Do you believe in magic?

When my kids were young (think 4 or 5 years old), I could do magic tricks easily. Pulling quarters out of ears or making a penny disappear were standard. Throw in a few cards tricks and they would be amazed.

magic-tricks

As an adult, I enjoy a good magic show. It amazes me how these magicians can make big things disappear! How does a helicopter vanish into thin air!?!?

But all of that is just slight-of-hand or misdirection. The helicopter does not really vanish.

The Word – Magic

The Worth – God is magic. No, not Harry Potter magic or Gandalf the Grey type stuff. He really can make stuff disappear!

magician

If you have not read the post “What do you want?”, please click here. It will give you a context that will make more sense when reading this post.

In that post, I had written a line near the end;

He took action so we can take action.

Let me unpack that a little more.

2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

John 1 tells us to “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

This is God doing magic! He took away the sin of the world. He made it disappear! The action that God took was to make it possible for us to be sinless. We now can become the righteousness of God!

He loved us so much and was longing to be connected with us again. He wanted us so much that he took His son and used Him to take away our sin.

When I was 16, I got my first speeding ticket. This was 1989 so it probably was not too much of a fine. It was more embarrassing because I had three friends in the car with me!

I broke the law and deserved to pay the fine. But then my dad performed a magic trick.

He told that he would pay for the first one. He paid my ticket. That was both merciful and gracious all in one simple act.

God did a magic trick 2000 years ago. Jesus became our sin. See Isaiah 53:6

cross bridge

The Work – This part takes faith.

Understand that Jesus is the way back to God.

Jesus also took our sin upon Him.

Our part is to accept that payment. Just like my dad paying my speeding fine, we can accept this gift.

We can now live our life because of what has already been done.

Stop trying to earn salvation and enjoy the magic that God has performed!

Live to reflect your righteousness!

After all, God is not going to bring back your sin.

You are free. Go out and live it!

 

Am I being productive enough?

If you have read any of my posts for 2017, you have seen the pattern. This post is going to be a word that starts with the letter K.

If you have done the math, 26 letters in the alphabet translates to one post every two weeks. That would get me through the alphabet and 2017 at the same time.

If you have figured it out, based on the schedule of one post every two weeks, then you know that I should be on the letter P! I am a slacker!

So I ask myself this question, “Am I being productive enough?”

In so many situations, we think we need to be ‘productive enough’ to succeed.

Perhaps these thoughts have wormed their way into your mind:

Did I do all I could? 

If I stay one more hour…

I need to make more money…

I feel so lazy!

I don’t deserve that…

  • promotion
  • raise
  • new job
  • woman
  • man
  • blessing
  • __________

…because I have not earned it. 

That list could go on a lot longer!

Why do we have this mentality that life is ‘works’ based?

I think we I can answer that question.

light bulb moment

We work because we don’t trust.

The Word – Kinetic

The Worth – We need to start with a quick and easy science lesson. This is physics 101.

There are two types of energy: Potential and Kinetic

Potential energy is stored energy. Kinetic energy is moving energy.

Potential-and-kinetic-energy

In the diagram, the ball is filled with potential energy because it is not moving.

When released, the ball is now falling (moving). It is now kinetic energy.

Here is where science and God meet.

God is always moving. He is kinetic energy. We can’t always see it. And because we can’t see something we tend to not trust it.

The Work – 

I got married at the age of 26. There were many years of asking God why He had not provided my wife. He was moving and preparing me even though I did not see it.

I used to be addicted to pornography. God was moving that whole time even though I was stuck. Now I can help others who are stuck in sin. Thank you Lord!

I was called into the ministry (specifically, March of 1990). Even today, there are times when I wonder about how to live out that calling. You can bet that God is still moving.

These are the biggest examples of my life. What about your life?

In what area is God moving even though you don’t see it?

Isaiah 55:8-11 give insight to our kinetic God.

Genesis 37-50 recounts the wonderful story of Joseph. God was certainly moving then.

Even when Jesus was in the grave, God was moving. Do you believe that God has, still is, and will continue to move in your life?

So start trusting God today. Trust Him because He is kinetic!

 

 

White Blood Cells

***Warning: Graphic image in this post***

4,500-10,000. That is the normal range for a white blood cell count per microliter.

white-blood-cell

But isn’t blood red? Exactly what you were thinking, right? No worries, I am not getting into deep scientific stuff here. I’d be in over my head!

I just want to explore the reason white blood cells exist and how that can be encouraging to someone who wants to follow Jesus.

The main purpose for white blood cells is to fight infection. Bacteria, germs, and viruses that invade the body are attacked by the white blood cells.

If all goes well, the infection is eradicated. If not, sickness will follow.

wbc-attacks-virus

The blood that flows in our bodies has fighting power. Healing power.

It is amazing to know that God created our bodies with this inherent ability!

With that in mind, read Isaiah 53:4-5,

“4Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

This passage has the title of Suffering Servant. I feel that it is describing Jesus even though is was written hundreds of years before he was alive!

Please read that last sentence again. By his wounds we are healed. His wounds came from the torture and crucifixion that led to his death. Scourging. Whipping. Nailing. Cutting. Stabbing. The blood of Jesus flowed that day.

jesus-on-the-cross

And now we can have healing. Primarily healing from sin. But secondly, from disease.

Having my sins removed (think white blood cells eradicating a virus) is so wonderful. That is the ultimate reward. Thank you Jesus!

But I think physical healing can be drawn from these verses as well.

Maybe an instant miracle.

Maybe a successful surgery.

Maybe a lifestyle change.

Maybe death which takes a believer to heaven thereby receiving a full healing!

I am not sure if you need healing (spiritually from sin or physical from sickness) but I do know that by his wounds we are healed.

We ARE healed. Believe it today friend!

As always, feel free to message me if you have more questions about the healing available to you today.

 

Pressing on, pt. 4 (the final episode)

Have you ever been relieved to be done with something? Finished with a project? Completed the assignment?

one-hundred-percent-459227_960_720.png

There are some days that I feel like I want to be done. Done with earth. Done with this life.

I want heaven.

I like how Paul ended this section, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14

More specifically, three words, “called me heavenward”. 

{insert your own picture of heaven because Google is way too diverse}

This life will be over at some point. By death or by rapture, it all ends. Are you called heavenward? Do you have a spot saved? 

Because the apostle had a new life in Christ, he was able to be confident about the after-life. In verse 9 of chapter 3, gives the gospel in short order, “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

You and I can be assured of heaven. Read that again and let it sink in. 

BUT, we don’t stop running until we get there.

That is what these verses are speaking of. We cannot, under any circumstances, put confidence in our own flesh. We will fail.

But in Christ, he will help us back up when we fall. I don’t care if you fall a thousand times. Just be sure to get back up a thousand and one times.

I have a friend that still deals with anger.

Another with depression.

I follow a blogger who dealt with eating disorders.

Some people work too much.

Pornography is my battle.

But we keep getting back up. Why?

Because I am a new creation in Christ and I have a mansion in heaven with my name on the door frame! 

Walk with Jesus through your day. He will be right there every step.



Thanks for reading my blog. Every time I write, I challenge myself. I hope that you are also encouraged or challenged in following Jesus.

I am taking the month of July off. My family and I are moving into a new house near the end of the month and so I have packing to do. There is a portable storage unit in my driveway and my house is full of boxes! 

Along with all things moving, I am also taking this time to work on some new material for this post. There are stirrings in my mind and heart but I need to give God time to solidify things.

Thank you again and you will hear from me in August!

Pressing on, pt. 2

Ever trap a monkey? It is a simple process. You set out a cage and put bananas in it. Then lock the cage. Once the monkey sees the banana, he will reach through the cage and take hold of the banana. At this point, a person could walk up and capture the monkey.

Why? Because the monkey is still holding on to the banana. He won’t let go of the prize!

Even when danger is near, the monkey still values the banana enough that he won’t let go.

He won’t let go, ever.


 

This is a multi-part post on Phil. 3:12-14. Click here for part 1. 

Today is about verse 12. I have been pondering it all week. 

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

The first half is easy to understand. Paul has not achieved perfection. He still has room to grow. I get that. In fact, it is way too easy sometimes to realize that I have a long way to go to get to the goal. But the second half of the verse is more complicated.

“But I press on…” Paul keeps pressing on so I must do the same.

“to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Now hold on!

What does that even mean!?!?

Remember the monkey? The banana was valued so much by the monkey that he would be willing to be captured or even killed because he wanted the banana so bad. 

He loved the banana.

God loves us so much that He was willing to do anything that have us. He even let His son go to the cross and die. All because He did not want to let go of us.

Back to Phil. 3. “which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

When he took hold of me…

He took my sin away.

He forgave me.

He gave me purpose.

He now has plans for me.

His Holy Spirit now resides in me.

I became a new creation.

I can now share my life with Him.

Think about that for your life. 

How would you finish this sentence?

When Jesus took hold of my life, he…?