Archive for January, 2013

In all that is going on in the world today, maybe what the world needs is a better diet of fruit.  And you say, “What?”

Let me explain.

Scripture is clear when it talks about the possibility of being rescued – rescued from the limitations of this world, rescued from sin, even rescued from self.  We find there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.  The book of Romans tells us that it is only by God’s stunning grace that we can gain an audience with the most high.  Paul tells us that it is by grace, not by our deeds that we are saved.

Unfortunately, many people see this truth as an excuse to do nothing.  We cannot earn God’s favor so why work ourselves silly trying?

For sometime now, I have been speaking to our church family about the importance of being.  I have made statements like, “God cares more about who we become than what we do.”  And I stand behind that statement.

But . . .

Let’s be clear on this point.

Who we are and who we are becoming will be reflected in what we do – in our reactions to things – in what is important to us.

Jesus told us in Matthew that the tree will be known by its fruit.  We don’t go to a West Texas mesquite bush to pick a peach.  The fruit is the outward sign of what is on the inside.

What fruit will you produce today?

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Salvation and Body Piercing

Last week I was headed to the hospital for a visit.  As usual, I was in a hurry.  As I approached my turn, I needed to change lanes but there was an elderly gentlemen creeping along beside me.  I had to slow down to a crawl to allow him to get far enough ahead of me to allow me to change lanes.

As I changed lanes and moved over behind him, a bumper sticker on the back of his car caught my eye.  It read, “Body Piercing Saved My Life.”  All kinds of comical thoughts ran through my mind – some of which I will keep to myself.  The first, and most logical was “I really don’t want to think about that!  That is one mental picture I would rather not have.”

But then I began to wonder about the sticker itself.  What state would a life have to be in that poking holes in one’s flesh would bring salvation?

At the risk of taking a pretty funny life experience and over-spiritualizing it I would like to make one observation.

It is true that in each and every life, salvation is needed.  But there is no amount of money, fame, power or body piercing that will bring it about.  Salvation can only come through belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God and the savior of the world.

But I have to admit, thinking about that picture of seeing an elderly gentlemen in a car with a bumper sticker like that still brings a smile to my face!

Be blessed!

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Here we stand at the beginning of a new year.  I always find this experience refreshing and at the same time intimidating.  As I look back on 2012, I see many, many things that went well – areas in my life and ministry where I can see God truly blessed.  I can also see things that didn’t turn out the way I planned.  But nonetheless, here we are at the beginning of a new year – a fresh start.

We are standing at the trailhead of a journey marked by a calendar – experiences that will come in measurements of days and weeks and months.

I find it a bit intimidating.  But this morning in my prayer and reading time, I focused on one verse found in 1 Peter 1.  Verse 13 says this:

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

The author tells us, his readers, that we should prepare our minds for action.  This isn’t a time to sit back and let things “just happen.”  We have to be intentional – we must have a plan.  Otherwise, we will get to the end of this year and realize we accomplished nothing.

But before we allow ourselves to become too high and mighty, we must also remember what the verse says next, be self controlled – putting all our hope in Jesus and the grace we will receive when we make him known.

While we are to be actively and intentionally working to grow and move and succeed, we must also never forget that our hope of success rests not in our abilities but in Jesus.  Our focus should be on following him and making him known.

If we do that, it is going to be a great year!

Be a blessing today!

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