Archive for August, 2011
“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16).
Genuine worship flows forth from the heart filled with gratitude. A person truly grateful does not hesitate to humble and prostrate themselves at the feet of the Master. Along with the Psalmist, let us “praise the name of God with a song, and magnify Him with thanksgiving (Psalm 69:30).
“Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard” (Genesis 37:36).
Like Joseph’s, our lives can take many unexpected twists and turns; leaving us in less than desirable circumstances. When those occasions arise try to focus on the word “meanwhile.” “Meanwhile” insists that the story may not be over as we think. “Meanwhile” leaves cracked the door of opportunity. “Meanwhile” reminds us of the Yogi Berra-ism, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” “Meanwhile” leaves us anticipating the rest of the story.
Be assured, there is a “meanwhile” to be found in the story of your circumstances.
“Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:6-8)
At one time or another most of us have experienced similar feelings of inferiority. A new and unique opportunity is set before us and our first response is “I can’t do it,” “I’m afraid,” or “I’m inadequate.” The tragedy of an inferiority complex is we can waste so much time waiting for either our circumstances or feelings about ourselves to change that we end up doing nothing.
When Jesus died on the cross, he was highlighting your significance not your inadequacy. We are to take up our cross and follow him, not annihilate ourselves on the altar of self-doubt.
“Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away, ; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Love trumps all gifts because it is the only one that lasts. When all others have ceased love remains. Don’t miss the point of Paul’s declaration. Instead of quibbling about the question of whether or not God still, today, uses unknown tongues to communicate a spiritual message the greater question is this: “Are you and I using our known tongue to communicate the message of God’s love?” It’s something to think about and, more especially, it’s something to talk about.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
The love of Christ that is to exude from our life is portrayed as a spectrum of many colors; each one describing that which is to characterize our attitude and actions toward others. “We love,” John says (1 John4:19), “because He first loved us.” It’s a cause and effect relationship. Love begets love.
“…and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”(1 Corinthians 13:2).
Faith is important, but love proves out faith. Claims of faith are subjective. Love objectively gives affirmation to claims of faith. The purpose of faith is to connect us to the Father, who is love, so we might be like Him. Thus, faith is the vehicle that takes us to love. Faith is the means to an end; never an end in and of itself.
“Choose you this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
Some believe there are two groups of people born into this world–winners and losers. Scripture disagrees. No one is born a winner or a loser. We are born choosers. While genetics and nurturing have their place, ultimately, we are what we are because of the choices we make. Life is but the sum total of our choices.
Today is a good day–or not–the choice is yours.
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned” (2 Timothy 2:8-9).
Too often we allow our circumstances to imprison our attitudes and, thus, our behaviors. How we respond to unexpected adversity reveals the depth of our character and maturity of our faith. Our reaction to hard times is of eternal significance and becomes a means by which the word of God is proclaimed to those who inhabit our lives.
To remember Jesus is to respond appropriately.
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10).
Many seem to waste their day in the “if only” mode. “If only” points to that segment of the human experience that cannot be altered. It’s an incredible waste of time and opportunities. A more positive approach to dealing with failure is the perspective of “next time.” “Next time” is still fluid, open; it has yet to be shaped. Whatever your past, our Father wants you to use it not as an occasion of condemnation but learning. Today, exchange your “if only” laments for a “next time” kind of hopefulness.
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms” (Daniel 2:44).
What are your dreams? Your aspirations? Your dreams determine the course of your life and the impact you have on others. Dream of earthly kingdoms, and even if you become king-of –the-hill with the most toys, that you lived will not have any lasting influence. Dream of an eternal kingdom and live your life accordingly; for a greater good and a higher calling, and your life, legacy, and faith will continue to be multiplied in the life of those in whom you invested.