Thursday, March 26, 2020

What are you looking for?

Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)
            King George V wrote on the flyleaf of the Bible of a friend: “The secret of happiness is not to do what you like to do, but to learn to like what you have to do.” There is a big difference between doing what you want to do and doing what you have to do. Sometimes they are the same, but most of the time they are not. For me, there is a cosmic difference between playing golf and paying my bills.
            Too many people think that happiness is an elusive, will-o’-the-wisp thing to be found only by constant pursuit and relentless searching. Yet, happiness is not an end in and of itself. It is not a destination. It is a byproduct of something greater. Jesus told His disciples: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The “things” He spoke of were the basic needs of life: food, drink, clothes, shelter. He told us not to make these things the chief goal of our lives, but we must “seek righteousness and the Kingdom of God.”
            This seeking, if we will take it, is the secret of happiness. When we seek first the Kingdom of God, our lives will be filled with happiness. The problem is that the devil will do anything he can to prevent you from seeking the Kingdom. He does not want you to be truly happy serving God and doing what is right. He tries to lure us with the shiny lures of this life: money, big houses, luxury cars, sexual pleasures, and fat bank accounts.
            So how do we focus on seeking the Kingdom and obtaining this happiness? By submitting ourselves without reserve to Jesus Christ. He must be King and Lord in our lives. We must live for Him every day. This is the path that will lead us to true happiness. I hope you have already come to this realization. If not, I encourage you to investigate this thoroughly. You won’t regret it! May you stay focused on God during our time of quarantine. And may He bless you richly, my loved ones!
- David

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

God Loves Us More

16 His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:16)
            Have you ever seen those couples at a restaurant who are leaning in toward each other or even sitting on the same side of the booth? One will speak and the other will listen intently to what they are saying. Generally that type of focus is a result of some intense admiration. My wife and I did that when we first started dating. I would put my arm around her or hold her hand for an entire movie. It seems that when you are that taken with someone, you just can't seem to get enough of what they have to say. You find yourself hanging on every word.
            It is the beloved’s words that are sweetest to the female speaker. His words are what she longs for and enjoys in verse above. The more she hears those words, the more she comes to say, “This is my love. This is my friend.”
            It’s a similar situation in our relationship with Christ. To keep our love and devotion for our Lord healthy and strong, the lines of communication have to be kept open. The WWII soldier is a great example of this. Before cell phones and emails, the man overseas had to write letters to his sweetheart. His words were what assured her of his love and calmed her anxieties. He knew that sending his thoughts home on paper, full of his words of affection for her, would keep her going while he was away. His sentiments made her miss him. And in missing him, she wanted to be with him more and more. The words are what brought them close, even though they were miles, continents apart.
            Jesus’ words to us are found in the Bible. We call it the Word of God. I have even heard it called ‘66 love letters’ to God’s children. By spending time with His words, we get to know Him. The more we come to know Him, the more we find that we love Him. In time, we begin to realize that not only has Christ become the greatest love of our lives, He has become, and is, our Friend. May you love God with all your heart and love others as yourself this week!! And may God rain blessings in your life, my loved ones!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Face to Face

3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:3-5)
            Is there room for improvement in your walk with Jesus? I don't think I have ever met anyone with an ounce of honesty who doesn't see the opportunity for improvement in their spiritual journey. We wake up each morning with a ton of blessings whether we realize it or not. In Lamentations 3:22-23, Jeremiah said, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Being spiritually responsible with all that we are and all that we possess in a huge challenge. Improvement in our walk with Jesus and our spiritual responsibility is not a simply a decision we make. It has to be a lifestyle that we actually live out. So how do we begin to take steps in the correct direction?
            Clear footprints in the right direction can be seen with what God called Moses to do on the mountain in Exodus 3. We are a people who get far too busy. The everyday demands of our lives have a tendency to completely fill our thoughts and our time if we are not careful. We forget to look in God’s direction. Moses was going about his everyday routine when God attracted his attention. Moses saw something that day that changed his life. 
            The first step to improving our journey with Jesus is to be willing to step aside from our everyday normal routine and take time to encounter the supernatural. When we turn our eyes in God’s direction, it does not take a burning bush to change our lives forever. When we stop to listen to God and we look around and see what He is doing in the world, it ignites our very souls. It sets us aflame to burn brighter and brighter.
            It would seem like common sense to say that shoes are required for a more responsible walk with Jesus, but what is really needed are bare feet—feet that acknowledge the holy nature of an encounter with our Lord and Savior. The more we recognize the grace-filled privilege we have to encounter the God of all creation, the more we will turn aside from our ordinary, normal routine and come face to face with the extraordinary that is Jesus. He is the One who changes everything. I sincerely hope you have a face-to-face encounter with Him this week. I hope that His face shines upon and His smile fills you with joy. May God richly bless you as you are being a blessing to others this week!!