Our Greatest Task

I tell folks one of my problems in life is I believe this stuff.  Like I really believe the things that Jesus tells us.  I believe that He’ll be true to His word, that He will care for us, lead us, guide us, and help us be where it is that we need to be, and go where it is that we need to go.

I truly believe that we can trust Him, no matter what.  He’s got a plan bigger than us.  Our job is to follow the leading of His spirit, and trust completely that He knows what He is doing.

A conversation arose among the religious leaders after the church was born in Acts where they were trying to figure out what to do with these Christians.  Listen to what happens in Acts 5: 34-39:

34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”

Verses 38-39 nail it to me.  If it’s not of God, it will die away.  If it is of God, nothing can stop it.  Nothing.

If it’s of God, it can’t be stopped. That’s why I try not to worry too much about things that I really have no control over.  It is not of God it will die away, but if it is of God, then it won’t be about to be stopped.

tworoadsWell then, how do we know the difference?  How do we know if it’s of God, or if it’s not?  That’s where we have to learn to listen.  We have to learn the voice of the Good Shepherd. The sheep know the voice of the Good Shepherd.  They follow His voice.  The know it.  They can hear it.  And they go where it is that the voice leads.

That’s our greatest task, perhaps.  Not to know where the road ends, but to follow the voice down whatever road it is that it is leading us.  God knows the roads. God knows the plans.  God knows the directions.

We can trust.  Really.  We can trust.  God knows what He is doing.  Our job is to follow.  It it’s of God, it won’t be stopped.  Our calling is to make sure that we are listening to the voice.

Today, let’s listen. And let’s follow where He is leading us.

If you’d like to receive these thoughts by email, be sure to click here and join my email devotional group!

God’s Plan for You

plansEver feel like your life doesn’t have a plan?  Like you are drifting with no purpose or even reason for being around?  I know that we can all feel that way sometimes.  We can be in a place, at a point, where just aren’t sure what it is that we are to do, we can be unsure of even God’s plans for us.

And that feeling can gnaw at us.  It can make us question ourselves, our worth, our ideas, our dreams, everything.  It can make everything seem wrong, it can make everything seem pointless.

It can make us seem like there is no reason for any of this.

When we feel like that, let’s not live just where we feel.  Let’s take those feelings and compare them to what God’s Word says.  Listen to what we are told today in Isaiah 49: 1-3:

Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

God tells Isaiah – before you were born, I knew you.  Before you were born, while you were still in the womb, I call you.  You have a purpose.  You have a cause.  You have a reason.

You do.  Now, the specifics of your life, I don’t know.  I’m not sure of that.  But I know God’s plan for you.  I really do.  I am 100% certain of God’s plan for you.

Want to know?  It’s right there in verse 3.  You are God’s servant.  And He will receive glory through you.  That’s God’s plan for you.  That’s your purpose.  That’s your reason for existing.

To bring glory to God.  Now how does this happen?  By living the way that God would want.

And what does that look like?  Jesus tells us – to love God and love our neighbor with all that we.  That’s the entire point of it all. That’s what you are here for.  That’s what I am here for.  All of us.  To love God and love our neighbor.  That’s your purpose.  That’s God’s plan.

Now the specifics, I don’t know. But you know how you’ll find out?  Live out your purpose.  Love God.  Love your neighbor. And God will show you the specifics.

God has amazing things in store for you today and through your life.  Amazing.  He has a plan for you.  May we be faithful to the plan that He has shown us.  And in doing that, may He shows us the specifics of our 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, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

painThe other night someone text me and asked me, in three sentences, to give my opinion why God allows suffering. Wow, that’s a tough thing to do, especially in just three sentences.

Many folks smarter than I am have written books about suffering and why God allows it. So, what could I possibly have to add to that conversation?

But, I thought about it. Why would God allow suffering? There really aren’t many good or easy answers, because in short, we don’t fully understand the mind of God, we don’t totally understand His power and His control, and the complexity of human free will.

All of these factors come into play on this issue.

I thought it would be interesting to share my answers with you, and do this a little bit different from our normal devotional. What do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts? Do you have a different perspective? A different view? I’d love to hear it, if so comment below, I’d love to hear it.

And I will also say; something I do when thinking through complicated things is do not depart from scripture. I believe that in all things, scripture must be our guide.

Here’s my one bullet point about God’s power and suffering.  I believe this as much as I believe anything in life:

The power of God is not that He stops bad things from happening. The power of God is that He can bring good out of anything.

That’s who He is.

Also, remember this.  Through the cross, God, through Jesus suffered as we suffered.  He knows what it is like feel pain and hurt.  Listen to what it says in Hebrews 2:17-18:

Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

God knows our pain.  Has suffered as we suffer.  Hurt as we hurt.  Was abandoned as we are abandoned.  We don’t suffer alone.  God is with us (Psalm 23).

So, with that said, here are my three sentence on why God allows suffering, along with a biblical foundation and explanation.

1. He uses all things in life; even those we can’t understand at the time, for our good. (Genesis 50:20) God is at work in ways that we can’t understand, working out all things, even ours and other’s choices, for our good. That passage in Genesis says that what man intended for evil, God intended for God. God uses everything, in time, that is key to remember, for good. We man not know or understand it now. But looking backwards, we will see something good come out of everything.

2. He uses suffering to reveal to us who we really are; he knows us, it is we who sometimes need to know ourselves. (Genesis 22 – Abraham sacrificing Isaac). Abraham was tested, but this test and suffering wasn’t for God’s benefit, but for his. He had made mistakes, and this test shows that he was more faithful than he thought he might be. He was more than his mistakes. Testing from God’s perspective isn’t about us. God knows us, knows what we will do, knows our choices. Testing is for us. It is our chance to see who we are. When we suffer, and we hold on fast to Jesus, we see that we are more faithful than we can ever imagine. It is in times of suffering we find our who we really are. God uses those times to let us know ourselves.

3. He uses all things, in the end, to bring glory to His name. (Romans 8:28). All things, not only work for our good, but most importantly, all things work for God’s glory. God is glorified through our suffering. How? Well, He may do amazing things in our suffering that give us a testimony, and that may impact someone else. He may give us strength to stand that we didn’t know that we had. He may change some life through what we go through. In the end, even terrible, terrible events, God will ring something good out of it. He will.  Perhaps because of what you are going through, you may be able to show grace and mercy to someone that needs it.  You may able to understand their pain, and be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.  You may be able to to change their life.

I hope these are helpful to you in your walk.

What do you think?

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, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!


It is easy sometimes in life to think that things are spinning out of control. It’s easy to feel that the world is spinning out of control.

It’s easy to feel that our lives are out of control. That our families are out of control. That things are spinning too fast, that things are coming unglued.

What are we going to do! Ah!!!!! Oh!!!!!!

Seriously. Ever feel that way? I know I do sometimes. I know I am not sure of how things are going, worried about things in my life, my church, my family, the world.

As a worrier, it’s kind of what I do. So, it’s good for me to hear the words of Job 42: 1-3 this morning:

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

trust_actionWhat purpose (or plan) of God can be thwarted. What plan of God can be ended? What plan of God can be stopped?

By who? Me? You? The world?

Nope. God knows what He is doing. He’s got a plan. He’s got a purpose. He knows what He is in the midst of accomplishing.

And it will be accomplished.

It will.

So today, trust in Him. No matter what. No matter what is going on. No matter how crazy it may seem. No matter how bad it mean seem. No matter how uncertain it may seem.

Trust. Trust in Him. He’s got it. He knows what He is doing.

Trust. No purpose of God can be stopped. It’s going to be ok. He’s got it. When you don’t know what He’s doing, trust in who He is. You can trust Him, in all things.

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, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Move Forward

One of the most well-known stories in the Bible, and honestly, one of the most important stories in the Bible is when Saul gets saved, and the Lord later changes his name to Paul.

It’s a story of how the Lord intervenes and has plans bigger than Saul (Paul) and bigger than any of us. God has a calling for him, and He has a calling for me and you. I was reading that story this morning, and something jumped out at me.

Listen to what it says in Acts 9: 3-6:

Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

arrow-forwardWhat stood out to me was the last thing that Jesus said. Saul asks who it was that was shining down on him, and Jesus responds by asking why he was persecuting Him.

But what jumped out to me was what happened next. Jesus tells Saul it’s Him, and then says “But rise and enter the city.”

Yes, Saul has been persecuting Him. Yes, Saul had done some bad stuff. Yes, there was a lot of water under the bridge. But rise and enter the city.

Look ahead. Look forward. Look to the future. Don’t worry about the past. Don’t worry about what’s happened. Don’t worry about all that has happened in the past.

Look at ahead. God has a plan that is greater than anything in your past. Don’t focus on what has happened (good or bad). Focus on what is to come. Focus on the future.

Rise and enter the city. Move forward. Keep going. God is more worried and more focused on your future than He is on your past.

God has great things in store. May we be faithful with what He is calling us to!

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, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

God’s Got a Plan

One of the things I like most about Matthew’s Gospel is how many times things are fulfilled in prophecy.  So many times, Jesus will do something, or something will be said, or something will happen, and Matthew says, this was done to fulfill the prophet.

For instance, look at today’s text, Matthew 12: 15-18:

Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased, I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

gods-planMatthew is showing how each of Jesus’ actions, all that He was doing, from His birth, His teaching, His death, and His resurrection, were all part of God’s plan, not just for Jesus, for the world.

Why do I like this so much?  Why does this give me a sense of hope and peace?  Because God’s got a plan.  God knows what He is doing.

We have choice, we have decisions to make, we have things that we have to do, but God has a plan.  God has a plan for us, for our lives, for our families, for all that is going on.  You are not just floating randomly through life.  This is not happenstance. This is not all just random noise.

God has a plan.  He knows what He is doing.

And you can trust in that, today. Trust. God knows what He is up to, God know what He is doing.  And God will accomplish that plan in your life and through your life. Be obedient to His calling and His leading today.  Follow.

And let that leading guide you.  Follow Him.  Even when you don’t understand.  God has a plan.  You can trust.

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.

God’s Got This

Sometimes in my life, I feel like the weight of the world is totally on my shoulders. I can sometimes think I’ve got do everything right. The fate of the free world, my family, the US economy, and Ole Miss football recruiting all hangs on my next move and decision.

Ever felt that way?

Ever felt paralyzed by a decision? Ever felt overwhelmed by something you are having to figure out? Ever felt like you didn’t know how/what/when to do it?

I think we’ve all felt that way sometimes. I think we have all been there not knowing what to do, how do it, when to do it.

We can think it’s all up to us. On our shoulders.

Listen to what Paul says today in Ephesians 1:3-10:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In this Paul writes about God’s will. God’s plan. How the plan for our salvation and the salvation for all that believe was made before the world was even created.

God has a plan and a will that’s bigger than any of us. God has a way that’s larger than any of us. God has a hope that goes beyond ours.

God’s got this. Really.

He’s God. Your not. Don’t worry about it.

Today, do your best. Be faithful. Do the best you can for your faith, your family, your friends. Be the person that God wants you to be. Or as best you can!

And know that He has this. He has a plan and He has a way. It’s not up to you to do and solve everything.

Listen to me. It’s not up to you. Really.
You aren’t God. He is God. Be faithful. That’s your task today. Love, serve, forgive. Shine His light. Be salt and light today.

And know that He’s got a plan for the rest. Let go, and let Him handle it.

God’s got this.

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.


In this passage, we see Stephen seized by folks that lying against him. He is preaching about Jesus and doing everything in his power to be faithful to God and God’s calling upon his life.  Listent to this story in Acts 6:13-15:

and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

And in the course of doing this, he is arrested, he is hauled into court, and it is going to eventually be put to death for his faith.

And so, we look at him here in court, and what do we see? We see that they saw his face was like an angel. Bad stuff was happening to him and fixing to happen to him. But here, at this moment, what do we see? We see his face shining like and angel.


Confidence. He knew that God had this. He knew that God had it under control. He knew that God had this one. He probably had no idea what was to come, but he knew that God was in control anda God would take care of it.

He trusted in God more than he was afraid of his situation. He had confidence in God, God’s plan, God’s will, and God’s grace. He trusted in Him.

Today, so can we. God’s got this. Even in the tough situations, even in the times of trial, even in the times of worry, even in the times of stress.

We can have confidence. God’s got this. Trust. Hope. Have peace. He’s got this. And if we trust, even in those tough times, we will find that His grace is enough.

Today, and each day. Today, we can trust. Today, we can have confidence.

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.