What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately XVIII…
Greetings My Friends~
As a humble pilgrim following Jesus through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life, I would like to humbly share some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately.
I pray that these thoughts are cushions in your shoes, balm to your burns, umbrellas for the rain, and shade to the scorching heat as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.
(November 1st–15th, 2013)
(Please click on the Bible chapter/verses below to read the actual Scriptural text)
God wont answer ALL our questions (Deuteronomy 29:29).
We shouldn’t stop asking/seeking answers
but remember that knowledge is a GIFT from Him (not a right).
King Solomon’s greatness was shown by the lavish gifts given to him (1 Kings 10:10);
Similarly, we show God’s greatness by lavishly giving Him ourselves daily.
What a humbling thrill,
exhausting duty &
to prepare sermons each week from the Bible.
I. A flower growing through a crack in an asphalt parking lot
reminds me of the pressure facing Jesus-people on earth & His power to carry us through.
II. We give special awe to athletes who finish games with uniforms that are
dirty with sweat, blood, rips & stains.
God does the same for His suffering servants.
III. What will it take for us to have great endurance & patience through all of life’s trials?
ALL the power of GOD’s glorious might (Colossians 1:11).
IV. Thats how hard life will be—we’ll need ALL of God’s power & might in/thru/with/around us:
Jesus was serious—”Apart from Me you can do NOTHING” (John 15:5).
V. God doesnt use make-up, air brushing, clothing, or cosmetic surgery to make HIS models…
…He uses joyful suffering (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7).
VI. God’s models don’t walk a runway, we walk a plank (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
VII. Yesterday, God calmed my inner storm (emotionally/spiritually I felt like the Philippines):
His angels are soothed me with Numbers 18:20.
VIII. Are your faith, strength, will, joy & peace bankrupt?
Don’t FILE chapter 11, READ Hebrews chapter 11:
it’s how God gets us back on our feet.
IX. God found Hagar ready to give up & asked her two questions:
“Where have you been
& where are you going?” (Genesis 16:7-8)
He asks us as well; HE has the answers!
Jesus-followers are often quick to see the sinful sawdust of non-Christians.
First we should see the optometrist for our own plank-amputation (Matthew 7:3-5).
I. Would you give the shirt off your back?
Jesus gave the back off His shirt: by His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53).
II. When you realize you are spiritually homeless/unemployed…
read “God’s Resume” and hire Jesus to be your Savior (please click HERE).
III. Though Jesus owned everything (Hebrews 1:2),
He owned nothing (Philippians 2:6-8);
though He had nothing (Matthew 8:20),
He had everything (John 17).
IV. Jesus is the WAY (how to live/Who to follow),
the TRUTH (what to believe/Who to believe in),
& the LIFE (real existence/Source of it)(John 14:6).
I. “God wants us to be GOOD, not goody-goody!” (Peter Marshall);
God doesnt want us to have a thin/plastic veneer of goodness
but rather to have real solid wood—solid GOOD! (Galatians 5:22)
II. Some of the fruits (proofs) of our faith in Jesus from 1 Thessalonians 1:
imitating mature Christians (v6);
joy in suffering (v6);
turning from idols (v9);
expecting Jesus’ return (v10).
III. David faced a more difficult giant after killing Goliath:
remembering that GOD won the victory, not David.
IV. I’m learning how to give 100% at work without fully emptying myself
so I still have mental/emotional/physical energy for my 2nd shift–serving my wife & kids.
Teach me, Lord JESUS!
V. Like a child wanting candy but needing veggies,
may we ask God to resurrect our spiritual tastebuds
so we can taste & see that He is good (Psalm 34:8).
Partnering With God
I. God wants us to participate WITH Him in EVERY GOOD WORK—
both public & private,
both miraculous & mundane,
both spontaneous & strategized.
As He reveals Himself to the world,
as He invites sinful humans into a forever & forgiven friendship with Him,
God has a part for each of us!!!
How amazing to be chosen personally by the Creator of the universe!
He prepared these roles—these good works—i n advance for each of us (Ephesians 2:10)…
…just like a coach draws up specific plays for specific players,
like a composer writes music for certain singers. WOW!
II. Old Testament priests served God AT His Temple;
New Testament Christians—the royal priesthood of believers–serve God AS His Temple. Wow.
Knowing God Personally
I. God isnt a cold cadaver to be clinically contemplated
but a living LORD to be lavishly loved!
He isnt just a philosophy to be pondered
but a faithful Father to be followed!
God invites us into Himself experientially (lived-out knowledge)
AND intellectually (propositional knowledge/Truth). WOW!
II. I cannot recommend this book enough; it’s soothing aloe to my sunburned soul:
“Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur (please click HERE).
III. Merely knowing facts about God
is different from personally knowing the Names of God that reveal those facts…
…just as knowing that a tow truck exists when you’re stranded is much different from
knowing the tow trucks phone number and actually calling it!
Let’s KNOW God, not just know OF God.
IV. Please click HERE to know the names of God and what they mean.
I. Words that aren’t in heaven’s dictionary: goodbye, coincidence, chance, gimme.
II. The retirement benefits that Jesus offers are to die for…
III. Jesus offers His eternal 401k benefits 4any1,k? 🙂
My wife needs me to support her call from God to be a homeschooling Mom
just as much as I need her to support my call from God to be a pastor.
I. Words are the checks of love;
actions are the cash in the bank account of love that make sure the checks don’t bounce
(1 Thessalonians 1:5b).
II. “You know of our concern for you FROM THE WAY WE LIVED when we were with you” (1 Thessalonians 1:5b NLT, my emphasis). Love God and others with words AND actions!
III. How are you SHOWING your love for God & others today?
“Faith produces WORK
Love prompts LABOR
Hope in Jesus inspires ENDURANCE” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
In 1 Peter 2:9, God uses four adjectives to describe those who have received Jesus as their Savior:
Are you living like the words above are true about YOU?
Jacob leaned on his staff & worshiped God (Hebrews 11:21).
When we worship the LORD we too can rest on HIS staff
(His constant guiding presence & unconditional love).
Faith & Doubt
I. To God, a weak faith is more desirable
than a well-developed and muscular doubt (Luke 17:5, Matthew 17:20, Psalm 51:17).
II. Cant hear God today?
Remember what He’s told you…
what you previously learned of His great love,
like withdrawing today from yesterday’s bank deposits.
I. Holy Spirit, please turn the persecutors in North Korea from Sauls to Pauls,
from those who kill Christians to those willing to die for Christ.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
II. Heavenly Father, please help us not to long for the past we once had
or the future we dream of having
but help us to be content now
with the future You promise that You are preparing for us.
III. Father, Son & Holy Spirit, we thank You for today
& invite You to be
the Leader of our laughter,
the Focus of our fun.
In Jesus’ name I pray,amen.
I. Sometimes face-to-face visits are best:
“I hope to visit you & talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 1:12).
I. Words can be the needle/syringe delivering the medicine of wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-2a).
Words can also be the fangs injecting the poison of lies.
Which will you choose?
II. In 1980 Mt. St.Helen’s caused much destruction because
it blew OUT horizontally, not UP vertically.
We similarly cause much damage to others when we blow out words of lava (James 3:1-12).