Sunday, April 30, 2017



Everybody is seeking something – peace, purpose, possessions, truth, money, love, revenge, satisfaction, fame, etc. What are you seeking? Are you seeking God? If so, if you are sincere, He has made promises to you.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

If you truly want to know the God of the Bible,

and you faithfully and relentlessly seek after Him,

He will reward your efforts by revealing Himself to you!

But this is not a promise for the impatient. In the miraculous unfolding of His sovereign desire for you and the many uncertainties associated with your response to Him, it may be 15 seconds or 44 years before His faithfulness and your willingness align in such a way that you genuinely accept and surrender to who and what He is.

Be obedient to His call!
  • Psalm 27:8 When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
Don’t turn away from Him!
  • Psalm 10:4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.

Seeking God is not just for those who don’t have a personal relationship Him. Those who already know Him should always be seeking to understand and obey Him in deeper, more intimate ways. Here are two extreme variations on seeking God.

Diligently Seeking
Characterized by devotion and desire.

Devotion grounded in faith, hope and/or love. Desiring to know, grow, serve and obey.
  • Psalm 105:3-4 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! 4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
  • Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Desperately Seeking
Characterized by despair and dread.

Despair grounded in brokenness, uncertainty and/or hurting. Dreading the unknown, judgement, harm or obligation.
  • Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
  • James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

How we seek God may fluctuate based on the circumstances in our lives and/or the state of our hearts. But both are legitimate when motivated by an honest, hungry and humble heart.

Diligently Seeking is Our Ultimate Goal!

Desperately Seeking May be Our Temporary Reality!

Practically speaking, in our human weaknesses and flaws, we all fall short in seeking Him as we should. But one of the greatest things about seeking God is that He longs to have a loving relationship with us. God made a way for everyone who believes the good news about Jesus, receives the gift of salvation and becomes a surrendered follower of Jesus Christ, to be reconciled to Him.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Once you have surrendered your life to Christ, the amazing adventure of seeking God as one of His children begins. With the Holy Spirit of God teaching, guiding and empowering you, you can be closer to God than you ever imagined or hoped.
  • Psalm 70:4 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!”


Thank You Father God for seeking us and for wanting us to seek You. I praise You for Your faithfulness, patience and love. Please use the truth of Your Word and the power of Your Spirit to challenge and inspire many to seek after You – whether for salvation in Jesus, or for a deeper relationship with You. Blessed be Your Holy name. I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. Amen

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Evangelistic Paradox

My Evangelistic Paradox

How I long for the confidence and courage to openly and lovingly share the truth of God and my faith in Jesus Christ in any situation.
  • Psalm 119:46 I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, And will not be ashamed.

I want to be like Daniel – ready and willing to proclaim God’s presence and power regardless of the audience, circumstances or possible consequences.

As Daniel did when interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream.
  • Daniel 2:27-28 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these:

As Daniel did when interpreting the writing on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast.
  • Daniel 5:22-23 “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.

Sharing my faith feels easy, natural and fulfilling:
  • When I am at church and people already know or suppose that I am a follower of Christ.
  • When someone specifically asks me about my faith/beliefs.
  • When God places someone in front of me that is obviously hungry and ready to receive the truth.
  • When I am posting a weekly devotion online.

Then what is holding me back in situations when things don’t feel easy?

Is it fear of persecution?
  • John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
  • 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Not really. Although persecution of Christians should be expected (per the two scriptures above), and is a very real threat in many parts of the world today (per global news reports), in the United States (for now at least), severe persecution of Christian’s is not a common threat.

Is it fear of failure?
  • John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
  • John14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Not really. I know and confidently believe:
  1. God the Father brings people to Jesus, not me.
  2. I do need to be prepared; but I trust the Holy Spirit (not my intellect) to give me the right words from God’s Word to share.
  3. I can’t explain the deep truths of the Christian faith in such a way that a person will come to faith in Christ; that is a work of the Holy Spirit.

Is it shame about my faith in Jesus?
  • Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
  • 2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Not really. I can honestly say I have no shame or guilt associated with my faith in the Holy Bible and my salvation in Jesus Christ. My new life in Christ is the most exciting, important and certain thing in my life.

But I am running out of excuses!

When it is difficult to share,
why do I keep my mouth shut?

I have thought and prayed about this a lot!

My Evangelistic Paradox

I am afraid of missing a future opportunity

to share God’s love and truth

because of the potential negative results

of seizing a present opportunity

to share God’s love and truth.

What if I come across as pushy, rude, judgmental, arrogant…? I might never have the opportunity to share the truth with this person again. What if I push them further away from God instead of helping to draw them closer to Him?

Me, myself and I. I am way too concerned about me

My paradox exists because of my pride. Instead of trusting in the power of God’s Word and the work of His Holy Spirit, when it comes down to it, I think my effectiveness as an evangelist depends on me.

So, I ask for your prayers.
  • Ephesians 6:19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,
    • That God will give me the words, wisdom and willingness to share the good news about Jesus every time He blesses me with that opportunity.
  • Philippians 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
    • That I will rely and focus on the truth and power of God and His Word.
  • Ezekiel 18:23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
    • That I will trust in God’s sovereignty and His infinite love for those who don’t know or reject Him.


LORD and God, Savior and King, I confess my pride and pray that You will help me to overcome it for Your glory. I pray to You in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Sunday, April 16, 2017



I really don’t want to be a hypocrite – especially with regards to my faith and salvation in Jesus Christ. He has changed me! My righteous position before God, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, my new heart, my eternal destination…; there are many things I am very sure about. Yet sometimes, in some ways, I feel that I am just cleaned up on the outside but a total mess on the inside.
  • Matthew 23:28-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

But is it truly hypocrisy I am struggling with? The war has been won – I am His! I am not pretending. I am different on the inside. I long for God. I truly desire to be who He has called and empowered me to be and to live my life (inside and out) in ways that bring glory to Him.
  • Psalm 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
  • Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

My life is built on truth – the truth of God’s Word. I am not living a lie and trying to cover it up with something intended to make me look and feel better than I am. But I struggle. My human nature is still fighting against who I am in Christ.
  • Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
  • Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Perhaps, rather than focusing on my feelings, rather than trying to figure all this out, rather than beating myself up, I should trust in the work He is doing in me and the promises He has made to me.
  • 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
  • Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

I am not whitewashed!
He made me new on the inside when He saved me!
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

I am a work in progress!
In Position – I stand righteous before God in Christ!
In Practice – I am becoming who He called me to be in Christ.
  • Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

In His love, grace, mercy and strength, I must persevere!
  • Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Holy Father in Heaven: I pray that in the power of Your Spirit and the truth of Your Word, You will help me see beyond the struggles and more fully experience the peace promised by Your Son. Help me experience victory every day of the year in the reality of what Christians celebrate on Easter – the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He rose from the dead to give us eternal life. Help my belief in this truth translate into a daily confidence and joy that can only come from You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

That the Power of Christ May Rest Upon Me

That the Power of Christ May Rest Upon Me

Honestly, I have been struggling. There are a couple of big things coming up in my life that I feel are completely out of my control. My response – worry. What should I do? What should I not do? What if things don’t turn out the way I want/need them to? Sometimes it feels like I am losing today worrying about tomorrow.

Turns out, Jesus was very clear about worry – as His followers, we aren’t supposed to do it.
  • Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

About the only things that aren’t beyond our control are the decisions we make and the actions we take with regard to trusting our Lord. Do we believe He knows what is best for us from an eternal perspective? Do we believe in His sovereign rule over all creation? Do we believe He loves us as much as He says He does?

The Apostle Paul was struggling with something he called a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ It doesn’t really matter what the exact problem was; he was so troubled by it he pleaded with the Lord three times that it would be taken from him. And how did Christ respond to Paul’s pleas?
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

We are all struggling - we are broken people living in a fallen world. These verses teach us that no matter what our troubles are, each one is an opportunity for the power, truth and abundance of God's grace to be revealed in our lives through Christ Jesus.

We must ask ourselves, do we really believe this? And if we do, are we ready and willing to live our lives in a way that reflects this belief? Are we willing to be weak (surrendering it all to Him) so that His power and plan can be displayed?

Do I rejoice in my weaknesses
such that the power of Christ
is displayed in my life?

In most ways I don’t.

In all ways, He is waiting and longing for me to trust Him.

His grace is sufficient!


Father, You know the desire of my heart is to surrender everything to You. I pray that You will increase my faith and that I will joyfully and completely trust You in all things. Forgive my worry. Forgive my pride. Help me to more fully live out what I believe about You. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I praise You and pray to You in the name above every name, Jesus. Amen