Monday, April 18, 2011

Would you Deny Him?

Welcome to Holy Week. As our Pastor said yesterday its one of the most powerful weeks of the year. I want to start tonight with the passage of Peter Denying he knew Jesus:
Luke 22: 54- 62
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

What does this passage say to you? How many of us are Peter hourly, daily, weekly? How many of us never truly get away from the fear of being called a Jesus Freak, Holy Roller, or Bible Thumper. How many of us let ourselves and those around us down because we are too afraid to be what God calls us to be? When was the last time you denied Christ?

I can tell you that I've done it recently not by my action, but by my inaction. A month ago I fell into a trance where I was afraid to do anything wrong, afraid to hurt or offend anyone, afraid to live. Thanks be to God that one of my dearest Sisters in Christ for pulling me out of my slumber by telling me I was better than the man she was seeing. I was more to everyone and quite frankly "I needed to get back in the game" I needed in part to stop denying Jesus and to live as God intended.

I have a pray for all of us this Holy Week. I pray that given the opportunity, we will be bold for Christ, we won't hide the fact we are attending 1, 2, 3 or more services this week, we won't be scared to ask someone to join us at Church. I pray that all of us will somehow learn from Peter, who was by far more faithful than any of us could probably ever imagine ourselves being and know that we too Deny Jesus. We too cry Crucify Him... Not by what we have done, but by what we leave undone.

Be bold my Brothers and Sisters. Wear your Cross this week! Show the world you are Children of God!
Love in Christ,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Even Though I Walk Through the Valley...

Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I fear no evil for thou art with me... Psalm 23

Are you unshakable or do you tremble when fear comes knocking. Can you face a demon head on? What about an army of them? What about those that dwell deep in your own soul? When was the last time you walked the "Valley"? When was the last time you were battle tested? Here's some thoughts if its been awhile and you would like a refresher...

Take heart Brothers and Sisters. The truth of our defense lies in quite arguably one of the most notable Psalms... Psalm 23. I'm guessing many of us can literally say every line by heart, but can we live every line by heart. Can we say that when we are in the Valley of the Shadow of Death that we fear no evil. Can we say that we truly believe that Christ will lead us beside still waters and restore our soul? Are we being led down the path of righteousness for his name sake? Do we believe that a table is prepared for us in the presence of our enemies and our cup overflows? Do we truly believe that goodness and mercy will follow us all of the days of our lives and that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever?

I ask you tonight to pray that the answer to the questions above will be a resounding YES for you! I ask you to put your full trust in Jesus and give it over to him. I ask you to bring the Word found in Psalm 23 to life. If you can live it, others will take notice and live it to. We are in a broken world full of pain, heartache, jealously, and every evil imagined and unimagined. It is up to us to be a living example. It is up to us to set the bar.

Next time you are in the "Valley", PRAY. Pray like you've never prayed before and enjoy that green pasture, enjoy those still waters, enjoy the table the Lord has prepared for you. And, don't keep it secret. Tell someone around you about how God is moving mountains for you. HE CERTAINLY MOVES THEM FOR ME! AND MY CUP OVERFLOWS! PRAISE BE TO GOD!

And, Love and Peace to each one of you this week as we get ready to celebrate Palm Sunday. Hear the celebration, feel the celebration, and get ready for Easter.... Sneak peak.... He is RISEN! Sorry, couldn't resist.


Monday, April 4, 2011

What have you done for HIM lately?

Good Evening,
I write to you on this Monday evening as a very tired Dad after a long day of meetings, playing with boys, and getting them ready for bedtime. Tonight as I was going through what seems to be a nightly routine I couldn't help, but wonder: Did I glorify God today? What did I do that was significant enough to be a gift to my Risen Savior? Or, in reality did I do anything at all or live in apathy? Ever ask yourself these questions. Ever wonder if you have a purpose beyond what you are doing? Rick Warren certainly did a wonderful job discussing Purpose in his book Purpose Driven Life, but tonight I want to get to the basics. Touch you at your core. Did you do ANYTHING today to Glorify God? What about yesterday? What about last week?

Hard questions. Now I will follow up with one I ask myself quite often: Did I do enough? Let's look at a verse:
Romans 1:4-5
And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.

Pretty powerful words. Words of truth, challenge, and light. We are not asked to glorify Him, we are given the privilege and authority to do so. It is up to us to take advantage of every opportunity to speak of Our Risen Savior.

Now for a gut check... Not too keen on being a witness? Are you saying Steve, you are nuts I can't talk to someone about God... they will think I'm a Holy Roller or Religious Freak. Or, maybe you are saying "I just don't have the words". If that is true I'm going to ask you to use what you do have to Glorify God. You don't have to use words to "speak". Use your talents, use your actions, use music, use love. All of these and many more can help you reach those in need. And, don't expect immediate reward. You may never know just how much of a difference you have made to someone. You may never know if you have truly helped "Your One" find Jesus until you get to heaven and see them there. This is all the more reason that I ask you during you morning prayers or during a moment of quiet during your morning that you ask God to show you one way that you can glorify him each day. And, don't worry if you seem to focus on one person on one thing for an extended period of time. That one person may be the one that needs you most. And, guess what? Others watch and they will notice you doing God's work, good work. They will truly see you good and faithful servant.

May God Bless Us All as we continue focus on hearts on the sacrifice Jesus gave us on the cross.
Love in Christ,