got a bone to pick?

Days get so hectic that sometimes we just don’t take time to relax and forget about things. But more so than that, during these hectic days, we sometimes blame others for things that they didn’t even mean to do.

So now what? Well, let’s look to Scripture for the answer (Colossians 3):

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Isn’t that nifty (God compares our forgiveness of others to His forgiveness of us). You see, sometimes we hold grudges against people – but wait a minute – just think if God held a grudge against us for some of the petty things we hold grudges against other people for? Oops!  Well, we better forgive them NOW!

Speaking of forgiving others, it’s interesting to me that this passage continues in stating:

14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

A perfect completion to all things.  Remember “God is Love!”

Thank God I’m alive!

Yesterday, during a long 6.5 hour drive (which normally takes 5-5.5 hours), I realized once again the importance of life. During my drive, I saw probably 5 bad accidents being cleaned up.  You may have heard about or seen the show “I shouldn’t be alive.” Well, during my drive yesterday, I was almost in a horrible traffic accident.

I was on the middle lane of the interstate, north of Atlanta Georgia, travelling about 70 mph when “all traffic” in front of me came to an abrupt stop. Well, all traffic except the car about 50 yards in front of me. A young man named Shawn* was driving that car and took his eyes off the road for a split second. When he saw that all traffic stopped, he slammed his brakes on and jerked his wheel hard to the right.

Shawn’s car immediately turned right; then while he quickly turned back left, he began losing control. His car quickly spun out of control and crossed from the right lane all the way across traffic to the left shoulder and hit the guard rail. It then spun around, facing backwards and continued another 25 yards until it came to a rest against the guardrail again.

I quickly found myself pulling over to check on him. Although he as badly shaking up, he DID have a seatbelt on. And even more important, GOD had His hand on Shawn and the remaining parts of traffic. Thankfully, NO ONE was injured during the accident. God had protected me and everyone else during what could have been a really traumatic ending.

I spoke with the young man after I pulled over. Shawn was about 21, on his way to work at Captain D’s. A nurse also pulled over to assist, but left after finding us ok.

Shawn’s first thought was to check on everybody involved. I told him that no one else was injured and that God had delivered him safely to the side of the road without anybody else being in the accident.

We then prayed about how God had delivered all of us during what could have turned out to be a deadly accident. At 70 mph, I saw first hand how quickly a car can lose control and spin out wildly on the road. Thankfully, his car didn’t flip at all, and was only damaged slightly where it hit the guardrail.

We prayed for some time, longer than I normally pray – for God truly had his hand on both of us. I was in a company-owned vehicle, but God protected me and allowed me the sense to stay calm and talk with Shawn after the accident. I never thought to ask his last name and now regret that I can’t follow up with him. However, I did find out that Shawn is a believer and meant to go to church yesterday at North Metro Baptist. Instead, he chose to go to work. (*name changed to protect identity).

Today, I am reminded from the experience that we need to pray and seek direction for everything we do in life.

  15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:15-20


now is the time

Yesterday Pastor Tim mentioned this verse from the Bible, and it caught my attention for a variety of reasons:

 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world” Acts 17:30-31

God has overlooked the things in the past. However, this is only but history. It is the future that God is concerned about. No matter what you may have done in your past, all is forgiven if you come to God and repent (meaning turn away from your past ways).

You see, God is not concerned about what you “did” do – He is concerned about what you ARE doing, and what you are going to do. Turn away from your past sins, turn toward God.

Remember – God reminds us many many times in the Bible, that a judgment day is coming in the future when all people must answer for their life. How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to spend eternity.  You see – life has many choices. However, eternity has only two: Heaven or Hell.  The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ – God’s only Son.  Come to Him today – pray for forgiveness, and ask Him to lead your life.

The Son of God – the appointed one

This morning I had the opportunity to spend some time in the Greek Testament studying Romans 1. What I found was interesting as it relates to who Jesus is.

the gospel He promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding His Son, who as to His earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for His name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

There is a lot going on in these verses. The first and foremost is the declaration that God’s Son (not just a human – but a divine creature) would become a descendant of David. Jesus was born of royal lineage. Then, the Spirit is involved, as well as God Himself – as Jesus is appointed (or given power) as the Son of God – through His resurrection. This is interesting – He is given power by His resurrection, BEFORE His resurrection. This relates to the fact that if we remember correctly, God’s sense of time is much different than ours. We think of past tense, present tense, and future tense. We are limited in our sight. God, however, can see all time (all the ages) and controls the ages. Jesus is the Son of God, was verified as that Son, given power as the Son, and now through Him as Son of God – WE receive Grace. WE are called to obedience. WE belong to Jesus Christ. Isn’t that great?

Be saved!

Sometimes we need help understanding Scripture. Other times, Scripture is real clear….

“Turn to me and be saved,
   all you ends of the earth;
   for I am God, and there is no other.” – Isaiah 45:22

 


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Followin’ God

As I ponder the end of the ages and the return of Jesus Christ, I am reminded that not only do we finally get to see Jesus face to face, spend eternity in Heaven, and so many other great and wonderful things, there is still ONE MORE THING:

Paul tells the members in the church at Philippi:

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

As I read this, I am comforted by two things:
– First of all, Christ began something inside each and every one of us that He calls His children. When we ask for Salvation, Jesus begins a new life with us, and in us. It is something that truly can’t be explained to the lost generation of the world. But the good news is that He did start something.

– Secondly, Christ is going to FINISH that work inside us. Everything that we have been since we were ‘born again’ is not an end in itself, it is merely a journey. That journey will not be complete until we are brought into the presence of Jesus Christ Himself.

Many people ask me, even more so lately, “What plans do you have after graduating from Seminary?” The answer is: “I don’t have any!” Well, actually I do have plans. The plans I am currently attempting to pursue will continue when, and after I graduate. My website is named “www.followingod.com” because my purpose is to be “Followin’ God.” No matter where that might be, no matter what it may require – my desire is to follow Him. That goal will remain with me.

You see, each of us has a plan laid out before us by God. Hopefully, you are following that plan. But remember, it’s a journey. There is no end until God calls us home. Will you continue to follow God even when He changes the course in your life? He began a good work in you. He will continue it (although the direction may change). Will you be Followin’ God as He leads you?


a simple prayer for today:

Psalm 109

26 Help me, O Lord my God!
      Save me because of your unfailing love.
 27 Let them see that this is your doing,
      that you yourself have done it, Lord.
 28 Then let them curse me if they like,
      but you will bless me!
   When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
      But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
 29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
      may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
 30 But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
      praising him to everyone.
 31 For he stands beside the needy


the love of God

The love of God surpasses ALL understanding. 

Romans 5:5-8 God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. . . . But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I can only imagine how well that God (and Jesus) knows us. For there is not a human being on this earth that would want to die for a stranger. However, God sent His ONLY Son here to earth, not just to live on earth, not just to set an example of how we should live, but to die for US: for you and for me. He purposely gave forth a son in order that the Son’s purpose in life was to justify US…through His death.

As a parent, I can only imagine giving my life for my child that I know and love dearly, but God gave His life (through His Son) for US. THAT’S LOVE!

 If you haven’t stopped to Thank God today for what He has done and continues to do for you, now is the time to do it!

 

P.R.A.Y.

Think you’ve had a terrible week already?  Remember the story from Job (He lost everything, including his family). Now let’s read Job’s plea to God… (from Job 7:17-21)

17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
   that you give them so much attention,
18 that you examine them every morning
   and test them every moment?
19 Will you never look away from me,
   or let me alone even for an instant?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
   you who sees everything we do?
Why have you made me your target?
   Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
   and forgive my sins?

It seems as if Job has given up in this passage. He implies that God is not honoring His side of the bargain. But if we truly think about what is going on, it reminds me of the Amy Grant song: Better than a Hallelujah.  She sings that, in a way, our miseries cried out to God actually honor Him, because we are still recognizing that He alone is soveriegn and He alone has the power to fix things.

Do you believe that?  It’s true – only God can help us. When we are down and need lifted, God can lift us. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes those deepest lows that seem so hard to be lifted from. Hopefully this little acronym* will help you pray and remind you in the deepest valleys that God is still there – all we have to do is trust Him…

PRAY = P.R.A.Y. 

  • P.  Psalm 46:10 (“Be still, and know that I am God”)
  • R.  Remember God loves YOU and has a plan for you
  • A.  Allow God to direct your life
  • Y.  Yield to His plan not yours
* Acronym taken from George Clark, Executive Pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN