KLOVE Radio Features – May 2020
Smaller Seeds Bring Bigger Harvests
We all long for more. More love, more joy and more peace. All the good stuff! But, it will take more faith to plant a smaller seed. And, from God’s perspective, the smaller the seed, the bigger the harvest. The Shunammite woman thought she had too little. God knew she had more than enough. (2 Kings 4:1-7) God felt Gideon had too much, and so reduced his army by 99%. When King Saul was little in his own eyes, he did big things for God. In the upside down Kingdom of God, the natural mind can’t understand spiritual things. Heaven is a myth, and faith is folly. But Jesus said, “…if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20, NLT)
Seeing With God’s Eyes
If we could only see with God’s eyes, how different life would be. I was once in a small prayer meeting with the Christian president of a Latin American nation. We had travelled to a remote village and joined with a leader of 100 indigenous churches. As we prayed, God showed me the rugged apostolic leader had more spiritual authority than anyone in the room. When I affirmed that reality, the humble president nodded and smiled. When the prophet Samuel was directed by God to find and pray for the future King of Israel, “the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7, NLT)
Is there anything we need more than a tender conscience, in order to have a safe and healthy life? In 1 Samuel 24, David had a chance to kill his arch-enemy, King Saul. God allowed David to find him alone and unprotected in a cave. Instead of killing Saul, he cut off a part of the king’s robe. Later, David’s conscience was troubled. God had convicted him for doing this dishonoring act, and so David repented. The story challenged me about being careful that even when I feel I have a right to do something, it doesn’t mean God has given me permission to do it. What is permissible is not always preferable. Never presume to know what God wants you to do. Commit to asking Him first, unattached to having any preference, and God will show you His will.
We Need Wind To Grow
The Biosphere was an artificial, sealed ecosystem in the Arizona desert designed as an idyllic and perfect environment. It was created to prove that it was possible to sustain life in a bubble. It didn’t work. One of the surprising issues that produced unhealthy trees inside the biosphere was lack of wind. Wind movement actually changes trees and creates what is known as “stress (reaction) wood.” So too in life, the absence of adversity in the winds of life will only make us weaker and not stronger. My older brother knew a man who inherited half a billion dollars. It was more of a curse than a blessing. He described him as, “The weakest man I ever met.” Thank God for the winds of difficulty in your life. Process them well, and you will only grow stronger.
The God of Rest
Only when we stop and watch can we see what God is doing. Jesus made the people sit down to see the miracle of Him multiplying the loaves and fishes. He didn’t want to just feed them. He wanted them to be a participant and watch what He was doing. He was demonstrating the fact that He is a Good Shepherd, and good shepherds make their sheep lie down in green pastures. Even when the 120 disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they were seated. Each of us need to slow down in order to get a ringside seat and really see what God is doing all around us. Many of us are racing through life and missing the subtle miracles happening every day. Pull up a chair, and watch the miracles of Jesus up close.
Aiming At Heaven
A great traveling maxim that speaks to many dimensions of life is: “We will arrive at the destination we’re going to.” Or, you could say it like this: “You only hit the target you’re aiming at.” C.S. Lewis made this principle even more memorable, “Aim at heaven, and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth, and you will get neither.“ I have aimed at many things over the years, and hit some targets I wish I’d missed. Others, I’m eternally grateful I hit. We each have the same number of minutes in a day, so our time and opportunities are always aimed at something. The Bible says, “Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days.” (Ephesians 5:16) How many times have we heard people say, “My life went by so quickly.” Your life is a flash, a moment! Make it memorable!
I don’t think I’ve ever talked with an adult who didn’t have regrets. But I’m convinced, resolving regrets is one of the primary choices we each get to make in life. We remove the pain of regret when we receive God’s forgiveness and learn to forgive ourselves and others. Have you fully received God’s forgiveness? You’ll know you have when you’ve resolved your regrets! Stop the lie of regret from infecting your heart. Forgiveness is God’s cure for regret. It is God’s will for your future. Embrace it as your new best friend. For it is God’s greatest gift to you. A clean slate! A fresh start! Receiving the peace we don’t deserve, but have always longed for. Forgiveness can be a challenging mountain to climb, but if we surrender our lives to Jesus, it is doable and the only way to conquer our regrets.
From a Maze To Amazing
Do you ever feel like your life is a maze? A maze is defined as “Something made up of many confusing or conflicting elements. A complex system that causes confusion, leaving a person in a state of bewilderment and making it difficult to find one’s way.” So, how can we take our lives from looking like a maze to being amazing? The key is: returning to God if we have moved away from Him. Psalm 126 says, “When the Lord brought back his exiles . . . it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy . . . What amazing things the Lord has done for them. Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.”
How Valuable is God’s Presence
Here’s an historic fact that reminds me of how priceless God’s presence is. The most expensive building ever built was Solomon’s Temple. Though it was just 90 feet long and 30 feet wide, because of the amount of gold and silver it contained, today it would be valued at $275 billion. Wow! A 2,700 square foot building worth $275 billion! So, what treasure was inside this most expensive building ever built? The Holy of Holies: a 30 feet by 30 feet, or 900 square foot room that housed the Ark of the Covenant and the presence of God. Yet, this tiny room was covered with over a billion dollars of gold. Even the nails used inside the Holy of Holies were coated with gold and would be worth $32,000. And to think, that same priceless presence of God lives inside many of us today.
Living Like You’re Alive
Benjamin Franklin said, “Some people die at 25, but are not buried until 75.” It’s a chilling thought! Am I living like I’m alive? How would I live a fully awake life? One healthy habit I’ve been doing since I was a young Christ-follower, is to front-load my day. When I was younger and more nocturnal, I front-loaded my day at night. For the past 20 years, I’ve begun my day very early in the morning. By doing certain disciplines early on, it gives me more time to live the life I want to live later on. Actually, when I’m living a front-loaded perspective every day, this life-goal becomes a compass helping me stay on track. I’ve found it’s the best way to get me where I really want to go. When you front-load your day, you’re sowing your best into your life and future.
Seven Ways To Die Prematurely
All of us would love to live long, blessed lives. But the Bible show us at least seven examples of why people died prematurely. Each apply to us today and, unless we guard our hearts, could happen to us. Here they are: 1 Rebel against God-given authority, as Absalom did. 2 Form relationships with ungodly people who will turn your heart away from God, as King Solomon did. 3 Fight a battle God didn’t ask you to fight as King Josiah did. 4 Be filled with pride, and think you are better than others, as King Herod did. 5 Refuse to acknowledge your deception and dishonesty, as Judas did. 6 Resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit, as Ananias and Sapphira did. And lastly, 7 as we see unhealthy habits infect our present day, don’t take your physical health seriously, as so many Americans do.
We All Need Loyal Friends
We all want to be loyal to our friends and, likewise, hope they are loyal to us. So, when leaders turned against King David, so did his rebellious son, Absalom. One man, Hushai the Arkite, was so loyal the Bible refers to him as the king’s friend. We all want friends like that! Even God does. In the Bible, the patriarch Abraham was called a “friend of God.” What an extraordinary compliment. I don’t know anyone else who was given that honor, except, of course, you and I. (Matthew 11:19, John 15:14) Let me remind you of the words of Jesus, that we should never forget, “I call you my most intimate friends, for I reveal to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.” (John 15:15, TPT) It’s a friendship Jesus initiated, and, with all my heart I hope to be loyal to.