The Highest Call to a Believer is …

images-53Whether it’s dreaming to be a lead singer of a band or a top billed movie star or MVP of the Super Bowl we are infatuated with importance and becoming what we believe is success! Isn’t it amazing how we, as well as our whole society identify with what we feel is the most important position.

Unfortunately, we have allowed that exact thought pattern to invade the church. In an era of a mega churches on ever channel and ministers of the Gospel being exalted as we do to rock stars, it can distort our understanding of what is


What we think is important and successful to God is often totally opposite and upside down to what is in God heart.


viewed a success in God’s eyes. We have been deceived in thinking the most important thing we can do to honor our Lord and Savior is found in the limelight. We have been distracted from our heart devotion to God to become defiled by our own determinations to be famous.

I am reminded of God’s word in Isa 55:8 that says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.” What we think is important and successful to God is often totally opposite and upside down to what is in God heart. Even though being a successful minister, and ambassador is important and needed in the body of Christ it is not the highest call of God for us.

Jesus sets the record strait in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42, where Martha had welcomed Jesus into her home. I can only imagine like most women Martha was getting things ready and wanting to serve Jesus with the best of


We have been distracted from our heart devotion to God to become defiled by our own determinations to be famous


her abilities. I am sure that Martha wanted nothing less than to please and honor Jesus. But when she saw her sister whom was just sitting at Jesus’ feet and not helping with the serving she was distracted and became agitated and frustrated going to Jesus to complain. We read in verse 40 where Martha says, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Martha’s words reveal that she was not only distracted from what was important, but discouraged at Jesus for not helping and disconnected from Mary due to offence. I think if we are honest we can all identify with how she was feeling and reacting.

Jesus addresses this viscous cycle that we find ourselves often caught in with what is important to Him. He says to His host, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. Jesus calls Mary on the carpet and gets her focus on what is important. Her heart was in the right place; Martha was trying to be a good host and desired to please Him. Yet, even though her motive was right her method was off.

Jesus’s words in vs. 42, “only one thing is needed” expresses the necessity of what Mary was doing. He lets us know that her action was needed, was good, was her choice and ends with a promise that would never be taken from her. What was Mary doing? She was sitting at Jesus feet, listening to His words. This isn’t about a posture but is about the priority of Gods people positioning themselves in God’s presence, pondering His words and understanding His promises.

It is our intimacy and worship before the Lord, which is of most importance to God’s heart. (Ex. 28:1-4, Deut. 10:8-9) We are created to worship Him. (Jn. 4:23-24) I encourage you to be established in what God thinks is priority and not be distracted. Then and only then should we venture out to be about His business!

 

Thoughts to Ponder:

  1. Do you remember growing up wearing your NFL teams sports jacket or dressing like your favorite movie star? What kind of things did you do to mimic those you thought were successful? Explain? 

 

  1. What do you think are some of the most import jobs you can do for God? How would you describe sitting or standing before the Lord? Is it talking about a posture or position?

 

  1. Describe what kind of benefit there is in ministering to God? Are we wasting Time? Shouldn’t we be about His business? How would you encourage others to value a place of prayer and worship before the Lord?

 

 

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That Fragrance is Head Turning

82206053The aroma filled the room, as my wife sprayed her perfume each morning, as she would get ready for her day. The smell would change the very atmosphere in the room and catch my attention every time she walked by. There was just something special about her fragrance that represents more than just a good aroma. It represented her and who she was. That daily routine never seems to get old.

It reminds me of the story in Mark 14:3-9, where we are introduced to the women in Bethany who ministered before Jesus. We read in verse three she, “came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” This caused an outcry of disapproval and disgust from some that thought it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Yet, someone else’s head turned also.

Before we judge this as a menial disagreement about some cheap perfume being wasted, let’s look a little bit closer. This wasn’t a story of a bad practical joke that had gone bad, but was a sacrificial act with a much deeper meaning. This women we know as Mary of Bethany who we also read about in Luke 10:42 as well as in Mark. She had an Alabaster


When we minister to Him. It’s a fragrance of beauty that will turn His head and catch His attention.   (tweet)


box filled with a costly fragrance valued at a year’s wage. This wasn’t just any perfume but more of an heirloom that had probably been given and added to over time. It was much like a hope chest that is given to a daughter and then filled over time with things that would be useful for her future. It represented her past, present and future!

So in essence she was giving her past and present successes and failures, as well as her future hopes and dreams to Jesus. She wasn’t pouring out just a perfume but her life. The aroma that filled the room moved Jesus’ heart. It was much more than a temporary fragrance, but was her life’s incense that came before the one who would give His life as a


We are called to stand before Him as Priests! (tweet)


sacrifice for her and the world. Jesus took notice, standing up for her and declaring that this would be a memorial to her through out history. Mary was standing before and ministering to Jesus.

Mary’s actions were representative of what the Levites were separated to do before God. (Deut. 10:8-9) It says they were chosen to “stand before” and “minister” to the Lord. The phrase to “stand before” means to remain and present oneself and the word Continue reading

Praying Prayers that Shake Things

108220532We get a snap shot of the disciples praying in Acts 4:29–30. Peter and John had gone to their own Because of the threats from the Sanhedrin. Then all of them began asking the Lord to move in their behalf with power from on high, praying that they might see signs and wonders, enabling them to speak the Word with boldness. When they had finished, the place began to shake, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Resulting with them going forth in power.

When was the last time the place where we were praying began to shake from the power of God? Maybe we haven’t been touching God in prayer like we should. Lord Tennyson said, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

Prayer is to revival and God’s outpouring as evaporation is to a cloudburst of fresh rain. You can’t have the one without the other. As we pray, it’s like the evaporated water, ascending to the heavens. The clouds of heavens fill full of the prayers of saints. Then the clouds move to a dry and thirsty place, to pour down the


What we sow is what we shall reap. So then, let me ask, what are we sowing? (tweet)


rains of revival on the cracked desert soil of humanity. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” It is through prayer that we sow, cultivate the hard soil and reap a plentiful harvest. What we sow is what we shall reap. So then, let me ask, what are we sowing?

When the church begins to press in, laying hold of the promises of God, then we will finally come to the place of reaping God’s best. D.L. Moody once said, “The world has not yet seen what God can do through a person completely dedicated to Him.”

Will we stand in the gap before the Lord? Well, it is time that we answer that question with a thundering yes! This country is in need of a militant, praying church, possessing the land that the Lord has given us through tenacious prayer. Let me end with an inspiring story in history from David Shibleys’ book, A Force in the Earth.

“In 1806 a group of students at Williams College in Massachusetts sought refuge from a sudden rainstorm in a haystack. As the rain beat down, they turned their retreat into a prayer meeting. They asked God to use their lives. As they prayed, their


When the church begins to press in and lays hold of God’s promises, then we will reap God’s best.       (tweet)


faith rose to believe God could use them significantly to fulfill Christ’s great commission. When the rain subsided, they left with the rallying cry, “We can do it if we will!” This unobtrusive meeting went down in history as the Haystack Prayer Meeting. Today, this spontaneous prayer time is seen as the beginning of the mission Continue reading

My Stomach is Screaming like Eagles

Thankfulness - sunsetMy stomach was in turmoil as if there was a war going on within my most inner been. My mind began to be flooded with thoughts such as, “Was this really how I was suppose to be feeling”? Why would anyone put themselves through this agony anyway”? I was in Bible school and had been fasting for several days for the first time , along with a team who would be going on a mission’s trip together. If it would not have been for the powerful results and definite impact in peoples lives on this outreach. I would have probably never attempted fasting again, writing it off as a sadistic form of self-torture. Yet, God’s word reveals otherwise.

Fasting gets us in a place where we can be molded and shaped for the purposes of God. The Lord has a master plan for His people, and when we fast and pray, we are saying “yes” to God’s will. We are tuning into the realm of the Spirit.

In Joel 2:12 it says, “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” When we come before the Lord, we must come with all of our heart. We can’t come with a divided or a reserved heart. The Lord wants all of us or none of us. Jesus says in Matthew 22: 37, “You shall


When we fast, we are virtually saying we want God more than we want physical life    (tweet)


love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” When we fast and pray, it is basically a choice of willingly denying our flesh and its desires for the purpose of spiritual things.

A fast rightfully defined is virtually doing without food. We see when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness in Matthew 4:2 it says, “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” Jesus had not been eating food, as we see in Luke’s account, “He ate nothing.” Hunger pangs and the Continue reading

He Still Loves Me even when I Blow It

637685246Peter in his zeal blurts out “I will never be made to stumble”. Again moments later, in rebuttal to Jesus’ prophetic word in Matt 26:34-35, revealing that he would deny Him three times; Peter emphatically declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Strong words that came from love and a life that was transformed by the Master. As well, the other disciples followed in voicing their commitment and devotion to Jesus that historic night on the Mount of Olives not knowing exactly what would shortly transpire.

The city was doing construction on the sewer lines in front of my Aunt and Uncles house many years ago while they were keeping my siblings and me for a summer. My brother and I were at the young age where curiosity can make you do things you shouldn’t. I remember so vividly my uncle sternly saying, before he went to work that day, “Do not play around or get down into that construction hole”.   Well… even though we had made a oath and commitment that we would never do that we were overtaken and enticed with adventure. Being able to resist no longer, my brother lowered me into the hole later that day for a harmless look. Then at the sight of my uncle coming around the corner he ran and left me in the


Jesus still loves us even after we have made great commitments to Jesus and then failing Him and totally blowing it.     (tweet)


hole. The willow tree that conveniently hung over in my sight was a perfect place for my uncle to get a branch and proceed with one hand to help me out and wimped me all in the same motion.

More than the sting of the whooping was the pain of knowing I had failed in my oath and commitment that I had made to my uncle. The thought of disappointing him and possible losing his love was worse than any other pain I was feeling. It wasn’t until later that a valuable lesson was learned.

In comparison I can vaguely imagine the feeling of disappointment that Peter Continue reading

Embracing the very Purpose of God with Hope!

sunriseMy pager went off at 11:30pm with a message saying I needed to go to a room at the far end of the fourth floor. As a hospital chaplain you never know what kind of situation you will be walking into when the call comes in. In this case I was puzzled when I arrived to a dark empty room filled with an atmosphere of hopelessness that could be cut with a knife. There was absolutely no one in the hall or even near by. A matter of fact, it was a section of the floor that was not occupied other than this empty room with a deceased corpse in it. Needless to say I was confused and


If God had a refrigerator, your picture would definitely be on it!   –   (tweet)


wanted to make sense of this situation and answer the “why”. I began to research and try to pieced together what had happened only to get a more complete understanding a day later when a newspaper article had came out with some details.

The patriarch of a national family company who seemed to have a life of success, notoriety and material gain had fallen into the clutches of suicide. Being at the age that one would think would be delightful and full of enjoyment it was filled with hopelessness to the point of prematurely ending his journey. Unfortunately, this same story is repeated much to often. Many people go through life never really understanding purpose and grabbing ahold of what God thinks about them.

In Jer 29:11 we read God’s thoughts towards us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Did you hear that? God has good plans for you! He’s not up on a cloud somewhere with a hammer waiting to crush you. But has plans for your future filled with hope and goodness. He doesn’t look at you and think evil about you! Actually, the


Many people go through life never really understanding their purpose and grabbing ahold of what God thinks about them.   –   (tweet)


psalmist says in chapter139 of Psalms in verse 17-18, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand”. If God had a refrigerator, your picture would Continue reading

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Fight Vultures!

imagesNot only is the story of Abram fighting vultures away from his sacrifices captivating in Gen 15, but also has helped me in my walk with the Lord over the years. It demonstrates that we have a responsibility to keep our commitments to God as living sacrifices. This story in brief shows God revealing His promise to Abram through a covenant that both agree upon. Also in Deut. 7:9 Moses shares about God’s covenant, “Therefore know that … God (is) faithful … who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”.

Growing up we have all had childish promises and agreement as friends. Whether it’s a promise to be best friends forever or a promise to keep a secret we have experienced them. But, it’s not until we get older in our life’s journey that we really


Man has proven his inability to keep any agreement without God’s grace and empowerment.   (text)


understand how common covenants and promises between individuals have been throughout history. They were used for territories, peace treaties and passage rights through other lands. Today, we use them in our everyday lives, such as marriage, loans, jobs and etc. Even though most looked much different, all were based on the philosophy of a serious promise. They came with the agreement that if one side or both ever break the agreement it could bring severe consequences.

            In the scripture we see how God’s love for His people is portrayed through His unfolding of His purposes through the making of covenants to individuals through out the ages. Looking at the 9 covenants in scripture give us understanding that God who is the originator of His promises reveal that He is a covenant-making God. He has the right to set up the conditions in which man can enter into or maintain the covenant. He is also a covenant- keeping God. Once He makes covenant with us He will not Continue reading