Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Two Ways To Approach Life

Our Founding Fathers wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are create equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."

Why did these distinguished and learned men not have trouble deferring to God's wisdom and being accountable to His principles? Could it be that they were more committed to a pursuit of truth than to believing the lie?

The lie? What lie?

The lie that rules the world, the deception that we can be in control of our own lives and live without consequences. It began, of all places, in Heaven! It spread to another unlikely venue, Paradise (Eden). 

Unfortunately, it continues to spread:

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie (or "the lie"), and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen." Romans 1:21-25

We don't seem to do too well when we take control of our own lives and when we don't worry about the consequences of our sinfulness. The future trend doesn't seem too hopeful:

"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe 'the lie' and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." II Thessalonians 2:9-12

What must you do to resist "the lie"? The text I just referenced tells us that we must believe the truth. Actually, that should be "Truth" with a capital "T" because it is not referring merely to statements and concepts but to a Person! Jesus is "the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life". Are you clinging to Him? Have you surrendered control of your life to Him? Have you sought His forgiveness for your sins?'

Bottom line, there are just two ways to approach life - two ways to view your world - The Truth or The Lie.

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 30, 2017

"The heavens are declaring the glory of God, and their expanse shows the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

Another way that God proves His existence is:

Communication Requires A Communicator

When you desire a love relationship with someone you want to communicate that fact to the object of your love. If you believe that God is love and that we human beings are the objects of His love, then you can expect that He would attempt to communicate His love to them.

Here are just a few ways He has tried to communicate with us that also evidence His existence.

Creation. The creation of the universe tells us there IS a God. It tells us that He is a powerful and infinite God. It gives evidence of an orderly and highly intelligent God.

Consciousness. God created us with self-awareness and intelligence and an internal moral guidance system called a conscience. He gave us this "radar" so that we can become aware of His existence and seek to know more about Him.

Chosen People. God communicated with several chosen people through whom He could communicate to the Human race. Men like Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Moses, and King David showed the power and purpose of God. He used these chosen men to raise up a Chosen Nation through Whom He could reach the world.

Changed Lives. Through men and women who heard God and obeyed Him, He demonstrated the amazing positive impact of His love, power and holiness. For instance, Saul of Tarsus was an antagonist of Christians bent on their elimination. But due to a supernatural encounter with God, Saul became Paul the Apostle who established the Christian faith through his writings and planting churches.

Christ. God's desire to communicate with mankind reached its zenith when God Himself became a man in order to reach men and women. His teachings, His example of holy living, His miracles, His death and His resurrection proved that Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God.

Because God knew that man was incapable of seeking Him, He came to seek them. As the incarnate Son of God, Jesus, was uniquely qualified to die as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. Three days after his brutal death by crucifixion, He rose again from the dead. That is a clear message of God's person, power, and purpose to all who believe in Him.

Church. Following Jesus' return to Heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit into the world to infill and empower those who hear and obey His voice. Through the teaching, preaching and ministry of the Church, God seeks to become real to those who are honestly seeking Him.

We live in an age of instant communication. I can choose one of several ways to communicate immediately with whoever I want to talk with. I can call on my cell phone, I can send a text message on my phone, or I can send an email on my computer. If I get lonely for one of my children or need to communicate with Barbara, I can dial a number to speak to them and hear their voices within a matter of seconds.

It is natural to want to communicate with those you love. You have a deep desire to know them and be known by them. So it is with God.

I find it amazingly humbling that God would want to communicate with me! The fact that He has gone to great effort and expense to be able to know me and make Himself known to me!

God wants to communicate with you right now. Will you take the time to listen?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 28, 2017

Have you ever noticed that the Bible doesn't spend any time arguing for the existence of God?

From the first sentence of Genesis to the last words of Revelation, God's existence is assumed.

So, why then would anyone doubt that God exists or that if He exists He is Who the Bible says He is?

I want to suggest two primary reasons: the desire to be in control and the desire to sin without consequences. If there is no God I can be in control of my life and not have to answer to anyone for what I do. That is a powerful delusion. That delusion (nice euphemism for a lie) is the main culprit for the mess we presently find ourselves mired in.

This deception actually predates mankind. Lucifer was the first to fall prey to its lure:

"All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the "stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit."

According to Revelation 12, one-third of the angels bought into his lie and were cast out of heaven with him. If the delusion of control and sin with no consequences can deceive the very angels of heaven, you can understand how powerful it is.

In Genesis 3, we see this deception spread to mankind when the serpent pitched it to Adam and Eve and they bit. This is a powerful delusion.

In Romans 1, we see the spirit of atheism and spiritual independence has become widespread and we see its destructive effects.

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen."

It is crucial that you understand the power of this deception and the chaos it has created in our world. Here are several reasons why:

1) You need to flee to God's truth and cling to it lest you be deceived. Are you hiding God's Word in your heart?

2) You need to understand how we got into this mess and why it is not likely to get better until God's people stand against it in truth and holiness. Have you surrendered your control issues to the Holy Spirit?

3) You need to know how to pray for those who are slaves to this deception. Have you prayed for God to send the Spirit of truth to deal with your deceived friends and loved ones?

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 27, 2017

I don't know if you have seen the Will Smith movie I, Robot. The actor plays a cynical cop in the future who seems to be the only person on earth open to the slight possibility that a robot could develop beyond the scope of its creator's design. Teamed with a theory-driven, numbers-based scientist, Smith becomes exasperated by the woman's refusal to accept anything outside her system of belief. After hitting an impasse one too many times, he yells at her, "You are the dumbest smart person I know!"

That is an apt comparison to those who claim to be atheists or agnostics. Their high degree of intelligence seems to elude them in their refusal to accept ideas outside of their belief system.

The Psalmist put it this way, "The fool has said in His heart, 'There is no God.'"

Agnostics are a bit more open-minded than atheists in that they allow for the existence of God but they don't believe we can know that you can know for sure. They would discount the notion of a personal relationship with God. In fact, the would not conceded to the point of a personal God.

Charles Spurgeon recalled an experience he had with an agnostic, "One walking with me observed with some emphasis, 'I do not believe as you do, I am an agnostic.' 'Oh,' I said to him, 'That is a Greek word isn't it? The Latin word is "ignoramus."' He did not like that at all. Yet I only translated his language from Greek to Latin."

So, where does the agnostic get it wrong?

In stating that you can't really know anything with certainty about God, they are doing that very thing! By making the statement that you can't know anything about God for sure, you are stating something that can be known about God - "He can't be known."

It is a contradiction to say, "One thing I know about God is that you can't know anything about Him." That is essentially their position. Not a strong one, is it?

Mark Twain once quipped, "It's not what I don't know about the Bible that bothers me, it's what I do know about it."

Good point! If we who DO believe in God and who know Him and His Word, would live up to what we know - it would be harder for agnostics to not believe.

God is knowable. He invites us to know Him and reveals Himself through His Word. If you are not earnestly seeking to know Him, how are you better than an agnostic?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

5 Ways To Understand Athiesm

These days it seems fashionable to be identified as an atheist. Atheism has gained an exalted place in our modern culture because it is portrayed as an intellectually superior philosophy. But is it really?

Here's what the Bible says:

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe."
I Corinthians 1:18-22

The great British preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said, "There are no atheists anywhere but on earth. There are none in heaven, and there are none in hell. Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for 'the devils also believe and tremble' (James 2:19). And there are some of the devil's children that have gone beyond their father in sin. But when God's foot crushes them, they will not be able doubt His existence. When He tears them in pieces and there is none to deliver, then their empty logic and their bravado will be of no avail."

So, what do we need to understand about these who arrogantly deny the existence of God and who demean those who believe in Him?

1) Most of them carry spiritual and emotional baggage that are the real reasons behind their refusal to believe. Unfortunately, their reasons for not believing have little to do with God and much to do with misconceptions about Him. Perhaps they have been disappointed by faith or by a person of faith. Maybe they were hurt by a church or damaged by a parent who used faith to shield their abusive behavior. They project their disillusions onto God.

2) Atheism is often portrayed as the modern and trendy way to think and people of faith are belittled as archaic and backward in their thinking. The truth is that people have been rebelling against God and trying to rationalize Him away since the Garden of Eden. Unbelief is nearly as old as belief.

3) An atheist's claim that there is no God is intellectually dishonest for this reason, it is an attempt to make humans into gods. That, in a way, is the ultimate irony: atheists in their denial of God, cannot help but replace the truly omniscient God with a cheap imitation - themselves.

4) Also, his claim that God doesn't exist is intellectually inconsistent because the only way that could be true is if the atheist knew everything it is possible to know. Otherwise, it would be possible for God to exist but that He existed outside of his knowledge or beyond his ability to know. Since there has never been an omniscient human being, there has never been an honest atheist.

5) God believes in atheists even if they don't believe in Him and He sent His Son to die for them. So we should pray for them and reach out to them in love. We should live our lives in ways that make God seem real.

Lest we be too negative toward atheists, let me remind you that at times each of us behave as practical atheists. How is that? When we know what the Bible says and we fail to obey it, we are acting as though there is no God - or as if we are gods. Before we criticize or condemn them, let's repent of our own disbelief and rebellion. God help us, so we can help them.

May 29, 2017

We learned the song as kids, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Faith is easy for us. The Bible says it and we believe it, case closed! It never occurred to us to doubt the existence of God. That's always been a given.

Ask us if God exists and we'd reply, "Does oxygen exist? Does gravity exist? Of course God exists!"

However, for many in our world God is grouped in with Santa, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Santa leaves toys under the Christmas tree, EB leaves colored eggs and the Tooth Fairy slips some coin under the pillow, what evidence do we have of God?
That will be the topic of my next few blogs. I'll deal with two proofs in this article.

Every Effect Has A Cause

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1

The law of cause and effect is best described as the law of life. It is the law by which all the other universal laws are based upon. Understanding that everything in the universe is energy and therefore everything is connected. Then we can see how through this disconnectedness, what happens to one thing must effect another thing. The old saying “what you give is what you get” is entirely true of life and directly describes the law of cause and effect.

In the entire universe, nothing exists independently. Everything has been created by something else and nothing is permanent. The law of cause and effect is commonly known throughout science. For every action there is a reaction or similarly, for every cause there is an effect and from every effect there must have been a cause. This law is an inescapable truth and until you learn and accept it you will be like the cat chasing its tail. 

Here is a point of agreement between believers and unbelievers - the universe is vast and awesome and is the result of an incredible cause. Everywhere you look you see the wonder of our world and it came from something somewhere. That is undeniable and not debatable. From there the opinions vary widely.

Atheists and agnostics usually align with the evolutionary theory of a "Big Bang". Christians accept the Biblical record of a Creator, God, speaking the world into existence according to His plan.

As Alex McFarland writes in the text we are using for this series, "So the question up for debate isn't whether the universe has an origin, it's who - or what - prompted that beginning. Imagine you are in your living room, enjoying a peaceful afternoon while reading the paper. Suddenly, a baseball flies into the room, shattering your window. Obviously, your first question wouldn't be, 'How did this get here?' It would be in a highly-bothered tone, 'Who did this?!'" The baseball didn't just smash through your window for no reason. Some agent acted upon it, causing a "disturbance in the force" that ruined your perfectly good afternoon.

Just as that baseball didn't launch itself through your window, but it was propelled by a person either accidentally or in anger. There is zero percent probability of a baseball throwing itself through a window.

Likewise, as the baseball could not throw itself the universe did not generate itself. To believe either of those could happen is to defy significant mathematical odds. And as that baseball had to be thrown by a person, so Christians believe the Biblical explanation that the universe was created by a Person, God. It is a far more reasonable and logical explanation.

Every Creation Has A Creator

I have been around for quite awhile but I have never heard of anything that created itself. Everything on earth is made by something or someone. I did not create myself. You did not create yourself. We were created by our parents who were created by their parents all the way back to the original parents, Adam and Eve. Where they came from is a point of some contention.

Either they spontaneously constructed from some random convergence of flesh and bones and blood or they were created by Someone. Which sounds most plausible to you? Which one takes the most faith to believe?

If you feel confident with the probability that your Honda constructed itself from raw iron ore, bauxite, petroleum based materials and fibers, and assorted electronic components, then you can be comfortable with the atheist and agnostic ideas of creation.

Personally, I'll line up with the Genesis account.

So, why would someone align with the highly improbable concept of the origin of the universe when it defies all the odds and many accepted laws of physics? Maybe because they desire control and no consequences more than they desire truth.

How could someone subscribe to a random, irrational, demeaning, and impersonal version of creation when you it makes more sense to believe the Biblical account? It makes no sense unless they are more committed to being in control and escaping consequences than they are to truth.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 25, 2017

What does love look like from Jesus' perspective?

How can I show my love for Him in a way that makes Him feel loved? What is His "love language"?

In John 12, He gives us some insights into that important question.

First, love is extravagant.

On Jesus' next trip to Bethany He attended a dinner in His honor to celebrate the miracle of Lazarus. It was a grand occasion! All of their friends were there, the ones who had shared the incredible event that snatched joy from the jaws of sorrow. All were reclined at the table, including Lazarus. Martha, of course, was busy serving them. What grand fellowship!

Amid the celebration, the other sister, Mary, entered the room bearing something in her hands. Hardly anyone noticed until she approached Jesus, knelt before Him. At that point she held out an alabaster box filled with an expensive perfume. She broke the box and poured the fragrant offering over His feet and washed His feet with her hair.

Ironically, we only know the extravagant value of the gift because of the calculations of the greedy Judas, who bemoaned the fact that the gift could have been given to feed the poor. After all, it was the equivalent of a year's income.

What a contrast between someone who loved unconditionally and one who was calculated in His giving! There may be no clearer picture of extravagant love in the Bible.

Mary gave the best she had to demonstrate the highest love she possessed. Everyone in that room knew the cost of that offering and immediately grasped the depth of her love.

Jesus was moved. He was ministered to at a critical moment in His life.

Do you love Jesus? How would He know? When was the last time you offered your most treasured possession to express your highest love?

Second, love is expectant.

The next day, word got around that Jesus would be entering Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover celebration. Those who had followed His ministry knew that when Jesus showed up exciting things happened. Some had seen Him raise Lazarus. A few had been at the feast. Perhaps the blind and the lame and the possessed people that he had healed and delivered were all there. They came with great joy and expectation, grateful for what He had done and anxious to see the next great thing He would do.

Isn't that the way we are toward people we love? We can't wait to see them again! We get excited as their arrival draws near. We run to meet them when they arrive.

What are you expecting from Jesus today? 

Are you running to meet Him? 

Are you excited by His presence? That is how love behaves.

Finally, love is expressive.

Jesus was about to offer the ultimate expression of love, Himself. He tells a His disciples and a small group surrounding them that love is expressed in sacrificial service. Like the alabaster box, His body was about to be broken as an extravagant expression of love.

He explains that His earthly body must die and be buried so that His eternal life can spring forth. And through His sacrificial act of service, we will also live.

In the currency of God's Kingdom, a life spent in sacrificial love is accounted as an investment of love.

How have you expressed your love for God lately? 

Have you served Him? 

Have you given your life to something that He loves?

How will you sacrifice today?

Love that blesses Jesus is extravagant, expectant, and expressive.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Power Of Your Testimony

I am still in John 9 thinking about the blind man that Jesus touched. This guy impresses me as I think how he stood toe to toe with these Jewish religious leaders who were trying to bully him. They were relentless but he was rock solid. They demeaned him. They doubted him. They disrespected Jesus. They doubted Jesus. But nothing phased this fellow? Why was that?

What are we to take from this encounter?

Here's what I am taking away from it - the power of a personal testimony. This man had been blind all of his life. Then Jesus touched him and his eyesight is fully restored. The first face he ever saw was the face of Jesus. Not bad!

This newly sighted man didn't know much about spiritual doctrines. He had not been formally trained in matters of faith and was no match for these well educated religious professionals. He had never been to a Bible study or a preaching service. He had no formal evangelism training. All he had was his testimony. All he knew was that for his entire life he had been blind and this morning he had an encounter with Jesus and now he could see. It was a fact! A strange, powerful, wonderful fact!

Apparently, the Pharisees and other religious leaders didn't have a testimony and they obviously didn't want this man to have one either. But their empty accusations were far overwhelmed by the fervor of this fellow.

Never underestimate the power of your testimony. Be sure of what God has done for you and have it memorized in a short and compelling form - ready to share it at a moments notice. Take joy in telling what Jesus has done for you! That's what he did - and it is still being shared!

Not only did his testimony impact some of the religious leaders, but as he repeated what God had done for him in the face of opposition and skepticism, he blessed himself with the recounting of the miracle God had given him.

Even when the Jewish leaders cursed him and kicked him out of their church, they could not discredit the wonderful work that God had done for him.

What life-changing work has God done for you? 

Who are you telling about it? 

Believe in the power of your testimony!

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 23, 2017

You have undoubtedly heard of the saying, "None is so blind as he who will not see." I am not sure if that originated from John 9, but it certainly could have.

The chapter is dominated by the story of a blind man who was healed by Jesus. But when Jesus healed him He not only opened his physical eyes but his spiritual ones as well. That is a good thing because his newly found faith was quickly tested by his neighbors and by the Pharisees.

Imagine if you had a neighbor who had been blind all of his life and he leaves in the morning to go begging and comes home at the end of the day seeing. Would that not make you a bit curious?

When it became obvious that he had been the recipient of a miracle, rather than celebrate with him over his incredible blessing, they chose to question the miracle. If they accepted his explanation of his healing at the hand of Jesus, they would have to accept two other truths - that miracles DO happen and that Jesus was the Source of the miracle. These men where not prepared to accept either truth. In the light of tangible evidence that this man had been miraculously healed, they chose not to see it that way. Notice how hard they worked to deny the obvious:

1) They tried to claim that this was not their neighbor, but someone who looked like him - V. 9 - "Others said, 'No, he only looks like him."

But, the formerly blind man would not allow it - "I AM the man!" He insisted.

2) The still doubted him and demanded an explanation - "How then were your eyes opened?"

Not daunted, the formerly blind man took the opportunity to tell his story, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes, He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed and then I could see!"

3) Still refusing to accept his simple story, they demanded that he show them this man. But he would not back down under their assaults, so then went after the big guns - the Pharisees, to see if they could break him down. They came and asked him to repeat his story, so he gladly recounted it. Again, rather that rejoice in his good fortune, they under -minded it by accusing the validity of the miracle since it had been performed on the Sabbath. Since it is a sin to heal on the Sabbath, that would make Jesus a sinner and sinners can't perform miracles.

But again, the man would not be intimidated, he continued to insist, "He is a prophet!"

4) Their next tactic was to question whether he had actually been blind to begin with. So they sent for his parents to get them to vouch for him. They hoped that perhaps the parents would feel intimidated and invalidate the claim of their son. But they artfully avoided the controversy, "We know he is our son," the parents answered, "and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself."

The encounter ends with the formerly blind man presenting a crystal clear picture of what had happened to him, but the spiritually blind antagonists refusing to see the truth. They continued in their efforts to discredit him, his story and Jesus.

We tend to believe that miracles force unbelievers to believe. This incident debunks that notion. Here was a clear and undeniable healing and the spiritually blind religious leaders were the ones who were leading the charge to discredit this man and his miracle.

"No one is as blind and he who will not see."

In this ironic encounter, the blind man became the one with 20/20 vision while the acknowledged spiritual leaders proved that the were blind leading the blind.

Will you approach God with eyes wide open? Will you read His Word with eyes wide open? 

Will you ask Him for 20/20 spiritual vision to see the miracles that God is working in your heart and life each day?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 22, 2017

When I took a job selling cars the company sent me to a sales training class. One of the first things they taught me proved to be most valuable - not just for selling but for the rest of life.

What was that? They taught me this premise, "A good deal is a state of mind." In other words, the job of a sales person is to convince a customer that you have given them a good deal. That is a corollary of another popular saying, "People believe what they want to believe."

During my sales career I found that was indeed true. Some of the customers that I made the most money from were convinced that they had gotten a great deal, while some of the one who beat me down to the last dime where sure that I had robbed them.

I have found the same to be true in ministry. People believe when and what they want to believe. Some people for whom God has done so much are the ones who struggle to believe. And then there are those who are so quick to embrace God and His Word without much coaxing.

In John 8, Jesus is confronting a group of religious people who are hard to sell. They are face to face with the Truth and they don't want to receive it. Their idea of a good deal doesn't match what He is telling them.

Jesus, as usual, nails the problem when He states, "He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

In another place Jesus makes this statement, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Another thing they taught me at sales school was that most customers have already decided that they are going to buy a car when they leave home. What they are looking for is a salesman they can trust. They reminded us that we were selling ourselves as much as we were selling cars.

That is precisely what is happening in this encounter between Jesus and these Jews, He is telling them that truth is not a concept it is a Person - Him. If they buy into Him they will have the truth. It is not what you know ABOUT Jesus that matters it is knowing HIM and buying into HIM. The truth that sets you free is HIM! And they were staring right at Him.

When you are ready to buy into Jesus you will know truth. If you are ready to let Him transform your heart and mind you will sell out to Him. Then you will know that you have found a great deal!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 21, 2017

I don't know about you, but I don't always take disappointment well. When you have dreamed of something and strategized and sacrificed to make it happen - but God says, "No!", that's not easy!"

With that in mind I was impressed and inspired by King David when Nathan the Prophet told him that he would not get to build the Lord's Temple. David had hoped that his legacy would be building the Temple during his reign.

So how did he respond to this distressing news? Here's your answer:

"Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men, O LORD God. "What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, O LORD. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises. "There is no one like you, O LORD, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, O LORD, have become their God. "And now, LORD, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. Then men will say, 'The LORD Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel's God!' And the house of your servant David will be established before you. "You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. O LORD, you are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O LORD, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever." I Chronicles 17:16-27

Wow! That is character! 

That is commitment to the will of God!

How does your character measure against that of King David? 

How did you respond the last time things didn't go your way? 

What will you do next time?

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 20, 2017

King David had the Ark of the Covenant returned to its rightful place in Jerusalem. He stands before the Ark, where the presence of the Lord dwelt, and sings this psalm. I share with you and it needs no further comment.

"That day David first committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the LORD : Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, O descendants of Israel his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit." When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no man to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm." Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!" Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, "Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise." Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting." I Chronicles 16:7-36

Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the LORD."

And I say, "Amen! Praise the Lord!"

The Desire Of The Good Shepherd

What a Savior we have!

In John Chapter 6 we see Him as the Bread of Life! He bids us to feed on Him.

In John 8 He identifies Himself as great than Abraham.

In Chapter 9 he presents Himself as the Light of the World and illustrates it by healing a blind man!

Wow! What a Savior!

Moving on to Chapter 10 he refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd. His description sounds a lot like Psalm 23!

As a pastor friend of mine once declared, "When the Lord is your Shepherd - the future is your friend!"

Here's why:

He Leads Us!

A hireling or a sheep rustler drives the sheep, but the Good Shepherd leads us. He leads us into the safety of His presence! He leads us into the security of His pasture! He leads us into the abundance of His truth. He speaks gently to us and calls us by name as He leads us. Think of that, the Good Shepherd knows your name!

He Loves Us!

A hireling or a rustler has no regard for the sheep. They mean nothing to them. To them the sheep are a necessary inconvenience. They lead the flock only for their own personal benefit. So when the sheep are threatened, they will flee to protect themselves. But the Good Shepherd loves His sheep. He provides for them. He protects them. He prays for them. He will give His life to save them. Think about that! You are loved by the Good Shepherd!

He leads us. He loves us. And, He layed down His live for us. Verse 10 sums up the desire of the Good Shepherd and the destiny of His sheep:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full!"

To quote my friend - "When the Lord is your Shepherd, the future is your friend!"