Friday, October 30, 2009

Just A Little While

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:8-11 NRSV
All Christians will face resistance when their light shines in the darkness. Just as a trainer will tell you that resistance exercises build strong bones and muscle tone, the bible explains what resistance does for followers of Christ. Even though it can be a bit painful, in the long run it does make us stronger, providing we are answering the call to “his eternal glory”.
The choice to serve Christ is not a blind one. God has given us a road map, his word and his spirit, showing all the bends and turns, pit falls and valleys of life. He also provided for us, by his grace, rest stops and mountain retreats. Too often we tuck our maps away in the glove compartment of our cars and go racing off down the road. When we come into unfamiliar territory and the road gets rough, we frantically reach for God’s map! “Oh Lord, restore my path!”
Some suffering we bring on ourselves, not from serving God, but from serving the god of self. Thankfully, the grace of God still covers us, and even when we mess up He can restore us. What a great word that is – restore. It brings on visions of health and wholeness. Restoring us to strength again, we can stand firm and steadfast, growing stronger with each trial.
If we are in Christ we need not fear suffering, for it is padded with restoration, grace, and the promise of eternal life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Got Light?

“Later in one of his talks, Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.’” John 8:12 LIVING BIBLE

The dictionary explains “darkness” as: “…entirely or partly without light, neither giving nor receiving light.”

Who among us has not been afraid of the dark- even a little bit? Why is that? It may or may not be a learned fear. Most of the time it just seems like instinct. Spiritually speaking, instinctual fear of the darkness may save our lives.

If you have ever been caught unaware in total darkness, you know it’s not necessarily a pleasant experience. The last thing you want to do is to take a step forward and find your way with no point of reference. No one wants to stumble and fall. All concepts of distance and depth are taken from you, changing your reality. When you open a door to a darkened room, and a little light gets in, it’s no longer dark! The same is with our hearts. When we are without God in our life, we experience spiritual darkness. The light of Jesus is our point of reference. It is up to us to crack the door so Jesus and the words He speaks can bring light. He gives us the light and wants us to share it in return.

There are plenty of influences in this world that encourage darkness. Our job is to reflect the kind of light that can dispel it. The little things we do and say may be the light someone needs to illuminate their heart and mind at any given moment in time. Remember, even a small candle can illumine a dark room.

Father in heaven, If you are not darkness, then I don’t want to be there. Help me to seek your light in my life. I don’t want to stumble around any more – I need You to guide me. Please use me to be a light, even in a small way, in someone else’s life today.

Monday, October 26, 2009


“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Romans 12:2

I heard Jim Caviezel speak yesterday morning at a church service. A humble man and full of passion for a lost world. He spoke of how God has been moving in his life, and of the miraculous chain of events that happened as he was filming The Passion of The Christ. If some of you are unfamiliar with his name, he played the part of Jesus.

Alright, I will admit to you that as of this moment, I have not seen the movie. But I have read the book, and I know how it turns out. After seeing this man talk about the transformations, revelations and inspirations that transpired in his heart because of his role, I long to see it. But more than that, I long to experience the deep and intense sense of God that he spoke of. I will never have the opportunity to go through the journey he went through – nor do I want to. The suffering and near death physical trauma he endured is not one I feel prepared to duplicate. But I believe my everyday life has something to teach me, and I want to be better at getting it. I want others get it because of the way I live.

Jim said that four out of five scene takes were Jim playing Jesus, and one out of five takes were Jesus playing Himself through Jim. That one take was the one that ended up on film. He would pray for Jesus to come through – and He did. Jim was in a sense transformed into the likeness of Christ for the Glory of God.

Lest you think this a bit strong in theology, read the book of Revelation. It’s pretty strong in transformation theology. None the less, transformation is what our lives as Christians is all about. I heard about an extreme case this morning – extreme but tempered with compassion, humility and peace.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Devotion to God

Well, here I am starting a new blog. I have been writing devotions for some time. But it wasn't until recently (yesterday in fact)that I thought of sharing them in a blog exclusively for devotionals. So here is the first one. I hope you will enjoy, visit again and draw some meaning from what God has shared with me.

I Corinthians 13:13
"And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

I listened to a video sermon given by a friend of mine this morning. In his message he mentioned that real love - charity - perfects grace, mercy and kindness in our everyday lives. For some reason that brought me up short. Grace, mercy and kindness in my everyday life, huh? If you are like me, you tend to think of those attributes occurring only when there is a big issue to be addressed. I don't always think of exercising them in even the little things in my daily life.

Our lives are full of seemingly insignificant incidents. We engage other people, write emails, talk to family members and make choices every day. Bearing in mind that we are to reflect the light and charity of Jesus, how often do we operate in grace, mercy and kindness? Perhaps we should pay more attention to words, actions and attitudes that shape our final outcomes for the day. Days piled upon days shape a life. What shape will our life take, and how will we reflect the charity of Jesus? We do it moment by moment, remembering that the great gifts we give make a difference in reaching a lost world.

The greatest gift is charity - the kind that reflects Jesus.