Wednesday, December 11, 2013


20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)

            There are many times in our lives when we have expectations. These could be about meeting or interacting with certain people. The expectations could be about an upcoming event. During these times, we could be filled with excitement or dread.
            But what happens when things just do not meet those expectations? Currently, there are many, many college football teams that would love to be invited to the Bowl Game Alabama will be playing. It is an honor to be selected to go to one of the BCS games. But Alabama had different expectations for their season. They were focused on a National Championship Game. Though what they are experiencing would be considered outstanding by most, they are sorely disappointed.
            How do we handle these same disappointments? Our office Christmas party is a bomb…our family gathering is poorly attended…no one remembers our birthday that falls way too close to Christmas…our kids don’t make it home for the holidays this year…how do we handle those times?
            Often when we are disappointed, it becomes harder to honor Christ in thought and deed. Our focus strays from the main purpose of our lives which is to bring glory to God. We get “blue” and do not want to participate in the rest of the holiday cheer.
            Paul had many reasons to be “blue” or even down-right depressed. Over the course of his ministry, it may even seem more things went wrong than right. There were shipwrecks, beatings, snakebites, persecutions, imprisonments…the list goes on and on. I am not sure exactly what his expectations were for being an apostle and an ambassador for Christ, but I think they were all under-whelmed. It turned out like nothing he would have imagined; yet, he found joy in all of it. He found joy in spite of the disappointing expectations.

            As the year comes to a close and we look back on what might have been, I encourage you to look ahead and stay focused on what is truly important – Christ. He will never “under-whelm” or fail to meet our expectations. When we keep Him in our sight, the rest will pale in comparison…

Let Someone Else Do It

"So David's fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him" (1 Chronicles 14:17).

            Our times are filled with those who promote themselves. Millions of dollars are spent on advertising campaigns in an attempt in influence the public into voting for one political candidate over another.
            Sports companies, agents, and marketing firms attempt to create fame and fortune for their clients and products. It was said at the height of his career that Michael Jordan earns several times the amount of his basketball salary in product endorsements. There were even tennis shoes named after him – “Air Jordans.”
            There is, however, a great danger in all of this self-promotion. Sometimes we may be attempting to place ourselves in a position far ahead of where God may want us. There is nothing wrong with becoming famous or popular as long as it is a blessing from God. But if we are trying to inflate ourselves for the sake of gain then we have crossed the line.
            David’s fame and acclaim came to him as a result of fulfilling God’s mission for his life. Yes, at times, David fell down, but we always see him owning his mistakes and repenting. We always see him walking humbly before the Lord. He never tried to exalt himself above what the Lord ordained. The Lord is the one who raised David up.
            We must always be careful whether we are marketing ourselves or watching ads on television. We must carefully discern whether it is designed to educate or promote and manipulate. Is the product or service being truly described or inflated in an attempt to manipulate our thinking?
            If we remember this one Proverb, it will help us stay focused on God’s method of promotion….

Proverbs 27:2: Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips