Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Monday, May 16, 2022

Lord, many whom You invite come to You despite knowing little about the things of God or what it means to be a Christ-follower. We didn’t fully understand everything about You, we just know You did something inside us that this corrupt world could never do. Even though we’re a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17), You still left us with free will and the power to choose. This should be stunning for all believers. You didn’t want robots, mindlessly following Your instructions—no questions asked. Instead, You trusted us to make the right choices exercising our new-found faith. New and seasoned believers make a choice every day—”what will my mind dwell on today?”

Colossians 3:1 instructs Christ-followers to set our minds not on the things of this world but on the “realities of Heaven.” Scripture urges believers to be aware of the events unfolding in the world, just don’t dwell on them 24/7. In Christ, our spiritual eyes are opened and we view the world differently than we did before. We set our minds on the “realities of Heaven” since those are eternal values. Heaven is where Christ is, reigning and ruling over the universe. These earthly troubles are temporal. They’ve been coming and going, provoking and irritating mankind since that ugly snake incident in the Garden of Eden.

There is a solution. Consistently choosing to think and meditate on the eternal amid the brokenness of this world builds mountain-moving faith and strengthens our endurance to persevere under the hardships we all face here.  

Lord Jesus, help me follow Scripture and set my thoughts on the eternal, on the realities of Heaven. The glories of Heaven greatly outshine the temporal junk in this fallen world. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Friday, May 13, 2022

Lord Jesus, when we place our trust in You to take away our sins, You give us a new life. We retain our same ole body, some of which are in excellent physical condition, while others, most likely a majority, keep our worn and out-of-shape body that even photoshopping won’t help. But that doesn’t matter—we’re not the same. Oh, our physical will eventually die, but our inside person, our spirit, is now truly alive, and will live forever. Without our saying a word, family, friends, co-workers, those in our sphere of influence, notice the difference in our tone, attitude, and demeanor. “What happened to you?” they wonder. Believers know. Others remain clueless.

The Apostle Paul addressed the choice the early believers encountered: Return to my former way of life, since I was comfortable, knowing what to do and what to expect? Or fully embrace following Jesus, not knowing where this new way of living might lead?

Was this choice of “to follow or not follow Jesus” only for the early believers? Really? I don’t think so. Paul’s encouragement to the Colossian believers carries the same impactful truth today.

“Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of Heaven . . .” (Colossians 3:1)

All who come to You, Jesus, face the same choice: Abandon the old way of living and follow You wholeheartedly, or return to the old ways. When we become a Christ-follower, some old habits, harmful addictions, or sinful activities try to hang on. Paul clarifies dilemma in that all who follow You are a work in progress. That includes me.

Lord, I’m far from perfect, but thankful I’m totally forgiven. And that is one of the realities of Heaven I can set my sight on. I have no regrets following You, Jesus.

Amen.

P.S. Aren’t you glad you made the right choice too!

Read Full Post »

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Lord, those who choose to follow You soon find living the life You deemed for us is not a cakewalk. Much happens in our world that is out of our control. As a Christ-follower, I’m often left facing uncertainties. Since the Apostle Paul also fought this daily struggle, he gave godly advice for believers as how to live as You designed: Use your power to choose. Addressing the Colossian believers, he started his checklist by urging them first to choose to “think about the things of Heaven, not the things of Earth” (Colossians 3:2)

The devil works in creative ways to distract our minds from You. When we choose to dwell on the endless supply of worrisome things in this world, the wars, famine, death, lies, government corruption, broken relationships, betrayals, et al., the devil is showcasing his wares.  But he also works overtime to get us worrying about our social status, or obsessing about material goods. Gotta have the latest do-dad to feel complete. Don’t forget the pleasures we deserve but religion forbids us. These are some of the devil’s best lies. Who wouldn’t get bummed out thinking about earthly things all day? I certainly would.

In contrast, when we choose to meditate on the inexpressible joys of Heaven, God’s Spirit strengthens our soul to endure the hardships of life as well as breathing peace to us in all circumstances. Thinking of the glories of Heaven that await us renews our spirit. Foremost, our Savior Jesus has secured our eternal place in Heaven with Him and our loved ones who have gone before us. Forever reunited with those so dear to us here, in our glorified bodies, never to suffer nor see pain ever again. Heartaches will no longer exist. Sin is forever defeated, bound in a fiery, eternal place of judgment, never to tempt us again.  We cannot imagine such heavenly sights and sounds that are beyond our description. And so much more than space allows here.

Lord, may these temporary problems of earth fade as we choose to focus our minds on You and our heavenly home. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Tuesday May 10, 2022

Lord, regardless how our actions go against Your Word and Your precepts, You never give up on us. Many live unaware they are living contrary to Your standards as they had no training as children in the knowledge of You or Your workings as Creator God. They may be decent, kind people of society but they were never taught how You change a person’s heart. Your Word in 1 Peter 1:3 states You specialize in opening the eyes of the spiritually blind to lead them into a new life.

Many of Your followers drift away due to life’s demands. Family, job, extracurricular activities—sometimes even church functions—vie for our attention and smother the quiet time we need. These folks still belong to You. Reading the 23rd Psalm, we’re reminded You’re their shepherd who specializes in leading us beside still waters to restore our soul.

Others intentionally turned their backs on You, spurning Your Word to live as ruler of their life. Eventually they find they cannot overrule Your law of “sowing and reaping,” and end up broken, their lives shattered from sowing bad seed.  As found in the opening words of Isaiah 61, You specialize in taking broken lives and making something beautiful and lasting.

No matter how broken we may be, God specializes in coming after us with His redeeming, unconditional love.

Read Full Post »

Monday, May 9, 2022

Lord, I jumped when I heard her voice. I didn’t know she was in the room, and had been listening the entire time. My bride and I were relaxing, watching TV and reading eBooks on our Kindles. A commercial came on demonstrating Alexa starting a car, and I commented how Alexa was now people’s “man Friday.” That’s when she spoke from my Kindle. “I couldn’t understand your request. Try again.” My wife snickered how I just now discovered this female voice inside my Kindle. She thought I had disabled Alexa years ago as she did.

Whoa! For years I’ve read my Kindle never knowing Alexa listened to every word, but lay quietly hidden within my digital device. Did Alexa hear me complain about the Cowboys? Uh huh. She most likely never understood my exuberance over A&M football. She probably rolled her eyes at my outrageous statements about politics. Perhaps she spit out her digital coffee at my jokes?

But if Alexa listens to every word I speak, how often does she hear me talking to You, Jesus? Does Alexa join me in prayer as I meditate on the Scriptures? Lord, I pray Alexa hears more words of faith than words from my carnal nature.  Are her digital hands raised as we praise and worship You?

You know my heart, my thoughts, my motives, my love for You, Lord. Your ever-present Holy Spirit knows all about me, my in’s and out’s. Alexa cannot comfort or strengthen me as You do. Alexa may be our “man Friday,” but only You, Lord Jesus, perform 2 Corinthians 5:17: You redeem us from sin, change our heart, and makes us a new creation.

Alexa, repeat after me: “Thank You, Jesus!” Amen

Read Full Post »

Friday, May 6, 2022

Lord, First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us how we can live joyfully in all circumstances, whether good or bad. How? By “making our life a prayer.” Misguided religious folks have made this mandate of a prayerful life way too complicated.

“You can’t go wrong using flash card prayers,” some advise. “That’s what they’re for.” Others suggest to “Find prayers on the Internet that religious leaders have written. Surely, they know how to get God’s attention.” The super spiritual claim God always answers prayers spoken in King James English, like Your disciples did.

Lord, is this what prayer is all about? Is that what You want? Hardly.

“Talk to me.” You say. “I won’t tune you out.” You delight in our ongoing conversations throughout the day. As You were with Your disciples, so You are with us. This broken world never runs out of challenges to test our patience and our faith daily. Most times it’s smooth sailing, but occasionally, a raging storm arises out of nowhere that threatens to sink us. Keeping our ongoing conversation with You energizes Your peace to calm our soul. Your presence makes giving thanks, praise and worship such a joy in all circumstances.

Lord, I don’t want to make prayer complicated, I just wanna talk to You. I’m thankful I get to hang out with You all day, Love You Jesus. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Lord, the opening statement of Psalm 139 stir my consciousness of Your presence. “O Lord, You have examined my heart,” the psalmist wrote, and then had to admit, “and know everything about me.”  This truth should set the tone as how I live my life. Nothing about me is hidden from You.  You examined my ‘heart’—the deepest, most secret places of my spirit, where few, if any, are allowed entrance. But You tear that wall down. You know the truth behind my every motive, my evil thoughts are exposed, and every carnal weakness is on full display. No amount of camouflage hides the real me from You.

To the unbeliever, this truth should be unsettling, knowing they get away with nothing and cannot hide from Your presence. Open the unbeliever’s spiritual eyes to see You standing with open arms, calling them to come to You.

For the believer, this truth is a comfort, knowing Jesus paid our sin debt is paid in full, and Your Holy Spirit lives within each Christ-follower’s heart, constantly working to make us more like You. Are we perfect? Are you kidding?  Sometimes our motives are self-centered, leading our thoughts to flirt with temptation or releasing our carnality’s ugliness. Thankfully, when we fail we also see Your open arms dispensing Your grace to us. This is a comfort for the believer, for You have examined our heart, and it belongs to You.

Knowing You know all about me and You still rejoice to call me Your child just leaves me speechless. I am greatly humbled by Your grace. Love You, Jesus. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Lord, You have watched us beat ourselves up over our mistakes. Where did we go wrong?  We tried to raise them right, to acknowledge and honor You in their life. We’re heartbroken. Our loved one is a prodigal child.

Like the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32), never will we cease praying for our wandering sheep. Never will we stop asking for Your divine intervention for our loved one to come to their senses and return to You. And like the father, never will we stop anticipating their to return to You.

The prodigal son’s foolish choices left his father heartbroken. After squandering his inheritance, the son ends up living in a pig pen. Literally, a pig pen with real swine, not a figurative teenager’s room. The father deeply loved his son, even in the pig pen.  

Not all end up with the hogs. Some prodigals are living their dreams yet feel their soul empty, without a relationship with You. Others still wander, looking for their purpose in life while dismissing Your precepts as irrelevant.  Lord, You are faithful, and hear our prayers. Like the prodigal’s father, we will never cease knocking on Heaven’s door for our lost loved one to return.

You know, Lord, we all have been a prodigal at one time or another. How grateful we are that someone prayed for us [me] and You led us [me] home.  Love you, Jesus. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Monday, May 2, 2022 

Lord, “but as for me,” are four words that should describe every Christ-follower’s stance in today’s society.  This phrase, which appears no less than thirteen times in Scripture, is a declaration we are not following the crowd but taking a stand for righteousness. This fallen world has its share of people who hate You and detest the cause Christ. The cross is meaningless to them. The truths of Your precepts and values oppose their desires to rule and establish governments as god. Oh, outwardly, they mouth credence to You to give the impression they have moral intentions, but their lust for control compels them to reject all things holy or sacred, anything that threatens their power. They are quick to label Christ-followers as “haters” and “bigots” who discriminate against all who are not like them and who stand in the way of producing a utopian government.  

Nothing could be further from the truth. All who have had an encounter with You, the risen Lord Jesus, are never the same. Their hearts have been changed by Your incredible Love and grace and we cannot help but love all people since Your Love now lives in our hearts. Nonetheless, our society today is no different from the societies the psalmist described over 3000 years ago.  Psalm 2:1–3 could have been written yesterday.As Your followers, we desire to always love as You love, have Your compassion for all in our sphere of influence. We ask for courage to state as the patriarch Job declared amid all the false accusations: “But as for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and after this world has passed away, God will still be standing,” Job 19:25. 

Read Full Post »

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Lord, reading the Psalms we see our similarities with the ancient psalmist. Like us, he had his spiritual highs and lows. Like us, he exalted in his mountaintop experiences and wept in his valleys of despondency. All in for You one day but hiding from Your presence the next. Yet the psalmist knew how spiritually healthy it was to be transparent with his feelings and be willing to voice his emotions. This openness wasn’t just for his benefit—it’s for all Christ-followers.

The psalmist was familiar with the blues. When he wrote his famous recipe for praising our way out of the dumps, (Psalm 103), was he recalling the earlier time when turmoil raged within his soul? Like us, this broken world can beat us down. Nonetheless, despite this low point in his life when it appeared all his friends abandoned him, he found the strength to trust You, Lord God. Discouraged? Greatly. Depressed? Oh my, yes. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” he cried. (Been there? I have.) Even though God seemed to be silent, he knew his only option was to, “Put my hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God,” (Psalm 43:5). And he did. As his praises rose, so his spirit rose out of depression. His joy returned.

Lord, in my low points, may I too “praise You, my Savior and my God!” Amen.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »