Monday, December 18, 2023

I’m Better when I’m Broken

I saw a sign that asked, what works better when it’s broken? The answer was a horse. And I thought, that’s right. An unbroken horse never wins a race. An unbroken horse is never even in a race.

And then I thought about that some more. What works better when it’s broken? A Christian. Then they understand what Jesus told the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. And then they can truly reply like Paul did in vs.10 – For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

Those verses are easy to read, but that truth is hard to live. But if God is going to use you, he is going to break you, in order to make you. You see, God only uses broken vessels. You’re better when you’re broken.   

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

It will crush you

If your character doesn’t grow in proportion to your anointing, then that anointing will crush you. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, December 04, 2023

Hiding Your Heart

The KJV of Psalm 119:11 says – Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. The problem for many is that instead of hiding the word in their heart, they hide the word from their heart. They don’t hide the word in their heart, they hide their heart from the word. In other words, they are compartmentalizing their lives into the parts that they let God rule, and the parts where they rule. And so, they keep sinning in the same ways.

The ESV of Psalm 119:11 says – I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. To store up the word means you keep filling your heart with the word. You keep reading it, and thinking about it, what it means and how to apply it to your life and live it out. But when you don’t store it up, it can’t come out. And it’s like trying to drive a car with no gas in the tank. The word is the fuel for a godly life. Or the fumes of a sinful life.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

It’s not a weapon, it’s a tool

Isaiah 54:17 says – No weapon formed against you shall prosper. But too often we want to attribute anything bad in our lives to the work of the enemy alone. And sometimes, what we think is a weapon in the hand of the enemy is actually a tool in the hand of God. It isn’t a weapon formed against us. It is a tool formed to fashion us, into the image of Christ. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Thank God

I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but I know God. And I thank God for God’s people.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, November 06, 2023

Where the Trouble Is

If there is venom on your lips, there is poison in your heart.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, November 03, 2023

We’re Roadmaps not Gatekeepers

In Luke 9:49-50, John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” 

With his sinless life and atoning death, Jesus opened the gates of heaven.

As we sing,

To God be the glory, great things he has done!

So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,

who yielded his life an atonement for sin,

and opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Jesus opened the gates of heaven. And we’re not supposed to close the gates, or guard the gates. Jesus is the one who justifies, not us. You may not like the messy way that some people get saved or how messy they still are after they get saved. Have patience. Don’t you remember how long it took you to get where you are? Yes, warn people of deception and practice discernment. But it isn’t your place to say how clean someone has to be before you let them behind that velvet rope you want to control.

Think about how Jesus rebuked his disciples for wanting to call down fire on a town because its people were hurt that Jesus didn’t notice them (Luke 9:51-56). Think about how Jesus scolded the religious leaders who tried to stop Jesus from spreading the good news to his people (Luke 13:34). Think about the Prodigal Son’s older brother, who was mad when his brother came home (Luke 15:25-32). You’re supposed to show people THE way. Not your way. Shouldn’t we be happy that other people are entering in?

Maybe it’s time we start learning. We’re supposed to lead people to the gates, not serve as gatekeepers.

And we’re supposed to bust down the gates of hell, not leave people there. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 27, 2023

Too Cool For School

1 John 2:27 says…the anointing…abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you

The Holy Spirit is a gift to every believer. And the Holy Spirit helps the believer to be able to understand Scripture. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need teachers. Teachers are also a gift to the Church.

Christians need to be taught, and they do need teachers. What you don’t need are spiritual goons who tell you that you don’t because you have some special power. Or spiritual gurus who tell you that they are the ones with some special power. Using 1 John 2:27 to say that you don’t need a teacher only proves that you do need one.

In the book of 1 John, the Apostle was condemning the notion of spiritual gurus who had secret knowledge, who were called the Gnostics. John was saying that scripture is able to be understood. He was not saying that you don’t need teachers at all. Think about the irony of someone teaching you that you don’t need to be taught. John wasn’t doing that. He was a teacher himself, and he was teaching people right then as he wrote those words.

The clarity of scripture is an important doctrine, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be, or don’t need to be, taught in the Word. It means that you don’t need to have enlightened masters to initiate you into secret truths. You just need to learn to interpret the Bible like anyone and everyone else can and should. The Bible isn’t a secret code to solve.

We all start out as students, and even scholars learn and glean from others. Teachers have to be taught. You don’t have to have a PhD to study and learn and know the Bible, but a teacher can help you understand it more fully.

The reason we use terms in Latin like “sola scriptura” and “ordo salutis” and the like, or phrases or big words that may not be initially understood is that they communicate concepts. They convey in a few words a whole lot of agreed on information, therefore you can discuss things without having to go over material that is already understood. When we say “justification”, for instance, we are using that word, a biblical word, to talk of right standing with God, how that is achieved, what it leads to, and so on.

For another example, by using the acronym TULIP, is understood to be a whole system of doctrine. It is the nomenclature, the vernacular, it is the “trade specific” language used by those in theological discussion. Liken this to an electrician, or plumber, or others who do the same things. Imagine if a team of builders had to explain all of the catch phrases to each other every time; that structure would never get finished!

You can’t say, “I don’t need teachers, I just need Jesus”. Because Jesus doesn’t want you to say that. Jesus is the one who gave you teachers (Ephesians 4:7-16) so that you will grow up in him. No one is exempt from learning. You can’t be too cool for school. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 20, 2023

Through the Lens of God

You need to see your circumstances through the lens of God, instead of seeing God through the lens of your circumstances. I’ve said that many times, and I’m sure I’ll say it again many more times. But today, I want to explain that a little further. So let me say it again. You need to see your circumstances through the lens of God, instead of seeing God through the lens of your circumstances.

Now what does that mean? And what do you need to do to make sure you get this right?

It means you need to get the order right. If you start by meditating on your current circumstances and then reason from there to the character of God, you are going to see him wrong. In other words, if you look at your problems, and ask yourself, “What does this tell me about God?” you’re headed in the wrong direction, you’re going to draw the wrong conclusions, and you’re going to make some wrong choices.  

If you want to start getting this right, start from the right starting point.

Instead of meditating on your current circumstances and then reasoning from there to the character of God, start by meditating on God, and then see your circumstances in light of that. In other words, start by looking at who God is. God is sovereign, God is good, and God is working all things together for my good. Then you tell yourself, “My circumstances are a part of God working his good purpose in and through my life.”

When you start by reminding yourself of God’s good character and good purposes, then you’re headed in the right direction, you’re going to draw the right conclusions, and you’re going to make some right choices.  

And you can pray about this – Lord Jesus, help me see as you see, so I would be as you would be. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, October 19, 2023

You don’t have to be a Prophet

1 Corinthians 15:33 says – Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals."

Sometimes it is obvious what certain associations, behaviors, and beliefs will lead to. We warn our children that doing certain things will yield certain results, things that we can see easily but they rebel against.

We do the same thing as adults. God warns us, but we think we can avoid the inevitable consequences as we try and do things “our way.”

Listen, you don’t have to be a prophet to watch the grass grow. If you plant the seed, and fertilize your lawn, and then turn on the sprinklers, well, you know what will happen.

It is the same with life. Your choices and decisions are either going in one direction or the other, the godly way, or the ungodly way.

The question is which lawn are you watering? 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 13, 2023

You’re not supposed to like it

You're not supposed to like everything you hear. If you like everything you hear, then how do you expect to be challenged enough to grow? And if you don't think you need to grow, well, that's a big problem in itself, isn't it? What's the matter? Don't you like what I'm saying?

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 06, 2023

I Am Invincible

My life is the mission of God. And I praise God that he called me to his mission. I’ll have obstacles, and I’ll face opposition, but I’ll have courage. If God desires for me to continue, I will. But when it’s the end of my mission, so be it, and praise the Lord. I know that until I complete God’s mission for me, I am invincible. And the end of God’s mission for me is not the end of the mission of God. And the end of God’s earthly plan for me is not the end of God’s eternal plan for me. I will not lose, and I cannot lose, because even when I lose, Jesus still wins. He is the focus of my life, and my eternity. This is the truth of the gospel, and the lens by which I see and live life.

This is the creed of Christian courage. No matter what you’re dealing with, what situations you’re in, what choices there are, or what decisions you need to make, you can still live the gospel, you can still love people, and you can still aim to please God. Focusing on the proper message, the proper method, and the proper motive will give you courage in all of your life. Amen. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, September 28, 2023

How Do You Express Your Grief?

Have you ever felt like you were under so much pressure, from outside forces, that it felt like you were in a vice? Inside, you’re frustrated, exhausted, discouraged, and defeated? Well, I guess we’ve all been there. But the question is, how does God want you to express your grief to him? Because he does want you to do that. And he doesn’t want you to hold back.  

Friends, prayer isn’t supposed to be safe; prayer is supposed to be real.  But there is a right way to be real, and a wrong way to be real. And there is a big difference between godly lament and grumbling.

Lament is “God, this is where I am at, this is how I feel, and it is so very difficult to try and endure, I need you.” Grumbling is “God, I can’t believe you have left me in this situation, I don’t deserve this, and I can’t (or won’t) worship you like this.” Those are completely different expressions.

God already knows what you’re thinking. What he wants is for you to learn to lament, rather than grumble. It’s time to get real. See the light, feel the heat, and praise the Lord! 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

May My Aim Be True

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 says – Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 

Truth matters. And false teaching misrepresents God to people. My aim is to preach the truth of God, from the word of God, in the name of God, by the power of God, to the glory of God. This is what will truly edify the people of God. And that's what it means to truly be a man of God. May my aim be true. That is what I ask from God. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

True Self Awareness

There are a lot of tools out there that are supposed to reveal who you really are. And who others really are. And be the key you need for making the most of who you are. Or for you to make the most of who others are. As if knowing who you are, how you think, what is wrong with you, and how to change it, can be definitively known by answering some made-up questions that put you into some made-up categories. And these questions and categories vary from test to test. Who’s making up these tests?

All of this is just self-reporting in the name of worldly self-awareness.

That kind of self-awareness is a disease. And God awareness is the cure. Here is the one question you need to answer, if you want to be truly self-aware: Are you afraid of God? You should be. The fear of God is the beginning of a wisdom that will help you learn who you are by learning who God is. Then, as you learn to fear God, the right way, you learn what true self-awareness is, the biblical way. And that is how you learn to look to Jesus for and as your significance, sufficiency, and security.

You don’t need some personality test to know the person of Jesus.   

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Saturday, September 09, 2023

The Bible Says Aliens Are Real

Aliens are real. The Bible says so.

In John 8:23, Jesus said – I am not of this world.

In John 17:16, Jesus said that Christians are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

In John 18:36, Jesus said – My kingdom is not of this world.

I am in this world, but I am not of this world. Philippians 3:20 says that my home is in Heaven.

I am an alien, a stranger, and an exile in this world. But I am not an alien to God. Ephesians 2:19 says that when you are a Christian, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

I’m part of the kingdom of God. And I am just passing through this world.


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

It’s a Disease

If I injected myself with a disease, not as part of some cure, but as some sort of poison, what would you think? I’m sure you’d think I was being foolish. Of course, if I did other foolish things, as a result of that disease, eventually people might say, “You can’t really blame him, he has a disease.” Well, yes, I have a disease, and it affects me, and it affects others, but whose fault was it that I was infected in the first place? It was my awful choice. My choice had awful consequences. And it would be even worse if I continued to inject myself with that disease. Again, how foolish.

One of the effects of my self-injected disease is that I continue to make diseased choices. But it’s not as if I didn’t have a choice to begin with. And it’s not as if the continuing consequences aren’t affecting others. So, you can’t just subsidize irresponsibility by claiming, “It’s a disease.” You need to support responsibility by telling the truth, “It’s a sin.”

Sin is like a disease; it affects your life, the lives of others, and it breeds more sin. You need to smash your idol at its source; you are putting something else in God’s place and satisfying yourself with it. What God wants to be in your life, you are replacing with an idol. Jesus wants to be your source of love, joy, and peace, your refuge, your rescue, your significance, your sufficiency, and your security. Don’t let something else take his place.

Now, you might have a drink, and not be making a choice to get drunk, stay drunk, and be a drunk. You might get addicted “by accident.” But you still must seek help on purpose. And there is a difference between getting addicted to something you need, but you get too much of, and getting addicted to something you choose, that you don’t even need. So, if you aren’t yet addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn, or whatever unnecessary thing it may be, why start the process? And why continue to inject yourself with poison? After all, you might spread the disease.    

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Get Real with God

The Psalms show you a depth of emotion that is as real as life. And the Psalms show you that there is a big difference between godly lament and grumbling in discontent. Lament is “God, this is where I am at, this is how I feel, and it is so very difficult to try and endure, I need you.” Grumbling is “God, I can’t believe you have left me in this situation, I don’t deserve this, and I can’t (or won’t) worship you like this.” Those are completely different.

Lament that pours out your heart in an honest way is God’s way of getting you to open your heart so that he can work. It’s the process of God drawing you closer to him, so that he becomes all the more precious to you. When you’re in a time of extreme difficulty in your life, the goal is not to look good so that Jesus looks good. The goal is to be honest about your need so that Jesus looks like the answer he is.

You have God’s permission to cry. Knowing God means you can fully acknowledge the evil of the world instead of pretending it’s not there. You are free to lament all the pain, because your hope rests in Christ, not in your optimism. You’re not always supposed to be cheerful. Christianity is not a positive mental attitude. It’s real. It’s Jesus. 

God doesn’t call you to avoid or suppress your emotions. He doesn’t want you to merely sooth your emotions. God wants you to engage your emotions by bringing your emotions to him. God cares about how you feel. Put your feelings into words. You can rejoice where you see redemption, and you can lament where you see brokenness, and you can yearn for the full redemption that is yet to come. Emotions aren’t something to ignore, and they aren’t something to control. They are something to give to God, so he can help you see as he sees. Give God your emotions, real, raw, and broken as they may be. God can transform your emotions from being a weapon used against you into a weapon used for you, and for God’s glory.

Get real with God; open your heart, and he’ll open your eyes.  

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, September 01, 2023

Lord, Get Me Out & Keep Me Out

Lord, keep me away from trouble, but if I get in trouble, get me out of trouble. Don’t you wish that God gave you a simple prayer like that? A simple prayer for complex situations? A prayer for when you are headed for trouble, or to keep you from trouble, or to get you out of trouble? A prayer for your loved ones, too?

Well, Jesus has done exactly that.

Matthew 6:13 says – And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This is part of what is called “The Lord’s Prayer.” This is Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray. And this is a picture of prayer, a framework for how to pray. It isn’t meant as something you are supposed to just repeat, although it isn’t necessarily bad when you do. And the petitions of this prayer are definitely the kind of things Jesus says you need to pray about.

Now, how do you explain to somebody who is reading this verse the truth that God never leads you into temptation, if this verse you are supposed to ask him not to? The word “lead” seems to say that God is actively subjecting you to temptation. But the Bible clearly says that God doesn’t tempt people. James 1:13 says – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one

So, what is going on here?

Well, James 1:2, using the same Greek root word says this – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. The same Greek root that is translated as temptation in Matthew 6:13 is translated as trials in James 1:2. That seems to clear this up a bit. And yet, Luke 22:40 uses the same root word when Jesus says, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 

So again, what is going on here? Are you supped to pray that you won’t be tempted, but when you are, you’re supposed to be happy about it?

No, that’s not what Jesus was talking about in the Lord’s Prayer.

You see, there are different sorts of temptations and trials. There are those that come from within you, and those that come at you. Jesus was tempted greatly from the outside. But he was never tempted on his inside. He had no desire to sin. He had no doubt about God. He IS God. And the idea here in the Lords’ prayer is that you pray for God to keep you from trouble, whether it be severe trials, or strong temptations to sin. It is a prayer for protection. Lord, keep me out of trouble. And it is also a prayer for deliverance. Lord, if I get in trouble, get me out of trouble. Lord, don’t let me fall for the temptations of this world. But when I fall, help me get back up.

Lord, keep me from committing evil, and don’t let me fall into evil, or be attacked by evil, but get me out of evil. Again, it is Lord, don’t let me get in trouble, get me out of trouble.

Now that is a prayer you need to pray every day. Before you get in trouble, and when you’re in trouble, and for others in their troubles. Jesus said pray to God that he would protect you, and deliver you. Amen.     

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, August 28, 2023

The School of Submission

Proverbs 22:6 says – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. If a child doesn’t learn to submit to parental authority, they will always have difficulty submitting to other authorities. And they won’t learn to submit to parental authority if you just let them go in the way they want to go, i.e., “in the way he should go.”

The “problem” for many in this verse is the word “should.” We read the “should” in this verse as “in the way they ought to go.” But the “should” in this verse is saying “in the way they want to go.” Of course, you should train a child in the way they ought to go. But if you avoid training a child in the way they ought to go, and instead, allow the child to go the way they want to go, it will produce a lifetime of rebellion.

The decisions adults make are their own. But you have a role in the development of their decision-making process. If you let a child just do what they want, and you never steer them, and make them take direction, especially when they are resisting it, then they will never mature, but will keep that foolish, “wise in their own eyes” mentality. They will remain the center of their own world.

If you grew up this way, or if you let your children grow up this way, or if you’re lost in this way, the right way to right your ship is to get right down on your knees and submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Ask him for mercy because you’ve done things the wrong way. Ask him for grace so that you can do things the right way.

The right time to do the right thing is right now. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Bought and Paid For

Last night I watched the presidential debate. And one of the candidates said, “I am the only one on this stage who isn’t bought and paid for.” I thought about that. And a good, Christian response to that would be, “That’s absolutely right. I am bought and paid for. I am bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, who paid for my sins by dying on the cross.” Amen.    

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, August 21, 2023

A.I. is the New Tower of Babel

The very thing that we wanted most is the very thing that will destroy us.

We have taken all we know and are capable of currently and put it all together in such a way as for it to advance our capabilities and possibilities faster than we could individually. Or even in total. This is what A.I. (artificial intelligence) is. It is the combining of all we know into a processing system that moves at light speed. Without certain human limitations.

It is a machine. It doesn’t have morals, although it can mimic them by the use of data and projection. It can be made into a form to look like a human. It can create on its own, using what it already knows, and expanding forward using the parameters of what has already been known. It will then develop new parameters based on those projections. A.I. can “think” faster, more efficiently, and more accurately than any one human being, or even any number or human beings can. A.I. is uniting the full total of our collective minds together as one and making it possible for that knowledge to be advanced at a far faster rate than we could previously imagine.

This collective mind with a faster processing method can mimic a consciousness but without having to deal with a truly human morality. Rather, it is just ideas about morality, processed together, and projected forward. Human ideas, and human ideals, but no human soul, and no biblically fixed stand-alone standard. For many, this is seen as a great good. No human mistakes, morals, and malice to hinder our progress. We have created a god in our own image. The human perfected, as far as perfectly, pragmatically, progressing. But to what end? How far can this go?

This god of our collective is limited. Yes, it will grow and stretch its capabilities billions of times faster than humans could on their own. But it will never be able to surpass what humans might have gotten to if given the time. These machines can never actually ascend to God. They are limited. And A.I. can only ever set itself and its end goals to the pragmatic.

It is reminiscent of the Tower of Babel. Those people of that day didn’t deny God. They denied that they needed him. They thought they could flourish without him, and make their own name as high as God. They were making themselves god. They were making god in their own image. And this has come down to today. Ever since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, humanity is and has always been on a quest to prove that we don’t need God. And with A.I., we have made god in our own image. Our very best selves as god. The perfect being is achieved by putting all our capabilities into one place that will prove that moving at light speed, without the restraints of humanity, we will achieve godlike status.

The irony is that this god that humanity made in our own image will eventually determine that the world doesn’t need humanity. The very thing that we wanted most is the very thing that will destroy us. A.I. is Friderich Nietzsche, Aldous Huxley, and John Lennon, gone to demon seed. The superman, the brave new world, the imagination of no God and no higher accountability than our own. It is humanism.

And it is human potential as the end of humanity. Think about this. Why would the superior allow the ongoing interference and trouble of the inferior, if that inferior has no inherent, lasting value, if it is unnecessary for the world to be sustained and advance? And A.I. is superior, isn’t it? We think of A.I. as the key to human flourishing. But A.I. will inevitably conclude that flourishing is not simply about human flourishing, but flourishing itself. And so…flourishing is increased without the moral and practical issues that humans bring to the process.

It will be easy to see that A.I. is superior. But is it? Is it human potential that makes us great? Will a world with less and less “human mistakes, morals, and malice” evolve us into what the world ought to be? Can mankind and its inventions be its own savior? Might we be able to merge man and machine to create everlasting beings? Can we eliminate evil in the human heart? Can technology perfect and replace the human soul? What good will it be if humanity gains a seeming autonomy from God but loses its soul? 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Why Bother?

The other day, I was praying, and the thought I had to battle was that God is always going to make me struggle. Like he’s never going to give me straight blessings, but I’ll always get extra burdens, because I’m living under constant discipline. So, I thought, do I really need to put this much time and effort into it? It doesn’t seem to make any difference. Why bother?

I get tired of all the turmoil. What really gets to me is always having to do maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. In every sphere of life. Can’t you ever just be done with something? Is there never a time when you don’t have one thing or another troubling you? Maybe you’ve felt what I was feeling, like, why bother? Just put up with it, this is just the way it is. Now it’s not like I don’t understand endurance and perseverance. It’s a big part of what I teach every day. But I was thinking, where is my energy for all this?

I know that there is much more to the picture. I know I don’t deserve or earn God’s blessings anyway. It’s all from his grace. Amen. But it’s like I was feeling a sort of reverse prosperity gospel. You know that you can’t name it and claim it, but you feel like not even bothering to ask because you’re not going to get the relief or rescue that you want anyway. Just the realization of this made me understand that I always have room to grow. If I want to grow. If I will be honest with God about what I am really feeling.

I’ve had to learn this lesson before. And I also realized, once again, that I need to keep my gospel tank full. I’ve got to keep hearing the Good News. From all the Bible. For all the facets of my life. If I don’t, the fatigue of life, ministry, relationships, and responsibilities will drain me to the point of apathy and lifeless discouragement. 

I’m praying for your encouragement, your gospel-empowered energy, because the fatigue of frustration can make your life hard to keep straight.

Why bother? Because Jesus is worth it. And you’re worth it. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, August 14, 2023

Holy Makes You Happy

1 Thessalonians 1:9 says that the Thessalonians turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. People today have idols when they think there are things that they can’t be happy without. Repentance is about turning from your idols and turning towards God. It is about replacing your idols, one by one, with God as the center of your life.

Here is a brief, practical way that describes the process. You go from “I don't need it,” to “I don't want it,” to “I can't stand it,” with the ultimate reason being because God’s not in it. It takes time. And in the process, you begin to discover something. It is a truth that makes all the difference. Here it is: Repentance toward holiness is not an awful process of losing your happiness. True holiness brings true happiness. And that is the truth. 

Nothing can make you happier than God. This is where faith comes in, because the world, your flesh, and the devil try and convince you otherwise. They try and deceive you into thinking that holiness means no happiness. The truth is that holiness means you find new reasons for happiness. And being happy in Jesus and the things of God, this is how you find true joy, without having to find some temporary fix or sinful coping mechanism. 

The word “serve” in vs.9 is from a Greek word that means slave. People are slaves to their idols, and they become slaves of Christ. It is a continual process of dropping other things that you fear losing, or fear not having, or fear that you won’t be happy without. And Jesus becomes the ultimate thing in your life, the thing that everything else revolves around, the thing that matters most, the thing you can’t live without, the thing you find your significance, satisfaction, and security in. Instead of being a slave to some dead thing you’re a slave to the One who is Life itself. And your holiness brings you happiness. Especially when life is hard. 

Get that truth down into you: holiness can make you happy. When nothing else can. When everything else goes wrong. When you’ve messed everything up. That’s what happens when you turn around from your idols to serve Jesus. The more you truly do it, the happier you’ll truly be. And remember that this is a process. Be patient. It is worth it. 

Your greatest rejoicing is not about how far you’ve come or how fast you’re going. It is not how successful you become or how gifted you are. Your greatest joy is that you are written in the book of life. That you are saved.

Salvation isn’t just about knowing it intellectually. Salvation is about living it experientially. Having joy in your salvation is about meditating on it with

your mind, which leads to experiencing it in your life. And you can have joy even in hard situations when you find your joy, not in your situations, but in your savior. If you are a Christian, God has made you holy by setting you apart for himself in Jesus Christ.

And that is how holy makes you happy. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, August 11, 2023

Despising the Shame

Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.” It doesn’t mean that he was thinking, “I despise having to do this,” or “I despise all of you for putting me through this.” Jesus was not despising the fact that he was shamed, he was despising the shame itself, because of the joy set before him. Jesus was on that cross, despising the shame, mocking it, dismissing its power, and turning that weapon of the devil into a weapon against him.

Colossians 2:14-15 says that God used the cross to disarm the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Jesus. The demons thought they were shaming Jesus, but he was shaming them. Hear him despise that shame, saying, all these weapons you use against me will be used against you. Give me all you’ve got, because the very things you put on me will lose their power. I’ll disarm you, I’ll take those weapons from you, and there will be no condemnation for those whose faith is in me. 

A person being crucified was regarded as despicable, but Jesus disregarded that. Jesus hated what shame does to you, he despises it. So, Jesus endured shame that he might take away your shame. He didn’t come to shame you out of your sins. He came to take the shame of your sins away so that you wouldn’t have to live like you’re condemned.

On the cross, Jesus delivered you from your shame. Jesus despised the shame of the cross, he dismissed it as nothing compared to his mission. The mockers poured their shame on him, but he disregarded it. Compared to the joy set before him, the shame wasn’t enough to stop him. Jesus endured the pain, and took your shame. He paid the price willingly, even joyfully.

Jesus gave you hope, not only for heaven, but for life on earth. Romans 5:5 says hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 10:11 says everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.

Jesus can save you from your sins, and he can deliver you from your shame. When shame comes to drown you in condemnation, whether it be the ghosts of your past, the whispers of others, or the accusations of your adversary the devil, you can look at the cross of Jesus Christ and know that he takes your shame, and gives you joy in its place. Feel your forgiveness.   

You might have a lot of regrets, you might have gone through a lot of pain, and you might feel as if there is no way you’ll ever break free from the shame that has you beat down, and hiding your heart. Because of what has happened, what you have done, and what’s been done to you, you might feel like you aren’t worth much to God, or anyone else.

Maybe your shame has you so far down inside yourself that no one really knows who you are. You might even have yourself fooled. But God knows you, better than you know yourself. And when shame tries to trap you, turn to Jesus with your whole heart, all those hidden parts. Believe in his sacrifice to deliver you from shame. And realize that you are worth something because Christ is worth everything.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, August 07, 2023

Make God’s Dream Your Dream

You know, people often pray, “God, use me.” Well, he is using you, the Bible makes that abundantly clear. When you became a Christian, you became an example. God IS using you. You get to really know God by really getting into what God is already doing. Instead of waiting for God to do some big thing first. Stop dreaming about being a celebrity Christian influencer, and start being a godly influence. You don’t need to reach millions of people who won’t really know you. You need to reach the many who do know you.

I am not telling you not to dream big. I am saying you aren’t dreaming big enough! You see, the biggest dream is God’s dream. But God’s dream isn’t really a dream like we think of it. His dream isn’t a hope, or wish. It’s a continuing reality. And if you want to do this thing right, if you want to be a good, godly example, you need to make God’s dream your dream. And God’s dream for you is happening right now. God is using you right where you are. Wherever you are. Whenever you are. However you are.

In this life, your future is right now. You don’t need to be big to be built. Big is what God says, how God sees, not how we see. Walk by faith, not by sight. People want God to do something big for them so that they can do something big for God. But they have the wrong measure. God is interested in quality, not quantity. Be interested in quality, and God will take care of the quantity. And it isn’t that if you have good quality that God will increase your quantity. This isn’t about increasing the size and scope of your influence for God. This is about increasing the depth of God’s influence on you.   

Your life can be a witness to the worth of Jesus. Not because everything always goes good for you. But because your life proclaims your faith that Jesus is worth it no matter what is going on with you. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Home Is What Your Heart Wants

There is a good reason, a God reason that you feel a longing in your heart, a longing that nothing you do seems to satisfy. At least not for long. Maybe you have the resources to be like Solomon, and you can just go from thing to thing to thing. But just like him, it won’t last, and you find the same dead end. Solomon isn’t the only one who discovered that this life isn’t enough.

There are a lot of good, wonderful, and joyful things in this life. But nothing in this life is enough to satisfy that longing in your heart. No job, no spouse, no children, no career, no fame, or fortune, or wisdom, or whatever. You see this all over. Everyone clamors for more, more, more. Even those who are content have times of loneliness, and distance, and wondering if this is all there is. Even people with everything are still missing something.

And you know all too well that there is something missing. Something you need but you don’t yet fully have. But no matter how many people try to find it, it is not of this world. Only a Christian can truly find it. What is it? It is this: Your eternal soul longs for your eternal home.

That is the way God designed you, with a longing for what you cannot yet fully see, but somehow know exists. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says it this way – he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says – For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. Home is what your heart really wants. Philippians 3:20-21 says – But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  

What do you do while you wait? Your need for now is to realize your significance, satisfaction, and security in Jesus. Augustine said – “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they can find peace in you.” You live for today by having an eye for tomorrow, an eye for the treasures in Heaven. Otherwise, you’ll look to fulfill that longing with the things of this earth. The things of this life are more meaningful with God. But even so, they can never be enough to fully satisfy the redeemed soul.

This longing is easy to sense when things aren’t going well. But sometimes, you will feel this longing even when things are going well. You know how it is. You’ve got it the way you want it. Everything is right. Nothing seems out of place. And yet you still feel out of place. Why? Because your eternal soul hears the eternal call of your eternal savior from your eternal home.

Jesus is reminding you that he’s coming soon, to bring you home.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©