George W. Bush was walking through an airport shaking hands and speaking to the crowd, when he saw a barefoot man who was dressed in a robe, and carrying a tablet of stone with writing chiseled in it.The president asked the man, "Are you Moses?" but was impolitely ignored.This happened three times until Mr. Bush said, "If you are Moses, you certainly are behaving rudely."
The man answered, "The last time I spoke to a bush I spent 40 years in the wilderness!"
You may not meet Moses in an airport, but you could certainly meet God there, or anyplace else you wanted to.Meeting God changes the place where you are from ordinary to divine.
God spoke to Moses from the burning bush: "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5)
This scene didn't take place in a temple or church, not even at an altar or in a home.It was in a desert place with no one else around.What made it special was that God was there.Wherever you meet God is a place of holiness, made so, because of His presence.Take advantage of those wonderful times you spend alone with your Creator, wherever it may be.Even now, at the moment you read these words, you can have an encounter with God and make the place where you are sitting "holy ground," simply by whispering an "amen" to the Lord, or saying to Him, "I love you, Father."
GospeLines Prayer:Father, in this moment someone you love is agreeing with me in prayer, that they are on Holy Ground.May Your presence and power saturate his/her soul, so that this day will be special, unlike any other Monday he/she has ever known!Hallelujah!Amen and amen.
When watching CNN recently, I heard Senator Barack Obama discuss his new book – “The Audacity of Hope.”He mentioned it was the title of a sermon given by his Pastor many years before.I was intrigued by the title and listened intently to his definition.[The definition of audacity is -- boldness or daring: daring or willingness to challenge assumptions or conventions or tackle something difficult or dangerous]
It also got me to thinking about the state of our world today – the conflicts in several countries, the threat of nuclear proliferation, the civil unrest, and the terror threats here and abroad.It’s hard to watch and digest the news – be it national or local.
My stomach churns when I witness the strife within my own community – the rising crime rate, the number of children without health insurance, the number of homeless persons, the leftover remnants of the fall of Enron; so many things to make one bitter and cynical.
Despite the evil in the world and what we “see,” we have to hold on to hope – for those things unseen.Despite the way people have lost sight of the miracles and blessings, we must hold out hope for God’s promise - Romans 8:23-25(CEV):
"The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children.This means that our bodies will also be set free.And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it."
GospeLines Prayer:Father, whether it’s our personal relationships or our working relationships or our communities or any part of Your kingdom – help us keep hope alive.Help us to recognize and acknowledge Your daily miracles.
We often become numb when witnessing the devil’s handiwork.May we be reminded that whenever any one of Your children suffer, we all do.
There is no darker dungeon than the prison of our own bitterness. It is filled with people who have chosen to hold on to their own hurt rather than experience the freedom of putting it aside. The only light is that of the Father who reminds us that we have a possession which has not been taken away, a right that is ours by new birth... it is our relationship with God. Though others may disappoint and hurt us, our most precious gift cannot be destroyed.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, teach us that we have a gift more precious than life. Let us know that our relationship with you is all we need to feel truly free. Help us to overcome our own bitterness and hurt and stand victoriously with You, our strength and our Redeemer. Amen and amen.
We were all tired and decided to stay at home and have a family devotional instead of going to church.As we were getting ready, one of my daughters asked: “Are we going to read from the Bible; or, are you going to read us one of your devotionals?”
That stopped me in my tracks.Did she really understand the purpose or intent of a “devotional”?My next thought was even more disturbing… Did I…?
“Devotion” implies that a person is ardently dedicated to an idea or person and stresses zeal, fidelity, and loyalty.It is faithfulness to something or someone to which you are bound by pledge or duty - a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce or betray that idea or person.
Therefore, a devotional must be an act that helps a person recognize and demonstrate his or her faithfulness to that idea or person.For the Christian, it is an act that helps us show our ardently dedicated love for and steadfast faithfulness to Jesus our Savior.
How do we do that?How do we show our love for Jesus with a devotional?
He told us how to show our love for Him: "If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).A “devotional” can help us show our love for our Lord if it helps us know and understand His commands.
Understanding or being reminded of His commands may not always leave us with a “warm and fuzzy” feeling.Sometimes understanding may leave us feeling convicted or remind us that we haven’t been faithfully keeping His commands.But, even those “devotionals” that are convicting or disturbing can help us find our lives in Christ Jesus."Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.I did not come to bring peace, but a sword… a man's enemies will be the members of his own household… Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)Jesus knows that understanding His commands may sometimes cause us to weep.He also knows that understanding will produce fruit in keeping with repentance; and, He assures us that those who repent and believe in His name are given the right to become children of God - holy and blameless in the Father’s sight.
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21).“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love” (John 15:10).
GospeLines Prayer:Lord, help us have true devotionals every day.Thank you for the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom You sent in Jesus’ name to teach us and bring the commands of Your Son to our remembrance.Help us to see with our eyes and hear with our ears, and understand with our hearts.Thank You that we have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit Who is from You, that we may understand what You have freely given us in Jesus our Lord.
It was difficult for Jesus to find time and solitude to be with His disciples, especially during the Jewish Passover when thousands of pilgrims made their way to Jerusalem. His band of twelve needed to learn the deeper truths before the end. Jesus took them across the Sea of Galilee to a mountain retreat to be alone with them. But the crowds followed.
It was likely that these people were traveling, and unexpectedly came upon the Master. Their provisions for the trip would have been low by now and Jesus had compassion for their hunger. Turning to Philip, He asked where bread might be bought for such a multitude. But Philip saw the situation as hopeless and offered no solution.
Andrew said, "I will see what I can do." He found a young boy with a picnic lunch and brought the lad to Jesus. We never know what might come of introducing people to Jesus. Andrew didn't realize he was providing resources for a miracle that day. He was just doing what he could to help the situation.
Then there was the boy with his meager lunch, five barley loaves and a few pickled sardine-like fish. Barley was the bread of the very poor. It was the required trespass-offering from a woman who had committed adultery, because barley was the food of beasts and the woman's sin was the sin of a beast. Barley bread was held in contempt but it was everything the boy had, and on that day it was enough to feed the multitudes.
The miracle of life is that Jesus needs what we can bring to Him. Little is much in the hands of the Lord.
GospeLines Prayer:May our lives be enriched because we have given everything we have, not because we have given the most. Let us rejoice that what we consider meager or contemptuous, when it’s put into your hands it can be transformed into a miracle to nourish the multitudes around us. Amen and amen.