Sunday, October 31, 2010

Got Power?

Matthew 5.17-20

"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5.20)

Got Power?

I pushed all the right buttons, had the right drives installed and had it correctly connected to my computer. But for some reason, I just couldn't get my printer to work. Then the most embarrassing thought crossed my mind, “Did I forget to plug it in?” Sure enough, the reason it didn’t work was because it had no power. The same is true in our spiritual life. Unless we plug into the power to be righteous there will be no righteousness. And the power for righteousness is in Jesus Christ (Jn 15.5, 2 Cor 5.21). As we maintain our connection with the power, we still need to participate in the process by learning to push the right buttons (Jn 14.21, Mat 7.24). Two Ps: Stay Plugged in and keep on Practicing!

Are you praying about bringing your life into conformity of the image of Christ or are you winging it?


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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Latte Lights

Matthew 5.13-16

“You are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5.14)

Latte Lights

“Triple Grande 140-degree no foam cinnamon dolce latte with caramel on the whip,” came the order of an eager Washingtonian through the headset. She was about to drive up to one of the best-lit Starbucks in the Nation. No, I’m not talking about fluorescents. I’m talking about my son and daughter-in-law, Wes and Tina. When they were baristas, their good works and testimony had an amazing impact for Christ. Hostile people became curious. Curious people became followers of Jesus. And the light wasn’t isolated to this little coffee shop. It penetrated some of the darkest corners of their small town. How did they make such an amazing impact? They didn’t just serve coffee; they served people and shed light on the Kingdom of God just like Jesus did.

How well-lit is your workplace, classroom, or neighborhood?


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Friday, October 29, 2010

Upside-down Happiness

Matthew 5.1-12

“Blessed are those…” (Matthew 5.4)

Upside-down Happiness

The Mexican doctor confirmed it was a shattered kneecap. I had slipped on a wet floor in the cruise ship’s dining room. After painful surgery, I was at home contemplating what to do. Can you say big-fat-hairy lawsuit? That’s what the world would do, right? After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided against suing the cruise line. Why? Because it was an accident. Why? Because the opportunity revealed a deep sense of greed and I would not let it master me. Why? Because we have become a lawsuit-happy society and I didn’t want to be part of that. My insurance covered the medical expenses and I was blessed. Blessed in the Greek means " happy ". And happy is the man with Kingdom values.

How are you shocking the world with your eternal perspective?


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jailbreak

Matthew 4.23-25

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (Matthew 4.23)

Jailbreak

Even as I write, a neurological disease is slowly closing the prison doors on my mobility. But spiritually, I have been rescued from my bondage through the powerful truth of Jesus Christ. I have committed myself to following Him because He is my only hope. He has set me free! And there is hope for physical liberation, too - even if it is in the life to come. Mankind is imprisoned in so many ways. Basically you can boil it down to two: physically and spiritually. But Jesus came to break us out. As people becoming like Christ, we are joining Him in the great jailbreak. As we proclaim His message of good news and help others through the struggles of this life, we are setting the captives free, from both physical and spiritual bondage.

How are you helping people overcome their spiritual and physical bondage?


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When God Interrupts

Matthew 4.18-22

At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4.20)

When God Interrupts

Have you ever been really busy and someone interrupts your work? It’s very irritating unless of course it’s by someone you respect or love dearly. I can remember when my sons were born. I dropped everything at work to be with Deb and my sons at that very important time in life. But what about God when He interrupts? Do we see it as a priceless opportunity or an annoying inconvenience? Notice how quickly the disciples left nets, boats, and even family to follow Christ. They must have valued the relationship immensely. Relationship is far more powerful than obligation.

How has God interrupted your life in the last week? How did you respond?


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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Enthusiastic U-Turns

Matthew 4.12-17

From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4.17)

Enthusiastic U-Turns

I swerved my car across two lanes to make it to the left turn lane and then made a quick u-turn, squealing the tires just a little bit. Why the sudden change of direction? We were headed to some humdrum restaurant, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted Deb's and my favorite TexMex place. The dangerous maneuver was worth it. That’s what people who value the Kingdom of God do when they see it. They repent and change directions on a dime. They do whatever it takes to be a part of it. Generally, we view repentance as a negative, hard decision of I have to change. But people who recognize the Kingdom for what it is, desperately want to change!

Have you ever done a Bible study on the Kingdom of God/Heaven? What would a study like that be worth to you?


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leading from the Bottom

Matthew 3.13-17

Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. (Matthew 3.15)

Leading from the Bottom

Deb and I spend half the year at West Point and half at Fort Benning, two local ministries that I oversee as the Director of Army Ministries. But when we participate in those local ministries, I’m not the boss. I submit myself to the couples that have been entrusted with those posts and serve under their supervision. This is proper. Can you imagine what kind of ruckus I would create by usurping their influence? Jesus submitted to the baptism of John because it was the right thing to do. Jesus was humble, had a strong sense of identity, and clearly understood His role. These attributes freed Him up to be led by His follower when it was proper.

Do you clearly understand your role? How would it be proper to submit to a subordinate?


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Your Face

Matthew 3.1-12

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 3.1)

In Your Face

I had been befriending a fellow student named Ed for several weeks. I was hoping to gently and gradually introduce him to Jesus and I was making a little headway. One day in class, a fellow student came up and slammed a New Testament on the desk in front of Ed and I and said, “You got one of these?” Ed responded “No.” The in your face evangelist stared him in the eyes and simply said, “Read it” and walked away. I asked Ed, “What did you think about that?” He responded, “I needed a good swift kick in the pants.” I was blown away! God uses all kinds of methods to help people find Jesus and enter His Kingdom.

Do you have more than one method to share the gospel of Jesus with others? How do you know which one to use?


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Monday, October 18, 2010

A Divine GPS

Matthew 2.19-23

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee (Matthew 2.22)

A Divine GPS

One of the most irritating things about using a Global Positioning System is when it gets a little confused and begins to repeat “Recalculating, Recalculating, Recalculating”. But if I knew my GPS had my best interest at heart and wasn’t just taking me on some wild goose chase, I probably wouldn’t get ticked off. With God, there is no “Recalculating” and He does have your best interest at heart. So when you have a couple of direction changes from the Holy Spirit, it would be to your advantage to keep your cool and follow instructions.

What recent changes has God made in your life that are frustrating you? How should you respond to those changes?


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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Circuitous Methods of God

Matthew 2.13-15

He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON." (Matthew 2.15)

The Circuitous Methods of God

Life is puzzling. Especially when you know nothing is random but it seems so, ah, random. When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer we were shocked! She was young, healthy, ate the right things, exercised, not to mention a godly women living for Christ. But we learned so much from the experience and it drew us so much closer to Jesus. It would eventually train us for the future. When an Angel came and told Joseph and Mary to flee, there should be a thousand questions that pop into our minds. “God, why not just change Herod’s mind or even easier kill the wicked bugger?” But God has a bigger plan with results far more glorious than we can imagine. This is where our faith kicks in. We need to trust that His ways are better than our ways (Isaiah 55.8-9).

Where have you been blindsided by life? How can you take practical steps to trust God?

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Everyday is Christmas

Matthew 1.18-25

…but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. (Matthew 1.25)

Everyday is Christmas

Recently I’ve heard a lot of talk about the 25th of December being a pagan holiday. And because I’ve discovered the godless emphasis on that day to worship false gods, I’m suppose to give that day back to them. I don’t think so! I personally think the pagans stole that day from God. Everyday belongs to Him. Somewhere along the line, Christians won that day back and began a unified effort to celebrate the One and only true God and the birth of His divine Son. So I’m going to continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December. And I’m going to take back the 31st of October too. In fact, I think I’m going to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ everyday!

What has the world taken from you that you need to take back?


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

Matthew 1.1-17

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matthew 1.1)

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

The genealogy of Jesus is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. When He promises something, He delivers. The passage begins with two key figures in the Old Testament: David and Abraham. They were both promised generations that would ultimately lead to blessing the whole earth. They looked forward to the coming of Jesus the Messiah and King. Now the promise continues to march through the generations both physically and spiritually. I’m so proud of my two sons and look forward to having grandchildren who will inherit the promises of God through Christ. And I have already become a great, great, grandfather spiritually by intentionally investing the life of Jesus in a few men and women. The genealogy of Jesus gets pretty exciting when you become part of it!

What would it take to prepare yourself to be a grandparent of both physical and spiritual children?


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Monday, October 04, 2010

Jesus, Form and Principle (Part 3)



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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Soundbite: Bible As Indispensable Source of Truth by Dallas Willard



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