Devotion

  • painting of Jesus with a lion, on beautiful colorful background with hint of space feeling, lion profile portrait
    The Day Of Zeal (Monday) The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

    The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

It’s Monday, just three short days until Jesus’s crucifixion. What happened on this day in the life of Christ, and what can we learn from it? According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the cheers and excitement of the entire city on Palm Sunday. The following day, upon his return, he visited the Temple area. This was a place that was suppose to be dedicated to God. A place that was suppose to be holy, pure, and a shining example of what the Kingdom of God is like. Instead, it had become full of worldly, deceitful, greedy, and power hungry people. Jesus was not impressed Matthew 21:12–13 (HCSB) —12Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!” Jesus is zealous for his people and his church. After causing a real commotion in the temple, Matthew records that “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.”  The children in the temple area praised Jesus  shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” causing the chief priests and scribes to become more indignant. And when the time came, Jesus returned to the town of Bethany (about a two-mile walk over the Mount of Olives).  He most likely spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. So what can we learn from this day in the life of Christ? We see […]

  • Businessman with cardboard box on his head showing a crying sad expression concept for headache, depression, sadness, heartache or frustration
    God Expects Less God Expects Less

    God Expects Less

God Expects Less

1 Timothy 3:1 (HCSB) —1This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” Ministry has always been tough. Just ask the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Moses or Jesus. However, modern day ministers are under what I call “the expectation assault.” Over my almost two decades in ministry I have made many great friends who share my calling to serve God’s people.  My observation over these years has been that “the expectation assault” devastates our ranks. Part of the issue is the internet. Thanks to the World Wide Web, Christians today have unlimited access to great teachers, leaders, authors, preachers, and theologians. The result is that believers today expect much more from their local ministers. Below I have composed a list that sums up the expectations many ministers feel compelled to meet daily. 1)   Great Preacher 2)   Great Friend 3)   Great Father or Mother 4)   Great Theologian 5)   Great Thinker 6)   Great Leader 7)   Great Administrator 8)   Great Fund Raiser 9)   Great Comforter 10)  Great Therapist 11)  Great Mediator 12)  Great Role Model 13)  Great Community Organizer 14)  Great Teacher 15)  Compassionate Caregiver 16)  Great Scholar 17)  Great Author 18)  Great Blogger 19)  Great Counselor 20)  Great Website Developer 21)  Great Evangelist 22)  Dynamic 23)  Engaging 24)  Funny 25)  Firm 26)  Loving 27)  Available 24/7 28)  Generous to the point of poverty 29)  Sacrificial to the point of death 30)  Mission Leader 31)  Meeting Moderator 32)  Technical Specialist 33)  Carpenter/Handyman 34)  Groundskeeper 35)  Janitor 36)  Great Psychologist 37)  Expert on World Religions 38)  Master of Apologetics 39)  Master of Languages, especially the easy ones like Greek and Hebrew 40)  Special Event Coordinator 41)  Child Development Expert 42)  Mind Reader/Mentalist […]

  • February 29 is the Leap Day that occurs every fourth year
    What will you do with your extra day? What will you do with your extra day?

    What will you do with your extra day?

What will you do with your extra day?

“O LORD, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!   Psalm 39:4 (NET) Have you ever wished for more time? Have you ever said “if I only had an extra day I would…” Well 2016 is a leap year and today February 29th is the leap day, so what will you do with it? For those who may not know, a leap year happens every four years to keep the calendar we use coordinated with the astronomical calendar. So you get an extra day this year, instead of 365 days you get 366 days in 2016. So what will you do with your extra day? The average person will only get about seventeen extra days like this over the course of a lifetime. So, shouldn’t we make the most of it? Here are some ideas I have about what could be done with this extra day… 1. Forgive that person you have been meaning to forgive. 2. Write that note you have been meaning to write. 3. Make that phone call you have been meaning to make. 4. Take that nap you have been meaning to take. 5. Share the gospel with that person you have been meaning to share with. 6. Go see that movie you have been meaning to see. 7. Start that book you have been meaning to start. 8. Clean that room you have been meaning to clean. 9. Go see that friend you have been meaning to see. 10. Take that day off you have been meaning to take. 11. Say those words you have been meaning to say. 12. Start chasing that dream you have been meaning to […]

  • Save The Date Rings And Gay Paper
    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

For the first time in the history of the United States of America, two persons of the same sex can now legally obtain a marriage license in all fifty states. The reaction to this ruling from the Supreme Court has been extreme and divisive on both sides of the argument. Some are overjoyed, many are sympathetically supportive, and others are outraged. Personally, my heart is heavy. Primarily because there are so many false narratives being advanced by people who claim to be disciples of Christ. Because I know the attacks are going to come let me start by saying a few things that I sincerely believe to be true. While I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and as such, I share the biblical view on homosexuality, I am not aggressively attacking those who have chosen this lifestyle. I do love you, pray for you, and deeply desire to hear you, know you, eat with you, and understand you. Furthermore, I would like to ask for forgiveness from those of you who have been shamed, slandered, slurred, and humiliated by my brothers and sisters of the faith. Finally, if my comments below and in subsequent posts share this unholy  spirit in your mind or heart I humbly ask that you would contact me so I can seek forgiveness from you as well. My goal in these posts is simply to present what I consider truth on this issue based on my current understanding of culture, church, and ultimately scripture. Christian Myths about Gay Marriage             Over the past few days, I have been monitoring the news, web, and social media closely. One of the most astonishing revelations for me has been the lack of biblical […]

  • Free happy elated woman with arms out raised up in serene joyful
    Come Thou Fount Come Thou Fount

    Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount

As of late I have been mixing up my devotional times with the Lord somewhat. Its not because I am board, or feel constrained by my usual routine; but instead its an inward restlessness that stirs deep in my soul to grow ever closer to Christ. This desire has caused me to look at many different resources as I spend time with the Lord. One such resource is called Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Worship through music is powerful and I absolutely love the way our band leads us on Sunday. But there are hymns from my youth that I find myself singing, silently throughout the day that really speak to me. One of those hymns is called “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson, 1735–1790. Here is the devotion from the book I mentioned above concerning this text. I pray that it will shed light on the words of this familiar hymn. Pay close attention to the final verse in the song. That is the one that gets me every time! I pray that you have a great month, and I hope to see you at Cowboy fellowship as we study 1 Corinthians 13 during the month of March. ___________________________________________________________________ O Lord, You are my God: I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. (Isaiah 25:1) It would be enlightening if the people in the pew could stand on the platform and observe the congregational singing during an average church service. One would soon concur that there are many who appear to have attended church without the express purpose of having a personal encounter with […]

  • bigstock-Missing-In-Action-stamp-49111445
    When Jesus Is M.I.A. When Jesus Is M.I.A.

    When Jesus Is M.I.A.

When Jesus Is M.I.A.

It happens more frequently than we like to admit. We are walking with God, things are going great, then for no apparent reason when we need Him the most Jesus is missing in action. This happens to young believers and seasoned saints. Ministers who are honest about the subject will tell you that they experience this as well. So what should we do when Jesus is M.I.A.? Take sometime to read Luke 24:6-12, and let me offer a few suggestions. When Jesus is M.I.A. we should… Remember– I have found that when Christ is no place to be found in my own life it is helpful to try to remember where I last encountered His presence. I try to remember my last conversation with Him. In the scripture in Luke the ladies went to the last place they saw Jesus but He was not there. Then it says “they remembered His words…” Jesus had told them what to expect, and where He would be but they had forgotten. Run– If Jesus is M.I.A. in your life may I suggest you run as fast as you can to find Him?  If Jesus is gone there is something wrong and that is a big deal. When the disciples learned that Jesus was missing they ran to the tomb. They realized the gravity of the situation so they went running. Return– Go to the place you last had an encounter with Christ if you find He is missing. When those in the passage learned that Jesus was gone, they did not go to the grocery store, bank, lake, or even the church.  They went to the tomb because that was the last place Jesus had been spotted. Where […]

  • Live-Like-You-Mean-it
    Live Out The Message Live Out The Message

    Live Out The Message

Live Out The Message

 James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have […]

  • beating burnout
    Beating Burnout Beating Burnout

    Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout

Have you ever felt like the guy in the picture?  Do you feel like that right now?  If so you could be in a phase of life we call burnout.  The good news is burnout does not always have to lead to fallout!  I hear it so frequently in ministry ” I’m burned out!”  Sometimes its a trusted lay leader,  from fellow ministers, or a friend that is just totally zapped from the stress of ministry, work, life or all of the above.  If given the chance to run its course burnout always leads to fallout.  Fallout is when those who are burned out disappear.  In ministry fallout frequently is seen most clearly when a person stops attending church functions.  In other areas of life fallout is expressed when an individual stops showing up for coffee, the weekly staff lunch, or other things they once enjoyed.  Perhaps the most tragic thing about burnout and fallout is that they are totally avoidable.  Doing a few simple things can save the day. Step One: Publicly proclaim your call.  Why did you start this ministry in the first place?  Why did you come to work here twenty years ago?  Why did you pass up other opportunities and chose this path for your life?  Take time to remember the purpose and passion you have for what you are doing.  Then find an appropriate forum to recount you calling to others publicly. Thinking about it is great, saying it verbally to others will do wonders! Step Two: Privately pray! Before, during, and after you do step one you should be in prayer.  Confess your weariness to God.  Ask for help, guidance, comfort, encouragement, and energy.  God already knows whats in […]

  • resigned, resign, quit, leaders
    When Leaders Resign When Leaders Resign

    When Leaders Resign

When Leaders Resign

It seems to happen all the time in churches.  About the time you find a wonderful volunteer leader, get them trained and their ministry really starts taking off, they resign.  This happens for all kinds of reasons.  Some people are forced to relocate for work, others just find themselves in a busy season of life, and a few will get mad about one thing or another and leave.  So what should you do when leaders resign and leaves you and the church in a bind? Pray for them, and pray with them – The vast majority of the time your leader has struggled in making their decision to resign.  Their resignation can make them feel guilty, and bring a sense of letting the church and even God down.  So make sure you shower this leader with an extra dose of prayer during your time with God.  Don’t forget to pray with them as well.  Find a time when you can have a short time of prayer together, it reminds them of God’s love, and also your love for them. Communicate with them- Many times in today’s culture the resignation comes in the form of an email, Facebook message, or text.  Be sure to let the leader know you received the message.  Let them know that you will be praying for them, and would like to schedule a time to pray with them.  If they don’t hear directly from you they will assume you are mad or upset because they stepped down.  This will make coming back to the church even more difficult for them. Assure them- When a leader resigns there is always a feeling of uncertainty that accompanies their decision. Take some time when […]

  • bigstock-Pieces-of-paper-each-containin-20328545
    Can You Really Change The World? Can You Really Change The World?

    Can You Really Change The World?

Can You Really Change The World?

What can you do to change the world?  Frequently in the church we speak about changing the world.  We say things like, “God can use you to change the world!”  But can you really do it?  And if you can change the world it’s probably going to be really difficult right?  After all, our world has over seven billion people living on its surface at any one time.  The circumference of the earth is almost 25,000 miles.  And if you put the world on a scale it would weigh about 13,169,533,693,875,800,000,000,000 pounds.  The world is a big place, with lots of people, and lots of space so how can you change the world?  Believe it or not I think it is possible for you to change the world and it may not be as hard as you think.  Let me give you a few quick things you can do to change the world. Read and memorize scripture every  day.  Changing the world is impossible if you try to do it without God’s help.  However if you stay in the word of God daily and commit as much of it to memory as possible, you will be able to stay in the will of God and that is very important if you want to change the world. Pray every day.  And don’t just pray for what you want or what you are thankful for.  Talk to God like you would a friend.  Prayer is not your avenue to get what you want, it’s God’s avenue to direct you to what He wants.  When you get that put in the right perspective your prayer life will become amazing and you will be on your way to changing […]

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow button