Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Lord, I am so human. As a Christ-follower, why do I play the game time and again when I know the results will always be the same: unnecessary anxiety. If there were such a thing, I would be an All-Pro player in the “What if” game. These turbulent times cause anxious folks to jump into the game.

“What if I lose my job?”

“What if my health fails?”

“What if the economy crashes and my family loses everything?”

“What if my prodigal loved one never straightens up and gets their act together?”

What if … What if … What if … on and on the game goes.

“Time out!” I hear Your Voice say. “Let me remind you again that I Am the Great I AM who meets all your needs.  You wanna play the ‘what if’ game? Okay, I’ll play with you.”

“What if I give you a better paying, more rewarding job than the one you lost?”

“What if I not only divinely heal your body, but also touch and strengthen you in your soul, and spirit?”

“What if I miraculously sustain and provide for you and your family even if the economy crashes?”

“What if I rescue your prodigal from the pit of destruction and transform him or her into a dynamic Christ-follower?”

“What if … What if … What if … I could go on and on, since I’m the Great I AM and have promised “to meet all your needs according to the riches of My glory in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:19.

“What if you just trust Me?”

Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, August 15, 2022

Lord, how did we get the idea that just because a person is mentioned

Lord, where did we get the misconception that the saints listed in Hebrews 11, the Bible’s so-called Saints Faith Hall of Fame, lived exemplary lives? After all, doesn’t Hebrews 11:6 state without faith it is impossible to please You, God? For those raised in church, perhaps our childhood memories of these biblical hero’s faith painted them as never-stumbling saints of unquestionable virtue. How could I ever measure up to their faith? I’m sure my name is listed in the Saints Hall of Flaws. That must pretty much eliminate me from being used in Your Kingdom, right Lord?

“Nonsense!” The Voice of Your Spirit grabs my attention. “You think you’re flawed? Except for Enoch, big-time flaws hampered each of these Hall of Famers. They make you look like Mother Teresa. Read their stories.”

So I read their stories.  Oh, my goodness! Who else do You have to work with here besides imperfect, ordinary people?  Despite their flaws and repeated failures in faith, You used Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, all of Your twelve apostles, and countless others to build Your Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. You label all who place their trust in You, Jesus, as saints, even though at times our actions are anything but saintly.

Help us, Lord, not to give up on ourselves to be used by You. There is a role for every saint in Your Kingdom, including me.

Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Friday, August 12, 2022

Lord, Your Word instructs us not to keep to ourselves our story how You transformed our heart and gave us a new life of redemption from sins by Your grace, (Psalm 107:2). People in this fallen world need to hear that You are the God who doesn’t just turn bad people into good people, but You are the God who takes the dead-on-the-inside and transforms them into a new, truly-alive-person-on-the-inside.

Each person You call Your unique masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). We are not all hardwired the same. Some You created as extroverts. We’ve seen them. They will talk to anyone, anywhere, and if no one is around, they’ll even strike up a conversation with a light pole. Others You created as introverts. Shy, and often withdrawn, they avoid talking with strangers . . . or light poles. Whether extrovert or introvert, all Christ-followers share a common theme: we are not the same since we experienced Jesus and God’s grace.

You have not made telling our story difficult. As Christ-followers, You speak to us on the inside, telling us when and with whom to share our story. We trust You will give us the right words as we do our part. Thankfully, You take the pressure off us since it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convince people You are who You say You are and will do what You say You will do. That’s something only You can do, Lord.

It is on You Jesus and in Your authority, amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Lord, the book of Proverbs contains several truths about revealing secrets (Proverbs 11:13; 20:19; 25:9). Our prayer is we can be trusted to keep a secret.  Things told in confidence will stay in confidence. But Scripture is clear what we are not to keep to ourselves:

Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies — Psalm 107:2

Whether we come to You, Lord, as one who led a clean, moral and decent life, or one who lived like the devil, as Christ-followers we have a story to tell. You forever redeemed us by Your grace and gave us a new life.  Gone is the old. We’re Christ-followers now, but for most, we still play an old game, “I’ve Got a Secret.”

Our personalities are unique. Some You hardwired as extroverts, others introverts. And because You made us this way, Your Spirit will lead us to people who need to hear our story. We do not need to have all the answers to theological questions they may ask, we just need to tell them that somehow, You changed us on the inside and we’re not the same. We have a hope we didn’t have before. We have a peace we can’t explain. And we’re just happier now that Jesus is in our life.

Jesus, help me to share my story of redemption with those who are seeking purpose and meaning in life, as I once was.  Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Lord, Scripture states Your faithful love endures forever (Psalm 107:1). Your love is eternal, without beginning and without end. Unlike human love, Your love is always accompanied with grace and mercy. Maybe another way of putting this truth is Your love “puts up” with us, fallen humanity. And, Lord, You sure put up with a lot.
Your faithful love puts up with the religious self-righteous who are quick to judge without mercy or compassion. They will be humbled to discover Your faithful love, mercy and grace when their great downfall occurs, which is sure to happen.

Your faithful love tenderly puts up with those poor souls whose lives are train-wrecked by addictions. Society rejects them, but Your faithful love, mercy, and grace reaches out to them to restore them to a meaningful life.

Your faithful love patiently puts up with those who deny You exist. When their world falls apart and they have nothing to hold on to, You reveal Your faithful love, mercy, and grace that transforms them into a Christ-follower. They cannot stop telling the world of Your life-changing reality.

And Your faithful love puts up with inconsistent Christ-followers who are all-in for You one day — You and me Jesus, all the way, — but are unfaithful the next, acting as if they never heard Your name before. Your enduring love humbles us and draws us into a deeper relationship with You. Without Your grace, we would be so miserable.

Thank You, Lord, for Your enduring faithful love. It sustains me. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, August 8, 2022

Lord, loved ones remind me not to forget my hearing aids. “Remember, there is a reason you need those,” they say. At least, I think that’s what they say.  The hearing aids reminder replaced the “don’t forget your cell phone” meme, which replaced the don’t forget to take your medicine which replaced . . . Well intentioned people remind me of things, of course, for my good.

However, there is another who reminds me, and all Christ-followers, of embarrassing past things. He is Satan, the “accuser” described in Revelation 12:10. He reminds us how imperfect and flawed we remain, and to prove it, he has a record of every incident where we failed You.  He browbeats all believers, lying that God is disappointed with us for our imperfections and weakness in faith. The devil’s megaphone is always blaring toward heaven every sin we have committed. However, the Apostle Paul agreed with the enemy about one thing: as a believer, Paul [me/you] had imperfections. He [me/you] has flaws.  But unlike Satan, Paul [me/you] knew God’s grace. Read his words:

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it [perfection], but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead — Philippians 3:13,

For Christ-followers, a humble and repentant attitude is a must. Lord, You don’t hold our sins against us (Psalm 103:12). When Satan points his finger at us, I can hear You ask, “What nonsense are you spouting now?”

“Forget the past,” You say. “If I don’t remember any of that, why should you?” (Romans 8:1)

Big AMEN, Jesus.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Lord, I woke up with a sinus headache. Right away I started whining how this would be a ‘stinking day.’ You wasted no time correcting me, reminding me it’s Your amazing grace that puts up with complainers like me.

“How can this be a stinking day when I woke you this morning to give you another chance to get this ‘life thing’ right?”

“How can this be a stinking day while I AM are still on My Throne, sovereignly ruling and reigning over all creation.”

“How can this be a stinking day when in My great love and grace, I sent Jesus to redeem you from the penalties of your sins? How can this be a stinking day when I have prepared a place for you here in Heaven with Me?”

“How can this be a stinking day when my promises for you and your family remain? Didn’t I place my Holy Spirit within you to be Your constant companion and guide you along the right path?”

“How can this be a stinking day when I’m right here, beside you? I promised never to leave you nor forsake you. Nothing created can ever separate you from My love. You know I could go on and on as to why there is never a stinking day, right? But let Me pause for a moment and let you mull over what I have said.”

Oh, Lord, forgive my grumbling when I’ve so much to be grateful for.

“And to top off this stinking day, I’ve prepared for you a spectacular sunset, one like never before. You’ll love it!”

I will Lord. Thank You. What headache?

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lord, King David tried but couldn’t shrug his shoulders to act as if disobedience was no big deal (2 Samuel 11,12) It is. Hidden, unconfessed sin changes people. His friends noticed. His worship became mechanical instead of heartfelt. Where did his confident, faith-filled personality go?  He alienated his closest friends and avoided those who stood by him during his most difficult years. Not only was this a dark time for David but was stressful for those around him, having to choose their words and actions carefully as not to set him off into a rage.

Sin destroys people on the inside. God’s Grace restores the soul.

David came to his senses. He described the happiness of his restoration.

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience has been forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!”

God’s love and grace overwhelmed his entire being—heart, soul, and spirit.

“Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleard of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty — Psalm 32:1,2.

Welcome home, David.

His friends saw the difference right away. They sensed David had been with God. With a contrite heart, David sought forgiveness from those harmed by his foolish, if not stupid, choices. Gone was the weight of hidden, unconfessed sin. God, You declared David righteous, his sins forever removed, and You promised never to mentioned them again.  

Maybe our sins are not the level of David’s. but sin changes people for the worse. Like David, confessing our sin allows Your Grace, Lord, to restore us, the fallen, back to You.

Welcome home, child.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Lord, one of Your great characteristics recorded in Psalm 103 stands out to many brokenhearted Christ-followers with loved ones living in rebellion against You. The psalmist wrote:

“But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who revere Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant …”

— Psalm 103:17,18

You are a loving heavenly Father who desires none to be lost. This Scripture reveals Your game plan for bringing our prodigal home to You. Of course, not all prodigals are wicked and living in debauchery. Most have just lost their way, not living by Your standards, As Christ-followers, our responsibility is to pray for their safety and that they will turn their hearts toward You. We must do this faithfully. As difficult as it may be, and as tempted as we are to hold on, help us release our control and allow You to do Your part. Faith says to “persevere in prayer” even though we cannot see success.  

Now — Your part, Lord. You state You will extend Your offer of salvation to not only our prodigal but their children as well. We must trust Your Spirit is reaching out to them, softening their hearts to offer them forgiveness of their sins and peace with You. Open their spiritual eyes to see who You really are and show them they can start over with a new life of purpose and meaning in You.

And show me where I need to be “hands off” to not interrupt Your work of grace that is bringing them home. Amen, Jesus.  

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Lord, how did this happen? I looked in the mirror this morning and saw a 75-year-old man. According to this observer, his salt-and-pepper hair appeared to be the only indicator he was in his twilight years. After all, Lord, didn’t You say You would “restore my youth as the eagle’s,” (Psalm 103: 5).

How surprisingly quick the years had flown by. Didn’t I just graduate from high school yesterday? How did 41 years of marriage go by like 41 minutes? Our girls grew up overnight and married fantastic men.

Reviewing the psalmist’s great blessing Psalm 103, maybe he too had a morning slap-in-the-face encounter with his age.

“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here.” — Psalm 103:15.16.

That phrase, “as though we had never been here” should be a wakeup call to all Christ-followers. Like the psalmist, we should ask ourselves how will we be remembered? What legacy will we leave? Beloved? Despised? Kindhearted or harsh? Selfless or self-centered? Christlike or jerk-like? What have we accomplished that changed our world?

Like the psalmist, I too have not always lived up to Your standards, Lord. But, because You know our hearts, and Your grace is sufficient for us, the psalmist could write this forever truth:

“But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear [revere] Him,” (Psalm 103:17).

Lord, help me live my life so I can change my world for You, and people will know I have been here. Amen