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Archive for October, 2010

Radiant Glory

October 21, 2010 1 comment

I think of those times that I feel as though God is right there in front of me. I think how wonderful those times can be. It’s a feeling like nothing else. It’s a presence that you cannot deny. Maybe it’s happened to you in worship or in an encounter with Jesus. Wherever it may have been, hopefully you know what I am talking about. It’s a moment of goosebumps and a joy that can only come from God. It’s not the same as finding out you get to leave work 15 minutes early, or that you just got a free drink at Starbucks, it’s a feeling that can only be described as “supernatural”.

The Old Testament tells about a story of a man who came near to God. In fact God came so close that it left a mark on his face. It was evident to every person. While Moses had just encountered God, he did not know that his appearance was different to the Israelite’s. He came and continued on with his work as though nothing had happened. How sad is it that even someone like Moses could encounter God and not even know that He had been changed.

What would happen if God came so close to you or I and we hadn’t realized just how its changed us? What does that say about you and me?

I love singing praises every Sunday with the congregation. I love singing in my car, worshipping God by reading His word and seeking Him in prayer. How am I changing though? Every time I walk down that mounting from seeking God, have I changed? Do people notice something different about me?

After Moses walked down the mountain it says that Aaron and the other Israelites were afraid to approach him. I love that! Moses face was so radiant that he needed to put a veil over his face. He only removed it when he returned into the presence of God. It’s kind of like when you walk by someone who’s wearing too much perfume, even many minutes later you can smell the lingering scent in your nostrils. His radiant face continued and everyone knew it

Think about this next time you spend some time with God. How is He changing you to be a “radiant light”  or maybe an “aroma” to others. 2 Corinthians 2:15 says, Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. (the Message). Read that carefully and see what we have been called to by Christ.

How is God changing you when you are with him? He is forming you into something that can only be described as “supernatural”. He is molding you into something more like Himself. He is drawing you closer and closer to Him and calling us to be an aroma that others simply cannot deny.

So whether its a lingering aroma or a radiant glory you are exhibiting, give God glory for the wonderful things He does in our lives. Be aware of the encounters you have with God so when people ask how you have changed, you can simply say that it’s God!

Praying for Vision and Clarity

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s always tough when you aren’t sure of what your next move is. It’s like your playing a game of chess. You know your first step, but your opponent throws you off with a move you aren’t expecting. What now? Where do I move? Do I move a pawn, my knight, my rook? What’s it going to be?

I feel like this is how it is in the church sometimes. There are moves we need to make and we are unsure of what they are. My men’s group has been reading through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. The last couple of weeks our conversation has centered on a discussion of spiritual gifts and being used by God. I know God wants to use us, but how? And the biggest question to ask, am I willing to be used? Have you seen God move in such a way in your life that His next move for you was one that was a big step in faith? I find it happens more and more. I have learned one undeniable truth: If I want to grow in Christ, I need to submit to His game plan.

He’s holding the playbook and calling the shots. I just need to look to the sidelines, receive the play and make it happen. I think it’s very appropirate that my men’s group will hit 1 Corinthians 15 next week. The opening verses of the chapter go like this:

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saves, if you hold firmly to the work I preached to you. Other, you have believed in vain.

The gospel is a message that saves. The gospel is a message that was not meant to be hoarded. It was meant to go out in to the world and transform lives, as it did mine.

As our church takes the next steps and determines what play Christ is calling for us to engage in, pray with us for clarity of vision and willingness to be used. Also, I pray for you. Are seeking God for the next move? Are you submitting to His game plan? Are you willing to be used by Him no matter what? Ask your self these questions. If you answer yes, hold on tight, its going to be an adventure! If you are answering no, ask why? What is holding you back from allowing God to use you? What are you afraid of?

Three truths in getting on with your life

Maybe I’m the only one, but I get so caught up in the latest Dr. Phil guest or maybe its the latest breakdown of some celebrity. My heart goes to these people but it’s clear to me that they don’t know how to move on. Tragedy can strike any of us at any moment, but how we handle it is what separates us.  When we learn from those experiences is what makes us grow. So, let’s grow! I have found there are three fundamental truths to dealing with something especially if that something causes distress in my relationships.

Truth #1 – I cannot change the past.

No matter how I hard I try, I cannot change my past. It’s a done deal. No matter how much I bring it up, no matter how much I scream and yell about it, its as set in stone as something can get. Where does that leave me if I can’t change the past? I can only look forward.

(Luke 9:62, Philippians 3:12)

Truth #2 – You can only move forward.

What’s more natural when you get in your car? Driving forward in in reverse? By and large most everyone will say driving forward, unless you’ve joined the circus as the incredible reverse driver..its Nascar backwards! The point it, you need to move forward. You have less control when you attempt going backwards and things can get very messy. Learn from your past, learn from the mistakes you have made and move forward. Be willing to take the leap of faith that it will take to make your next step, the right step. Get in sync with God and you won’t regret it.

(Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 3:12-14, Luke 9:23)

Truth #3 – I can only change myself

This truth came to light as I was reading  about King David. He tried so hard to fix his situation by involving more people. What happened? People ended up dead and he ended up on the floor before God. This is often the hardest truth to grasp. Many times, especially in a marriage context, we want to try to change our spouse. We can’t. They can only change themselves. I tell couples in counseling that while I can give them reason why they should change, I can’t make them change. They have to want the change. We all hold the power to our own destiny. We have the power to make the next decision. How will you make yours?

(Ephesians 5:1, Colossians 3:1-17)

So, to recap these three truths, You cannot change the past, you can only move forward and you can only change yourself. When life gets rough, remember these truths and navigate through it carefully. Do not hesitate to call upon God when you need him most. HE is there!

An Investment for the Books

What are you investing in?

I am not asking about your Starbucks or your Microsoft stocks though. I am asking about your eternal investment. For the last year or more I’ve had in my email signature (that static ending to every email I send) “For His Kingdom”. What does that mean though? I have to look at how I am investing in “His Kingdom” and what the impact of that is. The funny thing about this investment is, you don’t get a monthly update on your Kingdom portfolio.

Our investments into the Kingdom of God aren’t seen until heaven. So, for those of you who might be expecting payback, you’ll be waiting for longer than you want. Then again, why is it you are expecting anything? I think about all the times that I have given it my all to plant a seed of encouragement or a seed of wisdom and just hoped and prayed that a person would come to see it grow in their life.

It’s like the parable of the talents. These men had been given much, but what did they do with it? Two of them actually did see return on what they had been given, but what about the last guy. What did he get in return? Nothing. He buried the talents. For what? Who knows. God has gifted each of us with so many talents. Maybe your talent is time or resources, or abilities. How are you using that to impact the Kingdom of God? What eternal investments are making now?

If this is a new concept for you, don’t fret. There is still time to invest in the Kingdom. There is still time to take what God has given you and use it for His purposes.

In three weeks on Saturday, October 16th, you’ll have an opportunity to invest your talents into the kingdom of God. As Jesus’ hands and feet, come and serve with me and many others to show the love of Christ to those who may not know him.

Choose to make a difference by investing in something new. Invest in the Kingdom. I promise you, the payback is huge! You may have to wait for it, but a treasure in heaven is greater than the greatest riches on earth.