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Showing posts from November, 2015

The Organizing Principle of Life

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!

The earth and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the Lord;
for He laid its foundation on the seas
and established it on the rivers.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in His holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not set his mind on what is false,
and who has not sworn deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is He, this King of glory?
The Lord of Hosts,
He is the King of glory.
-Luke 2:14, Psalm 24

Many people are go…

Do Something!

“So always be ready. You don’t know the day or the time when the Son of Man will come.

“At that time God’s kingdom will also be like a man leaving home to travel to another place for a visit. Before he left, he talked with his servants. He told his servants to take care of his things while he was gone. He decided how much each servant would be able to care for. The man gave one servant five bags of money. He gave another servant two bags. And he gave a third servant one bag. Then he left. The servant who got five bags went quickly to invest the money. Those five bags of money earned five more. It was the same with the servant who had two bags. That servant invested the money and earned two more. But the servant who got one bag of money went away and dug a hole in the ground. Then he hid his master’s money in the hole.

“After a long time the master came home. He asked the servants what they did with his money. The servant who got five bags brought that amount and five more bags of m…

Philip Learning

After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).  And a huge crowd was following Him because they saw the signs that He was performing by healing the sick.  So Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with His disciples.

Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near.  Therefore, when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?”  He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.

Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
-John 6:1-7 (HCSB)

Are you looking at the circumstances of your life, evaluating them, and saying, "It doesn't look possible to have the life I desire"?  Let's assume you want good, normal things, like: healthiness, nourishing food, safe shelter, a peaceful home, love, friendship, fellowship, and godliness; to name a few examples.  And, everything you want is part of …

Leave Room For The Grace of God

Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God.
-Hebrews 12:15a (HCSB)

When we are struggling with discouragement we can forget about grace and fall into religious legalism or carnality.  Both of these ditches or ruts are on the sides of the grace road we are called to.  We always want to leave room for, expect, or position our selves to receive grace.

Grace is the unmerited favor of God and the presence of God that enables us to do and be what He calls us to be and do.  Grace does not empower our selfishness to sin or to be sanctimonious.  Grace empowers us to let God move in our lives.

When we are going through something: a challenging situation, spiritual warfare, conflict, grieving a loss, releasing anger, processing hurt and offering forgiveness, or being disciplined, to name a few examples; we need to leave room for the grace of God.  I have to be real and being real is realizing that God is real, God loves me, God is present, and I am God's child.  In that reality, …

New & Old

He also told them a parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. Otherwise, not only will he tear the new, but also the piece from the new garment will not match the old.  And no one puts new wine into old wineskins.  Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will spill, and the skins will be ruined.  But new wine should be put into fresh wineskins.  And no one, after drinking old wine, wants new, because he says, ‘The old is better.’”
-Luke 5:36-39 (HCSB)

There is an observation, that Jesus makes, and that observation is that sometimes, the old containers will not hold the new thing; and some people do not want the new thing, but prefer the old. 

God is a God of the new.  God does new things (Isa. 43:19).  Jesus brought about the new covenant (Jer. 31:31, Lk. 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:25, 2 Cor. 3:6, Heb. 8-10).  And in the second to last chapter of the Bible, the new heavens and the new earth and the new Jerusalem are described and God says, "…

How to Receive Answers to Prayer or Gifts From God

God gives grace to the humble.
-James 4:6

We have learned how to wait until God comes or until our prayers are answered, but how we receive answers, gifts, or God's move is also important.  The answer usually comes in a different way or form, than we expect.  Imagine spending a significant amount of time asking for something, but when it comes, you reject it.

This is tragic, seems absurd, and is a paradox.  How can this be?  The biggest example is when Jesus came.

Messianic expectation was great, by the time that Jesus was born.  The Messiah had been promised from Genesis through Malachi.  Yet, when Jesus came, he was mostly rejected.

I have a few thoughts or ideas on how we can prepare ourselves to receive God's gifts and answers to prayer.  The first one is humility.  There is a Proverb that says that God resists the proud but gives grace or favor to the humble or the afflicted (Prov. 3:34).  Peter and James both cite this verse (1 Pt. 5:5, Js. 4:6).

It is a Biblical conce…

Making Plans

A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9 (HCSB)

What are your plans?  After we ask this question, then we have to work out the "when", "how", and "who".  

What are your plans?  Saying, "I don't know", is not an answer.  Doing nothing is not an option.  For the time we have here, we are stewards of our lives and we get to and must make plans.

What are your plans?  Are you making plans?

There is a question and a statement that asks and says, "If you could do anything and you knew you would not fail, what would it be?", "Do that thing."  A similar question and statement says, "What would you do, if money was no object?",  "Then do that."  The idea behind these, is to ask you what is in your heart to do.

When we make plans, we make them with God in mind.  When we make plans, we make them on the basis of our faith, in God.

When we fail to plan, we are planning to fail. …