Showing posts from July 14, 2013

Incremental Faith

In Luke 5 Jesus worked with a fisherman to help him expand his faith and go beyond just making a living. He spoke to Peter and asked him for his boat as a place to sit down and teach the multitude that had gathered around. Peter had been out fishing all night and had caught nothing. Now, he was washing his nets with his crew, tired as they were and preparing to go home and sleep. But Peter still gave permission to Jesus to use his boat and so "put out a little from the shore." (Luke 5:3)

We are not told how long Jesus spoke but we are assured that Peter was in the boat finishing up his prep work for the next fishing junket. When Jesus finished and the crowd dispersed, he told Peter to "Put out into deep water." (5:4) This was a carpenter telling a seasoned fisherman to go fish in the deep waters which Peter knew was contrary to logic. You caught fish on the Sea of Galilee at night in the shallow water. To go out to the deep water in the middle of the day was not goi…

Forget Me Not

Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side a river. He picked a bouquet of flowers, but because of the weight of his armor fell forward into the river. As he was drowning, he threw the bouquet to his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not!" So, the flower so named was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.
God says the following through His servant Isaiah, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15)
It has been revealed that when cities were surrounded and armies cut off all supplies that as the people starved parents would finally come to such a state that they would eat their young. It is possible for a mother to forget her child; to have no compassion on that little defenseless one, but it is impossible for God to forget those who are His.
He does not turn His back on His own. He carri…

Stupid People

One of the most apparent mistakes a person makes is to create an idol of something that is a part of creation. Look at these statements from Isaiah related to this most stupid task:
"The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm…The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine. ..He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak…some of it he takes and warms himself…but he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it…and worships. He prays to it and says, 'Save me; you are my god.'" (Isaiah 44:12-17)
Are you kidding me? Is man so stupid that he thinks part of God's creation can be an idol that will bring him fortune and protection? Why would metal or wood or stone which are all ina…

Conquering Circumstances

Life has lots of ups and downs, ins and outs, and twists and turns. There are events that surprise us and others that discourage us. Some of us find ourselves always living "under the circumstances." This is the natural way of the human experience. But is it possible to use our circumstances rather than be abused by them?
In one of the most powerful of chapters in the Bible, Isaiah said this: "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
In one translation the word "wait" is used instead of the word "hope." We could misinterpret this to mean a passive response like sitting in a doctor's office under our condition waiting to be seen. But the true definition of both words is not passive but active. It is actively focusing our mind on God's character, promises and love. It is reminding us that we are not alone …

Perfect Peace

Who would think that you could ever obtain perfect peace. The word used is the "shalom" word of the Hebrew. It means much more than a cessation of war. It includes as a part of its peace, wholeness, and health, quietness of soul, preservation and completeness. This is a peace we all long for and yet never receive without being a child of God.
Isaiah shares the promise of this blessing when he says, "you will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." (Isaiah 26:3) It was also translated this way, "Thou keepest in peace, yea, a peace that is perfect, the mind of the one leaning hard upon Thee, for in thee he confideth." This is an individually realized peace within.
How is it achieved? It is achieved when the mind, which means here the formed outcome of thought, the result of the depths of the heart, is stayed, focused, concentrated, and locked on to the Lord. He is the center of the life, the pole around which all activ…

Life-Long Learning

It is common knowledge that most people stop learning after the age of forty. By forty they think they have found out everything they need to know and are ready to ride it to death. But it is foolish to ever stop learning. Learning should be a way of life for every person.
Consider the fact that if you were crossing the Pacific Ocean to a destination in Asia and were but one degree off course when you started from Los Angeles, you would miss your final port by hundreds if not a thousand miles. Just one degree makes a big difference if it is not found out and corrected.
Solomon said in Proverbs 19:27, "Stop listening to instruction…and you will stray from the words of knowledge." To limit ourselves to the knowledge we gained as a young person and to trust its truths to carry us all the way to the end of life is foolish.
This is especially true of spiritual development. Our initial understandings of spirituality and the Bible may have been impressed on us by foolish persons,…