Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blog moved

This blog has moved to my new blog location at

I'm leaving these posts on this one here because they are still getting a lot of hits, but all newer posts will be on my new blog.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chief in our Hearts

Chief in our hearts

What does God want from us? Is it working really hard for His Kingdom? Is it following all the rules and being a good person? Is it performing miracles and driving out demons? No! Those things are all by-products of the thing that God wants from us. So what is it that God wants? LOVE! God wants us to love Him!

Read Matthew 7:21-23 with me.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Why was it that Jesus told the people in this story to leave? Was it because they didn't cast out enough demons or do enough work? No! It was because they never knew Him! Now, I hope that if you're reading this, you already know Christ, and if that is the case, you don't have to worry about Jesus saying this to you on judgment day. But, there is a valuable lesson we believers can learn from this section of scripture, and that is this: We need to be careful of allowing our work for God to get in the way of our relationship with Him.

Christ wants to be chief in our hearts. He desires to be the supreme object of our adoration, and He should be! If you're not sure why He should be, check out this post from a few weeks ago: Our God is Big!

Sometimes we can get so busy working for God, that we forget to walk with Him. We get so busy talking about God that we forget to talk with Him. Let's get back to basics and give Him the center place in our lives.

Read this entry from "My utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers with me.

March 17, 2010


Wherefore we labour that . . we may be accepted of Him. - Corinthians 5:9

"Wherefore we labour...." It is arduous work to keep the master amibition in front. It means holding one's self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be "accepted of Him." It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of labouring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.

Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being "approved unto God" may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says - "Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under." (1 Cor. 9:27.)

I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble?

Our main ambition must be loving and glorifying God!

I don't know about you, but that's work that I can get excited about.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good intentions don't equal good results (or doing the right thing the wrong way)

This study is from 1 Chronicles chapters 13 & 15

1Chronicles 13 (NASB) Then David consulted with the captains of the thousands and the hundreds, even with every leader. David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is from the LORD our God, let us send everywhere to our kinsmen who remain in all the land of Israel, also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their cities with pasture lands, that they may meet with us; and let us bring back the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.”

Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people. So David assembled all Israel together, from the Shihor of Egypt even to the entrance of Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim, which belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, the LORD who is enthroned above the cherubim, where His name is called. They carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets.

When they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, because the oxen nearly upset it. The anger of the LORD burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. Then David became angry because of the LORD’S outburst against Uzza; and he called that place Perez-uzza to this day.

David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?” So David did not take the ark with him to the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. Thus the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; and the LORD blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had.

David had a great idea! "Let's bring back the ark, and seek the Lord" he proclaims. But, David tried to go about it in his own way, rather than following the path that God had already laid out for him in the Word. He had good intentions, but he was seeking to fulfill God's plans on his own terms.

You see, David had Uzza and Ahio pull the ark on a cart, rather than having the levites carry the ark with poles, as God had commanded them in Exodus 25:14. So, Uzza, reached out to steady the ark when it was falling, and God smote him. This was Uzza's fault for touching it, but really, it was David's fault, because he had Uzza and Ahio put the ark on a cart, when it was supposed to be carried on poles, and only by the Levites (the priest tribe). (Exodus 25:10-15 and Numbers 4:15)

So, had he followed the Lord's clear directions for moving the ark, it never would have stumbled, and Uzza never would have reached out to steady it. Also, a Levite would have known not to touch the ark, because he would have been trained in how to do it, but Uzza was not a Levite, he was a normal guy, and never should have been carrying it, so in his ignorance, he reached out to steady it, and was struck dead.

This is an example of God chastening David, reminding him that there is a right and wrong way to serve him, and to not let his good intentions get confused for God's will.

So, the challenge for us here is to not let our good ideas or good intentions get confused with God's will just because they sound good to us, and the people who are our counselors seem to agree. We need to return to the Lord and see if it is His will or not, and seek Him about how to carry them out.

How often do we do things out of our own strength and our own understanding, not really seeking the Lord? How often do I get a good idea, and just run with it instead of seeking God through prayer and in his word?

Read 1 Chronicles 15 - David does it God's way

1Chronicles 15 (NASB)
Now David built houses for himself in the city of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it.

Then David said, “No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the LORD chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever.” And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the LORD to its place which he had prepared for it.

David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, and 120 of his relatives; of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, and 220 of his relatives; of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, and 130 of his relatives; of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, and 200 of his relatives; of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, and 80 of his relatives; of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, and 112 of his relatives.

Then David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab, and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites; consecrate yourselves both you and your relatives, that you may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place that I have prepared for it. “Because you did not carry it at the first, the LORD our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.” So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. The sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles thereon, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD. Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.

So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel, and from his relatives, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and from the sons of Merari their relatives, Ethan the son of Kushaiah, and with them their relatives of the second rank, Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers. So the singers, Heman, Asaph and Ethan were appointed to sound aloud cymbals of bronze; and Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah, with harps tuned to alamoth; and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel and Azaziah, to lead with lyres tuned to the sheminith. Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was in charge of the singing; he gave instruction in singing because he was skillful. Berechiah and Elkanah were gatekeepers for the ark. Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer, the priests, blew the trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah also were gatekeepers for the ark. So it was David, with the elders of Israel and the captains over thousands, who went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-edom with joy.

Because God was helping the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. Now David was clothed with a robe of fine linen with all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the singing with the singers. David also wore an ephod of linen.

Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres. It happened when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and celebrating; and she despised him in her heart.

David returned and sought the Lord's direction in moving the ark, and there was great rejoicing! Notice, when the Levites carried the ark according to God's instruction, God helped them in their carrying and accomplished it through them. They sought out God's will and followed His plans according to His methods, and there was great success!

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Are the life we're living and the choices we're making dictated by our faith in the son of God, or our good intentions?

John 15:4-5
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our God is BIG!

Psalm 97:1-6

The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!

Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.

His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.

The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad, let the multitude of islands rejoice! Why? because God reigns! That's good news for us! OUR God reigns, not some other God, not any earthly president or king, but our GOD reigns! And our God is BIG!

I think we sometimes forget how big our God is. Remember, He is the Creator, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end. We tend to put God in human terms so that we can better understand Him, but we need to remember that God is not bound by our limitations and our weaknesses, He is as far above them as we can possibly imagine. Our God is not a God we can put in a box, or keep in control, He's not a tame God or a "safe" God. I love what Mr. Beaver says about Him (in the character of Aslan) in C.S. Lewis' The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe:

"Safe? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. but he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

I tell you, He's the King! Our God holds all things together. (Colossians 1:17) He holds everything from the invisible forces that keep the atoms of our bodies together to the galaxies and constellations in the heavens. In Job 38, God answers Job's questions about God's reasons for His actions by contrasting God's power and majesty with Job's. Here's a little snippet from that conversation:

Job 38:31-33
"Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of Orion?
"Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her satellites?
"Do you know the (rdinances of the heavens,
Or fix their rule over the earth?

God is talking about star constellations here, and how He alone has the power to do with them as He pleases, in fact, He holds them and guides them! Here is a picture of the Pleiades star cluster that God is talking with Job about:


Just out of curiosity, can you hold that star cluster together? Can you even hold that star cluster? Can you even visit that start cluster? Obviously, the answer is no! You and I are not even specs of dust in comparison with that star cluster. But God, God holds that thing in His hand, and he binds it together with the forces of gravity and electricity and keeps it where He wants it to be. Wow are we small, but man is God big!

In case that doesn't do it for you, check out this verse:

Isaiah 40:12
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?

Our God has marked off the heavens with a span. That means that He takes His hand and holds it up, and the space between His finger and His thumb holds the whole universe. Do you know how big the universe is? Right now, estimates place the size of the universe at around 28 billion light years in diameter, we can never really know the actual size, so that's a small estimate, based on what we can see. A light year is 5,878,630,000,000 miles. So the estimated size of the universe is 28,000,000,000 X 5,878,630,000,000 miles wide at it's diameter. I'll let you do the math on that one.

Here's a picture of what the universe might look like were you to look at it the way that God does, by the span of your hand.


You can't find earth in that image, you can't even find our solar system, in fact, looking at this image, it would be near impossible to point out our galaxy, the Milky Way. The spots that look like stars are galaxies, and even clusters of galaxies! Bigger than our minds can comprehend. Our God holds THAT in the palm of His hand. We serve a BIG God.

When you think about how big our God is, and how small we are, it's pretty amazing that He would care about us isn't it?

Psalm 8:3-9
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,

All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,

The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

The same God who made those stars and galaxies, and who measures the universe by the span of His hand, loves you enough that He came to earth and lived as a man, and died the death of a lowly criminal for YOU. The God who measures the universe in His hand became smaller than an atom in relation to the universe, and lived humbly, submitting to men, dying on a cross, so that you could have life in Him.

When you think about how big God is, doesn't it make your problems seem small? If God is that powerful, He can take care of the problems and struggles in my life can't He? Of course He can! How small are my problems in relation to the universe? And when God doesn't do things the way that I think they should be done, and I'm going through struggles or hardship, I need to realize that doesn't mean God can't handle it. It means He is handling it in exactly the way He wants to handle it. He is allowing things to happen the way that He wants them to be. He has the power to change every situation I am in, and if He doesn't it's because He is doing a work in my life, and His plans are infinitely better than mine.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad, let the multitude of islands rejoice! Why? Because God reigns! That's good news for us!

I'm glad that a God that loves me is in charge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Truth of the matter

Jesus said that God's word is truth.

"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." - John 17:17

God's word is not just true, it is Truth. True is an adjective, truth is a noun. God's word is the Truth, the standard by which all that is true must be measured. There are lots of things that are true, but those things are not truth itself. We must measure whether things are true by the holding them up to the truth.

When we face things that are called "true" in the world, we must look at whether those things line up with the Truth, the Word of God.

We live in a relativistic society, and say "That may be true for you, but it's not for me". How smart, thinking human beings can make a statement like that is beyond me. For something to be true, it must be true universally, otherwise it is not truth, it's opinion. For us to have truth, we must have a standard of what is true. And for Christians, we have the answer to what that standard is, the Word. If we cling to the Word, the Truth, we will be able to discern all the false truths out there, and get to reality! If we want to actually know what is true, we must line it up with the Word of God, the Truth.

Those that would claim you can find truth in all religions and in all places are not lining those things up to the Word of God, the Truth. If you take the Word, and line up those so-called "truths", we quickly see that they sound very similar to the truth, but are twisted just slightly, so that they say something different.

Let us cling to Truth. Let us cling to Christ, the Word. Let us seek to know the Truth, and then we can discern what is true, instead of seeking what is true, and getting confused about what the Truth is.

Remember, Jesus said "I am the way and the TRUTH and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me" - John 14:6

If we will simply cling to Jesus, we cling to the Truth. We don't need to look anywhere else! We don't need to look to find truth in other religions, or in the world, we have the one who is the Truth!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Repentant Church

WHEN A GROUP OF SMALL BOYS out to play ball, arrived at the play ground, they discovered that no one had brought a ball. "Forget the ball," said one impatiently. "Let's get on with the game." We are trying to play without the ball when the Church tries to evangelize before she has repented. The Church can do many things after she has repented but nothing until first she repents. If God ever visits us again in real revival, there will be many red faces as churchmen and religious leaders blush and hang their heads in shame for the silly and stupid ways in which we have tried to promote the work of God in the energy of the flesh by the help of the world. Drama will be unnecessary. We may not even need great preachers! Gospel jazz will slink away, and we shall be chagrined that we ever sank so low as to tolerate it. All this will vanish in the blinding light of the holiness of God, and no flesh will glory in His presence.

Vance Havner (1901-1986)

I'm not opposed to "gospel-jazz", or even to Christian Hardcore music, for that matter, in fact, I used to play in a Christian Punk band, but I don't think that music is the point he's getting at here... We, the church, have tried to promote God and Christianity by the world's methods, we have tried to create a revival, instead of allowing the Reviver to create it in us. Our only appropriate place is on our knees, humbly asking the Lord of Hosts to forgive, indwell and empower us to reach this lost and hurting world!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Compelling Majesty of His Power

(from My Utmost for His Highest, February 4th)

“The love of Christ compels us …” (2 Corinthians 5:14 ).
Paul said that he was overpowered, subdued, and held as in a vise by “the love of Christ.” Very few of us really know what it means to be held in the grip of the love of God. We tend so often to be controlled simply by our own experience. The one thing that gripped and held Paul, to the exclusion of everything else, was the love of God. “The love of Christ compels us … .” When you hear that coming from the life of a man or woman it is unmistakable. You will know that the Spirit of God is completely unhindered in that person’s life.

When we are born again by the Spirit of God, our testimony is based solely on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But that will change and be removed forever once you “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” (Acts 1:8 ). Only then will you begin to realize what Jesus meant when He went on to say, “… you shall be witnesses to Me … .” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do—that is basic and understood—but “witnesses to Me … .” We will accept everything that happens as if it were happening to Him, whether we receive praise or blame, persecution or reward. No one is able to take this stand for Jesus Christ who is not totally compelled by the majesty of His power. It is the only thing that matters, and yet it is strange that it’s the last thing we as Christian workers realize. Paul said that he was gripped by the love of God and that is why he acted as he did. People could perceive him as mad or sane—he did not care. There was only one thing he lived for—to persuade people of the coming judgment of God and to tell them of “the love of Christ.” This total surrender to “the love of Christ” is the only thing that will bear fruit in your life. And it will always leave the mark of God’s holiness and His power, never drawing attention to your personal holiness.