About 18 inches.

What kind of title is that!?!? Well, if you read this post, you will find out.

The Word – Vanquish

The Worth – vanquish, from dictionary.com

verb (used with object)
1. to conquer or subdue by superior force, as in battle.
2. to defeat in any contest or conflict; be victorious over: to vanquish one’s opponent in an argument.
3. to overcome or overpower: He vanquished all his fears.

  • Some days, I just don’t win. Even though I have tried, nothing seems to work. I am nowhere near being victorious.
  • There are also days of big wins. Me and God were kicking butt all day long!
All those different types of days are the facts.
Yes, I made a mistake. Fact.
I won the battle that day. Fact.
I lusted in my heart. Fact.
I fought well today. Fact.
But the truth of the matter is that God has already vanquish my foe.
Here are 3 verses from the second chapter of Colossians:
“13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made youd alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.e”
The truth is that God has already won. He beat the bad guys, took their weapons, and showed them off in a parade!
That does not change…no matter how we feel from day-to-day.
I know that this is true. It is in my head. I have read those verses dozens of times. They are stuck in my brain!
The Work – What is my part in this if God has already won?
Let the truth of God travel 18 inches. Move it from your head to your heart. Knowledge is one thing but faith (and the accompanying action) is another.
18-inches
In the movie Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, there is a short conversation between Gandalf and King Théoden. Here are the two lines that are important.
Théoden: “Dark have been my dreams of late.”
Gandalf: “Your fingers would remember their old strength better — if they grasped your sword.”
Once Théoden was free of the evil in his mind, he began to see the truth.
You and I can be victorious over the enemy if we see the truth. The truth that God has already done the vanquishing! We just need to live it out in our hearts!
So if you are not feeling the victory, take up the sword of God’s word and start swinging!
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Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58

I was a little frustrated with the letter T. At first, I thought that there would be many eligible words that begin with this letter. I mean, in Wheel of Fortune, it is one of the pre-selected bonus letters!

letters on wheel of fortune

However, I wrestled with which word to choose. No worries though. I feel as if God showed me this one personally.

The Word – timeless

The Worth – As I have stated before, I work as a waiter at the Olive Garden. Although it is a good job, it puts me smack dab in the middle of my comfort zone. And that is a problem. I wrote about this a while back…Bad Words #1.

I kept using the excuse that I cannot see how this future is going to work out. There is a calling on my life. This I know to be a fact. Undeniable and completely real. Here is another post with more on my calling. My Haiti Experience, Called!

Isn’t that how many of us feel about our future? We don’t see how it works out.

The big picture? Yeah, right!

Does the canvas tell the artist how or what to paint? Not!

Does the 2×4 tell a carpenter how to build a house? Whatever!

I want to know the future. It would be great if we could see what is coming ahead.

But we can’t see the future. But God can.

And you know why God can see the future?

Simply because He is already there.

God said in Exodus 3:14, “I am that I am.”

That was all Moses needed to hear.

Jesus said in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am.”

You can hear the proverbial pin drop. Jesus just said that he was alive before Abraham. A rough estimate puts Abraham being born around 2000 BC. Jesus would have been really old. I guess one does not age that much when you are eternal, or for this post, timeless.

i-am

The Work – Jesus is timeless. He has been around forever.

So the next time you get frustrated with a problem or you find you are stuck in your comfort zone, remember that God is already in your future. He sees where you are headed. This should give you amazing assurance.

Move forward in confidence fellow soldier. God is out in front paving the way!

 

Surprise!!!

You know that moment…the lights are off, people huddled in every corner of the room. The unsuspecting victim walks through the door and with the turning on of the lights, everyone yells Surprise!!!

I was that ‘victim’ on my 40th birthday. Without all of the details (which would take way more time than two minutes), my wife threw the biggest surprise of my life.

I walked into the large room at our church and there were over 100 of my friends and family waiting for me. SURPRISE!!! Totally and completely surprised. I had no idea.

surprise

The Word – surprise

The Worth – Why is it that we are surprised when God does something great?

Sure, it is understandable when the Red Sea parts. Exodus 14

Or when the walls of Jericho fall down. Joshua 7

Or when the bush is on fire but not burning up. Exodus 3

Or when Jesus turns water into wine. John 2

Or when Paul prays and the boy returns from the dead. Acts 20 

In 1 Thessalonians 5, there is a single verse that has had my attention for many years. I would say it is in the top three of my favorites.

vs. 24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Or, in my translation, “If God said it, it will happen.”

It may not happen when or how we would like to see it but God is sovereign. It will happen as He said it would. So I ask again, why are we surprised when God moves?

The Work – Can I challenge you? This is a challenge for all who follow Jesus.

Live in such a way that you are not surprised when God does something awesome.

God gives us so many promises in His word. We can count on every one of them. So when you pray, let your faith expand. Know that God will accomplish what He said.

And don’t need to be surprised when it happens. =-)

Stranger Things

Stranger Things. If you like suspense, fear, and intrigue with a strong dose of fiction, then  the show, Stranger Things is for you.

My wife and I really enjoyed both seasons. Try it! You just might like it too!

stranger-things-titles

In the show, there was an alternate universe. Some of the characters called it ‘The Upside Down’. It was the same yet different. The buildings were there but there were very few people. Again, the Upside Down was the same but yet, strangely different.

I understand that I am being very vague and ambiguous with the description of the show. All I really want to communicate is that there was another world, a world different from the reality in which the people were living.

The Word – reality

The Worth – We live in this world. But I feel like we are not always living in reality.

Acts 17:16-31 is a passage of scripture that describes Paul while he was in Athens. The people are accusing Paul of speaking about ‘strange things’.

So Paul, as was his custom, began to preach. He was explaining how the people were worshipping many different idols and gods. They even had an idol to an unknown god. I assume they were covering all of their bases.

He then turns the conversation around to God. And in verse 28, Paul hits them with the truth. “For in him we live and move and have our being…” 

In the original language, the word being means simply, “to exist.”

Substitute the word reality for the word being. We exist, we live and breath, in fact, our very reality is in God! If God is removed, we cease to exist!

All of the idols and gods the people of Athens were worshipping are not reality!

In November of 2017, are we just like the people of Athens? Too many times the answer is…yes! We worship so many things and can be oblivious to the reality that is God!

The Work – What is your reality? Do you find that your life is filled with many things, that you are religious, that there are idols present?

If you answered yes then you might need a reality check.

reality check sign

Stop and take time to ask God what is reality. What is real?

Perception is truth. What you see you take as truth. Ask God to help you see, feel, touch, and perceive His reality. That is the truth we all need.

It might take a little getting used to but it will be worth it!

I conclude with Paul’s words, “For in him we live and move and have our reality!”

 

Because of P, we get Q.

Before I get into this post, please read my previous post. It is the foundation for today’s message. Here is the link, Two people, a bus, and a gift.

foundations

A through P. That marks my progress so far this year. Today is about the letter Q. This one was more difficult than most of the others. But as I typed the last post, a seed of an idea started to grow. Again, Two people, a bus, and a gift was the beginning and now it will continue.


My best friend is computer/IT guy.

I have a friend who is a medical doctor.

I have another friend who is a financial planner.

My wife is a graphic designer.

My pastor is also my mentor.

What do these people have in common? They are all qualified.

The Word – qualified

The Worth – In any type of setting where a person is receiving something, it is important that the giver is qualified.

In no way would I go to the doctor for a surgery unless I knew that he/she was trained and educated to do the procedure!

It would not make sense to take advice from someone unless they have experience and knowledge in the specific area in which I need advice.

You know what? God is qualified. 

That begs the question, “What is God qualified to do?”

The short answer is that He can do anything because He is God.

But the specific answer is that God is qualified to forgive me and you.

Hebrews 9 talks about the superior quality of Christ’s blood over the blood of goats, calves, etc. that were used in sacrificing. Reading the whole chapter would be better because of the context but I will put verse 12 here for now.

Hebrews 9:12 “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

The blood of animals was temporary. It did not last. In essence, the animal blood was not qualified to take away sin. But Jesus, who was perfect, eternal, and human, was uniquely qualified for the task of removing sin.

I like that phrase, uniquely qualified. It would be good to remember it.

The Work – Because God is passionate about loving us and Jesus is qualified to remove our sins, we don’t need to try to save ourselves! We can’t do it anyway! Our good works and the like are not qualified to save us.

What we can do is accept this truth by faith. We can rest in the knowledge that God has taken care of everything. His life can flow through us everyday!

Make and spend time with Him today. Thank Him that He is qualified!

And you know what that means? We are now qualified!

When, by faith, we accept His sacrifice, we are now seen as righteous!

We become His tool on earth for His work and His kingdom!

So go out and live purposely because you are qualified to do so!

Qualified With Green Tickmark