Have Your Go Bag Ready to Go

“A ready person never needs to get ready.”
A friend of mine has what’s called a go bag. It’s filled with the necessary items she’d need if she had to leave her home or to go on a trip on short notice. She’s prepared.
Jesus scolded the leadership of His generation for not being prepared. He said they were able to read the signs in the sky (red sky at night sailors’ delight) to be physically prepared. Yet, they couldn’t read the signs of the times to be spiritually prepared, even though God laid it all out in advance.
God did this for at least two reasons. One, it’s a way to show that He’s God. And two, it allow us to express our love for Him through each choice to trust His Word.
God wrote about Jesus’ first arrival. The leadership should have known this and been ready to bow down to their King. They weren’t. And they didn’t.
Will Jesus scold our generation for not being ready for His next foretold arrival? Signs are being painted all over the world and written about in your local paper. Jesus tells the story of ten virgins. Five were ready. Five were not. Is your go bag ready?
Here’s how to be ready. First, choose to surrender to Jesus as your King and make Him the Lord and Savior of your life, if you haven’t already done so. Second, choose to love Jesus each day through every decision you make to listen and follow Him (Jn. 14:23). And third, choose to share Jesus and what He’s done in and for you with those around you.
Don’t be caught by surprise. Have your go bag ready!

Box It Up & Move Forward

“Learn from yesterday, live in today, hope for tomorrow.”
A very famous mountain climber once said, “And now I’ll just go, and only worry about the events that lie ahead of me. Day by day, one by one. It is the here and now that counts. What comes next is uncertain in any case.”
This caught my eye as a novice climber myself. You don’t look down, as your next hand hold isn’t there. You don’t worry about a previous foot placement, as you have to make another one if you’re doing to reach your destination.
We all have “stuff” we can’t solve right now. All we have are our choices in the moment. Here is simple action plan. Write down those issues. Put them all in a box. Ask Jesus, “What do You want me to do in this moment?” Then go forward through Spirit empowered faith.
It doesn’t matter if it’s something in that box or not. He’s the only who can fix what’s inside! He is God and Savior, not you. The important thing is to listen and follow Jesus in the moment.
All you can do is take one step right now. Make that one choice in the present moment. As you do, soon you’ll arrive safely where Jesus wants you to be – like and with Him.

Not of This World, Really?

Heaven awaits; but life here still goes on.
You’ve seen the t-shirts and the back window and bumper stickers proclaiming the truth – Not of This World. Since this is true, why do we act all surprised when crazy stuff happens?
We don’t belong to this world, why are we then so upset when people don’t act like Jesus? Or when decisions or laws go against Scripture? Or when life isn’t like the good old days? (Didn’t the generation of our good old days get upset at how the world was going while wishing for their good old days?)
Scripture tells us who runs (not owns) this planet and where it’s headed. No surprises there! Therefore, keep letting The Spirit change your life and sharing what Jesus has done in and for you with others. Only Jesus can straighten out this world’s mess!
A Lawless One is coming. But so is the King of Kings! It was He who said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Stay tuned. More crazy stuff will happen. So keep doing the good work you were created to do in Christ Jesus.

Seed Within

Your worst day can be a source of hope for others.
This is an Acacia tree or as the KJV translates it in Exodus 25:5 שִׁטָּה or Shita/Shittim. It produces a fruit that contains 19-20% protein – a powerful source of life when eaten by wild animals.
Around the seed within that fruit is a wax like substance that must be melted away before that seed can reproduce more fruit. This wax is removed by the acids in the animal’s stomach. Thus, when the animal eliminates that seed, it is now ready to reproduce another tree with more fruit. Notice the process: The seed can’t simply fall from the tree and reproduce. It must first go through an animal.
You can see where I’m going with this. We must choose to taste and see that the Lord is good by putting the Word of God into our hearts and minds and then allowing the Spirit to empower us to make Jesus choices using it. This leads to life-change that not only gives us hope for today, but for a whole lot of tomorrows as well.
We often, though, feel unworthy to share this Jesus story with others. Yet, even when we step in it, the Spirit can use what He’s already done in our lives to plant more fruit producing seeds into the lives of others.
We carry the seed of hope, Jesus (Lk. 8:11; Rev. 19:13), within us. God wants to use even our crappiest days to get it out of us and into the lives of others to make their lives better.
For this to happen, we must take our eyes off our challenges/bad days, put them onto Jesus, our hope for today and for tomorrow, and be ready to share Jesus with those the Spirit gives us opportunity. Your worst day can become their best day for eternity.

Run Toward the Battle

The fight is already won, if only we’d fight.
This picture was taken from a drone high above the site where King Saul made his encampment across from the Philistines at the Elah Valley (1 Samuel 17:1-3). It’s on a hilltop overlooking the valley. I know. I climbed it!
It was here that young David came with supplies for his brothers. It was here that David heard Goliath make his outlandish challenge. And it was from here that David said he’d take that challenge in the name of his God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I feel led to share two things from this story. First, David didn’t take up the fight in his own strength. And second, he ran toward the battle, toward the giant.
Saul’s men, including David’s older brothers, stayed behind these walls shaking in fear; a fear that came because they knew they couldn’t defeat this giant, let alone face him in own open combat.
Our enemy taunts us to fight him, knowing full well we won’t, which only increases are defeatist mindset.
The only way to defeat our Goliaths is to face them head on with the powerful truths Jesus has given us in His word. One of which is that the fight is already won by Jesus! We are, not will be or were, more than conquerors through Jesus.
Face your enemy. Run toward him in Jesus’ name. And slay him through the power Jesus has given you – His truth and His Spirit.