Friday, March 25, 2011

Born Again

When I was Your enemy
You chose me
But I ran far away
My blinded eyes could not see Your glory
My deaf ears could not hear Your call

I loved the false
Your relentless love was foreign to me
I clung to a religious substitute
It had no power to change me

Then I heard Your truth proclaimed
Heaven opened over me
I saw the wonder of Your love
I received Your pardon
Now free
Born again into Your family

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Love God

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Like the flower longs for sunlight, we are to long after God. He is our source of strength, fulfillment, peace, joy, and contentment. He fills us with His Spirit; He causes us to thrive. But we can only find these benefits when we place knowing and serving the Lord as our first priority. When loving Him is first in our hearts, our lives will flow with divine order.

Our love for God must be stronger than our love for people, even those closest to us. Yes we are to love people, but our love for God must pale in comparison to our love for others. This means we choose to obey God's word over the word of a friend. It's not that we are to be cold and indifferent, no Jesus will lead us towards compassion, but His love is always married to the truth of God's word. Consequently, we are not walking in love when we try to steer another away from a scriptural truth.

Where our love is that is where our focus will be. Let's set our hearts on God. Let's allow Him to set us ablaze in passionate love for Him and for His word. God the Father will bless the soul whose heart is set on Him. He will fill such a one with His love and will use him or her for His glory. Beloved let's love God. As the deer pants for the water, so may all that is within us thirst for Him.

Dear Father God,

Forgive me for allowing my life to be filled with everything but You. Help me to set my affections on things above. Fill me with a passion for the pursuit of You. I choose to hide your word in my heart so I will not sin against you. I choose to spend time with you every day so that my heart's desire is to know You and to serve You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

When the Earth Shakes

The desperate cries
Are heard by God our Father
When the earth quakes
When great waves wreak havoc
And disaster ravages our communities
God is still on the throne

On this earth we do not have all the answers
But I know without a shadow of doubt
That God is good
We now live in the age of His grace
He is not the initiator of destruction

Lord, let your children spring to action
Let us pray and do what we can
To assist those in need

Let us lift our hearts and voices to Him
That He would heal
That He would save
And that He would help those suffering
To rebuild their lives

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Anointed to Serve

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:13

Every member in the body of Christ is anointed to serve the Lord in some capacity. Some are called to minister in song or instrumentally. David's first assignment after he was anointed by Samuel the prophet was to play his harp before king Saul. The Holy Spirit so inspired his playing that when King Saul felt depressed, David would play his harp and the spirit causing the king's depression would leave. Later it became evident that David was anointed for leadership. Although he had many flaws, David became the greatest king that Israel ever had.

Romans 12:6-8 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-11 list the different gifts that believers can have and Ephesians 4:11 highlights different types of leadership gifts for those called to full-time ministry. I encourage you to prayerfully read over these scriptures and ask the Lord to show you where He's gifted you to serve. None of us flow in all the gifts, but all of us have at least one. We are called to serve the Lord with the gift(s) He has given us.

Jesus told a parable that outlined the importance of developing and using our gifts for the Master's service (See Matthew 25:14-30). He told of a man who went on a journey and entrusted his property to three servants. To one he gave five talents (worth more than five thousand dollars), to another two talents, and to the last he gave one talent each according to their ability.

Both the servant he gave five talents to and the one he gave two talents to worked diligently and doubled the amount they had. When the master returned he commended these two and said to each, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master's happiness!”

The third servant hid his money in the ground. He said he was afraid that his master was a hard man. He feared that if he would invest the talent, he might lose what he was given. The master was appalled at this servant's efforts. He gave the command to “throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

This parable speaks of how we handle our finances, but it also shows the importance that Jesus placed on being good stewards of the gifts or abilities God has given us. The Lord wants us to develop our gifts and use them for His glory. There are two primary places where I believe the Lord wants us to use our gifts. These are in the church and in the world. As we are faithful with the talents God gives us, the Lord will increase what we have to give. He will add more to us and cause us to have an abundance.

Let's allow the Lord to use us to be a blessing within the context of our own giftedness. We will find that this is the most natural place for us to shine. This also is the place of the greatest joy and blessing. Jesus will help us to do our part to build the church and bring the lost into his kingdom by using our gifts in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He will cause us to be effective and bear much fruit for His glory. Let me encourage you to discover your giftedness and determine to grow in that gift and serve with it. You will make a greater impact for the kingdom, and you'll be glad you did!