Archive for March, 2014

Step Up

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.”
(Ecclesiastes 5:1 NIV)

Climbing a steep flight of steps may not be something that we look forward to doing. It is not only difficult to start climbing but it is also challenging to continue climbing because the thighs burn from muscular exertion and the lungs breathe vigorously due to lack of endurance. Some may avoid the painful ascent due to laziness or fear of being uncomfortable but each step upward is actually strengthening us for future climbs. At the top of the climb the view changes and we can now see things from a much better perspective. The hardships that we experience are like steps that test and transform us to see things from God’s higher perspective. The Lord can use each difficult step to develop Christlike character and strengthen our faith. Unfortunately, avoiding pain or discomfort is often a greater priority than taking a step closer to the Lord. Avoiding the climb is the same as resisting change. “Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12) Endure the climb and elevate your perspective of Jesus today.


Never Ending Love

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.”
(Lamentations 3:22 ESV)

Some of us have experienced the disappointment and betrayal of failed love but this is no uncommon thing. Every worldly institution failed the Lord Jesus. He was betrayed by the economic system as Judas Iscariot sold him out for 30 pieces of silver.(Mathew 26:15) The Jewish religious system looked for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.(Matthew 26:59) The social networking system of friends and disciples deserted him and fled.(Matthew 26:56) His own culture turned on him as the people all shouted “His blood is on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25) The Roman political system had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27:26) Even the sunshine failed Jesus and from noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.(Matthew 27:45) But as Jesus hung dying on the cross he saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby. (John 19:26) These two faithful ones remained close to Jesus through all the pain and suffering. Their love for Jesus did not fail. God’s love is not of this world so his love never fails.(1 Corinthians 13:8)


Not Ashamed

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”
(Romans 1:16 NIV)

We live in a world that has no shame. The use of vulgar language is everywhere as people say whatever they feel no matter how offensive it may sound. Most Facebook posts contain foul language. Youth watch their favorite Hollywood stars every day cursing on television and they act out the behaviors demonstrated by these vulgar role models. A recent survey published by American Demographics indicates that 74% of 18-34 year-olds admitted to swearing in public and studies confirm that school children are swearing more than ever before.(1) Opening the mouth to curse is the hate language of aggression which escalates toward violence. This shameful increase in vulgarity is a sign of the times which the Lord Jesus prophesied about when he said “sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) But there is still hope for this world as the Lord is raising up an army of youth leaders and pastors who are not ashamed to counter this infection of perversion. Speaking words of life into a young generation is an investment in our future.



The Perfect Relationship

“I will never abandon you or leave you.” (Hebrews 13:5 GW)

Everyone is looking for a perfect relationship. A relationship is defined as an emotional or other connection between people. There are many different types of relationships each with unique characteristics. Students have learning relationships with their teachers. Co-workers have productive relationships related to company objectives. Parents have a provisional relationship with their children. Sibling relationships can be very complicated. Friendship relationships develop in varying degrees. Lovers have romantic relationships that often lead to disappointment. In this life we will not find any perfect relationship but did you know that the Lord Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with us? The Lord wants to be our teacher.(John 13:13) If we are willing to listen and be his student. He wants to work with us for “we are co-workers in God’s service.” (1 Corinthians 3:9) God is the best Father and he loves us as his children. (1John 3:1) The Lord Jesus is there for us even when everyone else has abandoned us because he is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) Without a personal relationship with Christ our lives will always be empty, lonely, frustrating, and without any significant purpose. The Lord Jesus loves us. Start your personal relationship with Christ Jesus today by receiving him as your Lord and Savior.


Watchmen on the Walls

“I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me.” Ezekiel 33:7 (NLT)

Imagine being an eye witness to a murder in which you clearly observed all the details of the crime take place including the offender’s identity. Rather than report the crime to the authorities you clean up all the evidence at the scene and say nothing. Of course this would be called obstruction of justice and you would not only be considered a useless witness but an accomplice to the murder. This situation may seem unbelievable but this is actually happening every day. Frequently we observe sinful behaviors that offend the Lord in the people around us and even in our own actions but we do nothing to confront them. In ancient Israel they placed watchmen on the city walls of Jerusalem to observe approaching enemies and warn the people of the impending danger. Like these ancient watchmen the Lord requires Christians to watch and warn people to repent for their sins. The Lord says “If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths.” (Ezekiel 33:8) Watchmen on the walls cannot keep silent.


An Oversized Problem

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV)

I had a patient come into my clinic one day with the biggest dog I have ever seen. It was an Irish Wolfhound. The Irish Wolfhound is a domestic dog originally developed for hunting wolves or guarding flocks. Wolfhounds can be an be an imposing sight due to their incredible size sometimes reaching seven feet tall standing on their hind legs. The Wolfhound displays an awesome combination of strength and gracefulness being fast enough to catch a wolf and strong enough to kill it. Wolfhounds were even mentioned in ancient times by Julius Caesar. The Romans received these dogs as gifts for fighting lions and bears. Some people are afraid of big dogs but this big dog towered over me and attacked me with kisses because Wolfhounds have a reputation of being very friendly towards humans and actually serve as guardians towards family members. Life often presents us with oversized problems that appear more ferocious than they really are but sometimes these big problems can actually work out to benefit us. The Lord can use the very things that we fear the most to guard us from harm. Only God can turn our big problems into big blessings.


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