Wednesday, March 4, 2015

3-5-15 Potter and the Clay

3So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. (Jer. 18)

20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”h 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Rom. 9). 

Thoughts: Does the pot have the right to criticize the potter saying, "why did you make me like this?"   The God of creation- the potter- has the right to be the Lord- the molder and shaper of life.  We have creation confusion.  We act as if we created God instead of that God created us.  This is a key question- do you believe humans created God or that God created us?  The answer to that question is not just an intellectual exercise, but it effects who we will follow as Lord.  The person who thinks we made God can manipulate god as an idol or rabbits foot.  But the person who knows God made them and loves them is worth following as Lord.  

Prayer: Lord, you are the potter and worthy of praise.   Help me to remember you are worthy of my life and praise.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3-4-15- The How and Why of Jesus as Lord

16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1)

Thoughts: This passage tells us why and how Jesus is Lord.  He created all things (visible and invisible- spiritual and physical).  He existed before all things in time and is before all things in priority.  He is the head of his body- the church.  This is between a fourth to a third of the population.  He led the way to eternal life- the first one through the tunnel of death and the first raised from the dead.  God came down through Jesus and raises us up through Jesus.  It is by his royal blood that peace comes between God and man.  Is there any other compliment that could be paid?  He is Lord of heaven, leading people to heaven, and Lord over his people here on earth.  He is to be given the place of the highest Lord. 

Prayer: Lord, you are my Lord.  You are worthy of my devotion.  You are worthy of all that I am.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

3-3-15 Feed Your Soul

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3)

Thoughts: The premise is that the people have tasted that the Lord is good.  It is because we serve a good Lord that we should listen to Him and get rid of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, ency and slander.   It is because the Lord is good that we want to grow out of infancy.  We are to crave for the good food- the food that nurtures our souls and challenges our digestion.  The Christian life is not all about easy growth and easy pickins.  The Lord is good- we need to grow in that knowledge and grow in trust of the good Lord. Crave- eagerly desire the things that feed our soul. 

Prayer: Lord, you are good  Help me to trust in that and to be good too. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Honor the Lord with your body

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

Thoughts: We are not our own.  No person is on their own.  We are all not just inter-dependent on each other- but we are dependent on God.  We do not control the sun, the moon, the rain, the earthquake, the snow, the tornado, the hurricane.  We do not control our own DNA, our heredity, or fully our environment.  We do not choose things in a vacuum- our bodies that we inherit have certain tendencies built into them.  The person who says no one is in control of them is controlled by their own desire for independence.  They may have a hard time trusting someone else- or having a deep lasting relationship because such a relationship potentially shatters their control.
   Christians know that we have been bought with a price.  We are like slaves bought on a slave market.  The price was the death of Jesus.  As Hosea bought back his harlot-strayed-wife, so God bought us back with the price of the death of his son.  So we have a Lord who tells us to take care of our bodies by not putting them at risk sexually.
    In fact, our bodies are a shelter- a tent- a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.  God has given us His Spirit to live inside of us.  We do not need to defile His Spirit by debauchery. Not only has He bought us, He has blessed us by coming to live in us.   It is an illusion to think we are a rock-we are an island- and do not need to listen and do not affect anyone else.  Therefore- let us honor God. 

Prayer: Lord, help me honor you with all I am. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

3-1-15 Who Will You Serve

14“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord15But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24)

Thoughts: Bob Dylan wrote a song, "You've Got to Serve Somebody- It may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you got to serve somebody."  The one to whom we owe our allegiance is our Lord- our God.  To serve no one is to serve ourselves- and selfishness is by nature an evil thing and dark hole.  Einstein said, "The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule."  He was speaking of the need to be humble.  Humility, selflessness, and love push us away from a selfish desire to manipulate and control others.   Joshua asks the question before he dies, "who are you going to serve?... Will you go back to be like everyone else, or will you choose to be people of a holy God?"   Many choose the easy way of following feelings and the way put forth by others.  Some will choose to serve God as long as He serves them.  If the going gets tough their faith will get choked out.  But if we serve God no matter what, we will indeed be blessed.  Jesus came to serve us- he helped people, healed people, comforted people, welcomed people.  He died for people to serve us.  But if we want to manipulate the Lord to turn the Creator of the Universe to give us our every whim- we are not helping ourselves, and we are discrediting Him.  God is our greatest help.  But we must choose His help.  When we join Him- to seek to serve Him in good or bad- we will find His love, His help, His strength, His courage, His hope, His purpose, and we will find ourselves.  For our hearts are restless til they find their rest in the Lord.  When we choose Him, we find ourselves chosen.  He is the Lord who serves; we serve and become like the Lord. 

Prayer: Lord, I serve you in the hard times and the great times.  I do not serve you because you bless me.  I serve you because you are worthy and my love for you grows as I see your hand at work in the valleys and in the mountaintops of life.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

2-28-15 Incentive to Serve

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (John 12:26)

Thoughts: This verse says a lot about serving Christ and what it means to be a disciple.
First to serve Christ means to follow in his steps.  This means to try to live with kindness, faithfulness, and holiness as Jesus did.  It also means to sacrifice for others as Christ sacrificed for us.  In Luke 9:23 Jesus said, "Whoever wants to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me."
He also speaks of being close to the person who serves Him.  When we try to live like Christ He enables us by His presence and grace to fulfill His hopes for us.
The second thing He promises to those who try to serve Him is that God will honor them.  The presence and honor of God is an important incentive.  When we humble ourselves to help another God will lift us up.  

Prayer: Lord, help me to serve you.  Help me with your presence and the motivation of your pleasure.  

GoODWorks Blitz- gathering to help the needy. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

God a priority- Psalm 27

1The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?4One thing I ask from the Lord,this only do I seek:that I may dwell in the house of the Lordall the days of my life,to gaze on the beauty of the Lordand to seek him in his temple.
5For in the day of troublehe will keep me safe in his dwelling;he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tentand set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:1,4,5)

Thoughts: The house of the Lord is a sanctuary from fear and from trouble.  The Lord is a priority as the Lord.  The word "Lord" here is a substitute for YHWH- the name for God.  In Hebrew they substituted adonai- "the Lord" for this name.  The Lord is the One whom we serve.  It is the one thing we should seek- to be near Him.  When trouble comes, we want to be near our source of peace and protection- the "Big man upstairs" as some say.  God is larger than any problem we face.  He is stronger than anyone or any problem.  He is so much larger that we can be assured He will win in the end.  Even death cannot defeat Him.  Today, we should make God a priority (as our Lord), so that we know Him and feel comfortable going to Him in the day of trouble. We are so easily distracted these days.  Facebook, Twitter, texting, wasting time on the phone, TV, video games, entertainment, that we forget what is truly important.  

Prayer: Lord I seek you and your presence.  Let me find your presence and peace even in the midst of my trouble.