whatever…

Whether your happy or sad, busy or lazy, it doesn’t matter:

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

Our circumstances are just that – simply conditions in which we live. They shouldn’t affect our attitudes, our actions, or our behavior in any manner. Instead of allowing your circumstances to affect you, remember that at all times, in all situations, we should be doing ____ for God.

Fill in the blank. If it’s working, then work for the Lord (by respecting others, and showing love). If it’s talking, talk up His praise (and don’t spread rumors or judge people). If it’s cooking, then cook to honor Him (through eating healthy and sharing in fellowship).

Now in case you’re wondering, this isn’t just for you. It’s for each of us, myself included. Thankfully, God knows we aren’t perfect, but He is willing to help us become better Christians. All we have to do is try.

The First Stone

So many times in my life I feel guilty for being the guy who (not intentionally) chooses to cast the first stone. I almost feel it is my “responsibility” to correct other’s inexcusable wrong doings. I just can’t seem to stop it.
In John 8, we find that many people approached Jesus about a woman caught in the act of adultery. They knew she was wrong, guilty of breaking the law; and she should be punished.

As most all of you know, Jesus’ response was not what the crowd had expected. Although they stated that the Law of Moses commanded that she should be stoned, Jesus instead showed empathy to the woman, and rebuked the crowd stating:

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)

Jesus was not merely sympathizing with the woman and contesting the crowd to defend her. Instead, He was reminding us that we must not judge others. We find that this was not the first time that Jesus chose to teach on judging others. In fact, He himself mentioned “I judge no one” (John 8:15). He spoke this, I believe, to remind us that we have the opportunity to be made righteous. We can be forgiven, and forgiveness is a TOTAL pardon for all sin. It’s not just compassion for the moment followed by a minor reprimand, but a TOTAL utter obliteration of our past mistakes.

That’s how Jesus comes to us – willing to forgive EVERYTHING. There remains no portion of punishment due to us, because He grants unending mercy to those who come to Him.

He said “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11a). He released her from the entire sin. Isn’t it nice to know that Jesus doesn’t hold grudges? It’s a total release of all things past.

For the future, He desires us to change and live right. “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11b).

I think that’s His challenge to us every day. I believe that He wants us to think “sin no more” – for He cannot be around sin, and He desires to be with us.

Day 1

Have you approached Day 1 yet?

“I wish I had a short term memory
Wish the only thing my eyes could see
Was the future burning bright in front of me,
But I can’t stop looking back”

In Matthew West’s “Day One,” he describes a sinner’s view of the world in which he is convicted of past transgressions. As Christian’s we can feel guilty of what happened yesterday.

“Well, every single day Your grace reminds me
That my best days are not behind me
Wherever my yesterday may find me
Well, I don’t have to stay there”

God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice provides a redemptive gift that erases all of our past offenses. We don’t have to live in the past, but can now live in the future.

“It’s day one of the rest of my life
I’m marching on to the beat of a bran new drum
Yeah, here I come
The future has begun
Day One.”

Click HERE to listen to “Day One”<click HERE>

1 John 1:9a – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us.”
Hebrews 10:17 – “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds NO MORE.” (emphasis mine)

*Lyrics from Matthew West’s “Day One”

Who Am I?

“Who Am I that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt? …
Who Am I that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and
Watch me rise again?
Who am I that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?”

(Lyrics from Casting Crowns, “Who Am I?”)

From Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day, from Birthday’s to Anniversaries, most all of us celebrate the love we have for each other at scheduled times throughout the year. Even weekly, most of us take time to spend an hour, or more, to take time to attend church – hopefully celebrating the love we have for God.

However, if we took time to stop and realize what’s really going on, we would realize that God takes time every day to show his love for us. You see, if we look back in history, God not only created the earth, the stars, and moon, He maintains them (Nehemiah 9:6, Col 1:17, Hebrews 1:3). He not only created US, but gives us breath and life every day.

Psalm 8:4a – What is man that you [God] are mindful of him?

That’s a great question. But I think the answer is in this verse: “ God is love” (1 John 4:8).

It’s not JUST that God loves us, but that God IS love. It’s like the verse from Exodus 3:14 “God said… ‘I am that I am.’” God is all things, not just in action, but in character, in nature, and in all things. God is!

And so when we ask who we are? We are God’s. We are a part of Him. He made us and still dwells in us.

Man’s best friend

Let’s take a moment, and analyze “why” dogs are considered man’s best friend.

First, every morning he (or she) is lying in bed staring at you, just waiting for you to wake up (or maybe he starts the day for you by licking your face). It’s as if he is saying “can you believe we are still alive! It’s time to play!!!!”

Then, although you may play ball for just a few minutes, you are probably like the rest of us, and begin your day by showering, dressing, then off to work – at which point you may put your dog outside or into a crate for the next grueling 9-10 hours that he has to sit alone in “jail” awaiting your arrival later that evening.

Has he built up a grudge against you in those 9 hours? No, instead, it’s as if he forgot you are the one that put him in there, and he is soooooo happy you have rescued him, that he’s ready to lick your face all over again (and of course, play ball). For the next several hours, you prepare and eat dinner, watch TV, do some chores, all the while, pushing the dog out of the way so you can get your things done, or so you can see the TV.

All the while, the dog is loyally at your feet, whether laying down, sitting beside you, or jumping on your lap.

Never once does the dog get mad at you for the circumstances that you have caused. Instead, the dog loves you no matter what.

That’s why dog is man’s best friend.

I wonder does Heaven consider man God’s best friend? After all, we should love him no matter what (and honestly, God is not generally the one causing our circumstances).

More bad news….about Jesus

Yesterday I discussed some good and bad things about some popular people. And this is part two of the bad (when it comes to Jesus) …

Did you know… there is another bad item associated with Jesus. Are you wondering what it is?

Well, if you’re reading this, you’re ok – you don’t have to “worry” about it. However, the other bad item is that not everyone knows Jesus by name (or as Lord). It’s our job then to introduce them to Jesus – and that’s what you need to focus on.

We all have sin in our lives; Jesus will judge us, and despite the fact that He’s given us this out – a free gift… those people living in the world that don’t know Him, they are in trouble. They don’t get this free pass until they accept Jesus. And they can’t do that until they know Him. Will you tell them about Jesus?

Romans 10:14 states “How, then, can they [the lost] call on the one [Jesus] they have not believed in? And how can they [the lost] believe in the one [Jesus] of whom they have not heard? And how can they [the lost] hear without someone [YOU] preaching to them?

Ok, so maybe I’ve added a few words – but I think you get the point.

Don’t let there be any bad news about Jesus! Tell everyone!