Monday, May 25, 2009

Psalm 23

I got this in an email this week. I thought it was good so I am passing it on. I don't know who the author of this piece is.

The Lord is my Shepherd = That's Relationship!

I shall not want = That's Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That's Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters = That's Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul = That's Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That's Guidance!

For His name sake = That's Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That's Testing!

I will fear no evil = That's Protection!

For Thou art with me = That's Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That's Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That's Hope!

Thou anoints my head with oil = That's Consecration!

My cup runneth over = That's Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That's Blessing !

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That's Security!

Forever = That's Eternity!

Face it, the Lord is crazy about you. .

Sunday, May 17, 2009

End of the school year

My daughter spent the weekend studying for her final exams. She has her tests Wednesday – Friday this week and then she is done for the summer. She is very tired of school and can’t wait to get to summer vacation. We talked about the need to focus and work hard for one more week. We talked about finishing strong and not ruining her hard work from this semester. We talked about the idea of persevering through one more week.

This discussion reminded me of the passage in 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27. Paul talks about running the race in such a way as to get the prize. Beth works hard to get good grades – the prize. However, we run the race of life in such a way to get the prize of eternal life. Hebrews chapter 12 talks about getting rid of anything that will weight us down and keep us from competing to our best. Check out yourself. Are there things weighting you down? Are you running the race God has called you to? If not, what is weighing you down? What is entangling you? Cast it aside and fix your eyes on Jesus and finish the race strong.

1 Corinthians 9:24 -27 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

Hebrews 12:1-3 " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Right Thing - Part 2

I thought some more about the statement, “sometimes all you can do is the next right thing.” A couple of things stuck out to me.

The first is that this is not dependent on anything anyone else does or doesn’t do. No matter what the world around us thinks is the natural next step or action, we have to do the right thing. That could be completely in opposition to what is considered the “normal” for any given situation.

The next thing I thought about was that this presupposes that you are going to do something. Doing nothing in some situations is doing the wrong thing. The Bible talks about choosing who you are going to serve. It also talks about us being salt and light to the world. Step out of your comfort zone and determine what the right thing is to do, and then just do it.

If you are at work and everyone else is “cheating” the company, you need to do the right thing. When everyone else is taking long lunches, you need to do the right thing. When others are simply not doing their job, you need to do the right thing. When others lie on their time cards, you need to do the right thing.

The acceptable thing and the right thing are often in opposition to each other. Don’t worry about anyone else; simply focus on your own responsibilities and what you need to do.

I’ve heard this statement my whole life, “If you don't stand for something - you'll fall for anything”. This is a powerful statement that drives home the point of having convictions, and the integrity and strength of character to stick by them and stand up for them.

You never know who is watching and who your right actions can influence. Step out today and determine to do the right thing. Trust God to use your obedience and integrity to impact the world.

Matthew 5: 13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. ‘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.’”

Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Right Thing

I don’t know the origin of this statement but I’ve heard it all of my life. “Character is what you do when no one is watching.”

It has to do with how you react to situations and how you treat people. It involves what you do, what you say, and what you don’t say.

Every day we are faced with situations where we have to make decisions. Lots of these take place when no one can see you.

Decide ahead of time that you are going to do the right thing. Set out with the desire in your heart to please God.

No matter what happens all around you, do the right thing. And sometimes all you can do is the next right thing.

Proverbs 11:3 “The integrity of the upright guides them”

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Monday, May 4, 2009

Class Reunion

I signed up to attend my 30th high school class reunion. I haven’t been to any of my class reunions. This is partially due to living about 700 miles away from where I grew up. I still stay in contact with a few close friends but I am sure I will see many other people that I haven’t seen in a long time.

With this event coming up in July, I started to think about reunions in the Bible.

In Genesis 46, it tells about how Jacob thought Joseph was dead, and that now he’ll get to see him again and live out his last seventeen years with him. I’m sure that this was a very emotional reunion. Jacob thought Joseph was dead. He had mourned his son for years. Then, without any warning, there was Joseph.

I also thought about the great reunion that will take place in heaven. God promises that all believers will be reunited with Him in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”