Showing posts from July, 2009

Shape us...

“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are they clay. You are the potter; we are all the work of your hand,” Isaiah 64:8 We are all clay. Modeable, to something that is awesome by God and God alone. We never realize that it takes a lot of energy to make something out of clay. I know that God must really love us in order that He wants form us and shapes us to be something better than before. God is in the business of change. We just have to be willing to be molded. In order to be molded we have to be willing, and it all starts there. One of the hardest thing to say, and hardest thing to do is when you are all in. My biggest fear is that I will not be all in for a part of the time. Going out for God is tough, yet it is what he commands. In order to be molded we first have to willing to be molded. When we get to that point, God is gong to take us and then mold us to be awesome. However, the clay has to stay molded and has to be able to be ready to be molded. Tough work, but li

Come to God

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:9-10 Here Peter explains to everyone that God really wants all of the people to come to repentance. God wants nothing but good for us. He wants us to prosper, He wants us to live with Him forever. He wants us to have that abundant life that Christ talks about in John 10:10. But in the subtle but serious tone, Peter explains that God is patient with you, He is willing to walk you through your sins and bring you back home, but He is not foolish and one day it will come. Like Peter says, “like a thief.” Meaning it will come quick, it will come unexpectedly, it will come, that is for sure. God will bring us back home, He will la

Drop the Past...

This is what the Lord says- “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 What an awesome passage. A promise from the Lord that there is a new thing that is rising up. Even though Israel was unfaithful God still wanted to make things new. This is amazing. I am just at awed on how God loves his people so much. He is will ing to forget the things of the past and make things anew. What caught my attention is not so much that there are things that will pop up new. That is awesome, however what caught my eye is right in the middle where God ask the Israelites, “do you not perceive it?” That is what he ask. Do not dwell in the past and look out for the new thing. I wonder how much the Israelites were not looking out for the new thing God is doing because they were too stuck in the past. Their eyes were too much stuck in the

Waiting... Trusting...Hopeing

“Yet those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not grow faint.” Isaiah 40:31 This verse has been with me all my life, but I haven’t really put total effort in to pondering about this verse till some one pointed it out to me today. It is a verse that is so true, but it’s meaning can be lost in so many ways. Here it ask that we need to wait upon the Lord. Which also could mean, those who hope, those who trust, those who eagerly await, those who earnestly trust. The concept of total trust, total reliance, total dependence on God and God alone. The trust in the Lord is totally dependent upon this, it’s me trusting him completely. Total trust. So in reality how much do I really trust the Lord. Often I have the Lord’s Plan, then the back up plan. But if you truly trust in the Lord, there is no back up plan. There is only one plan, His. Though he says it will be a perfect pla

Let it all out.

“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, so not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.” James 3:14 I love what James is saying here, “Don’t cover it up, just admit it!” If you have anything evil in your heart don’t what is worse and try to cover it up. God is calling all of us to be transparent with one another. Especially in areas of jealousy and selfish ambition, we need to have accountability. These traits can easily become poison to one’s soul. It can easily become poison to one’s heart. Thus in turn it can affect the whole group, the whole congregation, the whole Christian community. I am human no doubt, there are times were I am jealous, where I am selfish. Often what I do is, I hide in a corner, and say very “Christianess” things. Like, “Oh, I am so glad God is blessing you!” or “Wow, Jesus does reward hard work!” First of all, I get a good practice at acting, because inside I am extremely jealous. Often inside, I’m like, “Why not me?!”

The Whole Law

“For he who keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10 James makes a great point here. If you stumble in one part of the law you are guilty of all of it. It means that you have to reap all the consequences, even if you just stumble over one small section. So even if you keep most of it, it doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you didn’t keep the law at all. This is a humbling verse, because truly it says that we are powerless without Jesus. It also means that we cannot do anything under our own strength to get salvation, because essentially we broke the law. We break the law all the time. We cannot ever see God’s face without the savior. You know at the same time this verse tells of our utter doom, but it also frees us from trying to go overboard. It doesn’t discredit the fact that you still need to have faith and works but what it does , it frees us from trying to cling to salvation with our own

Don't forget what you look like..

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it- will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:2 I love what James is saying here. He says that those who actually look at the law and studies it intently and does it routinely and applies the law to his heart will be blessed by what he does. The key phrases is “intently” and “continues to do this”. The law scans the heart of a man and if one who surrenders to it’s principles will become fruitful, but the ones who do not and continue to not take it to heart will eventually falter. Funny how this came about, I was doing an antivirus scan on my computer as I was reading this verse and the image of the virus scanner and the bible came to my mind. It is a perfect example of what devotions and studying the bible should do to my heart. I for one know that the most effective way to not get viruses in your computer is to scan it every day. Just lik


"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as a son. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" Hebrews 12:7 Here the writer makes it pretty straight forward. God disciplines his sons and there is a hint in it that we should be celebrating. It is good. Though that God is making us better. It isn't easy. The author wrote on how it is difficult and sometimes painful. But in the end there is great reward. There is great reward in what a discipline can teach us. But let me tell you it's not easy. This cannot be more true of me. I am truly one who believes in discipline, but when it is done to me, I don't like it. It is hard to take sometimes. It is painful it rips at my insides. Sometimes I feel like I want to just give up. It isn't easy. But it is a good thing. I have to take that attitude like it is a good thing. But it isn't easy. I know it is difficult. I just need to lean in on God more for this. It isn't

The faith of those before us

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40 This verse struck me because of what was being said. It is awesome that we get to take part in God’s plan this side of the cross. Here the faith of these mentioned in Hebrews 11 had not yet received what was promised but they lived as if it was. They knew what James says to us, “faith with out action is dead.” They lived out their faith in God. They lived out what was promised and did what God commanded them to do. They lived in the freedom of faith and the action carried it. The benefit for us, is that we get to see their example and through God’s plan we are saved. The people mentioned in this chapter inspires me to take bold leaps of faith for God. I often trade bold faith for co

The Law

“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things can never by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year make perfect those who draw near.” Hebrews 10:1 Nothing like the Law to show you how to live. By all means it is a good thing but this verse just reflects how flawed our thinking can be in regards to the law. Yesterday I was able to attend a church that talked about the Law. The pastor there taught on how the law was great but was not ever meant to take the place of faith. Most of the laws that are in place was to make sure there was civil order. Here the writer of Hebrews makes the same case. The Law cannot save you. In fact He later goes on to express, “Do you think the blood of a bull can save you?” It obviously can’t. The only thing that can save us is Jesus. We have to put our faith in Jesus. Now for me this is a freeing concept. In fact, nothing can save us unless we have our faith in Jesus. Yeste

Finish what ya start...

“For the Lord God almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:27 This is amazing to hear. God once he starts the ball rolling, no one can spoil His plan. No one can turn it back. Once he gets things in motion the only person who can stop God is God. This can be encouraging or discouraging depending what side you fall on. For those that fall on the favor of God, then really you have so much promise right in your hands. However, if you fall on the other side, things will be pretty bad. So besides wanting to find favor with God, how can I apply this to me. For one, it’s not that I didn’t know, but God once He starts something, only He can stop it. Once he starts rolling on a plan, only He can stop it. This is a wonderful promise. A promise that God no matter what, will finish what He started. That is I have to learn, to complete things and stop at nothing to complete it. It seems that often in my life, I tend

God's Plans

“Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted’ propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” Isaiah 8:10 The message is simple, the message is clear, if you have a plan and it isn’t in God’s will, it will fail. No matter how good or how effective your plan is, God’s plan is so much more better. But you know how it is crazy that we think we can out plan God. Today it is so easy to do that with so much advice of, do this or do that, or get rich quick. Today, God is calling me to complete the call. I was able to hang out with some interesting new friends. They were young, youthful and full of life. However, I was able to learn from them is how much they trusted God. Many of them had no idea on what their next plans are but what they had was an willingness to trust God above all else in their lives. Their lives was a reflection of what was to come. A life who’s focused in on God’s voice and His following. Lord help me to be focused in upon Your call and not to

Remember, but I forget...

“My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.” Micah 6:5 Here through the prophet Micah, the Lord is calling out to His people saying, “Remember!” Remember what the people are saying, remember what happened, remember what the Lord is saying for you to do. He is calling his people to not forget, not to ignore, all the things the Lord has done for them in the past, so that they will not fall away. Israel however, failed to remember. You know every time I read verses like these, I think, “That’s easy, I won’t forget. Who can forget about God.” I often never relate to the country of Israel because I don’t even think of them as someone who I can get lessons from. I read about them and say, “Those guys are such idiots! I won’t do that!” But more often then not, I am just like the Israelites. God does great things in my life, but I just end up s

Odd Illistration..

“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.” Hebrews 6:7-8 Okay on the surface this is a great proverb type, but when you read this verse in the context of where it is written, it’s like a...“huh?” I mean, this proverb that pops up in the middle of two ideas that are vastly different. Maybe during this time the writer of Hebrews took a break and when he/she came back it was an “a-ah” moment. But in between the idea of disgracing God (vrs 4-5) and serving with diligence (vrs 9-12) where does this fit in? You could basically pull these verses out and have a seamless transition, but some reason, God wants us to read them. Maybe they key is in the phrase “land that drinks in the rain....” So what does this mean to me? Land that drinks in the rain implies to me that it

Constant Use...

“By solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14 Though we are not sure who the writer of Hebrews is, I know this, this dude was pretty smart. On surface this verse is easy to read, and if I’m not careful I will miss the full effect of what the writer is saying. I almost bypassed the most important part of this verse, “who by constant use”. The writer gets the audience’s attention by essentially saying, you know why solid food is for the mature, because they took what they learned and used it so they can move past the milk and into the meat. But they acquired a life of consistency. A life of building slowly but surely an immovable fortress in God’s word. The illustration that comes to mind for me is the that of baseball. When I was a kid I learned the basics, how to throw, catch, hit, run the bases. All the things that you do in baseball. But after I learned the basics, it’s not like I was ready to be in

Choose God

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell all of your deeds.” Psalm 73:28 Who ever this guy is that wrote this Psalm has great knowledge and a great conviction towards God. Here he states how he sees the wicked prosper and how sometimes he asks, “Why?” Then he finds out that God is just and he brings down the wicked and that those who follow the Lord and obey his commands will stand. The awesome thing is that he chooses to be near God. He chooses to be close to God. Rather than wait go with the flow like everyone else. This writer chooses to be near God. He chooses to have faith in God. You must choose. This verse so applies to me. I know that sometimes I do not choose God. Sometimes see my friends and how successful the are finacially, and I wonder. I wonder, how come I serve God but are not blessed financially, but my friends who could care less, are successful. My dentist friend, my distributer friend, my doctor fri

God's Delight

“For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 We as humans can get caught up in all those crazy customs of religion. I mean it’s not out of the ordinary. I totally understand that I sometimes want feel like I am part of something. I sometimes need to feel do rather than just know. But here God says that He is much more happy that we are loyal to him rather than if what we do. This verse states God rather us be completely into him rather than we be religious in our sacrifice. He would rather us get to know him much more rather than get we offer things to him. So what about me? How am I to relate to this? Well for the longest time I have been very good in doing the things for God, but not knowing God. It takes a lot to change a mindset. But this verse speaks to me to be more obedient to knowing God more rather then just doing stuff for Him. In a way, where is the love in just doing things for someone rather

Drifting: To easy to do do.

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1 I like how the writer of Hebrews makes it totally certain here. We must pay more careful attention. Note the word “more”. He asks the readers to be very intentional to what is going on. To be very precise, to be very aware. But just not somewhat aware. You must be “more” aware. I guess that is why he states you can just “drift away.” The image that comes to my mind is like surfing. Sometimes you are waiting in the water for the set to come and what happens is that if you are not careful you can drift out of the surf spot. Not because you want to, but because the current is strong and it just takes you someplace. You just drift. You got to be make a conscious effort to stay in the same spot. Just like you need to make a conscious effort to stay with God. I like these choices of words. To me it means that I have to be more aware of my surroundings, who I am with

God's crazy request..

When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. - Hosea 1:2 Okay this seems kind of crazy. Go marry an adulterous wife! In some translations it says she was a prostitute, whore, or the girl who “got around”, or some scholars believe it was a temple prostitute for another religion. To bring it to a modern time you could say she was either hooker, a stripper, a cheating woman, a “drinkie drinkie” girl, or “massage therapist.” This is not exactly the girl you want to bring home to meet the family. I know a few, and they are nice people but really, their moral compass is a little off, among other things. Imagine this request being made to you. I mean, what if God says, “Go marry a call girl, forget the Proverbs 31 woman. Go f

The clean and then the call...

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 This chapter in Isaiah is one of the most interesting things I have read in a long time. Here Isaiah witnesses the awesomeness of God and like what most people do, the are just awed by it. I mean God is so awesome. Then what happens God comes down and cleans his lips. Instant clean. Then what I like the most is how Isaiah responds. God asks the question, “Whom shall I send.” Isaiah says, “ME!!!!!” Okay not that I am Isaiah, but I do know that when your eyes are opened. Then there is an amazing thing that happens. You become aware of the awesomeness of God. Then you (well I) will be motivated to be following God with such vigor that you when God asks to do something, the answer is immediately YES! But the road isn’t easy, God asks Isaiah to do something that didn’t really quite make total sense. But Isaiah did it regardless. He stayed thr

Building blocks...

“But you dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 20-21 About the only thing I really remember from Jude is how to deal with spiritual warfare. But here, this verse just popped out at me. Here Jude says to build yourselves up in most holy faith. That means that you have to actively move and actively grow. You have keep up with the building. You have to build yourselves in God’s faith. You know sometimes it takes a lot to build something, it takes consistent effort, constant drive, and just being diligent. Diligence is something that is learned and applied daily. This is something that i have to learn. I have to be able to keep it consistent with everything. Build myself up in the faith daily. The thing is that, it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to be in walking with the Lord all the time. Often I get distracted and t