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Showing posts from January, 2019

Realizing His Cost

Morning Inspiration! But it was the Lord’s plan to crush Him & fill Him with grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, & the Lord’s plans will prosper in His hands. When He sees all that is satisfied by His anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of what He has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins. Isaiah 53:10-11 This Scripture hits me with how casually I often approach God. How long has it been since we stopped, to think deeply about ALL that Jesus went through, to take our sin...on His shoulders? Our Faith & our hope for the future is based on God’s Grace, which came through the ultimate sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Take the time to read this entire chapter of Isaiah today. Realize that the suffering prophesied here, hundreds of years before it happened, continues to benefit each of us personall…

Childlike Not Childish

Morning Inspiration: About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:2–4 The disciples basically asked Jesus how they could be considered the greatest. We shouldn’t really criticize them for that. It’s human nature to want to be better than others; to be the very best. We tend to want to lead the way, make all the decisions, & be well thought of by our peers. Jesus stunned them, by radically changing their definition (or understanding) of greatness. He urged them to learn to become childlike again, with a humble heart & gentle nature. That’s exactly the opposite of being childish. When we are selfish, & focus…

Fit In, Don't Give In!

Morning Inspiration! When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul spoke of ‘fitting in’ with whoever he was around, through both good times & bad. He ate what they ate, following their customs & laws, as long as they didn’t violate the clear guidelines Jesus gave us. He showed others he had many of the same problems or issues, & that he could be trusted becasue he cared about them personally. This allowed Paul to share the truth of the incredible change Jesus brought to his life. He worked on through great pain & disappointment, with continuous sacrifice, fueled by his faith in Jesus as Lord & Savior. Paul was a wonderful example of the type of believing servant we should each strive to be. “Lord help us fit in, without giving in. Show us how to bring them your Word, without us becoming caught up in their…

Pressing Towards Perfection

Morning Inspiration! I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12–14 Paul speaks to all Christians, with several important reminders about our faith: We are far from perfect. Yet we must stay determined to learn to imitate the perfection of Jesus, in the way we live. Even though we fall short daily, we can never give up. Instead of looking back on our failures, we learn from them & forge ahead towards becoming all God has saved us for & calls us to be. Trusting in the perfect promises of Jesus, eventually brings a heaven reward.

Using Our Spiritual Mirror

Morning Inspiration! But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:22–25 I love this realistic example of honestly looking at our life! Scripture is designed to show us our spiritual flaws & shortcomings. If you look in the mirror & see food on your chin, you wipe it off, so you don’t look foolish to the world. Looking honestly into God’s Word, reflects the truth of how we are living our life! It shows us what we need to do to improve the way the world sees Jesus-through us! Just reading the Bible is not enough. Memorizing portions of Scripture is good, but ONLY if we put it into action daily. God…

Opening One of God's Greatest Gifts

Morning Inspiration! “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Jesus, quoted in John 14:27 The world teaches that peace, is the absence of conflict or war. The Word says true peace is our confident assurance, through any conflict, that Jesus is in control. The peace of God, surpasses all human understanding. Jesus offers us all this amazing gift, but many have never opened it up or used it! Make it a habit to tap into one of God’s greatest gifts. Melt your worry & stress away, by learning to accept God’s peace of mind & heart today.

Living A Life Worthy of Serving Jesus

Morning Inspiration! We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry. In everything we do we try to show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every time. 2nd Corinthians 6:3-4 Most people would be shocked at what those serving in Ministry face on a daily basis. The past 8 years as a Chaplain & Pastor have really been eyeopening. Please take time today to pray for your Pastors & Ministry Leaders, & especially their families. They are attacked repeatedly, in a wide variety of ways, from petty complaints, to unrealistic expectations, to all out spiritual warfare. For those of you serving the Lord, carefully guard your heart with these words from Paul. In spite of terrible attacks from both the world & the church he loved, he stayed filled with faith all the way through. With Jesus as your guiding light, you will too.…

Helping Others Overcome Sin

Morning Inspiration! Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.
Galatians 6:1–3 Helping those who fall back into sin is always a sensitive situation, requiring a thoughtful approach. Notice it doesn’t say to push sinners away, or to treat them with disgust & contempt. Be gentle & extremely humble; remember your past failings & use them as encouragement to the hurting. Use extreme caution, so you don’t get pulled in, to their sin. Share in their pain, & point them towards the spiritual gain, that is promised when we repent. Jesus does the same for us, & it is an honor to help restore his children to God’s amazing grace.

Lower Yourself to Lead!

Morning Inspiration! “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus, quoted in Mark 10:41–45 James & John had asked Jesus for special positions of recognition & authority. Instead of criticizing them for their natural desire to be great, Jesus adjusted the definition of greatness! He taught them that true leaders, are actually servants of all the people. Humbling ourselves to serve others is the way to become great in the eyes of God. Sustained practice brings deeper understanding of who the Lord is, & what he desires from us. We do not earn our positions in God’s Kingdom through personal favors, but through o…

Don't Allow Yourself to be Hunted Down!

Morning Inspiration! Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
1 Peter 5:8–9 Ever watch those TV documentaries about lions in the wild? They may seem to lay around, sleep & relax a lot, but in reality...every single thing they do, is designed to prepare them to hunt for you! Peter compares the Evil One to a lion, for good reason. Even when we don’t see him, Satan, is always prowling out there, & we must constantly beware! We are his prey, his game...& he NEVER stops thinking about how to lure us into his traps. Most those destroyed by lions, are off by themselves, in places they shouldn’t be. It’s the same for you & me! Stay alert, & at the first sign of temptation or attack, flee! Surround yourself with a family of solid b…

The Difference of Christianity

Morning Inspiration: You have come to Jesus, the One who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which graciously forgives instead of crying out for vengeance as the blood of Abel did. See to it that you obey God, the One who is speaking to you. Hebrew 12:24-25 If we are to truly follow Jesus, we must live out His example of caring for & forgiving those who don’t deserve it. Religions or movements that promote revenge, hatred & terrorism aren’t of God, but man-made, & lead to selfishness & evil. Yet, we cannot fall into the trap of hating them. We are to obey & imitate our Savior, who shows us how to pray for them, to be kind, forgive, & show them the love of Jesus. Living like our God, is the best way to show them the shortcomings of theirs, without ever saying a word.

Work To Be A Leader

Morning Inspiration: Work hard & become a leader; be lazy & become a slave. Proverbs 12:24 Scripture makes it clear we can’t ‘Work’ our way into Heaven, yet there is a long tradition of Christians being dependable, trustworthy employees & laborers who go the extra mile. Paul made tents to support his preaching...& said “Those who won’t work, shouldn’t eat”. Put your whole heart into your job, as if you are working for Jesus Himself! The same goes for the effort you put into your family & ministry. Work hard, not because you have to, but because you want to please the Lord. God will reward you greatly.

What We Gain When We Endure The Pain

Morning Inspiration! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6–7 Even though Peter basically promises we will see numerous trials in our life, this Scripture encourages me, that we can make it through all the strife. We are told to hang tough, to never give in knowing we will eventually win. Nobody enjoys going through hurt, pain or treatment that is unjust. Yet we understand that this is all a must. Understanding that these trials are a test, will help us bring out our very best. Our natural response to trouble, is to be sad, but the Holy Spirit encourages us to actually be glad. Trust in Jesus …

The Worst Sinner Ever

Morning Inspiration! This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15–16 Paul wrote this. 2,000 years later, I feel I’m living it. I was trapped in a horribly sinful life. Jesus changed me in amazing ways. I continue to fall short of God’s desire for me. Even though I try my best to live a godly life, I still sin every single day. Yet, His work in me continues. I’m learning, & growing in my faith. Through the undeserved grace of God, I am forgiven! I often say “If God can use an idiot like me, He can use anybody”. I mean it! Even in & through your glaring weakness & imperfection, Jesus can use you to help others see His glory & His hope in their live…

Advice For Enjoying Life

Morning Inspiration:“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
Psalm 34:12-14 Written by King David, included in the Old Testament, & then quoted in the New Testament by Peter, this Scripture is one we should practice daily! Carefully guard our words. Always be truthful. Turn away from evil, & do good things in the name of Jesus. Look for ways to find peace with those who oppose us, & work hard to do our part in maintaining it. Our reward is tremendous. Verse 15 reminds us: The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers.

2-3 Times The Power! Morning Inspiration

Morning Inspiration! For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Jesus, quoted Matthew 18:20 This short passage has deep meaning & great power! Jesus teaches the importance of believers spending time together. Sharing our burdens with each other lightens our load, & encourages us that we are not alone. Jesus actually empowers us through the presence of His Holy Spirit. Unified prayer asking for His Will to be done, is promised & granted through God’s Son.

We Always Pay The Price

Morning Inspiration! Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. Galatians 6:7–8 What I now call ‘my former life’ is proof this Scripture is accurate. I completely ignored God for 20 years. Worse, I mocked him & his people. I learned about Jesus as a child, but shunned my faith as a young teen into my 30’s. I definitely paid a heavy price. I hurt those who loved me most, destroyed my marriage, lost my self respect & sunk into a selfish, degrading lifestyle that took me into deep depression & near suicide. My life today is far from perfect, but I am calmed, comforted (& more importantly, forgiven) by my Savior, Who is! Jesus will give His Holy Spirit to you too, if you simply & sincerely ask him to take over your life.

What's Your Approval Rating?

Morning Inspiration! Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10 I am guilty of always wanting to please others! Paul teaches our 1st goal must be to live a life that pleases Jesus. We should follow Paul’s example to be direct, bold & single minded. Yet we can’t be cold, mean or uncaring to those who don’t know the Lord. Imitate Paul’s kindness, gentleness, love & concern for others. He learned to ‘fit-in’ wherever he was, without compromising his deeply held beliefs.
When we do the same, we are worthy ambassadors for Jesus Christ.

Trust Brings Better Giving

Morning Inspiration! You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:7–8 As we plan personal improvement in the new year, don’t overlook doing a better job at giving.
Learning to give generously, as well as cheerfully, brings wonderful promise from Scripture! Trusting Jesus to give us all we need, makes it easier to give what we have to others, because we know it will be replaced & even increased. When we truly care, it becomes natural to share...our time, talent & our treasure. All we ever have comes from God every day, so we can feel free to give it away!

Letting The Lord Light Us Up!

Morning Inspiration! O Lord, you are my lamp.
The Lord lights up my darkness.
2 Samuel 22:29 King David wrote a long, heartfelt prayer of gratitude to God, after being rescued from his enemies. He says the Lord is his rock, his shield & his strong fortress...yet calling God his lamp, makes this verse stands out to me. For all his success, David had many dark periods in his life. Some were self caused, others not his fault in any way. Isn’t that the case for many of us? Through it all, he looked to God as his guiding light. I’m teaching at New Covenant Church this Sunday, and my message is A Year of Light In The Lord. I pray you’ll join us for a look at how the Light of Jesus in our life, makes ALL the difference. You’ll go home with a suggested Scripture about God’s Light, to help you through every month of the year to come.

Follow His Light To Truth

Morning Inspiration! Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. Psalm 43:3 King David knew he needed God’s light, to guide him to the truth. He realized the truth would lead him where he wanted to be in life. If like David, your desire is to be close to God, pray for Jesus to send you his guiding light each & every day.

Full Service Faith

Morning Inspiration: “Love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul." Joshua 22:5 When we truly love God, walking in his ways & obeying him is an honor, not a duty. We serve Jesus best by taking care of his people. Yet we can’t allow our works, to get in the way of, or detract from our faith! Love the Lord with all you’ve got, by holding on tight to all he taught about balancing service & faith!

How We Are Saved

Morning Inspiration: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10 Mankind insists on making salvation difficult. Scripture, God's Holy Word, makes it an amazingly simple, two step process. 1: Believe that Jesus is Lord, and was raised from the dead. 2: Tell others. Forget the long man-made list of do's and don'ts. Show your love for, Jesus, by doing what He says. Believe He is, who He says He is...and tell the world why