Yesterday, I was shopping at Lowes Home Improvement store [One of my favorite stores.] I dutifully had my list of items I needed to purchase but when I came across the clearance rack, I found my favorite plant, Lantana. Clearance price? $1.00! So, I quickly took advantage of my good fortune!
While loading my items in my car, I discovered I had seven plants but had only paid for six. I had miscounted. [I never was good at Math.] So, I what do I do? After all, it was just a mistake; I was not attempting to steal anything and Lowes wouldn’t go bankrupt if I didn’t return it. I started to rationalize:
- It was a long walk back to the store and I was tired.
- I could return it later the next time at the store.
- It was only a dollar item! No big deal!
- People deliberately shoplift; so Lowes expects to lose a certain amount of product.
All those reasons made sense to me but the reality was still the same. I had something in my possession that did not belong to me and my conscious wouldn’t let me keep it. When I returned the plant and explained my the situation; the Lowes associate looked like they had just seen a green, one-eyed Martian!
I share this story, not to post on my own piety but to show us that honesty and integrity have become as extinct as the Do-Do bird. I want to be a person of integrity and I hope this is your goal.
Disclaimer: This story is what I felt that God required of me; you may have responded differently and I do not judge you. Allow the peace of God rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:15
Have you ever been mistaken for someone else? They say that everyone has a twin but I could not verify the validity of that saying. But does everyone have a doppelganger? There is only so much genetic diversity to go around,” said Michael Sheehan, an assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University.
A new baby is born and someone is bound to say, “Doesn’t he look just like his Uncle Elmer?” Or you go to a family reunion and you prepare yourself for, “You look just like your Aunt Mable!” My family tells me that my grandson, Brice, looks, and acts just like me. [I am not sure if that is a criticism or a compliment!]
I found an interesting verse of Scripture, Acts 4:13 that says, “Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
I am not sure all that this verse implies but I do know that you become like the people you “hang” with. Proverbs 13:20″ He who walks with the wise will become wise…” So as Christ-follower, we must ask ourselves, “Does my behavior, attitude, and actions reflect that I have been with Jesus?
Surrender: to yield (something) to the possession or power of another
Control: to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command
Let’s be honest; most of us like to be in control. We stress out when things seem out of our control. Growing up with two brothers, control was a big issue, whether it was who would ride “shotgun” in the car or would we watch cartoons or American Bandstand. It feels nice to call the shots, drive the car, hold the mic, dominate the remote, and plan out a detour-free itinerary for our lives.
Control becomes a major issue when we refuse to surrender control of our lives to God. I’m like, “Hey God, I know you created the world, and exist outside of time, and are unquestionably wiser than anyone could imagine, but I just want to give you a heads up. You’re going the wrong way!”
Jesus prayed, “Your will be done,” right before His crucifixion; and our hearts, words, and lives should continue His prayer.
We cannot micromanage God, but we can trust Him. We can yield to His guidance, knowing He only leads us in the right direction.
We all get to choose. The options are confidence in our own partial understanding or surrender to the one who holds the map.
I have always been interested in the study words and phrases and their origin. We often use phrases in our conversations but have no idea when or how it was used originally used. For example. we tell someone to “sleep tight” but what does that mean? http://bit.ly/2lhEerY
There is a new (?) phrase I heard that I like; “Are you in?” This phrase doesn’t refer to an amusement park worker asking someone if they are secure in their roller coaster seat. The phrase basically means you are totally committed to a certain plan of action. It means you have my complete support; you can count on me,
When Jesus Christ called His disciples He said, “Follow me!” If Jesus were here today. He might use the phrase, “Are You In?” Being a Christ-follower means you are sold out, totally committed, fully devoted Passionate about Jesus.
Are You In?
One of my fondest childhood memories was an underground spring that is located in the woods of western Pennsylvania. We (and everyone from miles around) would go there from time to time and fill containers with the cool, clear water. Even on the hottest day, the water was always cold and I have never known this spring to ever run dry.
I went back this week to revisit “my” spring and it was still flowing, still cold and still refreshing.(See attached picture.) I feel sorry for those who grew up in the city and never experienced drinking from “God’s Spring!
The only water that tastes better is from the spring that produces eternal life. It is always flowing and always refreshing and gives eternal life. You may never go to Pennsylvania and drink from that spring but make sure you drink from the well of salvation.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
The most often asked question that a pastor is asked is “How can I find God’s will for my life?” I have found that the majority of people who say they want to know God’s will, want to know so they can decide if they will obey it or not. It is very unlikely that God will reveal His will to people who have that mind-set.
We sing this chorus in many of our churches:
‘ll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes
It does not say, “If I agree with it, I’ll say yes.” To know God’s will, we must be willing to obey BEFORE His will is revealed to us.
“Whether we like it or not, we will obey all that the Lord our God says.” Jeremiah 42:6
When America was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt went before Congress to ask them to declare war. In his speech, he said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself!” That may make a great political speech and it might stir people’s patriotism but unfortunately it is not true. There are a lot of things to fear in life but we should not allow our fears to control us.
My son has no fear of snakes, NONE. He has handled rattlesnakes, cooperheads and water moccasins; no problem. But spiders are a totally different matter. If he walks into a spider web, he almost has a heart attack!
When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples, he gave them detailed instructions. In Matthew 10, he let them know they would face rejection, persecution, and and possibly death. In light of this he encouaged them not to fear. “Do not be afraid of them who kill the body. They are not able to kill the soul.” Jesus made it very clear; there is only one person we need to fear. “But fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” God is the only we need to fear.
What is the worse man can do? Kill us? If they do kill us, we will be immediately with Lord!