Run, and Run Fast!

Running1 Timothy 6:6-11, 18-19, But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. … That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

The apostle Paul loved Timothy like a son. And, of course, Paul loved the church at Ephesus, which Timothy was pastoring and Paul had started. In both of Paul’s letters to Timothy, we find wonderful lessons not only for those of us in “church work,” but for all of us who name the name of Christ.

In his message to Timothy, Paul was very clear, there are some things we need to FLEE FROM (covetousness and love of money) and there some things we should FOLLOW AFTER (righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness). In other words, we need to FLEE FROM that which is temporal, and FOLLOW AFTER that which is eternal!

Colossians 3:1-3, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Love of moneyCovetousness and the love of money has caused many to stumble and err from the faith. We see this truth played out over and over again, not only in the scriptures, but throughout church history.

Of course, Jesus warned his disciples and all who were listening to Him as He spoke in what we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 6:19-24, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Jesus was just confirming a truth found in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 8:10-14, When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 

For 2,000 years now, God’s people have been trying to prove Jesus wrong when He said that a man could not serve both God and money.

How about us today?

money 2If we aren’t careful, we will fall into the devil’s subtle snare and find ourselves FOLLOWING AFTER those things that we should be FLEEING FROM, while neglecting to FOLLOW AFTER that which is eternal!

Just Reflecting!


Pondering Our Path

Path 1“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (PRO 3:5-6).

“… But the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto a perfect day” (PRO 4:18).

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (PRO 4:26-27).

God has a path for all of us to take in this life!

Your path is not my path, nor is my path yours. If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know that God normally shows us His path or purpose, not suddenly, but incrementally – one day at a time! As one author noted:

“When we look closely at the examples in Scripture, it’s surprising how seldom those who were guided by God actually received any insight into the future at all. There were exceptions; these always involved supernatural revelation, and there seem to be clear reasons why these exceptions occurred. … But in the great majority of instances in Scripture, God’s guidance was experienced only incrementally, in the step-by-step, light-unto-one’s-path fashion we’ve been suggesting is normative. While examples of this sort of guidance permeate both the Old and New Testaments, one of the most interesting and instructive comes from Paul’s experience in Acts 16:6-40.”

If we are going to find and follow God’s path for our life, we are going to have to trust in the Lord with all our heart, not leaning on our own feeble and failing understanding, which at times is difficult for even the best of us. We are also going to have to acknowledge Him and His lordship in all our ways and days. And then, and only then, will He direct our paths!

“When our heart is right before God, he takes an uncanny initiative to guide us within his will, even where our understanding is lacking.” – Blaine Smith

By the way, it is good to keep in mind that there are those who want us to take the path to the “Right,” and there are others who want us to take the path to the “Left.” Yet, we must resist the temptation to do so.


O Lord, help us to remember that there are many paths we can take on this side of eternity – some good, others bad – yet, if we will trust You, lean not on our own feeble understanding, and acknowledge You in all of our ways, You will direct us down the path You desire for us to take!




Let Jesus in the Boat

Boat 1John 6:15-21, When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. 16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

As most of us can attest, life is filled with storms, there’s just no way around it. Yet, God often uses the storms of life for His glory and for our good.

God often uses the storms of life to refocus our attention upon Jesus, rekindle our affection for Jesus, refine our life to make us who He wants us to be, and redirect  our lives to go where He wants us to go!

In other words, God has a way of getting us to our “place of destiny” – His purpose for our life – even if it means allowing a storm or two to arise. ‬ And there’s ‪one thing that we can be assured of, when we let Jesus into “our boat,” we’ll arrive at our destination – His purpose for our life!

Boat 2O Lord, give us the discernment to know that You are the One walking in the midst of our storm and help us to be willing to invite You into “our boat.”

Just reflecting!


SEEKING GOD -1John 1:37-39, And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, WHAT SEEK YE? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

The question that Jesus asked His disciples, “What seek ye?” (JN 1:38) still echoes thru the ages to those who are claiming to “follow Jesus.” ‬ ‪Of course, the answer should be an unequivocal, “O Lord, all that we seek is You!”‬

As Christians, while we may not readily admit it, but far too often we are seeking after good things, at times, even God things, while at same time neglecting to seek after God Himself. We often find ourselves seeking after those things which do not profit, while at the same giving little time to the One who brings eternal profit!

Yet, the scriptures-both the Old and New Testament-make it very clear that God is looking for a people who are looking, or seeking, for Him. Will we accept the challenge? Will be obey the many commandments that command us to seek His Face?

Jeremiah 29:11-14, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the LORD …

SEEKING CHRIST 2.jpgHebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

O Lord, may our hearts seek after Christ, and Christ alone!

Just Reflecting!!!

The Least of These

Least of theseMatthew 24:12, And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” 

Matthew 25:35-40, For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

While reading these passages this morning, two interrelated thoughts came to my mind:

  • When sin and selfishness are left unchecked in our society and our lives, it won’t be long before our hearts become calloused and cold, and our love for God, as well as our love for others begins to grow cold. 
  • How we treat the poor, the hungry, the sick, and the marginalized, “around the corner” and “around the world” reveals much about us, and our love for Christ!

Cold heartAs I mentioned yesterday, Christ’s commands for us, as found in the Bible, coupled with the depth of poverty—both physical and spiritual—“around the corner” and “around the world,” along with the reality of the abundance in our lives and churches, have huge implications for us to ponder during this Thanksgiving season!

Just Reflecting!

Yes, Thank God for the Blessings, but Don’t Stop There

Thanksgiving-1Psalm 67:1-7, God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. 2  That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. 3  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 4  O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. 5  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 6  Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. 7  God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

As we approach Thanksgiving, all of us would readily admit that God has been good to us, in fact, very good to us. God has blessed us in so many different ways. Let’s consider just a few of the many ways God has blessed us:

  • He has saved us
  • He has given us a copy of His Word in our language
  • He has changed us, and continues to change us on a daily basis 
  • He has provided us a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat
  • He has given us good health
  • He has given us a wonderful spouse
  • He has blessed us with wonderful children and grandchildren
  • He has allowed us to live in a country with religious freedom
  • He has given us a good church family and spiritual leaders who have been a blessing
  • He’s given us a good job and the abundance that few in history have even known

With this last blessing in mind –the blessing of abundance–it might be worth pondering what one author noted:

“For if we have clean water, sufficient food and clothes, a roof over our heads at night, access to medicine, a mode of transportation (even if it’s public), and the ability to read a book, then relative to billions of people in the world, we are incredibly wealthy. Economics professors Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert observe how the standard of living essentially common among us is extremely uncommon in human history. They write, ‘At no time in history has there ever been greater economic disparity in the world than at present.’ Speaking specifically about present-day Americans, they conclude, ‘By any measure, we are the richest people ever to walk on planet.’”

Yes, this Thanksgiving season, let us be grateful for all of His blessings, including the blessing of abundance, but let us also be reminded that He blesses us so we can be a blessing to others.

Thanksgiving 2As I posted earlier today,

Christ’s commands for us, as found in the Bible, coupled with the depth of poverty—both physical and spiritual—“around the corner” and “around the world,” along with the reality of the abundance in our lives and churches, have huge implications for us to ponder during this Thanksgiving season!

This Thanksgiving season, let’s be sure to be thankful, but let’s not simply stop with being thankful for what God has blessed us with, but let’s do something with what we have been given for the glory of God and the good of others — those who don’t have what we are thankful for!

Just Reflecting!

Sheep Among Wolves

Sheep 2Matthew 10:7-8,  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:16-25,  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

While reading Matthew 10 this morning, among other things, three thoughts really grabbed my attention and were a source of pondering:

  • The command to GO is a command to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world, AND to bring help, healing, and hope to the helpless, the hurting, and the hopeless!
  • While Jesus has sent us into a dangerous world filled with wolves, He has sent us as sheep, and expects us to serve in the spirit and nature of a lamb, in fact, in the spirit and nature of THE LAMB — the Lord Jesus Himself!
  • If the world hates us, let’s be sure they hate us for HIS “NAME’S SAKE,” and not simply for our lack of conviction, compassion, our callousness toward the hurting and the helpless, our critical and condemning spirit, or our lack of Christlikeness.

Unfortunately, I am afraid we are often hated for all the wrong reasons!

As the people of God, we should be reflecting the light, life, and love of Christ. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: “Are we properly portraying the life, love, and light of Christ in a dark world?”

“My life helps to paint my neighbor’s picture of God.” —John Goetsch

Sheep 1As the author of The Calvary Road noted:

Then further, He (Jesus) was the silent Lamb. “As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Facing the calumnies of men, we read, “He answered nothing.” He never defended Himself, nor explained Himself. But we have been anything but silent when others have said unkind or untrue things about us. Our voices have been loud in self-defence and self-vindication, and there has been anger in our voices. We have excused ourselves, when we should have admitted frankly our wrong. On every such occasion the Dove had to take His flight, and withdraw His peace and blessing from our hearts, because we were not willing to be the silent lamb.

This is biblical Christianity!

O Lord, as You send us among the wolves, help us to continue to walk and work in the spirit and nature of a lamb, and above all, the nature and spirit of THE LAMB OF GOD—holy, harmless, and helpful to a hurting, helpless, and hopeless world!

Just Reflecting!