Friday, July 1, 2011

The Right Opportunity

Acts 8:34-35
34The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

Do you know when the right opportunity has appeared? An Ethiopian man who wanted to understand the scripture but there was no one present to assist him while on the road so the Lord sent Philip the evangelist to help understand. Philip didn't immediate shove Jesus down his throat but assisted in the immediate need the Ethiopian had. When the opportunity arose, Philip took that moment to introduce the man to Jesus. Philip was sent to introduce the man to Christ but he first addressed his immediate need. Sometimes God sets circumstances in place that we must meet a need then  ears are more receptive to hearing His word. We cannot always lead with Christ but we can lead with Christ like character. How so? Most times people were introduced to Jesus by him meeting their need first, then they were receptive to following him. We have to show the character of Christ before we can open our mouths about Christ. We have to show love, humility, kindness, joy, appreciation, etc. Jesus did these things and it was through his willingness to help those who asked for help that men and women wanted to know more. We have to see the opportunity when it arises. The Lord gives us clues but we do not always pay attention or we hesitate out of fear. If God has presented the opportunity to introduce Christ, it's because the person is at a place to receive. Learn to see the opportunities but also know when it's about meeting the need.


P.S. There will be no message on Monday, July 4th. May you spend that time in reflection. For those in the United States may you enjoy the holiday. But all readers, may you reflect on the freedom you have in Christ but remember it came at a dear price. Just as blood was shed here in the United States for freedom, Jesus shed his blood on the cross so that we may live. PRICELESS!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Full Circle

Proverbs 11:17
A kind man benefits himself,
but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.

A man of strength is often praised. But what about kindness? King Solomon noted that a kind man benefits himself. But what does it mean to be kind? According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary kind is defined as:

1: of a sympathetic, forbearing or pleasant nature
2: arising from sympathy or forbearance ~deeds

In a nutshell, a kind man is a man that shows mercy. Jesus was such a man and had many followers. But demonstrated so much strength while beaten and nailed to the cross. As much pain as he endured, he did it to show mercy and love for us. A cruel man brings trouble. According to King Solomon, just as a kind man draws benefits to him, a cruel man repels. We all reap what we sow. Whatever we put out we will eventually get in return. It may not be today or tomorrow but somewhere in our journey, we will receive the kindness we have shown to others or we will receive the cruelty we have displayed to others. It may be a matter of perspective to some but God's laws cannot be changed or manipulated. The law of reciprocity goes into effect the moment we open our mouths or exert any action. Know this and know it well, kind describes Jesus' heart condition but strong does so as well. No one else can do what he does! He is called counselor, doctor and many other names besides savior. What can be used to describe you? Are you one that can be called kind or cruel?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Center Stage

John 3:29-30
29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become greater; I must become less.

Who is taking center stage? The followers of John the Baptist were a little confused because John had been baptizing people in the Jordan River until after he baptized Jesus. Once Jesus was baptized and declared to those present as the Son of God, men and women went to Jesus to be baptized. Those following John didn't understand that John's purpose was nearly complete. His whole mission was about preparing the way for Jesus. The analogy of the wedding is a perfect example. The best man and maid of honor roles are to be present for the groom and bride and assist with any needs. It is not the best man or maid of honor's time to shine but to make the bride and groom shine. It's their day. Anyone who attempts to outshine them is not in order. So John was not to be upset by men and women turning to Jesus. That was the purpose of him declaring to them who Jesus was. The mantle had been given to the rightful owner.

Everyone can't be center stage. Someone has to step back and someone must step forward. Has Jesus taken center stage in your life? Have you handed the mantle over to Jesus or are you still holding on to it? There are others that have had center stage in your life that Jesus says it's time for act III and in it, the central character changes. Who will it be?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meaningful Friendships

Proverbs 12:26
A righteous man is cautious in friendship,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Did you know that not everyone is your friend? This may serve as a news flash but everyone that smiles and says hello may not care. Many people have found out this revelation the hard way. There's nothing wrong with being cautious in friendship because those that you keep close to you will influence you. As the wise King Solomon noted, the wrong friend can lead one down the wrong path to destruction. Thank goodness every action is a choice but the one that has the most influence will use it for either good or bad. The inner circle of a king is kept very close for a reason. Those around a king are considered close confidants and are consulted in many matters. Is the Lord your primary friend? The Lord has our best interest more than anyone as he desires nothing but the best for us as it's a reflection to his good name as well. But many don't consult the Lord. Is the Lord directing your circle of friends? If he isn't, those friends may have more influence over you than him. And can slowly pull you away from him if you allow it. If we allow the Lord to direct us in our relationships they will provide more fulfillment.  Look at your circle. Did the Lord direct you to them? Is he showing purpose in them? Are they influencing you in positive ways? If not, reconsider if they're really your friend.

Monday, June 27, 2011

True Accountability

Colossi ans 2:18-19

18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Do you know there are some things that can't be separated? There were indeed heresies about separating God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. For the essence of God cannot be separated. Each has a function that is vital. For those that were providing false teaching caused confusion. As we know, God is not the author of confusion. For He does everything in decency and in order. Those that were providing false teaching were full of false humility. Surprise, Surprise. When Jesus was accused of driving out demons by the power of Satan he noted that a house cannot be divided against itself. Therefore the God head, God the father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit are also one and can't be divided. If anyone is receiving such teachings please note they are false. Anyone receiving teachings that angels are above Jesus, this too is false.

What we learn is always important. If it's incorrect we then continue to perpetuate what is false not just in the corruption of ourselves but those we witness to and anyone we are an example for. Believing that we are in full knowledge of God's truth while perpetuating false teachings, we are held accountable. Be accountable for the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth.