)
suffer for the sake of Jesus?
Are we really following HIM?
Day #46: On the other side of a physical drought there is always the most refreshing and nourishing
rain, and the farmer who continues to plant, fertilize, and plow during the dryness is ready
for the celestial water.
Similarly, if you ever “fall out of love” with your spouse,
keep on showing him/her daily acts of love even if you don’t feel like it.
Healing rains are on the horizon!
Brow to the plow, eyes to the skies…
Day #47: Worry is like a stationary bike.
It can make your heart race and your face sweat, but it gets you nowhere. Trust in Jesus.
Day #48: How long are followers of Jesus to suffer/endure various trials on earth?
Here’s how long some people in the Bible suffered:
-40 days in the desert for Jesus,
-40 years as a shepherd for Moses,
-80 years barren for Sarah,
-12 years of bleeding (+an emptied bank account) for the sick woman,
-3 anxious/fearful days in a locked room for Jesus’ followers after His crucifixion,
-many years of exile on Patmos for John (the disciple Jesus LOVED!),
-4 days in the tomb for Lazarus,
-70 years of captivity in Babylon for Judah,
-6 hours hanging on the cross for Jesus.
God’s timing varies for each person.
But it’s usually LONG, my friends.
Re-breaking, re-setting, re-habbing, and re-healing our souls takes time.
From one desert Christian to another,
it’s a privilege to pray for/encourage/walk with you during your trials…
Day #49: God’s healing us often begins with God hurting us,
just as a surgeon, in order to make us well, needs to cut into us,
needs to literally invade a portion of our bodies with sharpened steel.
May God help us to choose to remain on His operating table
so that He can do the work that only He can do,
even though our spirits are raw and un-anaesthetized.
Day #50: If we let Him, Jesus will use the manure (and its synonyms!) of this life
to grow us closer to Him,
more strongly rooted in Him,
and more able to reach out to others for Him,
just as an gardener uses manure to fertilize plants to grow them taller, deeper, and wider.
Day #51: God will sometimes calm our storms, but He often chooses to carry us through them.
What is more amazing: that a storm will eventually stop/blow itself out,
or that God will carry us into the center of the storm where it is calm/peaceful
even though the winds are raging around us?
God gets glorified the most in the latter scenario.
God often chooses to increase our faith in Him by revealing His incredible power
as He makes us calm in the midst of danger instead of removing the danger.
Day #52: If you have received Jesus as your Savior,
He will use EVERYTHING that happens to you today (and that which DOESN’T happen)
for your ultimate good:
to bring you into a closer, deeper, stronger, more contented friendship with Him.
Day #53: Why do we flee from trial, suffering, trouble, and opposition?
God has designed muscles to get stronger only when they lift weights
too heavy for them to comfortably handle.
Similarly, our faith in Him can only strengthen when we repeatedly encounter situations
that are too trying for us to deal with on our own.
Day #54:Please heal us, Holy Spirit, of the wounds inflicted on us by
If You choose NOT to heal us…
…please help us to still lift broken, bruised, and bloodied hands to praise Your name.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Day #55:The LORD has a MESSAGE for you (His unearnable love/forgiveness),
not a MASSAGE (telling you what you want to hear);
accepting Jesus’ forgiveness and then following Him each day
will not always be easy, comfortable, relaxing–
it won’t always make you feel good but it will always be good for you.
Day #56:The shampoo cap was loose this morning; nothing came out when I squeezed the bottle.
I tightened the cap and the shampoo flowed.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit tightens our lives’ circumstances
to bring/flow out of us those Jesus-like qualities of
Styrofoam weights will never make our muscles stronger/bigger.
Day #57: Holy Spirit, please prepare Your people for the difficult trials we WILL face in the future.
Untangle our minds/hearts from life’s subtle distractions.
Help us focus on our spiritual health/fitness more than our physical health/fitness.
Help us to take Your warnings in the Bible seriously/soberly.
In Jesus’ Name I pray-Amen.
Day #58:Feel like something is missing in your life?
Jesus wants to complete you!
But He will use hard times to accomplish this.
Day #59:Overwhelmed, Jesus-people?
Carrying a cross is supposed to be impossible for us to do alone…
this FORCES us to rely on Jesus.
Day #60:Jesus-lovers! Don’t seek the easy life on earth!
Our ease begins in heaven…and will last forever!
Now we are to CHOOSE to willingly SUFFER in order to pass out Jesus’ invitations to others.
Day #61: You’ve been hurting for a while…
…and then you begin to get better–you slowly start to sip relief.
What if it was God sending His angels to comfort you,
just as He sent angels to comfort Jesus in the desert? WHAT IF?!
You are NEVER alone.
Day #62: God NEVER wants us to give up (quit),
but He ALWAYS wants us to give up (hand our fears/stress/problems over to Him).
Day #63:Though suffering
-expulsion from Eden,
-a murdered son (at the hands of his brother!)
-& the other son’s banishment–
Adam and Eve didn’t give up…
…they started a new family together and gave thanks/credit to God.
Day #64: Developing faith in Jesus requires hardship-we cant get to a mountaintop going downhill
& we cannot become who God made us to be in an easy way.
Day #65:The dust and debris of earth reveal the light and love of heaven.
Day #66:Earth’s a spiritual Seattle–consistent rain w/moments of bright joy
that give glimpses of the eternal Hawaii in store for those who receive Jesus.
Day #67: Though existing eternally as God, Jesus had never died before.
So when He breathed His last on Golgotha in 27 AD,
He had to have ultimate faith in God the Father,
child-like trust that the Father would in fact bring Him back from the dead.
Like humans when we die, Jesus had no Personal experience to draw upon from the Cross…
…He, like us, was completely reliant on the Father.
What a Friend we have in Jesus…
He truly knows exactly what we go through each day
and has compassion and comfort available for us in our daily deaths.
Trust Him today.
Day #68: Feel defeated?
With Jesus you WILL overcome…
The True Identity Of Humans
Day #69: 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…
In what ways do you treat yourself/others like animals?
In what ways can you start treating yourselves/others as the image-bearers of God?
Day #70: You are a masterpiece of God…Live like it…and treat others like they are as well…
Day #71: The Nazis committed horrific atrocities because they
DIDN’T/WOULDN’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!
Day #72: Humans are meant to be leash-holders, not leash-wearers.
Who/what is controlling you in an unhealthy/unBiblical way?
Day #73: Breathtaking/inspiring–I used to listen to this for hours on end as a teenager…
This score reminds me of humans’ majesty–
more than mammals, we are made in HIS image and invited to greatness:
the greatness of knowing, loving, and enjoying the LORD forever.
Day #74: No matter WHAT happens today, your worth/value to God cannot be lowered.
Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it,
and Jesus paid for you with His LIFE.
You cannot be any more important to the Savior than you already are!
Let’s live out of that glorious truth today!
The True Identity Of Christians
Day #75: What happens to me/what I do can never change my identity
as a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ,
any more than getting a black eye or committing a felony can alter my biological dna.
Day #76: By receiving Jesus as my Savior,
Though appearing as a pauper, I am indeed a prince.
Though treated as a peasant, my soul responds royally.
Though chained as a criminal, my soul remains a free priest of God Most High.
Do w/my earthly life what you will; my eternal life is hidden safely in Jesus my Savior.
“We truly are immortal until our earthly assignment is done” (unknown)—
let’s start becoming who we already are…
Day #77: Lets remember to soak in who we are IN Christ
before we focus on what we are to do FOR Christ.
Identity fuels activity.
Please click HERE for “The Bell”
Day #78: Despite the importance of our
and spiritual maturing
as followers of Jesus,
without prayer we remain stuck in “park”,
revving our engines loudly but going nowhere.
Day #79: Instead of asking you to pray for me because I’m preaching this weekend,
please pray for me for the more important work I am engaged in:
loving my wife, children, and neighbors at home/in my neighborhood.
Day #80: God wants us to pray
and then start preparing for Him to answer that prayer before He answers it,
e.g. Ask for rain and then carry an umbrella.
Philemon 1:22 NIV
Day #81: Sometimes our desire for immediate answers to our prayers
is as ridiculous as a farmer’s prayer for an April harvest.
Even though we can’t see it,
God is at work behind the scenes like seeds under the soil preparing to sprout, grow & bloom.
Day #82: One of my daily struggles is doing domestic chores
while multitudes languish in the midst of global suffering.
LORD God Almighty,
please do through my faithful prayers what could never happen through my physical presence.
Day #83: When stressed, don’t pray in the name of Visa (retail therapy);
partner with the Bank of Jesus–the great forgiver of spiritual debt.
Day #84: Let’s bring prayer into all areas of our lives!
Like a spiritual pizza, let’s make prayer the dough on which we layer the tasks of life
instead of making prayer one of life’s last-minute toppings.
Day #85: Pass any laws you want, U.S. Government…
we will NOT bow down to the ungodly statu(t)es you have made.
Day #86: Marveling at nature while ignoring Jesus
is like meticulously caring for Water Lillies paintings in a museum
while allowing Monet to be homeless, mistreated, ignored & under-appreciated.
Day #87: We don’t worship God so we can then enjoy Him,
like eating veggies to get dessert or working hard during the week to get to the weekend.
Over time, we learn that worshiping God IS enjoying Him,
that a Monday morning with Jesus is better than a Friday night without Him.
Day #88: Jesus’ power should encourage & humble us—He ain’t playin’!:
“What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7).
Day #89: God Is Amazing: A blue whale eats approximately 8,000 POUNDS of krill each day—
that’s 1.5 MILLION calories. Daily. Wow.
Day #90: Obeying the LORD is a main ingredient in loving Him;
enjoying God is a main ingredient in worshiping Him.
Day #91: Amazed yesterday by the two Bengal tigers
at the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota.
God is AMAZING for making such powerful and mesmerizing creatures!
Reminds me of one of my favorite poems (“The Tyger” by William Blake, 1794):
Day #92: As we spend much time today managing/taking care of the blessings,
let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us not neglect the Blesser.
Day #93: What if our Sunday worship services were truly a Sundae for God–His dessert, if you will
where we capped off a week of loving Him and loving others (imperfectly, of course)
by worshipping Him in spirit and in truth!?
Let’s love Jesus & others this week and serve Him a sweet dessert of praise this Sunday…
Day #94: 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!
Day #95: Music is the wave that God rides onto the shores of our hearts.
Day #96: Trees’ branches are raised up to worship God like the hands of His people praising Him.
Day #97: Next time we’re worshiping the LORD thru song,
lets listen to the lyrics & make sure we’ll really do on Monday
what we’re singing about on Sunday…
Making the Most of Our Brief Earthly Lives
Day #98: 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…
Day #99: 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…
Day #100: Physical laziness has coronary consequences;
spiritual laziness has eternal consequences…
Day #101: Keep your head up—otherwise you’ll miss Jesus smiling at you…
Day #102: 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…
Day #103: 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.”
Day #104: W.I.F.E.: Wise Instinctive Fierce Exceptional
Day #105: S.M.I.L.E.: Sanctified Multitudes Implicitly Loving Everyone
Day #106: S.T.R.E.N.g.T.H.: Start Trusting and Relying (on) Elohim Not (on) gods (of) Thy Hands…
Day #107: P.U.R.E.: People Understanding (&) Reflecting Elohim…
Day #108: L.I.B.E.R.T.Y.: Living Intentionally By Eternally Running Toward Yahweh.
Day #109: P.L.A.Y.: People Loving Almighty Yahweh.
Day #110: R.E.S.T. Realizing Everything’s in the Savior’s Timetable.
Day #111: H.A.P.P.Y.: Helping All People Pursue Yahweh.
Day #112: J.O.Y.: Jesus Over Yourself.
Day #113: P.E.A.C.E.: People Everywhere Accepting Christ Enthusiastically.
Day #114:L.U.C.K.: Living Under Christ’s Kingship
Day #115:L.O.V.E.: Lifting Our Voices to Elohim
Day #116:P.U.L.S.E.: People Unashamedly Living for the Savior’s Enjoyment
Day #117: S.E.L.F.: Sabotaging the Experience of Life to the Full
Day #118:F.O.C.U.S.: Faithfully Offer Christ Ur Strength
Day #119:H.E.L.P.: He Elevates Lowly People
Beliefs and Doctrine Matter
Day #120: Our theology affects our activity. Beliefs influence actions. What we think leads to what we do. Ideas really do matter…
Day #121: 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…
Day #122: 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.
Day #123: 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.
Day #124: It’s often more difficult to unlearn a falsehood than to learn a truth.
Day #125:Jesus, a carpenter, gave advice to fishermen. Absurd…except that it’s Jesus. You might think it equally absurd to listen to Him today in the 21st century, but remember…it’s Jesus.
Day #126:The book of Acts is filled w/people who were fanatical about telling others about Jesus’ free offer of forgiveness. Now we’re fanatical about merely not being legalists/Pharisees.
Day #127:Many say “God hasnt called me” as a reason for not loving Him & others in ways that turn our lives upside-down. Well, maybe we need to answer the phone.
Day #128:My actions/choices each day cannot earn me heaven, but my actions/choices are a thank-You note to Jesus for giving me heaven…and I want to put as much time/effort/creativity as possible into my thank-You note to Him. I don’t want to hand Him a sloppy/haphazard/rushed card as I enter the gates of His Kingdom.
Day #129:Jesus people! Pretend you’re a car:
-let the Holy Spirit drive (He is NOT your co-pilot)
-get out of neutral (accelerating but going nowhere)
-turn off cruise control (run your race so as to WIN not just to finish!)
-silence the radio (avoid distractions)
-break the rear-view mirror (your past is FORGIVEN!)
-stay on the road (no off ramps!)
-no texting (be alert!)
-keep your safety (forgiven by the grace of Jesus!) belt on
-slow down for hitchhikers (those who are seeking Jesus)
-don’t stop til you run out of gas (til your earthly life is over)
Day #130:Whose approval do you want? God’s? Or people’s?
“Many people did believe in [Jesus], however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”
John 12:42-43 NLT
Day #131:Yes, we are supposed to love sinners but hate sinful actions:
“Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”
Jude 1:23 NLT
Treat Other Humans With Love & Kindness
Day #132: Looking for true works of art?
Dont go to a museum…go to a grocery store, park, restaurant-wherever humans are;
God created us in HIS image!
His finger prints are all over us!
Treat yourselves and others gently–we don’t have the protection of red velvet ropes…
Day #133:Real men don’t threaten others with the use of big muscles…
…real men promise others with the use of big mercy.
A New Life/New Start With Jesus!
Day #134: Let Jesus “re-boot” you–giving you new shoes, not for running away from Him but for running toward others to share His Gospel of Peace!
Day #135:Though a check is made out to you,
you cant receive its benefits til you endorse it w/your name.
Jesus’ forgiveness, though also made out to you, requires the same.
Day #136:Being penniless with Jesus on a Monday morning
is better than having millions of dollars without Jesus on a Friday night.
Day #137:After faith in Jesus, begin to then add obedience.
God will transform the “have-to, should, and must” into the “want-to, get-to, and can.”
Day #138:Once we accept Jesus’ offer to purchase us & erase our expiration date,
He wont leave us in the bottle or on the shelf–He will POUR US OUT to show His love to others.
Christians Are On God’s Side (Not Vice Versa)
Day #139: God isn’t on the “Christian team’s” side;
those of us who have accepted Jesus’ free forgiveness are on HIS side,
we’re on HIS bandwagon,
we’re getting to heaven by riding HIS COATTAILS,
His death and return to life.
There is a difference.
Day #140:God didn’t look at the people groups of the world & say,
“I choose Christians because they’re so doggone great!”
Christians believe & trust in Jesus because HE is so doggone great…
and we realize that without Him we are so doggone lost.
Day #141:We Christians do not own God’s Truth anymore than Albert Einstein owns the theory of relativity. He didn’t make up e=mc2; He discovered the truth of that equation which has existed ever since God created it and the universe. Einstein is part of a small group of people who actually understand its significance and so he is qualified to teach and speak on it, but he doesn’t own it and he didn’t make it up—he discovered it. The same is true with Christians: God revealed Himself to the world through His Son Jesus and we who have accepted His Son Jesus–we who by God’s grace realize Jesus’ eternal significance and receive Him–are therefore commanded to introduce Jesus to all the people of this world so that they too have the opportunity to be eternally forgiven and re-born.
Becoming A Christian Doesn’t Mean You Have To Become An American
Day #142:Jesus wants the people of the world to receive HIM & become like HIM,
not to adopt the culture of U.S. Christians & become like us.
Day #143:Many from other nations are reluctant to “become Christian” because that term is often equated with “white, anglo-saxon, American, Western culture, MTV, rock and roll, etc.,” a way of life that is both different and unappealing.But Jesus isn’t inviting the people of the world to become American…He is inviting them to be His sons and daughters, to be forgiven, to be made new, to be adopted.
What…WHO…Is Your Treasure?
Day #144:As we begin to empty our arms of the trinkets of this world we have room to more fully embrace Him Who created this world.
Day #145: Even the murderous/dishonest/bitter/tightfisted and indifferent Cain realized his worst/most painful punishment was being “hidden from the LORD’S presence” (Genesis 4:13-14).
Jesus Is Our Role Model
Day #146:May we see as God sees…
may we speak as He speaks…
may we be as He is…
may we do as He does…
may we die as He died…
may we rise as He rose…
may we be where He is.
Day #147:Do you ever sweat for Jesus?
Ever get sore for Him?
Ever get injured loving Him & others?
Ever get worn out carrying your cross and following Him?
Then maybe you’re not running.
I’m not talking about trying to earn Jesus’ love/forgiveness;
that we cannot do and must stop trying to do.
But the Bible often compares following Jesus to a race,
and the races I’ve run in my life, while rewarding, have left me feeling
Feeling good physically at the end of a race shows that the runner didn’t give their all.
Jesus wants our all.
Let’s give it to Him today.
Hebrews 12:1-4 NLT
Galatians 5:7 NIV
Galatians 5:7-10 The Message
1 Corinthians 9:24 NLT
Galatians 2:1-2 NLT
Day #148:We’ve turned the word “justice” to mean “just us.”
You’ve been blessed to be a blessing…your couch should be your least used furniture.
Go. In the name of Jesus…GO!
Day #149:A house’s walls were made for children’s drawings.
Parents, please frame & hang your kids’ artwork in your home.
By doing so you’ll show them they’re a masterpiece too.
Day #150:Enoch “walked with God” in close/personal friendship (Genesis 5:23-24)…
Enoch’s dad (Cain) was a murderer. We are NOT cursed by our parents sins.
The Eternal Vs. the Temporary
Day #151:Americans spend billions annually on hair though its a DEAD part of our bodies!
Yet we ignore the condition & destination of our immortal souls.
Day #152:Too much ketchup–or any condiment for that matter–
hides/masks the flavor of the burger,
just as too much money/material wealth hides/masks our need for & experience of God.
So Long Self…
Day #153:Cars are designed for drivers to constantly look out of the windshield (not at the floor and certainly not at the vanity mirror!)–forgetting this causes great pain to self and others;Humans are designed to constantly look at God & others (not at ourselves)–forgetting this causes worse pain to self and others.
Small Victories In Daily Life Remind Us of
Jesus’ Huge Victory That Offers Us Eternal Life
Day #154:Just finished fixing our lawn mower after many attempts–what a thrill!
Within His VICTORY over sin & death, Jesus gives us little victories in our lives,
like biting into a warm donut & realizing its also filled w/gooey custard.
Day #155:True freedom is not being whoever you want, not doing whatever you want…
it’s being who you were made to be, doing what you were made to do.
What is better for your dog: to drop her off in the middle of a city to “set her free”
to roam alleys, dodge cars, and endure natures fury?
Or is it better for your dog to be “restricted” by your loving leash on walks through parks,
to be “confined” in your home by a roaring fire petted by a doting family?
There is NO freedom apart from Jesus Christ.
Day #156:The Bible doesn’t just give us a list of MORE to do…
it also warns/encourages us to re-evaluate what we ALREADY do in light of its Truth.
Trimming is often better than adding;
replacing often more productive than piling.
Day #157:Ive usually thought, “I cant wait until [future occurrence]…”
Lately Ive been thinking more along the lines of, “I can’t wait until now.”
Day #158:When our hearts are cut to the quick–when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit of sin in our lives–please let us not use this as an excuse to get DEFENSIVE or DISCOURAGED, but rather to get DETERMINED to have the LORD iron out these wrinkles in our character! Remember, God knows we are like sheep and easily go astray, but He loves us and wants to make us holy, like Him, if only we will let Him.
Day #159:Like the tree for Jonah,
God can can grow in you a big love for others in a small amount of time.
Has your love for another withered? Ask Him to fertilize your heart today!
Jesus Our Judge
Day #160:Many Christians are content that we are going to heaven&thus forget that we still have to give an account of our earthly lives to Jesus. Not in terms of salvation, mind you, but definitely in terms of our faithfulness/fruitfulness. We work hard to get ready each year for April 15th…well Jesus is a lot more intense than the IRS.
Day #161: Jesus is either your terminal disease (Judge) or your eternal cure (Savior).
What do you choose?
Trust In Jesus Even If His People Are Untrustworthy
Day #162: Surgeons shouldnt stop using scalpels to heal just because some use knives to murder! Don’t walk away from Christ if Christians walk all over you;
don’t stop trusting in Jesus if some people do terrible things in His name.
Day #163: Jesus wants His brothers & sisters to be part of the UPH: United People of Heaven.
The Cross before the flag…
Day #164: Criticizing a brother or sister in Christ without love, humility, grace & empathy
is like swatting a fly from their face with a baseball bat.
Being Used By God
Day #165:Imagine being a piano in the hands of Mozart & you still wont have any idea
what it’s like to have the Holy Spirit use you to point others to Jesus.
Day #166:Holy Spirit, forgive me for being glad/excited when You do great things thru me
& not as excited when You do so thru others. Help me get over myself. In Jesus’ name I pray…Amen.
Day #167:How true is the U.S. 1st Marine Division’s motto if applied to Jesus:
“No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.”
Day #168:Christians–lets please stop connecting the word “blessing”
with finances/objects/earthly riches.
God does desire to give us abundance
but His gifts are better than what we’d settle for or even know to ask for.
Love the Baker not His bread.
Obedience To God
Day #169:Jesus doesn’t ask us to obey Him; He commands us.
But He orders in such a way to remind us
that He’s doing us an eternal favor by letting us serve Him.
Keeping Track of Wrongs
Day #170:Holy Spirit, help us not to keep track of the ways (we think that) others mistreat us;
help us also not to keep track of the ways that we serve others
(which sometimes causes us to get upset when others dont notice our efforts).
Please help us to not grow weary in doing good
but to trust that You Who see what is done in secret will reward us on the day that Jesus returns.
In His name we pray, Amen.
Day #171:Holy One, please help me to remember that today is a good day,
not because of what happens TO ME throughout the day
but because of You Who are WITH ME throughout the day.
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Romans 8:31 NLT
Day #172:Just as it’s easier (& more fun!) to complain
than to be part of the hard work of improving,
so too is it oftentimes easier to choose to remain discontent with life
than to endure the rigor of learning to be joyful in Christ in all situations.
The Holy Spirit wants to teach you–will you let Him?
Day #173:May we help each other stay awake/alert during these last days until Christ’s return
as we love the LORD and love others sacrificially…
But if we do grow weary and fall asleep at the wheel,
He Who does not sleep will steady, protect, and invigorate us!
You are NEVER ALONE!
Seeking The Approval Of Others
Day #174:Jesus angered certain people with His
-actions (Mark 3:1-6),
-words (Matthew 15:15, John 8:57-59), and
-beliefs (Matthew 26:62-66).
If you’re a Christian, are you willing to sometimes do the same
or do you change your obedient actions, words and beliefs for the approval of others?
Day #175: Overwhelmed by the love of the LORD shown to us the last few days
by our loved ones in Chicago sending us out and our loved ones in South Dakota in receiving us!
Day #176: He stooped low to lift others up; He asks nothing less of us who are called by His name. Whose undeserving feet will you wash today?
Day #177: Feeling defeated today?
Jesus wants to “re-feet” you with a swift readiness to share His Gospel of peace!
Day #178: Let’s pray for Muslims during Ramadan
that they would accept Jesus’ forgiveness on the Cross
& allow Isa to be their Sirat al-Mustaqim!
Day #179:My daughter Jasmine just told me that her Gobstoppers change flavor
the longer you suck on them, the longer you keep from chomping down on them.
Made me think: there is a rarely experienced flavor (i.e. maturity/joy) in relationships–spousal, parental, familial, etc.–when we resist chomping down/spitting them out and continue to love, serve, build up, forgive, bless, encourage and invest in. Let’s never give up but wait patiently for the new flavors Jesus has for us as we obey Him.
Day #180: Want spiritual direction? Trust GPS: God’s Providence & Sovereignty.
Day #181: We must not wait until we “see Jesus” to have faith in Him.
Just as one can only be nourished/strengthened AFTER eating food,
so do we truly begin to see/notice Christ AFTER trusting in Him.
Take the first steps of faith in Jesus today; He already made the first move by dying on the Cross.
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16 NLT).
Sanctification (Becoming Like Jesus)
Day #182: After we place our trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins (i.e. justification and salvation), the next important object of our faith is to trust the Holy Spirit to remodel/relocate both the make-up and direction of our lives (sanctification). Not only does He want to rip up the old railroad tracks and lay new rails in heavenly directions (our daily words/actions), He also wants to re-fill our railcars with a holy, fresh and aromatic cargo (our motives/thoughts/intentions).
Day #183: Christ-followers–sharers and proclaimers of God’s love, grace, and truth–
are issued neither camouflage nor protection for our backs…no blending in, no retreating.
Day #184: Here’s what God wants us to spiritually do as we are
physically/mentally doing our tasks today:
1. Remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said (Keep reading that Bible!);
2. Build each other up in your most holy faith
(how can you help someone meet Jesus through your actions/words today?);
3. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit (YES!);
4. Await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ [quietly trust that He WILL come back to bring you Home to be with Him forever!], who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
Day #185: A friend asked: “How do you get patience to wait on God’s will?”
1. Ask The Holy Spirit to give you such patience.
2. Make the choice not to do anything to force God’s will (or YOUR will) to happen. Let HIM be God.
3. Choose each day to be faithful where God has you: sacrificially put others’ needs before your own and grow closer to Jesus thru Bible-reading & church attendnce.
4. As you do numbers 1-3 above while u wait for God to act, your patience w/the LORD grows over time like a long-distance runner’s over months of training.
You are loved & cherished! 🙂
God Cares About Every Detail Of Your Life
Day #186: 90% of The Lord Jesus’ earthly life WASN’T recorded in the Bible, and only a small portion of the remaining 10% was written about (and yet God the Father said He was well pleased with His Son even though most of His earthly life didn’t “make the headlines!”). The mundane MATTERS to God…every moment/task is an opportunity to worship and honor Him.
Day #187: Today is as important to the LORD as Sunday!
Let’s make decisions & use words to show others
how great Jesus is, how much He loves them, & how much they need Him!
Day #188: Every week can’t be a vacation, every day can’t be your birthday, every moment can’t be the time of your life; life is mostly the mundane/common/normal, but that is to be celebrated, not endured! If we really look, the view at the bottom can be just as beautiful as at the top.
Day #189: How can the mundane be miraculous? When Jesus is with you. His presence makes the darkest cemetery alive. The ground around the burning bush was holy not because the literal sand was special but because the LORD was there with Moses. He is with you as well, forgiven follower of Jesus. Your mundane moments today are miraculous. Let’s take off our sandals and worship HIM through our thoughts, words, actions, and plans.
American Church Growth—Width Vs. Depth
Day #190: Deeply saddened by the American Church’s implicit emphasis on numerical growth. We say we want such growth because that shows that more people are coming to faith in Jesus, but the former (church attendance) doesn’t necessarily lead to the latter (trusting Jesus). We celebrate local churches and pastors who have tremendous numerical growth–WHY? We aren’t good at growing vertically the people we already have–so why do we want to grow horizontally? We’re like architects who keep adding additions to a house without having any furniture to put in the rooms.
Day #191: Many local churches around the U.S. are consciously or subconsciously avoiding taking stands on controversial issues that are deemed to be unattached to salvation in order to introduce Jesus to non-believers “through the back door” and, once/if they are saved, introduce them then to the more controversial beliefs of Christ…This is dangerous indeed and not at all what Jesus did.
Day #192: What does the number 7 smell like?
What does the color blue taste like?
How does it feel to touch a sunset?
These and many other questions will be answered in heaven…be there! Jesus will show you the way…
Day #193:Desire heaven? Jesus desires to chaffeur you there Himself!
Evangelism and Social Media
Day #194: In our new age of 30 second sound bites and 140 character Tweets,
certain topics simply cannot be discussed adequately in such a short space.
This is an important lesson for us who utilize social media
as one way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Obedience To and Blessing From God
Day #195: Please be wary of those who tell you that your obedience to God leads to more material blessing from God. God Almighty wants to give you more than toys; He wants to give you Himself, His Holy Spirit! When we desire trinkets we’re settling for crumbs when a feast is offered to us.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good GIFTS to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give THE HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 NIV emphasis added)
Remembering What God Has Done
Day #196: Remembering/reminiscing on great events of the past enables us to kind of relive them and be blessed again by them–thus a synonym for this is “re-collecting” (gathering again). No wonder the LORD wants us to not forget His great deeds of the past. Let’s gather them again today.
Friendship With God
Day #197: What does it mean to be “in your prime?” Certainly not numerical youth or physical prowess/health. Rather, Biblical “prime” is to have a deep/personal friendship with God. That’s why forgiven followers of Jesus will be “forever young” in heaven.
Day #198: Ancient of Days, please help us today to
-worship You as we work;
-praise You as we play;
-love You and others as we labor;
-rejoice in You as we rest;
-submit to You as we stumble;
-acknowledge You as we achieve;
-surrender to You as we suffer;
-focus on You as we fidget;
-look ahead to You as we laugh;
-pursue You as we plan;
-confess to You as we convalesce;
-fix our eyes on You as we forgive;
-have joy in You as we journey.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Day #199: 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.
Obedience to God
Day #200: 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.
Day #201: Sing Jesus with your words, beliefs, thoughts, plans, and actions;
don’t merely lip-sync with your lips.
Day #202: 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.
Day #203: 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?
What We Believe About God Matters
Day #204: 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 named 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”).
Day #205: 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.
Day #206: People who stay in the middle of the road of life tend to get in a lot of head-on collisions.
Day #207: God Is Nowhere. God Is Now Here.
What’s your perspective, what’s your choice? I choose the latter.
Day #208: 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!
Day #209: 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.
Maturing In Christ…
Day #210: Water He turned into wine; He is also turning my daily whine into praise for Him!
Evidence Of God
Day #211: God 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?
Day #212: 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.
Faith & Obedience
Day #213: There is an obedience to God that comes FROM faith in Him, that blossoms and grows AFTER we put our trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins (romans 1:5). God literally gives us grace (unearnable help) to accept His invitation (His call) to THIS KIND of obedience. The obedience to God that comes FROM faith in Him is an obedience that exists to thank Him for His unearnable forgiveness; often times the obedience that comes BEFORE faith exists to try to earn His forgiveness.
Day #214: It’s appropriate that the benches/seats in churches are called “pews.” Just like Jesus did/does, we are called to wade into the stink of this life and sacrificially put the needs of others ahead of our own regardless of whether they deserve it or not.
Day #215: God’s laws/rules in the Bible are more than mere directives on how to live; they are the projection of His character–they are Who He is and how He lives each day throughout the universe.
When a Christian decides to ignore certain parts of God’s law, the Christian is sitting in direct judgment not of God’s rules, but of His character, His Person, His integrity.
Like a husband saying to his wife, “You are beautiful, honey, except your ears are ugly and your nose is dreadful. I’m going to simply pretend they’re not there each day, but other than that you are gorgeous!”
How would the wife respond? How much more does it hurt and disrespect the God Who made us, sustains us, and died for us? Beliefs matter…
God’s Dreams, God’s Plans
Day #216: From birth many may have asked you about your dreams for your life.
But have you ever asked God about HIS dreams for your life?
Day #217: There is a profound difference
between being an American Christian and a Biblical Christian.
Which do you want to be?
Day #218: The truest wealth of life really does consist in the relationships we have—with God, family, friends, and even strangers—and not merely in the possessions that we collect. I really believe that if I am conscious as my earthly life begins to fade, I will be thinking not about the trophies I accumulated but rather about the God and people I have loved. People over products, people over programs, people over profits, always and forever…
Day #219: A five pound brick sinks in water because its weight is concentrated/isolated;
a 300,000 TON ship floats because its weight is spread out.
Share the weight you are carrying with Jesus and with others–don’t concentrate it in your mind but spread it out amongst those who love you. This will keep you from sinking…
Jesus Is The ONLY Way To Heaven
Day #220: Why would anyone go through the pain of donating a kidney to a sick person
if the sick person could be healed in a simpler way?
Why would Jesus have suffered on the Cross if there was another way for humans to be offered forgiveness and eternal life with God? Christ even asked God humbly if another such option were available.
It is vitally important for Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. To believe otherwise mocks the Cross, devalues His suffering on our behalf, and paints the Father as a wanton inflictor of unnecessary punishment.
Day #221: Gwyneth Paltrow was recently named People magazines most beautiful woman in the world. Very few would argue that she is not a portrait of earthly, external beauty.
The links below contain portraits of Biblical, internal beauty.
Which would you rather have? Which do you think will last longer?
The Peace Of God
Day #222: The calmest place in a hurricane is in its center.
Justice/Defending The Defenseless
Day #223: Jesus said to turn the other cheek when people wrong you; He didn’t say to remain silent/”turn the other voice” when others are wronged. Let’s relentlessly shine the light of Jesus’ Truth and love into the darkest corners of this world, let us do everything we can to unlock the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical chains of those who suffer.
Life On Earth
Day #224: For those who have accepted the death of Jesus as the forgiveness for their sins,
our time on earth is our victory lap.
Truly Loving Others
Day #225: Do you love your Mom (or anyone, for that matter)?
Then treat her in good/honoring/sacrificial ways that she doesn’t deserve.
That’s what it means to Biblically love. Love isn’t an adjective; it’s a verb.
Day #226: When is the last time you loved someone so that it
Anything short of the above is merely liking someone, not actually loving them…
Day #227: God gave The Book TO US during our earthly lives
so we could avoid having The Book THROWN AT US after our earthly lives…
Day #228: The crumbs in the couch cushions of heaven will make the feasts of earth seem like gruel.
The Body Of Christ
Day #229: God uses hearts and brains among His church, His people, His body: hearts provide the cushioning cartilage of care between the structural bones of corporate administration.
Day #230: ForGIVEness is a gift that is freely given away; it’s not taken and certainly not unconsciously/accidentally applied. It is a choice we make, not a feeling we necessarily feel. Let’s pass it out today…
Feeling Sorry For Ourselves
Day #231: Self-PITy is truly a pit…when our problems are staring us down let’s focus up on the suffering Jesus endured for us at the hands of other sinners like us.
New Life In Christ Jesus
Day #232: God wants to bring us back to life & grow us
up (friendship w/Him),
down (strongly rooted in Him) &
sideways (loving all others sacrificially).
Will you let Him defibrillate your soul today through faith in Jesus Christ?
Day #233: We are often challenged these days, but not changed; we are convicted, but not converted (Vance Havner). We are morally re-positioned, but not spiritually re-born. Jesus did not come to adjust our ethics but to raise us from the dead (SoulSpartan).
Day #234: As I numerically age, my body is getting stiffer
but my heart is getting softer in the hands of the Great Potter.
Day #235: At one time I only had facts about Jesus, I didn’t have a forgiven friendship with Jesus.
Faith In The Unseen
Day #236: There’s more to love than just the biological hormones released in the brain;
There’s more to laughter than just the sound waves created;
There’s more to this life than what we can analyze in a laboratory;
Jesus–seek Him, receive Him, know Him, love Him, follow Him, trust Him.
Like Porsche, accept no substitutes.
Jesus Is the WORD of God
Day #237: Its much better to go on runs than to get the runs.
The right word makes all the difference.
Jesus is The Word of God–will you let Him make the difference for you?
Day #238: O God, may the bootcamp of our doubts train us to be pilots in Your Prayer Force. In Jesus’ name we ask this, amen…
Day #239: Leader is a term that gets many people’s blood flowing, adrenaline pumping, grin widening, and ego expanding. Servant is the term that should sober us and bring us back to reality. Leader is a theological swear word…
Day #240: Jesus is not my homeboy; He is my friend and Savior, but He is also my Judge and my God, my King and my Owner, my Boss and my Monarch. Let’s not get so comfortable in the House of God/with the love of God that we trample His carpet with muddy shoes, that we carelessly/nonchalantly kick our dirty feet up on His furniture, that we toss Him around like last year’s now-obsolete IPhone. He loves us just the way we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us just the way we are. He is patient and will train us to submit to Him, but submit to Him we must if we are to become who He made us to be, if we are to bear fruit for Him in this world, if we are to have any crowns of thanksgiving to lay at His feet once we enter heaven.
Day #241: Let’s connect with/love non-Christians in the hope of helping them move to connect forever with Christ and his love instead of directly/indirectly encouraging them to feel comfortable staying where they are, separated from Him. Let’s invite non-Christians into Jesus’ family instead of helping them be happy/fulfilled orphans. Let’s attract non-Christians to take up an eternal residence in the house of God instead of trying to make them as satisfied as possible in their spiritual homelessness.
Day #242: How have I put the needs of others before my own today?
How can I treat others the rest of today so that I give off the aroma of Jesus?
How can I introduce others to God through my words and actions?
Day #243: I’m not better, more important, more deserving or more special than non-Christians. I’m just forgiven and being newly re-made from the inside out…and I want you to get in on this too.
Day #244:I don’t want to win a debate w/you…I want you to win eternal life w/Jesus. That’s all.
Day #245: It’s time for revival…and believe it or not it starts with God’s people–Christ-ones–repenting of OUR SINS and walking away from the unfaithful aspects of OUR LIFESTYLES before we ask non-believers to do the same. Revival starts with us followers of Jesus being willing to humble ourselves to stop living a 21st century American version of Christianity and to start living a 1st century Biblical version of it.
Methods Are Important Too
Day #246: Even when the message of our words is wise, the tone we use to deliver them is vitally important. Like a nurse injecting a healing inoculation with a serrated needle are truthful words with a rude tone.
Day #247: While Satan can’t steal our salvation he can limit our effectiveness—we often do not like admitting that there is an enemy out there who opposes those who love Jesus. We go out as sheep among wolves each day but never seem to bring the tools/armor God has given us because to do so would be to show that we actually believe that the devil and demons exist, and what would our friends think of us if they knew we believed in demons?
Say No To Sin And Yes To Righteousness
Day #248: I would rather remember than not forget, I would rather love than not hate, I would rather be generous than not greedy, I would rather be a peace-maker than not a war-starter, I would rather be a builder than not a destroyer.
The positive commands of God (“you shall”) are much more difficult–but more rewarding/impactful–than the negative commands of God (“you shall not”). Both are important, but God’s negative commands often are intended to eventually point us/lead us to His positive commands.
Day #249: Scripture needs to be used to interpret other parts of Scripture,
just as high-powered microscopes are used to create prescription reading glasses.
Day #250: May we worship You, Yahweh, not Your gifts.
Change our desires, protect our wants, guard our urges.
Keep us sober in a hallucinating world of temporary mirages.
Help us to be humble in any success you give us.
Sanctification (Becoming Like Jesus)
Day #251: God can play beautiful music through broken instruments…will you let Him?
Day #252: God doesn’t rehab houses (human hearts) to flip/sell them for a profit.
He renovates us to live in us, personally & forever.
Day #253: Of course born-again followers of Jesus still sin;
we are wobbly in our new life like a freshly-birthed gazelle on gangly legs.
But just wait…until the Holy Spirit teaches us to leap & dance across the savannas of this world
for His sheer delight and for the increase of His fame!
Knowing God By Reading the Bible Consistently
Day #254: Let’s not get lazy/comfortable in growing closer to God; like people who ferociously dig deeper because they continue to find more gold hidden gems…let us continue to dig through the Bible to learn more about the character of God.
Evangelism (Telling/Showing Others About God’s Greatness)
Day #255: Psalm 145:4-7 says that God’s people will
His mighty acts of love/power.
How do you do this each day?
Day #256: Jesus gave all of Himself so that we could receive all of Him
(not just so we could learn how to be better people).
Let’s receive Him first and then give give give Him to everyone
through our words, thoughts, plans, and actions!
The Gentleness of Jesus
Day #257: As the weather disobeys the calendar’s declaration of Spring’s arrival,
let’s soak in a powerful song that reminds us that Jesus came to earth like a winter snow:
Living “All Out” For Jesus Each Day
Day #258: Race cars get re-tired to keep racing, not to get parked in a garage forever.
Human retirement is just another pit stop before your next lap begins. Life…get in it.
Day #259: God often asks people to do the “what”
(love/forgive others, share when you have so little, trust Him when we’re so afraid, etc.);
it’s His job, however, to take care of the “how”
(how will we have enough money to be generous, how will we have enough knowledge to lead a Bible study, how will we have enough time to invest in others, etc.).
Obey the “What” of God; trust Him to provide the “How.”
Day #260: Thank You for dying for us, Jesus; teach us to live for You…
God Is QUICK To Forgive!
Day #261: Look how God responds to us
when we apologize to Him for the bad choices we have made!
Run toward God, not away from Him!
Jesus’ Offers You Real Life
Day #262: Thirsty for real life?
Dehydrated by trials?
Continue to obey Jesus each day and trust Yahweh’s promise in Jeremiah 31:25 NIV:
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Day #263: Forgetting who you are—or could be—as a child of God through faith in Jesus?
Day #264: Belief in individual Bible doctrines does indeed matter: the crowds loved Jesus until He started teaching about needing to eat His flesh to have eternal life (John 6:60, 66). Once He taught this, nearly everyone walked away from Jesus over this one point even though they liked everything else about Him. Jesus offers His entire Person (not bits and pieces of Himself) to us. If we remove the parts of Jesus’ teaching we don’t like (e.g. His arms and legs), how can He hang on the Cross to forgive our sins?
Obedience To God
Day #265: THIRTY TIMES in the Bible God talks about the importance of humans making decisions according to what is right in the eyes of the LORD, not according to the opinions of humans. We don’t always have to agree with God, but we are expected to obey Him.
God’s Will and Purpose—He Is In Control!
Day #266: Coincidence will not be in heaven’s dictionary…
Day #267: Stressing over life doesn’t mean we care more,
and being light-hearted doesn’t mean we care less.
Rather, being care-free in Christ means we hand others a steaming mug of delicious tea
while realizing we aren’t white-knuckling the handle anymore.
Day #268: I daily feel like I’m walking on steel beams from the top of one skyscraper to another:
Jesus is with me the whole way out in front saying,
“Don’t look down, keep walking, focus your eyes on Me.”
Day #269: It’s interesting that
combining the two main responsibilities of one’s earthly life creates a Cross:
1. Vertical Responsibility: Knowing, Loving, Worshiping, Obeying, Trusting, Serving&Enjoying God;
2. Horizontal Responsibility: Sacrificially Serving and Loving All Other People.
Pursuing God…and Accepting/Receiving Him
Day #270: Those who do not spend eternity in heaven with Jesus
never chose to truly seek Him while they were on earth;
if they had truly sought/pursued Him, they would have found Him.
What an amazing guarantee.
Will you take advantage of it today?
Day #271: At the end of the day, each of us will make our own choice to put the trust of our lives/eternity in someone or something. I have chosen Jesus Christ. I may not be able to convince everyone that His symphony is the truest music, but I will continue to play His melody for all to hear in the hopes that some will accept Him as their Conductor.
Day #272: Jesus Christ is the only person in history to ever be truly alone.
He allowed Himself to be temporarily but utterly abandoned by God the Father
so we would have the opportunity to forever be with Him.
Sweet deal for us…if we accept Him.
True Faith In Jesus…
Day #273: Merely placing Jesus neatly on the shelf of the mind
is no different than keeping a rabbit’s foot in the fold of a pocket.
Christ is God and is thus meant to be obeyed; He is not a charm that is meant to be used.
Day #274: It’s not enough just to have a key to your house on a cold evening;
you also need to put the key in the lock, open the door, and enter…
…Similarly, it’s not enough to simply “find Jesus” (that is, to just believe in Him abstactly);
He also needs to be received/surrendered to.
Focusing On Jesus
Day #275: Discouraged? Weary? Dragging? Soak in, think about, chew on, discuss with others, journal on, sing about, marvel at, analyze, and constantly focus on the mistreatment Jesus endured on your behalf. He is the emotional balm for the inflammation of your mind/soul.
Day #276: Let’s beware of relying on feelings too much. There is nothing wrong with feelings; but let’s not put too much weight on them, using them to make life-changing decisions. There will be times when God “feels” far away, when He “feels” to have abandoned us, when He “feels” as if He doesn’t exist. We WILL FEEL LIKE THIS at some point(s) in our lives: just don’t give up on Jesus. Push through these feelings—God is always there, and everything we have learned about God in the Bible at home & church is true, whether we feel it or not (as you read these words you cannot FEEL the electrical currents running through your brain, allowing it to function and keep you alive. But that electricity is there!). There will come a time in heaven when we will see Jesus face to face and we won’t have to have the type of faith we have on earth; until that glorious day, continue to trust and follow Jesus, even when it feels difficult.
Day #277: Jesus wins (and so do all who hope in Him). No matter how hopeless life appears, He wins. Everything we endure for Him is worth it. Trust in Him and you WILL see Jesus’ face someday and hear Him say, “Well done, my beloved. Enter into your Master’s happiness.”
Day #278: The circumstances of life cannot change the character of God any more than a bruise on your arm can change your dna:
Day #279: Many of us have “stained-glass” images of God: stained because they have been tainted by some of our sufferings in this world, and glass because they are fragile and can’t handle our sufferings…
…May we have the courage to ask Jesus to shatter our “stained-glass” images of God and to show us Who He really is, pure (good) and strong (reliable)…
Day #280: The straw might have broken the camel’s back, but Jesus has YOUR back, my friends…
…never forget that we are NEVER alone.
Day #281: God’s job is not to give us more so we’ll be happy;
our job is to learn to be happy more with what God has already given us.
Evidence of God In Nature
Day #282: So thankful for those late winter/early spring mornings when you walk outside and, instead of getting smacked with an icy blast of stinging wind, you get wrapped in the cashmere embrace of a mild breeze.
Day #283: I love it how kids ask you to chase them, scream with joy when you start after them, wait for you to catch up if they get far ahead of you, tell you to stop right when you catch them/start tickling them, and then the moment you stop, they ask you to “do it again.” J
Shining For Jesus
Day #284:Light bulbs are designed to burn brightly—to display their designated wattage—
regardless of the lamp they’re placed in…
…Similarly, God wants us to shine for Him wherever He has placed us and whatever we are going through—whether we like it or not. We might not like the shape, style, color, or size of the lamp, but we cannot let that dim our glow.
Day #285: I don’t want to just tell people facts about Jesus, I want to introduce them to Him. I want to give off the aroma of Christ everywhere I go. Whether people agree with my beliefs or not, I want them at least to say about me, “He certainly loves Jesus, he clearly loves me, and he shows me that Jesus loves me too.”
Day #286: You might not be able to control the size of your feet, but you do control the imprint they leave behind you…
Day #287: God does not mature us in His Son to eventually send us off on our own (as earthly parents do their children, to help prepare them to live after the parents have passed away) – rather, He matures us, refines us & grows us to become even more dependent on Him…this turns out to help us experience true freedom, real life, and lasting joy…
Day #288: The official “uniform” of a follower of Jesus should simply be wrapping ourselves head-to-toe in mirrors so that we can walk around reflecting the love and grace and Truth of Jesus…
Day #289: You might not be able to change people’s entire lives,
but you can change a moment of their lives…start now…
Day #290: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15 NIV).
How can that verse be true?
How can the death of God’s people be so beautiful to Him when it’s often so painful for us?
Just as parents celebrate the end of the nine month gestation/pregnancy period because its end enables the child to be born, so the end of our 20/50/80+ year earthly period is simultaneously the beginning our eternal life with God face-to-face. That is why the death of His people is precious to Him; He desires for us to know Him more deeply than we ever could on earth.
Heaven and Hell
Day #291:The flatulence of heaven and wisdom is sweeter than the fragrance of hell and sin.
On Judging Wisely…
Day #292:Be careful when putting coal in others’ stockings;
your hands become dirty in the process…
On Blessing Those Who Hurt You…
Day #293: Give people the good they don’t deserve; as they continually supply you with painful reasons to bless them, everyday can become a Christmas with you in the role of Santa Claus…
Day #294: When our love for others grows cold, the problem isn’t with them…it’s with us. ”Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” (Jesus. Matthew 24:12). Lord Jesus, please teach us how to love others as You love us!
Day #295: Those who open their hearts to others for community/connection are also the most sensitive to the slightest bump. Let’s not be surprised that these go hand-in-hand and let’s not try to have one without the other, like enjoying the beach but complaining about the sand, or eating a great burger but lamenting the calories. Handle humans gently; they’re masterpieces without the protection of velvet ropes…
Day #296:Let’s not criticize the butterfly for having fragile wings,
let’s celebrate that God created it to soar through the heavens on upturned palms of air…
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 NLT
Day #297:The next time we apologize for emotionally wounding someone with our words, let’s remember not to also add, ”But you’re being too sensitive.” We don’t blame the face for bruising when it is hit, so let’s not blame the person we hurt for feeling pain. The wounds of speech go deeper and heal more slowly than the wounds of spears…
Day #298: Never let the cogs of policy crush the countenance [appearance/expression] of people…
Day #299: Apologies don’t heal bruises. It takes a second to shatter a glass and painstaking hours to piece it back together. Forgiveness is a lifestyle not a moment, a choice not a feeling. Jesus, please help us to live out forgiveness…
Day #300:Christians’ true freedom comes from Christ, not any earthly/government laws. It should come as no surprise that Christians get hurt/mistreated by some (or that our rights in the U.S. are slowly being tightened as if in a noose); the entire New Testament is filled with the lives of Jesus-followers who were abused. Jesus tells His people to expect mistreatment and to not be surprised by it. Our job is not to avoid mistreatment (or fight back revengefully against it) but to love/pray for/bless those who hurt us. Once we are in heaven we will have all eternity to be filled with constant joy/peace. For now, we are to suffer for Jesus by loving those who hurt us.
Day #301: Typically, when a person redeems a coupon they trade in something of lower value (coupon/slip of paper) for something of greater value (prize/reward).
When God the Father redeems (forgives) sinful humans, He traded in Someone of supreme value (His Son Jesus) for someone of much lesser value (people who ask for His forgiveness).
GOD IS AMAZING!
Holiness/Living “Set Apart” from the World…
Day #302:What if by working so hard to connect with this generation/culture
(in order to share the grace/truth of Jesus)
we have become indistinguishable from/totally blended into this generation/culture?
The Power of Words…
Day #303:The difference between “words” and “swords” is merely an “s”, one small squiggly line. Let’s choose to use our words to build others up and not tear them down.
Day #304: We often are willing to deepen our friendship with God using only processed/”boxed” ingredients; He is satisfied alone in strengthening His relationship with us by taking the time to make everything from scratch…
Day #305:We are often looking to microwave our friendship with God;
He is constantly looking to Crock-Pot His relationship with us…
On Fulfilling God’s Mission For Us On Earth
Day #306:Some have rightfully (though often sarcastically) asked,
“If you Christians are so sure you’re going to heaven, why not end it all now and go there today!?”
We often might want to take such a course, but we don’t because our role is now to pass out His invitations to all who have been invited, to all those loved unconditionally by God.
We live out our terms on earth in deep spiritual thirst (though heaven’s waters are always just a moment away) because we are to pass out cups of His Living Water to other souls more desperately in need than ourselves (I say others are more in need not because they are worse sinners than us but because their dehydration is so deep that they don’t yet even realize how thirsty they are):
-we are weary marathon runners handing out water to those jeering on the sideline;
-we are bullet-riddled soldiers polishing the boots of our enemies;
-we are homeless nomads building palaces for those living in mansions;
-we are famished waiters/waitresses serving the Bread of Life to those in need.
We will also sit down at the Feast, but not until all those invited have eaten first. The restaurant staff eats only after the customers have had their fill and the doors have closed for the night…
Let’s taste and see that the LORD is good, and then let’s invite others to the Banquet with some “buy none get one free” coupons…
On True Freedom (Living As Slaves Of God Or Slaves Of Our Desires)
Day #307:Freedom (from God) can itself be a type of bondage: the temporary nature of sin forces us to continue pushing the envelope with greater risks for diminishing results (less pleasure). We are thus like greyhounds kept in cages and released to chase a rabbit we cannot catch and would not enjoy even if we could.
Day #308:On the other hand and in keeping with yesterday’s greyhound analogy, God invites us to be His family’s treasured pet with full-run of the house and property within the reasonable and generous confines of an invisible protective electric fence.
Happiness And Joy
Day #309:Happiness is a pleasurable feeling based on outer circumstances;
it is by nature changeable and as difficult to grasp/hold as a handful of water.
Joy, on the other hand, is a pleasurable knowledge based on inner trust in cosmic Truth;
it is by nature unchangeable & can become as much an inseparable part of us as our fingerprints & dna.
Day #310:God attracts us to digest the meal of eternal joy through the scent of temporary happiness.
God Is Always With Us
Day #311:The crisp cool breeze against my freshly shaved face
reminds me that God provides balm for the burns of this life.
Why Are We Here? To Worship God And Enjoy Him Forever…
Day #312:“In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled,
only plenteousness [abundance] that desires to give” (CS Lewis).
This is precisely why God made humans: He wanted to make a creature similar to Himself (in many ways) who would be able to enjoy Him forever. God made us so He could share Himself with us, like a world class chef creating hungry customers simply so they could enjoy a free five star meal that never ends.
Let Go And Let God…
Day #313:For many years I have struggled with the phrase, “Let go and let God,” mainly because I have understood its message to simply be, “Stop caring [being invested in] the outcome of whatever/whomever you are worried about—that’s the only way to be safe/protect your heart.”
But that is not in fact what the phrase means. By “letting go and letting God,” we are not to stop caring, but rather, to start trusting that God cares more about that person/situation than we do.
We are not to “let go” by ceasing to actively love someone, but rather by realizing that God actively loves them more than we ever will (and thus to allow that knowledge of God’s greater activity and love to stop us from thinking that our effort is necessary for the outcome that we desire).
In other words, to “let go and let God” is not to stop flying towards the destination, but instead to stop flapping our wings and to start soaring on the currents of air that God provides for us…
On God Adopting Us Into His Family
Day #314:One rightfully earns a diploma for past work and accomplishment.
On the other hand, one receives a job/title for the hope/expectation of future achievement without any past or present evidence of tangible success in the specific role itself.
Becoming a Christian, therefore, is not like earning a diploma (there is NOTHING in our past that deserves such an honor!) but rather like receiving a promotion: our Divine Employer teaches us over time how to become in practice that which we already are in name…
Being IN the World But Not OF the World
Day #315:A natural, unforced and subconscious eccentricity can be a very good thing, for it is only when we are out of step with the ways of this world that we can march to the beat of the God of heaven…
Who Is Jesus?
Day #316: Jesus is the Key that can unlock the door to the Realm our souls involuntarily yearn for;
Jesus is the Lock that can bar the way to that Place that our minds are unconsciously scared of;
Jesus is the Aloe that can soothe the burns of this life;
Jesus is the initial Sting that can help us to avoid even worse pain thereafter;
Jesus is the Hope that can carry us through our suffering;
Jesus is the Guide that can lead us into suffering;
Jesus is the Savior that can pay for all of our sins;
Jesus is the Judge that will render our final verdict;
Jesus is the Defense Attorney that can get us acquitted;
Jesus is the Prosecutor that can get us convicted;
Jesus is the Relief that can forgive us of our sins;
Jesus is the Warning that cautions us to “sin no more”;
Jesus is…whether or not we trust in Him;
Jesus can…only if we trust in Him…
Sanctification (Becoming More Like Jesus)
Day #317:The most unique aspect of our sanctification (i.e. growing to be more like Jesus) is that we are “living sacrifices”; at any moment we are able (free will) to get up off the operating table. Ah, but the healing that awaits those who don’t…
Perspective—Half-Full or Half-Empty?
Day #318:It’s amazing
How many people
Over being of limited means
When they ought to
Day #319:Earthly death often seems “unreal,” as if the person might appear around the corner at any moment. This “unrealness” of death is a sign that we truly loved someone deeply—their aroma clings to our mind/heart as to a favorite oft-worn article of clothing.
Day #320: Leaves are skating down to the ground on rinks of wind outside of my second story window, doing tight triple-axles the entire distance…God is amazing!
Day #321: As the floods of life threaten to surround and submerge us, daily thanksgiving to God is one of the prime sump-pumps keeping our heads above water…
God Loves Variety
Day #322:Such a unique blessing to hear so many different languages being spoken last week at Disney. God delights in the variety of humans He has made!
Other People Are Not The Enemy
Day #323: I’m on the verge of tears whenever a defensive football player makes a great play and then helps up & pats on the butt the player on the opposing team that he just tackled.
Loving God and Loving Others
Day #324:To love God is to make His dreams more important than your own (and to do all that you can to make His dreams a reality); to love others is to make their needs more important than your own (and to do all that you can to appropriately meet those needs). Let’s roll!
Philippians 2:3-4 NLT
God’s Presence In Nature
Day #325: I can’t tell that it’s raining this morning by looking at the sky or at the rain…but only by looking at the splashes in the puddles. Similarly, if we stare at the clouds (e.g. our problems) to see God’s face He is often hidden from us, but if we look at what He is doing through His people around the world, we see His foot/fingerprints everywhere…
The Holy Spirit
Day #326: Holy Spirit, please help me to take off the burlap of despair/worry
and put on Your cashmere of praising/worshiping/thanking You,
regardless of what is happening in my life…
Day #327:Holy Spirit, please help me to walk with you each day as Enoch did. Help me not just to accomplish for You; help me to walk with You, savoring You as a blooming lilac, sipping You as a warm mug of tea, listening to You as wind through trees. Help me not to gulp You on the run…
Day #328: Powerboats leave wakes—waves that affect other boats.
As you navigate the waters of life each day, what kind of wakes are you leaving behind?
Ones that lift others up or ones that push them down?
Stillness/Quietness Before God
Day #329:The sound of the wind through leafy trees is God saying,
“Ssssssshhhhhhh. Listen. I have some things to say to you…”
Integrity/How You Play The Game
Day #330:My dad taught me how to play golf. Doesn’t seem like much if you look at my scores. Yet more than how to hit, he taught me how to play. He taught me to count every stroke, to call penalties on myself (not wait for others to catch me), to leave bad shots in the past & to never quit.
Preaching/Teaching the Bible
Day #331: All I want to do every moment of the day is teach from God’s Word…and this not from me because on my own I would simply pursue my own desires…what a deep/powerful thirst…
Justification and Sanctification
Day #332: I am SO a work in progress: last night I got very angry at God b/c I was about to use all my letters in Scrabble to spell REQUESTS but my anonymous online opponent blocked me. Thank You for forgiving me, Jesus…
Day #333:Grumpy jerk to my family on Friday, spilling over a little into Saturday.
Thankfully both God and my family are forgiving!
Day #334: Let God open you up and re-format the image of your soul from a TIFF (Totally Inwardly Foremost Focused) to a JPEG (Jesus Praise Everywhere God).
Day #335:God doesn’t love us based on our character/virtue resume; He throws out our old list of past deeds and starts leading us in the creation of a new list (if we let Him), this time with His power and for the spread of His fame! Put your past in God’s shredder & start over w/Jesus TODAY!
God’s Goodness To Us
Day #336: God shares. He offers, but does not force. He presents, displays, and advertises, but He doesn’t coerce. He dunks us for our good but does not drown us against our will. God gives…and gives…and gives…so we can become convinced that He is real, so we can become convinced that He is good, so we can become convinced that we need Him.
Day #337: Jesus didn’t have a “Last Board Meeting” with his closest friends the night before He was crucified; He had a “Last Supper”—a meal. Friendship matters, doing life with friends consistently, intentionally, and deeply matters even more. Life: get in it.
Living for Jesus
Day #338: May the LORD work miracles thru us His people in our neighborhoods (& the surrounding communities as well!) as He worked through Moses in the Desert of Sinai nearly 4,000 years ago…Stand up and be counted, Jesus-people..
Really Knowing/Loving Other People
Day #339: 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…
Simple Living for Jesus
Day #340: 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.
Living God’s Way
Day #341: 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.
Living On God’s Power
Day #342: 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.
Rest In The LORD
Day #343: 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.
Day #344: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…
Day #345:Sin is a spiritual cataract clouding our vision of God’s presence & character in our lives.
Day #346:Imagine the pain of loving/devoted foster parents whose child says:
“I’ll do my chores–but not WITH them & not FOR them.”
That’s God’s pain from non-Christians doing good deeds.
He wants your heart before He wants your hands…
Day #347:Imagine the pain of loving/devoted foster parents whose child eats, sleeps, and enjoys the daily benefits of living in the house but never makes eye contact with the parents, never speaks to them, never acknowledges them, refuses to even believe the foster parents exist, and sometimes/often ridicules others for trying to help them believe in the foster parents. That is God’s daily pain over atheists. HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH!
Day #348:Flippantly sinning as a Christian is like using curse words during your testimony in a courtroom. Your witness may still be true/accurate but you’ll be held in contempt. Ruthlessly address your own sin: confess it and ask for help daily. A flashlight caked with mud is not able to shine brightly.
Day #349:Holy Spirit, please help my mood to be tethered,
not to my circumstances or others’ moods,
but to Your character.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Forgive and Forget?
Day #350:Holy Spirit, please delete our browser history of the wrongs done to us.
Refresh the web page of Your love in us & teach us to pour out Your free offer of forgiveness to others. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Day #351:When someone blesses you, a great thing to say is “Thank you!”
The BEST thing to say is “I’m praising God because of you!”
Waiting On God
Day #352:God often doesn’t give us what we want now–or on earth at all.
Just as weights increase our muscles, “waits” from God increase our faith in Him.
Day #353:Like the teacher who knows the definition but tells you to “look it up,”
God knows the answers to our questions but says the same to us.
Trials For New Christians
Day #354:A foot that has been “asleep” is difficult to walk on.
Similarly, a new Christian will face initial trials in their new life/walk with Jesus.
Having Tomorrow’s Perspective For Today
Day #355:Just as a coach in football, God ALWAYS values the long run over the short run.
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:11 NLT).
Gathering With Other Christ-Ones/Fellowship
Day #356:There are few things more exhilarating to my soul than meeting w/15-20 Christ-lovers
for dinner, Bible study, sharing each others’ lives & pursuing Jesus.
Day #357:Holy Spirit, today please comfort the troubled hearts/minds of Christians and non-Christians alike w/Your presence & love, the way David & his harp soothed the tormented King Saul. And please help us to use our “harps” to comfort others as well. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Fit Ourselves Around God (Not Vice Versa)
Day #358:Christians often get overwhelmed by Jesus’ commands because we’re often trying to fit faithfulness to the Lord into our plans instead of the other way around. Sometimes we simply need to take an eraser to our schedules and start from scratch.
Day #359:A good cry can be so therapeutic, cleansing and refreshing,
like a brief but heavy summer rain.
Day #360:The U.S. government has gotten so big because we Christians have allowed it–we arent doing what God has called us to do regarding service to the poor.
We Christians cant live in the Shire oblivious to the suffering around us.
If we wont go to the sufferers,God will bring the suffering to us!
Christ-ones! Leave your palace and embrace the suitcase!
Day #361:When sick with a cold, some powerful tools in God’s hands are
DayQuil, steaming chicken rice soup & fresh squeezed orange juice with pulp.
Day #362:While we are on earth, God has designed us to trust in Him through faith (i.e. not being able to experience Him via our five physical senses). In heaven, we will be designed/enabled to trust in God through seeing Him face to face, the reward of our earthly faith. Just as a math teacher helps a student to figure out a problem without a calculator in class (even though they will be able to use the calculator after graduation in the “real world”), so does God now help us to know Him without our five physical senses (even though we will be able to use those senses—and perhaps others!–once in heaven, the realest real world).
Day #363:Pastors: Do you step on your wife & kids to do “great” things for God?
You are clanging cymbals in His ears.
God Knows What We REALLY Want
Day #364:What if, instead of working so hard to get what we don’t have, we rest in the fact that:
1. God will provide it for us if He wants us to have it…and
2. If God doesn’t want us to have it, it would actually be worse for us to get it?
Knowing A Tree By Looking At Its Fruit
Day #365:We know we’ve stepped into a river’s current if it’s moving us.
If we’re not swept up in the flow/love of Jesus, maybe we’re still on the shore?
Our Schedules Reveal What Is Most Important To Us
Day #366:You don’t have time to recklessly follow Jesus and do what He made you to do?
Parents with full-time jobs train for and make the U.S. Olympic Team.
If we love/want something bad enough, we make time for it.
Thank you, loved ones…What a year!
Let’s march on together, loving Jesus and loving all others…