Archive for the Christ Category

At Your Word – I Will – Part 1

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Expectation, Family, God's Will, God's Word, Jesus, Luke, Trust with tags , , , on January 28, 2011 by Lee

I actually outlined the next two post a few weeks back – I am finally getting around to writing them.

My family and I are on a journey through the Gospels over the next 40 days. (Our pastor at Paul Ann Baptist has challenged the congregation to read through the Gospels in 40 days.) We are a couple of days behind – but we are having a good time doing it – at least I am anyway.

A couple of weeks back during his sermon, our pastor called our attention to Luke 5.

Jesus has been teaching the people, the crowd begins to press in on him to “hear the word of God.” (Luke 5:1). Two boats are near by, He (Jesus) hops into one of the boats (the one belonging to a fisherman named Simon Peter). He asked Simon to push him out a little from the land. Jesus sits down and begins to teach the people.

Simon and other fishermen were near cleaning their nets from a previous fishing effort. Jesus, “when he had finished speaking” says to Simon. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4).

Jesus request of Simon the use his boat for the sermon of the day so to speak and then ‘invites’ Simon to go fishing in his own boat. Talk about inviting yourself over!

But it’s Simon’s response I find interesting. Luke 5:5 says, “And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Simon, at first, does what I do when I really don’t want to do something – protest. “We toiled all night.”

Ever offer your protest or excuse to God to his request of you. ‘I already tried that God.’ ‘That will never work.’ ‘I’m tired.’ ‘I’m too busy.’ ‘They won’t listen to me.’ ‘I don’t have the answers.’ We have a ton of them – excuses we use to justify our unwillingness to trust God “at his word.”

God calls us to many things specifically, but two things always – to love Him and to love others. If what we do fits into one of those two commands then we should be on solid footing.

But I find myself offering excuses and not stepping up to God’s command on me way too often.

However, Simon steps up and responds with, “I will.” Matter of fact, his statement is, “but at your word I will.” We don’t know for sure – but I’m willing to bet Simon was tired (from the earlier fishing excursion) and a bit frustrated (Jesus wanting to fish after the failed excursion and the nets were cleaned). But because Jesus requested so Simon said yes.

Simon exhibited a level of trust and expectation in his response to Jesus. Do you trust and expect God to do what He says He will do?

What do you think? (Part 2 – Later)

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Life is to be lived…

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Humility, Jesus, Philippians with tags , , , on January 14, 2011 by Lee

A personal summary of Philippians 2

Life is to be lived at the will and for the glory of God the Father. Who through His Son Jesus, exemplified humble servanthood through the human experience of birth, life and death. And demonstrated sovereign power through the glorification of Jesus by resurrection from death to life on the throne as King of all kings. Life is to be lived with a selfless spirit toward others with the like mind of the Servant King – Jesus. I am to walk in humility seeking the interest, the good, and the well-being of others without complaint in order to stand apart from a world of people who live completely opposite so that the Servant King will receive glory.

Mercy not Sacrifice?

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Family, Gospel, Matthew, Mercy, Sacrifice with tags , , , , on January 9, 2011 by Lee

The pastor of our church has challenged the congregation to journey with him through the gospels. So over the next 40 days we are striving to read through all four gospels. We (the Floyd 4) have been participating as a family. It has been a lot of fun reading and discussing together as a family. To see the M&M’s (my kiddos) interact with God’s word is really something.

Some nights go better than others. (Kids are not always so eager and honestly I don’t always have the energy by the end of the evening.) But most nights the attitude and spirit is good.

We are actually a day behind – but tonight we read Matthew 11-12. For the second time thus far in the book we have come across Jesus saying, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” (He states it in Matt. 9:13;12:8).

I found the statement odd at first. Why would Jesus not want us to sacrifice? Especially, when the implication and command to do so is found in so many places in scripture. But with closer examination we can see what Jesus is getting at.

Jesus is quoting Hosea 6:6, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (ESV). (The word ‘steadfast love’ can also be translated mercy.) The ‘sacrifice’ referred to by Jesus is the religious ceremony and observations of the Pharisees (religious). They made a life of doing this and not doing that and observing the sabbath – a very religious, do the right thing kind of life.

However, their religious observance proved to be a cataract on their eyes – preventing them from seeing what was really important. The showing of mercy. The practice of good not just the appearance of goodness. The meeting of needs not obligations. And the practice of principles and convictions not the reading of the rules.

God desires to see the extension of mercy from His follows to those in need of mercy. The practice of our faith is not found in the Bible study, the church going, worship singing, community building or even our praying. The practice of faith is found when our doing of the above results in the pursuit and practice of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control towards those we come into contact with each day.

Being more concerned about church attendance/participation than about our neighbor puts us the road to Pharisaical success. To show mercy puts us in a place of redemption. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matt. 5:7 (ESV).

Lord help me be a person of mercy towards others – not just a man professing religion.

God is at work, right?

Posted in Christ, Christianity, Devotional Thought, Faith, God's Will, Obedience, Trust with tags , , on July 25, 2009 by Lee

God is at work. A statement I am sure many who claim a belief in God would agree with most of the time. It is one I believe in whole-heartedly. Or do I?

It is easy to believe when I hear the story of a friend who returns from a mission trip or conference. The experience has been life changing and the results of the trip are amazing. This gives proof to God being at work, right?

Here are some examples for me this week. A friend shares about the things God has been teaching him over the last few weeks as he read and studied his Bible. Another friend calls and shares about the amazing mission trip she has been on and gave specific examples of what God did during her visit. Or how about this example: A person post on facebook how God spoke to him this week through the message of his pastor. Are these not proof to the reality that God is at work? I would have to say YES, it is!

But today I find myself asking, is God only at work in the villages we visit in Africa or in any location we take a mission trip? Is he only at work in the heart of the one who reads and studies the Bible? Is God only at work in the midst of those who hear His word being expounded from a pulpit or in a small group meeting? I would have to say, no. No, He is not?

If I really believe God is at work I have to believe He is possibly working in the hearts of people I randomly meet by “chance” or mere “circumstance?” Could God be at work in the heart of the girl who checked out my groceries at the store today? Could God be working in the heart of the guy who helped me find the auto part I needed? What about the person who served me my sweat tea today, is God working in Him? Or what about the people who worked with my kids this month in the summer program they participated in? Or how about the school teachers my children interacted with this past school year? Is God working in their life? How about my vet, my doctor, co-workers or even my own family? Could God be up to something in their hearts? I would say the odds are pretty good – He is.

I think the question needs to change. It’s not “is the hand of God working?” It should be “how and where is the hand of God working?” I don’t know of every place God is at work – only He knows. But I can trust He is at work drawing men and women to himself. I can trust I have been commissioned by God to go to the ends of the earth and all points in between making disciples in God’s name and under His authority. The reality of His hand moving and the commission of going given makes the odds pretty good God is at work in the hearts of those I will come into contact with each day I am given to live. Therefore, my actions need to scream, “GOD IS AT WORK!”

Christmas loves and memories

Posted in Christ, Christmas, Devotional Thought, Family with tags , , on December 10, 2008 by Lee

christmas-black-and-white-clipart-free-christmas-tree-clipart-christmas-tree-with-present-black-and-white-clip-art-1 While sitting at the BSM one evening listening to Christmas music (waiting for the FBS Christmas party to begin) my mind begin to wander upon the many things I love about this time of year. It is hard to put my finger on the exact reason why I enjoy this time of year so much. So I thought I would write a post on some of my loves and memories of Christmas.

Things I love about Christmas
– Love Christmas music
– Christmas parties
– Christmas trees
– Christmas lights & decorations
– Thinking about Christmas memories
– Creating some Christmas memories
– Christmas movies (old classics and new soon to be classics)
– Christmas smells
– Work slows down and allows some reflection.
– FUDGE!!!!
– Cheese balls & crackers
– Cooler weather (I would love to see it snow)
– Extra time with family
– Getting to cook Christmas lunch or dinner
– Watching kids open their presents
– College Football – BOWL GAMES!!
– Christmas Eve Service

Most of the loves above are associated with childhood memories. If truth be told, my favorite memories of childhood are surrounded by Christmas. My favorite Christmas past times were watching Christmas movies like “Rudolph the Red Nose Rain Deer”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “Santa Clause” and “Frosty the Snow Man”. (Shhhh – I still like watching those shows.) Now I would have to add “Polar Express”, “Its A Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas.” charliebrowntree

I remember decorating our Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, and on many nights hoping in the car as a family and driving around town to look at Christmas lights. I remember Christmas dinners at my Grandparent’s house and playing with my aunts, uncles and cousins.

I can remember many a gift from Santa Clause. My first camera. It was a Kodak instant. (One of those you shoot and it develops the picture on paper in about 10 seconds.) My first pictures were of my mom and dad being abruptly awoken by the blinding flash of the camera. Sleepy eyed, frowned faces of your parents make great Kodak moments. Took me a while to get off the naughty list after that one.

Another year I received my first hand-held video game. It was a baseball game. It had about 4 buttons and was basically a series of small lights that lit up to signify the different aspects of the game. Old school stuff. My Buck Rogers action figure was another favorite. (Google it if you are clueless about Buck Rogers.)

buck-rogers

As a young kid I would always be the first one up – sneak into the living room where all the Santa “goods” were and would just sit there. I would sit and stair at the tree and all the presents. Not touching a single thing, I would sit and just enjoy the silence, the beauty and the sense of security I would feel in that moment. (I know – weird for a small kid to do. But that is what I did.)

I have another memory. I think I was in the 8th grade. A friend of mine and myself some how ended up at the local Methodist church. We had a couple of friends (girls) who where playing in the church Christmas program. We went to hear them play. We were sitting close to the front and were talking to the two friends before the program began. The pastor soon came over and moved us from our priceless front row seats to another area of the sanctuary. I guess he saw our true motives for being there. I am sure having two teenage boys voluntarily sitting on the front row was a dead give a way. At least he said Merry Christmas.

sheet-music We settled in to our newly assigned seats and the program began. I sat listening to the music and the Christmas story unfolded through dramatic reading. There was nothing very profound shared on this night. But I do remember sitting there and having a very warm, comforting feeling come over me. It was a real sense of peace and security and great joy. I think it was one of my first real spiritual experiences in my life.

I am not exactly sure – but everyone of those memories are tired to an experience of warmth, comfort, peace, security and joy. I think maybe that is why they have stayed with me all these years.

I’m in my 38th Christmas this year (it hurts to say that). I have received and given all kinds of gifts. I remember many of them – not because of the gift itself. But because of what it was associated with that year. Our Christmases are always associated with something. What will Christmas be associated with for you this year?

The greatest gift ever given was given to provide comfort, peace, and security in a climate that is in many ways the direct opposite. Most importantly the Gift provides salvation from the temporal to the eternal.

I remember in those small moments of peace, warmth and security never wanting the feeling to go a way. Every Christmas I find myself in small ways looking for them again. What great joy comes in knowing they are found in Christ Jesus. They can be found for eternity.

This season my family and I will strive to enjoy the lights, the movies, the hot chocolate, the Santa “goods” and the great music. But I pray we can rejoice in the gift that is Jesus. For he is Christ the Lord!

Interesting Post

Posted in Christ, Culture, Male Leadership, Mentions of other Post on May 25, 2007 by Lee

I frequent a handfull of blogs through the week. Most of them you can see listed on the right side of the blog. Here are a couple of post I found interesting from this week.

Justin Taylor is blogging the Gospel Coalition. His post today on the break out session he attended is very good. You can find this post HERE. Be sure and check out some of his other post as well.

InternetMonk as an interesting take on male leadership. You can read it HERE.