So often I am confronted by the fact that I am not the man I need to be. The man I want to be …and the man my family needs me to be.
But the Lord tells me in His word that He will be strong where I am weak.
He also tells me that the battle is His.
Although I can’t do it on my own I know that He is with me.
Had the opportunity and privilege to share with a group of youth and young adults the week before Christmas. It was their Christmas banquet… They had worship, a gift exchange, they sang Christmas carols and I shared for about 15 minutes. Below is the message.
Message revolved around the verse in James 1:17 and went down to looking at 4 right responses to Jesus as illustrated by Mary, Simeon, the Magi and the Shepherds. This was followed by two examples of wrong responses to Christ (Herod and Bethlehem).
More and more I notice that the biggest lesson for me in 2012 around preaching was through a change in style and approach… Without planning it I am now doing a more narrative style of preaching. Didn’t even know it was called that until a few months ago…
We are all ‘made’ of an inside and an outside. Terms not necessarily accurate theologically but they work with the picture here. Just like the marketing campaign that asks ‘what’s in your wallet?’
The question here is what’s behind the curtain?
Better yet…what’s inside of you? When you pull down the masks and the pretense what will others find?
The only safe bet is if we have Christ in us… The only one able of renewing and changing a man from the inside out.
Seek Him. And I promise you… You will find Him.
It may or may not help my blogging in 2013… But just for fun and because it is January 1st; I am posting this via email. Everything is now set up.
Will I use it?
Will I blog more?
Will it be forgotten?
We shall see!
There is probably something wrong with the construction of this post’s title… but it sum up what I am thinking about and meditating on this morning.
Last night for New Year’s Eve dinner we had a great meal. Some salmon with some cranberry concoction, sweet potato something, brussel sprouts… it was yummy. But guess what? I woke up hungry. Still am since I haven’t eaten anything yet.
We are always craving something… desiring something. Something new. Something different. Or more of something we already have. Such is life. In a few minutes I will eat something. And guess what? Just a short time later I will be hungry again. I will finish my coffee shortly… and I will want to drink juice or water in a few hours (or sooner).
I know that my prayer this morning may sound a bit strange to you. Almost an impossibility… but this is what I want in 2013:
- My strongest desire = Jesus
- My greatest hunger = His Word
- My desperate thirsting = His Presence
If I look back at 2012 it was a great year. Not without challenges… but great because He made it great. Looking back and seeing His hand on our lives, His patience, His love and His mercy… all I can do is be in awe of how amazing God is.
But for 2013 I just want more. More of Him. To focus more on Him. To desire, hunger and thirst for Jesus more than anything else. That is my prayer. That’s in my heart this morning.
What is unfailing? Can you think of a single product which you can describe as unfailing? What about people? Is there anyone in your life whom you can describe as unfailing?
No matter how hard we try… Or how good we think we are… We will fail at something or fail someone. But there is On e who is unfailing. And His love for you and me is also unfailing. Isn’t that awesome?
He never fails us.
He will never fail you.
Place your eyes on Him…place your hope and trust on Him!
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:5, 6 NIV)
I am on a flight from New Orleans going back home after our annual Field Kick-Off Meeting… Reading an old essay on Galatians 3:13 by Martin Luther.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Galatians 3:13 NIV)
The passage in Galatians above references the passage below which is beyond awesome what Christ did for us. Taking the curse upon himself. My curse and yours…
If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 NIV)
We are all about stability and consistency. Even if you think you are not … You are. There is something admirable about those people who are ‘unshakeable.’. More than admirable… Enviable!
But you know what? Even those that appear unshakeable are still very much shakeable. The recipe for stability, strength of character under any situation, integrity, dependability … (you choose the word) is right below. Psalm 15
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken. (Psalm 15:1-5 NIV)
We were at a study on Book of Acts last night. Reviewed chapter 7. Wow. Those are harsh words spoken by Stephen. The audience back then was cut right to the heart… These words are also for me and for you. May the Lord soften our hearts and may we not miss what He is telling us.
“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” (Acts 7:51-53 NIV)
One way or another we are slaves to something. No matter what you say… How sophisticated, smart or mature you may think you are… We are always slaves. Now, I ask you (as I am asking myself right now) … Who is your master?
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 NIV)