Made For War
We are made for war! I’m talking about spiritual warfare. Yet, the Bible assures: God’s Spirit will give us the strength we need to tear down strongholds, uproot lies, and have hearts and minds filled with eternal truth. God promises to set us free. So, don’t resist or fear the struggle. Embrace it! If you respond well it will bring out your best.
In eternity, when the backside of our life quilt is revealed, we’ll see the true value of the most entangled moments in our lives. They were obscured for a season from our understanding, yet designed to showcase the wisdom of a loving Creator who, before we breathed even one breath or fought a single battle, determined “…in all these things we are (called to be) more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NKJV)
Your Future Is Bright
One night, when I was struggling with pressures the enemy tried to tell me were insurmountable, the Lord flashed my memory with glimpses of the many times He’d saved me from near-death experiences: the out of control “360” on an icy highway; the galloping horse that barely skidded to a stop on a muddy field; when, on hallucinogenics, a friend grabbed my arm to keep me from jumping off a Rocky Mountain cliff into class 5 rapids I thought looked like marshmallows; the desperate time as a suicidal atheist I wandered into a desert to end my life. Over and over again He reminded me of His saving grace… His unfailing love… “His merciful kindness, which is so great toward us.” (Psalm 117:2) “Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:22, NKJV) I’m blessed…with a bright future! So are you!
Making Your Life Meaningful
Writer Tennessee Williams was once asked, “What’s the secret to happiness?” His misguided response was one word, “insensitivity.” In other words, don’t let anyone or anything affect you enough to rob you of your happiness. Hmm? Is becoming completely insensitive to the world around you really the key to happiness? I don’t think so!
I like what Jesus said about happiness far better. If happiness does exist, as the God who created genuine happiness, He’d certainly know how to find it.
In Acts 20:35, the Amplified Bible quotes Jesus saying “It is more blessed – makes one happier and more to be envied – to give than to receive.” Happiness is not getting all you can, it’s learning to give all God asks. God’s not trying to make your life livable, He wants to make it meaningful.
The Terrible Two’s
There’s a syndrome that some two year olds experience. It’s called, “You exist to bless me.” Perhaps that’s why it’s called the “terrible two’s.” As parents, we know that part of the process of successfully raising children is to transition them from being “natural-born takers” into being “supernatural givers.” There’s no learning process in “taking.” We’re all born “master-takers.” Yet, the only way we can fully experience the greatest fulfillment in life is to learn how to give.
Sadly, there are some adults who have attitudes that resemble the terrible two’s. Their life becomes a self-absorbed time warp—thinking God exists to bless them. Though God is a blessing to me, He doesn’t exist to bless me. Teaching us to give is not God’s way of raising money. It’s God’s way of raising children.
Values and Destiny
Your values will control your destiny. Your values are not just “what you believe,” they’re “how you live!” To determine what your values should be, you need to see them in light of eternity.
So where do we get our values? There are only two places: the world or the Word. The world or culture often focuses on what we can get. The Word become flesh, Jesus, came to serve and not be served. He came to give, and not primarily to receive.
This is why the Bible says so clearly, don’t imitate the culture’s morality, don’t “…be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2, NKJV)
Heaven and Earth will eventually pass away, but God’s Word will last forever. (Matthew 24:35)
What Are You Living For?
What drives your life? What moves you? What are you living for? The apostle Paul knew exactly why he was alive, He said, “For to me, to live is Christ…” (Philippians 1:21, NKJV) What would you say? “For me to live is shopping, or Monday night football?” “For me to live is my children, or my career?”
We can see what we are living for, our treasure, in what we give our heart to.
Jesus said, “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV) There’s no need to worry about whether you’ll be provided for, God promises to meet our needs if our focus is on Jesus and advancing His Kingdom, and not our own.
Know this for sure: only your Creator can perfectly guide and bless your life.
Jesus and Money
Is money important to you? Of course it is! Jesus knew, “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, NKJV) That’s why 15% of His recorded words, in some way, referred to money.
When wealthy Zacheus, the tax collector, said he would give half of his money to the poor, and pay back four times those he had cheated, Jesus didn’t say, “Hey, great Idea!” He said, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Luke 19:9, NKJV)
Former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, Richard Halverson wrote, “Jesus Christ said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a man’s real nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index of a man’s true character.”
The truth is, unless Jesus is Lord over our money and possessions, He’s not really our Lord.
Making Your Life a “Get To”
God’s a total giver! Does He have to give? Absolutely not! He owns everything!
The Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.” (Psalm 24:1, NLT) God doesn’t want to make your life a “have to,” He delights in making it a glorious “get to.”
Every blessing we have is because of His grace. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17, NKJV)
God’s looking for people who are willing to distribute his products: His love, His joy, His peace, His forgiveness, His kindness. He’ll bless anyone who’s willing to stay unattached to the things He gives them. Many times, He wants us just to be intermediaries, to be “flowing rivers of blessing,” and not “stagnant ponds of entitlement.”
God’s a Giver
What kind of person is God? He’s a giver! Not a grandstanding giver, but someone who’s willing to give in obscurity. It’s easy to take that for granted. God doesn’t have rays of light advertising: “This morning’s sunrise is brought to you by God,” or flowers stamped, “Made in Heaven.”
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you…” (Luke 6:38, NKJV) God could have just said, “Give, and don’t ask Me why! Give, or else!” God motivates us to change with love and rewards. That’s why He said, “Give, and it will be given to you…” It’s the goodness of God that inspires us to change. (Romans 2:4)
Today, don’t make what God has asked you to do a reluctant “have to.” See your life from His perspective, and make it a glorious “get to.”
We have all been seduced by the worthless: we tend to seek what lasts for a moment; and ignore the priceless: that which God created to remain forever. John Wesley said it so well: “We should only value things by the price they shall gain in eternity.”
Everything we see with our natural eyes is temporary, lasting but a few moments compared to eternity; while all that is eternal is invisible, and accessed only by faith. Invisible faith gives us the victory to overcome the seductions in this world (1John 5:4). Genuine “…faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NET)
For only by faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection are we able to receive not just everlasting life, but access to the abundant life Jesus promised, right here on Earth.
Hope vs. Concern
Each of us is in a battle, every day. One of our chief struggles is between hope and concern. Is your heart filled with more hope, or concern? Would any of us want a doctor who was more concerned about our health than filled with hope? How about God? When He thinks of you, is He more concerned…or filled with hope? It’s an important question. It will shape your day and even your joy.
The Bible doesn’t say God is a God of concern, it says emphatically He’s a God of hope. I take comfort in that every day. Why? Because, it’s the truth!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13, NKJV)
Hide and Seek
Ever play “hide and seek” when you were a child. It was fun! But it’s not just for children. God wants to play “hide and seek” with you every day. The Bible says, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” (Proverbs 25:2, ESV) and, “You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart…” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)
Jesus added, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7, NKJV) and even shared the same principle in a parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44, NKJV) God’s hiding today; go find Him!