Archives For Christianity

Incline Your Ear

November 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

The “Fear” of the Lord

Often a topic of debate among folks. Fear means different things to different people in changed times. Let’s let the Bible help define things:

Prov 9:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Prov 3:13 – Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

So, the fearing of the LORD will make one happy as he gains understanding of such holy matter. Check out Prov 2:2 -2:5 and compare – and pray as you incline your ear and apply your heart to what God has to say.

Small dog tilting head to listen and understand

Photo on Flickr by Yestertale

I hate losing an argument, don’t you?  Maybe it’s the competitor in me. Maybe it’s the winner in me. Frankly — it’s the pride in me.

As I begin to check my pride at the door, then having to argue and fight is no more.

Proverbs 13:10 teaches us that only by pride comes contention. Lose your pride – you won’t have to worry about battling.

Two people arguing on a bench

Photo on Flickr by yourdon

Feeling stuck? Often, I’ve found that being stuck begins with being stubborn – with God.

God’s Word in Isaiah 64:8 tells us the mindset and heart’s cry we should have:

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

If we become hardened to change, are we still pliable clay in God’s masterful hands?

A potter works with clay

Photo on Flickr by Sarah R

A great man of faith, George Mueller once said,

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

Show God you have confidence in Him (Prov 3:26) and you’ll be able to rest that He’s got it covered. As my friend Tony says, “God’s Got This”.

Anxiety Ends Faith Begins

Is Your Heart Merry?

November 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

I wonder as I wander, about the grumpy, zombie-like faces I see. What’s going on in their heart? In Artie Davis’ Craveable, he reminds us that our face reveals what’s in our heart. And you could look it up, for the Bible tells me so (Prov 15:13).

Even with this time of trial, can I find joy? Amidst the persecution, is there a blessing? Yes. Jesus.

Your face reveals what's in your heart.

Thanks for the reminder, Artie. Stay contagious and courageous!

Photo on Flickr by NYCArthur

Jesus gives us such great examples with how to deal with the problems and troubles that life serves up daily. He relies upon the Word of God,

An often overlooked part of God’s armour, the sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God (Eph 6:17). Whether to defend or to volley back – always be at the ready with an answer (1 Pe 3:15) by clothing yourself daily with Christ (Rom 13:14).

Young Man Prepares to Return Serve

Read your Bible – daily.

Photo on Flickr by iandavidmuir

Don’t Let Gossip In

October 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

We often read and hear about how wrong it is to gossip. In Prov 20:19, we also find that it is not a healthy thing to listen to gossip and talebearing. In fact, if we sit and listen to gossip, our listening ears are as a stumbling block to the gossiper. Take your ears away from the equation.

Don't Listen to Gossip

A great resource for more on this topic is Matt Mitchell’s book, Resisting Gossip. Gossip is a most subtle poison.

As Pastor Matt writes: “Gossip is like a fired bullet. Once you hear the sound, you can’t take it back.”  

Like I used to tell the guys at the rescue mission, your response to gossip is simple, “LaLaLaLaLaLa” as you walk away.

Audience of One fellas. Audience of One.

Photo on Flickr by hebedesign

Road To SomewhereWe’re on the move again. With God guiding our steps (Prov 20:24 & Prov 16:9).

While we have an outline and a map, an itinerary and a plan – we will always be ready to pivot on God’s command for the sake of Christ.

Some people may not understand – and sometimes, I’m not sure I do either. It’s not wanderlust. It’s not fear of commitment (to people). It is our life.

The confidence and trust we have is this: If our journey takes us in a direction we think is right, and it doesn’t turn out the way we have planned, we trust in God. Paul had a vision to build a church, got thrown in jail, and trusted in God. And the jailer and his family became members of the church (See Acts 16).

We have a vision. And yet, there is a possibility of something else.

“Because I am fragile. And I don’t know God’s plans.” - Susie Davis

That quote rung true and comforting, sending me to James 5:13-15 this morning as a reminder to always trust God, no matter the circumstance. For what is my life?

We soon depart for South Dakota as our next short-term mission. After South Dakota, the vision is in process of definition and preparation. If these planned paths get diverted for some reason (and also if they don’t), we look towards God – even if a diversion seems to be bad news. 

Photo on Flickr by Stuck in Customs

 

Slow Teaching

June 6, 2013 — 2 Comments

This scene from Mask of Zorro shows an example of “slow teaching”

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; – 2 Tim 2:24-25

Audience of One

June 5, 2013 — Leave a comment

Audience of One

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. – Gal 1:10

Like a performer might feel receiving a standing ovation. Adoration and compliments coming in floods. Tangible. Exciting. Addicting.

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. – Prov 16:7

I dropped the ball. By pleasing others first. Stretched too thin, overwhelmed, joyless, rushed … One would think that pleasing others is better than pleasing self – but at its core, isn’t pleasing others a somewhat selfish act?

God is pleased when you set aside parts of your life for others ( John 15:13 ) – but for the glory of God, the sake of Christ, being led by the Spirit.

An Audience of One. There is both less pressure and a more profound obligation.