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”©