Thursday, February 27, 2014

Watering Cans

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“…be not weary in well doing.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (KJV)

I’m tired. In all my “well doing” – I grow weary. I’m not tired OF doing good, but, in the midst of doing it, I wear down. Sometimes, I’m too tired to cry. Most likely, I grow so tired because I’m not making time to recharge my batteries in the Word of God. I’ve begun to run on my own strength, which isn’t as built up as it should be. But, could it be that I’ve never learned to effectively set boundaries?

For all my well doing, am I giving more of myself than I’m pouring out to others what God has poured in to me?

What happens when the last drop of water in my watering can drips out in the midst of watering my houseplants? How do I continue? How can I possibly water the remaining plants with an empty watering can?

The same applies to everyone God has placed within my reach; within my realm of ministry. The only way God’s living water can flow through me to bless those I love, is if I allow myself to be filled first. If I neglect God’s Word, I have nothing to pour out to those who look to me for a kind word, a gentle gesture, a smile or a favor. All I can offer is the frailty of my flesh.

When I over-extend myself, I choose to put something or someone else before God. And putting anyone or anything before God makes them an idol. Often, we think of an idol as a statue that unbelievers bow before. But an idol is anything we allow to become a ‘god’, by putting it first in line for our attention before the true and living God. Even if that ‘something’ is good, or someone I love dearly, I grieve God by allowing them to reign on the throne of my heart in His rightful place.

It can become a vicious cycle to allow idols to swallow up your day (no boundaries), leaving you no time for God’s Word; and the less time we spend with God, the more likely we are to erect those idols.

What might you be putting first? Spend some time with God today and ask Him what idols you’re creating by putting them before Him. Enter His presence with a grateful, repent heart and let Him wash you clean – again and refill you with His Spirit.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


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Do you ever just want someone to reach out to you with a kind offer to help, whether what we’re going through is a big deal or something petty that’s getting us down?

Does it ever seem like you’re the one always extending a helping hand, but that no one notices what you’re going through?

Is it possible that sometimes we just don’t see the loving hands reaching out to comfort us, or is there truly no one in our circle of friends that cares?

And, what do we commonly do when we find ourselves feeling like this?

Isn’t it easy to pout? Isn’t it easy to listen to the lies the enemy flaunts in our ears? Isn’t it easy to launch head-long into a self-thrown pity party, complete with tears and anger?

And doesn’t it sometimes seem like an insult when someone throws scripture our way, as if that’s going to help? We were wanting a physical hand, a hug from human arms, and someone flings a verse from the Bible our way and expects that to fix everything?

I’ve been there, too. If we’re going to bring God into the picture (albeit, He should never be out of the picture), why can’t He just send that someone we need to connect to right now? I recall times when I felt like no one in the world gave a thought to whether I lived or died, and needed a friend. Placing phone call after phone call, no one picked up. Could they all really be that busy they can’t chat for just a few minutes with me?

Personally, when I need to talk with someone and can’t get a hold of anyone, I jump to the conclusion quickly, that God wants me to talk to Him about it first. He knows the situation from every possible angle. If I’m being petty and someone has hurt my feelings, talking to anyone else first would become gossip, which, incidentally, God hates.

So, maybe it’s a coincidence that no one else is available, or maybe it’s a God-planned incident. Perhaps if we take our burdens to Him first He’ll put things into perspective for us, or after we’ve vented the ugly stuff to Him, He won’t mind if we talk to our earthly friends about it, too, and someone will suddenly have time for us.

Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

And one of my favorite scriptures: Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” ~Mark 6:31a (NLT)

Why is it really so hard to turn to Him – first?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Light of the World

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Without light, man cannot see. We can’t see what lies in our path, or our hand in front of our face. Neither can we see God, or into His spiritual realm.

Jesus speaks to us, as He spoke to His disciples when He says, “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13 (NKJV) But, before we could have that light, He announced, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NKJV) He then went on to say, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5 NKJV) Through His death, burial and resurrection we’ve become the light of the world when He lives inside of us.

If the world cannot see God it’s not because they’re walking around with their eyes closed. They have their eyes wide open. The day I walked through the Cave of the Winds here in Colorado Springs, and the day I explored the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, each tour guide turned off the lights when we reached the deepest point he could take us. Scary? Yes. Praise God, the lights were only off momentarily. But, in that moment or two of complete and utter darkness, you could hear folks moving around, perhaps feeling edgy, or perhaps to startle the rest of us. I was paralyzed, sure that if I moved, I’d trip and fall. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. It took my breath away. It was exciting, only because I could anticipate the second the lights came back on. My eyes were wide open, but I could not see a thing. The longer the light remained off, the more paranoid I became that something evil might happen in the darkness, like in a whodunit movie. Relief flooded over me when I could once again see.

No, most every lost soul roaming the Earth has their eyes wide open, and whether they realize it or not, they’re searching for answers. But, until the light of God is shed on their path, they’ll continue to walk in darkness, not seeing all the incredible things around them. They may become delusional from paranoia, or they may just accept that darkness is all there is to walk in. Like the blind, they begin to perceive things with their other senses, and not always as they really are. Some reach into the spiritual realm, feeling their way around and not recognizing the God that was and is and is to come; their own Creator.

While Jesus walked the Earth draped in flesh, He was the Light of the world. But, now He’s entrusted that Light to each of His followers, sending us out into the world to shine! If the world can’t see God, it’s because we’re hiding our light under a bushel. We have no one to blame the darkness on but ourselves; the darker the darkness, the brighter the light shines. It’s time to shine!

I’ve heard it said that the “sin of the desert, is to know where the water is and not tell.” How much greater is the sin of man to know the Truth, to walk in the Light – and keep it a secret?

Has our enemy put so many distractions in front of us, that we forget to shine or place that priority on a back burner? What is our Great Commission?

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

Enjoy this song by Ashley and Carlton Banks - Fresh Prince

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Undercover Boss?

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In the very first chapter of the book of John we discover that, “He [God] was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (Verses 9-10 KJV)

While pondering this verse it occurred to me that this isn’t entirely different from what many in our culture watch on television; a show called “Undercover Boss”. Personally, I’ve not seen it, but I understand the premise; a company boss/owner goes undercover to work with his employees, without them realizing it’s him/her. While this television boss may discover his employees slacking or outdoing themselves, it could mean the difference between being fired or promotion time for the employees. It also gives the boss-man a chance to be in the trenches, seeing first-hand what he expects of those he employs; perhaps he’ll realize he really doesn’t pay them enough or give them enough credit. Perhaps he’ll find he really doesn’t need as many employees to do the job as he thought. Certainly each episode promises enough drama to keep their audience coming back.

When God became flesh and dwelt among men, He came to an undeserving, unwelcoming creation, to give Himself on our behalf. This creation He loves so much that He made us in His own image, and we didn’t recognize Him. He willingly sacrificed Himself for our sakes; and His Name’s sake.

When He put on flesh and walked among us, He didn’t find any surprises. He knew man’s heart better than we know it ourselves. He already knows when we’re slacking and when we’re glorifying His Name. He knows when we’re hurting and when we’re rejoicing, all from His Throne, which should be made in the hearts of each one of us.

No, He didn’t come to “check up on us” or to inspect what we’re doing here on the earth He’s given us. He came, anointed to preach the gospel to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19) He came to provide the necessary blood sacrifice to reunite man’s heart with His own. (1 Peter 3:18) He came to take on the penalty for our sin. (Romans 6:23 & Romans 8:1-4) He came to remove the veil from our eyes that we might see into the spiritual things beyond this existence; that matter more than the temporal things of this world. (Matthew 13:16)

He came because He knew we’d want to see Him. He’s here among us now, wearing the flesh of each of His believers. We are the body of Christ. When we ask why He doesn’t do something about the situations that surround us, He lets us know He has and He does; He’s created us.

Can we recognize Him in this flesh?

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12 (KJV)

Ponder that!