Tag Archives: michael

Living Love!

“If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.”  I John 3:14

What Is Love?
What Is Love?

I have talked about this before, in a several different places.  There are many different definitions and ideas about what love is.  Most people in our world now a days, seem to have made themselves very comfortable with the idea that love is something that we fall into and can fall out of.  This idea believes that love is some magical feeling we get when we meet the right person.  If this is what you think of when you think of love, then you are probably right about it being something that we can fall into and out of.

A better word for that magical feeling that we get when we meet that person that makes us feel really special is probably attraction.  Love, real love is appreciating the goodness in another person.  When the Bible speaks of God’s love for us, it is God appreciating the goodness is us.  You may think, but there is nothing good in me compared to God, and you would be right, but we can’t forget that God created us and we are made in His image.  God sees what we can’t see and His attraction to that good in us allows him to appreciate the good that he can see and that is love.

Love is active and we can create it, just by appreciating the goodness that is in another person.  This is why love really is a choice.  A choice that each of us make many times and in many different ways every day.

There are in existence, what I like to think of as different flavors of love.  There is “eros”, where we get our word erotic.  When we accept and appreciate the beauty of the physical in another person, we experience this “eros” love.  Eros love is often the next step after attraction, but it does not have to be.  “Eros” love is about physical passion, gratification and fulfillment.

There is a love called “storge”.  This is the love that parents share with children and children share with parents.  It is only natural to look at your blood and appreciate the goodness, often of yourself that is in them.  This is a love that flows almost naturally and without effort.

There is also “phileo” love.  Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love.  This is a love of affections, a love that takes delight in being in the presence of another.  This is often that warm feeling that seems to come and go.  This is a love that cares about another as if they were blood.

And then there is “agape” love.  This is the love that our Creator loves us with.  This is love that seeks the welfare and blessing of the other person.  This is a love that flows regardless of the feelings or emotions that we often get tangled up in.  This truest of loves is a choice that we make, regardless of how we feel and that is why this love is so powerful.

When we love others, it is proof that the love of God has found its way into our lives.  Proof that we are not dead, but alive to Him and His power that flows into and through our lives. We should seek this love and share this love, because it means that we are alive and being alive, really alive is a good thing!

It’s A Big Deal!

WOW!
WOW!

It is natural to want to know our place in this world.  Wisdom teaches us that knowing our purpose is not really the most important thing.  The important thing is know that we have purpose.  We search for answers that really will not make much of a difference in our lives.

Look up at the sky.  Now, look around you at the earth.  Isn’t that profound?  You did not get it?  Do it again!  Look up at the sky, really look.  Now, look around you at the earth.  Did you see it?  You are a spiritual being, existing in a human body.  You are on the earth and Heaven is above you.  In reality, you are right now living between heaven and earth.

When we look at the sky, we should contemplate heaven.  The sky is above us and we are below it, what does that tell you?  The sky is endless, vast, right before you and way beyond you.  The sky/heaven is not some abstract philosophical concept, it is a daily reality that is ever-present in our lives.

The clouds come and go, but Heaven is always there.  It is the air we breath and so much more.  It is home to the sun which warms us and gives us life.  We cannot live without the heaven and the earth.

Our spirit is in great need.  It’s contentment comes from the unlimited vastness of the Heavenly domain.  Our spirit never runs out of a new place to roam and call home.  Don’t allow your view of this world and our heavenly home to become too small, because if you do, then you might just miss a very important part of your journey…

Better Than A Pinky Promise!

Pinky Promise!

What do you want for yourself, for your life?  What does God want for yourself, for your life?  I am discovering that what God wants for me and my life is much better than what I want for myself and my life.  As I look back on my life, I can see where I actually kept getting in the way of what is best.

Look at this amazing passage of Scripture, it says it so beautifully:  “2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  2 Peter 1:2-4

God wants grace and peace to be multiplied into and through our lives.  It is multiplied as we step out of our own knowledge and into our knowledge of Him and His Son, our Savior.  This allows us to yield to His Spirit and experience His purpose and plan.

His divine power has given us everything we need to live the life of Godliness that He has called us to and created us for, a life of virtue and glory.  When I depend on my power, I rob myself of the opportunity to participate in the divine.

He has given us His exceeding great and precious promises, so that we might be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that comes from the lust of the world.  We have a choice to make and our choice determines where and how we will live.  Notice, God does not just give us promises, He gives us His exceeding great and precious promises.

God has and wants what is best for us and our lives, lets step out of our selfishness and into His promises – we will be glad we did!

Don’t Give Up!

I had a hard time getting online this morning!  I kept getting an error message and nothing that I tried seemed to work in solving the problem, but I did not give up – I kept on trying.  So many times as we try to live our lives, we will get thrown a curve ball and things will not work out the way that we planned.  I am not talking about the easy stuff like trying to get online.  I am talking about the tough stuff – like life just sometimes being rough and not working out the way we had hoped and planned!

Don’t Give Up! On a good day – life is hard, and on a hard day – life seems impossible!  When times get like this, we are tempted to give in and give up, but don’t you dare do it!  Keep after it!  Here are some steps to make sure that you are doing the right thing!

First, make sure that you are in communication with God. Talk to God about your situation.  He already knows all about it, but loves to hear it from your perspective.  Sometimes, just taking the time to talk it over with Him will lead you to a moment of clarity that helps you to get everything headed in the right direction!

Second, check to make sure that you are not the cause of the problem. We always want to shift the blame, but ultimately – we all bear responsibility for ourselves.  I am responsible for my actions and reactions to life!  It is very easy for us to get out of God’s plan and focused on our very own and very limited agenda.  Make sure that you are where God wants you to be and doing what God created you to do!

Third, enjoy the journey! Life here on this earth is way to short to not enjoy every moment of it.  Don’t let anything or anybody rob you of the special experiences that God has for you in the failures and the victories!

I hope this encourages you today and helps you to get more out of this very special day that God has given you!

Pray For What???

Photo 3Everybody knows that they should pray, but very few actually take the time to do it! Most people pray when they are in trouble or when life fails to work out the way that they had planned.  I think that one of the things that gets in the way of our praying on a regular basis is not knowing what to pray for.  So, I thought that I would share a few suggestions to hopefully encourage us all to take some time today to pray!

Remember that prayer is conversation! Prayer is simply you talking and listening to God.  In the same way that you would have a conversation with a friend, you can have a conversation with God.  You have to learn to listen in a different way, but with a little practice – you will be hearing God in the Spirit in no time!

Pray For People! God loves people!  God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross, so that people might be able to have relationship with their Creator.  Pray that your family, friends, neighbors and even enemies might get into this amazing relationship!  If you have not gotten into this relationship, then pray and ask God to help you!  If you need help getting into relationship with God, then drop me a line!

Pray Against The Enemy! Ask God to tear down the works of Satan.  Pray that Satan’s thoughts will be taken “captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ!”  Satan is at work all around us and one of the greatest weapons that we have against his evil schemes is prayer.  Make sure that you are using this weapon and using it wisely!

Pray For The Holy Spirit! Ask for the Holy Spirits conviction of sin and leading into freedom.  Ask the Spirit to help you hear, receive and become obedient to God’s Word, so that God’s will and purposes might be accomplished in and through you!

This is just a few of the things that you and I can and should be praying for! Take a few moments right now to have a little conversation with God – just share your heart.  You will be surprised at what a difference it will make!

Tomatoes!

tomato8oz_Duke's_MayoOne of my favorite things about this time of year is tomatoes! I love tomatoes!  I especially love them ripe, sliced and in between two slices of bread, smothered with Dukes Mayo and sprinkled with pepper!  I also like them green, battered and fried crispy brown!

Another thing that I like about tomatoes is watching them grow! One day you have a little yellow flower and the next a small green ball.  The green ball continues to grow and change it’s shape and then it starts to change it’s color.  It eventually turns into a big, red, ripe and juicy tomato.  When it turns red, ripe and juicy, you better pick it and use it or it will rot!

We are a lot like tomatoes! We are green and growing or ripe and rotting! The difference between us and the tomato is that we get to make the choice!

What are you? You are green and growing when you realize that you don’t know everything and there is still much for you to learn!  You are ripe and rotting when you think that you have arrived and simply seek to live life on cruise control!

I want to be green and growing! I want to learn all of the amazing new things that God puts in front of me everyday!  It is exciting to think that everyday is another day for me to grow and change!  God is still working on me!

I have changed a lot through the years and the most incredible thing is this:  Some of my most amazing change and growth is still in front of me!  Enjoy letting God grow you today!

How Old Are You?

David's been crying because I never mention him in a blog - so here ya go!
David's been crying because I never mention him in a blog - so here ya go!

Last night we talked about “What’s The Big Deal About Age?” We are working our way through 1 Samuel 3 and we were taking a look at old Eli and Young Samuel and discovered that there are some things that we need to learn wherever we are in our journey!

The Problem With Getting Old! Getting old does not have to be a bad thing.  In fact getting old can be a good thing, if we will learn to age with Grace!  But for a lot of people, the problem with getting old comes when you get to a point where you stop learning.  Eli was loosing his physical vision and had already lost most of his spiritual vision.  He was more than likely loosing his ability to hear physically and he had certainly already lost his ability to hear spiritually.  There came a point in his growing older that he stopped learning.  There came a point when he just stopped seeing and hearing the things of God!  What a tragedy!

As we get older – we begin to lose our physical senses! As we lose our physical senses, we need to enhance and grow our spiritual senses.  As the physical dies – the spiritual should grow.  As the flesh grows old, the spirit should grow strong!  Getting old does not have to be a bad thing.  You just need to learn to make the switch from physical to spiritual.  This is what we ought to spend our lives doing any way!

As we all get older and begin to lose our physical senses – let’s make sure that we are working to grow, develop and strengthen our spiritual senses, so that we can hear, see and respond to the awesome stuff of God!

Get Some Rest!

My Dad Getting Some Rest!
My Dad Getting Some Rest!

Luke 23:56 says “On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment!”

We live in a 24/7 world, where activity is taking place on top of activity! Many people are in the process of doing three or more things all at the same time. We think that the more busy we get, the more important we are.  Our big problem is often a lot of activity, but very little result!  We stir up a lot of dust, but when the dust settles – what is there to show for it?

I think this is one of the reasons why God commanded a Sabbath! We need to take a break from all that we are doing, so that we can remember Who and what we are doing it for.  There are a lot of benefits to taking a Sabbath Rest!  Our mind, body and spirit get a much needed break from the often punishing routines of life.  Our life gets a chance to restructure and reorganize for better service that really makes a difference.  And we gain a clarity that can only come from taking a little time to survey the scene from a place of rest.

Genesis 2 says:  “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Who are we to think that we should not rest, when our Creator took the time to rest?

Make sure that you are taking some time to rest, so that you can give God your very best! In your time of rest make sure to take some time to think about God’s plans for you and your life and make sure that you take some time to thank God for your life and all that He has given and done to make it blessed!

Three Things You Can’t Do!

“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!”  Romans 5:1-2

There are three things that you cannot do, no matter how hard you try!  You can pretend to do these things and many people do, but to what advantage?

You Cannot Save Yourself! Scripture tells us that we are “justified through faith!”  Our being justified (made right) comes through faith, but not just any ole faith will do.  We must have faith in someone or something that matters or it is all for nothing.  We are made right with God through our faith in Jesus Christ!  It does not matter how smart or slick you think you are.  You will never be smart or slick enough to save yourself.  Jesus came and died on the cross – to do for you and me – what we could not do for ourselves!

You Cannot Manufacture Peace! Because we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am not talking about a moment of no worries.  I am talking about an inner certainty that everything is going to be okay as we trust, yield and follow God.  The very best that we can do in our everyday living is to put a band aid on the situations and circumstances that are bringing us down.  When you are made right with God through faith in Jesus, then you know that whatever is going on in your life is being used for God’s glory and man’s blessing as we trust and surrender to God and His magnificent will!

You Cannot Waste Grace! Faith in Jesus allows us to stand and walk in grace!  I think a lot of people now a days are living with a “fake grace!”  We like to say that we have received this beautiful gift from God, but the truth is this: If you have the gift of grace – it will change your life and the way that you live it! I see a lot of people now a days wasting grace, but it’s not God’s grace.  It is a grace that man has made up to justify his doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants and that is not grace at all!  It’s real or it’s fake and the way to tell is by how you are living your life!

Where Do You Stand?

You can’t save yourself, but you can be saved!  Just put your trust in the only One that really matters and let Him take care of the justification.

You can have peace, but you have to get rid of that pretend stuff that you have made up to open up your life to the real stuff that flows out of a growing and meaningful relationship with Jesus!

You got grace just waiting for you to allow yourself to really experience freedom.  Not freedom to do whatever you want, but freedom to do the right things that guide your life into and through blessing!

Realize what you can’t do and get out of God’s way and let Him work!  As God works on, in and through you, make sure that you are living the life that is giving Him the glory and you can’t help but experience the blessing!

U-Turn Blessings!

u_turn_sign_2So you have heard from God and made the decision to turn your life around! The Spirit has spoken and you have listened from the inside – out!  The message inside your heart will change the outside of your life!  Now that you are heading away from the destructive patterns of the world and toward the constructive plans of Heaven – what should you expect?

When we repent, change, u-turn or 180, then we can expect God to show up in big ways! God wants to do an amazing work to you and through you!

First – we can look for REFRESHING! I talk to people every day about life stuff and have discovered that most people are tired, frustrated, discouraged and just plain weak from the blows that life has dealt them.  We all need and long for refreshing!  Refreshing is not something that we can do for ourselves.  Refreshing is the work of God.  You can open your life to it, but God has to do the work.  When we repent, we open our lives to the refreshing work of the Holy Spirit.  God comes into our tired, frustrated and discouraged lives and strengthens us with power, hope and encouragement.

Second – God will provide RESTORATION! This is an amazing and beautiful gift from God.  Often times as we live our lives and make mistakes, we will later discover that our mistakes were not cheap, in fact they often costs us so much more than we ever dreamed we would have to pay.  But God is more than faithful and when we repent, He begins to put back together the broken pieces of our lives.  Your life may seem like a big ole mess, but it is never to big of a mess for God.  In fact God specializes in taking the impossible and making it possible!  Just trust Him and do what you know you need to do!

Third – God will bring REVIVAL! God has a whole new spiritual place that He wants to take you.  He has things that He wants to show you that will change your life for all eternity.  God wants to grow you from the inside-out and enable you to do awesome and mighty things for Him and His glory.

Make sure that you have made the turn away from self and go running just as fast as you can into the open arms of a loving Heavenly Father!  You will be glad, so glad that you did – as you experience His refreshing, restoration and revival!