Archive for Salvation

Submitting Our Thoughts to the Lord of Pleasantness

There is plenty of unpleasantness in our world.  Well, there is also plenty of pleasantness.

On a cloudy Monday morning, Delores and I sat down to breakfast in a bayside hotel restaurant.  While sipping coffee and waiting for our meals to arrive, we excitedly chattered about the beautiful morning.  Although a blanket of clouds hid the blue sky, small gaps in the cloud cover permitted shafts of brilliant sunlight to shine upon the bay’s rough surface.  Seagulls soared overhead, fishing pelicans crashed into the water and shrimp boats puttered about.  What marvelous displays of Father’s splendor! Read More→

Attached to the Blessed One

Potiphar worshipped the crocodile god, prayed to the sun god and trusted in all the gods of his Egyptian forefathers.  He knew nothing about the one true God, who created the universe.

Potiphar had one thing going for him: he attached himself to a young Hebrew slave named Joseph.  Joseph trusted in the one true God, the God of his forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The true God loaded Joseph down with divine blessings which spilled over into Potiphar’s life.  From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph,” Genesis 39:5. Read More→

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→

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→

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→

Our Personal Comforter and Encourager

God is a person. Humans can fellowship with this divine person. He isn’t distant, unknowable or remote. Humans can experience God, fellowship with him and enjoy his presence. His wonderful presence imparts hopefulness to our hearts, courage to our minds and joy to our emotions. Read More→

Better Than Walt Disney

People refer to Walt Disney as the father of animation.  His genius popularized animated cartoons.  Disney characters like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse come to live in countless theaters, TV’s and DVD’s.  Disney’s ability to make cartoon characters seem life-like built a multi-billion-dollar industry. Read More→

Your Invitation to Dine with Jesus

Jesus sends you an invitation to dine with him.  “I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him and he with me,” Revelation 3:20.  Jesus issued this invitation to everyone in the church, his earthly body; so, you’re included.

There’s something really special about sharing a meal with other people.  Meal time allows us to leisurely fellowship.  We share our experiences, feelings, ideas and plans.  Others listen and then casually speak about the happenings of their day.  We laugh with one another, empathize together and feel totally unthreatened by those sitting at the table with us. Meal time opens doors of communication that remain shut during the rest of our day. Read More→

Making Sin Sick of You

Several years ago I planted a hibiscus in our flower bed.  With frequent watering and occasional fertilizing the plant grew larger and larger and produced beautiful showy flowers.  My heart often sings to the Creator whose genius designed such beauty! Read More→