Archive for February, 2018

THE GREAT PARADOX

02182018 Sunday

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick except the one who has it. The need to inform others of one’s importance is a telling sign of insecurity and the inability to be comfortable in one’s own skin. The great paradox of scripture, however, is that we become great by becoming little; we increase by decreasing.

Leave a comment

KNOWING IS DOING

02172018 Saturday

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven…And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS'” (Matthew 7:21,23).

Sometimes the words of our Lord speak so pointedly that it makes us uncomfortable. Just as a coach can come across as short, loud, and demanding, resulting from his understanding of the level of commitment necessary to be victorious, our Lord understands the greater urgency when it comes to matters of eternal consequence. Lip service is never sufficient. True belief is evident in obedience.

Leave a comment

THE CHURCH’S PRIORITY

02162018 Friday

“And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, ‘Behold, the sower went out to sow’” (Matthew 13:3).

In this agriculturally based parable, one expects to read that a farmer went out to sow. Neither a farmer nor a farmhand exclusively sows. Sowing is but one of the many different tasks required in farming. That Jesus speaks of a sower as a specific vocation highlights what he considered his primary task but also the priority role of the church—planting, proclaiming, and scattering the word of God in the field of our lives. All other activities are secondary.

Leave a comment

A MISSIONAL EXAMPLE

02152018 Thursday

“That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach” (Matthew 13:1-2).

The Great Commission Jesus gives to his disciples is but a continuation of the mission he modeled in his own life. Jesus never intended for the gospel to be housebound; cooped up in sanctuaries; sequestered away in hiding from the world that desperately needs us to be salt and light. Sitting in a sanctuary might scratch your religious itch but it will not fulfill the call of Christ that beckons us to get up, go, and engage the crowds.

Leave a comment

RESPONSIBLE LISTENING

02142018 Wednesday

“He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9).

While many sounds fall upon the human ear each day—voices, music, traffic, nature—you, alone, are responsible for what captures your attention. Jesus’ declaration holds each of us accountable for how we hear and respond to the teaching of God’s word and the truth of the gospel. Where an attentive ear is lacking, there is the tendency to stop listening too soon. According to the Parable of the Sower, this has disastrous results 75% of the time.

Leave a comment

GOLDEN CALF AND BROKEN RULES

02132018 Tuesday.jpg

“It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain” (Exodus 32:19).

The most significant question in time and eternity isn’t whether or not there is a god but, rather, who or what is your god. People are always going to have a god; an object of adoration that they worship…even the most avowed atheist. The masses drift to gods of their own fashioning; golden calves, if you will; gods with no rules; gods that entrust you with the freedom to do what is right in your own eyes. The pursuit of such gods, however, play to the least common denominators of human existence; they appeal to our base desires. In contrast, the one true God has a plan that, when followed, raises the bar and seeks to bring out the unlimited possibilities dwelling within each person. Only a loving God sees more in his children than they see in themselves and seeks to instruct them accordingly.

Leave a comment

ENDURING DOUBTS

02122018 Monday

“And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” (Matthew 11:6).

To the question of uncertainty as to whether or not he was the Expected One, Jesus offered a kind and gracious addendum in his response to John. Jesus did not say, “Blessed are those who never have doubts.” Nor did he say, “Blessed are those who have a Pollyanna faith regardless the trials they face.” No, what he affirms is the blessed state of those who do not throw their faith away when God fails to meet their expectations. It’s the assurance that those who endure their season of doubt will arrive to see the faithfulness of God in ways that exceed all expectations.

Leave a comment

WATCH YOURSELF

02112018 Sunday

“Watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:12).

If not careful, we can easily lose sight of God’s reality and start to think that all we have is the result of our own doing. To not forget—remembering—is an intentional and deliberate action of the will. If we don’t watch ourselves, we begin thinking only of ourselves.

Leave a comment

LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES

02102018 Saturday.jpg

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).

Consider the significance of these words; that the same power of God that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us. It means the possibilities of Kingdom life being manifested in and through us are limitless—bound only by our willingness to avail ourselves to Him. As Jesus gave himself fully over to the Father, what if we were to do the same? The world has yet to see it.

Leave a comment

REFRAMING FAITH

02092018 Friday

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you hear and see’” (Matthew 11:4).

Many are holding to a form of faith unwittingly linked to their own expectations. When these expectations are not met, doubts and uncertainty arise and, tragically, many will fall away. Such need not be the case. In fact, seasons of doubt can be translated into formative growth, understanding, and enrichment. This is accomplished when we pursue, instead, a faith rooted in the life, ministry, and biblical teachings of Jesus. It’s another reminder as well that, like Jesus, we, too, in the midst of a doubting world, must have a faith that is both evident and audible; that others might see and hear.

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: