That’s How He Prepares Us

Someone once said that God doesn’t care how many Bible verses we memorize as long as we love others.  But the Bible is where we find our definition for what love is and our demonstration of what love does.  Knowing what God has to say about love keeps us from forming our own opinions about what is right and wrong about how we feel and treat other people.  It also reminds us of His steadfast love for us despite our faults, flaws and failures.  This helps us be loving towards others who, like us, are in need of grace. God cares that we know the Bible because that’s how He prepares us to care for others.

More About Jesus

With what are we filling up our social media feeds, texts and emails, and in-person conversations?  Speaking about our confidence in a political leader should pale in comparison to speaking about our faith in Jesus.  More important than warning others with our conspiracy theories is warning them about the consequences of their sin.  We shouldn’t talk as if our hope is in the hands of our government, but in the hands of our sovereign and loving Father in heaven.   People desperately need to hear… Biblical truth.  Good news of salvation.  Grace-dripping words.  Unshakeable promises of God.  More. About. Jesus.

God Never Freaks Out

God never freaks out.  There is never panic in heaven.  Things never start to unravel in such a way that even a single situation in all of the universe is beyond His sovereign rule.  Even the evil things done by His enemies to His people will be turned around to serve His purposes. No matter what we face today, let us remember that what happens in our lives is not ultimately decided by chance or luck, humans or demons, Satan or self, but rather there is a good, wise, powerful, loving King who reigns over all for the good of all those who trust Him.  Things are often out of our control, but they are never out of His.

It Is Where Life Is Found

How much authority does the Bible have in your life?  How is it shaping the way you see the world, the way you see polarizing issues, and the way you see yourself?  How fully and frequently do you rely on it as the final say in how you live?  The Bible isn’t an out-of-date, out-of-order, out-of-touch book with no real relevance for us today.  It is God’s Word that still speaks today telling us what is good and bad, right and wrong, true and false, beautiful and ugly, necessary and frivolous, wise and foolish.  God intends for us to seek it out and live it out as the ultimate authority for the Christian life.  Indeed, it is where life is found.

The Steadfast Love Of God

Health will thrive and decline.  Leaders will come and go.  Portfolios will gain and lose.  Relationships will flourish and break.  Careers will advance and falter.  Pleasures will intensify and fade.  Only the steadfast love of God for us in Christ will remain forever.  It stays with us through the good and bad, the highs and lows, and the gains and losses of this world.   Let us anchor our lives to the unchanging, unending faithfulness of God’s love for us, knowing this:  It will never decline, go, lose, break, falter or fade, but will endure to the end of this life and extend into the life to come where it will thrill us forevermore.

Reading And Responding Leads To Joy

For genuine, growing Christians, our relationship with Jesus increasingly influences how we live.  As we turn to the Bible and turn its pages, we learn of His good plans for us, His gracious promises to us, and His guiding presence with us.  Only when we regularly read and respond to the Bible can we be who we were made to be and do what we were made to do.  That’s why it is essential that we… Read it.  Pray it.  Live it.  Share it.  If your ultimate aim in life is to be as happy as you can and bring as much honor to God as you can, there is no substitute for the nourishing, encouraging, strengthening, transforming Scriptures.

God Wants Us To Be Happy

God wants us to be happy.  When He tells us in the Bible to do, say, correct, believe, feel, think or share something, it is not to take away our happiness; it is to take away the things that are in the way of our full and lasting happiness.  We must trust that God is after our happiness, that He knows best how to bring about our happiness, and that what He tells us in the Bible is designed to lead us into happiness.  Doing what God tells us is not always easy, popular or instantly gratifying.  But it is always for good, always better in the end than sin, and always the best option for making us truly, ultimately, and eternally happy.

When We Listen To Him

You can talk yourself into just about anything.  Other people will try to talk you into something.  Only God will talk to you truthfully about everything.  There are many voices that speak into our lives such as family and friends, news and social media, advertising and entertainment, and especially ourselves … but the loudest (most influential) should be God.  We are being shaped by influences all around us which is why it is essential that each day we read God-breathed words in the Bible and listen to God-sent voices who speak His truth to us.  When we listen to Him… He won’t just tickle our ears; He will delight our souls.

Never Forget In The Dark

Defeat doubt by preparing for battle in advance by filling your heart with the truth of God’s Word.   In advance, because doubt appears without warning.  With the truth of God’s Word, because doubt arrives with lies.  The enemy will attack you in times of darkness because it’s hard to see him coming, and it’s hard to see the situation for what it really is.   So, start your day in the light by saturating your heart with a good and accurate picture of God’s graciousness and faithfulness so you can remember those truths and promises when darkness falls.  Never forget in the dark what God has shown you in the light.

The More We Think About Him

Our thoughts have the power to shape us, for better or for worse, so we must let our minds land most often on Jesus. His Good News message is full of life-changing truths and promises that will guide us into a right perspective on every life issue.  It changes how we see our past so we can know real freedom from guilt and shame.  It changes how we see our present so we can know real purpose and peace in the midst of busyness.  It changes how we see our future so we can know real hope as we joyfully anticipate what lies ahead. The more we think about Jesus, the more it will rewire how we think about everything else.

He Is As Awesome As He Seems To Be

We live in a world that is full of exaggerations that routinely don’t live up to the expectations they create.  People often make claims that misrepresent reality by making something seem bigger and better than it really is.  While there are many stretches of the truth in the words of those around us, the Word of God is a reliable source of truth. Consider what it says about Jesus.  The Bible does not over-state, over-hype, over-sell or over-promise on who Jesus is and what Jesus does.  As infinitely perfect and infinitely great as He is spoken of in it, Jesus lives up to it.  This is our expectation: He is as awesome as He seems to be.

The Truth Will Set You Free

The truth will set you free FROM fearful hearts, false hopes and fleeting happiness that cleverly disguised sin creates.  But only if you know what the truth is when you see it.  False things are often mixed in with true things which leave us mixed up if we can’t tell the difference between the two.  Do you know how to spot a fake?  By knowing what the real thing looks like.  That is why it is so important to fill our hearts and minds with the truth of Scripture, the promises of God, the commands of our King, the words of Jesus, the beauty of the gospel.  The truth will set you free TO enjoy real heart-peace, real hope and real happiness.

We Don’t Have To Drink Poison

Many Christians are slowly being poisoned by the indoctrinating words of the world they take in day after day.  Words that contaminate their minds with fears and fakes that convince them to look away from God for hope and happiness.  If what you’re reading doesn’t encourage you to follow Jesus, stop reading it.  If what you’re watching doesn’t build up your faith in Jesus, stop watching it. If what you’re listening to doesn’t deepen your love for Jesus, stop listening to it.  There is something better.  You and I don’t need to drink poison when there is a fountain that flows with the life-giving water of God’s truth and promises.

God Will Never Lie To Us

An effective lie of the enemy works like this:  It is rejected.  It is tolerated.  It is approved.  It is encouraged.   It starts out so absurd that only someone considered a fool would believe it.  It ends up so accepted that only someone considered a fool would not believe it.  If something is said loud enough and long enough, people will think it is true. As Christians, we must look to God over politicians, journalists, bloggers, podcasters, peers and other people for what to believe.  We must turn to Scripture over culture for truth and wisdom for how to live.  Let us believe this… God is not our enemy, and God will never lie to us.

Be Sure To Think About God

Let’s be honest:  In an ever-churning sea of distraction, we are vulnerable to forgetfulness.  We forget Who God is and what God does and what God says about what we are to do and who we are in Christ.  We forget His plans.  We forget His promises.  We forget His provision.  We forget His power.  We forget His presence. We forget His preciousness. It is essential that we fill our lives with things that redirect our attention to Him and rekindle our affection for Him. We need reminders that He is for us and He is with us.   Today, you will think a lot about tasks, troubles, and things. As you do, be sure to think about God.

Turn On The Light Today

The Bible is a light that illuminates dark places.  When you read it or hear it, it lights up the darkness of… Your heart.  Your path.  Your witness.  Your life.  It exposes the sinfulness of your heart so you can go to Jesus for forgiveness.  It shows you the pitfalls of the path you are on so you can follow Jesus safely to where you are meant to go.  It brightens your witness before other people as you go so you can point them through your good works to the hope and happiness you have in Jesus.  It shines encouragement into your life so that you can keep going because of the promises of Jesus. So… turn on the light today.

He Knows Everything

It should make us bow in awe knowing that God knows everything.  Just thinking about the scope and span of His knowledge is mind-boggling to me, and yet knowing everything that has happened, is happening, will happen and could happen doesn’t boggle His mind at all.  He doesn’t need research.  He doesn’t need reminding.  He doesn’t need rest.  How amazing He is!  How amazing too that He knows all our sinful actions, words, thoughts, feelings and attitudes, and He loves us anyway. Let us praise the all-knowing One, for He showed His love on the cross to cleanse our sin so we can now know Him.

Jesus Is Who We Can Believe

It is hard to know who is telling us the whole truth, withholding the truth, distorting the truth, misinterpreting the truth, or creating their own version of the truth. We can easily be deceived into thinking something is true when it is not. So, who can we count on to be honest with us with what we need to hear?  What is the standard by which we can evaluate all other guiding life principles and philosophies? What truth can we live by so we do not live in vain or error? Who can we believe?  Jesus.  Jesus is Who we can believe.  We can always count on what He says to be true for us and good for us.

God Still

It’s ironic, isn’t it?  For some people…  God receives all of the blame for everything bad that happens and none of the credit for anything good that happens.   God is questioned when things don’t work out right in the end, but He wasn’t asked in the beginning about what things are right.   God gets treated as if He isn’t there most of the time and as if He should show up when summoned at any time.  God is met with disbelief that He ever shows His love and disbelief in the cross where His love was most greatly shown. But… No matter how He is seen, God still does good, still works things out, still shows up and still loves.

He Will Always Choose What Is Best For Us

Every hour of every day we must choose between two options for how we will live:  the ways of the world or the ways of God.  The temporary pleasure, the quick fix, the easier path, the feel-good philosophy, the you-do-you attitude and the comfort zone are incredibly popular and powerful enticements.  They aren’t always wrong options, but they are never right options if we choose them over what God tells us.  The good news for us is this:  We do not have to face life’s temptations, tests and turns in our own power and wisdom.  When we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us, He will always choose what is best for us.