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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Make Not Provision

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14)

Jeffrey mulled over the pastor's sermon from Sunday. The subject was fasting, and Jeffrey had been convinced of the value of this spiritual discipline, and he was determined to put it into practice. "I will fast today," he announced to his wife the next morning. He left his packed lunch in the refrigerator and headed toward his workplace.

"I'm dying for some coffee," thought Jeffrey, as the MacDonald's restaurant loomed ahead. I'll just get a cup - that shouldn't violate my fast.

Minutes later, Jeffrey was heading down the highway with his coffee - and an Egg MacMuffin and hashbrowns.

As he munched his breakfast and considered the failure of his attempt at fasting, the Lord spoke Romans 13:14 to his heart. It was as if he could hear the Lord speaking to him and saying, "You know, if you had not pulled into the drive through, you would not have broken your fast. It's just not possible to eat an Egg MacMuffin if you don't go where they are selling them."

Let's learn from Jeffrey, today. Whatever appetite we need to avoid today, the best way to avoid it is to not go where it's being sold.

National Day of Prayer

Tomorrow, May 1, is the National Day of Prayer. From the Presidential decree:
Since our Nation's founding, Americans have turned to prayer for inspiration, strength, and guidance. In times of trial, we ask God for wisdom, courage, direction, and comfort. We offer thanks for the countless blessings God has provided. And we thank God for sanctifying every human life by creating each of us in His image. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we call upon the Almighty to continue to bless America and her people.

We will be cancelling our normal Wednesday prayer meeting and holding it on Thursday this week, in order to honor the National Day of Prayer. The church will be open for prayer between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM should you wish to spend a few minutes praying for our community and nation on this important day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pothole Pontifications

I walked past the motorcycle this morning, and dejectedly climbed into my pickup truck to drive to work. A few days ago we were blessed here in NE Ohio with a couple of beautiful and unseasonably warm days. Those days gave the opportunity to take the bike to work, and it spoiled me. Since then, I've looked at the thermometer each morning only to be disappointed and take the truck!

But as I think about those 2 nice days of riding, I'm reminded of a lesson I learned.

This time of year, in NE Ohio, potholes rule the road. And navigating through the minefield of potholes takes a firm hand and steady nerves when you're seated atop only 2 wheels. You have to constantly keep your eye on the small stretch of road directly in front of you. If you're not careful, you become focused on that small stretch of rubble and debris, and forget to watch further down the road.


How often do we believers find our gaze diverted from the Lord Jesus Christ by the rubbish and debris that our enemy constantly throws in the road? We have to deal with the potholes, but the trick is to learn to keep our eyes focused on the Lord as we do so. "... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Don't be distracted by the potholes today. Keep your focus down the road - on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Scene 1 - Tiger Woods is on the 17th green, and to no one's astonishment, he sinks a monster putt for a birdie. But suddenly he hears a sound behind him and turns to see his bag of clubs fall off the edge of the green into the water, where an alligator begins eating it!

Fade to black...

Scene 2 - Tiger Woods is on the 18th green, preparing to hit a monster drive with the only club he has left - a putter.

The announcer intones, "Ability - 25%; Adaptability - 75%."

Have you ever felt like you were truly on top of your game, only to have your golf bag fall into the water and be eaten by an alligator? Have you ever felt like God was expecting you to drive off the tee with a putter? Has life disappointed you, and you wonder why? At such times, God may be teaching you the importance of adaptability - the importance of letting Him work in your life in His way, and in His time.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Are you open to God's working in your life? However He chooses?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Good people?

The TV talking head seemed genuinely perplexed as she wrestled with the recent news story of a public figure who had fallen into disgrace and resigned from office. I think she was quite sincere as she asked, "Why do good people do bad things?"

The Bible has the answer - there are no good people!

It is not possible to understand how much God loves you and I until we first understand how very messed up we are! "There is none righteous, no, not one!" (Romans 3:10) No matter how outwardly "good" a person may appear, we are all inwardly sinners in desperate need of a Savior. As one of my favorite preachers is fond of saying, "The best of men are men at best."

And that makes the willingness of the Savior to die for our sins so much more amazing.
Oh how He loves you and me.
Oh how He loves you and me!
He gave His life.
What more could He give?
Oh how He loves you.
Oh how He loves me.
Oh how He loves you and me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Little By Little

By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. (Exodus 23:30)

When the children of Israel were beginning their possession of the promised land, God made this statement to them. It has always seemed a bit odd, to me. Why would God drive out their enemies slowly? Why not all at once?

It struck me the other morning as I read this passage that it is a good illustration of how He works in our lives. When a person trusts Christ, they do not become sinlessly perfect overnight. As a matter of fact, one of the great let downs the new believer sometimes feels is the realization that he / she is still just as rotten to the core as before salvation! Even the great Apostle Paul wrestled with his inner sinfulness and cried out in desperation at the thought "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me?" (Romans 7:24)

When those kind of feelings well up in you, remember how God has chosen to work in our lives. Little by little... day by day... here a little and there a little. Although the Christian may not notice drastic changes overnight, as you look back over the path you and God have trod together, you'll see it littered with the enemies He has defeated. And you'll see He did it little by little.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm with Him

Although television is a terrible source of truth most of the time, once in a while you get something pretty good from it.

Consider the commercial I saw the other morning as I was preparing for work. It was entirely based on the word "with" and pointed out how simply adding the word "with" to a sentence can completely change everything - it adds an element of relationship to the thought.

"I'm with her." "I'm with the band." "He's with me." "She's with child."

If you think about it, "with" is one of the truly wonderful words in the English language - and the basis of one of the most profound thoughts about Jesus Christ ever imagined. "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matthew 1:23)

When Jesus came to be with us, it changed everything. He lived, He died, He rose again, just so you and I could be with Him.

Are you with Him?