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May 17, 2017, 10:52 AM

God is Good!

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;  
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
- Psalm 84:11

Praying to God for what the things we need and want is so much easier when we have a clear understanding of His character, how good and generous He is. The reason God does not withhold any good thing is because He is good–infinitely good, completely good, always good.  When we “walk uprightly” we live a life with integrity, which means we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), we will more readily see that God does not withhold good things from His children.  

Sometimes we doubt His goodness because not everything that happens to us seems good to us.  Living in a fallen world such as ours, we do experience pain, suffering, confusion and frustrations.  But this does not mean that God is not good.  The Cross of Christ settled that question once and for all long ago.  

A Christian that doubts God’s goodness is in trouble.  We simply will not trust someone that we don’t believe has our best interest at heart.  And if we don’t trust God, we won’t grow.  It is as simple as that.  

However, if we understand His character, we will also understand that in His goodness, He does not always give us everything we ask for because He knows what is best for us and his will for us.  He is the sun, the light and can reveal the truth of our needs and desires.  He also is a shield of protection against our own wants and desires when our will is contrary to His will.  

Know that Satan’s number one strategy is to cast doubt in your mind about God’s loving goodness.  He will tell you that God has not really forgiven you, or that you don’t really need forgiveness.  He will make God out to be a cruel taskmaster.  

Don’t believe the devil!  God is good all the time, even when things don’t go your way, God is always good.  

Every time you are tempted to doubt God’s goodness, remind yourself of the cross.  For it is there that God’s loving goodness for you was nailed down once and for all.  

May 16, 2017, 10:23 AM

What This World Needs Most

No, its not Burt Bacharach and love, sweet love.  Although, love enables what the world needs most.  But, what the world really needs is to forgive and to be forgiven.  

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Learn to forgive and to forget.  In theory, reconciliation seems to be a fairly simple concept.  Until it happens to you, or someone you love.  

Someone hurts you, you hurt them, or maybe both.  You get over it, forgive each other, and live happily ever after.  No grudges are held, no resentment ever lingers, and no retribution is ever sought.  No problem right?

The world would be a far better place if it were really that easy.  The problem is it is not.

Two things we need to learn as quickly is possible:

1.  Hurtful words and wrongful actions have a devastating impact with real consequences.  

2.  How to forgive and forget when others commit hurtful words or actions against us.  

Few things in this life are as difficult as true forgiveness.  To resolve such deeply felt anger and resentment is to let loose forever the wrongs that were committing in the first place.  To forgive but not forget is to never really forgive in the first place.  To not forgive is deny yourself the peace that accompanies true forgiveness.  

To put into perspective of your need to forgive and forget, let me remind you of God’s forgiveness.  What if God judged us the same way as we do for those who have hurt us or someone we care about?  We all have family, friends, fellow church members, or co-workers who have let us down over the course of time. But, how many times have we failed God?  And yet, he never puts up the same walls as we do with others.  

Wait, but we are not God you say?  True, but forgiveness through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is the root of the Christian life.  As Christians, we are to follow his example.  By His example and leading it is possible to break down those mile high-mile wide walls that separate us from others.  

Pursuing reconciliation with others shows that we understand and appreciate what God did in forgiving and forgetting our sin.   If our sin against God is forgiven, it is possible, in fact mandated that we forgive others their mistakes against us.  

Forgiveness is possible because of and through the power of Jesus Christ if you have turned to Him as your Savior.  Without His forgiveness through the Cross you could never spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  Forgiveness is what you need most from Him and is offered freely and completely because He loves you. 

Isn’t there someone with whom you need to forgive?  Won’t you do it today?

After all, it is what we all need most in this world:  To be forgiven and to forgive.  

May 15, 2017, 10:01 AM

Know Who You Really Are

“The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him ‘The LORD is with your, O valiant warrior!’” Judges 6:12

Gideon must have been shocked.  He may have even laughed at the angel’s proclamation.  Gideon had been hiding from the enemy while trying to thresh some wheat at a winepress so that it would not be stolen from him.  

But God knew the truth, and God never makes mistakes.  Despite Gideon’s doubts, fears, and questions; God knew exactly who Gideon was and How God was going to use Gideon.  

God knows exactly who you are too.  He knows you are not who you pretend to be, not who you are afraid to be, and not even who you secretly fear you might actually be.  

God has a purpose and a plan for you.  He has hand picked you for a task of Godly proportions.  He has picked you because He knows who you really are, because He made you and knows what great things He can do through you.  

Perhaps like Gideon, you too have questioned the wisdom of the Lord.  Perhaps you have doubts about what God can do through you.  Perhaps you are reading this and not even aware that God has a plan and purpose for you. 

Because of these doubts, you, like Gideon, may have begun to give excuses about How God is wrong about you.  Gideon argued that he was the youngest in his family.  Gideon doubted God’s power because the trouble that was plaguing his life and country.  

God did not accept Gideon’s arguments.  God knew that He would use Gideon to lead an army of 300 to defeat an army of thousands of thousands.  God knew that Gideon would be used to turn a backsliding nation back to the ways of God.  God knew that Gideon was a warrior, courageous, and a leader.  He was all these things because God made him all these things as He worked through Him.  

What is it God knows about who you are?  Who is that you can be as God works through you to accomplish His purposes for your life? 

It did not become obvious to Gideon that God was right about him until God proved it to him.  

Won’t you let God prove to you who you really are.  So that you can know?

Remember that what Gideon was above all else was a servant.  He served the Lord mightily as God worked through him, and you can do the same.  

May 12, 2017, 9:21 AM


“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Sometimes in life, often due to our own actions or circumstances, we encounter the feeling that God does not love us, or that his love is somehow less than it has been or could be.  

Nothing could be farther from the truth.  

I saw an illustration of the unbreakable nature of God’s love that I want to share with you.

A pastor took two pieces of lumber, each about a 3 feet long, while 1.5 inches deep and 3.75 inches wide, and said that one board represents us and the other represents God’s love.  He then held the boards far apart and said that when we sin or when the circumstances of life come crashing down around us, that we feel we are far from God’s love.  

To demonstrate how unbreakable and inseparable God’s love is for us, the pastor then took a piece of Iron, about 1/4 of an inch thick and 2 inches wide while being just short of 3 feet long and said it the iron represented Christ.  He  placed the iron bar between the two boards.  He then attached the two boards with screws around the perimeter of the metal sandwiched inside.  When he was done with the screws he wrapped the boards in duct tape, and held it up for us all to see.  

I got the point...did you?

Nothing was going to break that bond or those boards.  

Our feelings often lie to us.  Our perception of reality is often skewed.  If we want to experience a joyful, stable, courageous Christian life, we must believe by faith that God loves us and will never leave us.  

God loves you no matter what based not he clear and reliable promises of His Word.   

The battle to continue to believe in God’s love, NO MATTER WHAT, is the real battle ground of faith in the Christian life.  

Strive not to sin.  Strive to obey His calling in your life.  But both of these are made more possible by the faithful believing that God’s love is UNBREAKABLE.

May 10, 2017, 2:06 PM

Useless Worship and Worthless Fires.

“’Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘nor will I accept an offering from you.'” Malachi 1:10

Church attenders are often more interested in the style of worship than the substance of the worship. If we the worship service is energetic, entertaining, and ends in an emotional high with people visibly responsive,  we are prone to consider it a successful worship service.  

But, God is far more interested with the substance in worship over the style of worship.  God is also far more interested in the consistent heartfelt worship of consistent obedience throughout the week than He is of an our of passionate energy on one particular day.  

In Malachi 1, God says that he would rather we close the doors to the church, and not attend than to worship with sin in our hearts and lives!  That is a bold statement.  

Church has become an offering of convenience in the American church today.  We show up for church when we want to.   We give tithes and offerings, when it is affordable.  We praise if we have the energy left to praise after we have done everything else we have wanted to do leading up to the church service.  Then we do go to church, many often feel they have done their duty for the week and can get back to what they really want to do with the rest of their day and week. 

God is not satisfied with a relationship of convenience.  He is not satisfied with part of your life or a portion of your heart.  He deserves, and demands it all.  

God loves us regardless of anything.  It is a perfect love that can never change. He never loves us less or more based on what we do, or don’t do.  His love for us is eternal.  

If you were to rate God’s love for you, it would always be a 10!  

But, if you were to rate How pleased God is with you, what would it be?

Pleasing God is all or nothing.  

So how can we keep from lighting useless fires in worship?  By giving Him 100% first.  Give Him 100% of your heart.  Give Him 100% of your energy.  Give Him 100% of your heart.  Consistently walk with Him all week.  Spend time in His word and in prayer.  Prepare for worship by worshipping him always.  Prepare you heart by asking Him to prepare you heart for worship and allowing Him to prepare your heart for worship.  Ask Him to show examine your life and show you anything that might be preventing you from giving Him your all.  

Then what will happen?  Well don’t be surprised if you have a battle on the way to church.  Don’t be surprised if satan does not try to throw something in your way to prevent you from going to worship at church.  But, keep your cool and resist the devil and He will flee from you.  

Go all in with God and great things will happen.  God will be glorified and He will be glorified in you, if you will give Him all that you have. 

Close the doors on the distractions of the world and God will throw open the doors of blessing on you.   

Let your Worship be Worthwhile and Your Fires of Offering and Sacrifice burn bright for God's Glory!

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