Friday, June 13, 2008


Wisdom and experience versus friends and people my age… From which group would you be most likely to accept advice?

What about advice from Christians versus that of non-Christians… Would it simply “depend” on which you liked better?

Maybe there is a way to prioritize advice…How about putting the advice of the Creator of all that exists first? Novel approach, right?

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)

The thoughts of God are above all. He sees and knows all.

5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NIV)

The next verse says, “without doubting.” In other words, if you ask, you’d better believe He’s going to do it!

Ask Him…and wait for His answer. Too often, we think we “know what He will say” and go ahead with what we want anyway.

King Solomon’s son asked advice from his advisors and a certain matter. Then he asked the advice of his younger friends, people that had grown up with him. Here’s what happened with that…

The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him, 14and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, 1 Kings 12:13-14a (NASB)

As a result, ten of the tribes of Israel were split off and he ruled over only Judah.

Be careful from whom you accept advice…but make sure you start with God!


Thursday, June 12, 2008


What do you think of when you hear the word, “sacrifice?” Perhaps it conjures up scenes from horror movies where the followers of satan or some other “god” sacrifice animals or humans to “appease and please” their respective deities.

The word may remind you of a sacrifice you have made like the people that do the 30 Hour Famine. Those involved give up eating for 30 hours and collect money to send to less fortunate individuals.

Some of us think of the church season called lent where we “give up” something like meat or soda (though I’m not sure anybody remembers why!).

We all should be familiar with the term sacrifice in terms of giving up something… The Encarta Dictionary online gives the following as meaning sacrifice:

Giving up of something valued

a giving up of something valuable or important for somebody or something else considered to be of more value or importance

You may have heard the stories of the soldiers who have given up their lives to save their fellow soldiers. They sacrificed their own life for the lives of their comrades. All those who have died in wars have sacrificed their lives for something they considered to be of more value or importance, such as democracy and freedom.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave His own life as a sacrifice for you and me….for the sins of the world. To reconcile us to God who is holy, our sin needed to be paid for and Jesus chose to do that for us.

What kind of a sacrifice can we be expected to give in return for something like that? Paul put it like this in his letter to the church in Rome

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Our lives (our wants, wishes, desires, etc.) are to be “sacrificed” for something of more value and more importance…GOD’S PLAN. We are to be about God’s business…

telling people about Jesus’ sacrifice

showing them how much He cares by helping them

teaching them more about who Jesus was and is

helping them grow in their relationship with Him

The word translated “spiritual” in Romans 12:1 also has the connotation of being reasonable by means of logic. In other words, it is only logical when we consider with our minds (the mind of Christ!) and hearts, that we worship the Almighty God that sacrificed His only Son for us.

You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 (NIV)

We were bought and paid for with the blood of Christ. Daily, we should consider the sacrifice He made on our behalf and ask ourselves, “Have I given up anything in order to serve Christ?” “How serious am I about my relationship with Jesus?” “What would (or wouldn’t) I be willing to do for Him?


Monday, June 09, 2008


We view images of many different things on the computer, in magazines or in newspapers. They look just like the “real thing.” A picture of an apple makes us hungry even though we can’t eat that image of the apple.

You and I were created as an image of God.

27 So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

We all know the story of how that image was tarnished when Adam and Eve gave into the temptation put in front of them by Satan. They chose to exalt themselves instead of the One who had created them.

God Himself brought forth the answer to that tarnished image when He sent His Son Jesus, the perfect image of Himself, to provide the sacrifice necessary to remove the stain of sin from our lives.

13He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:13-15 (NKJV)

When we look on Jesus, we are looking at God…

44Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. 45For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. John 12:44-45 (NLT)

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we once again have that untarnished image present in us through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

My question for those of us that have taken that step is this…

When people see you, are they seeing God?

Here is Jesus’ prayer for you and me in that regard…

20 I pray not only for these,

but also for those who believe in Me

through their message.

21 May they all be one,

as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.

May they also be one in Us,

so the world may believe You sent Me.

22 I have given them the glory You have given Me.

May they be one as We are one.

23 I am in them and You are in Me.

May they be made completely one,

so the world may know You have sent Me

and have loved them as You have loved Me.

John 17:20-23 (HCSB)

Let the image of Christ shine forth in you today as you surrender your will and your very life to Him.


Sunday, June 08, 2008


Some of us want to accept defeat before we even start. What I mean by that is, we sometimes don’t feel we’re able to do something or have what it takes to get it done so we don’t even begin our “project,” surrendering instead to defeat.

I wonder if that’s the way it is with some people who decide not to follow Christ. In other words, they think, “He was too perfect and I cannot possibly be that good, so I might as well not even try.”

As I pondered this, I found myself thinking of a passage of scripture from the book of Isaiah. I would suggest that you read the entire chapter fifty-three, but here is the main thought that came to me from that passage…

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,

nothing to attract us to him. (Isaiah 53:2b - NLT)

Jesus looked just like you and me. He didn’t walk around with a halo over his head as we see pictured in so many paintings from years gone by. To me that says, “It’s possible” for us to please God. Jesus came to earth as a man (Philippians 2:8). Of course, He was much more that just a man. He was also God. That’s why we can’t do it (please God) totally on our own. We have to accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

Verse five from that same passage says it like this,

But he was pierced for our rebellion,

crushed for our sins.

He was beaten so we could be whole.

He was whipped so we could be healed.

Jesus came looking like us so that we could identify with Him. He could have come in the form of a ball of light (for you sci-fi fans) but instead He came in the form of a man...for you, for me and for the rest of humanity, in order that all who come to Him might be reconciled to God. He presented us with an achievable goal because He did all the work.

All we have to do is accept what He accomplished on our behalf and follow Him. Romans 10:9 says it like this,

…if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (NIV)