One Solitary Man

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days.  2 Chronicles 36:9

James Baker’s influence in Washington was legendary. He could walk in and out of the Oval Office at will. One day while serving as Presidential Chief of Staff, Baker was traveling home in his limousine. Image result for one man walking on streetHe noticed a man walking alone. No reporters were around him. No security. Just a man on an empty street. Baker recognized him as the Chief of Staff of a prior administration.

There he was, alone,” Baker said. “No reporters, no security, no adoring public, no trappings of power—just one solitary man alone with his thoughts.” That image became a constant reminder to Baker of the fleeting nature of power. “That man had it all,” said Baker, “but only for a time.

History is littered with the names of people who rose and fell, who lived and died. But we serve a God whose power will never diminish and whose rule and reign will never end. Our God doesn’t rule for three months and ten days. His kingdom is forever.

Having a position of power does not bring inner security and fulfillment. That comes only by developing a personal relationship with God, which for me is personified in Jesus Christ. —James A. Baker

Taken from David Jeremy – Turning Point Daily Devotional 

Advertisements

Questions Jesus Asked

The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?  John 1:37-38

Jesus often led people by asking them a thought-provoking question. His very first question to His first followers was “What are you looking for?” What astounds me is that Jesus’ first question to those who would follow Him is not about God, sin, politics, or family history. It is a question that gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. It is also a question that gives us a glimpse into ourselves.

Jesus’ question gives us a glimpse into ourselves because it forces us to examine what genuinely matters most to us. We are all looking for something. There may be no greater tragedy than a life spent looking for the wrong thing. Most of us are looking for good things—security, meaning, success, love, hope—but we’re not always certain where and how to find it. Jesus is aware that we can be distracted by the cares of the world, looking for even the right things in the wrong places and in the wrong ways. His question stops us long enough to take measure of whether the activity of our lives matches what genuinely matters. 

The good news is that Jesus’ question also gives us a glimpse into His heart. In John 1:35–39 He offers these two men conversation and relationship. They answer by asking where he is staying. “Come,” Jesus replied, “and you will see.” He could have just given them the address of the house. But Jesus’ invitation shows them that He actually wants to be with them. In one short interaction, Jesus moves from a question that invites us to explore our lives and hearts, to an invitation to come and see if what we are looking for is ultimately met in Him.

God’s Amazing Light

As a young boy, I was always fascinated with light. I loved playing with flashlights! I was amazed that I could close myself in the darkest closet and with the flick of a switch, Shazam; there was light! As I grew older, I discovered that not all flashlights were created equal! The small flashlight that mom had attached on her keychain was no match for my dad’s multi-battery Mag Light.

I once stayed with friends for a couple of weeks on their farm. That farm had a lot of things that captured my attention. Their house was an OLD farmhouse with many antiquated things. One of those things I had never seen was push-button light switches that turned the lights off and on.

switch

What amazed me was when you pushed the “off button”, there was a slight pause between pressing the button and when the room was actually dark. Every night I played a game with that switch. I would press the button and then try to get in bed before the room got dark. I never beat it. 

In the Bible, God is referred to as light; “”…God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all.” 1 John1:5. Unlike flashlights, God’s glory (Brightness) cannot be compared.  Revelation 21:23  Isaiah 60:19

But unlike the push-button lights in the farm that paused; God’s light is instantaneous; “God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared.” Genesis 1:3 (MSG)  When we confess our sins and surrender our lives; we are changed instantly.  Darkness now becomes light. 1 John 5:8

Let’s Go For A Walk

Medical experts tell us one the best physical exercise is walking. It has many benefits without damaging your body. Many married couples find walking together is a great way to pray together, talk over situations that need their attention, and a way to take a break from the hectic pace of life.

Marriage is a great metaphor for our walk with Christ. Amos 3:3 asks us, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” When we invite Jesus to walk with us in this life, we become filled with His Holy Spirit and our journey together begins. He’s taking us somewhere and there will always be obstacles to overcome. We experience joy and pain, bondage and freedom, wounds and healing—but we’re on a course to victory. 

 

Image result for young couple walking

In the Bible, God uses the language of walking to describe people in relationship with Him. Moses “walked” with God, Enoch “walked” with God, Adam and Eve “walked” with God in the garden, and Jesus’ disciples literally “walked” with Him throughout His earthly ministry. They walked with Jesus through the ups and downs, knowing eternal paradise awaited them in the end.

Walking with my wife is sometimes a challenge. Either she is a fast walker or I am a slow walker! Either, often she has to turn around to see if I have fallen too far behind. But God is always right there beside us.

Anyone up for a walk?

A Pleasing Fragrance

The human body possesses five senses: Sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. I wasfive-senses-of-human-beings-sight-touch-hearing-taste-and-smell-3KjD4j-clipart thinking about how much we take our senses for granted. Rarely do we stop during our hustle and bustle of life to think how blessed we are to have these abilities.

I think we would place the sense of smell last on the list but many of our memories are associated with the sense of smell. I grew up next to a neighbor who was a SUPREME baker! She made delicious cakes, pies, and cookies. But like a bee is drawn to honey, I followed the wonderful aroma of her freshly baked bread. Of course, I had to remark how wonderful the bread smelled. (Hint, Hint) She would always be gracious and give me a slice of the bread right from the oven. As a child, there was nothing better tasting than her bread with butter and homemade jelly.

In the Old Testament, animals were offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The priest would take the sacrifice, put it on an altar and burn it as an act of worship and commitment. What was God’s response? “… It is a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord.”  Exodus 29:18

Of course today we no longer offer animal sacrifice but we offer God our prayers as an act of our worship and commitment. “Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence….” Psalm 14:12 GWT

But not only our prayers but our lives should be a pleasing fragrance to God. Many times when you are walking in the mall, someone walks past you and you catch an essence of the perfume/cologne they are wearing. Often you think how pleasant that fragrance is. Our lives should be so Christ-like that it is a ‘sweet savor’ to all we interact with.  “For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them, that perish;” 2 Corinthians 2:15

Heart Health

Image result for heart health The last several years the medical field has made tremendous advances in the area of heart health; proper diet, new medical procedures and the importance of exercise. Without exercise, our muscles atrophy. They become weaker and get stiffer at the same time. Without the benefit of regular exercise, our muscles deteriorate until they cannot perform the regular functions they once maintained.

Our heart muscles work the same way, both literally and figuratively. When we’re not praying, giving, serving, and loving on a daily basis, it becomes harder and harder to feel connected to God, to relate to other people, and to feel the joy that comes from serving.

The Bible warns us, “Guard your heart more than anything else because the source of your life flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 GW Stone hearts don’t harden overnight. They gradually atrophy until we find ourselves with a heart as cold as granite. Regular exercise allows us to love more deeply and serve more humbly. It keeps our hearts tender and compassionate, alive and grateful.

The Walking Dead

zombie

I am not sure why some people are fascinated with “zombies” (walking dead). You are probably not aware that the “walking dead” are all around us. You work with many of them. That fellow student maybe among them. You even go to church with them. Now, I am not speaking of the horrible, fleshing-eating creature of the silver screen. 

The walking dead has been with us for thousands of years. The Apostle wrote of them in Ephesians 2:1-2 As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world...vs 4 But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses…” 

Paul was writing about people’s past before they accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Physically, they were walking around, breathing, and conversing with other ‘walking dead.’ But spiritually, they were totally unaware they were dead in their sins. 

The ‘walking dead’ of the big screen are totally unable to do anything  to change their condition but those who realize they are spiritually dead, can turn to Jesus, repent of their sin and receive forgiveness AND a new life. The promise is Jesus “made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses…”