Monday, March 30, 2015

The Walking Dead

I’ve never watched the series, but I’ve heard what it’s about.

Are they real? If so, where are they? Who are they? It may surprise you to hear that the walking dead still roam the world today. I don’t mean bath salts eating people that act like zombies, but those who are walking around spiritually dead. The Bible is clear that there are two distinct groups in our vast universe. Those who are spiritually alive and those who are not. There is no in-between.

Jesus died but He came back to life so we could also be “quickened” or made alive too, not just after we die, but right here and now while physically present on earth (Romans 8:11, Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13).*

The Bible says that those who are spiritually dead are those who willfully live in sin without God (Luke 15:24, Romans 6:13, 1 Peter 4:6). It also says that we are made alive when we turn from sin and willingly open the door to our heart and invite Jesus Christ to come inside (Acts 5:32, Revelation 3:20). The power and lights are then turned on as we share the same Spirit that He possesses! (Ephesians 2:18).

Not all people in the church possess this precious gift. Many have lost their first love for God or never really had it (Revelation 3:1). Many received the Holy Spirit after they had believed (Acts 8:15-17, Acts 19:2). During this resurrection Sunday you may want to take your spiritual pulse. If there is no sign of power or life, I would encourage you to open your heart and receive God’s son (Romans 10:13) in the form of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).

We all need a Spiritual awakening! CPR for the soul! Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). 

Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday. 

*Hover over the Bible references to read the verses. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Great Exchange

Attaining anything of value places demands upon a person

Becoming a musician, doctor, or teacher (or any other artist or expert) requires time, effort, money, and training. Forming a diamond also takes time and tons of pressure, but it is these very sacrifices and stresses that make the professions and gems so precious.

Both the person learning the new behaviors and the coal changing to diamonds, willingly (or naturally) make an exchange. They allow the sacrifices and surrender to the pressures to become someone or something more valuable. 

Musicians, doctors, and teachers sacrifice their time, money, and social life to study for their careers in order to improve the lives of others. Yet as admirable as these accomplishments are, there is One who gave His all in the greatest exchange that ever took place. This momentous event occurred during Passover when an innocent man died on a criminal’s cross, all because He loved us and wanted to spend eternity with us (Romans 5:8). 

Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, willingly suffered, died, and rose again for our sins, so you and I can be righteous in God’s eyes and live eternally (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Bible says that when this exchange is made, we not only experience forgiveness, peace, blessings, and heaven, but when we teach others the way of righteousness, we will also shine like the stars of heaven forever (Daniel 12:3).

My awful sins for His light and righteousness. Best exchange ever!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Merry-go-round…and round…and round

Merry-go-rounds have a lot of movement and a measure of fun. They also have an appearance of progress, but they never really go anywhere. The highs and lows are enjoyable, but many times the ups-and-downs are like lives entangled in sin or addiction.

When riding the carousel of compulsion, the good times are great and we don’t want to lose them, but the bad aftermaths bring remorse and we don’t want to repeat them. But we do. And the vicious cycle continues because we both love and hate what we eat or drink or do in excess even when the substance or behavior is killing us.

I know how it feels. I’ve been there before. Loving the party, but hating the clean-up that followed. My carousel life spun in the same circles year after year, after year, appearing to progress with its highs and lows, but really going nowhere at all, until I finally learned how to step out of the crazy cycle.

It was when the horses were down (when my life was at a very low-point) that I began to seek and speak to God, asking Him to help me step off the merry-go-round. I begin listening to His Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19:12) and obeying what I heard and read in his Word.

There’s always a pause when the horses are down and that’s the time to quiet your mind and listen to His gentle voice beckoning you to Him (Isaiah 30:21). Carousel living provides no lasting satisfaction. On the contrary, Jesus promises freedom (John 8:31-32) and abundant life to those who follow him (John 10:10). 

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Time is Always Now

What would you do if you had one day to live? If you knew without a doubt that you would not be here 24 hours from now, what do you wish you’d have done with your life? A man on his deathbed isn't concerned with his trophies or trinkets just as a woman doesn’t care about her teacup collection, because none of these things really matter in the end. When all the accumulations of life are set aside, most of those on the brink of eternity discover that God and people are what truly matter, and having this knowledge is key to improving your life now, if you understand it and act upon it.

Again, if your life was going to end tomorrow, what matters most when you look back? Whatever it is, this is your golden moment to begin straightening out the wayward places and living a life without regrets. When you keep this eternal perspective in mind, priorities often fall into place. 

The Bible tells us that life is like a vapor that vanishes away (James 4:14). Jesus also said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). To adjust your circumstances pray for guidance and then act upon your “death-bed” discoveries to make the needed changes.

The time is always now.