Saturday, April 30, 2016

Deflated Faith?

Many people enjoy taking rides through the countryside. It relaxes them. We roll down the windows and stick our hands out to feel the breeze push against us. Our dogs like to stick their entire faces outside to breathe in that air and smell whatever blows their way. Car rides can be wonderful . . . until a dashboard warning light goes on.

That happened to me the other day. Low Tire Pressure! in big yellow letters lit up my dashboard. Thoughts of trouble, abandonment and vulnerability passed through my mind. Maybe I ran over a nail or that big pot hole I hit the other day, maybe there was some lingering damage. Whatever it was that was causing the warning, I was sure that it was going to cost me something.

I wish I came with a warning light. Something to let me know when I was about to get into trouble. Actually, now that I think about it, I DO come with a warning system. I just don't usually listen to it.

God's Holy Spirit, what Jesus called The Helper, does just that for us. He transforms our pitiful prayers to God, making them holy and acceptable in His sight. The Holy Spirit leads us as we walk through the world.  He nudges us when we hesitate to do something for God or holds us back when we are about to do something contrary to God's will.

If I would have ignored the dashboard warning light about my tire pressure, several things could have happened - none of them good. But I heeded the warning, examined my tire and found a nail in it. I removed the nail, plugged the hole and filled the tire back up, good as new.

Jesus can do the same thing for us when we are in need of repair. He removes the impurities (sin) and repairs us, making us pure as a new winter snow. All fresh and clean before God.

Are there any warning lights going off in YOUR life? Do you have an issue that is in need of repair? As you examine yourself,  do you see any signs of worldly activity? Sinful living? Idolatry? Get that fixed today before something worse happens. Make an appointment with the Healer of ALL things. You'll be eternally glad you did. :)

Healer - Hillsong United

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Rocky Path

I went for a 15-mile hike this past weekend. The weather was nice for a change. But taking a hike that day was a mistake. Why? Because my over exuberance for hiking outweighed my preparedness for it. Now, I find myself reminded of that TOO-LONG hike with every step I take - walking on the blisters that were formed on my not-ready-for-walking feet.

The length of my hike that day was due more to a "lack of scale" on the map I was using than it was to manly endurance. It's always best to build up one's endurance before hiking such long distances. And the wisdom it takes to use it.

The Ice Age Trail I walk on contains many different types of terrain - rocky formations, grassy savannahs, moist swampland, forest paths and asphalt roads. Each type of terrain has its own characteristics and hazards. And a hiker must be prepared for them all.

As Christians we must also be prepared for the variety of things we encounter on our walk with Jesus. Spiritual warfare, political correctness, sexual sin, greed, pride . . . there are many things to trip us up along the way. SO, how do we keep from tripping all over them as we walk along life's pathway?

  1. Pray - Pray to God that He would keep us from falling, that He would guide our steps. "The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;" - Proverbs 37:23
  2. Read - Spend time in God's Word. The truth you will find their will illuminate you walk. "105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." - Psalm 119:105
  3. Focus - Keep on the lookout for stumbling blocks. God's creation is beautiful to look at but if we aren't watching where our feet are stepping we can easily stumble. "14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:14
  4. Endure - However long our walk is we need to endure to the end of it. "4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:4
A good, healthy, well thought out spiritual walk is essential in the life of a Christian. Watch every step to make sure it is fully planted and then walk on in the presence of the Lord. He leads us. We are the ones who must follow.

Psalm 23

Monday, April 25, 2016


I had heard about them before but had never really encountered them until a few weeks ago. It was kind of scary to actually hear someone telling about this "wonderful illustration" as if it were fact. As I listened I began to get a little uneasy inside because "Kingdom Circles" are not only contrary to God's Word, Kingdom Circles are both blasphemous and heretical. First a few definitions.

heresy - a "belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine."

blasphemy - "the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk."

The following video will show you what Kingdom Circles are. After you watch it, let's talk about what the video said. And what it DIDN'T say.

Kingdom Circles

As Christians we have certain fundamental beliefs. Anything statements made outside of those beliefs and proclaimed to be true (but aren't) is called heresy. Anything that diminishes God and who He is, is called blasphemy.

The diagram above shows The Kingdom of God (KOG) as a circle. Outside of the circle, they say, are both Christians and Muslims. This is blasphemy. Why? There is nothing in all of creation that is outside the Kingdom of God. ALL things are under God's control.

"8 Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering."
- Hebrews 2:8-10

The heretical part of Kingdom Circles is this. The circle maker will tell us that we spend too much time getting Muslims, Hindus and all other faiths to covert to Christianity. All these other faiths really have to do is find their own way to God. The circle maker really needs to read the following verse and let it sink in.

"6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6

That seems clear enough. No one can get to heaven, no one have eternal life, no one can "know God" unless they first . . . become . . . a Christian!

"8 For by grace you have been saved through faith." - Ephesians 2:8

Faith in whom? Faith in Christ!

Kingdom Circles are a false teaching. Beware when someone begins drawing circles. They may be teaching something outside of Christianity and therefore should be dismissed for what it is - a lie.

How Do You Know That Christianity Is The One True Worldview? - Ravi Zacharias

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Purple Reign

Thursday I was sick at home with a cold, watching the news coverage about the death of Prince. Lots of people were relating how they knew Prince and what he was like. Lots of theories about how he died. Lots of unanswered questions. I have a few questions of my own.

For example, how can one news station generate so much content from a single news story!?! Amazing, and pitiful, at the same time. Music videos of Purple Rain, 1999 and Little Red Corvette cycled over and over again. Once or twice was okay but, over and over and over again.

There were all kinds of people being interviewed. Someone KNEW Prince, someone SAW Prince at Walgreen's. "He was really a very quiet man." said one woman outside his estate in Minnesota. But no one asked the question I really wanted the answer to.

Was Prince a Christian?

As Christians, death no longer has any meaning to us. But it matters to people who live in a world that does not know Christ. That's because death for the non-believer is truly a death without hope or a future. Like a blade of grass that withers in the fall and is gone.

"For, "All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall" - 1 Peter 1:24

Instead, we need to think about the "apparent death" a caterpillar goes through as he spins a cocoon and is gone, but then, miraculously, emerges, transformed and more beautiful than ever before.

Prince was a tremendous talent. He did many good things for people in this world. He will be missed by many. But is he in heaven right now, rocking with Hendrix, Morrison and Cobain? Here is a quote from Prince I saw yesterday on Facebook that made me wonder.

"I think when one discovers himself, he discovers God." - Prince

Is that right? It that statement true? No, it is not. In fact, the opposite is true for the Christian.

"When we discover God, we discover ourselves."

Was Prince a Christian? I have no way of knowing. Only God knows, but I find myself wondering . . . and hoping. After all, God wishes that none should perish.

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9

Shortly before Jesus was crucified the Roman soldiers placed a purple robe on Jesus, mocking Him as "King of the Jews." The irony was that Jesus truly WAS a King.

"19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” - John 19:1-5

God's love transcends death. It is through God's love, grace and mercy that we have any life at all. May God's love rain down on this world, a "purple rain" if you will, and may we embrace it, live it and share it with others wherever we go. May we leave no doubt behind about OUR faith and who we belong to. May God use you and me as examples of His love to a dying world. Then, let it rain.

"5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." - Romans 6:5-10

Let It Rain - Jesus Culture

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Behold! His Mighty Hand

Do you remember in The Ten Commandments movie, when God parted the Red Sea? Wow!! What a sight that must have been! How could a nation such as Israel ever turn away from a God who did such a thing to save His people? Yet they did.

These days God works more quietly than in the days of old, but He is still in the business of saving people.

The times I usually see God at work are shortly after I have done something I thought was noteworthy. Then, something else happens that tops what I had just done, by a ton. God never passes up an opportunity to teach me a lesson. And I am glad. :)

I was talking with a young friend of mine, telling her about my failings as a father before I had placed my faith and hope in Jesus. I had shirked my responsibility to "train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not part from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Neither of my kids was a believer after college, following the sad example their father had set.

How I craved a second chance. How I kicked myself for not coming to faith in Jesus before I did. But I eventually came to believe, and God placed me in a youth group at my church. Suddenly God had provided me with dozens of kids to train up. Plus, both of my kids now attend church. That's WAY better than parting the Red Sea in this dad's opinion.

What miracle has God wrought in YOUR life? Have you beheld His mighty hand? He is always working. Sometimes in major ways, but most of the time quietly and subtly, with little or no notice.

This world, this country, is in need of a Godly miracle. I think if we approach His Holy Ground with our sandals off in repentance and humility, He will heal our land . . . if we pray.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

"Behold His Mighty Hand" - Moses

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Parable of The Germ

My wife is currently battling a bad cold. She's coughing, sneezing, has a runny nose and her energy level is WAY down. Still, she tries to do things around the house but the stamina just is not there. She is extremely weak.

The reason she is sick is due to a germ. A virus. Her body is fighting against it and, thanks be to God, will win against it, eventually. God has given our bodies the ability to fight and stand up to infection . . . to heal itself from the creatures and forces that attack it.

Our spiritual lives operate in much the same way.

One who has no faith in God is, by definition, spiritually dead. One who believes that Jesus is the Son of God is said to be "alive" in Christ. They are born again. In order to be "born again" you must first die.

"I am the living one. I died, but look--I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave." - Revelation 1:18

Examine the common cold and compare its characteristics with that of sin in our lives.
  • When we get a cold our energy is depleted. Sin depletes our energy and enthusiasm for God.
  • When we get a cold we don't feel like eating. Everything tastes blah. When we have sin in our lives we don't feel like praying and God feels far from us. We feel blah.
  • When we get a cold we want to stay by ourselves. When we are well spiritually we want to go to church to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • A cold can lead to death if not taken care of. So can sin.
  • When we have a cold we sometimes have to go see the doctor. When we have sin in our lives the only thing that can help us is the Great Physician, Jesus.
"23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23

If there is sin in your life make an appointment to see The Doctor today. Life is so much better when we are healthy. It is WAY better if we are spiritually healthy and we know that we will never die. :)

The Great Physician - Deas Vail

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Walk In The Dark

After a long work week I decided to take a nice, quiet walk last night. It probably wasn't the best idea I have ever had, starting my walk AFTER sunset like I did. But it was SO nice out! And it was still light enough to see . . . sort of.

I had my iPod with me, playing songs into my head. And I had my phone with me in case of emergency so I was good. Or so I thought.

I have found that walking through the woods after dark REQUIRES an music filling up you ears with nice, calming music so you don't hear those little noises you have no idea where they came from. If you can't hear the ravenous wolves or the gigantic red-eyed Slor pursuing you from behind, craving your human flesh, they aren't really there, right?

Yeah, I probably should have brought a flashlight . . . and an assortment of nuclear-powered weaponry, but I didn't.

[I turn up the volume on my iPod]

Then I heard a rhythmic thump, thump, thump. Something beyond my music. My mouth became dry. My pace quickened. The noise increased it's pace as well. What could possibly be making that sound? It HAD to be something large. Was it footsteps? The beating heart of my friend, the Slor perhaps? Nope. It was the cord from my iPod hitting against my coat as I walked. I'm such a loser.

And then suddenly, I remembered something. Hey, I am a child of God. I've got Jesus!!

Now, I know that Jesus is not some "magic genie" I can call on when I need Him, but He is a great walking companion who, it just so happens, can also cast out demons and raise the dead if He wants to. Yeah, He's a good one to go walking with after dark. And do you know why?

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” - John 8:12

Pretty funny for an old guy who, moments ago, was being chased my man-eating shadows.

There is nothing to fear when we are on God's side. He is the constant companion for those who believe. But for those who chose not to follow "The Light", they will end up lost and alone in the woods at the end of their days. It will be like taking a walk in the woods after dark, only you will be eternally lost and you will never get back home.

"6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." - 1 John 1:6-7

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." - Psalm 23:4

 Light Of The World - Jesus Culture

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ears To Hear

When I was volunteering as a youth leader at church I watched the youth pastor as he delivered his weekly message to the high school kids. It had to be frustrating for him. No one was listening. Some were doing homework on a table off to the side. Others, their faces all aglow, lit up by their phone screens as they texted with friends. No one seemed to be paying any attention at all.

We adults were the ones who weren't paying attention.

The youth of today are pretty darn smart. Pretty attentive too. Despite outward appearances they retain more information than I did when I was a kid. And they are bombarded with so much of it. Social media, television, movies, school activities, homework . . . there are plenty of things to distract them. It's a wonder anything gets through to them at all.

A year or so ago I was helping a young adult work through some personal issues. Her best friend had committed suicide, her boyfriend was in jail, her parents both had issues and she dropped out of school.

If you think that was pretty depressing you'd be right . . . and she was. That's why the text I received the other night meant so much. The text said both she and her boyfriend were going back to school to get their high school GED. I almost fell over.

I vaguely remember to help them, our financially if they would go back to school. They never responded. I figured, "Oh, well" but then the text asking if I'd still like to help.


Kids don't miss a thing. Be careful what you say. Ha ha! But more importantly, know that people are listening even when you think they're not. God gave them ears to hear and they're using them.

It seems like it might be hard to be heard in a world with so many distractions. People hear. It's just that sometimes they don't listen. Speak with your heart and others will hear your words. But when someone listens with their heart, then you have something. :)

"43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" - Matthew 13:43

With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear - Sleeping With Sirens

Monday, April 11, 2016

Casting Crowns

I have a hard time accepting compliments. I tend to get embarrassed and kind of brush them off with a "Nah" or an "It was nothing." It kind of feels good inside to be thanked or complimented but I also find it kind of awkward. I don't know what to say most of time.

Someone once heard me hemming and hawing once after receiving a compliment and they pulled me aside and offered some advice. Words I still remember to this day. They went something like this.

"Bob, you have to let people thank you. They appreciate something you have done and want to thank you for it. Allow them to thank you. Then take those crowns and lay them at the feet of Jesus."

I really had no idea what my friend meant by "crowns" until I began seeing the word "crowns" as I was reading through the Bible.

"4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." - 1 Peter 5:4

"12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. " - James 1:12

There are a whole lot of references to crowns in the Bible. But this one in The Book of Revelation struck a chord with me because it made me remember my friend's advice

"9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” - Revelation 4:9-11

One of my favorite bands has the name Casting Crowns. Interesting. The word "casting" has two meanings. You can "cast" something in a foundry. Pouring molten metal into a mold. Basically creating something. A second meaning is in the world of fishing. One can "cast" or throw their fishing lure into the water. So, the things we "make" or cast are to be cast, or thrown, or more appropriately, placed at the feet of Jesus.

Whatever we do in this world, let it be for God and His glory. Whenever someone thanks us for doing something, let us accept that thanks on behalf of our God and King. And when we get to heaven, let us lay all such crowns at His feet. It is for HIS glory that we serve others, not our own. Let us give Him the thanks and praise He deserves. Always.

East To West - Casting Crowns

We Fall Down - Kutless

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Parable of The Tick

"Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil." - Proverbs 4:26-27

One of the first stops my wife and I made on our recent vacation was to see Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It sits along the east end of Lake Michigan's southern shore. We stopped at the Visitor Center first to get some information. That's where we first heard about The Three Dune Challenge! Dun-dun-DUN!!

Naturally, being both stupid AND naive, I suggested we accept the challenge. Have you ever tried walking up a sand dune? The Three Dune Challenge . . . DUN-dun-DUN! . . . is one of the reasons I came back from our vacation weighing three pounds less than before we left. Each step forward is followed closely by one slide back. Slow going.

Near the end of our hike we got a little lost. The trail marker was different than what we were expecting. Bev wanted to walk back up the five billion steps we had just come down. I wanted to go cross country to the trail I could CLEARLY see just a few hundred yards through the woods. So, we each went our separate ways.

Well, the "trail" I saw was merely and sand slide in the middle of the woods. I struggled mightily, my heart pounding in my chest, as I tried walking up an unmarked sandy, thorn-filled hill, steeper and harder than the steps my wife was taking. But I made it.

Later on that evening, as I was changing out of my travel clothes, I discovered three deer ticks, one on my leg and one on each arm, fully-embedded. Great. Deer ticks carry Lyme Disease. Great.

There is a moral to this story. As you might have guessed by the opening Bible verse, we get into trouble when we stray too far from the path God has set before us. God's Word is "a light unto our path" and I wasn't reading my Bible very much on our trip.

It is also a reminder that God will discipline His children. The Bible is filled with examples.

My encounter with the ticks and straying off "the path" taught me a lesson we ALL can use as we try walking through the world in which we live.


Pray as we encounter life's obstacles and challenges. Persevere through the storms and struggles we face and, with God's help, we can prevail.

"In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:6

Thy Word - Michael W. Smith & Amy Grant

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Everybody's probably seen National Lampoon's Vacation, right? If you haven't, you should. It's a classic. It's a movie about a stereotypical family on a stereotypical vacation doing stereotypical things. Probably a little far from reality but still, it hits home about all the things that can go wrong on a vacation.

My wife and I just returned from a one-week vacation to Asheville, NC. What a great trip! But there were a few things that went wrong. For example, you should have seen the look on my wife's face when she realized she had left her favorite pajamas back at the last hotel. I'm sure it matched the look on MY face when I realized the same thing about my phone charger.

Things always happen on vacations that we'd just as soon forget but as long as we can look back on them and laugh we're pretty much okay.

Another thing I have noticed about vacations is that we always look forward to taking them and we always enjoy coming back home to our comfortable beds and surroundings. I feel recharged today after my vacation . . . after returning home to MY comfy bed.

Another thing about vacations is we sometimes discover, upon our return, that we really need a different job. We never realized how much our current job is sucking the life out of us spiritually. That being said, vacations can suck the spiritual lives out of us as well. Always on the go, trying to get to somewhere else. And isn't that the problem?

Each of us has been designed for a purpose . . . a certain calling in life. Many of us miss that calling and end up doing something else to fill our time and our bank accounts. But is it what GOD wants us to be doing?

I am at the end of my career. Retirement is around the corner for me. Soon I WILL be doing something else. I look forward to that day. But I also must be cautious so my days do not become filled with things and activities that are not God-honoring. THAT, I think, is what we have been called to do - make God-honoring decisions, make God-honoring actions, in whatever we do, wherever we are. That is how we can please God and isn't that why we are here?

Each of us must answer the question, "How can I best serve God ?" no matter what we find ourselves doing. How will I answer? How will you?

"12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." = Colossians 3:12-17

Holiday Road - Lindsey Buckingham

Monday, April 4, 2016

I Thirst

Being on vacation is good in many ways. It gives us all a chance to relax and "get away from it all." But vacations can also be a time of separation from the comforts of home - a familiar pillow, a nice, soft bed, and the ability to see and talk with friends face-to-face.

It IS kind of nice to sleep in when on vacation and think of the events and people in our lives. But we also have things to do and places to go when on vacation. We often find ourselves on a more strict schedule when traveling than we are when we're not!

I miss many things at this point in our vacation, which makes me a little sad. But I am also learning to appreciate those things more - those precious things I had one time taken for granted I am missing greatly right now.

My church family is something I am missing. Worshiping with like-minded brothers and sisters is a blessing to be cherished. Many people do not have that. In some countries people worship in private or not at all for fear of persecution or death. We should appreciate our ability to do so here.

I miss my friends at work too. Seeing them and talking with them every day is a blessing that I have often taken for granted.

Then this morning, amidst all the missing I was doing, I thought about two words that Jesus uttered on the cross, just before He died.

"28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” - John 19:28

When we miss things don't we "thirst" for them? When our mouth is dry we thirst for water. When our hearts miss things don't we thirst for them as well? Then I wondered, "What was Jesus thirsty for? Was He thirsty for heaven? Was He thirsty to see His Father again? Was He thirsty to have the pain and suffering end? No. He was still fulfilling prophesy! Read this from

"In order to get the primary force of the fifth cross-utterance of Jesus, we must note its setting: "Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst" (John 19:28). The reference is to Psalm 69 - a Messianic psalm that describes so graphically His passion. In it the spirit of prophecy had declared, "They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink" (v. 21). This remained yet unaccomplished. The predictions of the previous verses had already received fulfillment. He had sunk in the "deep mire" (v. 2); He had been "hated without a cause" (v. 4); He had "borne reproach and shame" (v. 7); He had "become a stranger unto his brethren" (v. 8); He had become "a proverb" to His revilers, and "the song of the drunkards" (vv. 11, 12); He had "cried unto God" in His distress (vv. 17-20) - and now there remained nothing more than the offering him the drink of vinegar and gall, and in order to fulfill this he cried "I thirst."

How completely self-possessed the Savior was! He had hung on that cross for six hours and had passed through unparalleled suffering, yet His mind is clear and His memory unimpaired. He had before Him, with perfect distinctness, the whole truth of God. He reviewed the entire scope of Messianic prediction. He remembers there is one prophetic scripture unaccomplished. He overlooked nothing. What a proof is this that He was divinely superior to all circumstances!"
- A.W. Pink

What did Jesus thirst for? He thirsted to obey His father in heaven. I wonder . . . shouldn't we be doing the same?

All Who Are Thirsty - Kutless

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Parable of The Attentive Waitress

My wife and I are on a week-long vacation to Asheville, North Carolina. While driving through an Indiana rain storm late one night we saw a few signs for The Farmhouse Restaurant up ahead. We decided to stop not knowing what it would be like. We were glad we did. :)

The hostess to us to our table and we sat down. As we were still entering the booth our waitress came over and asked if she could get us something to drink. We ordered water and began perusing the menu. She returned with the water just as we both decided what we wanted and took our order.

My wife and I chatted for five minutes or so when the waitress showed up with out food.

"Wow, that was fast," my wife said. We began to eat. Throughout our dinner the waitress came back several times, asking us how the food was, could she get us anything else. Just as I finished my glass of water out waitress showed up again . . . with a small carafe of water . . . and filled my water glass. This waitress knew exactly what her job was - to serve. And she did it well - receiving a 20% tip from my former-waitress wife. Impressive.

As I watched this young lady work at serving I wondered how MY serving matched up. Was I as good at serving others as this waitress was? I don't think so. Yet God gives me a "big tip" anyway, eternal life in His kingdom. Why?

". . . whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Matthew 20:26-28

Jesus came to serve. He came to serve God! And Jesus did everything His Father asked. Basically Jesus was an attentive waiter. Waiting on His Father, doing what He commended Him to do. Am I like that? Do I do everything God asks or suspects me to do. No. Absolutely not. Yet God gives me that amazing tip anyway - a tip I don't deserve at all. How does that make me feel? Not very good. Not very good at all.

My service pails in comparison to the example Jesus set in HIS service. I don't deserve a tip at all. Yet we are called to obey God's commands and act as a servant to everyone we meet, in addition to God. I need to go to learn how to become a better waiter. How about you?

Waitress Gets $1000 Tip