Monday, July 30, 2012

Collisions Happen

Collisions are happening all the time.  I am not talking traffic accidents but the colliding values of Heaven and earth.  God’s values are not what governs our world.  For those of us trying to live by the values of the Kingdom of Heaven, we see these collisions regularly.  Sometimes it is hard for us to discern God’s way because we are so immersed in this world.  The Sermon on the Mount will help us find our way to making the Kingdom values our values.  If we are to have God’s values, we would do well to read, study, and memorize the Sermon on the Mount

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Things

Then he added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people in exile and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says!' Do this whether they listen to you or not."  Ezekiel 3:10-11  NLT

God instructs Ezekiel to “let all my words sink deep into your own heart first.”  If we are leading, we must first seek God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).  My friend Bob Moorehead says it this way, “It can’t happen through you until it happens to you.”   If we are to be a leader in God’s kingdom, the first thing we must do is allow God’s Word to work in us.  In simple terms, we must read the Bible and obey what it says.  That is our responsibility whether anyone else joins us or not.   

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Did Jesus Assume Too Much?

Does Jesus assume too much in the Sermon on the Mount?  Jesus says, “when you give, when you pray, and when you fast”.  He assumes that those who have a relationship with His Father will give, pray, and fast.  Was His assumption wrong?  I don’t think so!  Could it be that we are assuming we have a relationship with God even though there is no life-change like giving, prayer, and fasting.  I think it is safe to assume that Jesus knew what a relationship with His Father looks like.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Failure or Fake

Are you a failure or fake?  That is a really important question in God’s kingdom.  In our world, no one wants to fail.  In fact, we value success so much that we reward people who fake success.  In God’s Kingdom, He would much rather have a failure than a fake.  Jesus often lashed out against the hypocrites or fakes.  God has always been in the business of taking failures and turning them into useful people.  The Bible is full of failures that God has helped.  These are people like Moses, David, Samson, Peter, and many more.  It is important that we are authentic and real so that God can use us for His Glory.    

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

It is clear throughout the Bible that God is concerned with our hearts. When God was choosing David as king for Israel, he reminds Samuel that He looks past the outward appearance to the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  We are told to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23.  As Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount, He really focuses on the heart.  This value of the heart really collides with the value our world places on the externals.  If our hearts are that important to God, we should have a plan to care for them.  Here are a few heart care suggestions:
  1. Give yourself a heart check-up by praying Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
  2. Have a heart care plan.  We have maintenance schedules and care plans for lots of things.  Why not include one for our hearts?  It could include extended time in God’s Word and prayer, working with an accountability partner, the heart check-up mentioned above, and more.
  3. Protect your heart.  We all know the things that pollute our hearts.  Why not clearly identify those and avoid them at all costs?  That will protect your heart from pollution.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Are You Hungry?

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS - My wife and I used to go to Shoney’s and get their Hot Fudge Cake.  It was two slices of chocolate cake.  In between the slices of cake, there was vanilla ice cream.  It was topped off with hot fudge and whipped cream.  My mouth is watering just by describing it.  We would drive miles just to enjoy one of those desserts. That is the same desire we should have for righteousness and the things of God.  This is the type of desire that would cause us to find time and energy to be with God.  Do we yearn for the eternal things of God like we crave the temporary things of earth?  Think about that!