Friday, February 27, 2015


"I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection...." - Philippians 3:10
 If I asked you the purpose for which God made you, what might you say? You might give a lot of answers that required some action on your part. However, the simplest answer to that question relates to one primary thing: fellowship. The most important thing God desires from us today is to have a deep and intimate fellowship with each of us. The apostle Paul said he wanted to know Christ, and by knowing Christ he could experience the power of His resurrection. I find this to be the hardest thing for many of us workplace believers to do. So often it is much easier to be busy with the urgent (or even Christian) activity than spending quiet moments before the Lord. Before we realize it, days have passed since our last quiet time with Jesus. Jesus understood how important quiet moments were with the Father. "After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone" (Mt. 14:23). The more mature I become in my relationship with the Lord, the more precious this time becomes to me. It is a time I look forward to almost daily. It offers me a time to reflect, to share my concerns with my Lord, and to hear Him speak. In the last few years I have begun prayer walks, which accomplish three things: fellowship, prayer, and exercise. It has changed my prayer life. I have come to understand that Jesus views us as His friend and He wants to spend time with us. We are depriving Him of His time when we put Him aside for the urgent. An interesting thing happens when we make prayer a priority: Urgent things seem to wane as we focus on Him. He makes all these other things fall into place. Are you taking the time to get to know Him today?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BUT MASTER..........

Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets" (Luke 5:5).
 Have you ever argued with God? One of the first sermons Jesus ever gave was from a boat. It was Simon Peter's boat. Jesus used a businessman's business to preach the Gospel. However, Peter had to first make his business available to the Master. When he did, something wonderful happened to his business. You see, Peter's fishing business was in a slump. They had just fished all night and caught nothing. Nevertheless, Peter made his boat available to Jesus to use as He wished. Jesus used it to preach to the multitudes. After Jesus used Peter's boat for His purposes Jesus did something interesting for Peter. He blessed his business. However, Peter almost missed the blessing because he began to argue with Jesus. Peter was looking at the market conditions instead of the instruction of Jesus. Something inside of him made him reconsider Jesus' instruction. Jesus rewarded his obedience. "When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink?" (Luke 5:6-7). We see a number of Kingdom principles we can apply in our work lives in this story. 1) We must be willing to let God use our work life for His purposes. 2) We must not look at circumstances and argue with Jesus when His instruction seems to contradict what we have seen or experienced already. 3) We must obey the Lord. When we obey the Lord we might just see Jesus use us for His glory and bless our obedience.

Monday, February 23, 2015


"...Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you." - Zechariah 8:23
 Few men of God have become extraordinary people of faith without the influence of mentors. A mentor is one who takes responsibility for the spiritual and, sometimes, physical care of another. It requires a commitment from the teacher and the student. Elijah mentored Elisha. Elisha became one of the greatest prophets in the entire Bible. One of the primary reasons for this was Elisha's hunger. Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah's spirit. It was this hunger that drove Elisha to be sold out to God's purposes for his life. I have been privileged to have had many mentors throughout my spiritual life. In each stage of my maturity, God brought new mentors who had unique gifts that the previous mentor did not have. God has given me the hunger to desire a double portion of those positive attributes of my mentors. This desire is sorely missing among many today. I fail to see the hunger among many who could be used greatly in the Kingdom. Instead, the cares of this world distract them. It is an attitude of a la carte versus an attitude of pressing in to the full measure of what God might have for them. Who are the people of God He has placed in your life? Are you learning from them? Are you seeking a double portion of their anointing? What prevents you from gaining from their wisdom and experience? God may have brought them into your life to prepare you to be a man or woman of God with great anointing. However, there is a time of training and waiting to prove out your own faith. Ask God today if there is someone He would have you mentor or be mentored by.

Friday, February 20, 2015


"They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword." - 2 Samuel 1:12
 How would you respond if you heard something bad happened to someone who had been trying to cut off your head for several years? King Saul had been seeking to kill David for many years before Saul was thrust into battle against the Amalekites. In this final battle, a sword killed Saul. When the news reached David, instead of rejoicing that his enemy was no longer a problem for him, he responded in a totally different manner. He mourned. Imagine that; he mourned for the one who sought to kill him. This is a sign of one who can look past an individual who is the source of pain and consider how God views him. God looks on that individual and sees his needs and knows why he responds the way he does. When we begin to see people as God does, we'll no longer look at them as enemies, but as souls in need of grace. This is how Jesus could give of His life for us. He saw our great need, not what we did to Him. When someone wrongs you, do you seek to retaliate, or do you pray to understand the need behind the offender's actions? For several years a person was a source of constant pain and retaliation toward me. There was nothing I could do to change it. God allowed me to go beyond the person's actions to understand what was the source of his need. When I gained that understanding, God gave me a picture of this person inside a prison cell and in bondage. This bondage made him respond to life in this way. I was able to pray for him and genuinely love him in spite of the fact that he persecuted me. This is the kind of love Jesus wants us to have when He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who spitefully use us. I believe God does a special work of grace in those who go beyond the realm of normal response to persecution. He brings us to a level of grace we never thought possible. Describing how God worked in Joseph's life, Francis Frangipane reveals what happens when we tap into this grace: God made him fruitful in the very things that afflicted him. In the land of your affliction, in your battle, is the place where God will make you fruitful. Consider, even now, the area of greatest affliction in your life. In that area, God will make you fruitful in such a way that your heart will be fully satisfied, and God's heart fully glorified. God has not promised to keep us from valleys and sufferings, but to make us fruitful in them. [Francis Frangipane, Place of Immunity (Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Arrow Publications, 1996), 93]

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


O LORD, you have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O LORD."-(Ps 139:1-4).

Your purpose in life is chosen by God. It is not negotiable. It is like calling water wet-there is no changing that fact, and there's no changing God's purpose for your life. While you may not fulfill the purpose for which you were made, you still have a purpose that God intends for you to fulfill. This is your blueprint from God. In the same way that He had a specific purpose in mind for Jesus when He sent Him to the earth, He has a specific purpose in mind for your life.
This doesn't mean, however, that there is one highly specific niche for you to fill and that if you miss it, too bad. It is my belief that you can achieve your purpose in many different and creative ways. This should take the pressure off. You won't throw your entire life off course by choosing the wrong college, job or mate. God is much bigger than any miscalculation or disobedience on your part. "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me" (Ps. 138:8). Isn't that comforting to know?
Defining your purpose will help you to determine the activities that you should be involved in. Like Jesus, you should not involve yourself in activities that contradict His purpose for your existence. Jesus? purpose was to do the will of the Father and become the salvation for mankind.
Each of us must ask why we are involved in an activity. Is it a God-activity, or just a good activity? Remember, Jesus only did something if He saw the Father doing it, and He was able to see what His Father was doing because of His intimate relationship with Him.
Today, take steps to insure you are aligned with your purpose.

Monday, February 16, 2015


"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." - 2 Corinthians 10:4

One of the great discoveries I made in later years in my walk with God has to do with living in victory over generational strongholds. The Bible speaks of punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations. (See Exodus 20:5.) The only way out of living under the curses of generational strongholds is to acknowledge them before the Father and repent of their reign in our lives. This breaks the curse's future effects. A stronghold is a fortress of thoughts that controls and influences our attitudes. They color how we view certain situations, circumstances, or people. When these thoughts and activities become habitual, we allow a spiritual fortress to be built around us. We become so used to responding to the "voice" of that spirit, that its abode in us is secure. All of this happens on a subconscious level. As a businessman, I discovered that I had been influenced by a generational stronghold of insecurity and fear that was manifested in control. This subconscious fear motivated me to become a workaholic, to seek recognition through activities, to control others' behavior to avoid failure, and to have a relationship with God that was activity-based instead of relationally-based. One day God brought about a number of catastrophic events that forced me to look at what was behind these events. I found that the influence of these strongholds was at the core of these symptoms. The Bible speaks of this war on our souls. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete (2 Corinthians 10:3,5-6). The steps to freedom for me came when someone shared that these were sins that I was harboring, and in order to walk free of their influence, I needed to repent of them. It was through the power of the cross that I no longer needed to be subjugated by their presence. Once I took this step, I began to walk free of their influences. Besides salvation, this became the most important discovery in my entire Christian walk. My relationship to Christ changed immediately. I began to hear God's voice. I began to trust Christ in areas I never thought possible. I could truly experience the love of Christ for the first time. This knowledge helped me in business as well. One day I was in the middle of a contract negotiation with another Christian businessman. A lawyer had jumped in the middle of the negotiation. My friend began to surface many old feelings that were a source of pain from his past. When I perceived that a stronghold of insecurity and fear was at the core of his response, I interrupted his argumentative discussion with me and said with a very forceful tone, "I am no longer going to listen to the spirit of insecurity that is speaking through you right now! If you don't refrain from this, I am going to leave!" My friend was taken back. He looked at me quite startled. After a few moments, he agreed with my diagnosis. We talked through what he was feeling and completed our negotiation without further incident. What are the true motivations of your heart? Have you ever looked deeply at these motivations? You might find that these subconscious motivations may be preventing you from experiencing the fullness of Christ in your life. Ask Him to reveal these and then repent of their influences.

Friday, February 13, 2015


"He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him." - John 14:21b

We live in a day of 12-step programs for this, four points to success for that, and all forms of programmed means of becoming successful. Have you ever wondered how you can guarantee a greater revelation of Jesus in your life? Jesus tells us how this can be done. It is all tied to obedience. In John, He tells us the following: "Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him" (Jn. 14:21). The key here is in the last three words. He will show Himself to us because of our loving Him through our obedience. The more obedient we become, the more revelation of His presence we will feel in our life. Jeremiah tells us, "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jer. 33:3). Many Christians wonder why they cannot hear or sense God's presence in their life. It is because they do not seek Him with a whole heart, and they are not obedient to the things He has asked. God does not show us the next move until we are obedient to the first thing He has spoken to us. It is a progressive process. He entrusts the small things to us first, then moves us to the larger. I was like many today who are so focused on seeking the activity of God rather than seeking God Himself. Hebrews tells us that God rewards those who diligently seek Him. In the Old Testament we are told, "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deut. 4:29). I realized if I was going to hear God's voice, I had to make time to seek Him and hear Him. I had to spend focused time alone reading, studying, and seeking His face only. Jesus set the model for this when He often left the crowds to be alone and seek His heavenly Father. I also had to tune my "radio" to His frequency. Static comes into that frequency when I am disobedient. My level of seeking determines the power of my "radio" to reach Him. The more I seek Him, the more I hear Him. Seek the Lord today so that you may be empowered by His presence.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


"Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart" (Ps 36:10).
 Someone once said, "Success is when those who know you the best are those who love you the most." Years ago a self-assessment tool was developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram called the Johari window. The Johari Window helps us realize where we are in our ability to know who we are and for others to know who we are. Real transparency in communication takes place when those we associate with us know who we are after we discover who we really are. See if you can identify what category you might fall among these four:
Transparent Life The transparent life is the life we should desire. I know who I am and others know me. There is nothing hidden. I have come to know who I am as an individual and basically people get what they see in me. 
Bull-In-The-China Shop This person is blinded to the things that others recognize about him. The solution to becoming a transparent person is to get feedback from those around us about the blind spots in our personality. We must ask for the feedback and be willing to respond to their input. Aloof/Hidden Secrets This person lives in a secret world. They don't allow others to know about themselves. They know themselves but are fearful of letting others know. Those around them do not know them either. What do others really know about you? Have you allowed yourself to get close enough to others to share who you really are inside?
Hidden Potential This is a combination of Bull-In-A-China Shop and Aloof/Hidden Secrets. It is the saddest of all conditions. These people don't know themselves and others don't know them either. This means both parties have to invest the energy to communicate and get feedback from one another. How about you? Why not take a step to find out who you really are in the eyes of others. It could change your life.

Monday, February 9, 2015


"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." - Psalm 126:5
 Psalm 126 describes an interesting process that goes against our natural tendencies when we are taken into a difficult period in our lives. Whenever we are hurled into a crisis that brings tears, our tendency is to retreat or recoil in fear and hurt. However, there is a better way that God tells us to handle such times of travail. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. "He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him" (Ps. 126:5-6). God is telling us that if we will do what is unnatural for us in these circumstances, He will make sure that what we sow in tears will return in joy. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned when faced with difficult circumstances. Rather than sit back and allow self-pity and discouragement to consume us, we should plant seed during this time. Reach out to a person who needs a friend. Invest in the life of another. See where you can be a blessing to someone. Give of yourself. The psalmist acknowledges that we are doing this while we are in our pain. However, during this time we are to sow seed. That seed will return to us in another form. Here is what will happen when we do this. "He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." We will receive joy and fruit from the seed that we plant during this time. Sheaves represent the fruit of a harvest. We will actually get a harvest from this seed. "You must not let the circumstances destroy you! Too many in the Kingdom are counting on you to come through this because of the calling on your life!" Those were the words spoken to me by a friend one time when I was in the midst of a very difficult business and personal circumstance that was threatening to destroy me emotionally. This person saw what God was doing and the fruit that God wanted to bring from these circumstances. Sometimes we need others around us to push us through the difficult times. If you find yourself in a difficult place today, see where you can sow some seed. Soon you will be reaping songs of joy.

Friday, February 6, 2015


..."My grace is sufficient for you...." - 2 Corinthians 12:9
 If you are older than 35, you may recall the early days of the space program. I remember the early spacecraft launch with John Glenn. One of the most exciting and tense moments of his return to earth was his reentry to the earth's atmosphere. I recall the diagram on television of the heat shield on the capsule that had to withstand incredible temperatures to avoid complete destruction. There was a blackout period for several minutes in which mission control had no radio contact. He was in the "black hole." It was a tense time. Either he would make it through, or the spacecraft would burn up in the atmosphere. There were several minutes of silence that seemed like an eternity. Then, mission control shouted with joy when they reestablished contact with the spacecraft. It was a time of rejoicing. Have you ever had a time when you were in a spiritual black hole in your life? I have. The pressure was unbearable. No sense of God's presence. No sense of anything going on around me. God was about as far away as the man in the moon - at least from my perspective. I think every Christian who is called to make a significant difference in his world experiences times like these. These are the times when we question the reality of God, the love of God, the personal care of God. And He demonstrates to us that He was there all the time. These are "faith experiences" that God does in every person who is called to a higher level of relationship with Him. These times are needful in order to know that we have the "heat shield" that can withstand the incredible heat that comes when we follow Him with a whole heart - a heart that is radical in a commitment to fully follow His ways. Elisha had that spirit. He slaughtered his 12 oxen and burned his plowing equipment so that he would not have the opportunity to return to anything if God didn't come through (see 1 Kings 19:21). The apostle Paul asked God to remove the heat from his own life one time. God's answer was not what he wanted to hear. But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP) How's your heat shield today? Can it withstand the heat that would want to burn up everything in your life not based in Him? Christ said, "My grace is sufficient." Is that really true in your life? Let His grace be your shield today.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands" (2 John 6).
 A distinguished Indian evangelist named Sadhu Chellappa was on a mission trip to a village north of Madras, when in the middle of the night he suddenly sensed God speaking to him: "Leave this house quickly and run away!" Not exactly a convenient thing to do. But Chellappa was accustomed to accepting even strange instructions from the Lord without debate, so he dressed quickly and ran into the darkness. After a while, he was in open country. As he passed beneath a large tree, he felt God tell him, "Stay here and start to preach!" Now, even for an experienced evangelist, this was puzzling--because there was no one to be seen. Why did God want him to preach to an empty field in the middle of the night? But he stopped under the tree and began to preach the gospel. Finally, he reached the point at which he called on his unseen listeners to give their lives to Jesus. He was surprised to hear a voice from the top of the tree and see a man climb down, crying. The man tearfully gave his life to Jesus. When Chellappa asked why he was in a tree out in the middle of nowhere, the man admitted, "I came out here to hang myself." How is your obedience quotient? God calls us to be obedient to that small voice inside that can direct us to sometimes do strange things. Jesus was obedient in ALL things. "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Rom 5:19). God can do exceedingly great things through one man or woman who is willing to be obedient to God's voice. Ask for His grace today to be obedient to His voice.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20
 A friend of mine tells the story of an encounter he had with a very important government official - the head of state for a country. In the course of some meetings with my friend, the official came up to him and said, "I perceive that there is a difference between you and me. Is it because I come from a different denomination?" My friend began to explain why there was a difference. "If you were to come to my home, I would invite you in as an honored guest. As my guest, you would enjoy everything I had in my home. However, you would still be a guest. You would not have the keys to the home, and your authority in that home would be merely as a guest. However, if I said to you that I am turning over my home to you and you now have the keys to my home, I would be your servant." My friend continued, "This is the difference between you and me. You have merely invited Jesus into your home as a guest. I have given Jesus the keys to my home [heart] and I am his servant." "How can I do this too?" the man replied. "All you have to do is invite Him in as the new owner." The man did this and is now allowing Jesus to rule and reign in every detail of his life. So often many of us enter a relationship with God that brings us salvation. This is the gospel of salvation. But what God really desires for us is to experience the gospel of the Kingdom. He wants us to experience His power and presence every day of our lives and to see His hand at work in us. This only happens when we give Him the key to our life; He must be more than an honored guest.