Saturday, February 03, 2007


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 2 Corinthians 1:3 - 7 (NLT)

Verse four says it all:

He comforts us so that we can comfort others.

Go back and re-read verse five. It sounds like God doesn’t really want us to suffer. After all, the more we suffer, the more He comforts us through Christ Jesus. So, our suffering is really a blessing because it brings us CLOSER TO JESUS.

That of course means that we must LOOK to Him for comfort. We can’t receive something from Him if we are not expecting it to come from Him.

We were talking in Bible study last night and noted the same thing in regards to God’s grace. It is there for us to receive, but we have to accept it. The same can be said of salvation. God offers salvation freely to all, the “whosoever” of John 3:16, but it must be accepted. Forgiveness must be accepted to heal a rift between two people. We must be obedient in receiving what God has for us.

That brings us back to the basis for our existence in the first place; it is all about relationship, our relationship with God and our relationship with other people. In Matthew 22:37 - 40 (NLT) Jesus tells us what is most important,

“‘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.’ 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

We suffer, God comforts us through Christ, we comfort others in their suffering bringing them closer to Christ and completing the cycle. We exist because of God. We exist for God and His purposes.


Friday, February 02, 2007


Has anyone, perhaps a parent, teacher or boss, ever said to you, “If you will do this, then you will get ______________”?

“If” is such a tiny word, but has a mountain of meaning within its two letters.

And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:2 - 3 (NASB)

Jesus is willing to do many things for us. He wants good in our lives, not evil. That’s why He gave His life on the cross at Calvary. He wanted the penalty for sin taken care of so that we could live holy lives set apart to Him and enjoy life.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11 (NASB)

God is always willing to do good toward us. The “If” is our part.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; Romans 10:9 (NASB)

Lest someone think they can live their life in any manner they wish and still enjoy the benefits that God offers, Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:24 - 27 (NASB)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

He also said,

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15 (NASB)

Which side of the “If” are you on?


Wednesday, January 31, 2007


We can all agree that going about your life without a goal or purpose in mind can lead to discouragement, disappointment and even chaos. If we have nothing to look forward to, we are not very motivated.

As a Christian, we have something to look forward to…Christ is coming for us!

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 ”If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1 - 3 (NASB)

When we stop and think about that, it is absolutely amazing and should inspire us to lead lives that are constantly preparing for His return. Just as we want to look our best and be on our best behavior if we are expecting a special visitor, we want to be ready for Christ when He comes for us.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 - 18 (NASB)

It is indeed a comfort knowing that the One Who created us, died for us and redeemed us, is also coming back for us. But, there are many who do not have this hope. There are many who do not even know about the possibility of such an incredible event. We are to tell them the same thing that Jesus told Thomas when he asked how he could be part of that event,

Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6 (NASB)

There is no other way but through Jesus Christ. Any other way that is taught is false and intended to mislead people away from the person of Jesus.

Let us all prepare for the return of our Savior, the goal of which is to please Him, to be more like Him. Maranatha, come quickly, Lord Jesus!


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


When you graduate high school and go away to college, where is your home? When you graduate college, get a job and buy your own house, where is your home?

For the Christian, the answer must always be the same, “with Jesus.”

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6 - 8 (NLT)

Most of the problems we run into here on this earth, financial, relationships, jobs, school, etc., are because we are not keeping in mind where our real home is…Heaven. When we do, we remember Who it is that is the Lord of Heaven. We remember Who it is that is the Lord of our lives. Then those earthly problems vanish for we have something far greater to look forward to…being with Jesus.

Meantime, we dwell on this earth and are to be about the Lords’ business. We are to be telling people about this fabulous home that awaits us and why we believe it. We are to be showing them through love that God is real and therefore our hope is real.

Everything on this earth is temporary, the monetary system, the governments, the latest electronic fads, the clothes and hairstyles. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and He is the One Who has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us and He is the One Who is coming back for those that trust in Him (John 14:2-3).

Hebrews 13:14 (NLT) For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.


Monday, January 29, 2007


There’s another meaning for the word professor besides teacher. It also means someone who holds a certain belief. For example, “They profess to know Christ as their Savior.”

Have you ever heard someone say, “They are professors not possessors”? What they really should say is, they seem to be professors not possessors, for no one but God truly knows someone’s heart.

What would cause someone to say that? Perhaps they what they see the person doing is inconsistent with what that person says. There’s another saying, “Do what I say, not what I do.” There was only one perfect man and that was Christ Jesus, who was and is the Son of God. His walk lined up perfectly with His talk.

Listen to these words from 1 John 2:3 - 6 (NASB),

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Now there’s a standard to shoot for, live as Christ lived. Saying “I have come to know Him” is different from saying, “I am learning more and more about Him every day.” We must remain humble.

At the same time, we must strive to live a life that closely resembles the life that Jesus lived. We must learn the principles by which He lived and practice living that way. The only way we can do that is by spending time in His Word, the Bible, praying consistently and trusting the Holy Spirit to accomplish this in our lives.

That reminds me of the title of a song that Stella, a dear friend in Christ, gave to me several years ago. Let it also serve as a reminder for us today:


Sunday, January 28, 2007


About a month ago, I was on a motorcycle ride with a friend. We went out to the Chiricahua National Monument. It was a beautiful sunny day.

As we rode the winding road toward the top, the trees covered over the road acting as an umbrella and we were suddenly in utter darkness and incredibly cold air. The sun was in the south and we were now on the north side of the mountain. Does that mean the sun went down? No, only that we were no longer in its direct path.

Often, in our walk through life’s winding road, we come into that place of darkness and bitter cold. Does that mean God is gone? No, of course not! It means that we are off the path He would have us walk.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 1 John 1:5 - 6 (NASB)

What about the shades in between dark and light? Well, if God’s light is TOTALLY VOID of DARKNESS then our fellowship with Him is only proper and correct when it is TOTALLY VOID of DARKNESS.

We do come across so many “gray” areas in our lives. The longer we walk in fellowship with God, the more able we are to recognize these shady or gray places. Will we step off the path occasionally? Sure, we’re not perfect. But, as we focus our eyes on God, we will be guided back to that path. Verse nine of this same chapter in First John says,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB)

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 (NASB)