Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Monday, September 14, 2015
Saturday, June 6, 2015
How have you experienced greater freedom by living within the boundaries outlined in God's Word?
Please share your comments below:
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Are you planning to make resolutions this New Year's Day? Why not base them on some of the declarations that are recorded in Scripture? Check out these biblical resolutions.
- Resolve to Inquire of the Lord.
King Jehoshaphat was told that a vast army was coming to make war against him and his country of Judah. But before he ever rallied his troops or formulated a battle plan, "Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah" (2 Chronicles 20:3). The people gathered together and Jehoshaphat prayed earnestly before the entire group. He ended his prayer by declaring to the Lord, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you" (2 Chronicles 20:12).
Undoubtedly the year ahead will, for many of us, bring about situations for which we have no answers. Regardless what struggles lie ahead, we can take comfort in the fact that our God sees our need (Genesis 16:13), hears our cries (1 John 5:14), and knows us intimately (Psalm 139:1). He is never caught by surprise or left without a plan. When we don't know what to do or where to step, we can resolve to inquire of the Lord and fix our eyes upon him as Jehoshaphat did.
- Resolve to Guard my Mouth from Sin.
This second resolution is a challenging one. In Psalm 17:3, King David resolved that his mouth would not sin. Can you think of any words you said this past year that you wish you could take back? Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." It is a lofty goal, but even if we fail from time to time, just imagine the impact we can have on the people around us if we will strive to say only those words that build up or benefit others.
- Resolve to Guard my Purity.
The Old Testament prophet Daniel resolved to keep himself pure. When Daniel made that resolution, he was surrounded by a culture that was replete with idol worship and completely opposed to the standards of the God of Israel. "But Daniel resolved not to defile himself" (Daniel 1:8).
Sadly, our society is growing more and more opposed to the standards outlined in God's Word. We're bombarded by images on our televisions or movie screens that threaten to desensitize us to evil, immorality, and violence. But Paul warned us in Romans 12:2 not to "conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We are called to be distinctive and committed to purity. We can't always control our culture, but like Daniel, we don't have to allow our culture to control us.
- Resolve to Keep Jesus as my Primary Focus.
The final resolution is my favorite. The Apostle Paul resolved to keep his focus on Jesus. As Paul reflected upon his ministry in the city of Corinth, he said, "For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2 AMP). It was Paul's passion to wholeheartedly keep his focus on being acquainted with, displaying the knowledge of, and being conscious of our glorious Savior. What greater resolution could there be?
So I challenge you to join me in making these four New Year's Resolutions. Consider displaying them where you will see them often. Pray daily and confess when you fail. It is my prayer that you have a blessed and resolute 2015.
First appeared in Today's Christian Woman: http://www.todayschristianwoman/articles/2010/january/thebestresolutions.html
And Proverbs 31 Ministries, Every Day Live: http://p31everydaylife.blogspot.com/2010/01/biblical-resolutions.html
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Thursday, September 4, 2014
“[Moses] persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”
Hebrews 11:27 (NIV)
Hebrews 11:27 (NIV)
Have you ever been exasperated and felt ready to quit? That’s how Moses felt when he found out the Israelites had been worshiping a golden calf while he was on a mountain, talking with God. The legendary leader was so angry, he threw the stone tablets upon which were written the Ten Commandments, smashing them to pieces at the base of Mount Sinai.
Moses was exhausted and frustrated by the burden of leading God’s people and He was hungry for a deeper understanding of God’s power and goodness. In Exodus 33:18, Moses boldly asked the Lord, “Now show me your glory.” In other words, Moses desired to know God more fully. He wanted to experience more of God’s presence than he had encountered before. God graciously granted His passionate servant's request. He said,
"There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back, but my face must not been seen” (Exodus 33:21-23).
I’d like to suggest that God’s phrasing actually illustrates the way we see His active presence manifested today. We don’t see God’s glorious presence revealed before He acts. Just as Moses only was allowed to see God’s back, we only see the after-effects of His glory.
You don’t see Him thundering down from heaven before you get the cancer diagnosis. You see the after-effects of His glory when you come through the treatments and hear the words, “cancer free.” His work on your wayward son’s heart may not be visible to you for years, but you recognize the after-effects of His active presence when your boy quietly walks through the doors of your church sanctuary one Sunday and slips into the seat beside you. You don’t see the light of His presence shining in your daughter’s dorm room as you fearfully pray for God to somehow supply the funds for her college education. You see the after-effects of His glory as she walks across a stage sporting her cap and gown and receives her diploma. You don’t see God’s active presence heading in your direction; you see “His back,” the after-effects of our Lord’s extraordinary glory.
When you feel frustrated and want to quit, ask God to show you His glory, as Moses did. Ask Him to make His active presence more real to you. Then be sure to share the after-effects of His glory with fellow followers of Christ. It is glimpses of His awe inspiring glory that enable us to persevere as Moses did and fulfill our God-given purposes.
Let's encourage one another through whatever struggles we are facing today. What after-effects of our Lord’s active presence are evident in your life?
Adapted from Eyewitnessto Glory: Moses, Discerning God’s Active Presence (Chattanooga, TN; AMG Publishers, 2014),129.