Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do I Walk Like Bob?

This is Bob our office visitor and Mary's Grand-dog.

Do I walk like Bob?

I’m dog-sitting my Grand-dog, Bob, this week, and we take long walks together.  He loves to walk and he begins at a very fast pace, dragging me along behind.  But about half-way through, his enthusiasm wanes, and he just decides to sit down in the middle of the Prairie Path.  Although I’ve carefully explained to him that you cannot sit down in the middle of the path, he has little regard for the “rules of the road.”

I was thinking today how often my walk with God is like Bob’s.  I can start out very enthusiastically, but when the going gets a little tough, or when fatigue sets in, I just want to sit down spiritually.  Paul wrote:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7)

Finishing well is so important.  How many of us start our “walks” like Bob, but eventually end up on the sidelines?  In the next verse Paul tells us that the crown of righteousness is for those who finish well.  I don’t think I’ll ever train Bob to finish well, but I sure want to have a crown of righteousness to cast at Jesus’ feet when I see him in Heaven.  Don’t you?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's Your Excuse For Not Praying?

The Bible says to pray about everything. The Apostle Paul wrote:

"Pray continually" (1 Thess 5:17).
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:18).
Yet not many of us really pray about everything.  Why not? Here’s one common excuse:

1. "I forget."
Forgetting to pray about something or someone is very easy to do.  That's the reason that I advocate using a Prayer Journal, to help us remember what and who to pray for.  If you've never used a Prayer Journal, I've designed one that you can order from us, and you may find it helpful.
If I did not use a prayer journal, I would forget so many that I really want to pray for.  So, I really encourage you to use some type of a prayer journal to help you remember.

2.  "Seems too trivial."
First Peter 5:7 says:  "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

We have a misconception of God when we think he's too busy to be involved in the little things.  God has infinite capacity.  He doesn't experience burnout like we do!  Trust Him!  He can handle all your trivialities!

3.  "Don't know how to pray about it."
Romans 8:26b says:  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Isn’t that a marvelous promise?  The Spirit intercedes for us when we’re at a loss for words.  When you're baffled, when you're too emotionally involved to be objective, when you're totally discouraged or confused, ask the blessed Holy Spirit to pray for you in words that you cannot express.

4.  "I know God is displeased with me because I have not obeyed Him."
Psalm 66:18 says "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." 
Cherishing sin is when we know what God wants us to do and we haven't done it.  In other words, disobedience.  I strongly encourage you to deal with any areas of disobedience in your life at once.  If you don't, prayer becomes futile, because God is not listening. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't Let Your Name Be Ichabod

How would you like to be named Ichabod? Ichabod means "The glory is departed." In 1 Samuel 5 we read that Phinehas' wife named their son Ichabod, because the glory of God had departed from Israel. Through sin and disobedience, they had lost the glory of their position as God’s chosen people.

In our vernacular today, we might say, “That person is a has-been.” It’s possible to be spiritual "has-beens.” I can think of many Christians I know who used to be mightily used of God. It could be said of them that they "have been" this or that for God, but now the glory has departed. Through sin and disobedience, Ichabod is now their name.

Could it ever be said of us that we have been in the past a person of love and compassion, but it's no longer true? Have we lost the zeal we once had for Jesus? Have we been in the past a strong witness for Jesus Christ, but now we’re just a “has-been”, an Ichabod?

No, for sure none of us would want to be called Ichabod -the glory has departed. Is God's glory still evident in your life to all who know you? If not, you can be restored to that original glory. Don't let your name be Ichabod.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can A Christian Be Humble and Successful?

How can a Christian be humble and still be successful? Is the Bible's challenge for us to humble ourselves, as Jesus said, or to wear humility, as we read in Colossians 3, compatible with our desires to succeed in our careers? 

I believe the answer to that question is yes, when we understand the real meaning of humility.  What most people think of when they talk about being humble is not the real meaning of the term, but rather a false humility. 

For example, refusing to accept compliments graciously is not real humility.  Saying degrading things about ourselves is not a sign of humility.  Refusing to accept reward­s or recognition for what we've accomplished is not a sign of humility.

True humility is a natural outcome of learning who we are in comparison to who God is.  When we are in a life-long process of constantly learning that everything we are and everything we do is because of who God is, then humility becomes a natural characteristic.  But it does not make us into a doormat nor does it keep us from achieving goals and ambitions.  Indeed, true humility helps us in the business world.