Friday, November 30, 2012
“since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)
God so loved the world. He didn’t just love the world; He so loved the world. He so loved the world that He (Jesus) would die in our place before He would miss out on an eternal relationship with us. He knew that we would disappoint Him and hurt Him and fail Him, but He still so wanted a relationship with us that He made a way. He knew that there would be many, many people that would reject His gift of love and salvation, but an eternity spent with those who would choose Him was worth the price of dying on the cross. That is some amazing love!
Thursday, November 29, 2012
“. . . to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1)
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
If you had one weekend to spend any way you wanted and money was not an issue, how would you spend your weekend?
Open With Prayer
Matthew 18:2-4: “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”
Whoever humbles himself like a child! This, I believe, should be the ultimate goal of every believer. Humility. Brokenness. Now, everyone might define humility a little differently, but here’s my attempt at it:
Humility is recognizing and freely admitting that we are needy, helpless, and dependent. It’s knowing that we need our Heavenly Father desperately, that we are helpless to do anything without Him, and that we are fully dependent on Him daily. It’s resting in and so completely trusting His goodness and love that no matter what happens, we can still say, “Father, I trust You.” And it’s knowing that everything is by His power and for His glory, and wanting nothing more than to see Him glorified in our lives. To me, this is what it means to be humbled, to be “sweetly broken” (as the song by Jeremy Riddle calls it – listen to it if you can. It’s wonderful).
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Open With Prayer (specifically that God opens your eyes to the truth about yourself, that He reveals to you if there are any walls around your heart that are blocking Him.)
But God doesn’t want our performance as much as He wants our hearts. Jesus didn’t come to earth and die for us so that we would put on a good Christian performance for Him. He died for us so that we could have a genuine, close relationship with Him. He wants our hearts, full access to our hearts. And this requires transparency on our parts, a willingness to open up ourselves to Him completely: our thoughts, fears, doubts, past pains, broken hearts, hidden sins, expectations, misconceptions, etc.
He wants us to come to Him as we really are, to need Him and to let Him care for us, love us, and heal us. We can’t fool Him anyway, so I don’t know why we keep trying to act like we can do it all on our own. It is only when we open up our hearts to Him in all vulnerability and honesty that He can come in and correct misconceptions, heal old wounds, forgive sins, fix doubts, etc.
But it’s up to us.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Open With Prayer
Monday, November 19, 2012
Who in your life, in the world, or in history do you most admire? (Besides Jesus.) Why? Who in the Bible (besides Jesus) do you most admire, relate to, or find intriguing?
Mark 11:25: “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Matthew 6:14-15: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Psalm 66:18: “. . . If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened”
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
What are three things most people don’t know about you? And what are three “quirky” things about you?
I am going to present to you my view on this issue, but it doesn’t mean that I am necessarily right. I am giving it to you as a starting point and as food-for-thought, to give you things to consider and talk about and disagree with. I am not a Bible teacher or scholar, so remember that this is just my opinion. If you disagree, discuss with others why you disagree and what you think Scripture really says.
[And I will be honest, I am going to do my best to show why I really do believe that we have free-will. Even the questions at the end are written from that bias. So if you are a strong believer in predestination, challenge what I believe, bring up your own Bible verses, and ask your own questions. We should all be able to present our view on this and still feel respected, because this is not an issue that’s super clear-cut in the Bible. And so we need to approach it with humility.]