Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I don’t want to miss Him

In the Gospel of Mark we read that Jesus had just fed the 5,000. He had performed an amazing miracle of turning a few loaves and a couple fish into enough food to feed thousands. His disciples were right in the middle of it all. In fact, they were the waiters. They distributed all of the food and even carried off the 12 baskets full of leftovers.

But, apparently it didn’t sink in. It didn’t stick. For some reason they still didn’t understand who Jesus really was. You see, soon thereafter they were blown away that Jesus was walking on the water. Scripture says that, “They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” OUCH! Why? How?

Before I judge the disciples for their error and their lack of recognizing the person and power of Jesus Christ, I must ask myself, “Have I ever missed it?” Are there times when Jesus has shown himself powerful and moved mightily in my life, but I have flat out missed it? Have I ever not recognized His presence, His healing, His provision, or His mercy in my life?

Lord, may I have eyes that always see and ears that always hear; a heart that is always tender toward you. I never want to miss you. You are my desire. My heart is yours.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don’t be a boiled Christian

Are you familiar with the boiling frog story? “It is a widespread anecdote describing a frog slowly being boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability of people to react to important changes that occur gradually.”

Unfortunately, I think we can find more than one Christian who has experienced this phenomenon as it relates to being slowly, but eventually completely, infected by the things of this world that are against the character and will of God. Do you know what I am talking about? You allow a little of the world in and then it gradually expands. It starts with small amounts of compromise, but before you know it, it has you and you are all in. You are being boiled alive.
“I can handle looking at that stuff. It won’t affect me. I can hang out with those friends. I won’t start using those bad words or doing the things they do." But, it happens. You slowly get sucked in and before you know it, you’re seemingly small compromises result in all-out sin and sometimes addiction. You feel far from God, you are cooked, and you wonder, "how did that happen"?
We must be aware of this tendency and not allow ourselves to fall into this trap of the enemy. We are in the world, but we are not supposed to conform to it. Have you taken the temperature lately?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book of Joshua - Audio Teaching

I am posting my weekly teachings in audio format on the Evident Life Church website. You can check them out HERE. I hope to get them in a podcast format on iTunes in the near future.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Because God is our hero

Why does God call His people to establish memorials: things that help us remember the great things He has done in our lives? Why is it important for us to have testimonies? Why does God perform miracles? Why did God deliver us? Why? Ultimately, so that His name is glorified. So that people will be drawn to Him. Memorials proclaim the greatness, faithfulness, and the almighty power of God. It reminds the world that He is King, He is good, He is just, He is Lord, and He is our HERO!
He did this (stopped the waters of the Jordan and had the Israelites build a memorial) so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God." – Joshua 4:24

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One day we will need to remember

Why is it a good idea for us to heed God’s word and build memorials to His greatness and His faithfulness in our lives? Because, one day the river could be low. One day, things could get tough. Where’s our memorial? What will we be able to look to that helps us say, “OK, I remember what God did and I have come to trust Him?" Some day our river will be low, we’ll need some stones, a memorial, that helps us remember that God is good, that He is great, and that He is able. Something that reminds us that God has done it before and He is our hope.

One day it will be essential, because the day will likely come, when the memorial, our memory of God’s faithfulness, may be all we have to hang onto.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Memorials help us pass on our faith

We are still on the topic of memorials. We tend to witness that the children of believers have the best opportunity to come to faith while they’re in the home of their believing parents. That personalizes the memorial a bit, doesn’t it? That’s why the Bible here deliberately introduces the notion of children and memorials. So that we can pass on the faith to the next generation!

We need to identify the spiritual high water marks that have occurred in our lives so that they can be shared and transferred to the next generation?

Where were you when God did a work in your life? Is there a memorial? Can it be shared? Stop and think. When did God move? Where? Have you told anybody? If you have children at home, share these important stories with them! Pass it on…

Memorials help us pass on our faith to future generations. There’s a reason that Deuteronomy 6 talks about Israel remembering the things of God and transferring them on a daily basis as a way of life to the next generation. It’s a family thing and memorials help raise children of faith. Build memorials and use them to display God’s goodness to your children and your children’s children.
6 "Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?' 
7 then you shall say to them, 'Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever." – Joshua 4:6-7

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

God wants us to remember

God clearly calls His people to build spiritual memorials. A definition of a spiritual memorial, what the Israelites set up in Joshua 4 after being led across the Jordan on dry ground, would be "a monument to a spiritual high water mark in life."

What has God done in your life, in my life? And what have we done to commemorate it? Have we established things that will cause us to remember the wonderful things God has done? When was our latest trial? When was our latest victory? When have we seen God move? How are we commemorating that?

Why build memorials? Why remember? So we can say, "Those were the good old days"? Maybe, as long as the good-old days point us to a very good God, because that’s what He wants of us.

It was God’s idea to build memorials because He knows the hearts of people; He knows us very well. He knows how self-centered we are, how forgetful we are. How many times we gone before God, saying, "Lord, I need help -- again." How soon we forget. GOD WANTS US TO REMEMBER.
1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2 "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight." - Joshua 4:1-3