We may walk by them all the time. People that have a blank expression and are not communicating their hurts and pains. When we read about the “Good Samaritan” in the Bible, the obvious moral of the story is to help others when they are in need. And to notice them. And to invest in them. And to come back and check on them later. Not many actually cry out or sound like they need you — but they do. They are all around you! It may surprise you who they are — but look into their eyes — just slow down a little and use your God-given gifts to minister the LOVE of JESUS. Do it TODAY.
The reason is this — making the connection — with a LOT of other people I haven’t talked to or communicated with in a long time. And you know what? I still like them!! 😉
God created us to love Him and to love others. One small way to BEGIN to love someone is to connect, interact, communicate, pray, and have conversations. In MY conversations, I want to bring hope and inspiration and to be transparent.
But when it’s all said and done
In my devotional time today I heard this statement:
“We are not philosophers living on man’s explainations;
We are Pilgrims living on God’s PROMISES!”
His promises never fail.
Merrium-webster.com states the definition of rhetoric this way:
Main Entry: rhet·o·ric Pronunciation: \ˈre-tə-rik\
… 1: the art of speaking or writing effectively: as a: the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times b: the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion 2 a: skill in the effective use of speech b: a type or mode of language or speech ; also : insincere or grandiloquent language …
In a time where politicians parse words, we must skillfully listen, analyze, and use wise judgment. Context is EVERYTHING and historical evidence aids us in decision making.
That’s one reason I love God’s word, the Bible. Even though it is not a history book, per se, it is filled with history. But even then, the context of the writers point to one thing. It leads to the plan of salvation, how to be forgiven from our sins.
I challenge anyone reading this blog to explore the words of the Bible — in CONTEXT. You will learn that Jesus lead a sinless, blameless life and took upon Himself the sins of the world for our forgiveness. Through God’s plan we can be forgiven.
This fundamental message has changed my life. I’m far from perfect, but my journey is AWESOME — because by being forgiven, my faith keeps me moving forward with a perspective on life that has a promise.
Read John 3, read Romans 10, read 1st John, then go to Jeremiah 29:11. You will find that Jesus has a love beyond our pre-conditions — in fact it’s unconditional.
Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, and like about 100 others. All social networks, and people by the MILLIONS are embracing them.
Just as interesting is how fickle people can be. Earlier this year, Twitter was having technical difficulties. As a result, several other “micro-blogs” popped up all over the internet. In a way, that’s how we are today. Democrats vs. Republicans vs. Vice President choices. It’s a maddening race for popularity.
Of course, for most of us it comes down to VALUES — what do people and social networks stand for — and where do I fit into their scheme? As a Follower of Christ, I am influenced by a standard, God’s Word, the Bible. It has and continues to shape me. That message does not change or move.
I love it’s anchor. In a world where there are no moral absolutes, where rules change, and where networks of people move around so much, I need that. I have also attempted to live by those standards.
Oh, no, I am not perfect, that’s for sure. However, when I get off course I can look forward and strive toward a finish line that DID NOT move.
It can be confusing to follow the commands on the Bible. In fact there were like 1,630 of them listed. When Jesus was asked which was the most important He brought it down to a level we can all not only understand, but we can RELATE to it.
Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Now THOSE SOCIAL NETWORKS ROCK!
When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
Proverbs 29:2 (NLT)
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Proverbs 29:2 (ESV)
When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans.
Proverbs 29:2 (MSG)
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)
When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.
Proverbs 29:2 (AMP)
Two storms are threatening the US. An emergency condition has been declared in Louisanna and everyone is thinking about the Katrina. Katrina devastated New Orleans, in fact it will NEVER be the same.
Hurricane Gustav. Tropical storm Hannah. And today I heard that if they take certain paths gas prices could soar to $5.00 per gallon in just days!
Threatening weather, threats in our safety, threats to our economy, fears in our relationships. Where do we find hope in all this? I have learned that the truths of the Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can lead to an inner strength that others may not understand.
In a storm, you don’t just survive until tomorrow or wait until another day passes. The critical times may be minute-by-minute or one may need strength NOW! Here’s a passage of scripture that ALWAYS encourages me … perhaps another might draw strength from it right NOW as well.
Mark 4:38-41 — 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” — ESV
Please pray for those in harms way while these storms rage on. And pray for people’s hearts once again to be stirred to compassion if needed in the aftermath of possible devastation.
We all want to be first. We want to be king of something. And for some people, unfortunately, that’s ALL that MATTERS.
What’s incredible with that is it is never enough no matter the quantity or even the visibility of power that one may become.
We see it if we reference the life of Solomon in the Bible. It becomes very clear what ended up being THE IMPORTANT summary of his life (See Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Question: What are you pouring your life into right now? What is your PASSION — right now? Are you making a difference? Are you leaving a legacy?
How are your kids, wife, other relationships doing?
And where does God fit in?
These questions matter. And please remember that God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. He loves you and made you to know Him.
Oh, another scripture? Jeremiah 29:11 … it’s one of my favorites!
It’s the 4th of July weekend here in the USA. It represents FREEDOM.
I love that word, FREEDOM. And I have experienced it first-hand. I have enjoyed this freedom in my work, with my family, on holidays, and in my spiritual walk as well. I have learned a lot about what the term means.
When I think about the founders of this nation, there are many examples where God, faith, and an aspiration live the values of God’s Word was evident. They left us many important lessons that involved listening to each other, but not compromising that moral compass that led them to stop and worship their creator.
The scriptures state that the cornerstone or foundation of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ. Jesus was not a beaten-down-and-defeated-just-a-good-teacher figure in history. Like the buildings all over Washington DC are inscribed with Biblical passages and faith-inspired messages, God wrote His laws on the tablets of our hearts.
I love celebrating. I love FIREWORKS. I love the USA. And most of all, I love JESUS! And there will be that day that I anticipate so often, when He brings a light show that will blast us all into eternity!
For when the Son of Man returns, you will know it beyond all doubt. It will be as evident as the lightning that flashes across the sky. Luke 17:24
We all want to change things from time-to-time.
Here is a list that comes to my mind and what I’m praying about.
- Broken Marriages
- Financial Freedom for Families
- Disconnected Fathers
- Moms who Feel Worthless
- People with Complacency as a Way of Life
- My Prayer Life
- Phone Calls to Friends
- Turning Pessimism to Optimism
Some of these depend on MY choices and are in my direct control. Other items on this list will take a miracle from God Himself.
ALL of them certainly will be easier if I rely on the Holy Spirit to lead, remind, and renew my strength. Thank you, Father, for loving me and using me to make a difference for such a time as THIS!
“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.” Psalm 39:4-5 NLT
On Sunday, I will be speaking on the “AMAZING!” life of Jesus Christ. You can’t deny it. History reveals it and the Bible unwraps it even more thoroughly.
The principles, morals, stories, and truths of God’s Word have changed my life. It’s more than positive thinking, adopting a philosophy or learning “religious” terms. When you get really practical and build a true relationship with Jesus, it MUST change you. So now, when I help the poor in a Third-World nation or when I pray for a crying girl on public transit, it makes a lot of sense.
Jesus set the example to LIVE out the life He called into. One that is all about knowing God and making Him known. Meditation doesn’t cut it, being “nice” isn’t enough, and as admirable as social work is — it is nothing — unless you introduce the love that was authored God.
So we celebrate Easter this weekend, and actually take the underlying message of Easter with us daily.
Matthew 12:23 “The crowd was AMAZED. ‘Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?’ . . .
So, because we’re brothers in the Lord, do something for me. Give me some comfort because of Christ. Philemon 1:20 (GW)
Here is Paul. He has a great friend, Onesimus. And he misses him greatly.
Have you ever had or needed a friend so close that you could actually be yourself? One that KNOWS YOU. One that CARES much about what you are going through. And you care about them, too, right?
2008. No matter what you are going through right now, no matter what you will find yourself in the future — you should never neglect a close friend. We tend to withdraw and to become this “automatic-garage-door” society. We drive in and shut the door. Then we become an island.
But, we are ripping ourselves off when we do that. God created us to be a blessing to Him AND to others. Just like we need a close friend, they need us.
In the coming year, I plan on facilitating more relationships. I want closer friends. And like Paul, I know they can comfort me, refresh me, and keep me all the more alive.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us that we actually sharpen other by our interaction.
Ps 5:11 But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.
Shifting your focus or point of view can be truly life-altering. What if each time we had a crisis, a challenge, or chaos in our lives we would switch our perspective.
Those with faith in God understand what this can mean. Instead of dread or despair, when you think about shelter and/or defense and safety — instead of betrayal we once again trust God — there is an unbelievable release! Now instead of depression our thoughts are alert and optimistic. And you know what??? I totally like the feeling of looking UP instead becoming bogged down by the cares of each day.
Question: Where has your focus been the past 7 days? I give you permission to turn your eyes upward!