Growing in Foggy Times

“Hope overcomes fear of the unknown!”
The Scriptures repeatedly tell us that we need to walk with other Jesus believers to deepen our love for Jesus.
The Spirit will use others, at times, to be Jesus’ hands, voice and sometimes His foot to draw us closer to Him.
Yet, we don’t want to walk across that foggy bridge to gather with others out of fear of the unknown. “What if…you fill in the blank.” This fear of the “what ifs” holds us back from growing our faith, a faith that sustains in foggy times.
We must learn from our brothers and sisters in persecuted countries. They know their need of the human factor to keep strong in foggy times at best and stormy times at worst.
A large percentage of Western Christians believe once a week meetings watching the back of other’s heads while listening to a talking head will be enough. They believe that live-streamed messages are good enough or watching “church” on TV will cut it.
They will not. When life takes away your spouse, who is there to hug you? When sickness keeps you down, who is there to bring food to your home? When you start to feel overwhelmed or weak in the knees, who is there to prop you up until you can walk on your own?
Hope is the light that will cut through that fog. Hope that God’s Word is true when it says walking with others will encourage, strengthen and sustain your faith in foggy times.
Who walks across that bridge to gather with you to encourage and strengthen your faith in Jesus? Now is the time, my friends, to find like-minded believers, those willing to walk by faith, not fear, to gather with you to keep you moving forward in your love for Jesus.

A Call to be Ready in Unprecedented Times

“Keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Jesus
We currently are experiencing events unprecedented in history. Entire countries around the globe are locked down at home at the same time. Biblical prophecy in relation to Israel is set to come true literally at any moment.
It’s time to remember a clear warning Jesus gave His disciples before His death and resurrection, which we recently celebrated.
In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus tells the story of 10 virgins with lamps, much like the one pictured. Five were ready for the bridegroom to return at any hour and five were not. How do we know? Only five had a lamp with a wick and oil while the other five only had a lamp with a wick.
The five with oil, picture those who put their faith in Jesus and are indwelt by the Spirit (i.e. oil), which shows they are children of God (Rom. 8:9-11). Whereas the other five, merely hung out with them, but were not known by Jesus or children of God.
Jesus tells the church at Laodicea to let Him in the building (Rev. 3:14-22)! These people were going to a church building for a Christian service, but were not known by Jesus.
It’s a stark reminder of what Jesus, the bridegroom, said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.”
Anyone can say they are a Christian or attend a Christian church service. Only those who love Jesus through listening to and following Him will be ready at a moment’s notice to go home with Him.
Whose voice are you listening to today? Those who are known by Jesus, under the Spirit’s power, will listen to and follow Him every day, everywhere.
Become a believer in Jesus today through surrendering to what He did for you (died and rose again), not what you think you can do for Him. Then express your love for Him through daily choosing to follow Him.
Do that, and you’ll be ready regardless of the times in which you live.

Life Is Not About Knowing…It’s About Following

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
I’ve sometimes wondered why Jesus uses sheep as an analogy for His followers. I mean sheep are quite dumb. Why not, say an animal that fights back?
So why sheep? They know their shepherd’s voice; and, will run from all other voices.
Jesus doesn’t need to us to do anything for Him. He wants us to everything with Him. And sometimes, that means following His voice, His directives, even when we don’t understand them or why or where He asking us to walk with Him.
Are you one who has to know before you follow? Jesus said His sheep will practice what He says to do. And only afterward, not before, will they know that His directions are true and will lead to freedom (John 8:31-32). This is faith, which without it, you can’t know or please God.
If you want to experience and stay at peace in today’s unsettling times, go with Him wherever He leads without question, even if that means talking a walk outside!
Let His light shine into the dark unknown! Baaaa.

Same Place Different Choices

“You can’t always control your situation, but you can always control how you respond in it.”
Pictured is where historians and archeologists agree that two significant biblical events took place.
The rocky area upfront is where Jacob slept and had his famous stairway to heaven dream. He named this place Bet El or the House of God (Genesis 28) because that stairway led into heaven itself.
Years later, after Israel split into two kingdoms, Jeroboam, king of the northern tribes, built two golden calves. He put one in Dan and the other right here at Bet El (1 Kings 12). What remains of that site is under the green mound at the far northern section of this picture.
Same location, two entirely different choices. One led to the trust in the God of heaven and earth. The other led to the trust in the god of this world.
It’s time to take new territory…in your own home. As many are spending large amounts of time at home due to CoVid19, you’ll have many choices in how you spend your time.
Will you spend it with your drugs of choice (golden calf) or with Jesus (House of God)? Same location, two entirely different choices.
Now is the time to take new territory. Now is the time for us to be bold. Let’s come out of this season in your home stronger and better prepared than ever before!

Focus on the One Who Sees Behind the Curtain

“It’s in our darkest hour that we must focus each minute on the Light.”
In the movie, The Wizard of Oz, the main characters were standing before a big screen being frightened by what they saw, smelled, heard and felt.
Little did they know, a little man was standing behind a curtain pulling levers and pushing buttons to make it all happen. In other words, the information they got through their senses, which caused them to fear, was man made.
If only they could have seen behind that curtain!
During our current world challenge, we’re being inundated with information. How do you not let it negatively affect you?
Listen to, stay focused on and follow Jesus, the One who sees behind the curtain of tomorrow.
He’s the One who said that if we practice what He taught we’d be kept from anxiety, worry, stress, fear – some of the possible negative side effects of not staying focused on Him.
During times like today, we are to rejoice in the One who can see behind the curtain.
We are to rejoice in the fact that if we focus and act on the truths Jesus gives us, He promises that we will experience a mind blowing peace.
Our faith in Jesus, not a religious dogma, is being tested.
Who will you listen to – those you can see and hear or the One who sees behind the curtain?
Research shows that we are social animals. And, in times of uncertainty, will look to other people for cues about what to do, and then follow them, even if what they do is crazy.
What if Jesus believers choose to follow the One who sees behind the curtain? Not only will we experience the peace we’re longing for, but people around us will also see how Jesus works in real life situations like social distancing and self-quarantining.
I pray that others will see Jesus in you and me, and then ask, “How can you be so calm? Where do you get your peace from?”
And our answer will naturally be, “I’m glad you asked. Let me share how Jesus helped me!”
Let your faith grow in the One who can see behind the curtain of tomorrow to guide you into peace today. He is the light that shines brightly at any given moment so that you can be set you free from the dark clouds of life.
Want to know more? Email me and I’ll tell you!