Talk with a Star

“I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up their hands in a holy manner.”
(1 Timothy 2:8 NCV)

I was in Nashville awhile ago and I noticed a great crowd of people all waiting to enter the arena downtown. They were pressed together shoulder to shoulder and there was a feeling of excitement or anticipation in the atmosphere. I found out that a famous country singer was performing that evening. Many people make great effort to talk with a movie star or see a famous recording artist live. Even celebrity mothers or spouses receive the public’s attention but the Lord Jesus Christ is the only star that deserves all of our worship. There is no travel expenses required to meet with the Lord in prayer and he is waiting for you to worship him. Brighten your day by talking with the God who made the stars.



How Hot Are You?

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
(Revelation 3:15, 16 NLT)

The thermometer measures the temperature of the surrounding environment and people react according to how comfortable they feel. We recognize how hot or cold it is by observing the reaction of people and the kind of clothing they choose to wear. People who are cold usually shiver while crossing their arms as they run to be inside a warm building. Other people who are too hot try and fan themselves as they look for the shade of a tree to cool down. But the lukewarm people are so comfortable they see no reason to change their posture or move their position. The Word of God also functions as a type of thermometer that measures our internal spiritual temperature. We recognize how spiritually hot or cold we are by our reaction to discussions about God’s Word and how we insulate ourselves from thinking about spiritual matters. The hotter we are for God the more open we are to him. Spiritually cold people may realize they need to move closer to the warmth of God’s love but being spiritually lukewarm is a dangerous attitude to have because it hinders any response to Spirit led change in our lives. How hot are you?


Lighten Up!

“The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. The following day they even took some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard.”
(Acts 27:18, 19 NLT)

I grew up on a lake and I was always out in my little sailboat. Fortunately I never got caught in a bad weather storm. In Acts chapter 27 of the Bible there is a report of the Apostle Paul’s sea journey which is known as the most accurate account of a sea voyage that has come to us from ancient times. We gain more knowledge of these ships from this story than from any other source. They encountered a terrible storm on the Mediterranean sea. During a severe storm the sailors lighten the ship by throwing all non-essential items overboard that will not be required for survival. The Lord permits severe storms to arise in our personal lives which cause us to throw overboard all the useless attitudes, behaviors and selfish agendas that will not be required for our eternal destination in glory with Christ Jesus.


The Ultimate Question

“For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 11:2 NLT)

I can remember the day that I proposed to my fiancée and how I made sure that every detail was perfect. We went out for a nice lunch followed by a romantic walk along the beach. Then we went to the top of a Ferris wheel and I asked her to marry me. I had a flower halo made especially for her to wear and I brought all my friends together for a surprise celebration afterwards. A man makes many preparations and sacrifices for his potential bride to ensure the day of his marriage proposal goes perfect. The only thing not in his control is the answer to the question; “Will you marry me?” The bride has the choice to either receive or reject his proposal. The Lord Jesus is the lover of our souls and he went through the great sacrifice of dying for our sins on the cross all in preparation for life’s ultimate question; “Will you receive me as Lord and Savior?” God has given us free will to either receive or reject this proposal. What will be your answer?


Nothing But Leaves

“Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves.”
(Mark 11:12, 13 NIV)

My father had a small orchard and as a youth I spent a lot of time working with the fruit trees. I can remember cutting down any dead branches that were not producing any fruit. It was hard work but the delicious fruit that developed made it all worth it! A gardener plants a fruit tree in expectation of a harvest. The trees that do not produce good fruit just take up space in the garden and will be cut down. When the Lord plants a soul on the earth he patiently waits in eager anticipation for a life that will develop spiritual fruit. “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23) If the Lord Jesus were to examine our lives today would he find nothing but leaves?


Escape Pollution

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through [the full, personal] knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse [for them] than the first.”
(2 Peter 2:20 AMP)

I visited China recently and I found it difficult to breath because of the poor air quality. Environmental pollution is of global concern. Industrial airborne pollution is so offensive because it adversely affects the health of everyone in the region. The best way to protect yourself is to leave the foul atmosphere. Voluntarily returning would again increase the personal health risk for illness. Spiritual pollution is called sin. Christ Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross to rescue us from its lethal consequences. After escaping to freedom from our previous sinful lifestyle it would be foolish to return risking eternal death and separation from the Lord. Escape pollution and breath in the pure life that only comes from Jesus.


The Greatest Story

“You stretch out the heavens as though they were curtains.” (Psalm 104:2 GWT)

Motion pictures films on the big screen are very popular but there is still nothing like a live performance. Talented actors and actresses portraying characters on stage is very entertaining and people pay top dollar to watch a live theatre show but what they do not realize is that we are all performing live on God’s stage every day. During creation God stretched out the heavens opening the curtains to start the greatest love story ever told. His tale involves the redemption of humankind purchased by the blood of Jesus. We act on this redemptive stage through the life choices we make for righteousness or justice as we love each other and offer our lives to the Lord. Every show has an end and this script finishes with Jesus coming to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Then “the sky was rolled up like a scroll” (Rev 6:14) How was your performance in the greatest story ever told?


Fan Into Flames

“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.”
(2 Timothy 1:6 NLT)

It’s always nice to go camping but when the sun goes down you will have to make a campfire to keep warm. To start a campfire first you need to gather dead wood together and light a few corners with a flame. To spread the flames to the entire pile you gently blow on those pieces of wood already burning. With a good fire started you leave in search of more dead wood to add to the blaze. The Lord wants his people to burn with the fire of revival. To start the revival fire first you gather together those believers who have died to their sinful ways. A few believers will start burning baptized by the fire of the Holy Spirit. The spoken Word of God gently fans into flames the spiritual gifts in all those who surrender to the Holy Spirit and this spreads the blaze to the entire group. With the revival fire burning strong you can leave in search of more people who are willing to sacrifice their lives for Jesus to add to his holy fire.


Sinful Steps

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”
(Psalms 37:23 NLT)

Young adults spend thousands of dollars a year on booze, bars, and night clubs. Many detailed preparations are usually required to look good. The latest hair style, fashion trends or fragrances are obtained so that they might be popular or appear attractive when visiting the most popular social hot spots. All these plans are made to organize their social lives in order to have a great time with friends or a chance to hook-up. After the night is over they have nothing to show for all their efforts except for a few silly looking social media nightclub photos that maybe three or four people might like on Facebook. People often delight in planning all the details of sinful excursions but spend no effort stepping towards their eternal destination. Would the Lord take delight in the detailed plans that you are making today? Seek the Lord and let him direct your steps.


The Price of Gifts

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
(1 Corinthians 12:4, 7 NLT)

Everyone likes to receive gift packages but not many people realize the effort required to deliver the packages to their doorstep as the struggle of the delivery driver behind the scene goes unnoticed. The charasmatic gifts of the Holy Spirit also arrive with personal sacrifice at the price of holiness and in the forfeit of worldly pleasures. A preacher may receive a word of wisdom for the congregation but has to sacrifice hours of their time in packaging it into a sermon. Fasting and praying to be filled with the Spirit for fresh empowerment is a personal sacrifice of food, time and thoughts. A healing evangelist often has experienced a period of personal health suffering which helps them to empathize with the hurting people for whom they carry the healing gifts. All social reformation projects depend on time, money and effort to be offered for the benefit of others. Loving acts of reconciliation require a sacrifice of personal preferences in the interest of the other. God sacrificed his Son because he loves us. Jesus sacrificed himself for us for love. The Holy Spirit empowers us with spiritual gifts to be a sacrifice for others in love.


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