Thursday, December 15, 2016

Doers Anonymous

God is All Powerful

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 10:39-40

With the Holidays approaching our “To Do” list is jam packed. But even throughout the year, we are always at work, often doing more than what is realistic. And when things don’t go as expected, our reaction is generally focused on what we are going to do next to rectify the situation. Let’s face it, we are a bunch of doers.

The Christmas message should bring hope to all of us who are tired and seek rest from the busyness, the chaos and the disappointment in our lives. Christmas is the celebration of the hope we have because Jesus, God’s Son was born in Bethlehem. It is a time to rejoice because we are on the receiving end of an extraordinary gift. It is not anything that we do, but rather the birth of our Savior Jesus that gives us peace and joy. For in Him we find the hope of all glory.

But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42(NASB)

Because God is all powerful, through the birth of Jesus Christ, we have peace, hope and joy.

Celebrate the reason for the season – Jesus!
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Be Thankful

God is Faithful

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28

Once a year we gather around a table and give thanks for all that we have. It seems odd that we don’t do that each day…. Most days we look around and only see the things we don’t have and want. This in itself doesn’t necessarily make us ungrateful, but it can create a void or longing for more.

The Bible tells us to be thankful in all things – the good and the bad. The Bible also warns us that not being thankful for what we have can lead us astray. Remember how Eve ended up taking a bite of the forbidden fruit? The serpent focused her attention on what she did not have. Eve could eat from the trees in the garden but she was not to eat from the one tree in the middle of the garden. The Garden of Eden was an extraordinary place and yet she was tempted to destroy all she had for the one thing she did not. She had plenty to be thankful for, but her attention was redirected at what was not hers. Our lives may not be perfect, but each day we all have something to be thankful for. Today, will you focus on what God has provided you and be thankful for your circumstances?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Because God is faithful, we are thankful for Jesus Christ, who is the source of hope in our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

100% Guarantee

God is Unchanging

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Whether it is with a relationship, a business dealing, or just simply something we read or hear, we all have doubts. As much as we’d like to, there are times when we are not quite sure we can trust someone or in something. Maybe it is because a particular person has let you down in the past, or maybe it is just caution that has been wired into each of us. We have tried to compensate for a lack of trust with laws and contracts, but we all know that this does not guarantee results either.

Wouldn’t it be comforting if we could rely on someone 100% of the time? While none of us is perfect, we know from scripture that God can be trusted wholeheartedly. That He never changes and that the promises He made at the beginning of time are still true today and will be forever. The only requirement is that we have faith -- faith in God’s provision -- faith to go one way when the world would say go the other. God has extended an invitation to be part of His family. Are you willing to trust and take a step towards believing and accepting the promises of your Heavenly Father?

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Because God is unchanging, with Christ, we can live life with confidence.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Finding Purpose

God is Eternal

“Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

At some point in our life, if we haven’t already, we will likely ask the question “Is there anything more to this life as I know it?” We wonder if there is a bigger idea or bigger plan that would give our life more meaning than the day-to-day grind and goals we selfishly set for ourselves. We long to find a purpose to our existence that is greater than what we understand on our own.

If we look around us, there is evidence of something bigger; the vastness of the night sky, the intricacies of the human body, the majestic mountains, expansive oceans and nature’s delicate ecosystems - all this points to a master Creator. The bible tells us this big God, the creator of the universe, wants to be in a relationship with us. And in that relationship through His Son Jesus, you find purpose when you seek Him with all of your heart.

“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

Because God is eternal, we find our true purpose through a personal relationship with Christ.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What Make Great Leaders Great?

God is Gracious

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.  Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.  Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.  For he who is least among you all - he is the greatest."  Luke 9:46-48

Many of us have a personal favorite when it comes to great leaders - maybe it is George Washington, Martin Luther King, or maybe Ronald Reagan.  If asked what makes them great, a likely response is that they had a grand vision and inspired others to support it.

According to Webster, one definition of a leader is something that ranks first.  But we learn from Jesus, who modeled perfect leadership while he was on earth, that yes, Jesus was part of God's grand plan and was surrounded by loyal and determined followers, but what sets Jesus apart from many of the world's leaders is that he viewed himself as the "least of these".  Despite his power and authority as "God made man", he bowed down and became a servant, allowing himself to take the lowest place so all of the world could be rescued from sin and made heirs to the throne.  Isn't it remarkable that the world defines a leader as someone who ranks first, but yet Jesus modeled just the opposite?  How will you choose to lead?

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:14-16
Because God is gracious, with Christ we can find joy in being least when leading others.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Encourage One Another

God is Goodness

But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see." Deuteronomy 3:28

Great things can be accomplished with a little encouragement. This is clearly illustrated when God commanded Moses to train and encourage Joshua, as it was he who would lead the Israelites into The Promised Land.

Whether you are five or fifty, we all need encouragement from time to time. Sometimes all it takes is a pat on the back for a job well done or a welcoming smile from someone when charting unfamiliar territory. Just because we have a pressed shirt on and shiny shoes does not mean we are not masking pain, suppressing fear, have anxiety or doubts. A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can be the difference between finishing well and failure.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Because God is goodness, like Jesus, we can be an encouragement to those around us.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why Ask Why?

God is Faithful

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. Psalm 145:13

When passed over for a promotion, or seeking employment, when illness strikes, or when things don’t make sense – we all want to know WHY.

In the story of Lazarus, Martha said to the Lord “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." John 11:21-22 Despite her profound grief and lack of understanding behind her brother’s death, she trusted Jesus. Later that day, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead for all who believed to see the glory of God.

We’ll never know the answer to some of life’s questions. But what we do know is that God knows, and that He loves us, desires the best for us and has a grand plan for us. And when we trust God with all the answers, we find peace that surpasses all understanding.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Because God is faithful, in Christ we can find peace even though we don't have all the answers.

Monday, August 1, 2016

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 world events, 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.

Friday, July 15, 2016

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.

Friday, July 1, 2016

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 counter-intuitive 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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Careful What You Ask For

God is Goodness

he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. Psalm 78:24

I want it all and I want it now! That sounds like a battle cry from many people we know, and maybe even ourselves at times. What is so interesting is that same selfish desire probably hasn’t changed much since creation. Eve had everything she could possibly want, but she had to have the forbidden fruit too. And the Israelites were not satisfied with just manna from heaven – they demanded meat. While in the desert outside of Egypt, God had provided just enough for them to be sustained, and He never provided too much so they would continue to trust in Him for their provision. But God grew tired of their grumbling and let them have their way. They feasted on quail to their hearts delight, however, their lack of trust angered the Lord and they were all destroyed.

Thousands of years have passed since these events happened, but people’s wants and needs have not changed. Nor has God’s goodness changed, always providing the perfect amount. It is just sometimes we don’t think we’ve been given enough or we don’t see from where our provision truly comes.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Because God is goodness, we can trust that all our needs will be met through Christ.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

People Pleasers

God is Love

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

The world is full of people pleasers. And while that is a good thing for those of us who are service providers, we all know it is exhausting, if not impossible, to constantly please others. Looking at the motive, we see ourselves striving for acceptance and love. To win over hearts, we can fall into the trap of believing we must earn acceptance. And often we find no matter what we do or say, it is never enough to feel at peace.

But the Bible tells us that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by God. We can never be separated from God’s love no matter what we do or don’t do. And, no good works will provide that love, because it is a gift from God. God loved us first and chose us to be in a relationship with him – nothing is required to receive the gift other than the desire to accept God’s saving grace which was made available to us through Jesus. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be His.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Because God is love, through Christ we are completely loved and accepted.

Friday, April 15, 2016

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 work, 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

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

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

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fools

God Is Just

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15

We all love a good joke or prank once in a while to break up the stress of the day … maybe this is why April Fool’s Day can be so much fun. But that one day of the year can also serve as a reminder that foolish thinking, pranks and schemes should be the exception and not the rule in our life; that while life should be enjoyed, foolishness and folly have consequences.

The Bible speaks at great length on the topic of foolishness. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live writes in the Book of Proverbs that fools do not seek God’s wisdom and understanding. That they do not follow God, but rather live by their own set of rules. But, it is written that one day God will judge us all and His justice will prevail. And, while our pride may lead us to believe we will have the last laugh, are we truly prepared for Judgment Day? No matter the recklessness or how foolish your past, God’s mercy and grace are still available to you today -- it’s not too late.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise Proverbs 19:20

Because God is just, with Christ we will face the final judgment in confidence.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


God is gracious

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Matthew 18:21-22

We all seek to be forgiven, but what happens when forgiveness is asked of us? It takes courage, patience and a generous heart to forgive others when we have been wronged. At times we hold grudges, seek revenge, suppress anger and struggle with releasing hurts that can be very deep and profound. Consequently, we end up suffering more and becoming bitter by not letting go.

So, how does one accomplish this daunting task of forgiveness? Jesus' death on the cross reminds us of the extreme suffering Jesus endured to provide payment for our sins. So if God's grace allows us to be forgiven without any cost, we too should be able to extend the same grace and forgive others without receiving payment. When we embrace God's miraculous gift of grace that has been extended to us through faith and not by any works we do, we will then be able to forgive others, and in doing so experience freedom and true joy.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Because God is gracious, through Jesus Christ we are able to forgive others and live joyfully.

Monday, February 15, 2016

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. In the end Solomon concluded it is all meaningless without the one true God.

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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Let It All Go

God is Faithful

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Mark 10:21(NIV)

What would it look like if we consciously made the decision to give up control of everything? To turn over not only what we hold dear, but also our fears, anxiety, anger, and grief….

You may ask “why would I give up what I cling to so tightly” and “how would I begin to let it all go”?….The answer is anchored in “Trust”. God sent his Son Jesus to pay our debts so that we can live our life to the fullest through a relationship with Him. We will experience an abundant life full of unconditional love and acceptance, peace, hope, and joy, once we chose to trust in Christ.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10(NKJ)

Because God is faithful, through Christ we receive God’s blessings in abundance as we trust in Him.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Passion For Service and Excellence

God is Gracious

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

Since creation, God has given us work to do. Knowing that God created work should shed new light on our approach to the work week. And, if we focus on this truth, it is possible that even the most difficult aspects of work can become a passion.

Are you passionate about your work? Do you strive for 110 percent or is complacency lurking in you? With the new year underway, take a look at what is being asked of you today and think of how God has been gracious to you. As He changes your heart and mind, you will have the ability to transform an undesirable or mundane task into one full of joy and excellence. Passion comes from the heart, a heart humbled by the knowledge of God’s grace and mercy.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Colossians 3:23

Because God is Gracious, He can transform our hearts and enable us to serve passionately.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

God Is Faithful

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The New Year is about new beginnings, new hopes, new dreams, and sometimes new direction. It is about setting goals, changing habits, improving character. In our own strength, we often fail, even after our best efforts. But when we lean on God to help change us from the inside out, we can experience success in transforming the big and small things in our lives.

Through the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, all things are possible for those who believe. Remember, God is always at work, renewing our minds and refining our character – it is just that sometimes we don’t recognize Him or embrace His efforts. The bible tells us to have faith and trust God with everything. When we let go of our hurts, our struggles, and our desires to be in control, God will transform our hearts and perfect our character. What would you like to leave behind as you start the New Year and are you willing to trust God to help?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Because God is faithful, with Christ we can experience a changed life.