Easter - 2018

Monday, June 29, 2009

Purpose in Life!

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
“It’s all about You, Jesus” is a popular phrase taken from Matt Redman’s chorus, The Heart of Worship. We would do well to make that our refrain, not just Sunday mornings, but everyday. In essence, for the believer, every day and every moment should be “worship-full.” That is God's purpose in me. In other words, God’s grace and mercy is given to us every moment, thus every moment is demonstrating the worth of that grace.

A simple test of your worship, is to ask yourself, “How much is God worth to me?” Is He worth a penny or a dollar or priceless? Your level of how much God is worth is defined in how much you respond in service and dedication to the God you worship. Thus, if He is priceless, a worshiper views every moment as an opportunity to worship God and every moment is about Him. The priceless view releases us from worship styles, worship venues, and personal desires in times and family worship. Worship is not about me, but all about HIM!

Imagine the effect it would have on our lives if we stopped and realized, “It’s not about me.” Imagine the peace we will gain when we understand that whatever happens in our lives is because “it’s not about me; it is about Him.” When things don’t go the way we want, we understand that it’s not about us, it is about God’s bigger picture, God’s glory. When we face suffering and difficulty, we understand that it’s not about us, it is about Him and how He is developing in my life.

Whatever fills our days, whatever God calls us to do in any moment, whatever valley we travel or mountain top we crest, we can remember that if we do the task with Him as our focus, we are accomplishing life because it is all about Jesus. That infuses whatever we do with eternal significance. The Apostle Paul states it this way in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NIV)

Have a great day - you I love ya - Don

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Fun - Reasons not to wash!

If you took the same excuses that people use for not going to church and apply them to other important areas of life you'd realize how inconsistent we can be in our logic. For example: Reasons Not To Wash

1. I was forced to as a child.
2. People who make soap are only after your money.
3. I wash on special occasions like Christmas and Easter.
4. People who wash are hypocrites-they think they are cleaner than everyone else.
5. There are so many different kinds of soap, I can't decide which one is best.
6. I used to wash, but it got boring so I stopped.
7. None of my friends wash.
8. The bathroom is never warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer.
9. I'll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
10. I can't spare the time
Gotta laugh at how ridiculous we are at making excuses! You know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prophecy for today!

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”- 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Some would say this Thessalonians passage is prophetic. I would agree in the simplest structure. Most prophecy is the the expression of common sense future events using God given wisdom and discernment.

This is not a prophetic writing about how and when the world will end. It is not prophetic in how it tells the future events to come in the Christ's return. It does not even tell us how the evil one will attack.

It is prophecy to me in that it tell me: (1) The evil one will attack. The evil one is clever and devious. He stabs at me when I least expect it. He is cunning and often beautiful. He is attractive and hard to resist. He will attack.

This passage tells me (2) God is faithful. A Christ-follower needs a faithful friend when the evil one attacks. God's faithfulness and steadfast support is the perfect weapon against these attacks. God will never let us down or disappoint us. It is against God's nature to run the other direction. It is also against God's loving character to leave us or forsake us.

This passage also tells me (3) God will strengthen me. I need strength. The flesh is hard enough to fight and when the attacks of the evil one and his minions come, I need strength.

It also gives me the prophecy that (4) God will protect me. I was at a the Zionsville Fly-in and there was a demonstration of the new smart car. It is a very small car made by Mercedes-Benz and has a complete steel cage around it's frame. It also gets fantastic gas mileage. I had plenty of room and I was comfortable. IT SCARED ME TO DEATH....what if a semi-truck ran me over? It probably would not matter if I was in the van or the smart car. The Semi would run me over regardless...but at least in the van I worry about it a little less. God is my protection in all things, therefore, I don't have to worry at all...I like that.

So, today lets focus on this great prophecy...."Even when the attacks come, the Lord is faithful to strengthen and protect me." You know I love ya - Don

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stepping Aside

No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.- Psalm 25:3
There are times my day seems like everyone is an "expert" and my job is to follow submissively. It is usually the same day that I want everyone to do what I tell them to do. Then I read psalm 25 and see that God does not override people's will, and we are not to do so either. Instead of trying to control people or situations, we are to pray that we will "hear" God's leading.

I am working on taking this approach; "If someone persists in doing something his or her own way, I am going to demonstrate confidence in God by stepping aside." I may learn a new way or they may learn a new way. God is big enough to get both of us out of any mess we make. The successful key is...He will get the glory and I get the honor of trusting Him.

You know I love ya, Don

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Funny - Almost too true to be funny

Friday Funny....My email won't send messages so, I needed this funny to help me cope. Enjoy!

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Happy Friday, Don

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

God is Determined to demonstrate His love!

“Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the LORD— and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:3-4
God is serious about having a relationship with us and being our first priority in life. As we have seen, He continually told the Israelites, "I am the Lord your God." He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, kept them fed and clothed for 40 years; and led them into a land that He had set aside for them. And they responded to God's grace and provision with rebellion, distrust, and harsh actions...

In fact, they didn't respond worse then we can imagine. They grumbled and complained and even rejected God and worship other gods. Even while Moses was on Mount interceding with God on their behalf, they were creating a golden calf to worship. YET, God would not forsake His people...then or now. God was determined and still is determined to show His grace and the holiness of His great name through His people. He still intends to do the same in our generation.

"Lord, help me to never take advantage of You or Your amazing grace. You are a great God. Full of love and compassion. Thank you. I love you. Amen."

You know I love ya - Don

(This idea is explored more through, Seven Words of Worship by Mike Harland and Stand Moser.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Riding the Rapids of the Heart

"Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The Disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" Matthew 8:23-27

Victor Hugo, who is famous for his novel the Hunchback of Notre Dame, also wrote a story called "Ninety-Three." It tells of a ship caught in a dangerous storm on the high seas. At the height of the storm, the frightened sailors heard a terrible crashing noise below the deck. They knew at once that this new noise came from a cannon, part of the ship's cargo, that had broken loose. It was moving back and forth with the swaying of the ship, crashing into the side of the ship with terrible impact. Knowing that it could cause the ship to sink, two brave sailors volunteered to make the dangerous attempt to retie the loose cannon. They knew the danger of a shipwreck from the cannon was greater than the fury of the storm.

That is like human life. Storms of life may blow about us, but it is not these exterior storms that pose the gravest danger. It is the terrible corruption that can exist within us which can overwhelm us. The furious storm outside may be overwhelming but what is going on inside can pose the greater threat to our lives. Our only hope lies in conquering that wild enemy.

Unfortunately storms that rage within us cannot be cured by ourselves. It takes the power of God's love, as revealed in Jesus Christ. He is our only hope of stilling the tempest that can harm our souls and cripple our lives.

That's what the disciples learned this day on the Sea of Galilee. They thought the danger lie outside the boat. They would soon learn the real danger lie within the boat, within their own hearts. In a word, they lacked faith. And without faith their lives were at risk to the storms which would inevitably come. And come they did and come they will. So what can we learn from this boat ride in the storm?

  1. Storms Come Suddenly.
  2. Storms Can Make You Lose Direction.
  3. Our Fear of the Storm Has the Power to Paralyze.
Trusting Jesus so as not to be afraid! You know I love ya - Don

(This devotion originated with esermons.com)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Funny - Country Churches


1. The doors are never locked.

2. The Call To Worship is "Y'all come on in!"

3. People grumble about Noah letting coyotes on the ark.

4. The Preacher says "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering" - and 5 guys stand up.

5. The restroom is outside.

6. Opening day of deer hunting season is recognized as an official church holiday.

7. A member requests to be buried in his 4-wheel drive truck because "I ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get me out of".

8. In the annual stewardship drive there is at least one pledge of "2 calves".

9. Never in its entire 100-year history has one of it's pastors had to buy any meat or vegetables.

10. When it rains, everybody's smiling.

You know I love ya - Have a great Friday - Don

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nobility is the Goal!

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Do you ever feel like you are on a road to destruction? I most certainly do. Oswald Chambers writes in "My Utmost for His Highest these words in response to Matthew 7:13-14...

God saves men by His sovereign grace through the Atonement of Jesus; He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. If once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not practised. The crisis will reveal whether we have been practising or not. If we obey the Spirit of God and practise in our physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we shall find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.

Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is bringing many "sons" unto glory, and God will not shield us from the requirements of a son. God's grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not milk sops. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.

Working at being "noble" with you. You know I love ya and stay on the straight and narrow path...it will be worth it. - Don

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feet like a deer

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3:19
This verse represents one of the greatest confessions of faith to me. Habakkuk is one of my favorite prophetic writings. "Though everything around me fail-the fields, the vineyards, the flocks, the herds-yet will I rejoice in the Lord." This is the OT version of Phil. 4:11-13. Habakkuk knew that he had no strength of his own, but that God could give him the strength he would need to go through the trials that lay ahead.
"He will make me like a deer-I will jump over the mountains." We saw a deer out in the field Saturday evening and it is amazing to see these creatures run and flow through the air.
How much more this ought to mean to us because God enables us to swore 
through the air. Habakkuk looked through the fog and mist and wondered
at God's program, but in Christ we know God's plans for this age
(Eph. 1:8-10, and chap. 3). We have the entire Bible to study, and
Habakkuk did not have this. We have the record of life, death, resurrection,
and ascension of Jesus Christ, as well as the promise of His coming again.
If any people ought to walk by faith and rejoice in the Lord, it is the
Christ-follower today. Yet too often we doubt, complain, run ahead of God,
and even criticize what God is doing.

Habakkuk shows us how to deal with life's problems: (1) admit
them honestly; (2) talk to God about them; (3) wait quietly before
Him in prayer and meditation on the Word; (4) when He speaks, listen
and obey. Never run away from the difficulties of life, because God
wants to use those difficulties to strengthen your faith. "Never doubt
in the dark what God has told you in the light." The just shall
live by faith.

You know I love ya -
[Excerpts taken from Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Funny - Door to Door Christians

Well, it is Friday and I think this will make you laugh...

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, two young church members were going door to door to invite people to visit their services. When they knocked on one door, it was immediately clear the woman who answered was not happy to see them.

She told them in no uncertain terms that she did not want to hear their message, and before they could say anything more, she slammed the door in their faces.

To her surprise, however, the door did not close; in fact, it bounced back open. She tried again, really putting her back into it, and slammed it again with the same result - the door bounced back open.

Convinced these rude young people were sticking their foot in her door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson. Just then, one of them said quietly: "Ma'am, before you do that again, you really need to move your cat."

Have a great weekend - Don

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tough Times? Or preparation for the next life?

Let’s look through the book of Matthew and see what He was willing to bear.

He was willing to bear temptation after temptation with out sinning. (Matthew 4:4-11)
He was willing to bear the fact he had no where to lay His head. (Matthew 8:20)
He was willing to bear how little faith His disciples had. (Matthew 8:26)
He was willing to bear evil thoughts against Him. (Matthew 9:3-4)
He was willing to bear insults being called a glutton, a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. (Matthew 11:19)
He was willing to bear being accused of breaking the law on a Sabbath. (Matthew 12:2)
He was willing to bear being accused of being Beelzebub after casting out demons. (Matthew 12:24)
He was willing to bear no honor from his own country and his own home. (Matthew 13:57)
He was willing to bear the fault-finding Pharisees. (Matthew 15:1-2)
He was willing to bear the slowness of His disciples in understanding. (Matthew 15:16)
He was willing to bear the great multitudes that came to Him for healing. (Matthew 15:29-31)
He was willing to bear His disciples lack of faith. (Matthew 16:8-12)
He was willing to bear Peter’s rebuke. (Matthew 16:22-23)
He was willing to bear Peter’s nonsense about building three alters when He was transfigured. (Matthew 17:4)
He was willing to bear His disciples constant questions. (Matthew 17:10)
He was willing to bear the Pharisees who came to test Him. (Matthew 19:3-6)
He was willing to bear the mother of Zebedee’s sons foolish request to have her sons sit at His right and left hand when they came into His kingdom. (Matthew 20:20-23)
He was willing to bear Peter, James and John sleeping instead of praying and watching while He prayed in the garden. (Matthew 26:36-46)
He was willing to bear false testimony against Him. (Matthew 26:59-63)
He was willing to bear being spit on and struck in the face. (Matthew 26:67)
He was willing to bear Peter’s triple denial. (Matthew 26:75)
He was willing to bear being humiliated, tortured and crucified. (Matthew 27:27-37)
He was willing to bear being blasphemed and taunted at while hanging on the cross. (Matthew 27:39-44) (Think on it devotions)

What are we willing to bear? "Lord Jesus, thank you for your patience with us. Thank you for being willing to bear what you did in order to save us from our sin and give us life with you eternally. In your name. Amen."
Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Bearing it together and encouraging each of us to press on! - You know I love ya - Don