Be Careful

We all make mistakes.  That’s part of the human experience.  We all mess up.  We all blow it.  We all fail.  That’s what happens.  And because we all fail, we really do all need to hear that word of grace.  Jesus came, suffered, died, and was raised to life again because of God’s great love for us.

We are loved.  No matter what has ever happened, no matter what the sin, no matter what has gone wrong.

We are loved.

You have to drill that truth down into your skull.  You have to let the truth of God’s amazing love for you penetrate your very being.  You are loved.  More than you’ll ever know.

Don’t hold onto your sin and failings, hold onto His love.

Now, that said, there’s something else we need to know.  We need to know the dangers of our sin.  While our sin, through Jesus is forgiven and done away with, we also do not need to treat sin as though it isn’t something that is terrible destructive.

Listen to what it says in Hebrews 3: 12-13:

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

be-carefulBe careful that we are not hardened by our sin.  Make sure that our sin continues to convict us.  It is a dangerous, dangerous thing then when we sin and it doesn’t bother us.  Especially if our sin is something that we chose to do.  If it’s something that we KNOW, we have no doubt about, it’s clear as day, is wrong. And it doesn’t bother us.

When we have a hardened heart, we aren’t living the fullness of God’s power and glory. We aren’t seeking His life, His grace, His mercy, His power.  His very life that He desires for us to live.

Today, you are forgiven.  You are.  Live in that grace.

But be careful with sin.  Be careful.  It’s not good.  It is destructive.  It will harm you, your relationships, your life, your everything.  The devil seeks to rob, kill, and destroy.

And one of the things he longs to do is harden our heart.  Don’t let that happen.  Keep your heart soft.  Pray.  Read.  Serve.  Live.  Let God’s grace soften your heart.  Live in grace.  Be careful of sin.

And allow God to continue to change you.  And in that, we truly live.

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!

Be Careful

imagesAll that glitters is not gold.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  These are phrases that we have each heard in our lives that teach us to be careful.  To look.  To listen. To dig deeper than outward appearances.  To really search the trust of the matter. 

To look deep.

Just because something “looks” good at first glance doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good, or is the right thing, or that it is true.  Look.  Listen.  Dig deep.

In regards to the Bible.  Just because some TV preacher said it, or just because a famous preacher tweeted it, doesn’t make it true.  Dig down deep your self.

In relationships, just because  you think someone is wrong, or you have heard that they have done something awful, take a moment to actually find out what happens.  Don’t always assume the worst.

In temptation, something may look appealing.  It may look like fun.  It may seem like something that no one would ever know about, what’s it going to hurt?

Stop.  Look.  Listen.  Consider.  Dig deep.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Look deep.  Listen to what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:14:

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Paul is talking about false teachers, about how what they say sounds good, but in truth, what they say is wrong.  Paul says be careful.  Even the devil look right at first glance.  But he brought destruction.

Be careful.  Don’t assume.  Dig.  Learn.  Listen.  Look.

With the bible, look for yourself.  Read yourself.  Seek help and wisdom from those you trust, but you are empowered by the Holy Spirit to read and learn from yourself.

With others, seek truth, not just assume the worst.  Truly get to know others before making a decision.

And be very, very, very careful with temptation.  It may look appealing, but it will destroy, when left unchecked.

Be aware.  Be careful.  Trust in God.  And follow 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 phone.

Charging Hell with a Water Pistol

There’s some days when I’m reading the bible and it just says to me – Boom!

One of my professors used to talk about that sometimes when we really believe, I mean, really believe what we can do, or better said, what God can do through us, we will be so fired up that we will want to charge hell with a water pistol.

The odds may look long, but we know that with God on our side, me, you, a super-soaker, and God can defeat the power of Hell.

Today’s passage did that for me.

Look at what happens in Act 17:6-7 today:

And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.

They dragged the disciples before the leaders and said – these are the ones that have turned the world upside down.

Come on now. That’s it right there.

Don’t you want them to say about us, those are the ones that have turned the world upside down. They have this King Jesus, that they follow and the change the world.

They help heal broken families. They love the unloveable. They help the poor. They feed the hungry. They proclaim the freedom that is found in no other name but Jesus.

They are crazy enough to think that they can change the world. They have turned the world upside down.

Through following Jesus, through His power and life, through proclaiming the gospel, so can we!

It doesn’t have to be the same. It can change. We can change. The world can change. Through Christ and His power, we can turn this world upside down.

We can do it. Today. Through His power. Let’s turn the world upside down. Jesus told us that the gates of will not triumph against His church. Let’s charge hell with a water pistol today. Today, through Christ, we can do it!

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.

What We Have Going for Us

A real quick techie note. If you use the YouVersion app on your iPad, or Smartphone or their website, I’m going to start cross posting these devotional thoughts there.  So, you can click on any of the verses referenced in this reflection through YouVersion, and read this devotional.  Feel free to contact me if you any questions about this.

Now, on to today’s reflection. . . . .

Sometimes when we read the Old Testament, we think to ourselves, what’s wrong with these people! I mean, come on!

God divided the sea so that you could pass through and be saved! I mean, you saw that with your own eyes, right?

And He led you with a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. I mean, really? How could you miss that? I mean, really?

He split rocks in the wilderness! Come on now!

And the people forgot. They sinned against Him. They did not keep their promises to Him. They did not remember their word.

Listen to what it says in Psalm 78:

They forgot his works
and the wonders that he had shown them.
In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.
In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all the night with a fiery light.
He split rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
He made streams come out of the rock
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

Two words to us then, in the year 2011. First, let’s not forget. Let’s not forget what He has done for us. Let’s not forget how He has saved. How He has restored. How He has given. How He has been our right hand the the source of our strength and hope and power.

Let’s not forget what He has done for us. Never forget the joy of your salvation.

And it’s easy think upon the Israelite and say, really? I mean, really? Look at what all you had, and yet you forgot. I mean, you saw these amazing miracles, and yet you turned away. How could you?

While we may not see things like a pilar of fire by night, we have something even better. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God dwells within us.

God calls us. Convicts us. Challenges us. Moves us. Loves us. Cares for us. Dwells within us.

So, while we might now see what they saw, we have something even better. We have the power of Almighty God, living within us.

Let us not forget that. Remember the power, through His Spirit, that you have. Never forget.

May we never forget what we have going for us.