Air1 Radio Features – December 2014

Fully Trusting God

Why do I question God? When am I going to fully trust Him—on my deathbed? The second saddest thing I can think of is finally realizing on the last day of my life that God was fully trustworthy and always had my best interest in mind. The only thing sadder is never realizing it…never fully trusting God. I’m absolutely convinced that when I stand before God I’ll at last see there were an infinite number of things I could have believed about Him while I was on Earth that I just didn’t. First and foremost, I could have believed that every situation I ever found myself in was ultimately designed for my good. But I don’t have to wait for my final day, I’m standing before Him right now. “God, I trust You!”

 

My Sin Problem

The longer I live and follow Jesus, the more I realize that my sin problem is far more serious then I’m capable of understanding. Like Paul the Apostle, because I know my sin best, I know deep down, I am the chief of sinners! My sin is ever before me. But the astoundingly good news is, God’s solution for my serious sin problem is far more glorious than I could ever imagine. Though I can obsess over what I’m not, I can likewise focus my attention on who God is and who He created me to be. One perspective keeps me looking backward at where I’ve failed and the other inspires me to look forward toward a loving Father who’s always wanted me to succeed. I like my Heavenly Father’s perspective best!

 

God is the Great Initiator

Our prayers never initiate God moving in our lives or in those around us. NEVER! It is His heart that awakens us out of our sleep and His Spirit that compels us to pray. We are never the initiator! We only have a faint interest in prayer because He has persistently been shaking us out of a deep sleep. God is always the author and finisher of everything that is eternal, everything that is good, and all-powerful prayers that shake Heaven and transform Earth. What God begins, He always finishes! The gifts that we each have been given are far more than any of us have asked for or could have imagined. “God, awaken me from my slumber, what would you have me pray?”

 

Authority To Succeed

Our authority on Earth is never based on our successes. None of us have the credentials to complete the mission God’s planned for us. Therefore, our success or failure will not be because we pulled it off. It will be based on how we respond to our lot in life. Only God knows the way for us to be successful. All attempts to succeed in our strength will fail. But all efforts to obey God will, from His perspective, succeed. Why? Because that’s when He pours out His grace and power: when we fail and look to Him. He is the great difference-maker, a gracious Father who wants us to succeed in Him infinitely more than we do. “God, You have given me authority to succeed as I do Your will!”

 

Going Forward, Not Back

All of us want to live victorious lives, but frankly, no one wants this more for you than God. If we really believe our Heavenly Father always desires what’s best for us and if we believe the promises in His Word, then we know that He wants our lives to be victorious. But there is one pattern that has been most prevalent in keeping people from receiving all God has for them. It’s the same tendency that kept the Israelites from going in to conquer their Promised Land, and it’s trying to seduce us right now. At some point in your journey you will think that going back to Egypt, the world, is better than the wilderness you are wandering in. It’s a tragic mistake! Better than both options is going forward into God’s Promised Land for you.

 

The Names of God

The Hebrew names of God give us perhaps the clearest glimpse into who He really is. You will notice that there are no names for God that go against His true nature such as Jehovah Santa’s meaning, “You are the one who will give me whatever I wish for,” or Jehovah Scrooge, “I wish to be left alone. Life is a humbug!” Consider these genuine names of God and their meaning put forth in God’s Word: El Shaddai, the Lord is God Almighty; Adonai, You are Lord and Master; Jehovah Rapha, You are the Lord Who Heals; Jehovah Shammah, You are the Lord Who Is There; Jehovah Jireh, You are the Lord Who Will Provide; Jehovah Shalom, You are the Lord our Peace. The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NIV)

 

Obeying God

Obeying God is not an overbearing “Have To!” It is a liberating “Get To!” A misconception of God’s heart will cause us to obey out of performance, trying to please Him—leading only to a religious obligation. A proper understanding of God’s heart will draw us into an intimate relationship with our Creator and an obedient, fulfilled life, knowing He is already “head-over-heals” in love with us, and there is nothing I can ever do to get God to love me more. He is doing everything He can to bring us closer to Him. I don’t bless my wife Suzie because I want her to love me. I bless her because I am madly in love with her! We must never forget we can only love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

 

Gathering The Fragments 

All of us will at times feel fractured and fragmented. So broken we wonder if our hearts and lives can ever be repaired and made whole. But once we understand God’s heart, we realize that He will never discard us, but instead will gather us to Himself. After Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, He said to pick up all of the fragments, the broken pieces, because they were important and not to be discarded. The Bible says, “And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.’” (John 6:12, ESV) That nothing may be lost! WOW! That comforts me, as I often feel lost. But He is my compass…my rescuer! He is the lover of my soul, who promises to never leave me or forsake me.

 

Love of Money

In his book, Perelandra, C. S. Lewis, speaks of the ‘love of money as the root of all evil,” an “…itch to have things over again, as if life were a film that could be unrolled twice…” Was this the root of all evil, craving the false comfort of repetition, rather than the creative unknown, birthed in the heart of a safe and all-wise God? Lewis suggests that the chief reason people love money is “…a defense against chance, a security for being able to have things over again, a means of arresting the unrolling of the film.” This begs the question, is our pursuit of money and things at times an attempt to restrain our Creator from initiating something brand new and fresh in our lives? And is this done because we really don’t trust Him?

 

Offended With God

Are you offended at God? The truth is: God has done nothing to hurt you! Our disappointment with God comes from a false expectation—that He did not do what we thought or imagined He was going to do, or should do, for us. Unmet expectations can lead to disappointments. Being offended was Adam’s original sin—an offense at trusting God. The Bible says, “…as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” (Romans 5:18, NKJV) God’s love and mercy can set us free from any offense! All we have to do is humble ourselves to receive it.

 

Boundaries Bring Fruit

Are you stressed out? It might be because you don’t have clear boundaries in your life? Paul the Apostle wrote, “We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us…” (2 Corinthians 10:13, NLT) The word for boundaries here is the Greek word: metron.’ Paul is talking about the ‘metron,’ the sphere of influence that the Lord gave him. It implies “a field to plow in.” What is our business, and what is none of our business. God gives each of us a field to plow, and if we remain within it, He’ll provide all the resources needed to produce fruit that lasts. Find God’s boundaries and you’ll reap a harvest that lasts.

 

Comforting or Callous

All of us are probably busier than we’ve ever been; and that can cause us to feel overwhelmed by the needs around us. When Jesus was surrounded by crowds of needy people the Bible says, “…He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34) When we see people’s needs, are we compassionate or cold? Are we comforting toward others or callous toward their needs? Unless we first let Jesus heal our hearts, we’ll become hardened by life. I want to be a softhearted, tender man! I want my heart to be so filled with compassion that when I feel overwhelmed by the needs around me, I let Jesus take me deeper into His compassionate heart. “Jesus, give me Your heart for this hurting world.”

K-LOVE Radio Features – December 2014

Fully Trusting God

Why do I question God? When am I going to fully trust Him—on my deathbed? The second saddest thing I can think of is finally realizing on the last day of my life that God was fully trustworthy and always had my best interest in mind. The only thing sadder is never realizing it…never fully trusting God. I’m absolutely convinced that when I stand before God I’ll at last see there were an infinite number of things I could have believed about Him while I was on Earth that I just didn’t. First and foremost, I could have believed that every situation I ever found myself in was ultimately designed for my good. But I don’t have to wait for my final day, I’m standing before Him right now. “God, I trust You!”

 

My Sin Problem

The longer I live and follow Jesus, the more I realize that my sin problem is far more serious then I’m capable of understanding. Like Paul the Apostle, because I know my sin best, I know deep down, I am the chief of sinners! My sin is ever before me. But the astoundingly good news is, God’s solution for my serious sin problem is far more glorious than I could ever imagine. Though I can obsess over what I’m not, I can likewise focus my attention on who God is and who He created me to be. One perspective keeps me looking backward at where I’ve failed and the other inspires me to look forward toward a loving Father who’s always wanted me to succeed. I like my Heavenly Father’s perspective best!

 

God is the Great Initiator

Our prayers never initiate God moving in our lives or in those around us. NEVER! It is His heart that awakens us out of our sleep and His Spirit that compels us to pray. We are never the initiator! We only have a faint interest in prayer because He has persistently been shaking us out of a deep sleep. God is always the author and finisher of everything that is eternal, everything that is good, and all-powerful prayers that shake Heaven and transform Earth. What God begins, He always finishes! The gifts that we each have been given are far more than any of us have asked for or could have imagined. “God, awaken me from my slumber, what would you have me pray?”

 

Authority To Succeed

Our authority on Earth is never based on our successes. None of us have the credentials to complete the mission God’s planned for us. Therefore, our success or failure will not be because we pulled it off. It will be based on how we respond to our lot in life. Only God knows the way for us to be successful. All attempts to succeed in our strength will fail. But all efforts to obey God will, from His perspective, succeed. Why? Because that’s when He pours out His grace and power: when we fail and look to Him. He is the great difference-maker, a gracious Father who wants us to succeed in Him infinitely more than we do. “God, You have given me authority to succeed as I do Your will!”

 

Going Forward, Not Back

All of us want to live victorious lives, but frankly, no one wants this more for you than God. If we really believe our Heavenly Father always desires what’s best for us and if we believe the promises in His Word, then we know that He wants our lives to be victorious. But there is one pattern that has been most prevalent in keeping people from receiving all God has for them. It’s the same tendency that kept the Israelites from going in to conquer their Promised Land, and it’s trying to seduce us right now. At some point in your journey you will think that going back to Egypt, the world, is better than the wilderness you are wandering in. It’s a tragic mistake! Better than both options is going forward into God’s Promised Land for you.

 

The Names of God

The Hebrew names of God give us perhaps the clearest glimpse into who He really is. You will notice that there are no names for God that go against His true nature such as Jehovah Santa’s meaning, “You are the one who will give me whatever I wish for,” or Jehovah Scrooge, “I wish to be left alone. Life is a humbug!” Consider these genuine names of God and their meaning put forth in God’s Word: El Shaddai, the Lord is God Almighty; Adonai, You are Lord and Master; Jehovah Rapha, You are the Lord Who Heals; Jehovah Shammah, You are the Lord Who Is There; Jehovah Jireh, You are the Lord Who Will Provide; Jehovah Shalom, You are the Lord our Peace. The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NIV)

 

Obeying God

Obeying God is not an overbearing “Have To!” It is a liberating “Get To!” A misconception of God’s heart will cause us to obey out of performance, trying to please Him—leading only to a religious obligation. A proper understanding of God’s heart will draw us into an intimate relationship with our Creator and an obedient, fulfilled life, knowing He is already “head-over-heals” in love with us, and there is nothing I can ever do to get God to love me more. He is doing everything He can to bring us closer to Him. I don’t bless my wife Suzie because I want her to love me. I bless her because I am madly in love with her! We must never forget we can only love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

 

Gathering The Fragments 

All of us will at times feel fractured and fragmented. So broken we wonder if our hearts and lives can ever be repaired and made whole. But once we understand God’s heart, we realize that He will never discard us, but instead will gather us to Himself. After Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, He said to pick up all of the fragments, the broken pieces, because they were important and not to be discarded. The Bible says, “And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.’” (John 6:12, ESV) That nothing may be lost! WOW! That comforts me, as I often feel lost. But He is my compass…my rescuer! He is the lover of my soul, who promises to never leave me or forsake me.

 

Love of Money

In his book, Perelandra, C. S. Lewis, speaks of the ‘love of money as the root of all evil,” an “…itch to have things over again, as if life were a film that could be unrolled twice…” Was this the root of all evil, craving the false comfort of repetition, rather than the creative unknown, birthed in the heart of a safe and all-wise God? Lewis suggests that the chief reason people love money is “…a defense against chance, a security for being able to have things over again, a means of arresting the unrolling of the film.” This begs the question, is our pursuit of money and things at times an attempt to restrain our Creator from initiating something brand new and fresh in our lives? And is this done because we really don’t trust Him?

 

Offended With God

Are you offended at God? The truth is: God has done nothing to hurt you! Our disappointment with God comes from a false expectation—that He did not do what we thought or imagined He was going to do, or should do, for us. Unmet expectations can lead to disappointments. Being offended was Adam’s original sin—an offense at trusting God. The Bible says, “…as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” (Romans 5:18, NKJV) God’s love and mercy can set us free from any offense! All we have to do is humble ourselves to receive it.

 

Boundaries Bring Fruit

Are you stressed out? It might be because you don’t have clear boundaries in your life? Paul the Apostle wrote, “We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us…” (2 Corinthians 10:13, NLT) The word for boundaries here is the Greek word: metron.’ Paul is talking about the ‘metron,’ the sphere of influence that the Lord gave him. It implies “a field to plow in.” What is our business, and what is none of our business. God gives each of us a field to plow, and if we remain within it, He’ll provide all the resources needed to produce fruit that lasts. Find God’s boundaries and you’ll reap a harvest that lasts.

 

Comforting or Callous

All of us are probably busier than we’ve ever been; and that can cause us to feel overwhelmed by the needs around us. When Jesus was surrounded by crowds of needy people the Bible says, “…He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34) When we see people’s needs, are we compassionate or cold? Are we comforting toward others or callous toward their needs? Unless we first let Jesus heal our hearts, we’ll become hardened by life. I want to be a softhearted, tender man! I want my heart to be so filled with compassion that when I feel overwhelmed by the needs around me, I let Jesus take me deeper into His compassionate heart. “Jesus, give me Your heart for this hurting world.”

Air1 Radio Features – November 2014

My Identity

Do you feel like a failure? All of us will, at times, see ourselves in this way. But there’s an absolute cure: and that’s knowing the One who died to make us a success—not in the eyes of the world, nor even in our own eyes, but in His eyes—the eyes of the only Person who knows what’s best for us. I choose to see my life from God’s perspective—the finished product, the person He intended me to be. Our identity can be either shaped by our earthly failure, or by our Heavenly Father. I choose to believe God’s truth about me. He says, “…I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV) There’s no one who’s more excited about your future than God.

Shame

One of the darkest clouds covering the lives of many Christ-followers is a “Cloud of Shame.” Shame says, “You’re feeling bad, because you’re inherently bad.” Whereas guilt says, “You’ve done something wrong but if you respond well it will lead to freedom and victory.” Shame leads to bondage and death. Responding properly to guilt leads to deliverance and life. Guilt can last a moment if we repent and ask Jesus to forgive our sin. Shame can sadly last a lifetime if we choose to believe the devil’s lies about who we are. I choose to believe the only truth that will set me free—God’s truth. His Word says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)

Knowing God’s Word

The devil will always question what God has said to you. Therefore, you have to know what God really said. The Bible is not a good luck charm I put on a coffee table, it’s a breathing machine I hold fast to my face! Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12, NKJV) I have no chance of being a naturally healthy person without eating good food. Likewise, I have no hope of being a supernaturally healthy person without feasting on the Bread of Life: the Bible. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NLT) Hunger and thirst after God’s Word every day and you’ll live a filled and fulfilled life.

God Wants To Be With Us

Would you believe me if I told you that God wants you to be in Heaven far more then you do; and that He wants to forgive you infinitely more than you want to be forgiven. So, what is one of the greatest hindrances to us believing that God is this captivated and committed to not only forgiving us but also wanting to be with us, now and forever? I believe our fixation on our own imperfection becomes a constant distraction from focusing on His perfect love for us. The key to being successful in God is not working harder; it’s resting more fully in His love and acceptance. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3, ESV) Trust in God’s love for you and you will never feel like a failure.

 God’s Heart For You

One of the best descriptions of God the Father’s heart for us is found in the lowest moment of King David’s life. He’s just committed adultery with the wife of one of his most loyal subjects…Uriah. Uriah is then sent to die in an unnecessary battle. Nathan the prophet comes to tell David what God really thinks of him. You’d think God was about to reject David. Instead, God mentions all of the wonderful things He’s done for David and finishes with “…if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” (2 Samuel 12:8) Here’s God: no regret, no venom, no saying, “You’re a loser!” All God can say is, “If you had needed more…more of anything, I would have given it to you.” It’s the heart of a loving, caring Father! It’s the same heart God has for you.

Help My Unbelief

God can work with “no belief”, but He can’t do much with “unbelief!” When Jesus went to minister in His hometown, the Bible says, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:5) Faith is a room lifter! Unbelief is a room killer! For Jesus, healing a few sick people is “no big deal.” “No belief” doesn’t amaze Him, but unbelief does. The next verse says, “He was amazed at their unbelief.” (Mark 6:6) Would to God we were all amazed at our unbelief! After all God has done for each of us, our unbelief shouldn’t just amaze us, it should break our heart, and make us cry out like the man whose son was demonized, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, ESV)

Is God Holding Out On You?

No one is more excited about wanting to be with us than God. So what keeps us from wanting to be with Him? The same thing that made Adam and Eve hide! After doing what they knew was wrong they hid in shame. Until that time they loved coming into God’s presence. Sin changed all that. The devil deceived them into believing that God really didn’t have their best interest in mind and that He was holding out on them. This is the first and biggest lie of all time. The devil said, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5, ESV) The truth is God has never held back anything from us that would work for our good and bring about His perfect will for our lives.

Despising Shame

Playwright David Mamet writes, “…most people lost in the wilds…die of shame… ‘What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?’ And so they sit there and they…die. Because they didn’t do the one thing that would save their lives.” The Bible says we are all lost, but we don’t have to die of shame if we look “…to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) He despised the shame of becoming sin for us because He knew it would lead to rescuing all humanity who would turn from sin to Him. The greatest shame is: not wholeheartedly believing this marvelous truth.

Grace is Free, But Not Cheap

There is no more marvelous word in the Christian faith than: “Grace.” It’s what Jesus provided for us when He died in our place. Grace is God’s unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don’t deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to humans for our rebirth, and sanctification—a virtue coming from God alone. It’s our “Get Out of Hell For Free” card, but it didn’t come cheap. It cost Jesus His life! The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV) Jesus, I receive Your grace today!”

Receiving God’s Grace

Can you imagine being given an amazing present and never opening it? Sadly, it happens every day in the lives of most people. The Bible says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…” Who wants to flunk being forgiven? Who wants to fail to obtain the grace of God? Who wants to walk around bitter, like a plague looking for a place to happen? I don’t want to have a chip on my shoulder that will eventually make me act like a chump. One of the most important disciplines you’ll need to learn in life is receiving the grace to be forgiven, to forgive yourself, and to learn to forgive others as well.

Accepting Outcasts

Do you feel like an outcast? Jesus wants to embrace you and make you know how accepted you are. There was a woman in the Bible who was chronically bleeding for twelve years. (Mark 5:24-25) But she was desperate. According to the Jewish custom if she touched anyone, they became unclean as well. The law said she could be divorced by her husband, she couldn’t live in her home or make contact with friends, and was excommunicated from the synagogue. She had spent everything she had to pay doctors, but only got worse. (Mark 5:26) But when she touched Jesus, all of this changed! Have you spent far too much time and money on the doctors of entertainment, pleasure and success only to remain sick in your soul, or are you courageous enough to touch Jesus and get healed?

Fig Leaves

When Adam and Eve did the one thing God the Father asked them not to do: eat the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” (Genesis 3:7, NLT) Disobeying God always leads to shame and a feeling of being uncovered, empty, and vulnerable. And every attempt to eliminate this feeling, whether it be through entertainment, drugs, alcohol, philosophy, sensual pleasure, or denial is just fig leaves, and will never remove this sense of shame. Only receiving forgiveness can do that. And that only comes by returning to the One we originally disobeyed and letting the blood His Son wash us clean.

 

 

K-LOVE Radio Features – November 2014

My Identity

Do you feel like a failure? All of us will, at times, see ourselves in this way. But there’s an absolute cure: and that’s knowing the One who died to make us a success—not in the eyes of the world, nor even in our own eyes, but in His eyes—the eyes of the only Person who knows what’s best for us. I choose to see my life from God’s perspective—the finished product, the person He intended me to be. Our identity can be either shaped by our earthly failure, or by our Heavenly Father. I choose to believe God’s truth about me. He says, “…I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV) There’s no one who’s more excited about your future than God.

Shame

One of the darkest clouds covering the lives of many Christ-followers is a “Cloud of Shame.” Shame says, “You’re feeling bad, because you’re inherently bad.” Whereas guilt says, “You’ve done something wrong but if you respond well it will lead to freedom and victory.” Shame leads to bondage and death. Responding properly to guilt leads to deliverance and life. Guilt can last a moment if we repent and ask Jesus to forgive our sin. Shame can sadly last a lifetime if we choose to believe the devil’s lies about who we are. I choose to believe the only truth that will set me free—God’s truth. His Word says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)

Knowing God’s Word

The devil will always question what God has said to you. Therefore, you have to know what God really said. The Bible is not a good luck charm I put on a coffee table, it’s a breathing machine I hold fast to my face! Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12, NKJV) I have no chance of being a naturally healthy person without eating good food. Likewise, I have no hope of being a supernaturally healthy person without feasting on the Bread of Life: the Bible. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NLT) Hunger and thirst after God’s Word every day and you’ll live a filled and fulfilled life.

God Wants To Be With Us

Would you believe me if I told you that God wants you to be in Heaven far more then you do; and that He wants to forgive you infinitely more than you want to be forgiven. So, what is one of the greatest hindrances to us believing that God is this captivated and committed to not only forgiving us but also wanting to be with us, now and forever? I believe our fixation on our own imperfection becomes a constant distraction from focusing on His perfect love for us. The key to being successful in God is not working harder; it’s resting more fully in His love and acceptance. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3, ESV) Trust in God’s love for you and you will never feel like a failure.

 God’s Heart For You

One of the best descriptions of God the Father’s heart for us is found in the lowest moment of King David’s life. He’s just committed adultery with the wife of one of his most loyal subjects…Uriah. Uriah is then sent to die in an unnecessary battle. Nathan the prophet comes to tell David what God really thinks of him. You’d think God was about to reject David. Instead, God mentions all of the wonderful things He’s done for David and finishes with “…if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” (2 Samuel 12:8) Here’s God: no regret, no venom, no saying, “You’re a loser!” All God can say is, “If you had needed more…more of anything, I would have given it to you.” It’s the heart of a loving, caring Father! It’s the same heart God has for you.

Help My Unbelief

God can work with “no belief”, but He can’t do much with “unbelief!” When Jesus went to minister in His hometown, the Bible says, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:5) Faith is a room lifter! Unbelief is a room killer! For Jesus, healing a few sick people is “no big deal.” “No belief” doesn’t amaze Him, but unbelief does. The next verse says, “He was amazed at their unbelief.” (Mark 6:6) Would to God we were all amazed at our unbelief! After all God has done for each of us, our unbelief shouldn’t just amaze us, it should break our heart, and make us cry out like the man whose son was demonized, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, ESV)

Is God Holding Out On You?

No one is more excited about wanting to be with us than God. So what keeps us from wanting to be with Him? The same thing that made Adam and Eve hide! After doing what they knew was wrong they hid in shame. Until that time they loved coming into God’s presence. Sin changed all that. The devil deceived them into believing that God really didn’t have their best interest in mind and that He was holding out on them. This is the first and biggest lie of all time. The devil said, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5, ESV) The truth is God has never held back anything from us that would work for our good and bring about His perfect will for our lives.

Despising Shame

Playwright David Mamet writes, “…most people lost in the wilds…die of shame… ‘What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?’ And so they sit there and they…die. Because they didn’t do the one thing that would save their lives.” The Bible says we are all lost, but we don’t have to die of shame if we look “…to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) He despised the shame of becoming sin for us because He knew it would lead to rescuing all humanity who would turn from sin to Him. The greatest shame is: not wholeheartedly believing this marvelous truth.

Grace is Free, But Not Cheap

There is no more marvelous word in the Christian faith than: “Grace.” It’s what Jesus provided for us when He died in our place. Grace is God’s unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don’t deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to humans for our rebirth, and sanctification—a virtue coming from God alone. It’s our “Get Out of Hell For Free” card, but it didn’t come cheap. It cost Jesus His life! The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV) Jesus, I receive Your grace today!”

Receiving God’s Grace

Can you imagine being given an amazing present and never opening it? Sadly, it happens every day in the lives of most people. The Bible says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…” Who wants to flunk being forgiven? Who wants to fail to obtain the grace of God? Who wants to walk around bitter, like a plague looking for a place to happen? I don’t want to have a chip on my shoulder that will eventually make me act like a chump. One of the most important disciplines you’ll need to learn in life is receiving the grace to be forgiven, to forgive yourself, and to learn to forgive others as well.

Accepting Outcasts

Do you feel like an outcast? Jesus wants to embrace you and make you know how accepted you are. There was a woman in the Bible who was chronically bleeding for twelve years. (Mark 5:24-25) But she was desperate. According to the Jewish custom if she touched anyone, they became unclean as well. The law said she could be divorced by her husband, she couldn’t live in her home or make contact with friends, and was excommunicated from the synagogue. She had spent everything she had to pay doctors, but only got worse. (Mark 5:26) But when she touched Jesus, all of this changed! Have you spent far too much time and money on the doctors of entertainment, pleasure and success only to remain sick in your soul, or are you courageous enough to touch Jesus and get healed?

Fig Leaves

When Adam and Eve did the one thing God the Father asked them not to do: eat the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” (Genesis 3:7, NLT) Disobeying God always leads to shame and a feeling of being uncovered, empty, and vulnerable. And every attempt to eliminate this feeling, whether it be through entertainment, drugs, alcohol, philosophy, sensual pleasure, or denial is just fig leaves, and will never remove this sense of shame. Only receiving forgiveness can do that. And that only comes by returning to the One we originally disobeyed and letting the blood His Son wash us clean.

 

 

Air1 Radio Features – October 2014

Where Is Jesus Going With Us?

Do you ever hear someone speak and wonder, “Where is he going with this?” The disciples had that exact same thought about Jesus as He was about to leave them to be crucified. Jesus said, “…none of you asks me, where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage…” Their hearts were so filled with sorrow over what was about to happen they had lost sight of exactly where Jesus was going with the events that were taking place. Do we really want to know what God has in mind, or are we more committed to obsessing over the sorrow we don’t understand. When we see where God is taking us, we will always realize it is for our good.

 

The God of Extremes

C. S. Lewis wrote, “The most striking thing about our Lord is the union of great ferocity with extreme tenderness.” (From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III) The Bible says, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God…” (Romans 11:22a, NIV) Lewis then quotes a great philosopher, ‘I do not admire the extreme of one virtue unless you show me at the same time the extreme of the opposite virtue. One shows one’s greatness not by being at an extremity but by being simultaneously at two extremities and filling all the space between.’” If God is simultaneously embracing two extremes, so should I. I can be at peace and yet be warring. I can trust God and yet not know where He’s taking me. By embracing the extremes of God I give Him greater latitude in my life to be who He really is.

 

Boredom Is Self-Inflicted

Boredom is a self-inflicted wound. The God who designs galaxies and hand-crafts every molecule is never bored, so how could obeying His will lead to boredom? Impossible! Boredom comes from venturing away from God’s script into Earth’s shallow substitutes that cost nothing—leaving us empty and unfulfilled. Life’s greatest adventures have each been divinely shaped into one-of-a-kind destinies that require two faith dimensions to be experienced: Trust and Courage. The moment we question the brilliance of God’s will in our lives we begin to unravel it’s full potential. But when we believe in His ability to give us His best, and then boldly pursue His plan for us, we enter into the sweet spot of life’s greatest joy: it is to know God and to experience life from His sublime perspective.

 

Two Kinds of Faith

We each need two kinds of faith: “Right Now Faith” and “Not Yet Faith.” “Right Now Faith” steps up when there seems to be no steps. We walk in faith even though we don’t fully know where we are going. The Bible says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8, ESV) Thinking we know where God is leading us is mere presumption. Trusting He knows requires the most faith. “Not Yet Faith” means patiently waiting and peacefully resting, fully confident that God will contact us with new instructions at the first and best opportunity. If we desperately want God’s will more than anything else, it is impossible to miss it.

 

God, the Original, Original

God is the original, original! Everything He’s ever done has been trail blazed—a whole new beginning, a completely fresh start. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when He asks us to step into the unknown. When we find false comfort in the familiar we ultimately feel short-changed, deprived of the unexpected, missing the wonderful surprises of God. That’s why fear is the most prevalent seduction. The devil wants to consign us to the same boring reality he faces. Having rejected God’s first and best all he has left is the monotonous consequence of a unbelieving life. God, on the other hand, is creating something unprecedented for you today. Fully surrender to His will and you’ll never be bored again. “Jesus, take me somewhere I’ve never been!”

 

God’s Mercy

When Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11, it was an example of God’s mercy. The tree was a picture of “false advertising,” having leaves, but no figs. It wasn’t normal or healthy. That type of fig tree didn’t usually have leaves without also having figs. The tree was cursed because it professed to have fruit, but did not. The tree was “living a lie.” We can’t know the truth if we live a lie. We will each be judged for the fruit in our lives not for our leaves. In all of the works in the ministry of Jesus, this is the only “destructive” miracle. Jesus here most perfectly shows us the nature of God. He is willing to kill “counterfeit life” in us in order to keep us from killing our future. The question is, “Are we?”

 

Roots That Bear Fruit

Right after Jesus cursed the fig tree that had leaves but no fruit He went into the temple and overturned the tables of the money exchangers. Every Jewish male had to pay a yearly temple tax. An amount equaling about two days pay. It had to be paid in the currency of the Temple, and the money exchangers would charge outrageous rates. They did all this in the outer courts of the Temple, the only area where Gentiles could come and pray. Therefore, this place of prayer was made into a swap meet for thieves. Are you willing to let Jesus turn over the hypocritical parts of your heart? The priests in the Temple had leaves, but no fruit. They were thieves with leaves but their root had no fruit. “Jesus, let our roots go deep into You, that we may bear fruit that lasts forever.”

 

God-Sized Faith

Our commitment to God is always a demonstration of our faith. When Jesus said, “Have faith in God…” that you may see mountains move, it meant in the original language, “Have God’s faith!” (Mark 11:22-23) Mountains symbolize insurmountable problems that only God can move. Jesus was saying, “As we believe, God can overcome any obstacle.” We must remember that Jesus was promising this to His disciples, not the multitudes. It was a commitment to those who were committed to Him. In life “we reap what we sow.” “No deposit” means, “No return on our investment.” God-sized mountains require God-sized faith and God-sized commitment! So we must never forget He is freely offering this kind of faith to each of us, every moment of every day. Having God’s faith always brings God’s victory.

 

The Forgiven Heart

It’s been said, “There is no revenge so sweet as forgiveness.” (American Humorist, Josh Billings) Our forgiving others opens the door for God to forgive us. The hardness in our heart shuts God out. If we have hard, unforgiving hearts, it calls into question if we have ever received or appreciated God’s forgiveness. The forgiven heart longs to forgive others. The forgiven heart relinquishes its right to punish others. The forgiven heart will no longer hold that person responsible for what they did. Jesus said, “…when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25) “Jesus, I forgive those who have hurt me. I release them from all responsibility. Even now I fully receive your forgiveness for me.”

 

As a Man Thinks

Proverbs says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) This verse speaks to each of us as the gatekeepers of our thoughts. I may not be able to stop a bird from flying over my head, but I can keep it from making a nest in my hair. The New Testament adds, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians10:4-5, NIV) The thoughts I allow to permeate my mind shape my true inner person. Therefore, I must wash my thoughts with God’s Word and put on the mind of Christ, for who I am in private is who I am.

 

The Best Season of Your Life

How do you know you are trusting God? When the best season of your life is the one you’re presently in. Not because of circumstances, but because of your perspective. Every meal God serves us should be a Thanksgiving Dinner. Every irritation is an invitation to go to the next level. It’s God’s perfect invitation to go deeper into trusting Him. Irritations are divine opportunities, not stumbling blocks or roadblocks. If we obsess over the pain and displeasure inherently associated with the struggles of life, we will miss the entire point. The real enemy is never the things happening around us, it is our poor response. By the grace of God, we each have a complete capacity to respond well. There are no setbacks in God, only veiled doorways to our destiny.

K-LOVE Radio Features – October 2014

Where Is Jesus Going With Us?

Do you ever hear someone speak and wonder, “Where is he going with this?” The disciples had that exact same thought about Jesus as He was about to leave them to be crucified. Jesus said, “…none of you asks me, where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage…” Their hearts were so filled with sorrow over what was about to happen they had lost sight of exactly where Jesus was going with the events that were taking place. Do we really want to know what God has in mind, or are we more committed to obsessing over the sorrow we don’t understand. When we see where God is taking us, we will always realize it is for our good.

 

The God of Extremes

C. S. Lewis wrote, “The most striking thing about our Lord is the union of great ferocity with extreme tenderness.” (From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III) The Bible says, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God…” (Romans 11:22a, NIV) Lewis then quotes a great philosopher, ‘I do not admire the extreme of one virtue unless you show me at the same time the extreme of the opposite virtue. One shows one’s greatness not by being at an extremity but by being simultaneously at two extremities and filling all the space between.’” If God is simultaneously embracing two extremes, so should I. I can be at peace and yet be warring. I can trust God and yet not know where He’s taking me. By embracing the extremes of God I give Him greater latitude in my life to be who He really is.

 

Boredom Is Self-Inflicted

Boredom is a self-inflicted wound. The God who designs galaxies and hand-crafts every molecule is never bored, so how could obeying His will lead to boredom? Impossible! Boredom comes from venturing away from God’s script into Earth’s shallow substitutes that cost nothing—leaving us empty and unfulfilled. Life’s greatest adventures have each been divinely shaped into one-of-a-kind destinies that require two faith dimensions to be experienced: Trust and Courage. The moment we question the brilliance of God’s will in our lives we begin to unravel it’s full potential. But when we believe in His ability to give us His best, and then boldly pursue His plan for us, we enter into the sweet spot of life’s greatest joy: it is to know God and to experience life from His sublime perspective.

 

Two Kinds of Faith

We each need two kinds of faith: “Right Now Faith” and “Not Yet Faith.” “Right Now Faith” steps up when there seems to be no steps. We walk in faith even though we don’t fully know where we are going. The Bible says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8, ESV) Thinking we know where God is leading us is mere presumption. Trusting He knows requires the most faith. “Not Yet Faith” means patiently waiting and peacefully resting, fully confident that God will contact us with new instructions at the first and best opportunity. If we desperately want God’s will more than anything else, it is impossible to miss it.

 

God, the Original, Original

God is the original, original! Everything He’s ever done has been trail blazed—a whole new beginning, a completely fresh start. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when He asks us to step into the unknown. When we find false comfort in the familiar we ultimately feel short-changed, deprived of the unexpected, missing the wonderful surprises of God. That’s why fear is the most prevalent seduction. The devil wants to consign us to the same boring reality he faces. Having rejected God’s first and best all he has left is the monotonous consequence of a unbelieving life. God, on the other hand, is creating something unprecedented for you today. Fully surrender to His will and you’ll never be bored again. “Jesus, take me somewhere I’ve never been!”

 

God’s Mercy

When Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11, it was an example of God’s mercy. The tree was a picture of “false advertising,” having leaves, but no figs. It wasn’t normal or healthy. That type of fig tree didn’t usually have leaves without also having figs. The tree was cursed because it professed to have fruit, but did not. The tree was “living a lie.” We can’t know the truth if we live a lie. We will each be judged for the fruit in our lives not for our leaves. In all of the works in the ministry of Jesus, this is the only “destructive” miracle. Jesus here most perfectly shows us the nature of God. He is willing to kill “counterfeit life” in us in order to keep us from killing our future. The question is, “Are we?”

 

Roots That Bear Fruit

Right after Jesus cursed the fig tree that had leaves but no fruit He went into the temple and overturned the tables of the money exchangers. Every Jewish male had to pay a yearly temple tax. An amount equaling about two days pay. It had to be paid in the currency of the Temple, and the money exchangers would charge outrageous rates. They did all this in the outer courts of the Temple, the only area where Gentiles could come and pray. Therefore, this place of prayer was made into a swap meet for thieves. Are you willing to let Jesus turn over the hypocritical parts of your heart? The priests in the Temple had leaves, but no fruit. They were thieves with leaves but their root had no fruit. “Jesus, let our roots go deep into You, that we may bear fruit that lasts forever.”

 

God-Sized Faith

Our commitment to God is always a demonstration of our faith. When Jesus said, “Have faith in God…” that you may see mountains move, it meant in the original language, “Have God’s faith!” (Mark 11:22-23) Mountains symbolize insurmountable problems that only God can move. Jesus was saying, “As we believe, God can overcome any obstacle.” We must remember that Jesus was promising this to His disciples, not the multitudes. It was a commitment to those who were committed to Him. In life “we reap what we sow.” “No deposit” means, “No return on our investment.” God-sized mountains require God-sized faith and God-sized commitment! So we must never forget He is freely offering this kind of faith to each of us, every moment of every day. Having God’s faith always brings God’s victory.

 

The Forgiven Heart

It’s been said, “There is no revenge so sweet as forgiveness.” (American Humorist, Josh Billings) Our forgiving others opens the door for God to forgive us. The hardness in our heart shuts God out. If we have hard, unforgiving hearts, it calls into question if we have ever received or appreciated God’s forgiveness. The forgiven heart longs to forgive others. The forgiven heart relinquishes its right to punish others. The forgiven heart will no longer hold that person responsible for what they did. Jesus said, “…when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25) “Jesus, I forgive those who have hurt me. I release them from all responsibility. Even now I fully receive your forgiveness for me.”

 

As a Man Thinks

Proverbs says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) This verse speaks to each of us as the gatekeepers of our thoughts. I may not be able to stop a bird from flying over my head, but I can keep it from making a nest in my hair. The New Testament adds, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians10:4-5, NIV) The thoughts I allow to permeate my mind shape my true inner person. Therefore, I must wash my thoughts with God’s Word and put on the mind of Christ, for who I am in private is who I am.

 

The Best Season of Your Life

How do you know you are trusting God? When the best season of your life is the one you’re presently in. Not because of circumstances, but because of your perspective. Every meal God serves us should be a Thanksgiving Dinner. Every irritation is an invitation to go to the next level. It’s God’s perfect invitation to go deeper into trusting Him. Irritations are divine opportunities, not stumbling blocks or roadblocks. If we obsess over the pain and displeasure inherently associated with the struggles of life, we will miss the entire point. The real enemy is never the things happening around us, it is our poor response. By the grace of God, we each have a complete capacity to respond well. There are no setbacks in God, only veiled doorways to our destiny.

K-LOVE Radio Features – August 2014

Live Ready To Face God

A catalyst for the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther was asked, “If Jesus was coming back tomorrow, what would you do?” He replied, “I’d plant a tree.” This speaks to our need to be about our heavenly Father’s business all the days of our lives. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13, KJV) Similarly, the great evangelist D.L. Moody was asked, “If Jesus was going to come back in five minutes, what would you do?” He said, “I’d finish my steak.” Moody wasn’t being brash, he was making an important point. Whatever we are doing should be appropriate, and God’s will, in the event Jesus comes for us, or we die and are taken to Him. Though we all fail, “living ready to face God” must be the goal for each of our lives in every moment.

Great Comebacks 

Everyone battles with a deep sense of failure. It’s the horrible affect of sin in general, and specifically when we remember lapses of judgment at different points in our lives. We are each hoping for a great comeback, and that’s where God comes in. He’s the God of the great comeback! He continually draws and calls us to return to who He created us to be: to be conformed to His image and not to this world’s reflection, which lasts for a few moments. Great comebacks always require great courage, and there is no One cheering louder for you than Jesus. “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all-all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, The Message) The next time you’re facing failure, remember the God who believes in you.

Life Is A Test

Everything in life is a test. Every response, every challenge and every opportunity! From setbacks to successes, the moment we stop depending on Jesus we become susceptible to deception. Accept nothing at face value. “…for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV) I’m not moved by what I see. I want to allow the inner witness of God’s Spirit to guide me. Every decision we make tests our motives, and in the end we will be judged by the thoughts and intents of our heart. The Bible says, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10, NLT) Jesus, guide me through the treacherous waters of testing. You are able to protect me from great errors in judgment. I trust in You alone!

Completing the Mission

I once saw a statement on the back of a t-shirt that said, “Cowards Never Start! The Weak Never Finish! Winners Never Quit!” It provoked me to think. I want to start, and I want to finish! I want to win, and I believe God created me to be courageous and not a coward. I’m not destined to be a weakling, and I’m not called to quit. By His grace I will finish. By His mercy I will finish well. By His kindness I will complete the mission I have been given; The assignment prepared for me from the foundation of the world. If you can receive it and believe it, this is God’s destiny for your life as well. The Bible says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” (2 Peter 1:3a, NLT)

Changing Your Boundaries

In the Old Testament, we read that Ancient Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Their method of overpowering a city was called “The Siege.” The Assyrians would surround a city and choke the life out of it by changing the cities boundaries. That’s exactly what’s happened to America. Only we’ve changed our own boundaries. We’ve changed the boundaries of right and wrong, of truth and lies. We’ve changed moral boundaries, destroying innocence, embracing impurity, and loving evil. We’ve changed the boundaries for marriage. We’ve changed the boundaries of what is real and what is unreal. We have become experts in “The Siege.” Have you changed your boundaries? May you return to the safety of the protective, healthy boundaries found first and foremost in the Word of God, the Bible.

Created To Be a Victor

All of us have been shell-shocked by life! We’ve all been disappointed by the ground shaking underneath us. Consequently, we are each at some point a refugee, refugees from a fallen planet, a broken world. We all need to be rescued.  But will we stay refugees, or will we become rescuers? I have been rescued. I am being rescued, and I will continue to be rescued…but I want to be a rescuer. I’ve been a patient, but I want to live as a doctor. I am not a victim. I am created to be a victor. There was a time in my Christian life where I struggled getting out of bed. Now, I abound out of bed every morning in the dark to walk in the light. Who we are trusting in will determine how we process life. Trust Jesus!

Bribing God

Never think you have to bribe God to pay attention to you. We don’t have to inspire Him. He was inspired about us before we were created. That’s why He created us. We had Him before we said, “Hello!” He created us to be the love of His life…the bride of His dreams. An intimate life with God is not a bribe to get Him to pay attention to us. We have His full attention. He’s already completely fascinated with who we are. We know this is true because that’s the way we feel about our own children and grandchildren. God couldn’t love you any more than He already does because He started loving you at “peak love,” with an “everlasting love,” (Jeremiah 31:3) and nothing you could ever do can change that.

Being Attractive

There’s a battle going on in each of our hearts. It’s between godly longings and carnal cravings. Unless we know we are attractive, even beautiful on the inside, we’ll never be attractive enough on the outside. We all long to be attractive, desired, and admired. You could say, we all want to be “cool.” That’s why our youth culture is so steeped in sarcasm and cynicism, putting other people down. It’s a direct result of how un-attractive and un-cool we really feel. We think, “If I can’t measure up, then no one else will either.” But until we see the beauty of God, we won’t be able to see ourselves as eternally attractive, desired and admired. Unless we know God is beautiful, we’ll never know we are beautiful…especially to Him.

Eternal Pleasures

Are you fulfilled? The enemy of our soul has always been counterfeit fulfillment. Most people expend huge amounts of time, energy, and money staying current on the temporary, illusive pleasures of life, while missing out on the tangible, eternal pleasures of God in the process. God has the answer for every inferior pleasure. As a matter of fact, God is the answer! Knowing the God who created pleasure is the only way to experience the real thing, and not the counterfeit. Accept no substitutes for a genuine, life-long relationship with your Creator. It’s the only way to a guilt-free, pleasure-filled life. The Bible says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, NKJV)

Struggled Getting Out Of Bed

There was a time in my Christian life when I struggled getting out of bed. It’s embarrassing to say it, but true nonetheless. My perspective about God and my life were in need of a complete overhaul. I thought I needed my circumstances to change before I could feel good about my life. The truth was I needed to trust that God had my life in His hands and that He would make all things work for my good if I loved Him and was committed to His will more than my will. Once I began to trust that God as a loving Father would never allow my life to be unfruitful, it changed my entire perspective. Now, I abound out of bed every morning in the dark to walk in the light! I love my life because I believe God loves my life.

Beauty For Ashes

Do you feel like your life is in ashes? God knows, and He can help. The Bible says God has given us “beauty for ashes…” (Isaiah 61:1, 3) WOW! Beauty for ashes! In most cases, ashes are good for absolutely nothing. Our spiritual ashes are the result of burning our passions on wrong things. We can look at our own ash heap and wonder, “Why would anyone want this?” No one wants ashes. That is, no one except God. He trades them for His beauty. It’s part of His heavenly recycling plan: His beauty for our ashes. God wants to answer our desire for beauty now, in this life, not just in eternity. What we look like to God is infinitely more important than what we look like to us. Never forget that He sees you as beautiful.

Inner Beauty

So much of today’s advertising can make us dissatisfied with how we look, what we have, and ultimately, who we are. We spend our time, energy and money fixing things about ourselves that we consider less than attractive. A beautiful God created us in such a way that we long to feel beautiful, but unless we see God’s heart for us, we’ll eventually see ourselves as ugly. Fortunately, when the Holy Spirit shows us what God is like and we see what we look like to God, something settles in our hearts, minds and emotions. That’s why the Bible says, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Air1 Radio Features – August 2014

Live Ready To Face God

A catalyst for the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther was asked, “If Jesus was coming back tomorrow, what would you do?” He replied, “I’d plant a tree.” This speaks to our need to be about our heavenly Father’s business all the days of our lives. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13, KJV) Similarly, the great evangelist D.L. Moody was asked, “If Jesus was going to come back in five minutes, what would you do?” He said, “I’d finish my steak.” Moody wasn’t being brash, he was making an important point. Whatever we are doing should be appropriate, and God’s will, in the event Jesus comes for us, or we die and are taken to Him. Though we all fail, “living ready to face God” must be the goal for each of our lives in every moment.

Great Comebacks 

Everyone battles with a deep sense of failure. It’s the horrible affect of sin in general, and specifically when we remember lapses of judgment at different points in our lives. We are each hoping for a great comeback, and that’s where God comes in. He’s the God of the great comeback! He continually draws and calls us to return to who He created us to be: to be conformed to His image and not to this world’s reflection, which lasts for a few moments. Great comebacks always require great courage, and there is no One cheering louder for you than Jesus. “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all-all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, The Message) The next time you’re facing failure, remember the God who believes in you.

Life Is A Test

Everything in life is a test. Every response, every challenge and every opportunity! From setbacks to successes, the moment we stop depending on Jesus we become susceptible to deception. Accept nothing at face value. “…for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV) I’m not moved by what I see. I want to allow the inner witness of God’s Spirit to guide me. Every decision we make tests our motives, and in the end we will be judged by the thoughts and intents of our heart. The Bible says, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10, NLT) Jesus, guide me through the treacherous waters of testing. You are able to protect me from great errors in judgment. I trust in You alone!

Completing the Mission

I once saw a statement on the back of a t-shirt that said, “Cowards Never Start! The Weak Never Finish! Winners Never Quit!” It provoked me to think. I want to start, and I want to finish! I want to win, and I believe God created me to be courageous and not a coward. I’m not destined to be a weakling, and I’m not called to quit. By His grace I will finish. By His mercy I will finish well. By His kindness I will complete the mission I have been given; The assignment prepared for me from the foundation of the world. If you can receive it and believe it, this is God’s destiny for your life as well. The Bible says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” (2 Peter 1:3a, NLT)

Changing Your Boundaries

In the Old Testament, we read that Ancient Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Their method of overpowering a city was called “The Siege.” The Assyrians would surround a city and choke the life out of it by changing the cities boundaries. That’s exactly what’s happened to America. Only we’ve changed our own boundaries. We’ve changed the boundaries of right and wrong, of truth and lies. We’ve changed moral boundaries, destroying innocence, embracing impurity, and loving evil. We’ve changed the boundaries for marriage. We’ve changed the boundaries of what is real and what is unreal. We have become experts in “The Siege.” Have you changed your boundaries? May you return to the safety of the protective, healthy boundaries found first and foremost in the Word of God, the Bible.

Created To Be a Victor

All of us have been shell-shocked by life! We’ve all been disappointed by the ground shaking underneath us. Consequently, we are each at some point a refugee, refugees from a fallen planet, a broken world. We all need to be rescued.  But will we stay refugees, or will we become rescuers? I have been rescued. I am being rescued, and I will continue to be rescued…but I want to be a rescuer. I’ve been a patient, but I want to live as a doctor. I am not a victim. I am created to be a victor. There was a time in my Christian life where I struggled getting out of bed. Now, I abound out of bed every morning in the dark to walk in the light. Who we are trusting in will determine how we process life. Trust Jesus!

Bribing God

Never think you have to bribe God to pay attention to you. We don’t have to inspire Him. He was inspired about us before we were created. That’s why He created us. We had Him before we said, “Hello!” He created us to be the love of His life…the bride of His dreams. An intimate life with God is not a bribe to get Him to pay attention to us. We have His full attention. He’s already completely fascinated with who we are. We know this is true because that’s the way we feel about our own children and grandchildren. God couldn’t love you any more than He already does because He started loving you at “peak love,” with an “everlasting love,” (Jeremiah 31:3) and nothing you could ever do can change that.

Being Attractive

There’s a battle going on in each of our hearts. It’s between godly longings and carnal cravings. Unless we know we are attractive, even beautiful on the inside, we’ll never be attractive enough on the outside. We all long to be attractive, desired, and admired. You could say, we all want to be “cool.” That’s why our youth culture is so steeped in sarcasm and cynicism, putting other people down. It’s a direct result of how un-attractive and un-cool we really feel. We think, “If I can’t measure up, then no one else will either.” But until we see the beauty of God, we won’t be able to see ourselves as eternally attractive, desired and admired. Unless we know God is beautiful, we’ll never know we are beautiful…especially to Him.

Eternal Pleasures

Are you fulfilled? The enemy of our soul has always been counterfeit fulfillment. Most people expend huge amounts of time, energy, and money staying current on the temporary, illusive pleasures of life, while missing out on the tangible, eternal pleasures of God in the process. God has the answer for every inferior pleasure. As a matter of fact, God is the answer! Knowing the God who created pleasure is the only way to experience the real thing, and not the counterfeit. Accept no substitutes for a genuine, life-long relationship with your Creator. It’s the only way to a guilt-free, pleasure-filled life. The Bible says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, NKJV)

Struggled Getting Out Of Bed

There was a time in my Christian life when I struggled getting out of bed. It’s embarrassing to say it, but true nonetheless. My perspective about God and my life were in need of a complete overhaul. I thought I needed my circumstances to change before I could feel good about my life. The truth was I needed to trust that God had my life in His hands and that He would make all things work for my good if I loved Him and was committed to His will more than my will. Once I began to trust that God as a loving Father would never allow my life to be unfruitful, it changed my entire perspective. Now, I abound out of bed every morning in the dark to walk in the light! I love my life because I believe God loves my life.

Beauty For Ashes

Do you feel like your life is in ashes? God knows, and He can help. The Bible says God has given us “beauty for ashes…” (Isaiah 61:1, 3) WOW! Beauty for ashes! In most cases, ashes are good for absolutely nothing. Our spiritual ashes are the result of burning our passions on wrong things. We can look at our own ash heap and wonder, “Why would anyone want this?” No one wants ashes. That is, no one except God. He trades them for His beauty. It’s part of His heavenly recycling plan: His beauty for our ashes. God wants to answer our desire for beauty now, in this life, not just in eternity. What we look like to God is infinitely more important than what we look like to us. Never forget that He sees you as beautiful.

Inner Beauty

So much of today’s advertising can make us dissatisfied with how we look, what we have, and ultimately, who we are. We spend our time, energy and money fixing things about ourselves that we consider less than attractive. A beautiful God created us in such a way that we long to feel beautiful, but unless we see God’s heart for us, we’ll eventually see ourselves as ugly. Fortunately, when the Holy Spirit shows us what God is like and we see what we look like to God, something settles in our hearts, minds and emotions. That’s why the Bible says, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)