Let God Have Your Life


Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can. – DL Moody
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Heirs of Promise


Reposted from Max Lucado

Heroes in the Bible came from all walks of life—rulers, servants, teachers, doctors—male, female, single, and married.  Yet one common denominator united them. They built their lives on the promises of God. Noah believed in rain before rain was a word. Joshua led two million people into enemy territory. One writer went so far as to call such saints “heirs of the promise” (Hebrews 6:17).

As God prepared the Israelites to face a new land, he made a promise to them, “Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world.  The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you” (Exodus 34:10). God’s promises are unbreakable.  Our hope is unshakable!

Defeating the Devil’s Strategies


Reposted from In Touch Ministries

All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. Then the key question is, What we will do next? Sadly, many believers who stumble give up a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure can also be a chance for a new beginning of living in Christ’s strength.

In pride, Peter thought his faith was the strongest of all the disciples’ and swore that even if the others left Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:29). Yet when the time of testing came, he denied even knowing Christ–and did so three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Satan hoped the disciple would be so wounded by his own disloyalty that his faith would be undermined by shame, condemnation, and despair.

Likewise, when the Enemy sifts believers today, his goal is for us to become shelved and ineffective for God’s kingdom. That’s why he goes after our strengths, especially the areas in which we proudly consider ourselves invincible. But if we’re willing, the Lord can use our failures to do spiritual housecleaning, as He did in Peter’s life. After the resurrection, Jesus met with the disciple personally and restored him, preparing him to become a great leader in the early church. He made it clear that Peter’s potential to serve was defined, not by failure, but by his unwavering love for Christ.

Three Word Legacy


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

I’ve never been much of a funeral guy . . . not that anyone is. The first one I remember was for my father when I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve attended plenty since then, but not until my 40’s did I notice a distinct shift in my perspective.

Before 40, my dominant funeral emotion was numb. Aware of the sadness, but not overwhelmed because death seemed so far away.

Post 40, my emotional state changed. Possibly because I’ve attended funerals of people my age, but more likely because the idea of ‘legacy’ is now more of a priority for me. Sitting through these funerals, I catch myself wrestling with questions like . . .

  • What will my family say about me at my funeral? What about my friends?
  • Who will attend my funeral and why will they be there?
  • How do I want to make others feel when they are around me?
  • What do I value most and how am I living out those values daily?

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the funeral for the mother of a family member. Even though I’d never met her, attending seemed like the right thing to do. My family member would have been there for me if the roles were reversed.

This funeral was unique as this lady suffered a stroke almost 30 years ago. She spent the past 30 years trapped in her temporary ‘earth suit’ . . . wheelchair-bound, with a limited vocabulary. It was said at the service that she was a “prisoner in her own body.”

As her grandchildren spoke and reflected on her life, they shared the words spoken to them most often during their visits . . . “I love you” and “Thank you.” Even with her physical limitations, she still let them know she loved them and was grateful for them. That is a legacy.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us “not to lose heart because while we are wasting away outwardly, we are being renewed every day” and to “fix our eyes on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary.”

Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough.”

Funerals are never events we hope to attend, but they can undoubtedly shape our perspective on eternity and remind us of the temporary nature of this life. After attending that funeral, here are some of the things I’m pondering. Maybe you’ll join me . . .

What are my eyes fixed on?

Am I allowing myself to be renewed every day?

Am I allowing the temporary circumstances I face every day determine the words that come out of my mouth?

If I could only speak three words or less, what would they be?

The Dependability of God


From the first chapter of Scripture, the Bible makes a case for the dependability of God.  Without exception when God spoke, something wonderful happened.  By divine fiat there was light, land, beaches, and creatures.  God consulted no advisers.  He needed no assistance. “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:9).

The same power is seen in Jesus.  He is unchanging.  He’s never caught off guard by the unexpected.  “God never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

God is strong.  He does not overpromise and under deliver.  “God is able to do whatever he promises” (Romans 4:21).  “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).  God will keep his promises.  It must happen because of who God is!  And because God’s promises are unbreakable, our hope is unshakable!

Reposted from Max Lucado

God Told Me


 

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Reposted from Radical Mentoring

There’s a little twinge in my spirit when I hear the words “God told me” come out of someone’s mouth (including my own).

Did He? Does He? How do you know it was God?

What’s our motive for qualifying what we’re about to say with “God told me.” Are we trying to sound ‘super-spiritual’? Do we think the truth we’re about to share has to have the heavy-duty punch of “God said” to be worth the attention?

I try not to get into theology on this blog because there are usually as many opinions as readers. Nobody has concrete answers to theological questions. I subscribe to this quote (often misattributed to St. Augustine) . . .

“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.”

As Jesus-followers, we have a responsibility to represent Jesus and His Kingdom well. We’re told in Corinthians to be “ambassadors for Christ.” To me, that means when people see us, they see people living as Jesus lived. Loving. Serving. “Gentle and humble in heart.”

The humble in heart part is what I’m talking about here. It’s hard to appear humble in heart while we’re saying “God told me,” or “God wants me to,” or the even more dangerous, “God wants you to . . .”

Personally, I do believe God speaks to us individually. It’s almost always about matters of the heart, and it’s always for our good. But His words for us are just that . . . they’re for us. When we start adding “God told me” to things we’re saying, there are often unintended consequences . . .

  • Listeners get distracted from what’s being said by the “God told me” part. If what you’re saying is truth from God, won’t the Holy Spirit reveal that without us having to punctuate it with “God told me”?
  • Unbelievers can be intimidated and feel even more like outsiders . . . pushed further away from meaningful faith.
  • New or less mature believers lose heart, feeling there’s something wrong with them because God’s not speaking to them.
  • The believer doing the talking accidentally glorifies himself instead of Jesus.
  • The person talking could get it wrong, repeating things they imagined but God wasn’t in.

Let’s be thoughtful, careful and prayerful with our words, especially when we invoke the name of the God, who is so holy that the Jews didn’t even speak His name for 300 years.

Let’s be careful to avoid sin . . . including the sin of self-righteousness.

Scripture: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (Exodus 20:7)