Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Not because, "it could be worse"...
but because you are where you are because the Lord has equipped you to do what ONLY you can do.
That area of specialty... that much needed work... that is what you are called to do.
Be blessed as you serve the King...
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the victor's crown, the life God has promised to those who love him.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Pet 4:12-13
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
on... lot's being done! In my private devotional reading, I begin
Lamentations tomorrow (maybe this evening?). I will be sharing some of
my thinking regarding this book in future blog posts.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
"God saved me by grace, but at least I had enough sense to know what to do when I heard the Gospel." On this day I realized that I contributed nothing to my salvation but my sin. God chose to save me without any obligation to do so, and without any worthiness on my part. Election meant that God selected me for His family, and did so while passing over others who were no more unworthy of salvation than I.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
THE SHORT STORY:
John stood up against an un-scriptural preacher and was brought before the king of England. When his debating with the clergy before Henry VIII did not cause the king to bend his ear... John was given the following choice: Submit and live or continue and die.
What was John's answer?
"I commend my soul to the hands of God, but my body I give to your clemency."
He was then burned at the stake.
Now... I don't know about you, but I shutter to think that I back down from standing up for Christ in the more comfortable enviornments. May Jesus give us the boldness to stand up and speak the words of life... the Gospel.
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Average daily media consumption of U.S. children according to the Kaiser Family Foundation:
* Listening to music: 151 minutes
* Watching television: 270 minutes
* Playing video games: 73 minutes
* Talking on cell phones: 33 minutes
* Text messaging: 90 minutes
* Nonschool computer use: 89 minutes
I can remember closing the door to my room after school and parking in front of the TV for hours. I didn't know it was "normal". What's harder to fathom is the amount of texting some kids do. ...!
So what do we make of all this? Times change... yep. But we are called, no matter what age we are or what age we find ourselves in (digital or otherwise), to keep the Gospel the main focus of our lives. Can Jesus be glorified through what we say and do? Can His name be proclaimed through the activities we engage in?
That is THE QUESTION!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I
had with you before the world began.
John 17:4 - 5
Note three things:
1. Jesus glorified the Father.
2. Jesus' job was to glorify the Father.
3. Jesus desires and deserves glory.
Now note three things about you and me:
1. The Lord is pleased when we glorify Him.
2. Our job is to glorify Him.
3. We will be glorified with Him when our job is done.
Interesting… don't you think.
But of more importance than our interest is our resolve to please the King.
So now that you know… what will you do?
Friday, June 11, 2010
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
I wrote about this previously, but I do not watch the news or read the newspaper. I subscribe to rss feeds from the major news outlets (An rss feed is sort of like a podcast in the sense that the info comes to you if you subscribe to it.)
But you don't have to have a window overlooking the world-stage to know that man's heart is desperately wicked… do you? We all, at different times and under various curcumstances have lost track of what we should be doing and sidetracked. I can not speak for you, but it is reasonably safe to say that all of us have experiences one or more items from Paul's list: TERRIBLE TIMES. Now, the disclaimer. Scripture says that all men (and women… kiddos too) are going to sin. But if the passage above sounds like your soul's resume… there is a big problem. Feel free to call, email, text, write, or otherwise contact me.
There is one phrase I would like to dwell on for a moment: lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. The first time I read that I got all bent out of shape.
"Paul! Are you saying that there is no pleasure in serving the Lord?"
Of course there is and that is not what Paul was saying. The type of person described above is seeking only to gratify their lusts and serve only him (or her) self.
Now… look at what Paul is insinuating… the believer in Jesus Christ should not be characterized by those things.
Selah (a Hebrew refrain in the Psalms that means "think on these things")
Thursday, June 10, 2010
"I used to think the human brain was the most amazing creation on the planet. That was until I realized who was telling me that."
-- My buddy from Miami
I smile every time I think about this statement. But the truth is that the natural man is so self-centered… so egotistical… so proud of its accomplishments. Aren't we?
So what's the secret to conquering the flesh? Well… there is no secret… of sorts.
The key to victorious Christian living is found in Galatians 2:20.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Now… reading the passage above is just as easy as reading the quote at the very top.
The hard part comes in believing and acting on it.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
-- James M. Barrie
Isn't that the truth? I think it's safe to say that all of us have aspects of our jobs that we really see as "work". Hopefully there are many more aspects that fall into the "Wow… I make a living doing this!" category. Mr. Barrie nailed it.
But, like with most things, there seems to be a twist to the story… an exception to the rule… a variable we weren't counting on. Look at the life and work of Jesus.
We find Him:
- leaving His throne in heaven to assume the role of servant. (Philippians 2:5 - 11)
- experiencing the emotional train wreck of having felt the loss of a friend. (John 11:35)
- being ridiculed and resented by the religious leaders of His time so much that He pronounced several woes at them. (Matthew 23)
- agonizing over the prospect of going to the cross. (Matthew 26:36 - 44)
We know that through all of this, He considered it a joy to serve the Father. Was it "work"? Maybe… but His desire to please the Father outweighed the desire for personal comfort.
God loves His children… and there is nothing He would rather do than provide for them.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Exodus 34:15 - 16
I know... I know. We are not Israel and the church has different promises made to her. But we know that all Scripture is profitable. So... here's the question:
Are there things in your life that are pulling your heart away from the Lord?
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Car Jumps Tollbooth At DFW Airport - Watch more Funny Videos
As I watched this short video, I got to thinking:
Are there distractions in my life that can cost me (or anyone else) everything?
That's a tough question... a question I hope you ask yourself.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I trust that y'all had a great day enjoying the Word and your family this Monday. It was a great time at the Johnson house… food… fellowship… Scripture… you know… the essentials.
It was also a great time to introduce the older children to the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. It's not about presents and there isn't any cake. There are no party favors or decorations. No… Memorial Day is about remembering those who have paid the price for our freedom. We celebrated by praying for the families of those who have given all for us and enjoyed time outside, in the freedom bought for us by the men and women in our military.
Probably the most amazing part of the whole day was Ana's understanding of my statement: "Memorial Day is when we remember those who have fought for us and died so we can enjoy our lives."
How did my daughter respond?
"Like Jesus did on the cross?"
Thank you Lord that the Gospel is so simple a child can proclaim it… and so powerful to save to the uttermost!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I have never, not once, thought of putting any child in a drier. Nope... not once.
But as silly as that seems to us, I often wonder how ridiculous we might seem by what we do and say to the angelic hosts!
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 3:10 - 11
Maybe we should spend more time reading our Bibles... and serving others.