Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Tag

Encore   Leave a comment

Matthew 15:29-39.

There are countless places we could go with a text like this.  Everybody ate and was satisfied.  What happened with the leftovers?  What are the significant points to be made of the numbers of loaves and fishes this time?  …and so on…

What jumped off the page at me while reading this today involved none of that, but rather where in Matthew’s Gospel this appears.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Can’t   Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes look in the mirror and see glaring back at me nothing but my own limitations.  We are finite creatures with physical, emotional, and spiritual limitations.  There are some things that we simply cannot do.

The disciples were in a situation with Jesus one day and what they saw were limitations.  A huge crowd was gathered and meal time rolled around.  They suggested sending them away when Jesus asked what was in the pantry.  “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.” (Matthew 14:17, NIV).  ONLY.  This is all we have.  You can’t get there from here.  Here is the need and we can’t meet it.  We can’t.

Where we see limitations, God sees opportunity!

We know from the text that Jesus took those loaves of bread and two fish and miraculously multiplied them to feed the crowd of 5,000 men, plus the women and children present who were not counted.  You and I can look all around us and see ministry needs.  We need to reach our community for Christ.  We need to minister to real needs of hurting people.  We need to not only help groups and organizations that are making a Kingdom difference in our neighborhood and world, but we need to also be busy about this work ourselves!

How do we do this?  How do we meet these needs?  If God has unlimited resources, unlimited love, and unlimited compassion for our world, then why would we want to put our “limitations” in between Him and the ministry He calls us to perform?  There is no answer to that question.

When you sense God’s leadership in your life or your church, look to the Resource and not your own resources.

Random Thought   Leave a comment

How different will the world look tomorrow if I wake up and ask, “How can I bless God today?”

Doubts   1 comment

John 20:24-29

The Resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples on many occasions, being seen by 500 people before ascending to heaven.  One of those appearances gives us a great word for today.  Thomas said that he would not believe Jesus was raised until he saw him and touched his wounds.  In other words, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  Jesus appeared.  He saw.  He believed. Read the rest of this entry »

When God Calls   Leave a comment

Sometimes, God’s call can be confusing.  I was recently invited to be part of a team to go help conduct Christian Ethics conferences in Tanzania, Africa.  My first and relatively immediate response was, “Nope.”  The invitation was reiterated along with information concerning some other invitees – people I know.  I conferred a bit with a couple in particular, but still determined my answer to be “no” because I simply couldn’t afford it and reasoned negative personal circumstances for rationale.

So when the third invitation transpired, something clicked in my mind: Samuel.   He heard the Lord call yet didn’t clearly understand.  Wise Eli told him to go back and listen one more time, then he would find his answer.  I believe this to be what has happened to me.

A third time I considered this invitation, only this time asking the Lord to help me see His heart and not my circumstances.  I called upon wise, prayerful friends to pray for God’s clear answer.  I asked spiritual leadership partners to pray and discuss this and let me know their collective thoughts.  Alas, my clear answer came.

Tanzania, by God’s grace, here I come!

Living Hope – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Acts 10:34-43.

So God took hard-headed Peter and showed him that all things are good in God’s sight that He has created.  Then He took Peter to some Gentiles who were anxious to hear the Gospel message that ol’ hard head thought was pretty much just for “his” people. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Friday 2010   Leave a comment

I don’t want to overrun you with clichés, so pardon any that pop up anyway.  As I think of and prepare for Easter and the great celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, here are some thoughts that occupy my mind on this day…

  • My sins played a major roll in the need for Jesus to go to the cross.  Maybe Good Friday should be approached more as a day of mourning even now as it was back then.  Think about it, crucifixion was the most humiliating, brutal punishment the Romans could dish out.  This was not a glamorous event, but one of true terror, agony, suffering, and pain.  In a spiritual sense, this was the price required to pay for my sins.
  • Maybe mourning on this day is more proper, but let it also be said that we are all thankful that this was not the end of the story.  In His death, our redemption was secured if we simply believe in Him.  But had there not been a resurrection, then this would simply be a story of real tragedy and broken promises.  Since God’s word promised that the Messiah would rise again, we can rest assured of yet another of God’s promises kept.  Had this one been broken, then none of the rest would have mattered as much.  God does not break his promises!
  • So if I am mourning for my sin that caused the crucifixion, then I can also be assured in my heart that no matter what this Friday is doing to me spiritually, Sunday is on the way!  Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ but also His resurrection, I really can know that my Redeemer lives and that everything He said ‘will be’ is reality.  This means that my sins have been cleansed because I believe in Him.  It also means that as things continue to creep into my world causing sin, stress, and strife, I can still turn to my Living Lord and find forgiveness, rest, and peace.
  • Today, as I should every day, I regret with remorse the sins of my life.  But just as Jesus did with the grave, I will not stay in that situation!  My Savior arose and lives today and offers forgiveness and freedom for all who trust in Him.
  • I can’t wait to celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ!