November, 2012 browsing by month


How Love Makes Adjustments

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

There is a story recorded in the Bible in Mark chapter seven, where Jesus put His fingers into a deaf and mute man’s ears, then spit into His own hands and touched the man’s tongue as He looked up to heaven and sighed. After this, He pronounced the man had been healed. This passage, very unique in it’s details, is one of the most misinterpreted passages in the Bible.  It is mostly interpreted to mean that, “God works in mysterious ways”, or even that Jesus is demonstrating an unorthodox “methodology” for healing that should be emulated.  I don’t think it is really that complex.

I believe that what Jesus was doing, was simply communicating with this man at his level.  The man could not hear or speak.  This story shows us that Jesus was willing to do what was necessary to be understood by this man — to be creative in order to effectively communicate with him.  He accomplished this by separating the man from the crowd and communicating through a type of sign language that involved the ears and the tongue, that He was going to heal him.  There would be no room for doubt that Jesus did what He “signed”, because the man was healed by Jesus!

Effective communication can be a challenge.  Think about it, to effectively communicate requires that both the sender and the receiver understand and perceive information in the same way.  When you add the dynamics of age, experience, culture, and education, one has to work hard at being understood.

For example, I remember many years ago when our son Greg (who at the time was about 7), was with my mother on the back porch.  They were keeping their eyes out for someone who was “on the run” from the police (who had been actively circling above our neighborhood in a helicopter).  From a description the police made known, we knew that they were looking for an “un-armed man, wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.”  After a while, we realized that grandmother and grandson were looking for two different things – Greg was actually looking for a man with no arms, because of the “un-armed man” description.  Communicating effectively takes work!

As Christians, we must understand that the most effective form of communication is love. Love will help us make the needed adjustments in our life in order to effectively communicate like Jesus did with this man. Each person and circumstance is different. When we love, we learn to change and grow in godly character.  The Bible says that love suffers long and is kind.  This means that love will cause us to retreat and be patient when there is conflict or suffering, and then love will help us advance in kindness.  It is between the retreat and the advance that we learn about each other, about ourselves, and about the Lord.  We learn how to effectively communicate and relate to others for God’s glory.

Today the Lord has someone for you to love and communicate effectively with.  Be ready to adjust and be flexible in order effectively communicate God’s love and the Gospel with others, and in so doing, you will become more like Jesus.


The Election Is Over, Now What?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The Election Is Over, Now What? 

The Presidential election of 2012 is now over. President Barack Obama has been re-elected as the President of the United States of America.

So, where do we go from here?

The Bible tells us that we need to pray for our President. He will need our prayers as he faces the many challenges that lay ahead.

But we also need to remember that we are on a mission as Christians. So, whether elated or disappointed, I encourage you to see this generation not through a political lens, but a Gospel lens through the eyes of Jesus, because it is Jesus that we need!

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” (I Tim. 2:1-8)

May God continue to bless the United States of America!

God Blesses Persistence

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Imagine if persistence and perseverance were removed from the equation of life. What would the world look like today? Would there have ever been the Abraham Lincoln that we have come to know? Would our country even exist? What about the life, ministry and impact of Jesus?

How important is persistence and perseverance?

Einstein wrote, “I think and think for months and years, ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.” Does this tell us that we ought to think of failure differently?

It’s been said that, “Failure is not an option. Failure is a necessity. You try. You fail. You learn. You adjust!” The Bible says, “we count those who persevere blessed!” (James 5:11)

This was certainly the case with the Greek woman whose daughter was demon possessed (Mark 7).

She had heard that Jesus had left Israel and was nearby in the area of Tyre and Sidon. So what did she do? She humbly but boldly approached Jesus crying over and over, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!” which was a cry that meant she believed that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel (Matthew 15:22). Jesus answered her saying, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”. Jesus was telling her that His first priority was to Israel. But this did not stop her! She answered, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” Her response brought an answer from Jesus. Jesus blessed her persistence and persevering faith saying, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Did you know that the Lord wants to draw out persistence and perseverance in your life?

It is necessary for the growth and maturity that the Lord wants to develop in your life. The Bible says, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4). The antithesis of this is to allow circumstances and emotions to dictate your character, priorities and outlook. When this happens, most often that person will then bail on God, family and life itself.

Hear this, the most important area for persistence and perseverance in your life is in the pursuit of Jesus Christ, not only because there is nothing more true than Him, but because God blesses the pursuit! Be persistent and persevere in your pursuit of Jesus. Paul wrote, “…I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me … I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Phil. 3:12-14)