Day 30 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

My parents live in a rural part of Tennessee. I give them a hard time about how it has two stop lights, two restaurants, and two teeth in the whole area. (It is done in love and respect and they take it well.) One thing they do have that I love is the simplicity of life. My dad builds houses. He can get permits, financing and real estate deals done in such a short time. Usually there will be cookies involved. Not sure how that helps but people in his neck of the woods bake the old fashioned way. The other thing that is still there is the deal done with a hand shake. Yes, they still have contracts. But, he has mentioned many times how a hand shake is his promise and he expects that from those he deals with everyday.

The word of God is his hand shake. What He says in His word, He will do. Just as Jesus was leaving the earth, he promised that the Holy Spirit would come and assist believers. Today, the Holy Spirit works to helps us in our walk with Christ. I encourage you to look at today’s passage again. And take some time to look at the other promises in God’s word that you need to day. He will do what it says He will do – You can shake on that!


Day 29 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

“Now there is an interesting thought.” These are famous words to me. My father in law would use this line whenever I would state an idea that he didn’t think was the best choice to follow. He would always say it in a way that I got the message loud and clear. Funny thing is that it never really bothered me when he said it. In fact, we both laugh about it now.

I bet God hears our prayers or statements and has the same reaction. “God, I need this…” “Now there is an interesting thought.” “God, this person did me wrong and you need to …” “Now there is an interesting thought.” “God, this doesn’t make sense, why did you…?” “Now there is an interesting question.” “God, how can you…” “Now there is an interesting challenge.”

“God, I need you. I confess, I forgive and I surrender.”

“Now….I can commune with you.”

Day 28 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

Worry is a death trap. I struggled with worry and fear when I was a kid. Not really sure why as I look back on it, but I know it was something I had to deal with. In fact, I would get headaches because it would bring such tension to my mind. Did you catch the part where I said, I am not sure why I was worrying as a kid? What could be so big back then that it would rob me of my peace?

Could that be the same question that we will be asking ourself 5 years from where we are right now? This has been a tough year of growth for me. I continue to find myself before God yielding my will to His, asking for forgiveness and putting myself in a place to grow. The things that seem so big right now will not be so big 5 years from now. I know that as I submit myself to God, ask Him for wisdom and direction, and allow Him to guide me, all will be ok. I might not get what I want, but I will get what He wants. But I also get this….peace. Phillipians says, “…and I will give you the peace that passes all understanding and guards your heart and minds.” When I read that, I realize that worry isn’t worth the headache.

Day 27 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

Great devotion today. It tells of some amazing missionaries who laid down their lives for a group of people to come to know Christ. Let me encourage you to do the same. No, you don’t have to go to a remote part of the world and be killed doing it. Every month, GFC has a number of ways you can reach out to people in the Tampa area. Each week, we go and feed the homeless on Mondays and Tuesdays. Our teams work tirelessly to distribute food and resources to the men and women who need help. Every second Saturday, we blitz the Tampa area. Our Missions department sets up a list are groups who will be ministered to that day. Single moms, children’s home, metropolitan ministries, and even our own facilities are impacted by people willing to give up a Saturday morning to serve others. If you haven’t done this yet, you need to try it. It is an amazing feeling when you see your service bring a smile or ray of hope to someone in need. Finally, you weekly giving is serving people in Tampa and across the world. Each year, GFC gives 10 percent of its income to minister to people outside the GFC walls. Those funds are designated to local ministries, missionaries around the globe and planting new churches to reach people for Christ. Your faithful giving allows us to invest in the lives of people with the power of Christ! If you haven’t been involved in any of these areas, let me encourage you to challenge yourself to do something. You will have to give something up but the return will be worth it!

Day 26 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

We all have one of these stories. Someone does you wrong and you were completely innocent. I am not mocking – we all have situations in our lives where this has actually happened. Like a bad country song, there is lying, cheatin, and stealing going on all the time. (I do actually like some country music, so please hold on the emails.)

Hard Question: Are they worth it? Worth what, you ask.

I am so glad you asked. Are they worth you holding on to the anger and contention with them so that situation can continue to replay in your mind time and time again? Are they worth thinking of different responses you would have had in that situation? Are they worth telling yourself that you will not be hurt like that again so you will have this defense in the future? Are they worth all the time and energy you are going to devote to one moment in your life that spills into so many more moments? Are they?

The answer surprisingly is yes. With this exception. They are worth it just like you were worth it when God choose to forgive you. The difference is that all of us are worthy of forgiveness but we don’t have to commit so much time and energy to the offense. Let God deal with them for their words and actions – they are accountable to Him for those. When you forgive someone, you are the prisoner set free. Maybe this will help. When you forgive someone, tell yourself, “I am worth it.”

Day 25 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

Today’s devotion caused me to ponder a question I have never asked myself before. If I was one of Jesus’ disciples, what would draw me to Him? Would it be the really cool miracles of bringing someone back from the dead or turning water into wine? Would it be feeding the 5,000? Would it be healing the sick? What about redeeming the 10 lepers that were outcast from society? Would it be the teaching? Maybe He was the one of the few people of his day to demonstrate the importance of children? Would it be the anti religion and relational God He talked about?

All of those are great parts of Jesus’ work on earth. But my answer didn’t fit into the question. It was the cross. Not while He was ministering for three years but the last 24 hours would I have been drawn to him. The cross is simply astounding to me. I cannot fathom a love that deep that He would sacrifice His life for my own. Everything else is like “extra goodies” that come with knowing the one who paid my death sentence. Even as I write this, I feel the emotion well up inside of me. For all times I say, do or think something that moves me away from Him, the cross provides a way back to Him.

Thank you, God for the cross. And the one who was willing to go to it in my place.

Day 24 – 30 Days with Jesus

2 10 2008

“Lip service is easy.” Another great line from the daily devotional that jumped out at me. I am going to be brief today. The greatest compliment you can give God and the people you interact with each day, is to be genuine and true. We have all encountered people who leave us going, “What really is going on behind that statement?” If I value you, I will be sincere, full of integrity and truthful. Look at Jesus – He was true to His word and He did what He said. What would your world look like if you did those two things?