All Fall Down

I spent a lot of time in college listen to goofy, fun, Christian music. In the 1990s, Christian music, the kind of music you hear on K-LOVE or other Christian stations was really just getting starting. And back then, there was a song I used to love called “All Fall Down.” And the reason why I loved this song was because it basically said something that I believe, that I’ve preached my entire ministry.

We are all going to fall down. We are all going to make mistakes. No one is perfect. All fall down.

What happens then?

Listen to what happens today in John 13: 36-38:

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

Today’s passage made me think of that old song. Listen to what Jesus tells Peter today.

You will deny. By the end of the night, you will have denied me three times. Now, this is Peter we are talking about. He’s kind of a big deal. The head of the apostles. The one that preached Pentecost. The one that walked on water, if just for a moment.

He’s Peter.

And he fell down. He made a mistake. He denied. He messed up.

All fall down.

He got back up though. He repented and He stood up through grace. And was faithful. His mistake didn’t end His walk with God. It was merely a bump in the road.

All fall down.

We will each make mistakes. That’s part of the human experience. That’s what happens. What then?

What next? We will all fall down. What will we do after fall down?

May we stand up, and may we stand on grace. We aren’t saved by what we have done, we are saved by what He has done. We are loved because we are made in Him image. We are loved because He has redeemed us.

We are loved because we are His.

Today, we will fall. May we stand. May we stand on grace. Today, when you fall, dust yourself off, get up, keep going.

All fall down. Though His grace may we get up and keep going!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Dry Bones

Sometimes in life, we can feel worn out. Sometimes we can feel tired.

Sometimes, based off mistakes, based off circumstance, based off whatever, we can feel dried up and useless.

No good to God, to man, to anyone. We can feel like a bunch of dried up old bones, only fit to be buried and forgotten about. That’s what the weight of this world can can make us feel like sometimes.

That’s what our mistakes and failures can make us feel like sometimes.

That what life can do.

Listen to what happens in this passage today.  Listen to what happens in Ezekiel 37:3-12:

And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.

God says to Ezekiel, go out and say to those bones, come to life. And it happened!

God brought these dead bones back to life. God breathed the spirit of life back into these dry bones and made an army out of them. God brought the dead back to life.

Not just here. But on Easter.

Not just on Easter. But in our lives.

Not just once. But every day.

Today, no matter where you are, that’s what God wants to do. He wants to bring life back to you. He wants to breathe life back into your dry bones. He wants to bring you to life.

No matter how old, tired, dead, or dry you may feel. God wants to bring you back to life. Today.

Today, new life awaits. New hope, new power, new everything. Today, He wants to breathe you back to life.

Today, you are more than dead bones. You are His prize creation. Today, He wants you to live. Today, may He breathe new life into our souls!

Today, may he bring us back to life!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Maundy Thursday 2012

Today is a day that is called Maundy Thursday. This is a day set aside to remember the betrayal of Jesus and to remember the night when He gave us the gift of Holy Communion. It begins the darkness that is Good Friday.

Before the dawn and light of Easter Sunday, we must go through the darkness of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

And, if you happen to be in the Petal, MS area tonight, and you’ve never experienced a Maundy Thursday service, I hope you’ll be able to come out and be with us tonight at Asbury.

Before Jesus is betrayed, He left this disciples, and us, with some words to remember. Before He was handed over, He wanted them, and us, to know what was most important.  Listen to what He tells them, and us, in John today:

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

They will know you are my disciples not by your theology.  Or by your denomination.  Or by your beliefs.  Or by what you wear.  Or by what you listen to.  Or any of these things.

We try to make Christianity about so many different things that is not about.

Before Jesus was handed over, He told us what was most important.  He told us what mattered the most.  He told us what we must do to prove to the world that we are His disciples.

They will know you are my disciples by your love.

Today, do “they” – your friends, your family, your co workers, your neighbors, the people in your life – do they know you are His disciple?

Are you living a life of love in front of them?

Before He was handed over, he told us what is most important.  He told us what matters most.  Love.

They will know you are my disciples by your love. Today, may all the world know that we are His disciples.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Wednesday of Holy Week 2012

Somethings in life are bigger than us. Somethings in life are beyond us. Somethings are bigger than our ability to understand or our ability to plan.

God’s plan of salvation is one of them. When we think about the cross and Jesus dying upon it, there are so many things that we can focus on.

Who’s fault was it?

Why did it happen?

What about Judas? What about the devil? Where was God? Did Jesus have a choice? Why did it have to happen this way?

Lot’s of questions. Lots of things that we wonder about. Lots of things that we don’t know.

Today, we see in this passage for this Wednesday of Holy Week, something bigger is playing out.  Listen to what happens in Luke 22:1-6:

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

God’s plan of salvation was bigger than one person, bigger than one choice, bigger than one betrayal. It was His plain to bring us to Himself.

He knew that we could earn it or work our way to salvation. He knew that we weren’t good enough or faithful enough. He knew that we could never do it on our own.

So He did it for us. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

And so, yes, the devil entered into Judas. And Judas made a choice. And earlier Jesus made the choice to come to Jerusalem. And yes it was bad and messy and ugly. Yes it was painful. Yes it awful.

And God did that for us. For our sin. For our redemption. For our forgiveness and salvation.

Yes, there are things about all this that I don’t understand. But I do understand this. Jesus loved you, and me, enough that He willing did it.

And it was God’s plan of salvation all along. I am thankful that God loved us enough that He went to this length for us.

May each of us, in our lives, be faithful to God today, as He was faithful to us.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Tuesday of Holy Week 2012

On Tuesday of Holy Week, we see Jesus do a lot of teaching. On this day, Jesus spends time teaching.

He teaches the disciples. He teaches the crowd. He teaches even the scribes and the teachers of the law. He knew that His time was drawing short. He knew what awaited Him. And He knew that in these last few days He needed to leave the people with core and the truth of His teaching.

So, on this Tuesday, He teaches on a variety of things. But listen to He really stresses today in Mark 12:28-31:

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Someone asks Him what is the most important of all the commandments. That’s a big question, there are a lot of commandments. But this is what He says in response.

Love. Love of God. Love of neighbor. That’s what the Christian life is supposed to look like. Love.

We are to love God with all that we are. Chase after Him. Seek to know Him better through study, through prayer, though worship. We are to seek to love God with every fiber of our being.

And then we are to take that love that we feel from God, and love each other in the same manner. Love each other, serve each other, forgive each other.

Love of God. Love of neighbor. That sums of the Christian life. The sums up the 10 Commandments. That sums it all up.

Today, may we take this teaching and apply it to our lives. May we love. May we love God. May we love our neighbor. And in doing that we find life, and may we live the way that our Lord intends!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Monday of Holy Week 2012

One of the conversations I was having last night with my Disciple Bible study was the conversation about the death of Jesus on Good Friday.

Did Judas have any choice in what was happening? (My answer, yes, all humans have free will). What if he’d have not done it? We were talking all the questions that so many have about the cross, the suffering of Jesus, and all that happened to our Lord.

On this Monday of Holy Week, listen to what happened on this day, according to John 12:1-8:

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

We see Him being anointed as for burial. We see Him say that He would not be there much longer. He knew what this week would hold for me.

And in reading it, the point struck me, that struck me last night in our conversation. In regards to his crucifixion, Jesus knew what He was doing. He chose to go to the cross. He chose to go to Jerusalem. He knew what was going to happen.

He knew that the cross awaited Him on Good Friday. He knew what was to happen. He willing chose it. Judas had a part to play, yes, but remember.

Jesus choose to lay His life down.

For you, and for me. He went to cross, suffered its pain an anguish. For us. For me. For you. For our forgiveness. For our salvation. For our hope.

Jesus knew what was happening. And He chose it. For us.

But, one other thing I stressed last night. No one killed Jesus. He’s not dead! He’s alive. He rose from the dead, He’s alive forever more.

On this Monday of Holy Week, let us remember that our Lord willing chose what was to happen, for my sake, and for your. And let us remember that even the pain, and agony of the cross could not defeat our Lord!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.