All posts filed under: Discipleship

Where do you feel the closest to God?


I met with a friend a few days ago. He took me out for some Mexican Food at a place call Sol Mexican Grill. The food is amazing there. At the end of of our wonderful time together, I asked him the following question: “My church is not growing, what else do I need to do? He looked at me and said, “I don’t know! I don’t know! What kind of answer is that? I thought to myself. “There is a lot of stuff you need to do, and all of them are equally important. But, there is one thing I would focus on the most,” He added. At this time he proceeded to tell me a story about a friend: “My friend went to Italy for vacation and he came back very excited about his visit. So I asked him what excited him the most on his trip. He said, it was a visit to one of the historic Cathedrals in Rome that blew his mind. He told me he had never felt that closed to …

Sprinkled for greater works


The Reference 1 Samuel‬ ‭16‬:‭1‬ NLT “Now the LORD said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.” 1 John 2:27 NLT “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie-just as it has taught you, abide in him.” The meaning The word “anoint” means to rub or sprinkle on; apply an unguent, ointment, or oily liquid to. Persons in the Old Testament were often literally anointed with oil. For example, priests were anointed for their special service to the LORD (Exodus 28:41). Literal oil would be applied, but as a sign of the Holy Spirit upon their lives and service. The oil on the head was only …

Ignite my Soul: Consume these idle sticks


“God consume these idle sticks in my life that may burn for thee.” Jim Elliot What does the word idle mean? It means – not active or in use. synonyms: inactive, unused, unoccupied, unemployed, disused. It speaks of a person – not working; unemployed. Synonyms: unemployed, jobless, out-of-work, redundant, between jobs, workless, unwaged, unoccupied. It also speaks of a person avoiding work; lazy. Synonyms: lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, sluggish, lethargic, listless It means to lack or be without purpose or effect; pointless. Synonyms: frivolous, trivial, trifling, vain, minor, petty, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, inane, fatuous It defines a person who spends their time doing nothing; be idle. Synonyms: do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, take it easy, mark time, twiddle one’s thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, lounge, loll, loaf, loiter. The Scripture warns about it A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace. Matthew 20:3 But his …

Grace, Love and Truth:  The threefold cord not easily broken


These I call the threefold cords You cannot talk about one and leave the other out of the picture. You cannot believe in one and not the others. Each stand in its own right, but lift up the rest. I believe in grace… but grace, not as a license to sin. I believe in love… but not at the expense of obedience or truth. I believe in truth… but not at the exclusion of the grace and love. It was Robert Farrar Capon that said, “let’s get drunk on grace, two hundred-proof defiant grace…” In response someone said, “let’s get fired up on love, seven times tested and refined love…” Still another said, “let’s get anchored in truth, truth that has stood the test of time…” I say: Let’s get drunk on grace, love and truth. Let’s get fired up on grace, love and truth. Let’s get anchored in  grace, love and truth. I think they are the threefold cords of the Christian faith that are not quickly broken. Grace “For the grace of God (His unmerited …

holy, holy, holy VS happy, happy, happy


I have never met anyone who doesn’t dream about being happy. There is this thing inside us that long for a happy life. I don’t think happiness  is a bad thing to want. Our loving heavenly Father planned for our happiness. The very idea of “Shalom”  in the Bible – “nothing missing – nothing broken” speaks to that fact that God provides for our happiness.  However, I also think most of go about looking for happiness The wrong way. We seek to fill that God-Shape Vacuum (that only He alone can fill) with things that don’t satisfy. First Things First Most people do not know better, so they go about seeking happiness the wrong way. They go for pleasures of all kinds, but it leaves them empty and longing for more. They go for status, fame and money, but soon realize that these things just can’t deliver true happiness. They go for self-help books that only scratch the surface of how to find true happiness. Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His …

10 Promises that godliness holds for this Life and the life to come


1 Timothy 4:8 Godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. What is godliness? Godliness is active obedience to God. It springs not from works, legalism or a religious spirit, but from a reverent awe or fear of God. There are a few things in this world that bring value and enrichment to our lives. Godliness is at the top of that list. Godliness holds promises for all areas of life. It releases incredible blessings when possessed in increasing measures in areas of the family, business, relationships, finances and leisure. By it (godliness), God raises nations to greatness (Prov. 14:34). In this post I want to share with you the value, the power and the promise that godliness holds for this life and the life to come. A godly person: 1. Will Attract Strong Help from God For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward …

Call & response: A Spiritual Dialogue


A call to Hear Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! This a call for the elderly and for the young – every man, woman, boy and girl. He doesn’t want any to be left out. He is calling Hindus, Buddhist and Muslims. He is calling the entire world to hear what He has to say through His Son Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” If you hear His voice don’t harden your heart! A call to Awake Awake, you drunkards, A spiritual slumber has swept over the nations. The eyes of many Christians are heavy. Jesus is calling the church to come alive. He wants to bring revival. He wants to raise up those dry bones and breathe life into them so that they can live again.  Ephesians 5:14 says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Are you asleep? Could you not …

Without good direction, people lose their way


Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. Here are a few nuggets from Proverbs 11 to help guard us in the right direction: Lead a life of honesty God hates cheating in the marketplace; he loves it when business is aboveboard. Practice humility The stuck-up fall flat on their faces, but down-to-earth people stand firm. Use integrity as a guardrail The integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin. Place more value on faith, hope and a principled life than on riches A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst. Leave a good name and a good reputation everywhere you go Moral character makes for smooth traveling; an evil life is a hard life. Good character is the best insurance; crooks get trapped in their sinful lust. Seek to leave a lasting legacy When the wicked die, that’s it—the story’s over, end of hope. A …

2-scriptures to help you in our fight against sin


Sometimes when we discover certain verses of scripture, we go “bingo, I have found the answer to everything.” We kind of hold on to that verse as if it were the last word on the subject. If we are not careful, we can easily be lead into error. How so, you may ask? For example, when we read something like – “if you ask anything in my name I will do” we might think this is it, “he said and that settles it.” Well, there is a qualifier to that verse – and if we fail to take it into consideration, we could fall into error. The qualifier says, “if you ask anything according to my will.” The two scriptures I’m about to use today can sometimes seem opposed one to the other – at least some would like to make them look so. But I think they compliment or qualify one another. A clear understanding of these two scriptures is key to gaining the victory and staying victorious over sin. 1. It is the kindness/goodness of the Lord …

7 Scriptures to look up before you shout “legalism”


There is a growing group of Christians today that want nothing to do with any kind of restriction from scripture or common sense Christian values in matters of faith and life. Any objection to the kind of movies they watch, the kind of music they listen to, the way they dress, the jokes they tell, getting wasted, the use of curse words or inappropriate language is usually seen as being “legalistic.” The problem here is, I think, we want to be mere men, but we are not mere men. We want to be like everyone else, but we are not everyone else. We want to be normal, but we are not normal. We want to be ordinary, but we are not ordinary. God made us and called us to be extraordinary. And instead of letting scripture shape the way we live, we water it down a little for culture to have a little wiggle room around truth. But it is important to understand that the things we watch and listen to have profound effects on us. Like my spiritual father used to say, “what goes in …