Wednesday, January 27, 2010
John 10:10- “Jesus said, I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” What would constitute a full life for you? People answer that question in many different ways. Some might say a full life would be to have lots of fun toys and the money and time to enjoy them. Others might say that a full life would be to have fame and accolades. Still others might say that it is about having a life filled with happy experiences. Because life is so unpredictable, the Bible tells us that a full life comes from 2 things: first, is having a deep, meaningful relationship with God; second is having good relationships with others. This is why Jesus stated, in Matthew 22:37-39 in response to the question ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’: “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Jesus knew that what makes life meaningful and full is love; loving God, and loving others. While relationships can be difficult, and bring us down when they are not going well, there is nothing that can make us feel better than being in a good, loving relationship. If our relationship with God is good, the odds go way up that our other relationships will be good. How is your relationship with God? Where do you need to draw closer to God; give yourself more to God? How are you at loving others? How can your relationship with God help you to love others better; more? Blessings.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Vaclav Havel once said, “The real test of a man is not when he plays the role that he wants for himself, but when he plays the role destiny has for him.” Most people believe they have a destiny; or at least they want to believe. The problem is understanding what their destiny is. Most people struggle along, day to day, feeling lost, inefficient, and unappreciated. How can I do more with my life? they wonder.
If we are God's workmanship, created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), then how can we live this out? The answer is that we need to listen to God. Sounds good, but how is it done? Jesus said in John 10:16, after having talked about being the Good Shepherd who leads His sheep, Jesus says that “they will listen to me.” But to listen, we have to hear, and to hear we have to know the sound of Jesus’ voice.
It is wonderful to be able to call someone up, and after one or two words have them know that it is me calling. This happens because they know my voice so well that it only takes a couple of words to recognize my voice. When my son is on the baseball field, he knows the sound of my voice when I call out to him. We need to know Jesus well, and know the scriptures well, so that when God calls out to us, we know it is His voice, and not the tempter's voice.
So my challenge to you, and to me, is to be ready to hear God’s voice every day. My challenge is for us to commit to knowing God better every day so we can discern the voice of God. My challenge is for us to seek out and live our destiny; the work God has for us!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
We get phone calls all the time. Some are sales calls, others are fairly meaningless, but some are very important; from people we care about. If you have ever gotten a call from someone close to you, who needed your help, maybe you didn't think you could help them with their problem, but in the end you made sure you were there to help them. We see in the Bible many who are called by God. At first they are not sure they can help, but then when God talks them through it, they are more willing.
In Exodus 3, we see how Moses is minding his own business, tending to his sheep, doing his job, when he has an encounter with God. And God starts to tell him that He has heard His people’s cries, and seen their affliction, and it is now time to deliver them from slavery. And all this time I’m sure that Moses is shaking his head thinking: “That’s right Lord. Glad to hear it. It’s about time.” And then Moses receives his call in verse 10- “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”
The response: v. 11 Moses responds: “Who am I that I should go…” There is great reluctance on Moses’ part; great doubt that he is capable of this call.
God’s encouragement: v. 12, “Certainly I will be with you…”
God is here saying that it is not about Moses, it is about the fact that Moses has been chosen by God, and that God will be with him in this task, and because of this, everything will be all right.
God calls each one of us for a purpose He has set aside. We often don't want to believe we are able to do what God asks. But God assures us that He will go with us and work in and through us; "Certainly I will be with you."
If you were to think about it, you have a sense of what God is calling you to do. If you give yourself over to it and God, God will use you in profound way. Can you do it? I believe you can. I believe we all can!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
In the New Testament, in the book of Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 26 it says: “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.” Anger is part of the emotions God gave us, so there is a purpose for our anger. Jesus Himself got angry. The problem is, our anger usually leads us to sin. For some it leads them to revenge, or to hurting others physically. For others it might lead them to speak harsh, hurtful words. Many people have trouble controlling their anger. But the good of our anger is that sometimes it causes us to act on something that we’ve been holding back on. Or it can give us the motivation to speak the words that need to be spoken. The challenge, is to not let your anger lead you to sinful action; to keep your anger in control. And even more, to seek to resolve your anger with another (“do not stay angry all day”). When we allow time to go by, and we stay angry, our anger usually turns into bitterness, or resentment, or hate. How do you respond when you get angry? Do you let your anger linger? Are you able to control your anger? Can you get past your anger? Here is a prayer that you might want to pray with me: "Lord, help me to know when to be angry, and how to respond in my anger. Help me to resolve the issues with those with whom I am angry. Amen