Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Presence of God

The Presence of God

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

God keeps His Word. We just have to trust Him freely and with our whole heart. We have direct access to God through His spirit and His Word. The richness of that access far exceeds anything in this life. It is energizing, living and exciting! As we go through our life motions we can always be excited no matter what because when we recognize His presence we are so set free to tackle and enjoy anything. Everything is golden! Nothing need weight us down. Nothing!

Saturday we were anticipating our flight home to Chicago from Boston Logan. We had squeezed a delightful trip into the city that day and as we checked in, it was announced that O'Hare was closed by the FAA and our flight might be canceled. Pilots and stewardesses were standing around like passengers, people were in a festive moods and it was fun. Mike was running around making jokes, jolly ole Mike! People were hooked up to whatever device they could be hooked up to so they could be the first one to say we were going. It was fun. My cell was beeping every 30 minutes or so with flight updates. What makes an event different from another event? It is what we think about it. We can always be in the presence of God anytime, anyplace. He is there where you are! We would get to Chicago when we got there!:>

Holiday hoopla comes and goes, life is dynamic. Think about Joseph in Genesis, how his life changed over and over again. He got tossed out on his ear by his brothers but he ends up as a very powerful man in Egypt, then he gets accused right into prison, but he becomes head of the prison. His story is tremendous. God continually was involved in his life. He was a great leader because of whom he followed, listened to and believed - God!

This morning I read a section about the man of God Samuel and how discouraged he got when Israel wanted a king to rule instead of God. God didn't sweat it and he told Samuel the best way to handle it.

1 Samuel 8:6-9 (King James Version):
6But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
7And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
8According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
9Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

We have even greater opportunities today because we live in a fantastic administration called the 'grace' administration! Our spiritual tools exceed those of any other administration thus far in the Kingdom of God. Talk about hook ups, we've got the greatest communication tool available. We are internally hotwired to the mainframe of the universe!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Looking up at the sky, the beauty of the stars against the dark sky and the patterns of the constellations are remarkable(one has to get away from the blinding artificial lights to see them clearly).

Genesis 1:14-18 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

The lights in the sky are for signs. The root word of 'signs' is 'to mark'. It means to mark something of significance to come. Jesus Christ was and is the plan for the ages. The story of God's plan is what the whole Bible is about. The old testament believers looked forward to his coming the first time and we as new testament believers are looking to his second coming. We find it 'remarkable'!

In Philippians 2:13-15, Paul tells us that it is God that 'works in us to will and 'to do of His good pleasure' and that 'in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation we shine as lights'. 'Lights' is the Greek word 'phoster' and is used and refers to starlight and reflected light. We shine as starlight against the backdrop of dark night. Each star is part of a constellation and the constellations tell the story of God's plan. Jesus Christ is the pole star. As the earth turns all the constellations seem to revolve around North star representing Jesus Christ. This drama of the ages has been played out over our heads faithfully day after day, night after night.

An astronomical conjunction refers to a configuration in which heavenly bodies line up in straight line that will extend to the North Star. Spiritual conjunctions occur when the body of Christ lines up together and is in conjunction to the head Jesus Christ.

We as individuals shine as lights. Living the mystery together has always been God’s faithful desire. The body of Christ consists of individuals who live the mystery together and this is how the story gets told. Ephesians 3 is a 'we' section that reflects the heart of the mystery.

Ephesians 3:9-11
9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Having been around for a few years years, aside from getting older (by the way is not such a bad thing, we do get wiser), we continue to grow seasoned by application of truth. It is apparent through the years that the Bible has led the way in teaching the truth of God’s heart and pointing the way toward the living of the Word as God intended. God will not budge on the mystery and that concept is absolute proof of His love.

The stars still shine day or night, during tornadoes, thunderstorms, tsunamis, elections, economies, wars, human failures, stupidity, politics, scandal and good ole religion; despite whatever cloud tries to obscure the light. Because of what has been available to us we are seated in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6) up above the clouds and we shine as lights in this world (Philippians 2:15).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ever heard the expression ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’? That expression is used to describe getting rid of one problem only to find oneself in a worse situation. Being in ‘the midst of the fire' biblically has a whole other connotation. Moses heard from God out of the ‘midst of the fire’. Remember the burning bush? In Deuteronomy the expression regarding God’s voice out of the ‘midst of the fire’ is used ten times. The fire of God is something good. The use of fire can mean to purify, to cleanse and to heal.

Deuteronmomy 4:35-36
35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. 36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.

Religion can sometimes be just like the frying pan. Things just sizzle in their own juices. People can get burned and then the fire of God goes out in their minds. God never intended his Word to do that. His Word is purifying, cleansing and healing. It is so exciting, vibrant and energizing.

In order to raise Jesus Christ up from the dead, it took the ultimate form of energizing. All we have to do is believe it and our lifeless lives become fully equipped for the same energy surge, not only in the future but right now.

At the day of Pentecost, tongues like as a fire sat on each apostle as he spoke in tongues when the holy spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Holy spirit is that inner voice of God in our hearts. It is ‘heart burn’ in a good sense for God. We have it in the grace administration that we live in today. God always wanted to speak to His people individually. We can ‘Prayeverysec’ (not Prilosec) because we have the connection individually with God! It is amazing what we can do.

I know its Monday morning, but God’s heart is portable. He doesn’t mainly reside any more in a tent-like tabernacle or a temple or a church building on the corner. We carry Him around in our hearts. So today if you find yourself in the frying pan, remember the fire! It’s in the ‘midst of your heart’!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Man is not God and he never will be (that's why Atlas should have shrugged). God created man (who else could have done it - a gyrating amoeba in a concoction of a primeval slim pit? Puleeze!) God designed our wonderful reasoning mind better than man ever gives Him credit for. But man's purpose has nothing to do with wallowing around in the slim pit. God made us to know him and to love him (thank you Baltimore Catechism). So how do we get to know Him really? God had a book written. He didn't use ghost writers exactly, but he did have men jot down His exact thoughts.

2 Peter 1:21 (Amplified Bible)
21For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so--it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is nothing without God! Without God it would be just philosophy,a way of life, a self-help book, or just some book we ought to read. Jesus Christ lived it in actual reality because the scrolls were more than words to him, it was the book of life. God gave it life through His spirit. We can live it too and prove it for ourselves.

Jesus Christ was the greatest leader of all times. He was a servant to all and that is part of what made him a great leader, but anybody can be a servant to others. That's a no brainer. What made Jesus Christ the very best, was that not that he was a good follower (anybody can do that too), but that he was a follower of God. True unity as Christians is that we have that same mindset. We follow God.

So why did Atlas carry the whole world on his shoulders? I don't know. It's really too hard to play God.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"No Spin Zone"

In today’s culture the word ‘spin’ is used to describe statements made to influence or enhance one’s opinion in a specific direction. Older uses of this word describe a process by which fibers are pulled and twisted and interwoven into fabric. Fabrication is also an outcome of our modern definition of ‘spin’.

God’s Word is definitely a ‘no spin zone’. It is not subject to private pulling and twisting. It is the source of peace and true security. Its reality is rest and freedom from anxiety. It does not twist or pull us. It is all about free-will choice.

Matthew 6:28-33 (King James Version)
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The Bible says in other places that we are to work heartily (Colossians 3:23). Is there a contradiction to Matthew 6:28 and Colossians 3:23? Not at all. All one has to do is consider the context of Matthew 6 where God is encouraging us to ‘Take no thought’ in the sense of anxiety or stress. God is our sufficiency and not just on Sundays! Our lives are not to spin nor are we to spin them. We rest and enjoy the great trust we have in a faithful God who declares that we are to be to the ‘praise of his glory’! He works with us individually. We have direct access individually and we can fellowship with others richly who have the same respect and love for God and for each other.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It is a reassuring sound hearing the dishwasher running and knowing that the crusty plates and ringed coffee cups are getting squeaky clean. Hot running water runs into every nook and cranny (yup! Sometimes even the saw teeth edge of a knife blade comes out sparkling! We have a good dishwasher!)

Matter exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas. Solids have a definite shape. The molecules in a solid are more dense and more rigid than the other two states.
Fluids like water for example, take the shape of the container they are in or when poured out, the molecules move into every possible place they can get into. A solid becomes a liquid when the molecules are heated up. The heat makes them move around and causes melting and thus it takes on fluid qualities and starts to flow instead of keeping its shape.

In Romans 5:5-6, we can see this principle applied to how the love of God affects our lives and melts our hearts:
5And hope (trust in God) maketh not ashamed (disgraced, put to shame); because the love of God is shed abroad (poured out into every corner of our heart)in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Spirit of God) which is given unto us.
6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

The red hot love of God was made available to us through the resurrection of God's son by our free-will believing in what it accomplished. God appointed Lordship to Jesus Christ. It is legitimate power and authority not possessiveness or control. By our free-will choice we can tap into the very power and essence of God by accepting this lordship.

Our dishwasher has a few bells and whistles to accomplish its job and we have a complete owner's manual that spells out how to use it properly. I found out by reading this manual there are certain buttons I can push to get the ultimate dried on crud off and come out with squeaky clean plates.

The Word of God is the complete Owner's manual. We don't have to read the Word. We don't have to even think about it. It is our choice and that is what is so wonderful about God. Lordship is completely different from despotism. God is not controlling. We have a lot of freedom in Christ and all he represents. However, we can have freedom from misery, doubt and that cruddy, crusty feeling because the love of God is poured like energized living water into our hearts and we can be 'more than conquerors' (Romans 8:37) in everything when we use the Owner"s Manual!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


As I sat in Starbucks yesterday enjoying my low-fat pumpkin spice latte, reading the record of Joseph in Genesis, I wanted to stand up and sing! Yup, it was that good. The record in Genesis 37-50 is a stellar account of true forgiveness and the incredible love to see a long process through to the end of producing impacting glory for God and His truth. Joseph exhibits all along the way, great faithfulness, leadership and meekness to God's wisdom in handling a tough situation.

Forgiveness is a much written about subject. Some good and some not so good. However God is the best source on the subject and the story of Joseph occupies significant space in a very foundational book. When you read the section, see the change in Judah. He grows up and becomes courageous in standing for what's right. This is important for he is a part of the Christ line in the Old Testament.

Genesis also shows the growth of Jacob, Judah's father. Jacob grows from a contender to a man that God becomes his sufficiency. We all are growing. There is absolutely no one that has all the answers and has no need of growth. If you meet somebody that thinks like that - RUN!

II Timothy 3:16 says:
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..

Everybody knows that the Bible is all about doctrine and reproof. I'm not so sure we understand correction as well as we could. Why is correction necessary? It is really an important thing. The world is ever around us teaching, pulling, pushing us in many directions, but as we look to God's Word and allow it to correct our spiritual GPS system, we become so thankful and see God's power provide for us and as a result trust God with all the details of our lives.

II Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able (because they get know God as their sufficiency) to teach others also.

I didn't stand up and sing at Starbucks, but I have been sharing and will continue to share what I learned from the record of Joseph.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boldness and Confidence

True boldness, true confidence can only come from the creator of the Universe (and that’s no ‘secret’ for those who have read The Secret) God’s heart has always been visible. It’s everywhere around us in His creation, His Word and in those who truly tap into His love and manifest it to others.

Ephesians 3: 9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Boldness in this verse ‘frankness’. ‘Access with confidence’ is that we no longer have to feel separated from God. Nothing stands between us and God. No person, no altar rail, no weakness, or the undertow of the world,-- absolutely nothing -- can prevent us from finding the way to God’s heart. With plainness of speech we can stand before Him and expect Ephesians 3:20 kind of help. God is faithful and trustworthy. Read Ephesians 3!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

With the help of my four-footed friends I have fine-tuned my understanding of the words: ‘meekness’ and ‘submissiveness’.

The dog on the right, Tucker, is a wonderfully meek dog. E.W. Bullinger defines meekness as: “meek, gentle, enduring all things with an even temper. Tender, free from haughty self-sufficiency, tender in spirit.” Maggie, in the middle, has strong submissive traits and she is highly trained as a hunting dog; a job she totally enjoys (Sadie on the left is just too cute and sweet!).

Both meekness and submissiveness can be positive behavior patterns. Humans who have cognitive minds, have the God-given, free-will choice in exhibiting neither, either or both. Allowing the love of God to be ‘shed abroad' in our hearts, we can be tenderhearted and deliberately place ourselves in a proper arrangements (marriage is a good example of this). We can also be meek and not submit to something we don’t believe is best (our free-will right). If we are tenderhearted and decide to submit to something that is not the best, we have to bear with a little hypocrisy. And finally we might not be meek and not be submissive. It’s all our choice.

We all have multiple opportunities to submit to something like family, friendship, work, the law, and marriage just to name a few. Even in the small details of life, meekness and submission are helpful qualities.

It is our free-will choice to put ourselves in subjection to God through His Word and His son Jesus Christ. It’s an easy choice when we realize and get to know His heart toward us. In Psalm 1:1-3, God prefaces the wonderful book of psalms with His heart for His own.

1 BLESSED (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
2But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.
3And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]
. (Amplified version)

19 We love Him, because He first loved us. I John 4:19

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where is your Ephesus?

Last spring I brought home from Wisconsin a flat of Impatiens to plant in two pots for our patio. I planted them and since they like shade, we moved them to the front porch. It is a tighter space so the two pots were side by side. Recently I noticed that one pot was completely green - no flowers! The other pot was over-flowing with flowers. So I separated them and within days the flowerless pot produced flowers!   H-m-m-...

In I Thessalonians 4:11-12 there is great practical application of the Word for each of us individually:
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
 Paul writes about this practical walk that just doesn’t apply to us physically but spiritually as well. He lists three things to do and two explanations of the purpose of doing those things:

1. Study to learn by exerting oneself from a love of self (self-honor) to be at rest or at ease within oneself.

2. Do your own business (personal affairs) in a continuous  and on-going process. Romans 12:11

3. Work with your own hands. Colossians 3:23, II Timothy 2:6

4. That you may walk honestly toward them that are without. Walk as it becomes one who has the fullness of the spirit in him.

5. That you have need of not one thing!

God has made us complete spiritually. It is God that causes us to bloom as we bask in his sonlight individually and rely on him . As we do this we have so much to give others.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Organic Wisdom

To be labeled organic, food must be certified. In order to be certified, standards must be met. No synthetic substances, genetically altered or radiation-treated substances will pass the tests. Even the seeds from which a crop is planted have to pass standards.

The Word of God is like organic food to our minds.
In Philippians 4:8 God tells us how to wholesomely nourish our minds:

8Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true (God’s Word is true),
whatsoever things are honest (respectful),
whatsoever things are just (God is right),
whatsoever things are pure, (uncontaminated)
whatsoever things are lovely(dear to one),
whatsoever things are of good report (well-written);
if there be any virtue (spiritual excellence), and
if there be any praise (applause),
think on these things.

When we are free of the pollutants and contamination of the world, we can live Philippians 4:6-7:

6Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7And the peace of God, which passeth (juts out over) all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Last night as I was adding some pictures to Facebook, I noticed that someone was on ‘Chat’, so I clicked and was happy to enjoy a pleasant and timely conversation. Sometimes the click of a computer key can engender a conversation that just ‘clicks’!

So then, as we have the chance, let us do good to all men, and specially to those who are of the family of the faith.BBE Version Galatians 6:10

Whatever the conversation is about, it is so nice to have a conversation with someone who truly loves God and manifests His heart in their everyday life. The love of God is so evident in the way people really care for each other. That is real companionship.

Jesus Christ exhibited his care about his friends:

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:21

In I John God’s heart is plainly visible when John says:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. I John 1:3

In the redemptive substitution of Jesus Christ, God has given us the great privilege of having the spirit within our hearts so that we can live an exceedingly abundant life. He’s given us freewill to accept or reject this ability. If we accept we can be at the right place at the right time to say the right thing to the right person.

Religion (man-made God love) loves to act in an advisory capacity, but in the grace administration we have a fellowship relationship. We speak the truth in love.

advisory capacity definition
Status of a person or group which does not have the authority or the responsibility to take definitive actions or issue executive orders, but which may only advise or suggest what needs to be done under the circumstances. BusinessDictionary.com

We have authority and the power to act in any situation because it has been freely given to us, therefore we are people who bless and
are blessed back in a wide range of ways from simple to complex.
God designed it this way.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. I John 1:4.

So in my conversations everywhere, be it on Facebook, email, twitter, or just plain face to face, I am thankful for our friends and family who speak the truth in love.

Most people wish to serve God - but only in an advisory capacity. ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 24, 2009

Galatians is so good!

In working Thessalonians lately, I got to thinking about it being the first epistle written by Paul. The second book written was Galatians in approximately 57 AD. Galatians is a correctional epistle for the doctrine of Romans. Romans was written later but since the authorship of all the epistles is divine and from God who is omnipotent, Galatians corrects some errors developing with the judaizers conflicting with the doctrine of Romans. We know that Paul had problems with the judaizers in Thessalonica also.

E.W. Bullinger says on page 1748 in the COMPANION BIBLE: “Galatians has been happily likened to a sketch for the finished picture, Romans. In both is maintained the fundamental truth that there is no difference between Judean and Gentile before God, There would be many Judeans among the churches of Galatia, for Paul ever went to the Judean first; yet the majority would be Gentiles, apparently too ready to yield to the persuasions of judaizers who taught the necessity of circumcision.”

The Doctrine of Romans makes it clear that we are saved by believing and it is by grace, not works. Circumcision or any other outward work doesn’t save anyone. One is made whole by believing in Jesus Christ and that God got him up from the dead. It is God’s justice that provided a way to His companionship and deliverance from any obstacle thrown in our face. Jesus Christ was the perfect substitution. It was perfect justice. By believing in the work of finished Jesus Christ we are a part of God’s eternal Facebook, we can contact him any time of the day or night.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

We are really free because of this and we no longer have to fall in the suffocating traps of man-made religion. We have the Word and the spirit of God. “The eyes of our understanding” can be totally enlightened. What that means is we don’t have to walk around stumbling in the dark bumping into this or that, groping through life in confusion.

I love to read Galatians and see the walk in the spirit and how important it is. Then compare it to Romans 8, the ‘Magna Carta’ of Christianity! It is the confidence and assurance that the whole world is trying to find! Life is not always nice but we NEVER have to be overwhelmed because God has a Biblical solution ALWAYS. So life may not always be nice but it is exceedingly abundant. Ephesians 3:20!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Paul's Principle-centered Leadership

Steven Covey made a list of the principles of effective leadership in his book, PRINCIPLE-CENTERED LEADERSHIP. These principles are very simple and easily recognized in all walks of life and in many areas within an individual life. We have the opportunity to be leaders at any moment or occasion and there are certain attributes that bring this out in our lives. As I worked the first and second chapter of I Thessalonians, I was amazed how great the apostle Paul was and how he truly exuded those admirable qualities of effective leadership.

Leaders are constantly learning. The more they learn, the more they realize how much more there is to learn, This is usually self-initiated and self-fueling. Leaders are also service-orientated. They are mission-orientated. This can be readily seen in some teachers. Successful teachers are often mission-orientated rather than career-focused. I’ve seen the same things in housewives, sales people, paramedics, doctors, in great ministers and actually any walk of life. Successful people are motivated by something greater than themselves.

13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Leaders radiate purposeful positive energy and they attract other people. They believe in others’ abilities. Poor leaders think that they are the linchpin for everything to happen and then miss the beauty of the synergy in working with another heart. Leaders love others’ strengths and they strive and love to complement others weaknesses. They focus in on others longsuits, interests and concerns rather than magnifying a position. This is so evident in I Thessalonians 1: 3,4 7-8, II Thessalonians 2:7-8:

3Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
7So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

7But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

Good leaders lead balanced lives. They are not extremists. They do not over schedule, they are flexible, they can handle both praise and blame well. They were not manipulative.
In I Thessalonians 2:10 and II Thessalonians 2:3-6

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

3For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

Leaders are adventuresome. New people are exciting to them and people to learn from. They ask questions and love to listen and recognize what others are doing.
I Thessalonians1:9,10:

9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Finally, leaders are aware of their own need for self-renewal, in their physical, mental and spiritual life. They take time to exercise each of these areas. All of the above is not available unless it dwells richly in the leader. We never arrive and we dare not think that we can skimp or cut corners on our own growth.

I Thessalonians 2:2
2But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

Paul was under a great deal of mental, spiritual and physical pressure because of the unbelieving Judeans that followed him around. He was able to stand and be bold because of what he lived and practiced. The love of God that was shed abroad in his heart was kinetic because of how he continued to go to God.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jeremiah 9:23-24
23Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:24But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

God delights in lovingkindness, judgement ( true justice) and righteousness! He delights in those things because that is His very nature and He wants companionship in a truly just, righteous and loving relationship.
There's nothing wrong with wisdom, might, and riches especially when they come from God.
Our real excitement is in knowing Him who is the source and author of goodness. Thank God for the Word! That's how we get to know Him and build peaceful confidence in our own lives.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

True Wisdom

In Acts 2, there were Judeans from all over in Jerusalem for Pentecost. As the day of Pentecost unfolded and the gift of holy spirit was given there were 3000 who believed. Some returned home and some stayed. The new church grew and as a result persecution set in to stop church growth. In Acts 8:1 we can read that the Judeans were scattered abroad. Some who believed the words of God moved out of Jerusalem purposefully and systematically. These believers had a somewhat limited knowledge of this new administration God had instituted due to the fact that the seven church epistles (Romans through Thessalonians) had not been written yet. Paul had not come in to his own calling as yet. So it was during this time that scholars believe that James was written. There are some beautiful statements in James. James had a heart to help people. Among those great verses lies this gem:

James 3:1-18
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

God's word is uncontaminated by the systems of this world, it is peaceful because of it's loving standards. It is reasonable and truly kind. It easy on the mind, full of God's loving desire to defeat the misery in this world. God does not distinguish between persons or titles and his heart is a true heart as he acts with integrity on His very own promises. Who would want anything else? Why would we substitute something else in its place? He gives to us freely when we ask.

James 1:5
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.