Focus on What Counts

Be careful what you wish far.  What you wish for may look good.  May look great.  But, it can be dangerous.   We need to always examine ourselves for what it is that we desire, and just what we are willing to do to get that.

Listen to what Jesus says today in Luke 9:23-25

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

relationshipJesus tells us this – what is it worth to have the entire world, to have everything you could want, everything you could dream of, if you lose your soul.  If you lose yourself.  What is that worth?

Is there anything on the earth that you can think of that would be worth having, if it would cost soul?  It may be tempting to say, sure yes, this thing.  Sure that’d be great.

And then you gain it.  You can gain it all.  Wealth, power, status, fame, everything.  But if you lose yourself.  If lose your faith, your family, your relationships, your friends, your life, what is that thing worth?


Life is not made up of the stuff that we think we desire.  Life is made up of those relationships.  With God.  With others.  And yes, even with ourselves.  These relationships, they define us. They give us life. They give us purpose.  They really define for us what it means to live.

Don’t loose that today. Focus on what counts.  Focus on what matters. Focus on what is truly life.  Not “the world” not the things that you think you could desire to make you happen.

Not thing things of this world.

Relationships.  With God.  With others. That’s what counts.  That’s living. That’s purpose.  That’s what it’s all about.

Today, and each day, focus on what counts.  Don’t gain the world but lose your soul.  Because if you were to do that, you really aren’t even living.

Today, let’s live.  Let’s focus on what counts.

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.

Let the Light Shine

light1One of the things that we can be tempted to do as Christians is keep the light of Christ to ourselves.  It can be a lot easier to stay around, to hang around, to be around only Christians.

Because when we only stay around Christians, we know that people will share our values. They will share our desires. We know that they will like to do what we do, and will, in most ways, think like we think.

Only being around other Christians is safe.  It is comfortable.  It is more peaceful for us. And, truth be told, we really do need to make sure that our closest, most trusted friend are people that we can count on, and that will help us be the people that God wants us to be.

But, that said, if we only are around Christians, then how will people know the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Listen to what Paul says today in 2 Corinthians 4: 4-6:

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Let the light shine in the darkness.  We have to take the light of Christ into the world, if we want to make a difference.  Let me say that again.  We have to take the light of Christ into the world if we want to make a difference. We have to form relationships. We have to become friends. We have to go where “they” are, and take Jesus with us.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to go and start preaching.  What it does mean is this. We have to go and form relationships.  We have to go and be friendly.   We have to go and take that love of Jesus, that’s inside of us, and love them in the same way.

Today, no matter where you are, or where you find yourself, let that light of Christ shine through you.

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 Lasts

I was having a talk with someone yesterday about Christmas and buying presents and all the stuff that goes into this time of year.  Think about how much work, how much effort, how much everything goes into this time.

And think about how much of it we remember a few months from now.  I was talking about someone about buying a present for a 3 year old, and we all agreed that the best present that you could buy for them would be a cardboard box.  An empty, cardboard box.

And we could laugh at them playing in that empty box. And just enjoying it.

The greatest challenge of this Christmas season is to remember what really matters.  Listen to what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:17-18:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

karen-tribett-faith-family-friendsSo many things that we put so much stock into are just passing.  They are not eternal.  They are not lasting. They will pass.  So many of the things that we put so much effort into will not be here in a year.

They many not ever be remembered in a week.

So, what matters?  What counts?  What should we count on?  The way I often put it is the “F’s.”  Faith.  Family. Friends.

These things last. These things count. These thing are not passing. These things are the things that we remember and that we cling to in all of life.  These things are where life is truly, truly found.

Faith. Family. Friends.

In this Christmas season, may we remember what is truly most important.  And what lasts.

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.