Author

98 posts

The Faith of a Child

I wasn’t sure what to expect when a friend shared this link but I certainly didn’t expect such a profound insight coming from a 13 year old boy’s conversation with God about cow.

“You know Logan, My son was special…”

0 views

The God of Renewal

It’s March 1st and Spring began today.

While the calendar may slightly disagree it’s blind to the arrival of blooming dogwoods & jonquils. These splashes of color seemed to arrive overnight and my drive today was a feast for the eyes. I even stopped to take a picture of purple weeds just to celebrate.

Then somewhere along Hwy 425 God whispered, “I am the God of renewal”

My mind leapt to 2 Cor 5:17

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” http://bible.us/2Cor5.17.NASB

This is a beautiful verse about the transformation from being in bondage to Sin to being in willing bondage to Christ and I planned on it being the subject of my devotion this evening until during my study I discovered Exodus 12:2

“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” http://bible.us/Exod12.2.NASB

To give context, the people of Israel had been in Egyptian bondage for 400 years and Moses was delivering an ultimatum to Pharaoh to release them. God is about to reveal the last plague on Egypt that will be the catalyst for their release but He pauses to deliver this powerful message.

Allow me to paraphrase,

[Moses I’m about to do something so significant for my people that you are going to change your calendar. Today is the first day, of the first month, of a whole new life.]

Astounding then. Astounding now because God is issuing the same call to you and I today. His grace and forgiveness stand ready to do something so significant in your life that it will be the first day of a new life.

You may need to encounter the God’s grace for the first time or you may be redeemed and needing a fresh touch from God. Take joy my friend because God is in the renewing business.

Just ask the jonquils.

“Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection” ~Watchmen Nee

0 views

Defeating Discontentment

Want to know a secret?

I’m insecure and full of self criticism and doubt.

I should be more educated, informed, trained, skinny, muscled, refined, disciplined, and experienced. My nature tells me my worth is defined by my status and my bank account and unfortunately most of my peers are brilliant and successful. If only I could be more _____ then I would be content.

Then I think of a guy named Solomon. He was handsome, intelligent, rich and powerful. He had it all! Surely he was content. Yet He said,

“Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11

Read chapter 2 and you find a man who had everything and was utterly unsatisfied. All those things I listed Solomon said is chasing the wind. All flurry no fulfillment.

So what’s the answer?

“for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:11-13

Did you catch the “in any and every circumstance”? This isn’t a contentment based on a fluctuating standard or situation. It’s founded on an eternal truth of Knowing who God is AND who He says I am. This all boils down to faith. Do I truly believe God has a plan for my life & created me exactly as he intended or not?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11

My discontentment means that I’m calling God a liar.

If I choose to place my faith in God then I must accept that He is who He says He is & will do what He says He will do.

Who am I? I’m the crafted creation of an eternal King who loves me beyond description.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:14

My souls knows it very well but my head & heart needs reminding. I’m great because God designed me for a purpose.

What does Solomon conclude? Skip to the end of Eccl.

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccl 12:13

Let our contentment be found in our divine purpose and that God equipped you to precisely fulfill it.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” ~Saint Augustine

“God don’t make no trash”. ~Anon Mason Dixon Prophet

2 views

Approach Him in Truth Psalm 145:18

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

http://bible.us/Ps145.18.ESV


It's easy to underestimate the implications of the final word in this verse. God's promise to hear us & be near is clear but the manner in which we are called to approach is key.

“in Truth”

This goes beyond the eternal truth of God's Word.

1) It is also being truthful about me.

Who I am.
Where I am. (spiritually)
What God says I am.

2) The the truth of who He is…

Righteous, just, merciful, forgiving….

3) And who He is to me…

Is he my Lord? My Master?

The requirement is to approach God honestly & transparently. Not deceiving ourselves & not playing games with Him.

After all he already knows the truth about us & still loves us. The truth about Him should lead us to love Him more.

0 views

Walking without Seeing 2 Cor 5:7

“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor 5.7

I’m returning to the Mid-South Men’s Bible Conference this weekend and it brought to mind an analogy I heard at this conference in 2009. Bobby Welch spoke on faith and it’s a lesson I’ll never forget.

He turned off every light in this massive sanctuary and proceeded to pull out a small penlight. He began walking around in the dark with this tiny light explaining that this is how faith works in our lives.

As a disciple of Christ we are issued a small light & an instruction book. No maps, no flood lights, no night vision goggles.

When God calls us to to follow Him He isn’t interested in how well we see the path before us. Rather, He’s testing our faith to see if we will follow.

The analogy is even more telling when you consider that a penlight only shows a few inches in front of us and the only way to see more is to start walking. That walking increases our faith when we see God working and enabling just as He promised.

Does our light get bigger & more powerful? I don’t think so but we do learn to trust the maker of the path and walk with less hesitation.

Through the Holy Spirit & God’s Word we are given marching orders. I usually respond with all the reasons this is a bad idea (budget, time, inadequacy) and the answer invariably returns…

“I asked you to step out, let me handle the rest.” -God

I have been called to follow & it’s time to grab a penlight and get going.

Update:

I found the audio. Please take a listen because I can’t do it justice. An Analogy of Faith by Bobby Welch

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog – the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see. – Corrie Ten Boom

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King Jr.

0 views

Am I Willing to Wait? Psa 25:4-5

Waiting… I don’t even like the sound of the word. It conjures images of Doctor’s offices & DMV lines. This whole notion of stillness & patience seems outdated.

 

Doesn’t God know we live in an instantly connected, drive thru world? Heck even Starbucks is selling instant single packet coffee these days. (it’s notably worse than their normal brew & that isn’t a high benchmark to begin with)

 

Yet twice today I encounter these verses,

 

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;” Psalm 37:7

 

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5

 

God’s divine sense of irony is in full swing because my focus this week has been on “being” not doing.

 

I easily get caught up in the activity of being a good church person without fully taking time to “BE” a believer. Being a Believer is a state of being. It is a progressive identity not a todo list. It requires that I know who I am and in whom I place my faith.

 

To know myself means I must continually examine scripture to see who I am in Christ. Where am I disobedient? What is out of line of God’s plan in my life? Much of this can be simplified by asking, Have I died to Christ today? Gladly surrendering my attitude and desires at the foot of the Cross.

 

Part 2 is tougher for I must know Him (Christ). As a believer we should be continually having our understanding of who Christ is broadened.

 

Both Knowing myself & Knowing Him require a serious & daily injection of God’s Word into my life. Coupled with prayer & meditation to allow God to speak & apply them to my life.

 

The only problem is God isn’t selling instant coffee. He’s interested in real relationships and those take time.

 

Back to Psalm 25:4-5 Lord I want:
1) to know your ways
2) to learn your paths.
3) to be led in your truth

 

I can almost hear the answer from God.

Keith, That’s exactly what I want for you as well but they take time & a lot of listening on your part. Are you willing to wait on Me? Am I worth your time. -God

 

Yes Lord, you are. -Me

 

Good, now prove that by giving me first place in your ToDo List & block out plenty of time. Trust me this is going to be amazing. I’ll teach you to “be” -God

 

God are you sure there isn’t some Knowing God in 15 min a day program? -Me

 

*silence* -God

 

Father, help make me willing to wait.

This is my prayer. If I truly desire to know God then time is part of the prereq.

 

Make me willing to wait… Because an instant coffee Christianity isn’t going to being peace or fruit.
-posted via posterous
0 views

The Measure of a Mission

Luke 4:18-21

This is the very beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry and we find him in his hometown synagogue on the Sabbath. He takes up the scroll and begins reading the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,”

His entire mission:

  1. Proclaim the good news to the poor
  2. Proclaim liberty to the captives
  3. Restore sight to the blind
  4. To bring liberty to the oppressed

Notice that 1& 2 are both an act of proclaiming hope. 3 is His granting of spiritual sight in response to faith and 4 is the result
of 3… liberty. Freedom from the entrapment & consequences of sin.

So simple, So profound, So Perfect.

Then in verse 22 with all eyes on him (they knew something was different about this man) he says,

“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

If they understood Him at all they’d seen this as the most heretical & radical statement they’d ever heard in Church.

Yet… He used the prophets words to say… This is what the Messiah is here to do, & I am the Messiah.

Savior, Redeemer, Sight restorer, Liberty giver.

If I’m called to be his disciple then this mission is my mission. 4
tasks, the measure of a mission. His & now ours.

Bonus Question: Why does he say restorer of sight? Not giver of sight?
Leave your answer in comments.

0 views

Like a tree in the house of God Psalm 52:8

Psalm 52:8

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.”

 

How I desire to be a tree… Firmly rooted & producing fruit.

Note the location of the tree, it’s inside the house. Indoor plants must be watered & cared for. Makes me think of Isa 27:2-3

“In that day, “A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! I, the Lord, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day;”

Steadfast. Fruitful. Continually watered by God. That’s my prayer.

1 view

For I know the plans I have for you… Jer 29:11

Had this verse in my daily study today & I needed to hear it – thought you might too.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

The question is will I surrender my own plans & seek His kingdom first. How foolish & prideful I am.

0 views

Why Your Resolutions Always Fail

I’m never lacking on admirable intentions or lofty goals but somehow my resolutions have a tendency to fall flat on their face. I’m fairly successful with behavior modification resolutions like sleep, improving health, or staying organized but those serious life changes are a different story.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

I blame job interview questionnaires for bringing this question into our consciousness but when we make life changing resolutions this is what we are really trying to answer. They are the means to an end.

The problem with this perspective is found in the 3rd word. You.

Take a look at James 4:13-17

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring… Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

 

See the problem? It’s my plan and my vision. I rush out in front of God and find myself in a mess then turn to Him and ask, “Why aren’t you blessing this?”

The question to I’m faced with is not how to keep my resolutions but-

Are my resolutions reflecting my selfish desires or my submission to a Divine God?

Which brings me back to one of my favorite and most difficult verses of the Bible,

“seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

Jesus addressed this to “O you of little faith”, yep He’s talking to me.

0 views