Spiritual Lessons

Our muscles are Bigger in the Shadow

Do you remember standing in the evening sun as a kid having fun making “muscle poses” with your shadow and noticing how much bigger they looked?Shadow, Cross, Christian, Religion, Religious

Thanks to my daughter I relived that childhood memory, and as I did a very serious thought came to my mind – my faith muscles get much bigger as I stand in the shadow of the cross.

In the cross’ shadow we’re able to relive the moment that gave us life, and in the cross’ shadow God’s grace strengthens us so we can carry the cross that we’re called to bear (Luke 9:23). EA

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13

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What Are We Letting Jesus Use?

To help prepare for His entrance into Jerusalem Jesus told some of His disciples to:

“…Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.” (Mark 11:2-3)

What an interesting moment. What a lesson for them. What an opportunity to examine ourselves!

Of the things that we own, or better yet, of the things that we have been given, what have we given to the Lord so that it may be used for His purpose? Perhaps we should ask, of the things that we have been given in our life, is there something that we refuse to let loose of for Jesus?

More than likely you have had several years to give something that has been given to you so the will of God may be accomplished.

What of our time have we let loose of? What of our resources have we let loose of? What have we said no about?

Are we holding on tighter and tighter to the rope or untying the knots?

Intentions tie a knot in the rope of our resources much like the no’s do…they may be even a little trickier to untie in reality. Sometimes we plan on letting the Lord use our “colt” when we’re finished with it. But isn’t it amazing how we keep finding things to do with it though!?

So what are we letting Jesus use in his service? It’s a good question.

One more thing – have you ever noticed that the Lord didn’t ask for the colt? Just saying. EA

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Don’t Let Your Sweet Tooth Trick You

Proverbs 20:17 says, “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards, his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

In other words, when we know it’s wrong to say we’d do well to not say it no matter how pleasant it may taste!

It’s important to remember during this candy eating time of the year that many a “sweet tooth’s” have given in to speaking hatefulness, half-truths, whole-lies, twisted words, words in disguise, words of envy and whatever other sinful way of speaking you can think of only to find out that the lasting effects aren’t as pleasant as the temporary flavor it starts out with.

At the end of the day sin will always leave us wounded no matter who our words are aimed at, and if we’re not careful it may steal our ability to enjoy the flavor of God’s grace. EA

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1 Peter 2:1-3

What A Difference A Day Can Make

For those of you reading this today, tomorrow is going to be the 11th day of September; hopefully a date that all reasonably aged Americans remember, for tomorrow will be the 12th anniversary of the horrible terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and of the plane that went down into that Pennsylvania field.

If you’re like most people, the images of that day are probably seared into your mind. I can remember that day clearly. I remember the weather, the voices on the radio station that I was listening to when the news broke, and I can even remember the driveway that I was pulling into at that moment. I also remember that my relationship with God wasn’t right. Most of all, I remember the uncertainty of that day.

All because of the false faith and very real hate of a handful of people, some three thousand people lost their lives that day with countless others being personally affected by it up to this very moment.

I have often wondered about the people who lost their lives in the attacks. For them September the 10th was business as usual. Families, friends and jobs were left that evening with all expectations of being seen again the next day. The morning after probably started out just like the one before with one major difference – that day, their today, would come with no tomorrow on the Earth! Their present became their future in a very unexpected and heartbreaking way.

There is no doubt that God heard the voices of millions of strangers that day; mine own included. I suppose in many ways it was no different than any other day.

One lesson that finite humanity always needs to be reminded of is that the infinite Lord teaches that we never know what tomorrow will bring (Proverbs 27:1) and that today, the day we have at this moment, this is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Why so many of us leave things up to “chance” I suppose I’ll never understand, but one thing is certain: God doesn’t want us to wait for tomorrow to be made right with Him!

We don’t fully know what the people who died on September 11th had planned on doing that day, but we do know it was never done. And we never know when that changing day for us may be the tomorrow around the corner.

God willing, tomorrow will be September the 11th, 2013 for both you and I. That is, unless this is the day that will make a big difference in our tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for the patience and longsuffering and providence and healing of Almighty God for our government, for our country, for our soldiers and for those who are still wounded from the attacks made on the day that made such a difference. EA

Seek the Lord when he can still be found; call him while he is yet near. Let the wicked abandon their ways and the sinful their schemes. Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them, to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness. My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.” (Isaiah 55:6-9 – CEB)