Sunday, December 30, 2007


The LORD protects all those who love him,

but he destroys the wicked. Psalms 145:20 (NLT)

The Lord is totally right in everything He does (righteous) and overflows with kindness toward those who regard Him as Lord and Master.

He is so close to us (omnipresent) that when we call on Him sincerely, He is right there with us.

When we recognize the awesome nature of His power (Creator, Savior, Redeemer, etc.), He grants our every wish…because our every wish will be lined up with His will.

He hears our prayers for help (before we even think them) and comes to our aid to rescue us from our problems.

When we love Him sincerely (you can’t fool God!), He returns that genuine affection with protection from our enemies whether physical or spiritual

Look back over this past year and see where God has worked in your life. Can you find His protection in any specific event? Can you remember a time when you prayed for help and He was there with the solution? Can you recall something that you desired that only God could have brought about? Or perhaps you remember a time when He comforted you in a moment of hurt…it felt like He was holding you in His ever loving arms.

Take the time to record your findings. Perhaps it will come in handy in the coming year when you need a little reminder of God’s incredible faithfulness to those who love Him.


Saturday, December 29, 2007


He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Psalms 145:19 (NASB)

Fear doesn’t have to mean “scary.” The dictionary says one of the meanings of fear is reverence: respect or awe for something or somebody. This is the meaning of fear when applied toward God. We are to respect Him. If you stop and think about God as having created the planets, the stars, the mountains that surround us and everything else that exists, we should fear Him. After all, couldn’t He simply wipe out the very things that He created?

Why then do we sometimes act as though what He says doesn’t matter? Why do we ignore His wishes for our lives? Are we not fearful enough of God’s awesome power?

I’m not implying that the only reason we should obey God is out of fear for Him, but merely that it would behoove us (and perhaps modify our behavior) if we considered His true greatness.

Even though God is to be feared, He would prefer our obedience out of love for Him. Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15) and God loved every single one of us in this world so much that he sent Jesus, His only begotten Son to die for our sins (John 3:16).

Don’t underestimate His power for one day EVERY knee WILL bow and EVERY tongue WILL confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11 - emphasis mine).


Friday, December 28, 2007


The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

Psalms 145:18 (NASB)

Lord, if you will make me rich, I’ll follow your ways. If you’ll do this one special thing for me, then I’ll always do what you ask of me.

Hmmm. That doesn’t sound terribly sincere, does it? How can we expect to be “near” God if we are simply seeking ways to please ourselves?

Do you want to be close to God? Then seek Him in all sincerity, with integrity, honor and without deception. He sees you as you really are, anyway, so don’t think you can “put anything over” on Him.

Look back on the past year…did you get closer to God? Think about times you have been close to God… Is there anything more calming or more reassuring than being close to the Creator of the Universe?

As we approach the new year, remember God’s promise to you:

You will seek Me and find Me

when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB)

I love those who love me;

And those who diligently seek me will find me.

Proverbs 8:17 (NASB)

Seek Him diligently, in truth and with all your heart. He will not disappoint.


Thursday, December 27, 2007


The LORD is righteous in all His ways

And kind in all His deeds.

Psalms 145:17 (NASB)

Sure, bad things happen, but we can’t blame them on God. He rescues us from the grips of sin, from the crumbling world around us and from ourselves.

We can try to do things on our own, without Him, but as Isaiah said,

We are all infected and impure with sin.

When we display our righteous deeds,

they are nothing but filthy rags.

Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,

and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

Isaiah 64:6 (NLT)

God alone is perfect, holy, righteous, just and


As we wind down the year 2007, look back and thank Him for all the good deeds He has done in your life. Look forward to all the good things He will bring into your life in the coming year as you keep your eyes and attention focused on Him.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

For unto you

is born this day

in the city of David

a Saviour,

which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11 (KJV)

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Why do you think the birth of Jesus was announced first to shepherds?

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. Luke 2:8 - 14 (NASB)

Jesus, the Son of God was called…

  • The Shepherd of Israel (Matthew 2:6)
  • The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
  • The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20)
  • The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)

We that call Him Lord are referred to as His sheep and only His sheep hear His voice. (John 10:3, 27)

Jesus told Peter to “shepherd my sheep.” (John 21:16)

The overseers of the church were told to “shepherd” the members (Acts 20:28)

Jesus in his humanity was called…

  • The Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36)

He alone could thoroughly identify with us and provide the sacrifice for all of our sins. God in the flesh was the First Lamb, the risen Lamb. Indeed, Jesus is our all in all.

Matthew 25:31 - 34 (NASB) 31“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 7:17 (NASB) 17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”


Friday, December 21, 2007

“There’s nothing to do in this little hick town. I’m moving out and going to a big city.”

I have heard this more than once living here in this rural setting. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what size or how obscure your town. What matters is what God has done, is doing or will do in your town and, whether or not you are willing to be a part of His plan right now.

Bethlehem was a rather obscure place, being a village 5 or 6 miles to the south of Jerusalem. The Bible first mentions Bethlehem as the place where Rachel died (Genesis 48:7) and later as the place where a shepherd boy named David was born. That shepherd boy had tremendous faith in God and later became the King of Israel (1 Samuel 16:4-13).

The prophet Micah also wrote of this small village:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,

one whose origins are from the distant past. Micah 5:2 (NLT)

That ruler was none other than Jesus Christ. His origins as we see from the Gospel of John are from the distant past. John tells us “He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2).

Why would God bring His only Son into the world in a little village like Bethlehem? Perhaps it was to encourage those of us living in small towns to persevere and be faithful to Him.

Remember Jesus came from the family tree of King David. God had honored King David because he loved the Lord with all of his heart. We have all heard of the story of David and Goliath. David was just a boy, but he couldn’t stand to hear the giant Goliath making fun of Israel’s army. David went forward “in the name of the LORD,” killed the giant and gave all the glory to the LORD (1 Samuel 17).

Can God do something great in your little town? Absolutely! Be faithful to Him, give God the glory for your victories and be His servant no matter the circumstances. He has placed you where He wants you to be at this moment in time. Are you willing to try?

What was once an obscure little village became one of the most famous cities in the entire world. Songs are sung about it. People from far away places spend thousands of dollars to go and see it. All because of the faithfulness and devotion to God of a young shepherd boy and one of his descendants whose birthday we celebrate every December 25.


Thursday, December 20, 2007


There are only five days remaining until we celebrate the birthday of Jesus. As we continue to prepare our hearts and hopefully the hearts of others, let’s turn to the Gospel of John.

The writer of this Gospel starts with the eternal nature of Christ. He takes us to a point before time began and says there is the Messiah, the Christ. He was there in the beginning of beginnings. He was not only with God, he was God. Jesus was the instrument of Creation; for Him and by Him all things were created.

It is for all these reasons that we acknowledge Him as King of kings, Lord of lords and joyfully accept His offer of eternal life. These are the reasons that we continue to celebrate the birth of a baby, a baby that was already older than everyone who ever lived and who had the power to create life.

God had come down to earth in the form of man, His own creation, to help all mankind live a better life. The eternal Light shines forth in this dark world to guide our paths.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was in the beginning with God. 3. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1 – 5, 14 (NASB)

And not only so we could live a better, more satisfying life here on earth, but to be able to experience life eternal with Him in heaven.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him, would not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Young children have been telling the Christmas story every year for as long as I can remember. The scene that most often catches our attention is when Joseph knocks on the door of the Inn. The Innkeeper answers the door and those famous words echo once again,


This taken from Luke 2:7 where the writer tells us,

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NASB)

That scene has been running through my mind lately. There was a preacher in the mid to late 1800’s called Dwight L. Moody. In one of his sermons entitled, “No Room for Jesus,” he makes a few thought provoking comments. One might think that he would be a little “out of date or style” but listen to a few of his points. He says there is:

  • No room for Jesus in the United States or any other nation
  • No room in the Church
  • No room in the hearts of church members

December 20, 2006 George Barna released a list of the twelve most significant findings from his research in the year 2006. The first one on the list states:

Although large majorities of the public claim to be “deeply spiritual” and say that their religious faith is “very important” in their life, only 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. As alarming as that finding was, its significance was magnified by research showing that on average pastors believe that 70% of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.

It would appear that there is still no room for Jesus or, at the very least, a miniscule space in the hearts of man.

Moody made the statement towards the end of the previously mentioned sermon,

“The only room the world found for him was just on the cross.”

What about you, is there room in your heart for the Christ of Christmas this year? Is there room in your life for Him?

Don’t push him aside. Don’t give him just a little corner of your life. Give it all to him and have the best Christmas that you have ever had. Don’t let him have to say, “I came to you and found no room…”


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


What’s in a name? Remember the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me”? Well, actually they can hurt your feelings if you think about it. Did kids ever call you “fatty”, “pudgy”, “plain Jane” or “dopey”? That didn’t make you feel too good.

The name or more properly, nickname that others call you is often how they perceive you or identify you. “Doll”, “brain”, “sweetie” or “wiz kid” may all be nicknames that someone might call you. I walked into the grocery store the other day and somebody said to me, “Aren’t you the Music Man?”

One week from today, we are going to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. The scriptures list many different names by which we know Jesus…

Matthew 1:23 quotes a passage from Isaiah 7:14 calling the child…

  • IMMANUEL (God with us)

In Luke 2:11 the child is referred to as…


Another prophecy concerning Jesus is found in Isaiah 9:6…

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I looked up an article on the names of Jesus in Nave’s Topical Bible and it listed 261 different names with verse references! Among them are…

  • The Alpha and Omega
  • The Cornerstone
  • Bread of Life
  • Living Water

When you stop to think about it, they all describe different aspects of who Jesus is. Do a study on your own and discover the depth and majesty of the One whose birthday we shall soon celebrate.


Monday, December 17, 2007


They read about him in an old book. They had never met him, yet they brought him expensive gifts.

The Wisemen’s search was over. They had found the One they were looking for.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:10 - 11 (KJV)

Have you found the Christ of Christmas? If not continue seeking Him. If you search for Him with all your heart, He promises that you will find Him.

If you do know the Jesus about whom I am speaking then I would ask you this,

What did you get Him for His birthday this year?

These wise men or astrologers that searched for and found Jesus brought him very expensive gifts. I’m sure that these came in handy for Mary and Joseph as the two new parents set about providing for their new little baby.

Yet those of us who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord have even more of a responsibility to give from our thankful hearts. What do we have to give?

  • We can give money to the local church that we see doing the Lord’s work.
  • We can give to missionaries or other organizations that are being faithful to His call.

Even those that didn’t really know Jesus gave Him monetary gifts. What more can we give? What more does He desire?

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalms 51:17 (NLT)

In other words, He wants us totally sold out to Him. This Christmas, give Christ the only present He really desires…YOU

Give Him ALL of you

  • Your wants, wishes and desires
  • Your problems, fears and phobias
  • Your talents, dreams and aspirations.

There is a great song called “Surrender” by Marc James that puts it this way:

I'm giving You my heart and all that is within;

I lay it all down for the sake of You my King.

I'm giving You my dreams, I'm laying down my rights,

I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life.


And I surrender

All to You, all to You.

And I surrender

All to You, all to You.

© 2000 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (Admin. by Music Services) CCLI #2919832


Sunday, December 16, 2007


Have you ever had a chance to meet someone famous? Perhaps it was a musician, a politician, an author or a television personality. If not, maybe you have witnessed someone else meeting someone famous.

The reactions usually range from “You’re the greatest ___________ I’ve ever seen” to “I’ll never wash that hand again!” We tend to look up to celebrities. People still drive (and some fly) hundreds even thousands of miles to see the house where Elvis Presley lived.

Some foreign scholars felt it was worth it to travel a great distance to see Jesus when he was very young. Matthew 2:2 records the event:

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

They traveled to see someone they had only read about in the prophecies of the Old Testament scriptures. What they read told them that this child was worthy of worship.

While worship can mean many things, the word used here literally means “to bow down.” When we bow to something, though not very common in our culture today, we are saying that we are nothing and the one we are bowing to is greater than we are. They are worthy of placing ourselves in the humble position of bowing.

Can we bow in other ways than physical? How about "bowing" our wills to Jesus, our Lord? What about bowing in humility before His awesome Word and placing ourselves in submission to Him and His desires for our lives?

As you continue to prepare your heart for the birthday of Christ the King, ask Him what areas in your life are still in need of “bowing,” of being laid at His feet acknowledging that He alone has the answer, that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Worship the Lord in humility and acknowledge the true Master of the Universe.


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Do you get excited when a friend is coming to visit you? How about when your very best friend is having a birthday, do you get excited and throw them a party? Do you buy them presents?

Wouldn’t it be great if this Christmas, we threw a party for Jesus and gave Him presents? After all, isn’t Christmas the celebration of His birthday?

What can you give the King of kings as a present? How about…

Your love

Your attention

Your devotion to His Word

What about a renewed commitment to…

Seek His will even in the little things

Give a portion of your income to His work

Be used by Him no matter what it is

We have turned the celebration of Christ’s birthday into something for ourselves. We buy presents for other people and expect presents from them. We decorate our houses with lights, tinsel, plastic reindeer, Santa and an occasional Nativity Scene. And, more often than not, it turns out to be a competition to see who can put up the most lights, or the fanciest tree.

This year, let's thank and worship the Almighty God for the awesome gift of His Son. Let us rejoice at the birth of Jesus, not as a baby who came into the world, but as God who came down to earth in the flesh so that we might have life eternal.

Finally, let us celebrate with eager anticipation of His return. Jesus is coming back for his people. He is coming to take those of us who call Him, Lord and Savior, to live with Him in heaven.

Do you know the Christ of Christmas? Do your friends know Him? Give Christ a present this Christmas. Pick out something special for His birthday. He is coming again…it could even be today.

John 1:29 (NLT) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!


Friday, December 14, 2007


Christmas is all about giving. God gave His only Son so that whoever believed in him shouldn’t perish but have eternal life. We give presents to others. We give money to charities. Christmas is all about giving.

Do you remember the story of the “Widow’s Mite”? Jesus was with His disciples and watching as people gave…

41And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41 - 44 (NASB)

There’s an individual in our community that is like that widow. They spend most of their time helping others and giving of their very meager income to the church and to charities. Wow! What an inspiration, what a blessing. They are living the life that Jesus talked about when He told the story of the “Widow’s Mite.”

He also told a rich man…

“…If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21 (NASB)

Obviously, Jesus didn’t say we all needed to lead a life of poverty. He did know how important this man’s possessions were to him.

Jesus wants us all to remember that we’re on this earth together; we’re all His creation. Take care of each other, love one another, help one another…in these things is the true spirit of Christmas.

God gave His Son so you would have life. Now, give your life to helping others see His Son.


Saturday, December 08, 2007


We tend to love ourselves quite well. We love to be happy (or sad if that brings us more attention). We love to have the latest cell phone, mp3 player or super fast computer. We love to eat our favorite dishes and buy the latest fashions. We love it when our friends pay attention to us. We love to be noticed and be the center of attention. We love to do things that we love to do!

The Pharisees once posed a question to Jesus…

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:36 - 39 (NLT)

That second commandment must have needed a lot of reinforcing because it can be found in Matthew 19:19, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:8-9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8 and in the Old Testament book of Leviticus 19:18.

If we love ourselves so much as was mentioned in the first paragraph, ask yourself this question, “How well are we doing at loving others as ourselves?”

Do we strive to see that those around us are happy? Do we get them the latest high-tech toys, cook them their favorite dishes, buy them the latest fashions and make them the center of attention?

Paul, knowing our weaknesses takes it a step further when he says,

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3 - 4 (NLT)

I think of it like this, if we make Christ the center of attention in your life and His love will overflow through you to others.


Friday, December 07, 2007


It’s interesting to me to observe the behavior of those coming into the SPRING Student Center. Some kids are leaders and some are followers. The problem comes when the good kids that are followers fall in with a leader who doesn’t quite exhibit exemplary behavior.

The Bible addresses this…

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. 3 John 1:11 (NASB)

We can all admit that there aren’t any “perfect” leaders to follow, at least human ones. So what’s the answer? We are to be…

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)


Thursday, December 06, 2007


It’s only 19 days to Christmas. Time to buy those last minute presents (or do you wait until the Christmas Eve J). Time to recall who our real friends are and then touch base with our seasonal friends…those that we exchange Christmas cards with and don’t really talk to the rest of the year. It’s a magical time.

Of course, it would be good if we remembered why it’s “magical.” Time to recall that Christmas is in fact named for CHRIST, and regardless of whether the day was originally a pagan holiday or not, those of us who count Jesus Christ as our Savior, celebrate His being born into this world.

Many people are open to the gospel at this time of year. Quite a few of them have even heard a verse or two from the Bible, though they don’t go to church. Like John 3:16 for example,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)

He was born to bring eternal life to everyone that believes in Him. Sometimes, we stop there and don’t tell people what it means to “believe in Him.” Then people run around saying “I believe in Jesus” but wonder why there life isn’t any different now than before they believed.

Here’s a verse that may help:

Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God-begotten. If we love the One who conceives the child, we’ll surely love the child who was conceived. 2The reality test on whether or not we love God’s children is this: Do we love God? Do we keep his commands? 3The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome. 1 John 5:1 - 3 (TMSG)

Let’s remember the birth of Jesus, the reason that He came to earth in human form. Let’s tell others about that miraculous birth and introduce them to the Son of God. They too, can be begotten of God. He desires to be their Father. And we, as His children, have a responsibility to listen to Him and follow His will for our lives.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

We are finishing our eleventh week of operating The SPRING Student Center. Of the 380+ kids, only about 10% have any relationship with Jesus or the church. Just this week kids have started asking questions about what the Bible says about certain topics. You see, they know we that are operating the place are Christian. We have to be ready for their questions.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

All of us need to study God’s Word and pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is telling us as we go about our daily lives. We all need to be ready to answer the questions about our faith in Jesus Christ.


Friday, November 09, 2007


There’s always going to be someone bigger than we are, or stronger, or smarter. Typically, people look to the superior being as a hero and we may be made to feel inferior in their presence.

However, there is no one bigger, stronger or smarter than God is, and He has called us to be His heirs, His children!

35Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35 - 39 (NLT)

So, when you are feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, by attacks, by people or anything else, just remember that NOTHING can get between you and God. NOTHING can separate you from the love of your heavenly Father.

If you have not trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, today is your opportunity to do so. Simply ask Him to forgive your past mistakes (sins) and come into your life. He will not disappoint! He cannot.