December 15, 2015 · 6:59 AM
Years ago, when I lived in Cairo, I would often go to a man’s home in the desert to ride horses. One of his horses was a beautiful Arabian, and I loved to take her out in the open desert and run her as fast as she could go. Every once in a while, I would come up over a hill and she would see the pyramid of Saqqara. Immediately she would go into a trance like state and start walking towards it. She wouldn’t respond to the bridle pulls I gave her. I usually had to dismount her, pull her, and sometimes whip her with the training stick to pull her out of that trance so we could keep riding.
Since she was little, her owner would take her to the pyramid for tourists to ride her and take photos with her. She was conditioned to go to the pyramids. She was a lot like us. We are born into sin and are often put into a trance like state when we see certain things that call out to that nature in us. The Holy Spirit in us calls to us to tell us it’s wrong. He tries to pull us away, blind us, and does whatever is necessary to get our attention to pull us away from the temptation.
The Lord wants to teach us a better way. He wants to show us how to live and where to go so we can enjoy the freedom of open spaces. He doesn’t want us to live in that hypnotic state controlled by our sinful nature. He wants to set us free to allow us to live the way He intended from the beginning. To do that, we have to listen to what He says and follow Him without having to be pulled away from temptation at whatever cost.
In Psalm 32:8 the LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” (NLT). He wants to listen to His voice so He can simply teach us where to go in life and how to live. He doesn’t want to have to treat us like that horse. Verse 9 says, “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” If we are willing to listen, God is giving us freedom to run. If we aren’t, He will use what’s necessary to get us where He wants us to go.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as decotion, Devotional, doing what's right, following gods voice, gods guidance, Holy Spirit, how to live, pyramid, remiving temptation, saqqara, sinful nature, taught by god, temptation, the lord teaches us how to live
October 12, 2015 · 6:23 AM
One of the things I firmly believe is that changed lives change lives. The greater work that God does in someone’s life, the greater the desire is to tell others. In Luke 7, Jesus was eating at the house of a religious leader. A woman in town, who had lived a sinful life, heard that Jesus was there. She grabbed an alabaster jar of oil and went to see Him. When she came into the house, she began to weep. She then bowed at His feet and wiped the tears off of them with her hair. She then poured the perfume on them as everyone in the house just watched.
The religious leader began to doubt who Jesus was. Luke 7:39 says, “When the Pharisee saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man really were a prophet, he would know who this woman is who is touching him; he would know what kind of sinful life she lives!’” (GNB). Jesus spoke up and offered a situation to him. He told of two men who owed the same person money. One person owed 500 and the other 50. Neither had the ability to pay off their debt. The debtor forgave both debts. Then Jesus asked, “Which one, then, will love him more?”
Jesus’ point was that those who are forgiven of more sins, love Him more. Those who experience a greater change in their lives show more gratitude. They had a bigger debt that was canceled than those who were raised in church and never lived a life full of sin. Both types of lives are changed when they receive Jesus as their savior and both have an obligation from that point on to help lead others to the One who can change lives. He more change we experience at salvation, the more we are compelled by love to help others.
To demonstrate this, Jesus then showed a comparison between this woman’s actions and the religious leader’s actions. He told how the religious leader hasn’t provided water to wash Jesus’ feet, but this woman hasn’t stopped washing them with her tears. He also didn’t greet Jesus with a kiss, and this woman hasn’t stopped kissing Him. Then in Luke 7:47, Jesus said, “I tell you, then, the great love she has shown proves that her many sins have been forgiven. But whoever has been forgiven little shows only a little love.”
The greater the change God makes in your life, the more natural it is for you to want to change other’s lives. The great news is that if you’re a Christian, God has changed your life and you have the ability to now tell others what God has done for you. When you share your story of redemption with others, you open the door for their life to be changed. The more lives that are changed by God’s love, the more people we will have out there changing other people lives. The cycle of change starts with you and me.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as changed life, Christianity, daily devotion, decotion, he who is forgiven most loves most, jesus changes lives, jesus forgives sin, love God, religious, salvation, tell your testimony, testimony, witness, witnessing, your life can change
August 27, 2015 · 5:30 AM
I like to jokingly tell people, “I’m the busiest person I know.” My life, like so many people’s is full of coming and going. Home it seems is just the place you go to sleep at night. Between work, family, friends, and ministry life can get so busy that it’s hard to stop and eat. Most days you plow through work, answer emails, solve problems, get on conference calls, head home, go to a family event, or visit with friends or someone in need. Life is rarely quiet, but that’s just what we need.
Early in Jesus’s ministry, He sent the disciples out two by two. He gave the authority to cast out demons, to heal the sick, and to preach the Gospel. They went from town to town doing just that. Before long, Jesus was a household name in that region. People would come from miles around just to hear Him speak or to get healing for themselves or a loved one. Jesus and the disciples were finding it hard to take a break from ministry.
Mark 6:31 records an interaction between Jesus and the disciples that we can learn from today. It says, “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (NLT). Sound familiar? Jesus lived a busy life just like you and I do. The difference? He understood the importance of rest.
The Blue Letter Bible defines the rest Jesus was talking about as, “To cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength.” Jesus gives you and me permission to take a break and to rest from our ministry and our busy lives. He knows that at times you need to go to that desolate, technology-free, communication-free place in order to recover and collect your strength. There is much work to do, but you’re going to need your strength to be effective in doing it.