You Gotta Want To

“Do not be afraid. Believe – Jesus.”
Jesus got a little irritated with those who kept asking for another, then another, and then yet another sign or miracle from Him. He said, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
Did they believe even when they saw His miracles? The overwhelming majority didn’t. In fact, when Jesus was hanging on the cross, nailed just like the pictured foot, the leaders of the day said, “Come down from the cross and we’ll believe.”
They clamored for still another miracle!
Yet, the greatest miracle of all was coming three days later – His resurrection. Did they believe then? No. Instead, they attempted to cover up the fact that Jesus was out of the grave. They just didn’t want to believe.
Choice is a wonderful thing. We have to want to believe.
Jesus puts belief in its proper place. He said if you trust or believe Him, then act on what He says. Then and only then will know it to be true and experience the freedom He promises (see John 8:31-32).
What is Jesus asking you to believe today? Believe first and then you’ll see results, not before.

When Losing is Winning

“Jesus did what He did because of Who He was.”
Jesus knew who He was, the Son of God. He then followed the Father or did what He did based on that truth. It is foundational to what He asked of us: deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him.
Jesus is asking us to divorce ourselves from ourselves (deny), and take it a step further by killing self (cross). Since its dead, self can’t speak, which means you can listen to and follow someone else – Jesus.
Hear me now. I don’t get something from God by doing something for God. This is religion. I get something from God because of who I am – God’s child through faith in Jesus.
He made me the Father’s unconditional child. I am now a saint with a self-challenge that continually needs to die so I can better follow Him.
Every time I choose to lose self, I win by becoming more like Jesus. This brings what I was looking for when I was calling the shots in the first place – fulfillment.
Therefore, take a breath. Hold it. Let it out slowly. Slow is fast. Cease from trying to make things happen. It’s not your job. Your job is to know who you are and simply follow Him.

Peace in His Presence

“Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.” – Sheila Walsh
I recently read where a believer gets up early in the morning, long before the sun rises, to just sit with her Father when He rouses her to wake.
She experiences a peace that is remembered throughout her day, especially when life becomes fast paced. It brings a smile to her face.
Moses set up a tent outside the camp for anyone who wanted to sit and soak in their Father’s presence, especially when they needed guidance (Ex. 33:7).
Jan and I experienced this after a long trek up a mountain trail. After about a thousand feet through forested land, we came upon this creek (pictured) rambling down the hills through a sprawling green meadow.
We sat there, without saying a word, simply soaking in His presence.
These stories remind me of the song, It Is Well With My Soul. “When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say; It is well, it is well with my soul.”
When life gets a little hectic, it is good to focus on such peaceful moments. These memories aid us in slowing down when life picks up the pace. They reduce the blood pressure a few notches when stress strikes.
There is peace in the Father’s presence. Have you experienced it? Remember it. Haven’t had much of it lately? Get up when He rouses you from sleep and sit in a chair or go for a walk without your phone and just be with your Father.
He loves you, you know. Let His presence bring a peace to remember.

Post-Truth Era

“I am the Truth, the Way and the Life.” – Jesus
Notice the photo, no, not the person or the sign, but the shadow. What’s missing? The sign! This photo has been altered. Either the sign was added to the photo or the sign’s shadow was edited out.
Either way, due to technology, can you trust what you see in photos or videos to be true? Can you even trust what you read?
We are entering what is being called the “Post-Truth Era.” As one author put it, “The nation remains sharply divided on precisely the question of what the facts are.”
Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook and companies like Apple and Amazon can ban worldviews that differ from theirs’ from using their platforms. As they own those businesses, they get to dictate their platform’s rules. This is still a free society.
There is something to think about, however. Aristotle stated that he was “worried that, in a democracy, a wealthy and talented demagogue could all too easily master the minds of the populace.”
When a precious few can control the levers of information, they can shape and at times control what is “truth” or “facts.” And, when non-truth wears away the rule of law, no one is safe from the few.
Scripture foretold this. The false Messiah will come from the West (aka, the old Roman Empire – Daniel 2,7,9). This person was given a title, “The man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:3). This doesn’t mean anti-rule of law, but anti-God and anti-Scripture or what’s called the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for the rule of law.
The Scriptures – both sides of the book – claim to be the truth by which all of life should be filtered. Jesus summed it up best. He said that only He is the Truth that will set humanity truly free. Any non-truth only creates bondage of soul, spirit and body.
Do you know the truth – Jesus? You’re going to need to get better at listening to and following Him in order to recognize the non-truths in what you see and hear.
Can you arrive at the truth for yourself using the Scriptures? You’re going to need more, not less, time in them in order to know the truths that keep you free from the negative side effects of non-truth.
Are you actively shaping your decision making process using the truths you discovered in the Scripture? If not, non-truth sources will creep in.
I can show you how if you need help. It’s free and via the internet. Stay free and focused on Jesus and the tasks He has for you, my friends.