Crowd or Committed?

“I just wanted to slap them upside the head!”

At least that was the thought going through my mind a few days ago.

My wife and I had a chance to catch a movie. In the theater with popcorn. It is certainly a nice but rare occasion for us.

couple at movie

In the row right in front of us were some teenage girls. And they talked. LOUDLY!!!

After getting shushed at a number of times, they finally left. My wife said later that she would like to see that movie again because she missed parts due to the noise.

Those girls paid the admission price just as my wife and I did. They had a right to be in the movie. Popcorn was available for them as well.

But their attitude and mindset were very different from ours. Travel with me back to our story in Joshua 3.

Here are the first 4 verses to catch you up in case you missed my last few posts.

1Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsa between you and the ark; do not go near it.”” 

So here they are, just east of the Jordan river. How were they going to cross over?

The three ideas we have explored so far from Joshua 3. Click each for a new window.

Let go and let God be in control.

Trust God.

Put God first.

What is the next step?

Verse 5 explains exactly what that next step is for the Israelites:

5Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

One verse with two parts. Part two is for next time.

But I will speak to the first part. Joshua (relaying what God had already told him), told the people to “Consecrate yourselves…”

Consecrate…?

The hebrew transliteration is qadash, which is pronounced kaw-dash’.

This word is a verb. God wanted the people to consecrate themselves.

They had action to take. They were to set themselves apart from the world.

The word simply means set apart. Set apart for a specific purpose.

Think about the million or so people waiting to cross the Jordan. Were they ready for this message? Which ones were committed to serving Jehovah? We don’t really get those details but I am sure that there are some who were just part of the crowd.

Just part of the crowd. Am I part of the crowd? I think those girls at the movie the other night would have been “just part of the crowd.”

For me, I want to be counted in the committed.

Set apart for a specific purpose. Yep, that sounds better than just hanging out in a crowd.

crowd

Are you committed? Or are you part of the crowd?

If we let go, trust God and put Him first, then being committed is easy.

Start today. Wherever you are with God, start there. He has not moved.

And just a little encouragement to take with you:

That huge river you see in front of you? God created it. And it’s not too big for Him.

jordan river

 

 

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Scrabble and 2018

Zombies…Zenith…Zealous…

These were my choices, at least the ones I thought of for today.

Honestly, all three of them had potential in them to wrote about.

And then it struck me. Z is the last letter. The end of the alphabet. The last one.

It is the letter that comes after all the other letters are spoken. A to Z.

And now for you Scrabble geeks…

The Word – Zee (The letter Z is spelled Zee)

The WorthRevelation 1:8 says it all, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

God is the beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega).

Omega is the last letter of the greek alphabet

Everything started with Him and everything will end with Him.

My years here on this earth are just a short blip on the radar of all time.

He knew me before I ever drew a breath. My life is in His hands.

If you read the rest of Revelation, crazy things will happen.

But at the end of it all, God will be left standing.

And we can stand with Him!

I find great comfort in that truth.

The Work – We can get caught up in making resolutions and goals for 2018. The slate is clean so we try not to get it dirty again. That is great and all but it seems that it is just a matter of time before we fall back, break resolutions, or make a mistake.

But God is in the end! So let’s try to live with the end in mind.

Put your hope, faith, trust in who God is and live for Him. That is how 2018 is going to be the best year of our lives!

Thank you friends for taking two minutes out of your day to read these posts.

I am trusting God for amazing things in 2018, see you next year!

2018

OMG!!!

Food, fun, and worship with a bunch of smelly dudes! Yep, that was me and about 250 other men joining together for a men’s conference this past weekend.

salad?

There was plenty happening in a social setting but God was also moving spiritually. I have many things swirling in my brain that God needs to help me sort out. But I like learning so this was a great weekend for me.

I want to share one thing that God gave me.

The word I need to use for the letter O is obedient.

The Word – Obedient

The Worth – Philippians 2: 1-11 gives us an account of Jesus and also the attitude that he possessed. Verse 5 uses the term mindset. Jesus had his mind set a certain way. I feel like we should strive to have this same attitude or mindset.

Here is verse 8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” NIV

Many times in the Gospels, Jesus talks about His relationship with His Father. He only wanted to do what the Father told Him. He was obedient. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked to have “this cup taken from Him”. But then immediately following that statement, Jesus showed His Phil. 2 attitude. He told the Father that His will was secondary to the Father’s will.

It is amazing to me how Jesus was able to do what He did. With all the miracles and then raising from the dead? There was a connection with a great power source. He was always talking with His Father. The relationship was constant and frequent. That was how he was able to be completely obedient in the face of horrible circumstances!

The Work – If I am being honest here, the section has been the most difficult to write.

The Word and The Worth come more easily to me. I may be waiting tables or driving and a thought will come to me. It never seems to be in the The Work part of this blog though!

I think I know why. Because it involves work. I, personally, am not a big fan of work. It is more fun to have fun.

But God didn’t call me to have fun all the time. Yes, I am full of joy and there are many things in my life that bring fun, joy, smiles, etc.

I don’t think Jesus considered sweating drops of blood while praying in the garden something that would be fun. He was working. Hard work.

But his relationship with his daddy was inseparable. This is how he was obedient.

When my relationship with my daddy is strong, I am obedient as well.

So to end this post, I have one question:

How is your relationship with God your Father?

not my will

The letter N stands for…

“Behind!”

This is something I hear and say every day at the Olive Garden. When I am carrying a tray of pasta, salad, and bread sticks, I need to let people know that I am walking through the dining room. They do the same for me as well. We all let each other know that we are literally, right behind when we shout out, “Behind!”

dropped food

Saying “Behind” serves a purpose. It lets the hearer know that they have someone directly behind them. We don’t have eyes on the back of our heads so this is a good thing. Now, I am aware of the presence of that person.

Trust me, it is no fun when a 15 or 20 pound tray of food crashes to the ground because someone was not watching what was happening around them!

dropping a tray


The Word – Near

The Worth – God is near. Near to me and near to you.

The Bible is filled with examples of how God has chosen to be near His people from the very beginning.

Genesis – He walked with Adam and Eve

Exodus – He gave Moses blueprints for a tabernacle to be built.

The Prophets in the Old Testament – They spoke the message that God desired relationship with His people.

The Gospels – Jesus being born as a baby. Immanuel means “God with us”.

Acts and the New Testament – The Holy Spirit is given to all who seek Him. The authors describe how we can have a relationship with God.

Revelation – God will take His children to be with Him.

All because He loves us. And He is near to us because of that love. All through time, God has proven His love because He keeps making arrangements to be near us. We can’t get away from Him! Even if we tried, there is nothing that can separate us from His love.

See Romans 8 for a deeper look on this idea.

How is it that we can be so distracted that we miss the fact the He is near?

The Work – As for the practical application of this blog…it really seems simple.

In a word, relationship. God wants a relationship with us and He has taken the first step to be near to us. God is doing this so we would be aware of His presence.

But what then, is our part?

Look for Him. Take the time out of your day and look, listen, search, and seek out this one who loves you so much. The bible says that if you seek, you will find.

After all, He is near you saying “Behind!”

 

You might not agree with me…

Remember the game Clue? In classic whodunit style, you moved from room to room asking other people about the Suspects, Weapons, or Locations.

clue game

Mr. Green, in the Kitchen, with the Rope!

This game was basically answering the Who, Where, and How. The What was the murder that set up the game. And the Why never was address. After all, this was a game and not real people. Motive did not factor into the equation.

Today, I want to address the Who, What, Where, Why, and How.

Who – God 

What – God’s love

Where – Everywhere and anywhere

Why – Because He loved us.

These first four aspects are consistent. God never changes. He is always the same so we can put our faith in someone who is 100% reliable. No worries on being let down because God is completely consistent.

But then we get to the How. And this brings me to the next letter in the Alphabet Soup.

The Word – Inconsistent

The Worth – In most things, God is consistent. We can trust Him fully. However, when He decides to deliver someone, bring healing, or perform a miracle, He can be inconsistent.

What!?!? God does not change, He is never inconsistent! Let me explain.

Let me list a few of the miracles that God has performed:

  • He parted the Red Sea
  • He provided manna and quail daily
  • He made the sun stand still for a battle
  • He made Samson super strong
  • He walked in the furnace with the three Hebrews
  • He turned water into wine
  • He made Lazarus alive again
  • Insert your story here

You see what I mean? God is inconsistent in how he works in people’s lives. His love is consistent. His faithfulness is supremely steady. He does not change but His actions can.

The Work – Are you broken today? Do you have a miracle in mind? Is there junk in your life? We can answer yes to these questions and more on a regular basis.

Keep seeking God. Don’t just seek His hand but seek Him. He will pour out His love, grace, mercy on you according to His consistent character.

But when He decides to act, don’t be surprised if it is something you did not expect. After all, God is inconsistent!

miracle ahead