Friday, May 09, 2008


Positive or negative? How do you approach situations that come into your path? Look at Philip’s choice in this passage from the Gospel of John…

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?6He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

7Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” John 6:5-7 (NLT)

Philip saw only the negative…

There are no grocery stores around here.

My debit card is maxed out.

I don’t have time to plan dinner for that many.

Maybe that sounds familiar to you. What about changing perspectives and answering differently. Check out this possible response to Jesus’ question. Philip could have replied…

“Lord, you know the need and only you have the power to meet those needs. You know that we can’t buy enough bread to feed all of these, but we know that you can provide it.”

Before looking at the negative side of a given situation, take a look at what the Lord, your God, your Creator, Provider and Savior is able to do. Trust Him with it and give Him the glory for meeting the needs of that situation.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008


We often think of praying as asking God for things that we want or even possibly need. We hope to get these things provided to us with little or no effort on our part other than making our request made known to the Provider.

When we receive that which we request, does it belong to us or to the One who provided it? How tightly do we hold on to that which we receive?

There was a young woman named Hannah in the Bible who had no children. She requested God’s intervention on her behalf…

Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11 (NKJV)

When Hannah gave birth to her son, she kept her word. She took him to the priest, gave him over to the Lord’s service and then returned home.

When you receive something that you ask God for, do you hold on tightly to it or do you allow it to be used for God and His work? Something to think about J


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


We are often tempted to give up when we fail at something. We convince ourselves that we tried our best but it was just not meant to be. Perhaps we’re stopping just short of a victory that God wants to bring about in our lives.

Judges, chapter nineteen, tells the story of a man from the Israeli tribe of Levi whose wife was raped and murdered by men from the tribe of Benjamin, also Israeli.

In the next chapter, we find all the remaining tribes of Israel prepared to take action against the offending parties. The Benjamites refused to turn over the men who had committed the offense and prepared to fight against their brothers.

So all the Israelites were completely united, and they gathered together to attack the town. Judges 20:11 (NLT)

But first…they consulted God…

Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, “Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?”

The LORD answered, “Judah is to go first.” Judges 20:18 (NLT)

The men from the tribe of Benjamin killed 22,000 Israelis in that battle. Again, they consulted God…

But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day. 23For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the LORD until evening. They had asked the LORD, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?”

And the LORD had said, “Go out and fight against them.” Judges 20:22-23 (NLT)

18,000 Israelis were killed in that battle and again, they consulted God

The Israelites asked the LORD, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again, or should we stop?”

The LORD said, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.” Judges 20:28 (NLT)

The Israelites defeated the men of the tribe of Benjamin, leaving only 600 men alive. God had been true to His word. The Israelites had sought His advice and followed His instructions.

So, when you are tempted to give up on something that you know God has told you to do, despite attacks and possibly temporary setbacks caused by your fellow tribesmen (other Christians!)…

Ask God again for advice and help and stay the course. He will give you victory. He may just want to see how serious you are about what He has asked you to do. Try, try, again.


Monday, May 05, 2008


What do you think of when you hear the word “spirit”? You might think of that time before a football or basketball game when they have “spirit assemblies” to boost the morale of the team and make the audience root louder for the whole team. Perhaps you think of a bodiless ectoplasm floating around the room…you know, like Casper the friendly ghost!

I challenge you to apply either of those two interpretations to the word spirit in the following verse…

”God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 (NIV)

Yeah, I know, they don’t work very well…so…let’s look briefly at the Greek word that is translated “spirit.”

The word is pneuma. Here is the definition from Strong’s Greek Dictionary.

a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit:—ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.

Ok, so the bodiless thing is in there, but it goes beyond floating ghosties! The thing I would like us to zero in on is the “rational soul” part. Perhaps something that will help is to compare it with another word in the Greek for breath…psuche. Here is the Strong’s Dictionary definition of that word…

1. breath 2. the soul 2a) the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.)

See the difference? The word used for spirit in John 4:24 is rational as opposed to the other Greek word, which deals with feelings.

We are to worship God rationally, not based on how we “feel.” If we worshiped God by how we feel, we might not get up on Sunday to go to church because we we’re tired or because we’re mad at someone or…you get the point.

We must make a rational decision to bow down and worship our Creator…regardless of how we feel. He is the maker of our Universe, of the heavens and the earth. He is all-powerful and the author of our salvation. To God be the glory forever and ever.

Decide today to worship Him based on who He is…not how you feel.