in two days…

It’s March 31st . . .

 45 ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ 46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:45-46)

1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:1-2) 

It’s only 2 days away from Good Friday, maybe we all ought to take some time and remember what Jesus did for us on that solemn, but victorious day.

you will have trouble, but…

As Jesus was preparing to leave the disciples, he warned them and prepared them for many things they would have to endure. Interestingly enough, many of these still apply to us today:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Now, how is it that 2000 years ago Jesus could claim such a statement?

He knew what would happen; He predicted our attitudes toward these events; and He knew we would begin to have doubt.

But let’s look back at the verse again, this time with emphasis:

“I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

There’s two things I want to highlight in this passage. First, Jesus says “in me.” He is declaring that it is only through Him that you get peace. But secondly, and probably just as important as the first is that you “may” have peace. It doesn’t say that you will. Why is this important? It is by your choice. Many people claim to be Christians, but don’t look to God for peace. I am guilty of this on occasion as I try to do things on my own, and I fail. I sometimes try to do the correct thing without praying first and I fall on my face, failing every time.

Instead, we all need to remember that if we look to Jesus and depend on Him, then we may have peace. It’s OUR CHOICE! Do you want peace? Are you ready to trust Jesus to give it to you? He’s willing to give it to you, just ask Him today!

Remember, Jesus “overcame the world” and proved He is God’s Son. And this time of the year is when we are reminded of this more than ever. As Easter approaches, I ask that you share the truth of Jesus with someone you love and share His peace with the whole world!

In God alone

Yesterday I blogged about how your personal weaknesses point you to the strength you have in God. Psalm 62 discusses this topic further:

5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

We need to, AT ALL TIMES, look back to God for everything we need in our life. Often we think that our actions, through our family life, home life, and work life that we accomplish a great deal. However, it is only through God that any of this is accomplished.

God is the source of all of our successes. Our hope is in Him. The Lord is our rock and the source of our Salvation. He protects us from our enemies. And we can put our trust in Him and Him alone. “Pour out your heart to Him, for He is our refuge.”

weakness => true strength

This morning during our prayer time, a fellow student commented that he wanted to “THANK GOD FOR OUR WEAKNESSES.” I thought – that’s a strange thing to thank God for. Then as I thought through Scripture I found:

Three different times [Paul] begged the Lord to take away [his weaknesses]. Each time [God] said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

And in Nehemiah 8:10

“This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

We should be glad concerning our weaknesses, for it is when we are weak that we MUST look to God for strength. It is when we are at rock bottom that we have nothing . . . but GOD. So we should be thankful when we are in trials/troubles and in our weaknesses, because they are reminders to look up (toward God).

Think about the times that you are feeling great and at the top of the world: how often do you remember that it was God that put you there? Probably not very often.

Therefore, THANK GOD for your weak days and let the Lord give you strength.

Pray 4 our leadership

I understand that our government is currently tackling some very tough issues for our nation. However, it is obvious that the split by parties has identified a true weakness of our current system. It has become a “he said – she said” party in Washington lately as the President rallies for votes and support on Healthcare. Unfortunately, they are not the victims. In fact, the health insurance plan does NOT even apply to our government officials! YEAH, how about that one. They get to vote on something that won’t affect THEM. Yet, we don’t have a voice . . . ?

I’m not wanting to get into politics. Although, I’m extremely happy that our Alabama representatives in Congress ALL voted against the Healthcare Bill. Why? I don’t see why our government should promote and support abortion. And that’s just one of many issues within the bill. Would you like to pay for insurance for illegal immigrants?  You pay taxes and with the new healthcare bill, people in America (yeah, not just citizens), but EVERYONE is supposed to get insured by way of the bill.  I still have some reading to do on it, but bottom line, we need to pray for our government that they correct their mistakes.

We need to pray for our leadership. As they currently debate some of the toughest issues that they have ever had to deal with, they need to seek God. We can only pray that many of them will come to terms with the truth of God’s Word and seek Him and do the right thing for our country.

Take time to pray for our leadership today!

so that your prayers may not be hindered…

This is powerful, and insightful…

Husbands . . . be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect . . . and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. – 1 Peter 3:7

Wow! We are not only to treat our wives with respect, but if we don’t . . . then our prayers could be hindered. I’ve heard the illustration of: if you are the father of a daughter and your son-in-law has treated your daughter with disrespect and abuse all of their marriage, how would you react to him if he came to you to ask for a large sum of money?

I’m guessing you might laugh in his face for even suggesting it.

However, now think about how God might react as the father of your wife. We are God’s son-in-laws relative to His daughters. And He might just laugh in our face if we treat His daughters with little or no respect.

Now, think twice, and read the Scripture again, and HONOR YOUR WIFE!

Patient Obedience

Ever wonder what God has planned for you? Have you tried to discern the Will of God, only to find out that what you thought  God wanted you to do, was really the opposite of what you were doing?

It seems so hard to try to interpret the Will of God when we can’t find direct instructions in Scripture for making certain choices in life. But imagine, what if . . . what if God specifically TOLD you what to do, AND . . .  God TOLD you that you would be unsuccessful at it? How would you react?

Let’s use this scenario: God tells you to go and tell a certain person about the Good News of Jesus, but God also tells you that the person won’t listen . . . .    Would you still have patient obedience to follow God’s command and tell the person even though you know they won’t listen?

2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. – Exodus 7:2-4

God told Moses and Aaron that they were to speak to the king of Egypt, but God also told them that the king wouldn’t listen. What happened . . . ?

6 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. – Exodus 7:6

Next time you are struggling to follow God because you think everything is going wrong, pray. Pray to determine God’s true will. Maybe you are following His commands, but maybe you are supposed to endure some trials while you do in order to strengthen your faith.

I wouldn’t expect that you trials will last forever: if they do, maybe you’re not really following God’s Will. Pray . . . , but remember that prayer involves a TWO-way communication. Don’t just go to God and tell Him your problems, be willing to LISTEN to Him.

“Be still and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10.

Psalm 19:1-7

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,

which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure…

God’s love . . .

This week in New Orleans I have had the opportunity to meet some new fellow students in class. We have had many discussions about our worship class, but also about our families and personal lives. Through this, I have been reminded about one of my favorite Scripture verses:

Psalm 127:3 – Behold, children are a gift from the LORD

Many of my classmates also have young children, as do many of you.

I never really understood how parents loved their children so much. But now, as I have a young son about to turn 2 years old, I constantly realize how much I truly love him. His character and actions are so cute and loveable.

But let’s take this a step further:

Ephesians 1:5 – God predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.

So, If we become sons of God, through Jesus Christ’s actions, then we become children of God. Children are a “gift from God.” How does this work? Well, Jesus’ actions were purely a gift to us. His sacrifice on the cross was for us . . . a gift! When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a part of God’s family – His children.

Now let’s apply the love we have for our children, and take this to the ultimate step. How much MORE then, does God love each of us? We are His children. He loves us in a similar fashion to how we love our children, EXCEPT . . . He is divine. His love is PURE. His love is that which we cannot describe.

So the next time you may feel down, or depressed, remember that God is with you, loving you, caring for you, wanting to help you. Open your heart to Him, at ALL times.

God loves you!         Jesus loves you!

what is “worship”

Yesterday in Worship class, we were reminded of what “Worship” is. I pause…to ask you:

  • What is worship?
  • What do you consider worship?
  • Do you worship every Sunday?
  • Do you worship DAILY?

That was part of the topic of our discussion. Worship: 

Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Luke 4:8 – And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”

I propose that I will post additional comments concerning worship more this week as I learn what the Bible has to say about it.  I have already learned one thing that I will reveal later this week.  Stay tuned to find out, you may be VERY surprised what the Bible says about worship!