Tag Archives: Christian

Walking In God’s Presence


My son is competitive like most kids. He wants to be first everywhere we go. The problem is that he doesn’t always know where we are going. Sometimes when he gets a few steps ahead, I turn and he keeps going straight. I’ll usually make a noise to let him notice. He then runs over and tries to stay in front. With each turn, I remind him that I’m the one who knows where we are going, and that he should follow. 

There are other times when he’s just trying to keep my attention. If I’m trying to do something, he’ll get in my face. If I direct my attention elsewhere, he moves to try to stay in my face. Sometimes it makes me laugh how hard he tries to get and keep my attention. The truth is that it’s a picture of how we are to be with God. Sometimes we forget to be like children, which is what Jesus told us to be like. 

I believe God is looking for us to be in His presence. He’s not wanting us to be out in front of Him trying to guess where He’s leading us, and He’s not just wanting us to be somewhere in His vicinity. He wants us to go get in His face, and to be where He is looking. Psalm 116:9 says, “I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!” (NLT) The Psalmist understood what God desires from each of us, and that is to walk in His presence. 

The word “presence” in its original meaning, is the word for face. So to walk in the Lord’s presence is to walk where He’s facing. In order to do that, we need to be constantly looking at Him to make sure we are going the same way He is. We have to spend time in prayer throughout the day constantly grabbing His face and attention. It’s what children who love their parents do. God is not annoyed by us in trying to do this. He is honored when we walk in His presence. 

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Promise Keeper


I once had a boss who would promise to do things for us. Each week, during staff meeting, he would tell us if we hit a certain goal, he would buy lunch or get us gift cards. They weren’t crazy promises, but they were commitments none the less. After about six weeks had passed, I hadn’t seen any of the things he’d promised. I finally asked a co-worker, “Is he full of hot air or does he make good on these promises?” It turns out, he was full of hot air.

Maybe you’ve been let down by people too. I’ve learned that people are great at breaking promises. It’s easy to make them in the moment, but hard to keep them once the time has come. After working for this person, i vowed to do my best not to make a commitment unless I know I could keep it. I’m amazed how many people are shocked when a promise is kept. We’ve all gotten used to people breaking commitments, that we’re taken aback when someone actually keeps it.

The problem is that we’ve taken that mindset and have applied it to God. When we don’t see answers right away, we think God doesn’t care or He’s forgotten us. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God really isn’t being slow like some of us think. He’s patiently waiting for the right time. I’ve learned His timetable is different than mine. I often pray that He would act on my time, but really, i need to be praying that I could be patient enough to wait for His time. He always makes good on His promises.

Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness (in fulfilling promises) continues to each generation” (NLT). I added the original meaning in parentheses because it’s important for us to understand. God is good, and He keeps His promises. If you’re waiting on Him to fulfill His promise to you, keep holding on. It’s not too late. He is faithful to keep His promises to you.

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Be An Example


One of the things my dad has said my whole life is, “Do as I say. Don’t do as I do!” He’s always said it jokingly, but now that I’m a parent, I get it. My son mimics everything my wife and I say or do, especially the things I wish he wouldn’t. It’s hard to discipline him when he says, “But you just said that.” As a parent, I wish he’d follow my instructions instead of my example a lot of times. Parenting would be a lot easier!

We’ve heard it said our whole lives, “Actions speak louder than words.” We can say things all we want, but if our actions don’t back it up, people won’t believe what we say. I’m sure right now you are thinking of people in your own life who are guilty of this. When our actions don’t back up what we say, we lose credibility. When we lose credibility, we don’t have a leg to stand on. That’s why Paul was adamant in his letters to Timothy and Titus to be good examples.

In Titus 2:7, Paul wrote, “In all things you yourself must be an example of good behavior” (GNT). He wasn’t talking about being a parent though. He was talking about our Christian life. The world has too many “Christians” who profess Jesus with their mouth, but deny Him by their life. How can we win the lost if our lifestyle is no different than the world’s? When we accept Chris, we become a new creation. Our old way of living is gone.

Paul writes over and over about how we should live as believers. What He’s telling us is that our life should be an example of what Jesus can do. He can take all of our brokenness and mess ups and make us new. It’s not saying we won’t fail or sin again. That’s going to happen because we’re all human. When we are being led by His Spirit rather than our flesh, we become the examples that the world needs to see. We won’t have to tell them, “Do as I say, not as I do.” 

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Seeking God Daily


One of my father in law’s favorite activities is doing word search puzzles. They’re the ones where it’s a box of alphabet letters with words hidden in them. The word your looking for could be vertical, backwards, diagonal, or regular. It takes concentration, persistence, and determination at times to find these words. Sometimes, when he can’t find a word, he asks for help from someone else. An outside set of eyes often provides a fresh perspective in finding the words.

To me, finding God can be like one of those puzzles. He’s hidden in our daily lives among the things we’re used to seeing each and every day. It takes concentration, persistence, and determination to find Him in our daily lives. Often times, someone else comes along and points Him out to us while we are seeking Him. Sometimes we’re looking for Him to be hidden and He’s right there in plain sight.

One of the things we do at our nightly devotions with teams who go on a mission trip to Haiti is to ask them, “Where did you see Jesus today?” The first night is usually pretty quiet because so many of us live our lives knowing God is always with us, but we fail to look for Him. We trust He’s there, but we don’t take the time to search for Him daily and to seek Him. God’s desire is that we move past just an acknowledgment of His presence and that we would seek it daily.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” (MSG). When is the last time you searched for God in your daily life? He wants us to seek His presence daily and to see a His hand at work in our lives and in the lives of others. If we’re not careful, we’ll miss it. He wants to be found by us, but are we seeking Him?

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Helping One Another


Yesterday, I went to a friend’s house who had been flooded by Hurricane Harvey. As I walked down their road, my heart sank. There were piles of people’s lives in their yards. Some were about 8 feet high and about 20 feet long. These piles contained years of things they had purchased and collected over time. There were things that can’t be replaced that are lost forever. As my eyes began to fill with tears, i noticed something else. Both sides of the street had cars and trucks parked on it all the way down.

All of these houses had people coming to volunteer to help them begin the process of starting over. As we walked down the driveway, a golf cart pulled up behind us. A lady and her daughters asked, “Are tall hungry? We’ve made food for workers.” Soon after, a man walked up offering bottled water. In the midst of destruction, people were helping just as they have been doing during this entire storm. It was encouraging to me to see so many people doing what they could.

As Christians, we are to encourage and help others whenever possible. Part of being salt and light is proactively helping others in dark situations. If you want to show the world Jesus, show up in the hardest times, not just when it’s convenient. Sacrifice your time and resources for those in need. This world could use a lot of help, hope, and encouragement.

Here are several Bible verses on encouraging others and helping them. 

1. And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 GNT

2. And let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds.
HEBREWS 10:24 AMP

3. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:11-13 MSG

4. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:8 NLT

5. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need — how can God’s love reside in him? Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.
1 John 3:17-18 HCSB

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Rescued


Hurricane Harvey did a number on Houston. It dumped over 40 inches of rain in just a few days, which stranded many people. It’s been incredible to watch all the people with boats locally and from afar coming to rescue people who were trapped in their homes and cars by the rising waters. The news would show people standing on their roofs, or hanging out their windows, waving white flags indicating they wanted to be rescued. Thousands of lives have been saved through the generosity of others. 

As I’ve watched it happen, I can’t help but draw a parallel between it and the spiritual application. Because sin entered the world, every one of us needs to be spiritually rescued. We are all stranded and in need of being taken out of the rising waters. All it takes is for us to raise the white flag of surrender, and Christ will come to our rescue. Some look to be rescued at the first sin of the rising water, and others will stay put and never raise that flag hoping to wait it out.

I saw a man on the local news last night being taken to a shelter. He said, “All these people are crying over their lost possessions, but I look at it as a fresh start. I get a second chance to wipe the slate clean and be who I could have been.” For those of us being rescued, it should be the same way. Our old life has passed away in the flood of sin, and Jesus has given us a new life. He has given us the opportunity to be who we were created to be. We shouldn’t lament the life we once had that was in need of being rescued. 

Jeremiah 17:14 says, “Lord, heal me and I will be completely well; rescue me and I will be perfectly safe. You are the one I praise!” (GNT) If you have been rescued, your spirit is healed and safe. If you’re still in your old house, don’t wait until it’s too late to raise the white flag. Jesus is looking for you, hoping to rescue you so He can give you new life. Call out to Him. Ask Him to rescue you and to give you a new life, and help will be there immediately. We all need to be rescued, but we have to want to be rescued first. 

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Praying Persistently 


I’ve been known to be persistent. When I owned my own business, I had a government agency owe me a lot of money. They were taking their time to pay it, and it was making it difficult to pay my staff and bills. I started calling them once a day leaving messages. After a week, I decided to kick things into a different gear. I started calling every hour. I told them that I would keep calling every hour, and would even do it more frequently until they took my call and paid me. After I did that, they called me back and sent the check. 

I had to let them know I wasn’t going away and I was going to drive them nuts until they took care of my need. I took my inspiration from Luke 11 where Jesus told a parable of a person who had an unexpected guest show up in the night. He was out of food, so he went to his neighbor to ask for some. After the neighbor denied, he kept knocking until the neighbor gave in. Jesus then said we should be persistent like that in our prayers.

When it comes to prayer, I don’t ever want to be like a kid in a candy store throwing a tantrum for what he wants. They blindly throw themselves down, spin around, and make a scene until the parent gives in or disciplines them. I do, however, want to become persistent to the point that God knows that I’m not going away until He answers. Colossians 4:2 says, “Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God” (GNT).

I don’t know what you’re praying for today, but I know that you need to bombard Heaven with your request to the point that God knows you aren’t going away. Be thankful for all He has done in the past, and keep your mind focused on the need at hand. I can’t say that God has answered every prayer the way I’ve wanted Him to, but I can say that whatever His answer is, you an trust to be the right one. If you don’t have an answer yet, don’t stop praying; become more persistent in them.

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