Friday, March 16, 2007


All of us have undoubtedly been disliked by someone and sometimes for no apparent reason. It might be jealousy or they may simply have had a bad day. It’s not a great feeling for us either way!

However, we have enemies out there that are not flesh and blood.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

God gives us armor for the battle as Paul goes on to explain in verses 14-18: Truth, Righteousness, the Gospel of Peace, Faith, Salvation, God’s Word and Prayer.

I think Paul saved the “Big Guns” for last: Salvation, the Bible and Prayer. David’s prayer in Psalm 59:1-17 is wonderful for both human and spiritual adversaries. You should read the whole passage, but I wanted to give you a couple of excerpts:

1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;

Defend me from those who rise up against me.

2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,

And save me from bloodthirsty men.

Notice David’s plea for mercy so that God’s power might be revealed.

11 Do not slay them, lest my people forget;

Scatter them by Your power,

And bring them down,

O Lord our shield.

Finally, David continues in an attitude of worship despite his enemies because he knows and trusts that God is greater and will keep him safe.

16 But I will sing of Your power;

Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;

For You have been my defense

And refuge in the day of my trouble.

17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;

For God is my defense,

My God of mercy.


Thursday, March 15, 2007


Some people are better listeners than others are. I’m sure you must have a friend who listens to every word you say before responding. That’s nice, isn’t it?

Then, there are others who, when we talk to them, appear to be listening, but in actuality are merely waiting for their turn to speak! That’s a little frustrating, especially when they say something to us that we had just said to them.

We need to be just as careful listening to what God says to us, both through prayer and especially through His Holy Word. Take the case of Balaam for example in Numbers 22:20-34 (NKJV):

And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

God said, “if the men come to call you” rise and go. Notice verse 21 simply says, “So Balaam rose”. He didn’t wait for them to come and call him. He simply wanted to go. Perhaps he felt it was the least path of resistance. However….

22Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer that the Lord not be angry with me and I definitely don’t want to come up against him as an enemy! Look at the following verses; even his donkey was more aware of the Lord than Balaam was!

23Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. 24Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. 26Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

Sometimes we blame circumstances, or other people for the problems that we come up against, not realizing that it was really us not paying attention, not listening to what God was telling us.

Sometimes we treat friends that way, don’t we? God allowed Balaam’s donkey to speak so Balaam could understand that there was a force more powerful than this animal to which he was supposed to be listening.

28Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!” 30So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?” And he said, “No.”

God can use our friends, or other people, to help us realize that we are not obeying him. When we are honest and listen to what they have to say, our eyes can be opened.

31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. 32And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. 33The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.” 34And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”

Does it seem as if God is standing in your way? Do you feel like every way you go is blocked? Then stop, pray, listen to those who care for you and get into God’s Word. When you are at that point and yield yourself to him, He will make your paths straight without any obstacles.

35Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I went to a concert last night of foot-stomping, hand-clapping music that glorified God and His Son Jesus. I looked around the room, which had a good number of people in it, and I saw many faces that were absolutely without any expression. There was no look of sadness, no look of pain and there was no look of JOY.

The Psalmist says if we trust in God, we are to rejoice:

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;

Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;

Let those also who love Your name

Be joyful in You. Psalms 5:11 (NKJV)

Perhaps you have troubles in your life. What is there to rejoice in?

How about the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross for you and me?

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord;

It shall rejoice in His salvation. Psalms 35:9 (NKJV)

Perhaps you are not spending enough time in prayer or in His Word. The Bible says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). That means we are ALWAYS in the presence of God. The Psalmist writes of God,

In Your presence is fullness of joy; Psalms 16:11b (NKJV)

You and I are disciples of Jesus if we call ourselves Christians. Look what Luke wrote of the demeanor of the early disciples:

And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52 (NASB)

One of the evidences of the Holy Spirit indwelling us is joy (Galatians 5:22). I am not saying that if you have a valid reason for grieving that you should not grieve. However, I am saying that the expression on your face is as much of a witness to others as what you say to them.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


We ride in a car down the rode and the tires, which we cannot see, hold us up. The fuel that we cannot see winds its way through the engine causing it to turn and move the tires.

We ride in airplanes and are held up off the ground by forces and “laws” of thermodynamics that we cannot see and most of us don’t even understand!

And yet, we seem to trust these things.

Now these things, that we cannot see, can fail. The fuel may become clogged as it goes towards the engine it is supposed to drive. The air that holds the plane up may suddenly become violent or change temperatures causing us to rock about.

Both the car and the airplane will eventually wear out (the seen) and even that which is unseen (the fuel and the air) changes. But, there is One that is unseen on which we can always depend, for He is unchanging (Micah 3:6). That One is God and He has promised those who accept His Son and live for Him will have eternal life.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18 (NKJV)

"Things" which we see can break. People that we can see will let us down. Even the latest project, The SPRING Student Center, will someday come to an end. But the lives that are changed as a result, those that accept Jesus as their Savior, will live on forever. We can’t see God or eternal life, but we know by God’s Word that it is true. Those of us that have trusted God know it is true by our experience as we see His hand at work in our lives and the lives of those around us.

…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2 Timothy 1:12b)


Monday, March 12, 2007


Sometimes waiting can be annoying. Especially in this “I want it now” society in which we live. But, our ways are not God’s ways are not our ways. His wisdom is far greater than ours because He is not confined to linear time as we are. God sees the whole picture. He knows what is best for us.

God will strengthen us as we wait…

Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalms 27:14 (NKJV)

God will reward those who wait…

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off;

But those who wait on the Lord,

They shall inherit the earth.

Psalms 37:7-9 (NKJV)

God’s Word is our main source of encouragement during our times of waiting…

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

And in His word I do hope.

Psalms 130:5 (NKJV)


Sunday, March 11, 2007


Having been a youth pastor for the last eleven years, I have seen a lot of kids put their trust in boyfriends or girlfriends rather than God. The problem is, whether you are considered a youth or an adult, people will inevitably let you down. Why? It’s called human nature. The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 53:2-3,

2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,

To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

3 Every one of them has turned aside;

They have together become corrupt;

There is none who does good,

No, not one.

The New Testament writer, Paul, puts that same thought forth in Romans 3:23,

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

So on whom can we ALWAYS depend? The God that saved us, Whose mercy endures forever, Who rescues us, Who is on our side; He is the One to Whom we owe thanks, allegiance, trust and love.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

2 Let Israel now say,

“His mercy endures forever.”

3 Let the house of Aaron now say,

“His mercy endures forever.”

4 Let those who fear the Lord now say,

“His mercy endures forever.”

5 I called on the Lord in distress;

The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.

6 The Lord is on my side;

I will not fear.

What can man do to me?

7 The Lord is for me among those who help me;

Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.

8 It is better to trust in the Lord

Than to put confidence in man.

9 It is better to trust in the Lord

Than to put confidence in princes.

Psalms 118:1-9