What’s Eating You?

What’s Eating You?

I like our chances

It’s a phrase we use when something is bothering someone. And there was something bothering Jesus in John, chapter two. So much so that He took some leather, formed a whip, and drove the money changers out of the temple. He said, “This is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” His disciples remembered a quote from the Psalms. “Zeal for Your house has eaten me up.” Jesus was eaten up with anger at what was happening in that sacred place.

If you want to know what God has called you to do, then find out what “eats you up.” If you can find the things that stir your innermost desires, chances are, you will find your calling. What do you care about most? What moves you? What makes you want to take action?

For me, it was a conversation with a friend who had devoted her life to serving God through the church. After many years, she said that her heart was still the same as when she began two decades earlier. She had done everything the church had asked, but no inward change. That day, I was moved with compassion and a resolve to do something about this problem.

My passion at The Net is to bring every person to a place of decision each week. It’s a constant call for change, little by little, in every message. It’s a relentless invitation to a surrendered life. That’s my particular calling. You have one too. If you don’t know what it is, ask God for an experience that will bring your passion into the open. He will!

Our Arrangement With God

Our Arrangement With God

I like our chances
We know from Romans 8 that God has prearranged things for us. You can probably also see that He is rearranging many things in your life. The point is God is an arranger. It’s who He is and what He does. If you look at Romans 8:28 in context, where Paul says that God works everything together for our good, you’ll see he’s really talking about how those people who love God are able to see what God is doing.

A person who knows and loves God has a different perspective than those who don’t know Him. We see things from the perspective of victory. God is arranging everything so that, ultimately, we will succeed, and nothing can stand in our way. Not even death can keep us from this gift of life that we carry in our bodies.

The word used here means to work together as coworkers for the same purpose. It’s as if all our circumstances, both within and beyond our control, are collaborating for our good. And, if we pay attention, we can see it. So, what do we do when problems arise? We pray. We cast our cares on God. We praise Him and offer Him our requests. We actively believe that God is working on our behalf and follow His lead in all things. Do what only you can do, and trust God to do what only He can do. It’s a great arrangement!

I Like Our Chances!

I Like Our Chances!

I like our chances

“What shall we say? If God is for us, who can be against us?” These are not my words, although I have adopted them as my own. The Apostle Paul so powerfully and accurately stated the obvious in Romans 8. And he added,” He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” I like our chances!

If I were a betting man, I would put everything I had on us. We are not weak. We are not defeated. We are not losing the fight because we are not alone. Someone asked me last week, “As a pastor, what do you think it meant when God said He created us in His image?” I gave what I thought was a pretty good answer, but after thinking about it for a few days, I want to change my answer. My new answer is this: He has not finished His work in us. He is still making us into His image, and as John said, when we see Him, we will be like Him.

I like our chances because God is on our side. His vision for the world and the future includes us, and even the vision He has for Himself includes us. We are His body and cannot be separated from Him, so whatever the enemy is whispering in your ear – you know what I’m talking about – all this foolishness about God not caring about you, that He’s forgotten you, that you’re never going to be everything that God wants you to be. Don’t you believe it! Paul said that we should cheer up! That God began a good work in us, and He will complete that work.

The only hope the enemy has is that we will believe that we are defeated. But any sensible person who looks at the facts will see how impossible it would be for God to abandon us. He would have to abandon Himself. No way! If God is for us, we win. I LIKE OUR CHANCES!

Jesus Gave Us A Father

Jesus Gave Us A Father

the power of one word

Most of us have great human fathers but Jesus gave us the greatest Father. He gave us His Father. Some of you are probably already asking yourselves if this is theologically sound doctrine, but hang in there. Jesus was always talking to His Father and talking about His Father. He said that He couldn’t do anything by Himself, but only the things that the Father did. He was really modeling for us the way we should live in our new redeemed state.

Phillip asked Jesus to show them the Father. And Jesus’ reply was other worldly. He said, “Have I been with you so long and you haven’t known me? If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Whoa! What? Jesus is supposed to be the Son, but now He says He’s the Father. This changes everything, if you’ve always thought of Jesus as someone less than God. And this is how He gives us Himself.

God enters the earth as a human and places Himself in the arms of Mary. He has come to reveal Himself to the world as a person. He shows us simultaneously who God is, that is, God’s nature and personality, while at the very same time revealing the new type of person that we are to become. John talks about this when he says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” Jesus had direct access to the Father and gave that same access to us when He gave us His name.

Jesus said, “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” He gave us direct contact with the Father. What an amazing gift! On this Father’s Day weekend, remember what a great gift it is to have a direct line to the Father. And take your requests to Him. He is listening for His sons and daughters and He will speak to you and through you. Don’t pass up the chance to be the new you.

Mysterious Is Good

Mysterious Is Good

the power of one word

God is mysterious in a good way! People sometimes try to put God into their spiritual formula. Many of us have tried it. If you do these things for God, then He will do this particular thing for you. It doesn’t work very well. These spiritual equations always fail because God’s ways cannot be defined by a human formula. But that’s a good thing because we don’t really know what we want anyway. Yes, we know what we think we want, but God has placed hidden desires within our hearts, and the only way to find them, is to follow Him. (Psalm 37:4) If we do, then He not only reveals our true heart’s desires, but He also fulfills them. That’s why He put them there. 

The best news is that God’s plans for you are far greater, more ambitious, and much more exciting than anything you or I can dream on our own. It’s mysterious in a good way. It requires that we believe in God enough to put our trust in Him and not in our own understanding. It’s a little scary. It means stepping out on a limb, so to speak, and trusting God, even though we don’t know what He has in mind for us. That’s the beauty and, quite honestly, the fun of being a Christian. I don’t know what He’s going to do with me, but I know it’s going to fulfill one of those God-dreamed desires. I just have to keep doing what He says and believing He is good. (Hebrews 11:6) 

It’s much like having a birthday, and someone you love put’s their hands over your eyes and says, “Don’t peak.” You don’t know what’s about to happen, but you know it’s going to be good. Some days it feels like you’re being led around blindfolded. It’s on those days when it’s most important to trust in Christ. Why not live every day with confidence and expectation? He’s mysterious, but it’s ok. He’s mysterious in a good way.

Let Jesus Inspire You

Let Jesus Inspire You

the power of one word

Could you use some real inspiration? I could. That’s why I get excited about the things Jesus said about faith. Faith really is the power that unlocks our deepest heart’s desires. And we all have it! Paul says that we have each been given a measure of faith. If Jesus’ words are true and faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains, what will you do with your faith?

I have a list of things I want to move or remove. I want to remove doubt from my prayers. I’d like to remove the influence of the evil one from those I have the privilege of speaking to weekly. I would love to remove sicknesses by praying with faith in the name and power of Jesus Christ. I hope to remove walls and wedges between people who should be connected in the love of God and not fight each other because they have different perspectives. I pray that God would move the Church, His Body, to follow Him more closely and become like Him in the things we think, say, and do. I pray that He would move us to unity, not in our politics or our differences of opinions but in spite of them. And make our love for one another far more powerful than the petty judgments we make against each other.

Yeah, we could all use a move. Why not commit a month to finding out what God says about faith? Why not turn off the news and turn on your Bible app or pick up the book and read everything you can find about faith? It could change your life. Faith in Christ is the only thing that can make a lasting or rather everlasting change in your life.