Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Calling

This sounds a little mysterious, yet it is really not that difficult to figure out. Why am I here? What has God gifted me to do? Answer these questions and then go do it. We are not on this earth to collect fancy houses, cars, clothes, or anything else. In fact, use all of those items to fuel your calling. Instead of envying those who have more we should be selling out to leverage resources for the Kingdom of God. These are radical words. He is what Jesus said:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:23-24
In place of "movin' on up" we have been called to "move on out." Selling out for the calling that Jesus has on your life is a little scary, but carries with it eternity's rewards. I think this is what the Bible calls faith.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Only two earthly entities will be found in God’s eternal kingdom. They are God’s Word and God’s people. The simplicity seems obvious: Spend time learning the Word and loving people into God’s Kingdom. Here are a few key verses for reflection and memorization:

Deuteronomy 8:3
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Psalm 19:7-8
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

2 Samuel 22:31
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Act 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

There is no substitute for the Word, however there are some great reference materials available to help you learn the Word. Here are a few of my favorites:

Archaeology Study Bible

NIV Study Bible
Thompson Chain Reference Bible (supplements in the back are fantastic)

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Frightening Moment

As a parent we have all felt that moment of panic when we have lost sight of one of our children. There is no describing that feeling when your heart falls into your stomach. Try this story on for size from Luke 2:41-52.

Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Mary and Joseph lost Jesus, their son. But think about this — they lost God. Can you imagine their prayers? "Father, we don't know what we did with your only son." They lost God! That is a moment of fright beyond what any of us can imagine.

Tragically, millions of people who once knew God have lost Him somewhere along the way. Perhaps through anger, divorce, grief, sin, or laziness — however it happened God was lost as a result. Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek Him, He will meet our needs. The key to this statement is that we must seek Him first above all else. In Hebrews 11:6 we read, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Is it time to go looking for Jesus again? Where is the anxiety, the passion? How can you lose the Savior of your soul and not be in a hurry to find Him? Joseph and Mary stopped at nothing to find Jesus. How about us?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Camp bears fruit

Pastor Craig and his mission team just returned from a week of camp in Show Low, Arizona, at the American Indian Christian Mission. The highlight of the week of camp they staged for high school Native Americans began as a simple time of invitation at the end of one night. It turned into a revival as nine campers gave their lives to Christ and were baptized. Read Craig's blog post, Laboring in Love.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You Never Know!

A few weeks ago, I once again had the rewarding experience of serving as dean during a week of camp at North Florida Christian Service Camp in Keystone Heights. Eighty third and fourth graders, a dozen sold-out adults and 10 teens spent a memorable week serving our Lord. We loved the swimming, diving, archery, BB guns, basketball, carpetball, sno-cones and cotton candy. It was a lot of fun.

Then there were times of memorized Scripture. I can only imagine what our God will do with His Word now planted in these young minds. Which ones will become church planters, pastors, missionaries, Sunday school teachers? Who will be that Christian doctor, nurse, teacher, mom, or dad? It was long ago that I was the one running around at camp and enjoying all the fun. Once God's Word is unleashed in someone's life there is no telling what will happen.

Eternity alone will unfold the stories of these young boys and girls who spilled blue sno-cones all over me. Maybe one of the children will translate the Bible into a new language that will reach thousands for Jesus. Investing in the future and eternity is always exciting even if there is a lapse of time before you see the results.

Keep praying for our children's ministries, camp weeks and teen ministries. After all, you never know what God is going to do.