Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"When He finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.  (Luke 15:17-18 NLT)

I wrote this song a few years ago, while sitting in a moldy hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida.  I was doing a lot of reflecting at the time, and was coming to realize that many of the things I had worked so hard for not were not making me feel whole like I thought that they would.  In that moment of quietness I realized that I was craving simplicity, quiet, and a life filled with deep relationships.  So many of the things that mattered so much before now seemed silly.  I was beginning to turn around, and this song was exactly what I was feeling that morning.

I believe that it's every young person's dream to get out on their own and start living a life with no limits to some extent.  They want to live in the real world and experience things they've only heard about from a slightly older crowd of influence.  Sometimes it takes weeks, months, or even years but eventually, they come to their senses and realize that the grass on the other side of the fence is actually crab grass.  In Luke 15, we read the story of an impatient young man.    He wanted what belonged to him immediately.  It wasn't long before the money ran out from the indulgent lifestyle that he had grown accustomed to but he did come to His senses and realized that he belonged at home.  The distant land can be across the street if a young person has left the Biblical Principles that they once held to as important.  We need to realize that we all make mistakes, some more "epic" than others but just as this young man's father was waiting on him to arrive home, I believe that our heavenly father is waiting on us as well.

What is God calling you to do through this passage?  Do it intentionally and always think relevantly.  God's message never changes.  Will you live passionately for God through lessons learned in this passage?

written by Jeromy Deibler of FFH & Jamie Vaughan (c) 2012 Provident

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mistaken Identity

A few weeks ago, I walked up to someone and began to talk to them. That doesn't seem out of the ordinary. What was abnormal is that who I was talking to was someone who looked like someone that I knew, however, it wasn't. The physical characteristics were there but I was talking to someone I'd never met.


Verse 27, is our focal point verse this week. From verse 22-26, we have specifics to provide a context. Verse 27, shows us that some people will believe what they want to whether it’s the actual truth or not. There are times when we find ourselves doing the same thing.
John was trying to help those closest to him realize that he was the “front runner” to Jesus. He clearly knew his role. His role was to let people know that Immanuel had come.
Jesus truly was going to be with them and that He came to fulfill the will of His father.
He also clarified and explained to them his position. (v. 27)


In the world that we live in, I have to wonder how many people would have truly given credit where credit is due instead of confirming the claims about themselves.

We see a “need to be accepted” mentality everywhere we turn. If we were honest with ourselves and before the Lord,that is a greater priority for us as Christians than really caring what God has to say about our acceptance.
Again, John knew his role but he also knew who he was in Christ…His identity. He was comfortable with that and accepted the fact that he was nothing and Christ was everything.


The key to applying this truth of knowing who we are in Christ and knowing our role in the kingdom of God is simply shared with us in v. 30 and 31. He must increase but I must decrease. V. 30
What does this look like? How does this play out in our own lives?
More emphasis should be put on pleasing our Savior than pleasing ourselves.
Priorities should be placed upon the Word of God and Communion with God over our daily routine.
When we allow Him to arise and increase in our lives, we will truly be able to experience what God has promised to His children.

He is above all

As the creator of everything that we lay our eyes upon, we have to realize that it had to be created and only one claim to creation stands the test of time which is…In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Look at v. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Will we receive the testimony of the Son of God that He is everything that He claimed to be and so much more OR we be found in v. 36…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on Him?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The One Ministry Thief That Noone Talks About-Artie Davis

I began to read and compare Saul & David in the book of 1 Samuel a few weeks ago…

You probably remember the story. But this is what really stood out to me about leadership.

Saul was given this by the Prophet Samuel: 1 Sam 12.24

Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

The Prophet knew Saul was going to have this issue:


Fear caused Saul to lose EVERYTHING!

He offered the sacrifice because he feared man, and his enemies. Consequently, Samuel said the Lord had torn his ministry from him, and was going to give to the one who was after His own heart. We know that man to be David.

But later, David commits adultery, murder & walks in pride. Even after all that, God said for generations later, David was the man after His heart!

Did you get that?

Saul committed the sin of fear and lost it all. David messed up time and again, and was still king, and was honored by God.

Lesson learned: How is your fear factor? Are you fearing man? Are you fearing circumstances? If you are, REPENT. You may be close to losing it all. Fear is a HUGE sin in leadership!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Choosing Sides

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

In less than 30 days, campaign advertisements supporting and opposing various governmental offices will come to a screeching halt. By the end of the day on November 6, a presidential candidate will have won the race as the president of the United States of America and will be inaugurated in January of 2013.

We, as U.S. citizens have a right to choose who we feel will best serve this country as president. We've been given that privilege as citizens of this country. Men and women have fought for centuries to provide us this treasured freedom.
Sometimes, we take this freedom for granted and don't darken the door of the polling location.

As Christians, we've been given a freedom that we too often take for granted. Joshua tells the children of Israel that it's time for them to choose sides, he said that if it seems evil for you to serve The Lord, you have other options but for me and my family, we are going to serve The Lord. You see, we've been given the opportunity to obtain freedom from sin, anything that goes against God's laws, plans or wishes. Since the fall of man, God knew that there would need to be a way for man to come into contact with God so He sent His son Jesus to fight the war over sin by giving himself on a cross and losing His life so that we could have freedom. Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death so that all who trust in Him would not die but spend eternity in heaven. Although, this sounds great to those who believe, there are some who feel that a life dedicated to Christ will consist of restrictions instead of freedom so they choose to reject Him.

It's time to choose sides that will leave a mark not necessarily on United States history but on eternity. Which side will you choose?

Finding Your Identity

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

A new Zaxby's commercial featuring Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers and an actress (to be named later) reminded me of my real identity. Because the actress was dressed as a football player in the commercial, her behavior seemed out of sorts but when the helmet came off, it made perfect sense.

Who are we? We quickly answer, I'm a hard worker, I'm a loving husband, I'm successful, I'm a well behaved child. Unfortunately, that's how we are viewed by our culture. We are defined by our accomplishments in the eyes of the world but that's not who we truly are. Peter tells us that we are a chosen people. As people who have taken the Gospel seriously and believe that Jesus' work on the cross is to bridge the gap between God and man, we must identify who we are in Christ. God tells Samuel that man looks on the stature and outward appearance of a man but God looks at the heart of a man. What are our motives? Are we living life to please the natural man? Do we strive to be a good parent or financially successful for the sake of our culture or to honor God with everything He allows us to obtain?

The prophet Jeremiah sums it up this way...For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Our true identity is in Christ. We are what He says we are. If we try to measure ourselves against any other. Standard, we are selling ourselves short.

John tells us that Satan came to steal (our testimony), kill (our witness), and destroy (our life) BUT Jesus came. Because He came, we can have life and live it more abundantly, solely on the fact of who we are in Christ.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Time Is Now

I love post season baseball games. Regardless, of who has made it to the Division Series, I enjoy knowing that the season is at an end and only the best will survive. Tonight, the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees are battling to advance so for both teams, tonight's the night, the time is now!

In our culture, today is the day. The time is now. We need to quit "hiding Jesus" as though He were a rabbit's foot or a good luck charm that we pull out when and only when something goes wrong in our lives. The time is now for Jesus to permeate our lives. For Him to have preeminence or first place in our lives is a step of faith. Paul tells the church at Ephesus that By grace THROUGH FAITH we can be saved. He also shares in Hebrews that WITHOUT FAITH, it's impossible to please God. The Time Is Now to be crucified with Christ and let Him live through us. The time is now for our co workers, our families, our friends and acquaintances that the time is now. Today, is the day of salvation.