Focus on the Inside

The Jesus believer is told that “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Tim. 4:8) Notice it doesn’t say that working out and eating right doesn’t have any value. It does.
Yet, godliness has value both now and forever. No matter how hard we work out and how careful we are about what we put into our bodies, even the most healthy people will sag and one day wear out. I’ve known marathon runners dying of heart attacks.
So, where should we put most of our attention? Listening and following Jesus. As we see the Spirit change our lives, doubts about where we’ll spend eternity will fade away as a changed life brings hope today. (Rom. 5:3-5)
It also has eternal value. All the time you spend on your body stays here. All the time you spend on becoming like Jesus goes with you into eternity in the form of Christlike character (1 Cor. 3:10-15)!
Love Jesus in greater amounts. Become like Jesus with each character flaw erased. Share Jesus and the hope He gives as both happens. What a beginning to eternity you’ll have!

Choose to Remove

I was having ice tea with a friend (I know it’s hard to believe, but I have a few!) earlier this week. I was sharing with complete candor that I love my wife more today than I did almost 30 years ago when we first married.
How? I’ve learned to remove the distractions in my life. I’ve discovered that what I thought was important back then is not as important today; and thus, it can be eliminated from my thinking and life.
I believe this is true for all relationships. Want to draw closer to your friends, your spouse and/or Jesus? Choose to remove what’s between you (see James 4:8).
Holding onto things you don’t need, going to places you shouldn’t go, spending on items that soon fade in importance, thinking thoughts that only drag you down…choose to remove them.
Let the Spirit show you the distractions in your life. Then choose to eliminate them one by one with Spirit empowered faith. Your love will only grow. And let me tell you, more love sure feels grrreat!

Hot or Fresh Air

Wanting doesn’t become reality without action. There’s a proverb that talks about a person being so lazy that they starved to death with their hand in a bowl of food. The person wanted the food, but never took the action to eat it.
We say we want Jesus, but we don’t actually get what He has for us until we act upon what He says to do. Words without actions are merely hot air.
If you really want what Jesus has for you, take a step of faith today by beginning to practice what He’s told you to do. He always puts actions to His words; therefore, you can trust Him.
Take in the fresh air. Turn your wanting of Jesus into reality through Spirit empowered faith.

Ready with a Healthy Faith

Jesus tells the story of ten people who hung out together at church. They shared life together. They went to service together. They even listened to Bible studies together.
The only difference between them was that five transferred their trust from themselves to Jesus while the other five didn’t. They went to church, but they didn’t become part of the church. This is why Jesus called them foolish. They stayed god of their lives by trusting in themselves and not Him.
Thus, when Jesus surprised them by His night return, they were not ready. They missed the biggest party in the universe – the marriage of Jesus to His bride the church. They would be given a second chance to get it right, but would have to go through hell on earth to get it.
If only they had done what Peter said, “Make every effort to add to your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.” One must first make the greatest exchange ever – relying upon yourself to do the right things to trusting in what Jesus did on the cross. Then it’s a daily transfer of trust to see the Spirit transform your life where the above named Jesus qualities come out in your life, all signs of a healthy faith.
Have a healthy faith and you will be ready for His return!

Slow Down

One last report from Israel. This one is about what the Lord taught me while I was here.
What you see pictured are the actual steps Jesus walked upon when He entered the Temple courts through the Hulda gates on the southern end of the Temple Mount. I can say I walked where Jesus’ feet actually touched!
These steps are cut out of the stones. And, if you notice, this stairway alternates between a narrow a step and a wider one. The purpose was to slow people down as they came into the Temple. This slower pace was to enable them to prepare their hearts and minds to worship the King of Kings – The God of the universe.
This is what the Lord was showing me. “Chris, slow down.” He spoke clearly through someone who said, “I get too busy that I can’t hear from Jesus.” This resonated so much with me. Actually, before I left for Israel, I told my wife that I was having a hard time slowing down. I was exhaling a lot, like I was out of breath.
Are you just like me, too busy to hear from Jesus? You can’t love Him without doing it! He said those who love Me will listen and follow/obey Me. Let’s pray for each other to slow down the pace of our lives – the stuff that occupies our minds – to hear from our God and King so we can better worship Him – become more like Him.