All Posts By

editor

Run In Such A Way

By | Day 17, Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Seek Me And Live

By | Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sometimes I wonder why so many people who profess to be Christians live lives of defeat and have minimal impact on those around them.  The other day I came across this devotional in my YouVersion bible reading plan (Daily Encouragement by David Evans). I wonder if this might be part of the reason?

“Seek me and live” – this is the essence of true religion: to seek and find the one true and living God, and in finding him, to enter into a life which pleases him. That life is inevitably characterized by good works and the evident presence of God: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you” (Amos 5:14).

The tragedy of nominal, formal, merely traditional religion is that it is just religion and nothing more. It does not change the life of the individual, and the Lord is conspicuous by his absence. The ritual is carried on while righteousness is missing in public and private life. People go to Bethel, but they do not meet with God. There is no lack of religious feasts, assemblies and music, but this ritual goes hand in hand with injustice and immorality and is an abomination to the Lord.

The test of all religious profession and practice lies here. Is there a genuine seeking of God, and does it produce holy living? We do well to bring our meetings, our music, our charity, and our whole lifestyle to this searching examination. Our Bible study must be subject to it too, because it is possible to search the Scriptures and yet not come to Christ (John 5:39,40).

All In

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently I was reading Jeremiah 29, which contains some verses familiar to many of us. Normally my attention is drawn to verse 11, which is the life verse God gave my middle daughter:  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We like to read that verse.  But as I reflected, it struck me that this promise comes with conditions (or at least a roadmap). The words that immediately follow it, verses 12 & 13, explain: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” For at least a week now, I keep thinking about verse 13 … when you seek me with all your heart.  Sounds like the picture of someone who is “all in”, fully committed. What a challenge this can be, but what a glorious outcome. When I get down about the state of God’s People today, or with my own walk for that matter, I am reminded of the solution laid out in these verses. We must call on Him, come to Him, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our heart. The question is, am I “all in”?  Are you?

A Better Way

By | Day 25 | No Comments

At a recent conference for medial workers, I had the opportunity to chat with some of the folks  from Crossworld, a mission agency focused on disciple-makers from all professions bringing God’s love to life in the world’s least-reached marketplaces. They shared with me a resource called “A Better Way”, which is available as a 160pg soft cover book or a free 24 page booklet. One of the concepts I really liked in it was the 925 Window.  Not sure what that is?  Read the book to find out.  Here’s a hint …  working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living.

First 30 Daze

By | Day 25 | No Comments

Have you ever wanted to be more effective at living intentionally for the Gospel as you enter a new culture?  Ever felt overwhelmed in the process, or at the prospect of doing so? Then, perhaps there’s a book for you.  Larry & Susan McCrary from the Upstream Collective have written a book called “First 30 Daze”. This resource contains thirty topics that blend scripture verses, stories and practical ways to tackle the issues most folks face when first entering a new culture. Check it out. You might find it quite useful for where you are, or where God is taking you.

Identity

By | Day 21 | No Comments

The other day I came across this devotional from Os Hillman in his Today God Is First series. It was a challenge I faced years ago, but one I still revisit from time to time.  How about you?

 

“All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied” (Eccl. 6:7 NKJV).

How would you feel about yourself if your job was removed from you tomorrow? Let’s imagine that your income wouldn’t change, just what you did everyday.

One of the schemes that Satan uses in the life of the Christian worker is to get him/her to view their value solely based on the type of work they do and how well they do it. We call this performance-based acceptance. It says “As long as I have a good job and I do it well, I have self-esteem.”

This is a “slippery slope” and can be used by Satan to keep our focus on our performance versus Christ. We are never to find our value in what we do. Instead, our value is solely based on who we are in Christ. The apostle Paul wrestled with this after he came to faith in Christ. He had grown to the top of his field as a Jewish leader.

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Phil 3:4-9).

You’ll never really know to the degree that your self-esteem is rooted in your work until your work is removed. Unemployment, illness, or a financial crisis can lead to job loss.

Why not evaluate where you are in this area of your life. Affirm with God your desire to be known by Who you know versus what you do.

SOAPs

By | Day 25 | No Comments

As we start a new year, I thought we’d kick it off by sharing with you a simple tool to help you grow as a disciple and a disciple maker. I’m borrowing this from our friends at www.moredisciples.com, who borrowed it from someone else, and it goes by the acronym “SOAPs.”

  • S – Scripture: Choose 1 to 4 focus verses and write them out word for word.
  • O – Own: Now paraphrase the focus verses in your own words.
  • A – Apply: Ask God how He wants you to apply any truths in the focus verses in your life today
  • P – Pray: Pray that the Lord will give you strength, courage and boldness to put these truths into practice today.
  • s – Share: Share these focus verses and the lessons you’ve drawn from them with someone you meet today.

It’s easy and practical, but also deepens your time in Scripture in a great way. Why not commit to doing your SOAPs for the next 14 days, and see what God does?

Unexpected Instruments

By | Day 06, Day 10, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Some days I find myself wondering, “How can God use a regular person like me?” This past week I heard a “regular guy” named Lee Wood share his God-story.  Lee, a former street dude with lots of energy and “self-diagnosed ADD … squirrel”, is a riot to listen to. God has worked through Lee and his team to launch a disciple making movement in the heart of Tampa, Florida. (click here to read Lee’s story). As Lee shared with us, it struck me how often God uses unlikely instruments to accomplish His work. It made me think of Samuel anointing David as the next king (1Samuel 16:7) … man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. So, take heart. However God has wired you, He wants to use your unique gifting, talents and passions to help fulfill the Great Commission. Ask Him to show you, and He will.

Culture Map

By | Day 24 | No Comments

Awhile back I came across a map from honorshame.com that shows different cultural perspectives around the world.  I thought it was a good way to visual the world we live in from another point of view ….  the lense of cultural drivers.  Check it out below, or at their website.