Friday, February 4, 2011

Reaching Fulfillment

Luke 22:36-37

36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[a]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

Have you noticed how quickly the tides can change? Jesus and the disciples had previously relied on the generosity of others during his ministry but because of what was going to happen to Jesus, it would be very different. Jesus warned the disciples that the kindness of others would be far and few between. Jesus would be treated as a common criminal and the lives of the disciples would be in danger. Therefore, they would have to make their own way and even protect themselves because Jesus' purpose was nearing fulfillment.

The closer you are to anything that God has for you, know that it will look like everything has gone awry but God is still in control. Nothing will happen that he doesn't know about. The important concept to grasp is that God has your back and he will still light your path even in the midst of what look likes complete chaos. It's at this time that the enemy can be very cunning and attempt to drop seeds of fear and doubt if given an open door. Hold on to what God has told you and know that what is for you is reaching fulfillment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Carry On Your Name Through Purpose

2 Samuel 18:18

18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

Have you ever thought about what legacy you will leave behind? King David's son Absalom did not have any sons to carry on his name so he did what he felt was the next best thing, erected a pillar. Absalom and David were at odds over what had been done to Absalom's sister Tamar. He decided that he would rage war on his father because he believed his father did not do enough to punish the other son for his crime against Tamar. He knew that some day he would not be here and since there was no son to carry on his name, he decided to live a namesake for Jerusalem. The pillar still stands to this day. We usually here the verse from the book of proverbs about leaving an inheritance for your children's children. But for Absalom, that didn't apply. Though Absalom's purpose was not to cause strife with his father, before he was born, the Lord told King David that the sword would never leave his house for the sin he committed. So Absalom did do what God said he would.

Whether you have children or not, leaving a legacy is about what you do when you're here to be remembered. Being remembered can be as simple as being kind or as complex as leaving behind money, businesses, or being known for missionary work or being the parent of a great athlete or star. That certainly is a way to be remembered but you can also be remembered for fulfilling what you are here to do. Purpose isn't just a word, it's a way of life. We are all here on purpose. You were not an accident, no matter what you were told. God wanted you here for a reason. But what pillar will you leave behind? We don't know how long we have so each day is new chance to start living and walking in your purpose. Carry on your name through purpose. Live each day to find what purpose you were set here for and just do it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Journey

Luke 2:34-35

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Did you know that your journey is important? Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple to be committed to the Lord. Under Mosaic law this had to be done by a certain period of time. It is actually where we get the tradition of dedicating babies and toddlers to the Lord though they have not professed it themselves. Mary and Joseph were in awe at the prophetic announcements given to them by a man and woman of God that were to be witness to the blessed event. Mary and Joseph knew baby Jesus was special but let's face it, all parents think their kids are special and rightfully so. For God entrusted them to you. Mary and Joseph had only a small clue of the greatness of Jesus. The big picture revelation was too great for them to handle at one time. But with the greatness there were would be trials. The book of Matthew records the fact that Mary and Joseph had to hide Jesus from Herod who wanted to kill him. But what the man and woman of God were talking of went far beyond what Mary and Joseph could see. Mary would have to endure seeing her son die on the cross. Mary had to undergo a transformation right along with Jesus. The man of God focused in on Mary because Joseph would not be witness to it for he would not live long enough to see that day.

Everything does have it's pluses and minuses. For God could not possibly tell Mary all that she was in for because if she knew up front it would've been more difficult for her to believe it. The most important part was the journey she had to take. And she had to watch Jesus take his journey as well. If you look at where you are right now, would you have thought you would be on the journey you're taking? Did you know that your journey will change you? Yes the destination is important but so is the journey. By the time you reach the destination, you will not be the same person that started on the journey God will make sure of it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sustainer of Life

Psalm 73:26

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Did you know that no matter what God is your sustainer? The psalmist was actually a Levite priest and it was with the tithes from the people that he lived. Now some may say well, I always knew that was a problem. But what you don't understand is under Mosaic law, the one who teaches, counsels, etc has to be cared for. Now if the people did not provide their tithes and offerings to God's storehouse, the needs of the priest still have to be met. The temple still needed to be tended to and it was the priest that tended to temple all day and night. And the needs of the people are still met regardless when they need prayer, when they need counsel, etc. This is truly a test of one relying on God's sustaining power. For no matter what, the priest is a servant of God which means they serve God's people. God will always make a way for them to serve God's people whether the people are thankful to God or not. That is God's sustaining power!!

When our health is not the best but God gives the ability for us to move and do what we need to do, that is God's sustaining power!! For God is the one who provides health and strength. When he is ready for us to go, he will remove the breath of life from our frail bodies. It is he who sustains us in mid air when it looks like we have nothing to stand on. When we give way to sin knowingly or unknowingly, it is God that still sustains us to give us time to repent.

What a mighty and awesome God!! When is the last time you thanked him for being your sustainer?

Monday, January 31, 2011

From Permit to License

Acts 15:8-9

8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.

Has anyone ever asked you why you believe what you believe? If asked at any moment would you be able to give a quick synopsis on why you have the faith you have or why you do what you do? Believers that came from Judea started making unsavory demands on the Gentiles on how they ought to show how they are believers in Jesus Christ. The question then becomes what makes one a believer? First and foremost one must believe that Jesus is the son of God and was sent to die for your sins and mine and be raised from the grave that we may have everlasting life. One must also believe that Jesus left us a comforter known as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the embodiment of truth sent to us that is to live inside of us if we claim Jesus as the son of God who shared the essence of God. Ultimately the stance is one of faith. But why do you have the faith you have? Was is it because someone told you should believe or was it because of personal experience? The experience of others will carry you for some time but eventually, you must have your own faith. God extended the faith to Gentiles for the advancement of the gospel.

As it is with anything life, learning lessons from others is great!! But if you never learn anything for yourself, then you are just regurgitating information. Having a permit to drive is great but if you never get out on the road, you will never graduate to having an actual license. Having a license is awesome but if you never push yourself farther, you will only stick to the roads you know at the times that are safest. Let this be the year that you understand why your faith is what it is. Not simply just giving information, but a heart felt experience. If you don't have a heart felt experience, then you are only operating with a permit.