Wednesday, April 21, 2010

tie the knot

I love fishing, but it sure can get expensive. Boats/Motors are very expensive. Gas is expensive. Sunglasses can be expensive. Bait can cost a lot. Rods and reels can be incredibly expensive (I still have my first reel...the good ol Zebco 33...prices sure have gone up since then!). This list can be neverending. Bass Pro Shops fishing catalog is gigantic and filled with "must haves" in order to catch that next big one.

Here's the can spend all the money in the world, but if you don't know how to tie a good knot, you're wasting your time. You can have the most expensive boat with the latest and greatest GPS & depthfinder electronics...fastest, most powerful motor...all the right gear, and if you can't tie a good knot, you won't catch one fish all day (unless you use the good ol' boy "dynamite" method...not recommended). It's all about the've got to start there!

For centuries, people have been figuring out how to be a Christ follower. It saddens me to see all the different ways people have "figured out" and "discovered" how to get to heaven. Saying the right things, wearing the right things, being in the right buildings, having the right stuff...this list could go on for a long time too.

Here's the basic, bottom line that we too often forget in the hustle and bustle of our oftentimes overly religious society...Jesus looked person after person in the eye and simply said, "Follow me." Deep, transforming, powerful...that statement is revolutionary, if we obey it.

Jesus knows your life, this society. He knows what it takes to get to heaven and doesn't ask anyone to do anything unreasonable. He simply asks us to do what He has already done & experienced.

Take some time to search your heart. Have you gotten caught up in what the world says following Jesus looks like or are you focused on Him? Make sure you have a solid foundation in Christ and Christ alone. Tie the knot...Follow Him!

Stay strong,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

is grace enough?

grace: favor,goodwill, generosity, kindness, indulgence; formal benefaction.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
These are the words of God back to the apostle Paul after Paul pleads with God to deliver him from a difficult situation/temptation/"thorn".
I can only imagine trying to have this conversation with God if I was Paul.
Me: Um...God, that's great, but what about all the churches I've started for You? Can't you help me out a bit here?
God: My grace is sufficient for you.
Me: Yeah...I caught that. But how about the missionary journeys...they've gotta count for something. Little help here?
God: My grace is sufficient for you.
Me: Shipwrecks, floggings, beatings, snakebites...all for you God. C'mon...Please?
God: My grace is sufficient for you!
Me: I love your grace God. Really, I do...I'm unworthy...I get that...but I could do so much more for You if I wasn't distracted by this junk that keeps bugging me!
God: My grace is sufficient for you!
How many times have I had similar conversations...asking God for deliverance from something that He might purposefully have me in the middle of to be a display of His grace and love? Maybe instead, I should concentrate on letting His light shine no matter what and be content with His amazing grace.
Is it truly enough?
How about in your life? Is His grace truly sufficient for you? God will never love you any more or less than He does right now. He has given you everything you need to accomplish His will through your life RIGHT NOW! What an amazing honor! Will you delight in His grace and draw strength from Him? Is God's grace truly enough if that's all you truly have and end up with?
Be content. Give thanks in all things. Believe and live like His grace is sufficient for you.
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."2 Corinthians 13:14
Stay strong.

Friday, April 2, 2010

mockery 2

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Stay strong,


I can't stand watching someone get mocked. It angers me...the person getting mocked being humiliated by a person(s) who thinks that for some reason they are better than the other. I believe you can mock someone with words and/or actions. Mock: jeer at, sneer at, deride, scorn, make fun of, laugh at, scoff at, tease, taunt.

Matthew 27 is one of the accounts of Jesus' trial and crucifixion. After a pathetic trial full of lies and false testimony, the drunken crowd screams for Jesus to be killed. Between that moment in Matt. 27:23 and His death on the cross in vs. 50, He...Jesus...King of Kings and Lord of Lords...ruler of all nations...the Alpha and Omega...He is mocked.

27Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Jesus is mocked...

32As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 34There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots

God is dying for their sins and they play a gambling game for His clothes as He suffers. Jesus is mocked...

37Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

While the sign reads true, my gut tells me that the people who put the truth on it didn't mean what they wrote. Jesus is mocked...

38Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"

Jesus is mocked...

41In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.42"He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

Here are the representatives of God...the preachers of that day. Instead of worshipping the God they were supposed to welcome and represent to everyone...Jesus is mocked...

44In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

It's sad that the religious leaders acted no better than robbers worthy of the death
sentence. Jesus is mocked...

We come to church. We sing praises to Jesus. We hear the truth of Christ. We have more access to the Word of God today than ever before. And yet, when you look at our lives and the lives of so many who fill church buildings today...instead of seeing Jesus...Jesus is mocked.

Romans 6:1-4
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Stay strong...