Archive for Spirit Filled Believers

Uncle Charlie’s Purple Poodle

 

“My uncle Charlie took his black poodle to the veterinarian the other day.”

“No, Hon, uncle Charlie’s poodle is brown not black.”

“He’s my uncle; I know his poodle is black!”

“I distinctly recall its color!”

Pettiness.  That’s right.  This couple is involved in pure pettiness.  Who cares if the poodle is black, brown or purple?  We still don’t know why uncle Charlie took his poodle to the vet.  But we do know that these two people are very small.  Self-interest occupies their attention; selflessness never enters their mind.

Friends, God put us on earth so we could contribute to one another’s welfare.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others,” Philippians 2:3-4. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others, 1 Corinthians 10:24.

Arguments over petty issues reveal that we remain self-centered.  God plainly wants us to be others-centered.  Why is it so easy to be self-centered?  Because we aren’t God-centered.

You see, God-centered people trust God to meet their needs.  This trust frees us from depending only upon humans.  When people fail us, we remain confident in God.  We don’t use petty arguments to force others to meet our needs.  God is going to take care of us even when humans fail us.  We give ourselves to blessing those who fail us.  God-centeredness always keeps us selfless.

Incidentally, I still don’t know why uncle Charlie took his poodle to the vet, LOL.

Doing Good When It Isn’t Easy

It’s fun to do good when doing good is easy.  When rewards for well-doing abound, we rejoice in our labor.  We gladly look forward to carrying out our responsibilities and finishing “to do” lists.  Work seems like recreation. Read More→

Taking Care of the Place You Live

 

“Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me,” 2 Timothy 4:10. What?  How could this fellow worker and friend of the great apostle Paul just walk away from his love for Jesus?  How could someone who preached the Gospel and frequently fellowshipped with Paul, love this present sinful world?  How could he possible turn away from the Jesus who forgave his sins and baptized him into the Holy Spirit?

Demas failed to take care of the place he lived.  No, I don’t mean his house or apartment.  I mean his mind, his thought life.  We all live in a place humans call “mind.” Our bodies are mere vehicles that carry our mind here and there.  Truly, what we think is where we live.

Scripture tells us to take care of the place we live by meditating on God’s Word.

Read the Word, hear it preached and discussed.  During your day purposefully recall passages of Scripture and think about them.  This meditation on God’s Word releases God’s refreshing power in you.  Strength, encouragement, joy and fearlessness control you.

Refuse to allow mean, hateful, lustful and ugly meditation into the place you live.  Screen the ideas and desires that knock on the door of your mind.  Say “no” to everything that contradicts his Word or upsets your spirit.  As we take care of our thought life by comparing our meditation to his Word, we will enjoy living with ourselves, our words will bless people and God will be proud to call us his own.

 

Feeling Positive About Your Loss

After his team lost a game, I heard a basketball coach say, “I’ve never felt so positive about a loss.” I don’t know if the man was a Christian, but his statement is very Scriptural.  Every born again, Jesus-loving Christian can have the faith to feel positive about the losses that life brings. Read More→

When You Don’t Feel Blessed

Two thousand years ago God’s people felt unblessed.  Sure, they repeatedly read the promises God pronounced upon their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but where were the blessings?  A foreign government manipulated their lives and ruthlessly repressed all yearnings for independence.  Poverty afflicted almost everyone and religious leaders used their influence for self-gratification. Read More→

Keeping God Company

God likes company.  In fact, he likes lots and lots and lots of company.

There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,” Revelation 7:9. I don’t know why God likes human companions so much.  I guess it’s just his gregarious nature. Read More→

When It’s Polite to Stare

Our electric-powered Japanese passenger train approached Shinjuku Station.  Sliding doors quickly sprang open, and hundreds of passengers disembarked.  Surrounded by this sea of Japanese business people, housewives and school children, Delores and I stood out like sore thumbs.  I noticed two young children staring at us.  The embarrassed mother quickly pulled them away and probably told them a Japanese equivalent of “It’s not polite to stare.”

Like the little Japanese children, we Americans quickly learn that staring is very impolite.  However, there’s one exception to this rule:  It’s alright to stare at the Lord.

During my private fellowship time with the Lord, his Spirit often enfolds me in his presence.  My imagination envisions him seated upon an exalted throne.  His ornate, royal garments fill the temple; angelic creatures shout his praise.  Vivid colors fill my imagination as I gaze upon our Lord’s dwelling place.  Sights and Sounds exceed anything we have seen or heard upon earth.

His love glues my attention upon his person.  It flows around me, enters into me, soothes me, encourages me, and comforts me.  And I gaze, I stare!  I can’t take my spirit’s eyes off him. I dare not allow any thought to distract me from him.

You know what?  It’s polite to stare at Jesus.  In fact, when in his presence, you have no choice.  His unsurpassed beauty grips your attention.  “One thing I ask of the Lord…that I may…gaze upon the beauty of the Lord,” Psalm 27:4.

In the Lord’s culture, staring is totally polite.  Let his Spirit enrapture your attention.  No one will complain.

 

Your Other Atmosphere

Our Creator chose to envelop earth in an atmosphere we call “air.” Air surrounds and sustains us, refreshes us and protects us from harmful sun rays.  Air makes life possible.  Two gases comprise the bulk of our atmosphere: nitrogen, about 79% and oxygen, a little more than 20%. Read More→

My “V” in the Moonlit Sky

A beautiful full moon illuminated the night sky.  I could plainly see my own shadow in the grass.  As I looked up to admire Father’s glorious handiwork, I noticed some clouds backlit by the shining moon.

Astonishingly, these clouds formed an almost perfect letter “V”.  There I was, awestruck by Father’s moon and stars.  Then, he thoughtfully threw in a “V” for victory; he provided a reminder of the victories he generously lavishes upon us. Read More→

Bringing You to the Place He Prepared

The Lord promised, “I will send my angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I prepared,” Exodus 23:20.  Just think of that!  The Almighty Creator of heaven and earth directs your steps.  He constantly works to lead you in ways that most benefit his purposes and your happiness.  How measureless is God’s love for us!

Delores and I moved to Singapore in May of 1988.  At that time almost three million people lived in that great city.  Can you imagine house hunting in a mega city where customs and culture are unfamiliar?  Well, let me tell you how God brought us to the place he prepared.

Just before moving to Singapore, a missionary friend of ours dined in a restaurant there.  He struck up a conversation with a Canadian couple who planned on leaving Singapore soon.  However, they needed someone to move into their apartment and assume the lease.  After finishing the meal, both my missionary friend and the Canadian coupe went their separate ways.

A few days later the missionary again came across the Canadian couple.  He mentioned to them that Dee and I would soon need an apartment in Singapore.  They invited him to bring us over to their place when we arrived in their country.

Within a day or two of our landing in the city, we visited the apartment my friend had located.  We loved it!  It amply fit all our needs.  So, we assumed the lease and soon moved into our new overseas home.

What are the chances for an American in downtown Singapore meeting a Canadian who had an apartment available?  Not only one meeting, but two!  Truly, God brings us to the place he prepared.

Dear friends be greatly encouraged; God leads you each and every moment.  No event is unimportant; no circumstance is beyond his control.  He’s always in the process of bringing you to the place he prepared.

Your God is the Director of decisions and Controller of circumstances.