Storms Do Come

Mark 4:35-41 says this, “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let’s us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked they wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the winds died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” I almost believe the rescue scared them more than the storm! After it was all said and done, can you see Jesus turning from the disciples, and head back to the stern of the boat and finishing out his nap? Just a thought.

Think about this, Jesus never warned the disciples about the coming storm! Their boat was on the verge of sinking and they were afraid they were about to die. They became overwhelmed with fear. I am sure they were doing everything they could to keep their boat afloat. They were overwhelmed, fearful, and at their wits end. Have you ever been there? I think we all can relate to this story in some way or another. We all face storms and they usually hit when we least expect them! Just as the wave crashed in on the disciples, our world crashes in on us. But our storms may not involve wind, rain, and waves, but they come in many different forms. How about losing someone you love? That storm will really rock your boat! When financial storms hit, they hit hard. How about the storm of bad health or long term sickness? How about the thunder and lightening of unemployment and family troubles? When our boat is filling up with water, what do we do? Who do we turn to?

When we are going through a storm, we are all guilty of feeling sorry for ourselves, and we feel like we are the only ones facing hard times. But in verse 36, Mark reminded us that they were not the only boat in that storm! There were also other boats with them. I am not sure what you are facing today, but I do know who can calm the storm. Call out to Jesus. Put your trust in Him today. Have a great weekend!

Self Will Not Want You To Read This One!

Romans 8:5-8 says this, “Those who lives according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live according with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Take that piece of God’s Word and a cup of coffee this morning, and chew on it! Let that go deep and see what God is saying to you through His Word.

You see, Christ didn’t come to improve self but to replace it! It’s not a changed life, but an exchanged life that God desires for us. We stay so busy trying to discipline self. We can educate it, change its living conditions, and expose it to the highest kind of morality, but self is still deceitful and wicked. Self will do anything before it will die! It will pray, work in the Church, and even tithe. It will teach Bible Studies, sing a solo, and even preach. But still remains an enemy of God. As long as self and Christ remain in the same heart, there will be war.

We are no use to God until we die to self. We can not live completely to the Lord’s nature as long as we continue to live for self. There is but one cure…Death! Death is the only means of deliverance from the self-life. Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” Jesus Christ alone offers this cure! Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” The cross is God’s answer to the problem of self. On that cross Christ died. But something else happened. We died with Him. Who is seated on the throne of your heart today? Self has to die daily. Pray over Galatians 2:20 today and ask the Lord what does this verse mean for your life. God bless.

Getting To Know God

The emphasis in the Bible is on knowing God, knowing Him so we can receive and return His love. There is a difference in knowing about a person and knowing a person. When we know about people we have to rely on what others say about them, and they could be wrong. The only way to get to know a person is to interact with them regularly. As we interact with them by conversation and the actions that come out of that, we get to know them for who and what they really are.

God is willing and wanting to make Himself known to us if we will just interact with Him in all the ways that He has provided. The main way that God has made Himself know is in Jesus Christ. God came and dwelt in a body like ours so we could see and know Him. Jesus is called THE WORD for He is the way God expressed Himself so we could come to know Him. “Peter Lord”

Heavenly Father, as I come to You on a daily basis in the Gospel of John, I ask that I will get to know Jesus Christ in such a way that I will come to a new level of trust, respect, and love for Him, and all that He did and is doing, so that I can live in such a way as to please You. John 4:24 says, “Jesus said, “those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” God bless your Tuesday!

The Family

There are many things that upset me in this world and yes even things that make me angry. I hate to hear God name used in vain. I cannot stand to see a lot of the shows that come on T.V. and there are no good movies to watch at the theaters any more. But it breaks my heart to see the state of the family today. I come in contact with so many parents that are at wits end. Their children are going down the wrong path, and their marriage is in the rocks, and they don’t know what to do. Life is so busy and so many other things are more important. So we push our children to the side, and say we will work on our marriage later, and things become worse and worse. So many families are crying out for help and looking for answers. There is so much hurt and so much confusion. Families are breaking up and the devil is having a blast.

But there is hope, and that hope is found in Jesus Christ! The family is God’s first institution He ever created, even before He established the Church. It is something that God himself has created and ordained, and is very close to His heart. God has given us specific direction on how to have a great marriage, and how to raise godly children. But how well are we following His directions? Is marriage easy? No, marriage takes work, it takes commitment, and unconditional love. It’s about giving and sometimes overlooking your spouse’s short comings. When was the last time you said, “I was wrong, can you forgive me?” How long has it been since you took your spouse on a date? How long has it been since you wrote your spouse a love letter? Yes, I am talking about the mushy letters you wrote before you got married. Can you truly say that your spouse is your best friend? I pray that you can honestly say that about your husband or wife.

The greatest investment with the highest return is not found in blue chip stocks. It’s found by investing in your family. Make time with your children a priority. Pour into them love, encouragement, and godly values. Enjoy life with your spouse, do things together, and let them know how much they mean to you. You can never say I love you enough! Go on a bike ride together. Kick the ball around in the back yard and take some time to pray together. You know the old saying, “The family that prays together, stays together.”

God is call us to fight for the family. He is calling us as a body of believers to reach out to families in Jesus Christ. It’s time to get out of our comfort zone. It’s time to reach out to those who need encouragement. It’s time to drop selfish pride and begin to value what God values. I have never heard a dying man say, “I wish I would have spent more time at work or made more money.” I pray God’s blessings on you and your family. Live life with no regrets. To God be the glory.

Reprogram Our Thinking

Many of us know John 1:9 by heart: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But how many of us can quote Romans 6:13? Listen to the words of Paul given to him by the Holy Spirit: Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of sickness, but rather offer yourself to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” I want to challenge you to pray through this verse today and ask God to give you insight for your life. Ask Him what this means for your life.

How radical would it be to start your day off thinking victory, not defeat; to awake to grace, not shame? Facing temptation with the mindset of knowing you are a child of God and you are to live for His glory. Asking the Lord to work through your eyes, your mouth, and through your thoughts, and actions to carry out His victory. Praying each day that when we face temptation, we would claim the strength that He has given us to overcome! Sin has no authority over me any longer.

Think about this way, we are under new ownership! Promoted by love, we serve a new master. By the grace of Christ, let’s live as a victor, not as a victim. I hope you have a great Saturday! God bless.

See To It

Good morning! We are past Hump Day and headed for the weekend! I don’t know about you, but this has been a long week. There are certain times in life where we all need a little encouragement, a little push, or a motivational word! Sometimes a quick kick in the butt is required too. I find that to be true in my attempt to run again! After a simple knee surgery, I had to stop running, jumping, and doing box jumps. Here was my excuse to stop doing burpees too! To tell you the truth, I now had an excuse to be lazy, I had a way out. My knee healed, but it was very weak from doing nothing. But I had someone to come along side to help! No, it wasn’t the Holy Spirit, it was my daughter. I got to the point where I couldn’t run 100 yard and it didn’t bother me. I was encouraged to do something about it, at least start walking, and go from there. That encouragement got me off the couch, but I didn’t like it. Now my daughter run beside me for my mile, sharing instructions, helping me to control my breathing, and smiling the whole way. We all need someone like that in our lives. That person who stays on you, encourages, and even run beside us, if needed.

Hebrews 3:12-13 says, “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful heart, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” The writer of Hebrews uses the words, “See to it.” To me, that is saying to watch your step, make sure you pay close attention to this, or make sure you take care of this! We all face the temptation of fallen away from God and we all have that tendency to get lazy spiritually. We fall away from God, and we become content, and it really doesn’t bother like it use to. This is why this scripture is so important to us, and to the Church of Jesus Christ!

We are called to encourage one another daily! We all need that in our lives. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us this, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up, but pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” See to it, that you have a friend like that. See to it, you reach out to someone today and encourage them! We need each other. Who do you need to run beside today? Love you guys!💯

That Friend

It is so hard to lose someone you love and respect. Recently, I have lost family members who meant the world to me. The funny thing about death is, it never seems to get easier. It’s not something you can get use to. I have also lost some very young buddies in their teenage years in tragic accidents. To stand over their lifeless bodies and to face their broken hearted family is a very hard thing to do. But in both situations, they knew Jesus!

I am not sure why I woke up this morning thinking about death. But I got up this morning thinking about two of my closest friends who pasted away years ago. These two guys were totally different from each other and yet so much a like. They both loved people and so many people loved them! I am sitting here in the early morning hours thinking about all the great memories we have together. The times we laughed so hard my stomach begin to hurt. The great cookouts, parties, rafting trips, and falling in the pond on a fishing trip. There were times when we cried together too. We have prayed for each other and had so many serious conversation. We have ministered together and shared Jesus with many different people. Gregg and Robert were my friends that I will never forget. They blessed me and my family’s lives forever!

Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Do you have a friend like that? Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Gregg and Robert sharpened me in a way that I could never explain. They challenged me to grow, love, and to enjoy life. Don’t take your friendships for granted and treasure the time you have with them. I want to encourage you this morning to pick up the phone and tell them what they mean to you. Then thank the Lord for the gift of a friend. God bless!