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!

 

 

The 5th letter is…

March! I missed it! Wow, how did I not post the last month? Not sure exactly…

Regardless, I am moving forward in this series, Alphabet soup.

So far this year, I have posted 4 times (5 including this one). As you may have already noticed, I am following a pattern. There is a word for each post and I started with Absolute. Breathtaking, Committed, and Diligent followed.

All of these words describe God. Today the word will start with ‘E’.

letter e

The Word – Essential

The Worth – Sometimes people use words in the wrong context. I work at an Olive Garden. I hear the phrase, “I am starving” literally everyday! Sometimes from the customers and sometimes my co-workers but usually from both! Do these people know what starving means!?!? Starving does not mean that you are so hungry because you have not eaten since breakfast! These people are not starving so I wish they would just say that they are hungry!

Essential means ‘absolutely necessary.’ Water is absolutely necessary in order to live. It is essential. Food is also essential. These are things that needed in order to live.

God is essential. In John 15, Jesus spoke some words. In this sermon, he did not exaggerate. He did not speak out of context. The words he spoke were accurate. So much so that we need to take heed and listen. Here is verse 5 from that chapter;

5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

john 15-5

Jesus said that without God, we can do nothing. Again, no embellishment in these words. The Son of God chose these words specifically and with a purpose. God is essential!

He wanted us to know that God is essential. We would not even be able to breathe unless God gave us the ability to do so. Death would happen. We just cannot do it on our own.

That is the penalty of sin. It is death. Physical and spiritual death.

But he gives more grace.

By the grace of God, he sustains us. He lets us live. He bestows grace so that we can come to Him and surrender our lives and follow Him.

The Work – Too many times, we try to live and succeed on our own power, talent, or perseverance. Stop it! I think that you and I need to try to abide (stay connected through consistent and constant relationship with Jesus). If and when there are mistakes, we can go to God for more grace. He loves us and the Bible tells us that His anger is only for a moment but his love is forever. see Psalm 103 

Stay tuned for the letter ‘F’. I am guessing that it will be a word that one usually does not ascribed to God. And, it just might be the best two minutes of your day!

2 minutes

Thank you and enjoy His grace today!

 

 

A Call and a Choice

Before I jump into this post, can I ask a favor? Please read the story of Abraham in Genesis 12-25. It will provide the backdrop for what I am writing today.

Today, let’s zoom in on one chapter today. This has to be one of my favorite (yet humbling) passages of scripture. To describe it seems pointless. Just read it. In fact, I am going to copy in this post with some additional thoughts or questions. Anything I add will be underlined and the rest is the text from Genesis 22: 1-19 from the New International Version.

Ready? I hope so because God wants to speak to you and I through his word.

Genesis 22: 1-14

1Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied. When God calls your name, what is your response?

2Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3Early, (Abrahams didn’t wait. He obeyed.) the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. Why wait? Start obeying today. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.

5He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham believed that they would come back. What is your attitude in the middle of a test?

6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. (Take what you can. What you don’t have, God will provide) As the two of them went on together,

7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

9When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. (Who or what is your Isaac? Is there anything that competes with God for first place in your life?)

10Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

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13Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a rama caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

14So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” (Success! Now, who gets the glory?)


Abraham had a choice. God had called Abraham. God had also promised Abraham (in previous chapters). Isaac was the key to those promises. So Abraham had a choice.

You and I also have a choice.

I listed six practical applications that I found from the text. May God give you the strength and courage to make the right choice in your life. God bless you!

Keep Listening vs. 1

Act Promptly vs. 3

Adjust Attitude vs. 5

Prepare Accordingly vs. 6

Follow Through vs. 9-10

Give Glory vs. 14

Three Ps in a Pod, part 2

You are pardoned. You are forgiven. And that is the first P! You already knew that though, if you read last week’s post, Three Ps in a Pod, part 1.

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Even as I type, this biblical truth baffles me. It does not seem like it should be. Why can you or I be pardoned? My feelings tell me that I don’t deserve it. My actions certainly don’t warrant it either. I am not worthy. At all.

But am I going to let my feelings dictate my actions?

Am I going to let my circumstances guide my behavior?

Am I going to let the devil’s lies provoke me?

In short, am I giving permission to believe anything other than God’s holy, unwavering, encouraging, inspired, and truthful Word?

If we go back to 2 Corinthians 5, specifically verse 14, we can see why we can answer “No” to the previous question.

Here is the second part of verse 14, “…because we are convinced that one died for all,” 

Convinced…are you convinced? Or do you just have an opinion? Is what you believe just that or is it a deep conviction that motivates you to act accordingly? More on this later…

The first P in the Pod is Pardon. You and I can have a full pardon from sin. WHY?

Because ‘one died for all’.

Listen, this is the bottom line. You want the meaning of life? Jesus died for you. Why are we put on this earth? Jesus died so we can live.

There are so many scriptures that point us to the cross on which Jesus died. The Easter season is coming up soon. People will go to church for the first and perhaps, the only time this year. The point is that life (and everything else we seek answers for) is found in the cross.

I don’t fully understand how God loved me enough to let His son die for me. But I will accept the pardon. Anyone can.

I was originally planning on explaining some of the Old Testament sacrifices that God required. All the blood! Then, in Hebrews, Jesus is described as better than those sacrifices. He used His own blood! Maybe a series on the Blood?

Know that His death and shed blood obliterated sin. The penalty of sin is gone. Remember two posts back? A new creation? Yes, that is you and I. We have been forgiven.

Pardon (noun)-that action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense.

Our sin was an offense to God. We were cut off from Him. He wanted to love us and wrap His arms as a father hugs his child. But the bars of sin prevented such expression.

prison-bars

 

Hey, no problem. Here is the key to open those bars:

God’s son will be born as a baby.

Jesus will live as a human.

He will be sentenced, beaten, broken, and finally crucified.

He will die on that cross.

They will bury his body in a borrowed tomb.

But then he will rise. He will ascend to heaven.

And then he will sit down because his work of salvation is complete.


Now we are free to be hugged by God because the bars of sin are no longer between us.

We have been pardoned.

Let God hug you right now. He is waiting.

 

Something familiar yet strange again.

So I was thinking…pondering something today. A certain verse came to my mind this morning and it has been bouncing around all day.

But I don’t really understand it. It boggles my mind. I made scrambled eggs for my kids this morning. It feels like my mind is just like those eggs, all scrambled.

This verse is one that I have known for as long as I can remember. But today, I felt like it was a new verse, one I had never heard before. It seemed to be so full of promise and hope.

All I need is for God to open my eyes (Psalm 119) to the depth and richness of His words. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide me into all truth (John 16).

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Words so engrained yet they barely register. If I am ‘in’ Christ, I am new. I didn’t feel old. Maybe not old but dead.

Yes, that’s it. Dead. No purpose. No sense or reason to live. Sin had it’s way with me. I was dead but now I alive, new!

All because of Christ. Everything is a result of what He has done. Everything. He is the vine and I am a branch.

I can’t do anything without Him.

I don’t own anything without Him.

I am nothing. Old.

BUT WITH HIM…I can do anything.

I have anything and everything I need. He is my all and everything.

 

Wow…”The old has gone, the new is here!”