We Are Special To God Today!

For July 12, 20201
God created our ancestors, Adam and Eve, and He placed them in the Garden of Eden with everything they could ever want or need forever.

Let’s pause for a moment to explore the actions of our loving Creator as Genesis 1:1 (AKJV) depicts,

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

This foundational passage of Scripture does not defend the existence of God. It merely presents a personal God, who is a loving, caring Creator and Sustainer of everything that has or will ever exist.

God did not choose to express Himself as an impersonal, ambiguous force to be reckoned with. Instead, He chooses to fellowship with the pinnacle of His creation, the human species. God fixed our incomparable destiny forever in the Garden of Eden as we thrived in His loving, holy presence as He supplied our spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological needs abundantly.

God designated human beings to be separate and distinct by creating us “in His image and likeness.” As such, we can have loving, joyful, fulfilling, fellowship with Him forever, as Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT) relates,

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Our creation was most distinctive,

It is clear that man, as God made him, was distinctly different from the animals already created. He stood on a much higher plateau, for God created him to be immortal, and made him a special image of His own eternity. Man was a creature with whom His maker could visit and have fellowship and communion. On the other hand, the Lord could expect man to answer him and be responsible to him. Man was constituted to have the privilege of choice, even to the point of disobeying his Creator. He was to be God’s responsible representative and steward on the earth, to work out his Creator’s will and fulfill the divine purpose.2

Through His creation, we see God’s majesty and design to ensure our happiness and well-being in the most intricate detail. Thus, as Genesis 1:31 tells us, God’s creation is “very good!”

Just think! The entire universe, with its galaxies, solar system, and our earth, including everything in the sky, underwater, and on land, was not created for eternal fellowship with God. Only you and I were created to fulfill this uniquely wonderful purpose.

In other words, God esteems you and I greater than Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, Aurora Borealis, Victoria Falls, Table Mountain, the Barrier Reef, the Amazon Rainforest, the magnificent Redwoods, the entire animal kingdom, and all the sun, moon, and stars combined.

Moreover, God gave us an amazing pedigree when He breathed in us His “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7), thereby purposely and deliberately imparting an everlasting human spirit within us that will continue to live long after our bodies have passed away. (God also gives us the responsibility to choose where we spend our eternity in Heaven or Hell.)

Our sin separates us from God, since He is holy and majestic. Nevertheless, He will forgive our sins—past, present, and future if we place our faith in the vicarious merits of Jesus Christ’s death to pay the price for our sin.

However, we must accept the Lord’s invitation–freely and willingly,

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (Revelation 3:20 NLT).

Won’t you accept His invitation today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

What Could Happen…Today?

For July 5, 20201
Many years ago, a pastor challenged me to use my gifts, talents, and abilities constructively for the Kingdom, which ultimately beggs this question, “If we were to give ourselves to the Lord completely, living according to the Bible, and trusting Him to fulfill His wonderful promises—what could happen to us and to those around us for our good and His glory?

Trying to answer this question brought about many life-changing experiences over the years; for it implies we no longer depend on our abilities and enterprises exclusively because Christ is the center of our existence, and we depend on Him exclusively.

But, isn’t this how we as Christians are supposed to live anyway? Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) tells us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Moreover, Psalm 37:23 tells us our steps are “ordered” by the Lord, who takes delight in every step we take.

Answering the question means our self-centered, self-glorifying plans, goals, and objectives are “out the window,” since they must be Christ-centered, God-honoring, and Bible-based at all times.

In addition, our thoughts, words, and actions are now filtered through a secondary question, “Will what I’m thinking, saying, or doing in at this moment help point someone to Christ?” Unfortunately, this second question has been answered both yes, and no. 

What could happen…even today?

As finite humans, we will ever experience spiritual and moral completion in this life. Yet, we have a wonderful example in Christ, who redeems and transforms us while providing His support and Spirit-power to sustain us.

The Lord is all-sufficient in supplying things beyond our control—especially, how He protects, provides, and guides us at the precise instant and in the precise way we need Him. The more I live, the more I see His divine truth,

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (Isaiah 41:10 AKJV).

The Lord is with us; watching over us—even when we are not consciously aware of His presence and providence.

None of our “good” works engender boasting since they are merely what He expects of us,

“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty’” (Luke 17:7-10 NLT).

Yet, the Lord lavishly provides us with His forgiveness, freedom, and joy, even though we can never be “good enough” to earn His consideration.

Let us continue to do our best each day using our greatest effort to persevere toward the prize He has reserved for all those who love His appearing (Philippians 3:14, 2 Timothy 4:8). After all; this is all He requires from us.

What a Wonderful Savior!

Our Christian Life Is Amazing Today!

For June 28, 2020
I beg to differ with those who characterize the Christian faith as merely a “pie-in-the-sky” religion. To them, all we have is eternal bliss in Heaven and nothing to look forward to on earth. This is not so. The Christian faith produces a life of abundance, which begins the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and it continues for eternity.

Our peace of mind resulting from our peace with God alone, makes our Christian life more precious and fulfilling than anything on earth combined, and it certainly makes life worth living “in real-time” today. In addition, we who embrace the Christian journey have considerable treasures to gain in this life and the next,

The incentive to win is in the glorious perspective we have because we are “looking unto Jesus.” “Looking away from all else, looking at that which fills the heart.” We are going to run, not because of the prize at the end and not because so many illustrious saints have run the course in the past and have been gloriously crowned, but because the vision of Jesus thrills the soul.1

Moreover, as we continue to surrender to Jesus Christ, we experience many, many exciting and fulfilling moments that enhance our knowledge and strengthen our faith in the Lord. This is just as He promises in John 10:7-10 (NLT),

I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Daily we experience how the Lord loves us, protects us, and provides us with everything we need. Over time, we grow confident that He directs our steps, and that He will never leave or forsake us. These experiences help to solidify our faith in God and in His Word so that we grow to rely on His eternal promises and providence instead of our subjective thoughts and feelings.

Some believe that a tragic past can heighten one’s Christian experience and/or validate one’s Christian witness. This could be based on a flawed notion that we are more effective in serving after having lived tragic lives of sin before coming to Christ. Although it is always proper to celebrate our new life in Christ, yet rating one’s overall effectiveness is up to God.

All of us can benefit from some form of support and accountability to help guard against moral and spiritual failure. However, those who have experienced years of compulsive and addictive behavior should complete some form of clinical treatment in conjunction with their Christian discipleship program before serving in Christian leadership. Such precautions will help us do “no harm” (i.e., not jeopardize the spiritual, physical, emotional, or psychological well-being) to those whom we serve.

Three critical indicators, our hearts, our motives, and God’s perfect will, are essential to our long-term spiritual growth and fulfillment. These indicators adhere to His perspective and purpose, for He knows whether our hearts and motives are vile or pure, and His will shall be revealed accordingly.

The Bible presents a pattern of fruitful relationships with the Lord that begin early and last through life. We who follow this pattern by coming to Christ early, learning God’s Word, attending church, submitting to spiritually mature mentors and pastors in discipleship, and using our gifts in Christian service are living demonstrations of His amazing miraculous power.

We grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) to share God’s Word properly, so that He can attract, convict, convince, and inspire others unto right thinking and living through us. In this way, we can present His righteousness, grace, and love through our worship, service, and fellowship.

What a Wonderful Savior!