Slaying Giants

Slaying Giants

the power of one word

You haven’t lived until you’ve slain a giant. It’s what we do. The story of David and Goliath is not really about Goliath. Goliath is just a prop, a necessary evil in the story of a “man after God’s own heart.” The giant in this story does what giants do. He threatens, he intimidates, he boasts, and he disregards the people of God and the God they serve. He discounts God altogether. And after a strong showing, he lies dead on the battlefield, mortally wounded by a smooth stone sunken in the forehead of this overgrown mouthpiece. This stone is the Rock of offense, the Stone of stumbling, the Stone the builder rejected, the One who has become the Chief Corner Stone (1 Peter 2:7,8).

Yep, it’s Jesus! Our hero! The giant is the pawn of the enemy, and we are the sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords. He comes against us with conventional weapons like fear, shame, and disgrace. But, as David said, we come against him in the name of the God of the armies of Israel. What is the giant you’re facing right now? Is there a situation that is threatening you at this moment? Is the enemy prophesying your demise? He’s just a prop. He brings with him an opportunity for us to see the power of God on display. It’s time for the us, The Body Of Christ, to operate, at all times, in the Name above all names. We work and speak, not on our own behalf but on behalf of Christ Himself.

One last thing. David didn’t work his way up to defeating the giant. This is where his journey as King began. Defeating the giants is how Christians cut their teeth. It’s how warriors begin. Once you’ve tasted the victory over one giant, you’ll go on to defeating your “tens of thousands,” as David did.

What God Can Do In 40 Days

What God Can Do In 40 Days

the power of one word

In our current series, “40 Days,” we are talking about things God did in 40 days. 40 days of resurrection (Jesus before the ascension), 40 days of rebellion (Israel at Mount Sinai), 40 days of protection (Noah and his family in the ark), 40 days of fear (Goliath threatening Israel), and 40 days of temptation (Jesus, tempted in the wilderness). What could the next 40 days hold for you?

Is there something you need? Does something come to mind that your heart desires, but you have no idea how to make it happen? Have you tried doing things your way only to strike out? If so, I have a suggestion for you. Try doing it God’s way. I know it sounds cliche, and I hate cliches, but there is a way that God gets the right things done in our lives.

He has a perfect plan for you. In fact, if you try this process, it’s possible, actually probable, that you’ll see God has even a better idea than yours. He gets His work done through grace, and He gives grace to the humble. He wants to do great things for you and in you, but it has to be done through submission to Him. You have to let Him guide you through His plan. It’s impossible to guide Him through your plan.

So pray to the Father. Talk to Him like He’s in the room because He is in the room. Tell Him your deepest heart’s desires, your most painful weaknesses, your regrets, and your hopes. Then ask Him to lead you through each day and make you aware of what He is doing in your life and those you interact with. He is so good! He will make ways where there are no ways. He will change you and make you into a person you never thought you could be. He loves you and will make every day an adventure. Write down the things He does for you, speaks to you, or shows you. In 40 days of trusting God, you’ll be amazed at what He will do. Try it and see.

The Power of One Word

The Power of One Word

the power of one word

There are many strong words, but this one is really powerful. The word is “Together.” In my teens, I apprenticed as a trim carpenter during the summers. I learned a lot. One thing I realized is that two people don’t just accomplish twice what one has the ability to do alone. Two people can do the work of three or four people who are working on their own. (principle: Ecclesiastes 4:9) It may take one person five minutes to get one piece of crown molding in place. Prop it up, climb the ladder, hold it, check it, and nail it. It’s easy for two people but usually takes more than one try for one person on their own. In that same amount of time, two good carpenters could probably complete all four walls of that room.

It’s the same with our own bodies. You break your arm, and everything you do slows down. You need that arm to make the rest of the body work. In the Body Of Christ, you may actually be that arm or an eye or another part of the body that is desperately needed in order for Christ to get his work done. God created you with purpose. But sometimes, we think of our purpose as being just one thing. We ask, “What is my purpose?”. But, you were made for more, just as your arm was made for more than just brushing your teeth. What if your arm only did one thing? What a waste. It can do so much more, and so can you.

You are an amazing example of God’s creation. What would happen at The Net if everyone suddenly began to see all the possibilities? What if we all just decided that we were going to work together to accomplish God’s dream? What if we came “together” to use our gifts and talents in new ways? What if, when we saw a need, our first response was, “I wonder if, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I could contribute my time and talent to that and make a difference”. I can tell you this: Our potential output is exponentially greater when we’re together than when we’re apart. Why not offer yourself to God and to the service of His body? When there’s an opportunity, why not jump in and ask questions later? I’ll bet you’ll find that when you say yes to God more often, He’ll say yes to you more often.

God In Person

God In Person

God In Person

One of the first things that Jesus said to his disciples when he appeared to them after the resurrection was, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” then He breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit. God came to the earth in person, and He is still here in person. Remember, you are not just a figurative member of Christ’s body but a very real member of His body who has purpose and meaning. God is here with us and also with the rest of the world through us.

Look around. Take a look at the people you are with. Make a mental note of the situations you find yourself in and the people you interact with daily. You are God’s plan for that circumstance. He wants to show His unconditional love, unmatched compassion, and unwavering kindness through you.

What’s the secret? The Holy Spirit! We need the breath of Christ, the Holy Spirit, who breathed life into Adam, to infuse us with His character and righteousness. Just ask the father. It doesn’t have to be an amazing prayer. Just a simple request. “God, please give me an opportunity, no matter how small, to be the conduit in which someone can meet You in person today.” He will.

Music That Ignites You

Music That Ignites You

music that ignites you

I hear the first eight notes of “The Joker,” and I’m instantly back in Junior High with my musician buddies staying up late and laughing ourselves to sleep. I hear the sounds. I see the sights. I can even smell the summer aroma of ballparks, swimming pools, and the mustiness of our church youth director’s summer quarters. It’s there somewhere, just out of reach, until those eight notes. Man! What a rush! That’s the power of music. Dan Fogelberg wrote about the feeling in the true life story he put to music, “Same Old Lang Syne.” “Just for a moment, I was back in school and felt that old familiar pain. And as I turned to make my way back home, the snow turned into rain” If you like music at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

God made it that way. Like water seeking the bottom, music seeps into places you can’t see. It somehow gets in deep and moves us, changes us, and delivers its message. I guess that’s why music is so much a part of our faith. We start and end with it in our worship services. Occasionally, I’ll find myself in a traditional church-attending or participating in some event, and a hymn will be sung. Same thing! Though I moved on years ago to contemporary worship, those block chords on the piano and the four-part harmony immediately bring me the peace, comfort, and innocence of childhood.

I’ve learned the power of music. When I’m happy and full of joy, I listen to music. When I need a little pick-me-up, I put on a favorite song. When I’m lonely and in need, I put on a worship song and listen for God. When I can’t even articulate in words the depth of my despair, I put a song on and pray that God will move me. He does. Music is a blessing that can soothe oppressive spirits, as in the case of David and Saul, proclaim sadness, confidence, and victory, as in the Psalms, and can probably help you exactly where you are. So why not try it? If you haven’t already, ask Siri to play a worship song about whatever you are feeling and see if God will speak to you.

How Real Is Grace?

How Real Is Grace?

how real is grace

If Jesus was full of grace and truth, and He dwells in us, shouldn’t we also be full of grace? Can we have Jesus but not show any signs of grace? Maybe, but I can tell you this. No matter what life has thrown your way, no matter what has wounded you or what terrible situation has robbed you of your grace giving ability, Jesus stands at the ready to launch his powerful, life giving, soul restoring, heart healing grace, in any given moment. All He needs from you is an opportunity.

His grace is real! I think most people have the idea that grace is kind of a passive thing, but in reality, it’s one of the most powerful things there is. It’s what saved the life of the woman caught in adultery. It’s the thing that forgave all those who had a part in crucifying Christ. It’s also what saved the soul of the man crucified at Jesus’ side who had been mocking Him. Jesus forgave all three of these undeserving people. That’s grace! It’s undeserved favor. And you can get it and give it.

I won’t say it’s easy to receive it or to offer it to someone else, especially if you have been hurt by the judgement of others. The thing that’s most difficult is getting past all the lies designed to keep us from grace. The fact is, nothing really stands in the way of giving and receiving God’s grace, except our willingness to participate. So, if you are in need of forgiveness or are withholding it from someone else, take a moment. Make a decision. Decide to accept God’s unconditional love and forgiveness and to give it to others. Then make that move to live without guilt and shame and free everyone of every sin committed toward you.