Saturday, August 17, 2019

Vision Beyond

“The only limits are, as always, those of vision.” -James Broughton

Abram lived on his father’s land until he was 75 years old and presumably he would inherit it when his father died.  However, one day God told Abram that he would have to “go” to find the place that He would show him.  Abram’s father’s land was familiar and comfortable, but God wanted to take him to a place that was unknown and outside of his comfort zone.  Even though Abram could not physically see the Promised Land yet because he had never been there and he did not even know which direction to go in, God had opened the eyes his heart to be able to see this vision that He would give Abram.  In summary, he had a vision beyond his comfort zone and beyond what he could see.  Here are two lessons for us.  First, too often we settle for something familiar and comfortable because it is good enough, but like Abram, sometimes we have to be willing to set out on the unknown and outside of our comfort zones if we are going to pursue the greater life God is beckoning us to.  Second, we must have a vision for beyond what we can physically see, trusting God to lead us every step of the way by His Spirit as we pursue the Promised Land that He has called us to. 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


"There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers.  We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."  -Ronald Reagan

David was the first to kill a ten-foot giant Philistine named Goliath in battle.  Little did David know in that time that he would inspire a new generation of giant-killers after him.  Years later, David’s servants fought and killed the relatives of Goliath to lead Israel to victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 21).  Had David never become a giant-killer then his servants would never have become giant-killers either.  Likewise, standing up for what is right may feel like a lonely endeavor, but when we do so anyway in spite of the odds against us, we may be inspiring those after us to join the fight.  Let us pray today that we would have the courage of our convictions, doing exactly what God has called us to do so that we inspire this courage in others. 

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (Romans 8:31, NLT)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Making Small Opportunities Great

“Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.”-Orison Swett Marden

We often pray for the great opportunities that we want God to deliver on in the future as if whatever opportunities we have now are nowhere near as important.  We hope that capitalizing on great opportunities will bring the desired outcomes in our lives.  What if God wants us to make the most of the small opportunities that we already have?  Maybe we should not wait for God to give us great opportunities, but instead, we simply make the most of the opportunities that we already have—whether it be the job that we currently working, the resources we have, or the family we were blessed to be born into—there are opportunities for greatness every day if we simply take time to notice and capitalize on them.  Let us prayerfully go to God today to ask Him to help us make the most of every opportunity, even small ones, to make them great.

The master said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!' (Matt 25:23, NLT)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

No Rollover Minutes

 How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'.  –Martin Luther

Before my cell phone company offered unlimited data and minutes plans, they used to offer rollover plans so that minutes that I did not use each month could be used the next month.  Unfortunately, real time does not work like rollover minutes because you cannot preserve any moment for a more suitable time in the future.  If you are one that says, “I will live for God later after I have my fun,” you may not get the chance.  Perhaps you keep telling yourself that you will spend more time with your kids, but the hard truth is that they will grow up and you will not get this time with them back.  Maybe you say that you want to start a business, get into shape, write a book, go back to school, or run for office, but you push your dream off for another day, and then weeks and months go by, and soon it has been years.  May the prayer of your heart be Ephesians 5:16, “Redeeming the time,” so that we make the most of the very short time that we have on this earth. 

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12, ESV). 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Staying in Awe of Jesus

"There is no question that faith is a key element in effective prayer.  On one occasion, Jesus could not do many miracles in a certain place because of the unbelief of the people there." -Greg Laurie

When Jesus began teaching in his hometown, He taught the people as He had in every other place He had been, only these people treated Him as something commonplace and familiar.  They had known Jesus as a little boy and then, therefore, they were not in awe of Him as so many others had been.  Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town” (Mark 6:4).  Consequently, Jesus performed no miracles there.  The people there didn’t recognize that as Jesus entered into His ministry at 30 He’d been empowered from on high to teach the gospel and perform miracles.  The thing about those people is that many of them probably were not bad people, but they nevertheless missed out on God’s favor and blessings.  Over time in our relationships with God, we too can begin to pray routine and faithless prayers to a God that we are treating as commonplace and familiar.  The lesson for those people in Jesus’s hometown is true for me and you: if we want to see Jesus do the miraculous in our lives then we must stay in constant awe of an all-powerful God that can do anything.  

Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23, NIV). 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Nothing is Impossible

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” –Thomas Aquinas

In the natural we can only do what is possible, however, faith requires an expectation that God can supernaturally do what is otherwise impossible. We must remember that nothing is too hard for God.  Just a little bit of faith can change both your outlook for the day and long-term outcome of a trial.  Our God can mend any wound, heal any disease, provide for any financial need, restore broken relationships, and perform any miracle.  We can call on God for anything, so let’s go to Him with expectation for a miracle.  Let us pray today that we would have faith in God to truly believe Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37, ESV). 

I am the LORD, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27, ESV). 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Preparation and God's Providence

“I will study and prepare myself, and someday my chance will come.” -Abraham Lincoln

To summarize this story of David and Goliath as an underdog story, as though David were somehow lucky or that he was actually a better fighter than Goliath, would dismiss the real moral of this story.  In actuality, the God of Israel orchestrated every event in David’s life to lead him to the moment which he would face Goliath.  God had allowed David to first face a lion and then a bear to fine hone his slingshot ability, and God had David’s father send him to the battlefield to give his brothers food, and God stirred King Saul’s heart to allow David to fight this battle.  David had in fact prepared for the fight by becoming an expert slinger, but it was only by God’s providence that the fight ever happened because it is God that controls the course of world events and Who tears down and sets up kings (Daniel 2:21).  David could never have calculated the sequence of events that made him instantly famous and eventually king of Israel, it was always all God in his providence.  Here’s the lesson for us: we can do everything in our power to set ourselves up for success, but ultimately the victory belongs to God.  Just as God orchestrated the events in David’s life, He also does this in ours.  Today, let’s pray that we would be people that would be prepared for the day of battle but also that we wouldn’t hesitate to give God all of the glory due to Him for the victory. 

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD (Proverbs 21:31, NLT).