Posts Tagged ‘First Epistle to the Corinthians’

For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 1 Corinthians 4:7

Alex Haley, the story is told, owned a picture of a turtle sitting on a fence post. The framed print hung in his study and when folks would inevitably ask him about the curious photograph, he would simply reply,

I have it because it reminds me that I didn’t get where I am without help.”

How true.

If I were to accurately appraise my current situation: where I live, how I live, and what I am able to do, like Haley, I’d have no choice but to acknowledge that I’ve had much help. With a grateful heart I must go the next step and proclaim that my Helper and Provider is Jesus Christ — All that is good in my life is a direct result of God’s involvement and intercession.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

How Come?

Have you ever asked why?

I have.

Why Lord have you blessed me so abundantly while others around the world have so little?”

I didn’t have to look very far to find the answer.

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:48

A Faithful and Wise Steward

The answer is so simple.

We are blessed to be a blessing to others. If we’ve been given a lot, a lot is expected of us. If we are grateful, then giving back and giving out is a proper and reasonable response. Conversely, if we see this requirement as legalism, then we’re not truly grateful; we’ve somehow come away with the notion we obtained these things by our own hands and we therefore own them.

That’s foolishness and contrary to the Word of God.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11

Get With the Program

You need to know that there is a purpose for all these things and that God has a specific plan. It also helps to remember that it’s not about you. And while we’re on the subject, it’s not about them either. It’s about God.

He’s the Creator.

He’s the Owner.

He’s the Planner.

No longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love…grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:14-16

We are the body and Christ is the Head. We are where we are because God has allowed us to be. We have what we have because God has given it. We freely give of the time, talent, and treasure He’s entrusted to us because it ultimately brings the Creator, Owner, and Planner, all the honor, glory, and praise.

Or at least that’s the way it supposed to work.

How about you?

  1. Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?
  2. Are you blessed?
  3. Are you grateful?
  4. Do you freely give when moved to do so?
  5. Why?
  6. Why not?

~ ~ ~

If you liked ‘He Dwells: The Blog’ please subscribe and share.

Read Full Post »

You know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints–that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us. 1 Corinthians 16:15-16

“They have ‘addicted’ themselves to the ministry,” is the Kings James rendering of this verse.

I like that.

Addiction is something I can relate to.  I excel at addiction.  When I was a cop, I was addicted to the job — I soaked it up like a Twinkie in milk. Simultaneously I was addicted to golf, playing an average of two to three times a week. And I’m sad to report there were other times in my life where my addictions were less respectable, involving drugs and alcohol and the like.

What about you? What are you addicted to?

The truth be told, we’re all addicted to something.

Swapping-out the word addiction, Bob Dylan, in prophetic manner, reminds us that we’re all going to serve somebody or something.

You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

What an astute analysis.  Chilling actually.

Whether he realized it or not, Dylan stumbled upon the notion that we have been programmed, in advance, to behave this way.  Is this truly the case?  If so, who is responsible?

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11


God has put eternity in our hearts.

But what is this thing eternity?

From the get-go we’re clueless, but instinctively we know that it’s something satisfying and like pigs after truffles, we’ve been wired to track it down.

Eternity is in effect the wellspring of our addiction. However, outside of God we wonder and wander aimlessly, only occasionally stumbling upon things that bring temporary satisfaction and relief.

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37

Seriously Jesus?  If anyone thirsts?  Dude (will all due respect), we ALL thirst.

Yes.  That’s the Point

Jesus would answer,

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst…the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

Eternity is satisfaction perfected.


Call it a God-sized hole, call it a thirst, call it an addiction; it matters not.  It is what it is.  All that remains is what are you going to do about it — with what or with whom will you fill the void?

Answer wisely.

The Problem With Philosophy

There is no problem with philosophy, unless of course you remove one of its components before you begin. That’s what secular philosophy has done — before commencing it proclaims, “We will accept all possible conclusions as long as one of them isn’t God.”  

That’s not philosophy, that’s stupidity.

Imagine a mathematician announcing,

I am about to undertake this incredibly difficult equation and I will accept any answer I come with, except of course the number seven.  I hate seven and I’m quite positive seven does not exist.”  

Insanity, right?

Once you’ve taken God out of the equation, you’ve lost all hope of arriving at the right answer.  A valid philosophy demands that all possible answers remain on the table, otherwise you spend your entire life trying to justify an error.

Case in point: evolution.  Identifying a deficiency (and while ignoring the obvious), theorists have conjured up a series of missing links, effectively replacing one void with several others.  That’s akin to filling a hole with another hole.

Excuse me, your emperor is naked.

Fear Not

Our natural reaction might be to reject rational thinking altogether.


Don’t fear philosophy, God doesn’t.  He knows that if someone is truly seeking the truth, to fill that void, to quench that thirst, they will ultimately arrive at the cross.

Check out this excerpt from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary on the word:

The objects of philosophy are to ascertain facts or truth, and the causes of things or their phenomena; to enlarge our views of God and his works, and to render our knowledge of both practically useful and subservient to human happiness. True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.

I love it.

True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same standard.  God!

Experience is the Best Teacher

Practically every testimony I have ever heard shares this common theme: “My (bad) experiences led me to Jesus.”  

In other words, every attempt to fill a void or satisfy a craving ultimately failed. Why?  Because their addictive search for the truth omitted God.  However it was the pain associated with their failures that compelled them to put all possible answers back on the table.

I submit to you that this is a work of the Holy Spirit.  This is conviction in its finest hour!

My friends, experience is the best teacher, but it doesn’t have to be your experience. Learn from the mistakes of others and go directly to the Fountainhead–go directly to the Source eternal.  If you haven’t experienced a peace that surpasses all understanding, you haven’t considered all the answers.

Consider Jesus

The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. Philippians 6:5b-8

Read Full Post »

Now I will come to you…And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go…if the Lord permits. 1 Corinthians 16:5-7

“Wherever I go…if the Lord permits,” is a powerful statement.

In seven words Paul effectively establishes that God is in control of all things. However, recognizing that fact and being submitted to it are two entirely different things. Paul’s consistent behavior demonstrated that he not only knew the Truth, but that he was surrendered to Jesus as well.  This is evident throughout the Pauline Epistles. Despite adversity, Paul’s life screamed, “Peace and joy come with submission!”

Having said that, please note that the Christian life is more than just about the blessings He bestows upon us.  There’s a huge picture being created, intricate beyond our capacity to imagine. Fibers so perfectly complex, so expertly intertwined, each one affecting the other regardless of their location within the tapestry.  I suspect that when completed, it will be to us as if this masterpiece had been woven with one enormous single thread.

In awe, the Church will have but little choice to collectively proclaim, “Only God could have made this!  Glory be to God!”

And that’s a significant point: it’s all about God.

Romans 1:13

Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Did you see it?

I underlined it so it would be easier to find, but don’t miss the implication.

Why did Paul write the Letter to the Romans? Because he was hindered!  In other words, we would not have this magnificent, God-breathed composition if Paul’s plans had not been interrupted.  Could Paul have imagined that his letter would one day be a part of this thing we call the New Testament?  That doesn’t seem likely.  However, his conduct is a testimony to God that he perceived something greater was going on.

Do we trust God?

Stuck in traffic?  Lost your job?  Arrested?

Embrace the situation–God can still use you.  Never assume you have been given the day off because you woke to a flat tire or the power has gone out.  God is still doing something and like it or not Christian, you are still a part of it.  Our choice when adversity strikes is simple: faith or failure; function or dysfunction.  Remember, we don’t have to see the big picture to know that it’s there.   By faith we assume that it is and we act accordingly.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

Life is a vapor.  We appear for a short time and then we vanish.  Incredibly, we serve a God who can do marvelous things with vapor.  Just look at what He has done so far.

Are you seeing it?


Read Full Post »

Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31b

“Grace,” I said, “in order for this to happen…”

The topic was on improving my eleven year olds’ performance on the cross-country team and I was teaching her about pacing herself during a race. In our home we don’t emphasize winning, but rather doing our best for God’s glory.

“Pick the fastest girl on the team,” I said, “and run just behind her for as long as you can. Back off when you get tired, but save enough in your tank for the final sprint to the finish line.”

I threw in a NASCAR reference to make sure she understood what I meant about finishing with just enough gas.

As the words were coming out of my mouth, I wondered silently if her coaches would agree with my counsel. There were only two races left in the season and I had just challenged Grace to keep pace with a teammate who ran, on average, about two minutes faster than she did. I thought my message was, that in so doing she would greatly improve her time, and not that she beat the best girl on the team.

Okay dad, but I’ll have to run with ‘soft feet’ because she’ll hear me and run faster,” she said.

Soft Feet?

My heart was racing.

Soft feet?  Where did she come up with that one?

With my encouragement had I inadvertently set an unobtainable goal for my daughter? I found myself choosing my words very carefully from this point forward, not wanting to deflate a dream or inflate a fantasy. It was about that time I stammered out, “In order for this to happen it would take a…well I mean…beating *Carly would be a miraculous thing.”

Gracie altered her expression ever-so-slightly and I feared I had sown a seed of doubt. I began to sweat and sensed it was probably a good time to reestablish our foundation.

Okay Grace, you need to understand that God needs to be in this equation. Jesus needs to be in this before, during, and after the race. Grace, even if you run the worst race of your life, Jesus Christ still gets all the glory. This is important stuff Gracie. Do you understand?”

“Of course daddy,” she said.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Race Day

“Carly’s not here daddy, she’s was sick today.”

I felt a little relieved.

“Not a problem, the plan hasn’t changed, just the person you’re running behind,” I said. “Get behind *Anna and do the same thing. Are you prayed up?”

“Yes daddy,” she smiled and sighed.

“Don’t forget to call on Jesus during the race; He’ll help you,” I told her again for what she probably sensed was the millionth time. “And win or lose, He gets the glory!”

From the back of her head I heard a faint, “Yup!” 

The meet began and I waited anxiously at the finish line. I saw Anna and to my amazement, Grace was about fifty feet behind her. They crossed the finish line one and two (7th and 8th overall), with Grace perhaps ten seconds behind her — Grace had just run her fastest race ever, shaving about a minute and a half off her fastest time and almost three minutes off her slowest time.

Giving her a big hug I said, “Gracie, I know I’ve said this over and over, but remember to give God all the glory in this!”

“I will daddy,” and she ran off to get a hug from her mother.

Snow in October – The Last Meet

It was the last meet of the season, a huge middle school invitational and the weather could not have been much worse—a mixture of heavy wet snow and twenty mile-an-hour winds. By the time Grace was lining up for her event, she was soaked through and through. She was not alone. In all there were about two hundred girls, standing in a couple of inches of snow and mud, all shivering, and many crying. Gracie stood there on the verge of tears as well.

“Grace,” I leaned over and whispered in her ear so as not to embarrass her, “you don’t have to run if you don’t want to. Really, it will be all right if you don’t.”

Trembling she said, “I want to try.”

Now I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to say what I said, but I was glad that I did.

The start of the race was still fifteen minutes away and my flesh wanted to scream at the officials, “Start the race already!” but the Lord reminded me of the importance of being a good witness.

I didn’t need to remind her to pray. I knew she was or she had or she would. Nevertheless I tapped her on the shoulder and pointed to Heaven. She nodded in agreement.


The starter’s pistol!

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Michelle and I watched for a few seconds as the girls trotted off, but then we turned and ran to be there for her at the finish line.

Through the wind and the snow we saw the first group of girls approach. The racers would dash past the finish line once and run about another half mile before actually coming around to cross it. At this stage we were close enough to see Grace’s wet face, but not quite close enough to distinguish her tears.

The Final Surge

Just when you think things can’t get much worse…

With about a quarter-mile to go Grace tripped and fell in the mud. In the process, her blue knit cap fell off. Leaving it behind, she got up quickly and kept running.

The leaders began to cross. The agony on their faces was concentrated and it affected all the spectators. Then through the snow Grace appeared.

“Go Grace go,” we shouted as she entered the chute. “Watch out behind you!”

Grace crossed the line holding her position.

33rd out of 183

Grace did not win the race, but she accomplished her goal — Grace finished first among her teammates, a full twenty-one seconds in front of the fastest girl on the team. We were ecstatic!

“Grace, come on,” we said as we thanked God and applauded her effort, “let’s get back to the bus to get warm and have some hot cocoa.”

“No,” she demanded.

I was taken aback.  What am I missing?

Grace, not yet composed herself, wasn’t ready to celebrate her victory. “I’ve got to find Carly and Anna. They were crying so much during the race.”

While I had kept reminding my daughter of the importance of giving God all the glory, she reminded me that there are many ways by which that can be accomplished. Gracie, I believe inspired by the Holy Spirit, chose an excellent way.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Post Script

This was not Gracie’s day, I want to be clear about that.  This was God’s day. Jesus showed up and got His glory.  And in so doing He blessed a whole bunch of people.

Praise be to God.

Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20b

Post Script 2: in 7th Grade Grace placed 2nd in the B Division and by 8th Grade Grace grabbed 1st Place in the A division.

*Carly and Anna are not these girl’s real names.

Read Full Post »

There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:41-42

Have you ever wondered what awaits us in Heaven and how rewards from the Father will be made manifest. One thing we know for certain — we will all be pleased.  We will all be pleased because the vessel we ultimately show up with will be filled. But what of this vessel?  Cannot both a thimble and a boxcar be filled; a teaspoon and a tanker?

The Apostle Paul points out that while each star in the Heavens is indeed glorious, they are not the same size.  Some are mere specks, others are enormous. The issue then becomes not if we will shine for Jesus, but how brightly will we do so. For eternity, and for His glory, we have the choice of becoming celestial midgets or celestial giants.

Does it matter?

Some might say it doesn’t matter—as long as they get to heaven they will be ecstatic. This is true! All who make it to Heaven will be overjoyed, regardless of their capacity to be filled or how intense their glow. However, I suggest to you that an attitude such as this is short-sighted and yes, rather selfish.

No Tears in Heaven

Who told you that?

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

2 Timothy 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 4:5 speak of a judgement that is coming for the believer; not one of condemnation, but of recognition.  In Heaven and before the Throne, there will be for us a time of remembrance; a review of what we did with the giftings and time we were allotted.  Inevitability, there will much sorrow.  Why?  Because we will see just how much time and energy we wasted on stuff that has no eternal value.   Make no mistake about it, every believer will fall short and some will fall shorter than others.

Now You Know

The reality is [that] God’s truth changes people and if His truth isn’t changing you, the likelihood is that don’t believe it. If that’s the case, you probably believe in something else.  Could it be self-centeredness, self-indulgence, or self-worship? Quite possibly.


What a Christian does during his earthly walk determines the kind of vessel he or she presents to the Lord for filling.  Selfishness shrinks us and faithfulness enlarges us.

In other words, it is our privilege  to shine on earth for Jesus.  We don’t have to, we get to.   The brighter we shine on earth, for His glory, the brighter we will shine in Heaven.

Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3

Shine Brighter!

Who is getting the glory for what you have done today? 

Teaspoon or tanker: it’s a choice we make. Choose wisely because the decision you make will last forever.


Read Full Post »

And if they (wives) want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. 1 Corinthians 14:35

In Reality…

This verse is intended for the men of the church, not the women, and Christian men, we must understand the implication.

If our wives are not being spiritually nourished by us and therefore, have been placed in a position of having to get their answers outside of the home, it is a shameful thing.  A regular occurrence (husbands) suggests that we are: poor providers for our families, not steeped in the Word of God, and not living submitted lives to Christ Jesus. The shame that comes with that falls directly on the husband.

Even  if the husband is doing these things and the wife is still going outside of the home with her questions, the onus still falls upon the husband–that kind of behavior requires his correction.

Is There a Danger ?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

There most certainly is a danger!  We are setting ourselves up for failed marriages, or at the very least, marriages that are not all that they could be.  The practice effectively places stumbling blocks before our spouses.

The Bible assures us that our hearts will follow that which we treasure.   Therefore, if by our shortcomings we force our wives to ask their questions outside of the home, we run the risk they might begin to treasure the source and ignore the well that has run dry.

Godly men, don’t let it occur!  Correct the behavior.  It’s the will of God for your marriage.

Men Do Not Have All the Answers


Nevertheless, out of respect for her husband, he should always get the first crack at answering her questions.  If he doesn’t know the answer, his best response would be, “Honey, I’ll have to look that up or make my own inquiry and I’ll get back to you.”

If it’s an urgent situation, let the husband determine who should be sought out to provide the answer.

What’s a Wife to Do?

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 1 Peter 3:1-2

Pray.  Be in the Word.  Bring the uniqueness of your situation before the Lord. Tell your husband that you want him to be the one that you can go to and trust for the right answers.  There’s a good chance he’ll respond.

Men, it’s what women want.


But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3


Read Full Post »

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

When it comes to exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it’s obvious that churches have different approaches. Some have the ‘let all things’  part down, but aren’t too keen on the ‘decent and orderly’ perspective, while other congregations have nailed  ‘decent and orderly,’ but might be neglecting some of the gifts. The Apostle Paul adds some clarity by adding another component to the equation.

Let all things be done for edification. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:27, 33

Who’s Getting the Glory

Edification is just a fancy word for strengthening, or building up another person in the Lord as it pertains to the good of the church.  The root of the word essentially means, ‘to build a house.’ Properly exercised, edification does not take any glory away from God.  Ignored, it produces strife rather than peace. God is the author of peace and where there is no peace there is likely no body-building going on.  And where there’s no strengthening of the body there is probably no order or decency.  Reverse the negative trend and a usable pattern emerges.

All things + Order + Edification = A Strong, Loving, Peaceable Church

“This sounds like my church.”

Then I thought about it more deeply.  I remembered that my congregation, like me, is a work in progress.  If I’m honest, the church I attend is not operating as smoothly, as efficiently, and as effectively as we could.  I further see that I am part of the problem and by God’s grace, part of the solution.   Remembering that Christ is the faithful provider, if the situation is to improve, it can start with me.

I must purpose in my mind to exercise the spiritual gifts I have access to, in an orderly fashion, in a manner which builds up rather than tears down,  for the singular purpose of bringing glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am not saying that this is a work we must do.

If anything, it’s a commission that we get to do.  If there’s a sense of obligation that comes  from anywhere other than gratitude, the effort is of little use because it’s misguided. Our motivation in this realm is directly proportionate to gratitude, and if it isn’t, then a reexamination of doctrinal terms ‘deliverance and redemption’ would be in order.  Why is Communion so important?  This is why.

What are Your Thoughts

  1. What does your church like?
  2. What would your church like if it were filled with a hundred of you?
  3. Do you have gifts you’re ignoring?
  4. Are you ‘in order’ or ‘out of order’?
  5. How’s your gratitude?

Related articles

Read Full Post »

But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; When I consider this, I am afraid of Him. For God made my heart weak, And the Almighty terrifies me; Because I was not cut off from the presence of darkness, And He did not hide deep darkness from my face. Job 23:13-17

Twenty-three chapters into the Book of Job and I am wondering why our main character hasn’t told his friends to take a hike. Chapter after chapter Job has endured a verbal mugging from his so-called friend’s and following each one, he rises up to defend himself. Why Job—why are you doing this? It would seem that Job wishes to be a defense attorney, arguing against their character and for his integrity.

Spinning His Wheels

As we read the account we might say, “Good for Job! He has the right to let these guys have it.” Job might have the right, but is he right?

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Job’s difficulty (so far) is that he has failed to recognize that he is not an attorney, but he is the star witness! He doesn’t need to stand up and defend God, himself, or anyone else. Job has been empowered to take the stand to give testimony only. Jesus put it this way…

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

In his hardship, righteous Job had been given a choice. Up until this point he has chosen unwisely; Job is in fact spinning the wheels. What does that mean? It means he has taken the power he has been given and he isn’t going any where. Oh he’s making a lot of noise–revving engines and whirling tires sound cool, but he hasn’t budged one inch. Job has made quite the commotion, but only succeeded in leaving behind a black mark.

I don’t know about you, but this insight convicts me. For the past week or so I’ve been down in the dumps—nothing major, just the accumulation of a bunch of rubbish that finally wore me down. As I read through Job today I realized that I have been playing lawyer and in so doing I passed up numerous opportunities to glory God with my witness. God has been trying to say to me all week, “Dave, its okay that your down, but lift Me up.”

It doesn’t matter if I am oppressed or strengthened, up or down, rich or poor, in all cases I am neither an attorney for the defense or the prosecution—in every situation, I am the witness. And more then that, I am a star witness. That does not mean I am stellar; far from it, but rather that when I consider and subsequently relate all that Jesus Christ has done for me, He is glorified, honored, and praised…He is the Star!

Regardless of my state, if I do anything other than give God the glory, all I am doing is wasting the power God has blessed me with—I am spinning my wheels and probably leaving a black mark somewhere or on somebody. By way of His Holy Spirit, God has given His church power to magnify Him and to redirect that energy elsewhere is extravagantly wasteful.

Oh that this lesson would be impressed upon my heart forever.

“I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.” Job 23:12b

Follow me on Twitter HERE

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

Read Full Post »

Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11What Things?

Generally speaking the Apostle Paul was referring to Old Testament things. Yes the Old Testament was written as a recorded history and we can certainly see the value in that, but more importantly these scriptures were given as a road sign pointing us to Jesus Christ and also to document by example what believers should and should not do. Our Father would remind us that while experience is the best teacher, it does not have to be our experience.

Jesus Our Refuge

But if the manslayer at any time goes outside the limits of the city of refuge where he fled, and the avenger of blood finds him outside the limits of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood, because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession. Numbers 35:26-28

As we read through the Book of Numbers and the story of the ‘Cities of Refuge, ’ we might collectively say, “Who cares. This ancient stuff has no application for me at all.” That sentiment could not be any further from the truth, for in this passage we see both a picture of Jesus Christ and a stern warning for the Christian.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Jesus is most certainly our refuge and when we wander outside the confines of His presence we do take our lives into our own hands, but within His loving arms we are kept safe by His life and His authority over us. And in Christ’s death (illustrated by the death of the high priest in our story) and resurrection we have been set totally free. Take note that in the Numbers passage it says that the transgressor may return from whence he came, but the implication is that to do so would be insanity. The Apostle Paul put it another way when he provided this application for our Christian walk…

“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Acts 27:21-31

Am I Going to Heaven if I Go Back?

The answer is a big fat maybe. The truth of the matter is when we walk away from the safety of our Lord and Savior, if only for a brief period, we run the risk of destroying ourselves. I really don’t want to get into the entire saved/unsaved debate, but merely want to point out that it is foolishness to take any risk whatsoever and a wise person stays in the city, stays on the boat, stays in Christ Jesus.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:4-6

follow me on Twitter HERE

Read Full Post »

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ’My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’ Numbers 28:1-2
This Ain’t No BBQ

Who doesn’t love the smell of a barbeque. The first thing we need to know is that these sacrifices were no outdoor picnic—we’re talking total fleshly consumption. Have you ever experienced the smell of burning tissue, skin, hair, and bones? At best it is a putrid odor. But yet the Lord finds this aroma sensorially pleasing. How come?

Generally speaking, the Lord delights in our offerings; that we might give back that which we freely received from Him. In many ways it reminds me of how I would borrow money from my dad on his birthday so I could turn around and buy him a present. Dad wasn’t disappointed, but legitimately content with my pitiful gesture. If this is true of our earthly fathers, how much more so must it be true of our Heavenly Father?

But its Bigger Then That

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Romans 7:18

This is really all about dying to self for in these sacrifices God sees an expression of His children putting their flesh to death. Why is this pleasing to God? Because nothing good dwells in our flesh and to the degree we die to it is to the degree we see God face to face.

But Didn’t God Say…

“You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Exodus 33:20

God did say that and we need to stop looking at that verse in a negative light. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain, ” because he fully understood the implications—Paul desired nothing more than to be in God’s full presence and understood that it begins (on earth) when we allow our flesh to pass away. Its worth repeating, “To the degree we die is to the degree we will experience God’s glory here on earth.”

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

For the most part, we seek the gifts of God rather than His glory and that’s okay to a certain extent. God loves us so much, He is more than willing to give us the things we ask for. But spiritually speaking, that’s just a leaping-off point. What pleases Him most is when we unselfishly give up those things, even to the point of physical death.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Overcoming The Times

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Motherhood Marathon

Finding the humor, beauty, and purpose in the mess of motherhood

Greater Cause

Addressing Daily Issues From a Biblical Worldview

Disciples of hope

Living the hope that comes from Christ


Thrift Store Tripping and Frugal Living at its Best

In the Little Things

Finding Meaning in the Madness and the Mundane

The Perfect Dad

Every man dies. Not every man truly parents.


Mark 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Let's Talk Gospel

Christian Encouragement and Entertainment

Kendall Lyons

Christ, Cartoons, and Coffee

God charts the road

A road that represents the course of those who desire to follow God

The Master's Meadow

Lush pasture, living springs, and marked paths

Servants' Journal

A blog about Christian life and Biblical teaching.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

%d bloggers like this: