Come On, Spring!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

With the month of March knocking on our door, the realization that spring is upon us and winter will soon depart for another year is some thing I’ll bet each of us are glad about. This past winter feels like it has been especially hard one for me. So, I’m very glad to know sping is just around the corner.

Since this past winter has felt so long and hard I’m looking forward to it leaving more than usual. I think that due to my perception of how this winter has been it makes my anticipation for the change in seasons all the higher. Although I don’t know what the next few months will bring, from experience I expect better weather, better things in general.

Our lives run in seasons like our calendar does. Some times our lives are in active, prospering seasons and others they are more dormant or less prosperous, at least from our limited point of view. But we know that God has more good things in store for us; He tells us better is yet to come. While our experiences point us to expect better things His Word promises them. And I’ll take God’s Word of my own thoughts, experiences and expectations every day.

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Is God Enough?

Is God Enough?
Devotional thought from the messages of Adrian Rogers
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” Psalm 55:14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
The church has the sweetest fellowship this side of heaven. There are brothers and sisters who are loving, encouraging, and exhorting us as we serve alongside each other to the glory of God.

But suppose God took you out of that precious fellowship. What if you became so ill you had to be hospitalized with no visitors for days on end? What if you were transferred to Siberia and there wasn’t a Christian around for 250 miles? Or what if you decide not to smoke pot when all your friends are doing it? Or decide to abstain from premarital sex? Or choose to not go drinking with your college buddies?

Is God enough when your dearest friend on earth forsakes or fails you? Is He enough of a friend that you can stand with Him alone?

ACTION POINT:
God is enough, but you will not realize it until you have begun to cultivate sweet fellowship with Him. How? Someone once said the best way to spell “relationship” is T-I-M-E. Spend time with your Savior in prayer and meditating on His Word.

Single-mindedness

Single-mindedness
Devotional thought from the messages of Adrian Rogers
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.” 1 Peter 1:13-14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
“Gird up your loins” is a figure of speech mentioned a few times in God’s Word. Here’s a phrase we use today to say the same thing: roll up your sleeves. It means to get serious about what you’re doing.

We need to get serious about being Christians and living for God. One aspect of that is to have “a single mind.”

Have you ever heard the expression, Don’t put all your eggs in one basket? I believe Peter would tell us to do just that, then label that basket, “Jesus is coming back!”

We need to be single-minded, living with a passionate, burning focus upon His return.

ACTION POINT:
What are you doing today in anticipation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Are you living with the understanding that Christ could return at any moment?

Greg

Provisions

I found this on the web today while doing some reading. I liked it and thought you might enjoy it, too.
Greg

*** The following was written by Jay Thompson.

Survivor, Survivorman, Man vs Wild, Dual Survival, Man Woman Wild … the list of survival shows today goes on and on. I love every one of them. If you watch any of these shows, they all agree on the basic needs of a person in a survival situation … FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, FIRE.

Lately I have been reading in the book of Joshua. The Israelites have wondered in the wilderness for 40 years and now it is finally time to go into the promised land. Before they cross over the Jordan, Joshua says to only pack the necessities.

“Go through the camp and tell the people to get their PROVISIONS ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Joshua 1:11 NLT)

As I read this passage I asked myself, “What are the provisions I need as I follow Jesus?” (Alright I know this list is not going to surprise anyone, but the know the things to do and doing them are extremely different.)

  • time alone … (Psalms 46:10, Mark 1:35, 6:45-46, Luke 4:42, 5:16))

Life can get so busy that we never have time to sit, think, or rest. Jesus took time to be alone. I need to slow down.

  • time alone with God’s word … (Ephesians 3:14-19, 1 Timothy 4:6-7, Hebrews 5:11-14, 2 Peter 1:2)

Reading, studying, journaling God’s word for ourselves is what enables us to live out God’s word in our lives. I need to make sure I take time to fill up.

  • time with God’s people … (Acts 2:44-47, Ephesians 2:19-22, Philippians 1:27, Hebrews 10:24-25)

Accepting Jesus is a personal decision that was never intended to be lived alone. God wants to use others to encourage and challenge me and wants me to encourage and challenge others.

Life … it’s a jungle out there. Make sure you have your survival provisions.

Very Good

Very Good

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

In order to fully and faithfully understand the cross, we need to begin where it all began…literally. We need to go back to the Garden of Eden, where God brought His creation into being and pronounced it “very good.” Why do we have to start there? Because it’s there where we see God’s perfect will in play. It’s there where we see things the way He intended them to be. It’s there where we witness the standard of life that all of us were supposed to experience and enjoy. God did something-something very good, something that was perfect and required absolutely no revision or improvement whatsoever. Everything was in balance and harmony. Creation was perfectly in tune-from the birds of the air to the creatures of the sea, from the canvas of constellations to the grass-gilded hills and valleys. Every animal, every insect, every single thing was just as it should be. Nothing was out of place or less than perfect, including man. Imagine it: an existence without fear, without illness, without pain, without guilt, without frustration or angst. Man had a conscience that was completely clear, without spot or stain. No evil or impure thoughts, no harsh or hurtful words. Everything about man and everywhere he went was “very good.” Again, this is where we need to begin, because it’s the essence of this “very good” existence that the cross is founded on. It speaks of a reality that every human heart longs for-a return to Paradise, a restoration to a former glory that we’re instinctively and curiously aware of. The cross plays a pivotal part in getting us back to that place, to the place where we belong. Creation was perfectly in tune. Every animal, every insect, every single thing was just as it should be. Nothing was out of place or less than perfect, including man. Think about it…
– Bob Coy

Hypocrites!

Psalms 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

I was reading about an ex-megachurch pastor today that feels he’s being discriminated against by his former church and the association. This man was caught up in a scandal after he committed sin. He resigned in shame and entered an agreed upon restoration program which was to last possibly “many years”. After a few months he left the program and started a new church. Now he is calling the church, it’s elders and Christians in general hypocrites for being unforgiving. It seems to me the man is still seeking after his own will, not the will of God by his actions and statements.

After David sinned with Bathsheba, pretty much breaking all the Commandments in the process, God did forgive him. But He forgave after David came with a truly broken heart and repentant spirit. And there were consequences for David’s actions; he didn’t get to build the Temple, it was left to his son, Solomon to do.

While God will forgive us, we do have to be like David was: with heart felt, grief stricken, conviction and an attitude of repentance. When you read Psalm 51 you can feel the contrition David felt. And as sorry as he was, or we might be, there may still be consequences to our actions and for our sin.

The lesson we need to learn (as I think the former pastor I began this writing with needs to learn) is that yes, there are penalties for our sin at times. But God is merciful if we will confess them and turn from them. And His forgiveness is the important thing in the long run. He can and often will take our failings and turn them into some thing for His glory. But only of we are obedient.

Relatability

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Relatability “You just don’t understand!” How many times have you said that? Who have you said it to? Your parents, your boss, your spouse, your kids, your customer service representative? There’s one person you can’t say that to: God. None of us, regardless of how tested, tried or tempted we may be, can ever accuse God of not knowing or understanding where we’re at. The Book of Hebrews tells us that God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, was exposed to the full range of human experiences, short of actually sinning. Keep in mind that God didn’t settle for reading a manual or attending a lecture on what it’s like to be a human being. He didn’t seek out any second-hand information. He actually became one! And by so doing, He’s able to fully relate to us. Think that one through. The One who is able to hold the entire universe in His hand, the One who spoke everything that is into existence, that same God is able to identify with everything you’re going through at this very moment. You’ll never hear Him say, “I’m sorry. I wish I could help you with that, but I just don’t understand.” By coming to dwell in the rags of human flesh, God forever took the “you just don’t understand” card away from us. He does understand, and He’s able to give us the support and strength we need to overcome all things. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18 NKJV) The One who is able to hold the entire universe in His hand, the One who spoke everything that is into existence, that same God is able to identify with everything you’re going through at this very moment. – Bob Coy