I Belong Here

HeavenSome mornings I wake up with a song in my head. Most of those mornings it is clear to me that the Lord has something to share with me. This morning I awoke to a song in my head, but I had in mind to write about something else. However, the song was playing so clearly in my mind I almost thought I was listening to it on my iPhone. That’s when the Lord reminded me that this is all about Him and not me.

The song is “Heaven Song” by Phil Wickam. If you’ve never heard it I highly encourage you to download it from iTunes (yes, I’m that tech savvy!). The first stanza talks of how God has left us the Bible to learn of His promises and to be expectant of Him:

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Divine Favor

prayer-for-divine-favour-of-godDivine favor is another word for God’s grace. Unfortunately when you do a web search for “divine favor,” some disturbing things come up. The first three websites have to do with gaming, magic and witchcraft. Mixed in and out of the choices is an occasional reference to God and Jesus. Such is the state of the world.

When you look at the state of our union, many words have been published as to its ills and the remedies to aright this ship called America. However, every remedy offered presupposes a righteous and virtuous people. So if the key ingredient to returning America back to her original founding is righteousness, should we not turn to the Bible for the answer? Indeed we should!

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Purified Hope

Purified HopeOne of our greatest challenges of Christianity is the discipline of waiting on God. It’s been said that God’s timing is perfect, it’s just three days late for us. Now that may bring a wry smile of agreement to your face, but think about its truth. We do not like to wait, even if it is God upon whom we are waiting. And yet the Bible clearly instructs us to wait on our gracious Father:

    “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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You Have No Choice

Counted-Worthy-For-His-NameOne of my favorite chapters in the New Testament is 2 Timothy 3, and as our pastor was reading it, I read again for the first time a verse that somehow has escaped my notice. I think it may be that I so often concentrate on the first nine verses that warns of perilous times and perilous men that I miss the rest of the chapter.

However, verse 12 raised up off the page of my Bible yesterday and smacked me in the face. It is a verse that can be easily overlooked either purposefully or unwittingly. Nevertheless, we must dissect it:

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Trusting In God

trusting god 2I am an author who loves books and the written word. I love being able to use words that form sentences, bringing coherent thought and provoking conversation. So books have always been a very important resource to me. It is in reading from which most of my education and wisdom come. No greater book exists in my library than my Bible.

    “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” (Proverbs 16:20)

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You Are My Hope

God my hopeThis morning I began reading the five psalms for the day and I couldn’t get past the first six verses of Psalm 71. Today many people are living without hope and that is because they have placed all their hope in man, primarily themselves. The Psalmist tells us we are to look to the God who is the Rock of our salvation:

    “In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.” (Psalm 71:1-6)

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Growing In Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual GrowthIf I am to be a healthy member of the Body of Christ, then as like a member of the human body, I must grow and mature as does the rest of my body. Imagine my right hand not growing in harmony with the rest of my body, stunted and tiny compared to the rest of me. It would be a strange sight indeed to have my right hand half the size of my left hand.

Perhaps my stunted growth could be attributed to my diet. If I’m still eating baby food and drinking formula at age 3, then obviously my diet needs to change. So it is for the spiritually immature:

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Fulfilling God’s Design

God's DesignGrowing and maturing in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is an important task that Christians too often overlook. I can’t tell you how many Christians I know who are saved and satisfied with their “get out of hell” card. When we are saved, the indwelling Holy Spirit brings with Him gifts of grace from our Lord meant for the building of God’s kingdom:

    “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)

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Free From All Obscurity And Error

Mirror ReflectionIf I was asked to sum up in one word the one thing that cripples most Christians’ walk with the Lord, I would have to say immaturity. I am speaking of spiritual immaturity that comes from not growing in Christ. We are expected to grow daily in our walk with the Lord, everyday learning something new about Jesus and ourselves. It is never cute to see an adult act or talk as a child, neither is it to see a Christian who should be spiritually mature acts as a spiritual child:

    “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

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The Abiding Consciousness Of God

Not aloneWhat do you think about during the day? More importantly, when you become stressed, what are your initial thoughts and reactions? Whatever our minds are conditioned to think about will always be our initial thoughts. Whether or not we dwell upon them is a matter of Christian discipline and maturity.

So it would seem that if we conditioned our minds to dwell upon God, then our initial thoughts would logically turn to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Living The Simple Life

SimplicityHave you ever heard someone complain that life is just too complicated to figure out? I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said that to me. Even in my worst days, figuring out life was never hard for me. If life was complicated for me it was because I had done it to myself. Thankfully God made me a simple man; one who sees all of life in black and white, and right or wrong. I have always known that my decisions have affected my life. I didn’t always put that knowledge to good use and that is because I was lacking godly wisdom.

A simple life is one of the wonderful gifts we receive from the grace of God. In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul wrote:

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Laying The Foundation

Laying-the-FoundationAt the end of our lives, we will look back and wonder what we had accomplished. A well known motivational speaker puts it this way: “Did I live? Did I love? Did I make a difference?” But even those questions, if asked void of the light of Scripture, can very well come up short of what the Lord Jesus Christ has in store for each of us. As Christians, we are all supposed to be workers for the Kingdom of God; not for this world in which we’re living. The Apostle Paul puts it this way:

    “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” ( 1 Corinthians 3:9-15)

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