Monday, December 15, 2014

The Most Important Gift of All

God Is Gracious

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

The birth of Jesus Christ is the most significant event in the history of mankind, splitting history into BC and AD. His birth represents a new beginning and hope for our future. Jesus came to forgive us and free us from our sin. And in doing so, He made the way for our eternal salvation.

This year, let us look past the pile of packages, Santa and his sleigh, Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman to see the true meaning of Christmas -- celebrating the birth of Jesus. When we focus on God’s precious gift to all people, His Son Jesus, we can experience heavenly peace, unconditional love, and complete joy without exchanging a single store-bought gift. Throughout this Christmas season, may we keep our focus on Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Merry Christmas!

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 10-11

Because God is gracious, He gave us His beloved Son Jesus.

Monday, December 1, 2014

'Tis the Season!

God Is Love

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Christmas is a time to celebrate as we reflect on the blessings in our life, no matter how small or how great, and on the people who are most special to us. As a tradition, we take time to send special gifts and personal notes as an expression of our gratitude.

At Christmas, we are reminded that God too sent a very special gift to us through the birth of a precious baby, born of a virgin, to show the immensity of his love for us. As foretold by the prophet Isaiah, Jesus would not only be our counselor and source of peace for all times, he would be our Lord and Savior. His Son is a promise God made to mankind for a Messiah to redeem us ever since Adam and Eve rebelled in the Garden of Eden. The extent that God goes through to prove his love for us and draw us close is unfathomable. This Christmas, may you see the depth of God’s love and the gifts He bestows through Jesus Christ, the Savior born to us on Christmas Day!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

Because God is love, Jesus, the promised Messiah was born unto us!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


God Is Ever Present

I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday – a time for reflection and for spending time with friends and family, a time to give thanks for all the blessings we have in our life. Too often though, the holiday brings busyness, preoccupation with year-end expectations and demands, concerns over family dynamics, anxiety and stress. We sometimes find ourselves without a moment of peace and look forward to getting back to our usual routine.

With Thanksgiving approaching how about taking this moment to consider all that we are thankful for? Not only little things but the big things as well --we live in a free country, we are the richest nation in the world, we are highly educated…We also have a God who loves us, oh how He loves us! His grace and mercy are always there for us to receive when we turn to Him. In fact, each day can be full of thanksgiving as our Heavenly Father pours out His blessings on us, His beloved children.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 1 Timothy 4:4

Because God is ever present, with Christ every day is a day of thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Second Mile

God Is All Powerful

If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:41

The verse is based on an old tradition where Roman soldiers required locals to carry their load one mile. Jews would carry the bags two miles as a way to show Rome the power and goodness of God.

When at work or in any situation, why not go the second mile? Think of the impact it will have on those around you. Leadership like this may not be immediately rewarded, but knowing you are making a difference one day or one task at a time has its rewards. Draw your strength from God, who ultimately controls all things and rewards us accordingly.

Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. I Chronicles 29:12

Because God is all powerful, in Christ we can be extraordinary.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Out of Control

God is All Powerful

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

We are taught to be in control -- to take control of our lives and our circumstances. The recent terrorist acts and threats, suspicious wars and rumors of more wars, Ebola outbreak, drought, volcanos, earthquakes and a guarded economy that does not seem to cooperate with our hopes and dreams for an abundant life…. What an eye opener when we understand who really is in control – an all-powerful God who has the whole world in His hands! And with this revelation comes hope and a sense of freedom. We are ultimately not in control. We can trust God, who is good and who has a plan for us.
Look up!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Because God is all powerful, we can trust that He is in control of all the circumstances in our life.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I’m Tired, Are You?

God Is All Powerful

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Mathew 11:28-30

Anyone tired? …tired physically, mentally, tired of waiting for circumstances to change… When life is tough, we can become so worn out that we are immobilized. Where do you turn? Modern medicine offers solutions; bad habits can keep us propped up for only so long.

Look up and lean on our eternal God. This is where you can be reenergized and restored. Exchange your ways for God’s ways. God’s promise for everlasting life through his son Jesus Christ offers peace and hope. It isn’t in the what and when of our circumstances, but rather in the who. Who is the focus of your life?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Because God is all powerful, we can rely on the Lord’s strength.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Satisfaction Guaranteed

God Is Eternal

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 1:2

Are you still searching for that something that will finally bring you permanent happiness? You may find a temporary contentment or satisfaction based on your current circumstance; however it does not last -- it wasn’t designed to. There is no peace without Jesus. “Stop chasing the wind” as Solomon said, “for it is all meaningless”. Free yourself from the pursuit of approval, money, and power. True joy comes from the Holy Spirit. St. Augustine said, “The heart will not rest until it rests in Christ.” Ask Christ into your life and he will give you a perfect, everlasting peace.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5: 22-23

Because God is eternal, in Christ we can be complete.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Patience Is A Virtue

God Is Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:3-5

Maybe you struggle with patience while you stand in line, are put on hold, or wait for a response to an important question….What about people who wait a lifetime to see change in a loved one and never loose hope? The people who care for a special needs child or a parent who no longer can care for themselves….Their patience is amazing. Maybe their strength comes from something greater than themselves – possibly it stems from a love that is so deep it can’t be described.

That indescribable love is the same kind of love that God has for each one of us. He waits patiently for us to acknowledge Him as Creator and Giver of all things and invite Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of our lives. He won’t force you but He’ll never stop pursuing you. He waits patiently, eagerly, lovingly.

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8

Because God is love, He waits patiently for us to accept Jesus as Lord of our lives.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Everyday Struggles

God is Faithful

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Whether you focus on Iraq, Afghanistan, our city streets, or within your own life, war is raging around us. Everyday newspapers and talk shows are full of stories of conflict, political battles, and struggles for social equality. And personally, we battle health issues, finances, relationships, poor choices…..

Some struggles are so enormous that we can’t face them alone. The Bible tells us that God never forsakes us. He is always with us in our struggles, providing strength for the next week, day or hour, and providing comfort, guidance, and rest when we think we can’t go on. God gave David the confidence to face a giant with only five smooth stones and a sling shot...and God the Father gave Jesus the strength to die on the cross for us and through His resurrection, declare victory over this world. Yes, everyday brings strife, but in Christ, we are given the strength to endure and the confidence in the outcome no matter what we face. By having faith in Jesus, we too are victorious over things of this world.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Because God is faithful, in Christ we find hope for whatever challenges we face.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trust Me

God Is Sovereign

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. Job 37:5

Have you ever had a boss or a mentor that you followed without question? Someone you completely trusted? If so, it is likely you did not understand every action taken or how some things would come together, but you followed along because of your fundamental belief in this person. And while you may not have enjoyed each task handed out to you to complete, you did what was asked, believing your efforts would be worth it in the end.

Our relationship with God is much the same. With faith, we don’t need to understand all things or see God’s complete story to follow Him. With just a small amount of faith, God begins to reveal His character and His plan to us. But God intentionally leaves out some of the details – filling them in at His discretion. And while we can struggle to find patience to endure trials on God’s appointed terms and timing, we persevere when we remember who He is -- the Creator of the Universe, the all knowing, and all powerful God, who has our best interests at heart. For some, it may appear risky to place one’s faith blindly, but that is what makes faith, faith. Will you choose to follow Him?

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:44-47

Because God is sovereign, through Christ we can trust Him, even if we don’t understand Him completely.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Just Want to be Forgiven!

God Is Merciful

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." Luke 5:20

We often do things that we aren’t proud of --and sometimes, they are a bit more serious than others. Time can erase the memories, but the guilt can come back unexpectedly. Many times we try to compensate for our poor actions by bringing gifts to those we have hurt or by making promises that we’ll never do it again. If criminals carry records, our employers keep files on our misdeeds, and our loved ones keep score – then how can we truly be forgiven and earn a fresh start?

The Bible tells us that we are forgiven though Christ’s death on the cross. He died for our sins, paying our debts in full. We don’t have to do anything to be forgiven other than believe in Christ as Lord and repent. True repentance means to turn from our sin and turn to God. While this is a big step, when we trust God, we experience forgiveness and we are made free from the bondage that follows our folly.

If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9

Because God is merciful, all our sins are forgiven through Christ.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Is Work an Idol?

God is Sovereign

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24

Unfortunately, society lures us to get wrapped up in our title, the power of our position, the size of our paycheck…. Not only do we let our work define who we are as individuals, but work often becomes the source of satisfaction in our lives.

Giving up an identity defined by work seems counterintuitive to culture, but with Christ as the center of our affections, we are able to see a much grander vision. We end up with balance in our lives and the ability to love our neighbors when we’d otherwise be consumed by work. God does not define us by what we do or what we own, but rather by whose we are. We are God’s children -- the sons and daughters of a King! When we grasp that concept, work should no longer have a stronghold on us. We no longer are a slave to performance, but are free to think differently about the true purpose for our lives.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

Because God is sovereign, we can find our true identity in Him.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

One Day At A Time

God Is Eternal

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:13

Many of us find it hard to live in the moment. We are often focused on our next meeting, our next trip, or our next paycheck. We seem to talk about what’s next, failing to live in the present. What would it look like if we slowed down and embraced the present? If we did not worry about what was next, but what is now? Would we be less hurried, spend more time building relationships, and give up trying to control everything? Could our quality of life be dramatically improved?

Taking things minute by minute allows us to enjoy the present and give up trying to control the future. God’s plan is that one day we will live with Him in eternity - a place without time, where there is no past and no future, just the present. Today, He longs for us to live with Him in the present as well. Consequently, there would be no fear, no anxiety, no insecurity, and a fullness in our heart as we live out each moment, trusting God with the timing and the outcomes.

I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:10-11

Because God is eternal, we can live in the moment in confidence with Christ.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Patience Is A Virtue

God Is Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:3-5

Maybe you struggle with patience while you stand in line, are put on hold, or wait for a response to an important question….What about people who wait a lifetime to see change in a loved one and never loose hope? The people who care for a special needs child or a parent who no longer can care for themselves….Their patience is amazing. Maybe their strength comes from something greater than themselves – possibly it stems from a love that is so deep it can’t be described.

That indescribable love is the same kind of love that God has for each one of us. He waits patiently for us to acknowledge Him as Creator and Giver of all things and invite Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of our lives. He won’t force you but He’ll never stop pursuing you. He waits patiently, eagerly, lovingly.

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8

Because God is love, He waits patiently for us to accept Jesus as Lord of our lives.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wise Choices

God Is Wisdom

The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 1 Kings 10:24

Solomon was a great leader, the third King of Israel. He was also known as the wisest man to have ever lived. He placed his trust in God, but over time he became disobedient and took matters into his own hands. At times of testing, it was evident that his own wisdom didn’t lead him into right choices. As a result, Solomon lost everything -- his wealth, power, peace, and security.

How many of us know the right thing to do, and yet fall short in our actions? Temptations to do things our way, to control the situation, to take shortcuts or follow the crowd… these short sided decisions get in the way of allowing Godly wisdom to prevail.

When building a career, business, marriage, or family, it is not enough to get off to a good start. We must remain faithful to God to the end, always yielding our selfish desires to make wise choices.

And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Because God is wisdom, with Christ we can know and do what is right.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Did It Again

God Is All Powerful

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15

How many of us are still adhering to our New Year’s resolutions? Although well intended, it does not take too long before the enthusiasm behind those pledges fades and our old habits are back. Why is change so hard?

The Bible tells us the battle to do right is beyond our control; that not only does our sinful nature provoke us but Satan himself lures us to sin. We however, have been given the power to be victorious. Yes, freedom can be found, but it is not in our own strength. We must rely on God’s power through Christ who is at work in us. Are you willing to admit you are powerless to change and place your trust in Him?

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12

Because God is all-powerful, we can change anything with Jesus working in our lives.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Building Castles

God Is Eternal

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25

Many of us have spent extended time on the beach building elaborate castles in the sand, only to find them destroyed at a moment’s notice. Life can challenge us in the same way. Things we work hard for and think we control can all disappear in an instant.

When trials come, God’s desire is that we place our hope in Him and not in what we are able to achieve in our own strength. He lovingly invites us to focus on His Kingdom and trust in His plan. God has already built the perfect resting place for us in the here and now and for eternity through Jesus. Yes, the work is done. But to experience such heavenly peace, we must choose to live by faith and not simply by what we see.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Because God is eternal, with Jesus, our future is certain.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Commanding Presence

God is Always Present

They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. Luke 4:32

Being in some people’s presence is noteworthy. They carry themselves in such a way that it feels different. Maybe it is their incredible business acumen, charisma, or influence that draws you in. Whatever the reason, it’s unmistakable and grabs your attention.

Jesus, despite his humble character, drew large crowds. His purpose was to serve selflessly and glorify His Father. His divine nature allowed Him to perform miracles with a simple touch or spoken word. His presence was vastly superior because His authority came from God and not from man. Today, His holy presence continues to bring peace and healing to those who trust in Him. While man can captivate us for a time, only Jesus can captivate us for eternity. And once you meet Him, you’ll understand why.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Because God is always present, through Jesus I can experience true peace.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


God Is Wisdom

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Luke 10:38-40

Life seems so busy. Our daytimers are packed with work obligations, family commitments and social functions. Like a “No Vacancy” sign, we all believe that being busy is good because busy pays bills and busy gives us worth. But does it really? Or does busy just distract us from experiencing our true purpose in life?

Mary and Martha had different views on how to effectively use their time. Mary was enjoying the company of Jesus while Martha racing against deadlines became full of worry. Ironically, Martha who was doing all the hard labor was going to miss out on God’s intended blessing. Don’t let busyness cause you to miss the big picture. God in His infinite wisdom has great things planned for us, and so we must find time to listen and follow.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-41

Because God is wisdom, in Jesus, my true purpose is revealed.