This Week’s Memory Verse (James 1:2-4)


Good morning readers. Below you will find this week’s memory verse. This passage has always been a challenge for me, as I suspect it is for you as well. That said, study this passage in context and you will learn how to “count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds.”

James 1:2-4

2 Count it all joy, my brothers,   when you meet trials   of various kinds,  3 for you know that   the testing of your faith   produces steadfastness.  4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be   perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Stay tuned later today for a big announcement. This is exciting for me to share with you and is something that I hope you can be involved in!

Persistent Faith


In the story found in Mark 2:1-12 we are given a snapshot of the type of faith that is required of us. Most of us have heard this story of the four men lowering their paralyzed friend down through a roof to the feet of Jesus. It is easy to glaze over this story and continue reading without stopping to put yourself in their sandals, carrying their friend on a bed.

The first item I think of is having the option to push through the crowd to Jesus or walking up the stairway along the side of the house to the roof. That crowd must have thick as mud, everyone must have forgotten to wear deodorant that day if the four men found the way up the stairs easier.

The second obstacle is the roof. Roofs in first century Israel were flat so that the owners could relax on the roof during the day and evening if they wanted. They were built by laying hardened clay slabs on wooden beams that ran across the expanse of the house. Then once the slabs were in place the builder would pour and smooth wet clay onto of the slabs to act as a sealer against the weather (rain, snow, wind, etc).
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You Are A Mountain


Lever de soleil sur le Cervin, depuis Zermatt.
Image via Wikipedia

Psalm 125:1-2 “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved and abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.”

If you ever doubt for a minute that God does not protect you and give you strength and power beyond this world, then come back to this passage. TRUST in God and you will be unmovable like Mount Zion. Your faith will be steadfast and you will have eternal life (not death).

I trust in God and I believe that His Son Jesus Christ died for me and my sins and has given me the gift of eternal life. I have faith in that, in the eternal life part. That is not to say that my faith does not come and go, per se. My faith is 100% with God and the fact that when I die, I leave this world to spend eternity with Him. BUT, on a day to day basis, I lose sight that He is my savior.

I cannot even count for you the times that I have turned my back on God and walked in the direction I knew He did not want me to walk. I also cannot count the times that I made decisions without talking it out with God first and TRUSTING Him to make everything work out. I cannot count the times that I lean on Him to come through for me, and once He does I give the credit to myself and don’t have a conversation with Him and read His Word for months….until I’ll need Him again for something and come right back to Him.

My goal, the goal of every believer, should be to have the type of relationship that leans on God every minute of every day. Good or bad times, walk with Him.

And you know, the wonderful thing about God, is that even when I am not talking with Him and trying to build a relationship with Him, He is still there. He is still protecting me and is waiting for me to come back to Him. And when I finally do, He is there, He never even left. I am one of his children, I trust in him, and ultimately try to live my life for Him. He has plans for me, and has an ultimate place for me, so he will not EVER leave me.

He is the mountains surrounding Jerruselam, which is you, me and every other believer out there.

Strive for the type of relationship that meets with God everyday and is constantly listening and looking for Him. Don’t just TRUST in him when you need him, TRUST in him when you “don’t” need him; because even then, YOU NEED HIM.

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Seek After Him


Backyard trampoline

Image by Kevin Steele via Flickr

Psalm 121:2,7 “My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth…The Lord will keep you from all evil, he will keep your life.”

As humans we are naturally inclined to do two things: 1) try to do things without God and 2) turn towards evil. Both of these faults are met head on with verses 2 and 7 of Pslam 121.  But they require more than just seeing them written out, they require action from us.

We have to proactively give everything to the Lord, especially if you want it to succeed or having lasting effects. If we go through life and do not give things “in our control” over to Him, we are going to fall down so many ties that it will begin to hurt. And if we are blind to what is going on, may turn away from God for letting us fall so many times. This is when you will fall the hardest. It will be a huge fall (followed by a big bounce, thanks to the Lord) to bring you back to Him and to relying on Him.  If we give things in our lives up to him first, it will not take a huge fall, but a trip or a stubbed toe to get us to realize that we took it back again (the control) or did not seek him out.

The other side of the coin, or set of verses, is that God can keep us from evil. Key word is GOD. Try it on your own and you will fail miserably. Try it without trusting God to deliver you, without asking him to keep Satan and his forces away from you, and you will get no where. If you ask God to protect you, ask God to keep Satan from you, and ask God to deliver you from temptation, He will do it. But YOU play a large role in that equation. He wants to see you come to Him.

Go to Him. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Only He can keep you from evil and help you.

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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.