Monday, July 27, 2015

A Story of a Faithful Life and a Powerful Truth

He’s with the Lord now. A man who loved his God and lived a faithful life.

For years, he taught young people in the high school public school system. Even then, it was frowned upon to share the more important truths about life and origins and the future of those moldable minds.

But he didn’t let that stop him.

He wrote the powerful words of God on the chalkboard every morning.

Every morning, he erased the verse he had written the day before and replaced it with another timeless truth.

God’s Word can stand on its own feet.

So he never added to it. Never mentioned it. Never said a word, but let it speak for itself.

Day after day. Class after class, God’s Word spoke from behind him like a beacon to anyone who would be drawn by its power and listen to its life-changing voice.

Faithfully he served those young people.
Molding and preparing minds to be the next generation of citizens and business owners and people God had created for their own purpose on planet earth.

Faithfully he served his God.
Setting God’s powerful truth in front of hundreds of young people as it spoke from the chalkboard behind him.  

He prayed they would become words written on the heart.

Before this godly teacher died, a student shared with him.

He shared how every day he wrote the verse in his notebook. Every day, he took it home and contemplated its timeless truth.

One day, God used His Word to capture and transform that student’s heart.

Today, he's a pastor somewhere, proclaiming those truths that were scribbled on a chalkboard.

God’s Word can stand on its own feet.

Change lives.

Create new life, just as His Word created the life that exists all around us.

God takes a faithful life and His powerful truth.

And He builds His church.

“’Is not My word like a fire?’ says the LORD,
‘And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?’” (Jeremiah 23:29)

In memory of Dr. Omer McCaleb

Photo credit:

Monday, July 20, 2015

When You Think You're Not Doing Enough for God

I have a new Bible hero. His name was Cornelius.

Cornelius lived in a pagan city, a Roman soldier in charge of one hundred other soldiers.

And this is all we know about his personal life.

But we’re told something about him that’s even more significant.

This Gentile, living during the early days of the church, living in a pagan city and leading one hundred pagan soldiers, was devout and feared God with his entire household.

“He gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always.” (Acts 10:2)

And that’s what he was known for.

God chose Cornelius to be a tool through which the church would learn something very important about His dealings with the Gentiles (see Acts 10 and 11).

But when God sent an angel to Cornelius to inform him of what He was about to do, the angel told him something I haven’t been able to shake out of my mind:

“Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” (Acts 10:4)

That’s it.

His prayers and his acts of generosity were noticed and remembered by the God who takes great value in these things and remembers them more than we think.

Not all of us will be called to do the “great” things—the big and “memorable” things, by this world’s standard.

We’re all called to the “little” things—those more valuable things, like prayer and kindness, that come up to God as a memorial.

When you think you’re not doing enough for God, think of the value God places on little things.

In His hands, little is so much more.

“And they said to Him, We have here only five loaves and two fish.
He said, Bring them to Me.” (Matthew 14:17,18)

Monday, July 13, 2015

How to Lose Your Peace and How to Find it Again

In her book Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot gives eight ways we forfeit God's peace.

And she offers eight Biblical ways to get it back again.

1.       Resent God’s ways.

·          “Great peace have those who love Your law.” (Psalm 119:165)

2.       Worry as much as possible.

·          “Be anxious for nothing.” (Phil. 4:6)

3.       Pray only about things you can’t manage by yourself.

·           “In everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7)

4.       Refuse to accept what God gives.

·          “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me . . . and you will find rest.” (Matt. 11:29)

5.       Look for peace elsewhere than to Him.

·         “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives.” (John 14:27)

6.       Try to rule your own life.

·         “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” (Col. 3:15)

7.       Doubt God’s Word

·         “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” (Rom. 15:13)

8.       Carry all your cares.

·         “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We have no reason to lose our peace.

And every reason to find it again, if we do.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Following Hard After God

In his book When God Breaks Your Heart (Stay tuned for a free book giveaway in a few weeks. It’s that good!), Ed Underwood asks a compelling question:

What is one change you can make today that will turn your life hard toward God?

I’ll leave my own answer in the comments below (Subscribers: click here).  

I’d love for you to share yours as well!

Monday, June 29, 2015

To My Bible Club Kids Who Are Now American Adults,

You placed your hand over your heart and you said that historic pledge along with us.
                One nation under God,
                Indivisible . . . 

I wonder if those Saturdays were the only days you heard our nation and our God honored together in one singular statement.

Did you realize what you were saying?  

America is “one nation under God.”

We didn’t tell your young minds what we knew you would discover.

That leaders and broken people and broken laws despise that honored position.  

You would grow up and hear lies. You would join in. You would break laws. You would forget God.

You’ve probably forgotten.

America is “one nation under God.”

Did you hear it in the stories we told?  Stories of proud rulers humbled, nations conquered, the kingdoms of this world unable to stand in their pride.  God-honoring people protected, one tiny nation preserved in answer to a divine promise.

Did you hear between the lines of those stories that this God America is under has the government upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6)?

Nations are under God, under His control and carried on shoulders strong enough to carry every government all at once.

The America you live in now doesn’t want you to believe this truth we taught you.

America is “one nation under God.”

Your forefathers fought for it, your grandfathers died for it, your family celebrates it every fourth of July.

And you eat watermelon and apple pie and set off fireworks like you did when you were a kid.

And America continues to tell you lies by what it allows.

I pray you will believe what we told you back then.

That the statement “one nation under God” isn’t just flowery, patriotic words.

We wanted you to see that the governments of the world are on His shoulders.

He is greater than any nation, any lie, any good gone sour at the hands of godless men.

He can carry the weight of your world on His shoulders.

Look to Him and teach your kids.

America is “one nation under God.”