Archive for September, 2009

His Hands

When the Lord wanted to reassure His disciples of His love and care, He expressed to them that they were held in His hands (Jn 10:27-30).

 Being in Christ’s hands tells me: 3 very important things.

  1. It tells me that I am special to Him.
  2. It tells me that I am secure in Him.
  3. It tells me that I will be sustained.

 I am sure that many of you remember the tingle you felt when you first held hands with your mate. Isn’t that crazy? How could touching someone’s hand be so special? But it is. An open hand often reveals an open heart and when we grasped the hand of the one we love, we were letting them know how we feel deep inside. Think about how much it means that God would want to hold us in His hands.

 To Feel Secure:

 That was the intent of Jesus’ words. He wanted His disciples to know that they were very precious to Him and that He was never going to let them go. “You are in my hands” and My hands are in the hands of the Father and no one is able to snatch you away from us.

To Know Protection:

As a child growing up, I believed that my earthly father could take his hands and do almost anything. If dad put his hand to it, it would be done. How much more reassuring it is to me to know that I have my Heavenly Father sustaining me with His hands.

Is There Hunger?

When you look at the culture around you; when you consider the spiritual state of our society; what do you think? Does a Christlike spirit define the words and actions of our leaders, our neighbors, our families? Is the Church of Christ boldly proclaiming the Gospel and successfully modeling Christian love and integrity to a watching world?

 In the eyes of many Christians, the answer is a definite no… looking around us, we see violence, immorality, and dishonesty where there should be peace, righteousness, and integrity.

 We see a Church struggling to preach the Gospel message in a way that the world can understand. We see the Christian Culture struggling even to train and disciple its own to become effective followers of Christ. Maybe, looking around at all this, you even think to yourself something like:

 “If only a spirit of Christian revival would take root in our culture today, we could truly impact our world for Christ”.

You’re not the first person to say this… and at different points in history there have been periods of spiritual revival. Many nations have witnessed outbreaks of large-scale, sometimes nationwide fervor for Jesus Christ.

 Its not the kind of stuff talked about in the media; but almost all moves of God have some recorded documentation in Church history. From the “First Great Awakening” in the early 1700s; the Welch Revival and Azusa Street (early 1900’s) and even the “Jesus movement” of the 1970s, there have been times when the conditions were just right to kick start a spiritual revival in which thousands of people committed themselves to Jesus. Sometimes those revivals were short-lived and quickly faded from memory… but others had long-lasting effects on the Church and popular culture.

 Some have suggested that the conditions are right once again.

 Could some corner of our world be ready for another move of God to sweep into the hearts and minds of a waiting generation? In our day we must recognize the greatest need is hunger. Do we want the Lord to move in our land? It may cost us our comfort, our routine and most likely our religion.

Embracing Love

Look how Jesus defined His family:

 “My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what God wants” (Mark 3:35).

 When Jesus’ brothers didn’t share his convictions… He didn’t try to force them. He recognized that His spiritual family was quite different than His physical family. We can’t control the way our family responds to us. The fact is our families may never change the way they see us or respond to us.

Sometimes I find it funny that although those who know me best call me “Ron”… my Mom and Dad still call me “Ronnie”.

 I believe we are to allow God to give us all that we need. If your earthly father doesn’t affirm you, then let your Heavenly Father take his place… God has proven Himself as a faithful Father. Now it falls to us to be trusting children. Rely upon Him for your affirmation and encouragement.

 Look at the Apostle Paul’s words: “You are God’s child, and God will give you the blessing He promised, because you are his child” (Gal. 4:7).

 I will never forget the moment I understood for the very first time that God really was a Father. As God wrapped His spiritual “arms” around me, I felt wave upon wave of liquid love fill my heart and touch the deepest places in my being that needed a Dad’s acceptance. At that moment I felt like a little boy who had finally come home.

 After this encounter with the love of God, I realized that this is what I had searched for my entire life.

 I would need God’s embrace everyday for the rest of my life. Being a son to my heavenly Father is what I was born for and its my destiny! I now realize that at the heart of Jesus was the goal to bring me home… to His Father’s embracing love.

Issues of Love

Simple as it might sound; the reality of Christ living in and through our lives today is nothing more than an issue of love. Jesus summed it all up as He was being challenged to tell of the greatest commandment.

 His word was- “Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself!” (Mt 22:37-39) 

Our cultural mindsets have made this simple idea way too complicated, because we find it very difficult to live from the heart. “Intelligent” folks want to explain the way love works rather than just do it. Love cannot be understood accept in the context of its activity.

 Love is a verb!

 Love is not complete in the context of just saying the words ”I love you”… it must have a depth of activity that proves its existence. Giving preference to others is the choice to love them in spite of personal comfort or convenience. God so loved the world that He was moved to give His only Son (Jn 3:16). Jesus tells us in the Bible that He was anointed by the Holy Spirit for Love’s purpose… to preach good news to the poor (Lk 4:18-19). The poor were those around Him who were not the preferred friends of the elite… they were the sinners, the outcast, the diseased and the cultural misfits.

 Even Nicodemas could see that great power was manifested in the person of Jesus. He states, “we know You are a teacher sent by God, because no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him”  (Jn 3:2). Such irresistable passion and power was obvious in Jesus, because of His activity. So much evidence of love was visible in the life of God’s Son, that the elite were shocked and offended by His influence. They would wonder what they could even do with Him, because so many folks were following and turning their world upside down.

 This was love personified… the real fabric of the anointing and what motivated Our Lord’s activity.

  •  Healing the sick
  •  Meeting the needs of the brokenhearted
  •  Offering deliverance to the captives
  •  Recovering sight to the blind
  •  Setting at liberty the oppressed 

These are all issues of love. Power rests on the platform of love, just like a house rests on a foundation. It may very well be the most important foundation for life… to receive love and give it away.

 No question… love is the greatest motivation of life.

The Main Thing

It begins with a spark

Light your world

During the 1800’s, the Billy Graham of that day was a man by the name of Dwight L. Moody. God used D.L. Moody in a powerful way both in America and in England.

 It has been said that Dwight L. Moody took two continents and shook them both for God.

 Once, when an evangelistic campaign was being planned in England, an elderly pastor was reported to have protested, “Why do we need this ‘Mr. Moody’? He’s uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?” A younger, wiser pastor rose and responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.”

 The same could be said of the early Christians of the book of Acts.

 Under the power and control of the Holy Spirit, they turned the world “upside down for Christ” (Acts 17:6). What could God do with us today if we were filled with the Holy Spirit as well?