Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Over the Rainbow

I love rainbows. To me they represent God’s promises. Not just a promise that the earth will never be flooded again to destroy all flesh, but a deeper promise of life and love.

This week we have had great summer rain which is not always a normal occurrence in Texas. Several people have posted pictures of rainbows on Facebook, and these pictures immediately reminded me of God’s love.

The lyrics of the song by the same name talk about a land over the rainbow where the skies are blue, the clouds are behind us, and our dreams come true. There is such a place. Jesus said He was going to prepare such a place for us.

When I see a rainbow, I remember God’s promises that I have tucked into my spiritual jewelry box. When I see a rainbow, I look forward to spending eternity in heaven with my Savior. I believe in blue skies and the fulfillment of dreams. I believe in eternity. I believe in heaven. 

What does a rainbow represent to you? 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spiritual Awakening vs The End Times

My pastor spoke this morning about how we need a spiritual awakening in America. I agree 100%. You probably agree too, in theory. It sounds good. 

Great awakenings in the past brought renewed faith, new believers, and a sweeping return to the principles of God’s Word. But is it just a dream?

Today I hear more teaching on the end times than I do on spiritual awakening. I believe a desire for spiritual awakening has been written off because we are conditioned to believe we live in the last days. 

And everyone knows things will continue to get worse in the last days. Why fight it? It’s prophecy. It’s here. There’s nothing we can do about it.

Really?

We have been living in the last days since Christ rose again and the church as we know it was born. Christ could return today, but He could also return 100 years from now. We should live as if He is coming today but at the same time live as if He isn’t. The best way to live is to be prepared for either.

My prayer is for another great spiritual awakening in America. I believe it is possible, because God says with Him, “All things are possible.” As one of my favorite songs says, “I refuse to let someone else do what God has called me to do myself.”

I want to be part of a great spiritual awakening. I don’t know what my part will be, but I am seeking God’s will for my part whether seemingly small or great. I am seeking it day by day as I step out into my city, my county, my state, and my country.

When that great spiritual awakening comes to America, will you be able to say you were part of it? I pray we both will.

Your thoughts?

Friday, June 13, 2014

5 Steps to Spiritual Beauty

Beauty is judged first and foremost by our five senses. We are influenced by what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. What is modeled for us by others as beautiful influences how we interpret those sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches.

While our five senses influence whether or not others perceive us as physically beautiful, our spiritual beauty has more to do with how we perceive others.

Here are my five steps to spiritual beauty.
  1. See others through the lens of God’s love. For God so loved the world. We are all sinners, and Christ died for all because of His great love for all. If God loves us, we ought to love one another.
  2. Hear what others are saying. Take time to listen and hear what others need in their life.
  3. Smell. Inhale the need and exhale the gift. Ephesians 5:2 tells us that Christ gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma. Philippians 4:18 tells us that Paul received gifts from the Philippians which he said were a sweet smelling aroma and well pleasing to God. Give to others as a sweet smell to God.
  4. Taste the Word of God. Scripture says to taste and see that the Lord is good and that His words are sweeter than honey. Meditate on the Word, and let it nourish your body.
  5. Touch a life. Throughout the gospels, Jesus touched others. He used touch to heal physically and emotionally. Make it a goal to touch another life for Him. Esteem others higher than yourself, and pour what God gives you into the life of another.

May our adornment not just be outward in how others see us, but inward in how we see others. 

See, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Love through His eyes, listen with His ears, give as a sweet smell to please God, taste and meditate on His word, and pour what He gives you into another. 

These five steps will increase your spiritual beauty. 

How have you found spiritual beauty in your life? Share your thoughts below.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

That's Not My Job

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
 
We all know someone that lives by the letter of the law in their job description.  They aren’t what we would call a team player. While I will concede there may be a time for someone to clarify what is and isn’t their job, many times in a work environment employees are not willing to do more than what they believe is required.

Sometimes this spills over into our personal lives as well. What are your roles at home? Who prepares the meals, who takes out the garbage, and who does the yard work? Have you ever found yourself saying, “that’s not my job” or maybe thinking it?

What about our walk with God? We have defined roles for our pastors and church staff and Bible study leaders and volunteers. We each have our own gifts. But whose job is it really? What is our job as followers of Christ? 

If we are filling our hearts and minds with God’s Word, then we can just reach in and pull out our job descriptions for the day.  Love others as Christ loves us. Forgive others as God forgives us. Help others, have compassion, extend kindness, be patient, share the gospel, be thankful in every situation, trust God, pray, serve others  . . . 

As Christians, we can’t say, “That’s not my job.” God has called each of us to follow Him. What’s your job description for today?