Growing on Purpose


GrowthMark 4:24-25 (New King James Version)

24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

You will reap what you sow. That is what I see here. Ever wonder why God never seems to speak to you? Here’s your answer! Have you been speaking to Him, putting forth effort?

“With the same measure”, MacArthur notes, is speaking to the spiritual growth the disciples had noticed. This growth is a direct result of their efforts. “They would reap as they had sown.” The second part is even more encouraging, “Whoever has” taken spiritual truths and applied them to their life, “more will be given.” Take spiritual truths, apply them faithfully and more truths will be given to you…to apply faithfully!

This is the spiritual growth equation!

Effort+Faithful Application=Growth

This is exactly what I want.

Pray. Follow. Live. Lead.

In the Hands of God


Psalm 37:7a,8b (New King James Version)

7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;…Do not fret—it only causes harm.

God is my refuge, my strength, my comforter.

In the world’s eyes I should be frightened about how this is going to work out. In my case right now, which job am I going to get. I am waiting patiently, on Him to do His work, and because of that I am not scared. Why should I be? I am in the hand’s of God, of my Creator who loves me! No reason to be scared when that is where I am. If I wasn’t with God and didn’t trust in Him, I would be scared out of my mind!

Thank fully, I am not; I have no reason to be.

The Lord is my provider and protector.

This Little Light of Mine


thislittlelight Psalm 34:5,9 (New International Version)

5 Those who look to him are radiant;
       their faces are never covered with shame.

9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
       for those who fear him lack nothing.

Both of these verses are excellent reminders of the power of God.  If we are seeking after Him and following His ways, we should not be ashamed, our faces, our spirit, should be radiant with His light! 

Sometimes, though, we are not so radiant, sometimes we hide our light on purpose so we are not ridiculed or looking down upon by those around us.  Why do we do that?  Who is the world to judge us when we have the ONE TRUE GOD in our hearts? 

Never hide your light! Never forget who you are in Christ!  He has the power to protect us and give us strength, even when we don’t think it is possible; He has the power to provide for those who fear Him, who trust in Him for all things.

Moses, the Old Testament Jesus


Exodus 32:7-14 (New King James Version)

Calf 7 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
11 Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’”[a] 14 So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.

The more I read about the Israelites, the more I see me and everyone else I know.  We have been blessed by God and we still turn our backs on him and worship other things; idols.  This is something that I drilled into the youth group kids last year: anything that distracts you from the presence of God is an idol.  It does not have to be a golden calf or a wooden man statue from a tribe in Africa, it can be another person, a class at school, a dream to do something, a movie, cd, an ipod (technology)…you get the point.  Even after God, the God of the universe, brought them out of Egypt, the Israelites couldn’t worship Him alone at all times!  They doubted Him so many times that they just got to the point where they needed something else to worship. 

God sees this and calls them what they are: “still-necked people” (v. 9).  God’s wrath is burning and seems to get to the boiling point until Moses intervenes on behalf of the Israelites.  He pleads with the Lord not to harm His people!  In this light, Moses is to the Israelites what Jesus (and His blood on the cross) is to us.  Moses continually had to plead for mercy on the Israelites as they continued to sin, just as Jesus’ blood does for us! His death and resurrection on our behalf protect us from what we deserve: the wrath of God.

Be thankful for what Jesus did. His crucifixion has been so watered down that I do not believe that it has the affect that it should.  Same goes for his resurrection!  He died, and three days later came back to life…and then he rose up into the sky and joined His father in Heaven.  Think about that and realize that it actually happened! 

Just as we deserve the wrath of God, He deserves our devotion and worship.  GIVE IT TO HIM! Spend time with Him on a daily basis and trust in Him always!

Count Your Blessings


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Exodus 17:7 (New International Version)

7 And he called the place Massah [a] and Meribah [b] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

The last statement (“Is the LORD among us or not?”) really stood out to me and struck me as odd. The context of this is the Israelites in the desert; hungry and thirsty. They complain to Moses and God provides…and they question if He is with them or not?!

And then i began to wonder, how many times have i questioned God’s presence in my life? Plenty. I miss all of the miracles in my life (just as the Israelites did) and doubt that He is even with me sometimes. This got me thinking, in what ways is God evident (and obvious) in my life:

  • I wake up every morning
  • I have a wife and family who love me unconditionally
  • I have enough money each month to pay for living expenses and sometimes extra to put away
  • I hardly ever go hungry and never am thirsty without water nearby
  • I have a car that runs well
  • A church family who supports my wife and I
  • Close friends who keep in touch
  • Clothes to wear
  • His word to meditate over

This list could go on. After explaining to my wife my confusion on this verse she very simply put it in perspective for me: “as we live our day to day lives we get so caught up looking for the ‘big’ miracles to happen that we miss all of the ‘little’ ones.” How true is that? Very true, I am guilty of just that. I miss God in all of the busyness of my life. I don’t look for Him, as i should, in everything that He has provided for me and that which he continues to provide.

I encourage you, take some time and “count your blessings”. You will stop looking for God and begin wondering how and why you’ve missed Him!