I’ve been a Christian for almost 13 years now and I’ve considered my church to be located in Denton for the majority of that time even though I’ve attended two different churches in that city. I have been active in ministry leadership and served in many different capacities. I’ve gone on short term missions and and even lead a mission trip abroad, so I’ve been exposed to the global glory of Christ. Where is my church would have still lead me to say “Denton”. However, my God and my church is much larger than this view. My church is everywhere God so chooses to put a believer. With this in mind I have to remember that I have brothers and sisters in every nation. How can I serve these fellow believers, how can I help them in their ministries in their homelands, how can we reach the un-reached. I need to pray that God would show me how to help, that He would open my eyes to their needs. That we would be faithful to his word and be witnesses not only in our own homeland but where ever he may send us.
Verse of the Day:
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and D, and to the ends of the earth.”9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
One of my favorite stories is about a man who wants to sell his house. Then one day a buyer says that he will buy it and the owner agrees, but says “if I sell you the house for that price I get to keep the nail above the front door”. The buyer thinks about it and says sure. A few years later the original owner comes back and says “I want to buy my old house back at the same price I sold it to you”. The current owner says “no I like the house and I want to keep it”. So the original owner who still owns the nail above the front door hangs an old rotted piece of meat on the nail. This of course makes the house smell and unlivable. So the family leaves and they end up selling the house back to the original owner. You see when we allow Satan a place in our lives no matter how small he still owns us. He has the ability to take everything we have worked toward for Christ and destroy it. Continue to examine yourself for cracks that Satan is looking to get a foothold.
Verse of the Day:1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”.
I’ve noticed over the years as Lecrae moves his music from full out blatant Christian rap to something that is a little more main stream that Christians feel the need to pull him down. To persecute him for singing a song without the name of Jesus in it as if he is selling out his faith for money and fame. Folks, Paul himself said we need to be all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel. Last night on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Lecrae got more eyes on his Album cover than ever before. Now what if like most artist that appear on the show there is a jump in sales today. Is this a bad thing for the expansion of the Gospel? What if these folks who don’t normally shop at Mardel’s, like the music and then go back to listen to his earlier stuff. What if God uses Lecrae’s music in a way that brings glory to His name? Is Lecrae a sell out or is he a disciple of Christ doing what he was told to do in Acts 1 going out and telling his Judea, Sameria, and the ends of the earth? What if Lecrae is sold out for the Gospel and even if it means taking shots from “Christians” he is willing to die to self for the glory of God? How do we know that Lecrae is not doing what he has been called to do? As a Christian I sometimes struggle to know what God is calling me to do much less everyone else. Perhaps we should pray for Lecrae and the outreach of his ministry instead of saying how we would do it. Sometimes God gifts us differently and sometimes His vision for our life is different than his vision for others. As for me when I see Lecrae, I see a man who is desperately living out Romans 1:16.
Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 “to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”
Do I pray enough? Wow, what a terrible question. I came to this question when thinking of a ministry I’m involved with possibly coming to an end soon. Did I pray for this ministry enough? Did I rely on God’s hand to work in it or did I rely on my own strength and the talents of others? Were the strategies good and if not was it because I wasn’t listening to God or asking for his guidance? Did I give God the glory and rejoice, or was I disappointed more didn’t happen on my schedule or timeline? Was I giving thanks even when the circumstances looked bleak and the hours were more than I really wanted to put in? Do I pray enough? Do I pray without ceasing? No, I don’t. In learning this hard lesson I rejoice in you Lord that you give me wisdom and that your word is faithful to correct me. I also apologize for not doing the hard spiritual work of prayer ahead of time. Lord help me to pray for this ministry and other ministry’s, as this is the most important work we can do. Your work!
Verse Of The Day: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Today as I was preparing the Bible study for a group of college students in First Thessalonians chapter 3, I was reminded of the blessing our friends in Christ are. Paul states how he sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the people of Thessalonica in their faith. This is just one of the purposes of good friends. In the last year the encouragement of God’s sons and daughters have helped me through many trials. Being a Christian in today’s world can be a struggle and we need to be close to the flock for reinforcements when our faith lacks or our flesh is weary. For no other reason than the Shepherd is near the flock providing safety from the one that wants to devour us. We are to sharpen each other, hold each other accountable, and help those that seem to be straying. If we are not going to surround ourselves with Godly friends then what is the alternative? Godless friends? Having done college ministry for over 8 years I have seen many sheep wander into the pasture of the godless, and when they are there too long they are pounced on and devoured. The pasture looks nice and inviting but it has many traps and snares lying in wait. Stay with the flock and the Shepherd, not only are they there to protect you from Satan, but also from your own flesh as we see in today’s verse of the day. Don’t make the mistake and lose your character because the pasture next door looks better. Our character is under attack Christians…Finish well, good and faithful servants….finish well.
Verse Of The Day:1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
I was listening to the word FM today on my drive into work and Charles Stanley was talking about raising your children. My favorite teaching from the message was “Listen to your children today or they won’t listen to you tomorrow.” I thought how important that we take time out when our kids want to show us Lego invention number 2006, or when they want to tell me about the destruction of Cybertron. If I don’t take the time to show them that I value them how can I expect them to value my opinion when they are older. If my joy is seeing my children walking in truth and I am responsible for teaching them truth will they listen tomorrow if I don’t listen today?
Verse Of The Day: 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth”.