Tag Archives: Christ

Serrated Words

The question still sears into my mind and heart.

“Would you let another man talk to your wife the way you do?”

It stopped me in my tracks and I instantly felt ashamed for the way I had treated my wife in the past when I first heard it. My mind quickly spun through the reels of memories of times I was upset, mad, or hurt and lashed out with venomous words.

There was no way I would ever let another man talk to my wife that way, so why did I do it?

Me, the one that is supposed to encourage her.
Me, the one who entered a covenant to love her for the rest of my life.
Me, the one who promised in front of family and friends that through sickness, through health, through rich, through poor, that I would love till it hurts (and then some.)

Yet, I find myself tearing her down with words spewed out in anger.

Just like building construction, what takes months or years to build, can be reduced to rubble in a matter of seconds when proper care is not used.

So how do we keep from doing this?

As always, Christ is the ultimate example.
We are to love our wives the way Christ loves the church.
We are to look out for them, and we are to have their best interest in mind. (Think of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for the church, does watching the kids for an evening, or sitting through that chick flick really seem that bad?)

I don’t see Jesus yelling at the people who came to Him broken, insecure, or hurt. He welcomes them tenderly with open arms. His love is unconditional, indescribable, and all inclusive.

Maybe you’re like me and have said some hurtful things.
Take heart, our God is the redeemer, and His forgiveness is readily available.

It might hurt your pride a bit, but admit your mistakes. Work things out.

Lets make the choice to cherish our wives, and remember, we’re better together.

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The Deep Love

I was laying on the couch tonight while trying to entice Caleb (our 2 year old) to come snuggle with me. I knew I could run after him and grab him, carrying him over my shoulder back to the couch, but we all know that forced snuggles are never the same as the real deal. It’s not near as special when they are kicking and squirming and doing everything they can to escape my grasp.

It made me think about how passionately God desires our attention and how we often push our time with Him to the back burner. It’s almost like we don’t understand the lengths that God went to, in order to make a way for us to have a real relationship with Him.

This evening I have had my thinking renewed in the area of the time I spend with my Heavenly Father. I absolutely love to snuggle with my kids, and the love I have for my kids isn’t even a fraction of the love God has for His.

Let’s be reminded today that it is within these special times with our Father, that the problems of the day melt like wax, and the cares of this world drift away.

Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. (James 4:8a MSG)

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Greater Lengths

God went to the greatest lengths possible to design The Way in which we could spend eternity with Him.
He gloriously fulfilled for every one of us, what no-one on earth was capable of doing.

We were guilty, filthy, stained, and continually falling short of the standards God had for His people.
But then something terribly wonderful happened.

He took His only son Jesus, (with whom He was well pleased) and sent Him to earth with a powerful agenda.
Jesus came not to abolish the law, but fulfill it. (Matt 5:17)

He came to be the perfect example of a blameless life, He was tempted in every way, as we are, but He didn’t sin. (Heb 4:15)

He also taught it is crucial that we are deliberate in deciding what to plug our lives into.
In John 15:5 Jesus Himself says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing..” Branches don’t look to external forces to sustain them, they draw from the plant they are part of. We are designed to bear the fruit of the Spirit, and this brings God glory! (Jn 15:8)

We then become part of something bigger than just you and I.
We become a part of something with Jesus, he makes up for all our insufficiencies, insecurities, and inadequacies.

When we choose to think with the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), we begin to see things from His perspective instead of our meager viewpoints where doubts and obstacles are prevalent.

We need to do this every day in order to fully see what we are meant to do on this side of heaven.

So speak it out today and take on this new perspective, “I have the mind of Christ!”

You will see things from a perspective you never have before!

 

 

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Church – the Hub of our Lives

I was sitting in church on Sunday when I heard Pastor Frank Harms make a statement that hit me square between the eyes.

I had heard him say it a few times before, but it never affected me the way it did on Sunday.

The statement he made was that the local church is designed to be the hub of our lives.

My mind took this statement and ran with it. I started thinking from a mechanical perspective…

A hub is the center of a wheel, it is the meeting place for the power and the appendage. A joining point.

The power is transferred down the axle, and the hub is where the transfer from the drive-line to the wheel occurs.

The same goes for a networking hub. In my limited knowledge of current computer systems I crafted this definition;

“A hub is used to connect Ethernet cables from a number of devices together. The hub allows each device to talk to the others.”

This is exactly what the church was designed to be!

A place where God’s people can congregate, fellowship, relate and interact with each other, and a connection point where God’s power is transferred from Him into us!

Our lives should be totally centered on our church and involvement within it.

We shouldn’t simply try to fit church into a busy schedule, tossing it the scraps of time we have left after we have done all that we want to.

Instead, we need to totally strip everything else away and start with that as the framework.

This hub is one of strength, it has the capacity to carry the load of life, and a true hub is perfectly balanced.

If you faithfully attend church with the desire to experience God, you will draw closer to Him, and He will draw closer to you. As a result, your marriage will flourish, your relationships with your kids will increase, you will have more joy and peace than you ever had before.

I once heard someone teach on what our priorities as Christians should be. They brought up the familiar mindset that it should be God, Wife, Family, Ministry, Job, etc… and put a new spin on it.

Their take was that in everything we do, we do it to the glory of God, we put Christ in the center of our relationship with our wife. We put Christ in the center of our family. It’s all about a change in focus.

It’s about being Christ focused in all that we do.

For me this means that I won’t be camping every weekend this summer that I’m not on the worship schedule, I want to spend time in God’s house.

I want to live a balanced life.

What does this mean for you?

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Charging . . . .

I went to use my laptop the other day and to my surprise instead of the usual Windows logo as my computer booted up, I was met by a blank screen.

I had forgotten to charge it!

It’s a lot like our faith.

If we don’t keep our level of faith at the maximum level, and know where our hope and trust is before we go through the trials of this life, we will easily switch to defense instead of offense.

Ultimately, we are only as good as the charging system we are using.

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If we are getting plugged into God on a daily basis, we can handle more throughout the day, than we could if we were just charged up once a week on Sunday.

My iPhone has an app that tells you what it is capable of doing based on the current charge level. It tells you how many minutes of call time, game time, watching movies, or Internet surfing it would take to drain the battery. It’s pretty neat actually. What if we were able to examine our own faith in this way? What do you think your current faith could sustain you through? Bad news at work? A vehicle breakdown and respective repairs? A sick child/spouse?

You might think I’m focusing an awful lot on the negative, don’t get me wrong, ultimately I am trying to provoke us to thinking. Are you satisfied with the level of faith you have right now? Do you need to upgrade your charging frequency or even the power source itself? Maybe you need to get plugged into a church again, maybe you need to incorporate a daily devotional or prayer time into your schedule.

Take some time and think about it.

It’s highly inconvenient to be unable to make a call when the phone won’t turn on, or draft a blog post on a laptop that won’t power up. But it’s more than just inconvenient to try to navigate through the trials of life blind and relying on yourself rather than God, it can be devastating.

There are some that say that once you are a Christ-follower, life gets easy. They say you’ll never get sick, you’ll always get what you ask for, and you’ll never have to experience pain. That’s not what God’s Word says though, it tells us that we are guaranteed trials and tribulations. John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” God doesn’t want us to be naive about the reality of trouble on earth, but He doesn’t want us discouraged or worried about it either. He wants us to have peace above all, and confidence in His abilities to take us through the troubles. I am even reminded of David’s Psalm (Psalms 23) where it says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Notice it says that we are to walk “through” the valley of the shadow of death, we aren’t supposed to stay there forever, it’s not our permanent residence.

Living a life of faith doesn’t make everything easy, or even comfortable for that matter, but faith does make it possible to push through (and past) all that comes our way. Take some time today to take measure of your faith, and decide if you are satisfied with where it is at, or whether you want to increase it. The choice is yours.

Let’s all expect the best, but prepare for the worst.

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