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Tebow Mania


Tebow Mania is taking over!   Tim Tebow is a man who is not ashamed of his faith.  Even more than that, he publicly exercises his faith.  Publicly credits God with his success.  It’s a breath of fresh air.  Sure, there are plenty of naysayers out there.  Those who criticize his faith.  Those who claim it’s a bunch of nonsense.  But even many naysayers are now paying attention.  And although many will argue over God’s involvement in Tim Tebow’s success, few would argue he is a man completely devoted to his faith and his God.

My Facebook news feed was exploding with Tebow mania.  People are encouraged and inspired by his story.  And his courage to stand for what he believes.  People are cheering him on.  Shoot, I don’t even like football, but I find myself toying with the idea of ordering a Tebow jersey!

Last night, as I scrolled through the feed, I noticed that believers and non-believers alike are in love with Tebow, his dedication, and his devotion.  So many seem to be hungry for what he has.  So how do you live a life of devotion to God?  How do you become so completely in love with Him, full of faith, full of confidence in His power that it truly changes your life?

We can all have a powerful, active relationship with God.  It begins with the choice to give your life to Him.  ALL have sinned.  But there is hope through the blood of Jesus.  He was the sacrifice, the atonement for our sin so that we can have eternal life.  Giving your life to Him is believing in Him.  Believing in His sacrifice.  His love for us.  Admitting your a sinner.  Confessing to God and accepting His forgiveness and the sacrifice made for YOU.  But it doesn’t end there.  Giving your life to Christ is only the beginning of the journey.  He has so much more for you!  But it takes work.  It takes perseverance.  It takes determination.  And it takes consistency.

You must devote yourself to a life lived for God.

Your devotion and dedication to a relationship with Him must weather the storm.  If you want to see His power at work in your life, you must choose to follow Him.  Everyday.  As you put him FIRST in your life.  As you devote your time to prayer and worship.  As you devote yourself to reading His word.  As you yield to His guidance and direction for your life, you will allow Him to work in your life.  And His power, His love, His faithfulness will amaze you.

I challenge you today, to put God first.  Dedicate your life to Him.  Give Him your heart and complete authority over your life.

One thing’s for sure.  You will never see the power of God at work in your life, if you don’t take the first step!

Tebow mania is great.  He is setting an amazing example.  He is witnessing to millions.  But what I really want, what I really need is the power of God at work in MY life.  Then, I can begin to inspire others the way Tebow inspires me.  Now, where can I order a jersey?

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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Just Do It!


Just do it.

That’s what the old Nike slogan says.

Advertisers are smart.  They know that we all want to be better.  Do better.  And hopefully better than everyone else.  It’s human nature.  We want the big house, the coolest car, the biggest diamond.

Nobody goes to the game and says, “Let’s lose!”

I drive a mini-van.  I’m quite certain I have never heard anyone say, “Oh, I just can’t wait to get one of those!”

Many advertisements appeal to that inner desire to be the best.  Do the best.  Have the best.  Be better than the rest.

We devote our time and energy to going all out.  We don’t just want our kids to play baseball, we want them to win state in All-Stars.

We don’t want to JUST play football.  We want to go to the play-offs.  Every defeat is a slap in the face.  We set the bar higher so we will be better.  Achieve more.

That desire, that drive to be the best.  To get better.  It’s a good thing to have.  It requires endurance, stamina, determination, hard-work, perseverance.  All great qualities.

So, why do we lose this mindset in our relationship with God?

It seems so many don’t care if they do their best for God.  They are apathetic.  They are happy with mediocrity when it comes to their relationship (or lack of) with God.  They have no drive to have a real day-to-day relationship with Him.  Being a Christian is so much more than walking the aisle and getting dunked.  It is a lifetime commitment.  It’s a full-time relationship.  It’s a journey.

I hear people say they love God.  They want to follow God.  But right now their lives are hectic and busy.  They have problems in life that need to be dealt with first.  It’s not that they don’t want to follow God.  They just need their life to slow down first. Get things in order.

Life never slows down.  Life is and will always be hectic.  If you are looking for a reason, an excuse for a mediocre relationship with God, Satan will make sure you always have one.  But take time, just for a moment to imagine a life completely devoted to following God.  How would your life be different?  Imagine the peace that would come from giving Him your all.  Imagine the joy that would come with knowing your life has a valuable, lasting purpose.

It’s time for many of us to re-evaluate what we give our time, attention, and devotion to.  It’s time we take some of that drive and apply it to our walk with Christ.  Be the best Christian you possibly can be.  Set the bar for your Christian walk high.  Grow.  Follow God with passion, not just obligation.  Stop making excuses.  Don’t put it off.  As the old commercial says, Just Do It!

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. —-Chronicles 15:7

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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My Superhero!



Superheroes.

They are invincible.  Strong.  Determined.

We are drawn to them because of their supernatural powers or abilities.  It seems they are so powerful, they can do anything they set their mind to.  Superheroes seem to instinctively know when someone is in trouble, and they immediately race to the rescue.  Yet, they are only human.  Like you and me.  They overcome limitations that stop us in our tracks.  Superheroes are the good guys.  They kick evil in it’s booty.  They can swoop in and rescue the helpless.  They feel pain and sorrow, yet they are committed to the greater good and will sacrifice themselves, their happiness for those in need.   They fight the good fight…….and win.

Jesus is the ultimate superhero.  He lives up to the definition and expectations of  a superhero.  When most hear the name of Jesus, they think of him in the amazing.

Miracles he performed. Raising people from the dead.  Feeding the thousands with only a few loaves of bread.  Walking on water.  Causing the blind to see.

Putting His life on the line…for us.  And being brave enough to follow through.  He payed the ultimate price for our good.

This is the stuff superheroes are made of.

But, what resonates for me most is …….Jesus wept.  (John 11:35)

This man, this superhero, this Son of God, wept.  Hearing of His mighty works.  His mighty power.  That’s the Jesus I have heard about over and over and over.

But knowing that he was a man with real feelings, real sorrows, real struggles, makes Him so much more real to me.  It’s so very easy to think about Him as a being that could never understand my measly little human heart.  He is so busy doing the work of the universe, how can he possible care or concern himself with me?

This verse reminds me of just how much Jesus LOVES.   He loves me.  He cares for me.  He understands my sorrows, my fears, my pain.  He understands because He has been there.

His heart has hurt.  Just as mine so often does.  I wonder how often do I grieve His heart with my actions and lack of faith?  Yet, no matter how many times I mess up, He is there.  Waiting for me to run back to Him.  With arms open wide and full of love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

He is ready and willing to heal my broken heart.  To mend my pain.  To carry me through my sorrows.  He understands.  He has been there.

He is waiting to pull you through when you have been betrayed.  Wronged.  Mistreated.  Abused.  He has been there.

He longs to see you resist temptation and is waiting help you.  To overcome and flee Satan’s attempts to pull you from following God.  He has been there.

He will rescue you from despair.  Pull you out of the pits of sadness so you can see the light.  Have hope.  Peace.  And even joy.  He has been there.

I so often take for granted the gift I have in my Savior.

I forget that although He is more powerful, more mighty than anything I could ever begin to imagine, He understands my sinful heart.  He understands my thoughts and feelings.

He knows every bad thing about me.  Yet, He loves me anyway.

I turn from Him.  Yet, He loves me anyway.

I fall back into sin.  Yet, He loves me anyway.

I take Him for granted.  I neglect to spend time with Him.  I rarely give Him the thanks He is due.

Yet, He loves me anyway.

Now that is a Superhero!

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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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Is Your Faith Full??


Ivan Aivazovsky's painting Walking on Water (1888)

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Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”    —Matthew 14:22-33 NLT

I’m sure most have heard the story about Jesus walking on water…..  While Jesus was on the mountainside praying, a storm came and the disciples were caught up in the fury of the waves.  Jesus walked out on the water to get to them.  Of course, SEEING Jesus walking on water wasn’t enough to convince them of the power of God.  They cried out that it was a ghost!  Peter, still not believing it was Jesus, even after He reassured them of who He was, asked Jesus to prove it was Him.  “Call me out on the water,” he asked.   Again, lacking faith, belief.   Needing proof.   Jesus did, and as Peter began to walk on water, fear overcame him and he began to sink.  He cried out to Jesus, who as usual, came to the rescue and pulled him from the water.   His response to Peter is our verse for today.

All too often, I find myself in Peter’s shoes.  Not quite believing in the ultimate power of God.  Sure, I say I believe.  I even DO believe…on a small level.  But my faith stops short of the big things.  My faith….or lack thereof, prevents me so often from following God’s calling on my life.  Instead of putting my faith COMPLETELY in Him.  In His power.  In His timing.  In His plan….. I begin to listen to myself instead.  It’s too hard.  There is no way it will work.  I can’t do it.

Not only do I listen to those voices in my head, I entertain them and allow them to dictate what I will or will not do for Christ.  If I am to grow in my relationship with Him, I must STOP listening to this nonsense!  God will call you out of the comfortable.  He will call you to do things that you feel you cannot do.  If His calling on our life were easy, we wouldn’t really need Him, would we?  When I have to lean on Him, depend on Him to achieve His plan for my life, His glory is shown.

Do you have something today you feel called of God to do?  How strong is your faith?  Do you believe he can make a way where the human eye can see none?  It’s time we stop selling God short.  Start believing Him for His promises, His power, and His word.  We need to be FAITH—FULL.

He can do ANYTHING He sets his mind to do. 

But we must have faith.  We must let go of doubt. 

We must choose to listen to HIM….and BELIEVE. 

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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My All in All


 

Last night at church, we sang My All in All…..

If you are in love with Jesus,  you cannot listen to the lyrics and NOT want to praise Him.  I began to reflect what He means to me.  And since I’m a list lover, I made a list.  Jesus is:

♥  Courage amidst the deepest fear.

♥  Strength in weakness.

♥  Hope found in times of despair.

♥  Refuge in the storms of life.

♥  Comforter and Healer to my breaking heart.

♥  Protector in the worst of Satan’s attacks.

♥  Caretaker of my heart.

♥  The sacrifice made in my place for my sin.

♥  The source of joy and contentment.

♥  My savior from the darkness of sin in my life.

♥  Light for my path.  The ultimate guide in life.

♥ Peace amidst the turmoil and pain.

♥  Everlasting.  He never tires.  He never leaves.  He is ALWAYS there.

I could go on and on with this list.  The point is, He truly is my all in all.  But, the fact remains that I am human.  There have been times in my life, that I have felt far from God.  I was not experiencing the true meaning of what God is.  I felt disconnected.  The trials of life distracted me.  I wondered why I did not feel as close to God.  Had he left me when I needed Him most?  The sad fact was that I had pulled away from God.  As powerful as God is, he is not pushy.  Sure, He could force you on your face before Him.  But instead, he gives you a choice.  You have to come to Him.  He will not force you into a relationship with Him.

In the words of my loving pastor, “The question is not do we have all of God?  It’s does God have all of us?”

Have you given Him your all?  Have you surrendered your life to Him?  Are you devoted to Him?  Do you seek Him each day in all things?  Do you walk in His presence continually?   Is He your All in All?

Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

1 Chronicles 16:11

Today, spend some time reflecting on what God truly means to you.  Reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made out of love for YOU.  He is the ultimate treasure in life.  He is worthy.  In Him, you will find…..peace, love, gentleness, patience, hope, faith, strength, courage, kindness, forgiveness, joy, contentment, refuge…..forever and always.

Make Him your all in all.  You won’t be sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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He Holds You Together


The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 

—Psalm 34:18

 

This week has been a hard and emotional week for me. It’s so difficult to see someone you love in pain, especially when you can do nothing to help.  Life is full of tragedy, heart-break, and sadness.  It is a painful part of life.  It’s unavoidable.  As I visited a friend in the midst of so much pain and sorrow, I began to worry. How will she get through this?  How can I help her? It will be so long before her soul recovers, it literally makes my heart hurt.

This kind of pain and sorrow can be brought on by so many things.

Loss of a loved one.

Divorce.

A cheating spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend.

A child straying down an unhealthy path.

Financial woes.

Health problems.

I could make a never-ending list.

As I was lost in thought on the way home today, I began to think about how people survive. After experiencing such devastating heartache, how do people find the will to move on, endure, survive?  No matter how hard I tried to come up with answers,  I only have ONE.

Only ONE.

The answer is Jesus.

Without the love, mercy, and grace of my Savior, I would live a truly hopeless life.  Lost.  No comfort.  No peace.  No hope.

Walking with God, in a devoted relationship with Him, hand-in-hand, prayer-by-prayer.  It changes everything.

 

With God as my refuge and strength, I can survive any heartache.  No matter how devastating.  When my world is falling apart, when I feel completely abandoned, when my circumstances seem hopeless, I can KNOW.

Without a doubt of uncertainty.

God is still God.  He is still in control.  He is there.

He can hold the shambles of my life together, repair the damage.

Heal my wounded heart.

NO person can give the comfort and peace Jesus offers to those who take up their cross and follow Him.  Today, I am thankful for a God who is in control.  I am thankful for blessings in life I take for granted each day.  The security and comfort of His love.  The refuge found when He wraps me in his arms of comfort and peace amidst the worst of trials.  My heart breaks for those who do not have a relationship with Him.  He is the great I am.

Apart from Him you will be hopeless.  Lost.

Cling to Him in prayer.  Cling to Him in worship.  Cling to Him!  He is God.  He will hold you together.

 

 

 

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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I Wanna Sing and Shout!


Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.    —-Psalm 100

 

Last year, I went through an extremely scary time with my child.  He has a chronic health issue and it had peaked at its worst.  The doctors were suspicious that he might have a spinal cord problem that could cause paralysis.  He needed an MRI and we had to wait seven weeks to get one.  It was a long, worrisome seven weeks.  The day finally came,  emotions were doing their best to spill out of my soul, but I did my best to hold it together.  The wait was not over.  We left the hospital still not having answers.  We had to wait for the report.  That night was so frightening.  Waiting for news that could potentially change our lives forever.

 

The next morning, I received a call.  His spinal cord was normal.  I was overcome with joy.  Those emotions spilled out like a river flowing straight from my soul, uncontrolled.  I was so thankful, so excited, it was hard to breathe.  I couldn’t wait to get on the phone and tell everyone the good news.  I wanted to sing.  I wanted to dance.  If I could have grabbed God by the neck I would have squeezed Him so tightly, HE couldn’t breathe.  Sheer joy.

As I look back on that day, I realize something.  His health problems were still there.  Still just as bad.  Still out of control.  But at least this another problem wasn’t added to it.  My circumstances really had not changed, but my perspective had.  As I thought about it, it sunk in that I all too often allow my circumstances to determine the praise I lift up to the King.

The reality is God is there.  Through the bad times and the good.   He is there through our obedience and our rebellion.   Through sorrow and joy.  Through failure and success.   His love endures FOREVER.  Through ALL things.

How often do we really, truly lift praises to him?  Thank him for all He is and does in our life?  Too often, I spend my energy focusing on what I don’t have instead of what has been given to me.  We go through life, and sure, we might now and again say we are blessed, but do we truly allow the impact of those blessings to bring us that joy and excitement?  Or are we just going through the motions without giving it any real thought?

It’s time we get excited for Jesus!  Marvel at the power of the Holy One.  He is in control.  He reigns over all heaven and earth.  Yet, He is there walking beside ME each day.  I am loved by the King.  Let the reality of this soak into your heart and soul.  Meditate on His grace, love, forgiveness, and mercy.  Meditate on the blessings in your life.  When you do, you won’t be able to keep from singing His praises.  It makes me wanna sing and shout…..  our Mighty God is to be praised!!

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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