Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Do you see Jesus in your Clouds?

"Behold, He is coming with clouds..." Revelation 1:7

A strange devotion for today. Chambers talks about how, "Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God."

I've always thought of clouds as something to be welcomed! Whether to cool off a hot summer day, or to announce an incoming thunderstorms, I've never looked at clouds as something to be sorrowful about.

However I have to admit I've never really experienced deep sorrow in my life. For me life has been pretty good, so I can't understand what it's like for someone to experience the deep sorrow as represented in the clouds.

Monday, July 28, 2014

OKC Finally hits 100 degrees

Took us a while to do it, but Oklahoma City finally hit 100 degrees on Saturday.

Another big cool down is coming this week, with highs only in the 70's! We had high's in the 60's two weeks ago, it's hard to believe that it's July!

God's Purpose or Mine?

" He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side..." Mark 6:45

Christians tend to think that God is preparing us for some end goal, or future point. In today's reading Chambers makes the case that the actual journey is what God is after, not the end result.

God is walking with us NOW, and moment by moment obedience is the goal.

What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hot day in Topeka!

In Topeka for what is probably the last of the PMEL trips. It's 630 in the morning and already it's 79 degrees. Going to be a hot one today!


This is the will of God, your sanctification. . . —1 Thessalonians 4:3

Sanctification is something that I believe is not talked about much in churches these days. The "modern gospel" wants to focus on ensuring you have a good life, free of pain and hardships. (Why else are prayer requests always about physical healing?)

With that I decided to look up the word sanctification to see what it means.

According to the Holman Bible Dictionary sanctification is ,"The process of being made holy resulting in a changed life-style for the believer."

 A changed lifestyle, dying to self.

As my pastor is found of saying, "I MUST decrease, so He can INCREASE".

Can I put my interests and self aside so God can use me for His purposes?

The daily struggle of who is lord of my life, Jesus or myself.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Record COLD day in July!

Yesterday we only hit 68 degrees for a HIGH in Oklahoma City! The old record was for 80 degrees. It's a very nice cold front that has come through the state.

As of now, it's a comfortable 66 degrees, and we've got the windows and screen doors open. The A/C has been turned off because it actually got too COLD in the house!

Turn the A/C off. Because it's too cold. In July. In Oklahoma.

Love it!

The Mystery of Believing

He said 'Who are You, Lord?' Acts 9:5

One of my favorite books of the Bible is Acts.

I recently was telling my daughter the story of Saul, and how he became Paul after becoming blind and encountering God.

I like Paul's self doubt on God using him to spread the Gospel across the world.

God didn't force Paul to serve. He allowed Paul to choose, and becasue he choose of his own free will, he became one of the greatest teachers of the gospel.

Likewise we have a choice to follow and obey. God doesn't want me to obey and follow Him because I HAVE to, he'd rather it be because I WANT to.

Being forced to is religion.

Wanting to is a relationship.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Concept of Divine Control

" how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11)

Divine control - do we let God rule our thoughts, or do we take the drivers seat?

Are we so focused on Him that when difficulties and uncertainties arise, we immediately turn to God? Or do we seek out others hoping for an inspiring word?

The "Name it, claim it" crowd loves this verse, but they take it out of context. God will be more than happy to give you what you want - as long as it is in HIS will! That part is usually forgotten about.

When I'm seeking God's will and not mine, my interests will line up with His.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Life's Spiritual Honor & Duty

I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians (Romans 1:14)

Am I truly grateful for my salvation? So grateful that I spend as much time as possible telling others about Jesus?

Evidently not, as today's reading brought to mind that the last time I gave mission work any serious thought was during VBS last month.

It's easier to be grateful that MY eternity is assured, but then to turn around and grumble at the guy who cuts me off on the highway.

"Quit praying for yourself and spend your life for the sake of others".

Powerful stuff

Monday, July 14, 2014

Suffering Afflictions...

"But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." Matthew 5:39

A strange verse. Some people would interpret this as living a completely passive lifestyle, never defending oneself. From their viewpoint, this even forbids service in the military!

Chambers talks about when you are insulted, you must not only resent it, but must make it an opportunity to exhibit the Son of God in your life.

I think that means let the words and attacks go. They are just words. Internet comment blogs are full of people attacking each other from the safety of their own computers. Is this really accomplishing anything?

However when it comes to actually attacking oneself and family, then I believe we have a duty to respond and defend ourselves and family.

Words are just words, let them go. But actually attacks need to be dealt with.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Will You Examine Yourself?

Today's reading makes a lot more sense than the reading for July 8th!

Chambers starts off by asking if you "even have the slightest reliance on anything or anyone other than God?"

Unfortunately, this is pretty easy to answer, and that would be yes.

It's way too easy to claim to "depend on God", but have the Plan B in case God doesn't come through.

The less you rely on yourself and on God, the more He can use you.

As my pastor likes to quote Paul, "I MUST decrease, so He can increase!"

Being a military man it's all too easy to rely on myself. In fact most military folks take great pride in being able to depend on themselves.

Monday, July 07, 2014

All Efforts of Worth and Excellence are Difficult

Living the Christian life is not guaranteed to be easy and pain free.

Unless you subscribe to the Joel Osteen worldview, where God is just one big happy person who just wants you to live the good life.

God sends things our way to test us. Are we applying what we are learning from Him in our daily lives? The tests show if we are growing or not.

In the middle of the crisis, do we turn to God or our own devices?