One Little Flame Can Light The Whole World

I’ve been reading in the Bible a lot lately about being a Light in the world, and my thoughts have sifted to 9 years ago.

Nine years ago I went to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky (I highly recommend going if you’ve never been there).  It’s this huge cave system which you can explore (of course, there’s a path and stairs you need to stay on so you don’t get lost) with a group.

Just for giggles… me at Mammoth Cave in 2008

Well, one of the places in the cave was this huge room that had seats (large boulders) that about 50 of us were on.  The ranger asked everyone to put lights and phones away.  Once everyone had done that, the ranger turned out the lights and the cave was pitch black.  You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.

Just then, the ranger lit one little lighter and you know what happened?  That one little flame light up this whole room, and I’m not talking about some little bedroom or living room in a house, but a huge cave!  Just one little flame!!

And you know what, that’s all we need to be a light in this world.

Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

You are a light of the world!  You really can change the world with one little flame.  All you have to do is light it…

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” -Jesus (John 12:46)

 

Jesus: The Finisher!

On Sunday my Uncle John and I were having a deep spiritual conversation about life.

Where are we headed?  What’s our purpose here?

One thing I normally dwell on is marketing.  I love marketing.  I have even started some projects but never finished them.  Got them started, but never kept the momentum going.

Well… that night I asked God to help me finish what I start.

What happened yesterday morning?  Whoa!!!

I read a Prime Time with God Devotional I get via email and it was amazing.

The subject line:  “Jesus:  The Finisher of Our Faith.”

Finisher??  I was just asking God to help me be a finisher.  I must read on I told myself.

The devotion started with a Bible verse and then God REALLY spoke to me.  Here’s what the devotion said next:

“Jesus is the Finisher of Our Faith.  If you are good at beginning new projects, but you are a poor finisher, look to Jesus, the Finisher of Our Faith.”

wow-Wow-WOW!!!  God speaks!  And answers prayers.

We just need to keep looking to Jesus IN all I do and seek his direction.

Forgive Or Your Heavenly Father Will Not Forgive You

I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme that comes up whenever I talk with my family about “forgiveness.”

The ones I’ve talked to about forgiveness always say they could never forgive someone if they harmed someone they love.  They say they would HATE that person.  Some said they would even like to kill that person.

Yikes.

Two passages come to my mind every time I hear someone say they couldn’t forgive someone who does something horrible…


“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:14-15

and

“Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.” -1 John 3:14b-15


Jesus is very clear.  If you don’t forgive someone who sins against you, then our heavenly Father will not forgive you.  Jesus isn’t saying you’ll like it.  He’s not saying you have to be best friends with the person, but you do have to forgive.

Even John says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.”

Wowzers!  Sounds pretty clear to me, no?

Well, on Friday, my uncle and I were talking about Jesus and the Bible and we started talking about forgiveness.  And guess what he said?!  He said if something happened to me or anyone in the family, or his friends, he would never be able to forgive that person.

I referred him to scripture, but he said he knows he needs to forgive, but he wouldn’t be to do it.

So the rest of that night and Saturday it really got me thinking.  And this verse popped in my head, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

How could you give thanks in all circumstances, especially some horrible act done against someone you love?

The only thing I could think and what I can start telling people is… If someone did something horrible to me and it ended in my death, forgive them and give thanks to our Father in Heaven that it happened to me and not someone who isn’t saved.

Really… What else could be said?

Now go out and be a Light in the World!

Be Fearless!

I’ve been watching Francis Chan on Youtube lately, and I’m really loving his messages!

The video below really hits home.  It’s about being Fearless… and in this part of the video he talks about giving.  Watch the video and then below I’ll share my story about giving below.

Francis Chan – Fearless

Well, what did you think?  Awesome video, right?!

I remember when I thought I never had enough money to give, heck, I still feel that way.  But, last summer I started giving a little more than normal.  Then I started giving to my church 10% of my checks that came in.  Then… I started giving 10% of my income BEFORE taxes and anything being taken out.

I’ll tell you what, I was scared.  I kept thinking, how am I going to pay my bills.  Well, you know what?  God ALWAYS provided for my needs, and always will provide for my needs.

I remember last month I kept thinking, I’d really like to put some of that money away rather than give it away.  But God kept urging me to give it away, so I did.  And guess what?!  One of my affiliate marketing accounts I have made a huge sale and… it was, get this, 40 cents lower than what I just gave away.

God provided a way for me.  He has ALWAYS provide a way for me.  The more I trust him the more it seems he gives me… and I’m not just talking about money, but time, enjoyment, love, etc.  It’s amazing.

Just remember, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

Keep on trusting, keep on being fearless, and keep on being a Light in the World!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2017!

Remember the past is the past.  The only thing we can do is move forward toward the ultimate prize…

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:13-14

And as you walk through the new year…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Enjoy the adventure God has laid ahead of you.

Be a light in the world!

Slave to Sin OR Slave to Righteousness

This morning my cousin tagged me in an atheist post on Facebook.

It was a meme that said, “If God created man and angels but only gave man free will, doesn’t that mean that the angels are slaves and that satan and his followers fought for their freedom?”

That meme really got me thinking.  I’m not going to go into the ‘free will’ aspects of it, but the ‘slave’ part.

Dictionary.com defines “Slave” as a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.

No one wants to be a slave, do they?  But are we ever truly free?

If you go through the Bible you’ll discover that everyone is a slave to something.

Here’s what Paul has to say in Romans 6:16-23


“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.  Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?  Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Paul is saying you’re either slave to sin or a slave to righteousness.

Think about your life… what sins have you been a slave to?  How did you overcome them?

Regards to the meme, it looks like satan and his followers fought for their freedom from righteousness to become slaves to sin.  Not a good choice.

Would you rather be a slave to the world (which leads to death) or a slave to God (which leads to eternal life)?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Now go out and be a light in the world!

Love is…

If someone was to ask you, “How would you define love?” how would you respond?
 
Dictionary.com defines love as:
  1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
  2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

It’s how we all usually define love, no?

But, what does scripture have to say about love?  How does scripture define love?

Take it away, Paul!

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

What wise words form a wise man.

Now I want you to replace LOVE with your name.  So for me it would be:

David is patient.
David is kind.
David does not envy.
David does not boast.
David is not proud.
David is not rude.
David is not self-seeking.
David is not easily angered.
David keeps no record of wrongs.
David does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
David always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Wow!  How powerful is that just by replacing one word with your name!

Now I must admit, I’m not all of those.  Heck, I can see me being all of these at times, which means I have a lot of work to do.  It also gives me a lot to think about…

How about you?  What do you need to work on when it comes to love?

“And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13

Love never fails!

Would God Forgive Satan If He Asked For Forgiveness?

I heard a questions recently, which I’ve never heard before… “Would God forgive Satan if he asked for forgiveness?”

Hmm… very interesting question.  One that got me thinking.  Hmm… thinking to myself, would God forgive Satan if he asked for forgiveness?

Looking to the Bible, we all know the fate of Satan.  So, he’ll never be in Heaven, but the question about would God forgive him if he asked for forgiveness… I’d have to say I think so, and here’s why.

If we look at Luke 16:19-31, Jesus talks about a rich man dressed in purpled and fine linen while living in luxury while there was a beggar named Lazarus at the rich man’s gate.

Eventually Lazarus dies and the angels carry him to Abraham’s side.  Then the rich man dies and he’s in hell, where he’s in torment.

The rich man looks up and see’s Lazarus by Abraham’s side and says, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” (24)

Abraham then goes on to tell the rich man how he received good things in life and Lazarus received the bad.  Now Lazarus is comforted and the rich man is in agony.(25-26)

The rich man then begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house and warn his five brothers so that they will not also come to the place of torment. (27)

Abraham tells the rich man, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” (29)

“No, father Abraham,” the rich man said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” (30)

Abraham said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (31)

There’s quite a bit between the rich man, Lazarus, and Abraham.

But there is one thing that really strikes me… How come the rich man never asked for forgiveness?  How come he never told Lazarus he was sorry for not helping him?

Instead, the rich man asks for some water to cool his tongue and to warn his brothers so they don’t end up in agony with him.

This all gets me thinking… the rich man never wanted to be forgiven.  It’s almost as if he feels he didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s like if you don’t want to be with Jesus now, why would you want to spend eternity with him?  I can’t imagine anyone going to Hell and then asking for forgiveness.  But………… if they did ask forgives, would God forgive them?

In verse 26, Abraham does say, “besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

So, whether you go to Heaven or Hell when you die, it’s where you’re going to spend eternity.

I think if Satan was to ask God for forgiveness he would forgive him, but Satan will never ask for it.  Nor, do I think anyone who goes to Hell will ask for forgiveness either.  Kind of like being set in there ways.

Curious to know your thoughts.  Do you think if Satan was to ask God for forgiveness that He would forgive him?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now keep spreading the word!

God Works For The Good Of Those Who Love Him

Tomorrow in the United States, we’re having our election to see who is going to be the next President.

A lot of us don’t know how it came done to the two people that it has, but that’s the way it goes.

No matter who becomes the next President, God  is ALWAYS in control.

He uses evil for good.

Remember what Paul said in Romans:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Always have God number 1 in your life.  No matter what happens with this election, be sure to love God and remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love him!

Shall I Not Drink The Cup The Father Has Given Me?

As I was doing my morning reading (John 18), I was reading about Jesus being arrested.  As he was being arrested, Peter drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear.

Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away!  Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11)

Take a look at what Jesus said… “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

What’s Jesus talking about?

What came to my mind is Jesus was talking about what was going to happen to him.

The cup represents Jesus’ life, and the Father had it all planned out.  That’s why he said, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”  He was telling Peter to put away his sword and let God’s plan unfold.

How about you?  Are you drinking the cup the Father has given you?

I know at times I feel like I throw the cup down and try to do my own things, but I know that I have to trust God that his plan, his perfect plan, will work out.

Remember, keep your eye on Jesus and drink the cup the Father has given you.  Don’t try to resist.  Just TRUST.