Archives for category: Uncategorized

Revelation 22:4, ” . . . His name shall be on their foreheads.” Do you have a tattoo? I have several friends that have tattoos that say something about who they are in Christ. I have one friend that has a tatoo that says “forgiven”. I have another friend that has the word “grace” in greek tattooed on her body. Many people get tattoos in places that can be easily hidden, so they can hide them if they want to. Many do this because tattoos tend to be taboo in many circles. I have often thought about getting a tattoo, but decided I didn’t want one or need one.

When Jesus comes back and makes everything new it says that His people will, “See His face and His name will be one their foreheads” Rev.22:4. If you wanted a discrete tatoo, then your forehead would be the worst place to get it. Everyone sees your forehead, and if something was tattooed there it would probably be the first thing that caught their eye. This verse points to me being God’s temple, His treasured possession, and as John MacArthur says, “In biblical times one’s name spoke of his character. Writing His name on us speaks of imprinting His character on us and identifying us as belonging to Him”(note on Rev. 3:12 in his study bible).

tattoos are only skin deep, but the tattooing of HIS name on us speaks of not just artwork on our forehead screaming I belong to the KING of KINGs, but speaks of Him taking up residence in us and tattooing our hearts. . . imprinting His character on our hearts and making us new people . . .making us like Himself. Have you become Jesus’ possession? Have you had Him tattoo His name on your life?

I am not going to get a tattoo today, but I am going to seek to live in a way that screams, “I belong to Jesus!” and I am going to continue to spend time with Jesus, praying that He would tattoo His Word and His nature on my heart and make me more like Him. I am His temple, His possession, I am not my own. Jesus fill me up with yourself, for I belong to you. If what owned you and was imprinted on your heart  was tattooed on your forehead would your forehead be stamped with a big JESUS! or would it read something else?

Advertisements

Matthew 27:29-30

In last weeks devo “hair” we see Jesus treasured, worshipped, and served. This week’s devo “crown” we see the opposite. When Jesus showed up, He was recognized as King to some, as a threat to some, and treated as a joke by others. The crown of our head is the top of our head. It is where we wear hats and crowns. When Jesus stepped in this world we should have put a crown on His head, but the Son of God was treated like a joke by the Roman soldiers. Matthew 27:29-30,”They twisted a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him, ‘Hail King’ They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.”

 Sinful man says, “I’m my own King!” The true King walks up and instead of being worshipped He is made to wear a torture device as a crown, is mocked, and then is struck in that precious head over and over again. Jesus made it clear in the Word that He could have stopped them. He took it willingly. It is amazingly shameful that I would declare myself as my own God. It is a joke for me to act like I am running things.

 Instead of back handing me off me off my self-made pedestal . . . He stepped in and took the humiliation, and punishment I deserve. I deserve to be laughed at and have my face spit in when I play God.  Jesus has every right to punch me in the head, and yell, “take off my crown! I made you, everything you have I gave to you! But the opposite happens. I see Him willingly being treated like a joke. . . like a fake King, in my place . . . so that I can be forgiven for treating Him like a joke. Thank you Jesus! I take the crown off my head and crown you King of my life. The scars on the crown of your head show me how much you love me. Please accept Jesus as Savior and King today if you have not already, or you will be punished for eternity for shunning the true King, and playing your own king.

Luke 7:36-50

 Jesus is eating at the house of Simon the Pharisee . . . Suddenly a sinful woman bursts into the house and, “weeping she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped his feet with her hair and kissed his feet and annointed them with ointment.” This woman teaches us alot about worship . . . she really lets her hair down. She courageously  bursts ino the house  of a Pharisee, who judgemently thought Jesus should have nothing to do with her. She didn’t care what anyone thought!  It is a wreckless, passionate, outburst of a heart that recognizes the worthiness of Jesus. She  falls at His feet like a humble slave, washing His feet . . .  an act saved for the lowest of slaves . . . not only that, she was the water poured out (her tears). She didn’t get anything to wipe His feet, but humbly used her hair to wipe them. She treated her hair like a rag . . . This communicates the massive worth of Jesus to her.

The reason given by Jesus for her actions is, “She has been forgiven much!” She had a large debt cancelled! Many of us would look at her like she was nuts for acting like that . . . but really this woman realized how undeserving of forgiveness she was, and how Jesus was her only hope . . . He was her hero. When she realized how much she needed Him, and how the highest had become low so He could lift her up . . . she lost it, and love . . . gratitude . . . worship exploded from her heart . . . pouring from her tear ducts . . . and led her to lavish Jesus with love to the point that she wiped His dirty feet with her hair. Now that’s real worship.

Psalm 139:1 Lord you have searched me and you know me! v.2 . . . you discern my thoughts from afar . . . v. 4 even before a word is on my tongue, you know who it altogether . . .

Know-da-verbs, a Christian hip-hop group asks before they burst into their song, “God is Big!” by asking the question, ” Do you understand the magnitude of the magnificence of the God we serve?” I love that line! I love that question! And I think that the answer is to is it NO! We don’t understand how awesome God is, or we would be more impressed with Him!(Tedashi)

As I was driving around praying the other day, something hit me. I’m not the only one talking to God. Their are millions of people talking to God right now. Their are millions of people that have God’s undivided attention. This realization made me feel so little and silly, and made me so impressed with my God. I have a beautiful wife, and two gorgeous little girls. There are times when  all three of them want my attention at the same time. My wife and I will be having a conversation, and my 4 year old will be saying, “Daddy look!”, while my 1 year old is pouting motioning for me to pick her up. I have to pick up the one year old, and say to the five year old, ” I see you baby, now let me listen to mommy . . . don’t interupt.” Then many times, but many times not ha ha ha, my wife and I can talk. I can’t have more than one successful conversation at a time.

Now brace yourself for the magnitude of the magnificence . . . God knows the number of hairs on every head of every person at every moment, factoring in shedding, knowing the exact location of every hair that we have shed. He is generously giving millions of people millions of  directions, and wisdom to millions of people in millions of different situations simultaneously. He is grieved my millions of different issues, while at the exact same time, pleased with millions of different issues.

He not only knows a word before it is on my tongue . . . He not only knows the words of every single person before it is on their tongue . . . but He knew every word that would ever be spoken even before He gave us minds to think and tongues to say them. He intimately formed everyone, and knit them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  He knows every single person on the planet better than they know themselves.

He is merciful and is forgiving millions of different people of  millions of  different sins that have destroyed  millions of  different lives, and is restoring a million different people’s lives all at the same time. He has millions of different children  at millions of different levels of maturity, and knows exactly how to deal with each one of them in exactly the right way.

He is intimately enjoying fellowship with millions of different people at the same time . . . intimately whispering His love and truth to their hearts, washing them with His Word, like a perfect husband with His bride.  God is thinking about every detail of everyone on the planet all at the same time.

Nothing that happens or doesn’t happen escapes the mind or control of our God.  God knows every hurt, every fear, every hope, every thought in your head. God’s vast knowledge does not make His brain too full, or  His heart too full to think about you, and search you, and know you, and love you. He has all the time in the world to listen to you like you are the only one on the planet. Please let this make your heart scream in worship like David, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me! I cant comphrend it!”(Psalm 139:6), and, “Search me Oh God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! See if there be anything  in me that greives you and lead me in the way everlasting!” Worship this God! Get right with this God! Follow this all-wise and all-loving God who knows you better than you know yourself, and everything else. You are invited to be taught by the ONE who knows everything about everything.

Pray continually I Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer is not just something that we do at church or just before bedtime. I remember a while back I was preaching a series of lessons on the Lord’s prayer, and asked the teens I was speaking to what their prayer lives looked like. Two of them said that they prayed just before bedtime, the exact same prayer every night. One of my points that night is that prayer is not just a manta that we chant or lines that we recite, but that it is conversation with God.  The Lord’s Prayer is not just to be recited, but was given to us to teach us we can approach God because He is our Father, and talk to Him. It is an example of a child speaking to His Father. It is a template, or example.  Tonight I’m reminded that our conversating with God is not to be just a once in awhile long distant phone call to heaven, but is to be a continual, ongoing talk with the God that is always with us, who lives in us if we know Christ.

How can we do this? We can’t stop our lives, and just sit in the closet praying! This isn’t what God wants. God desires that we would be in constant convesation with Him all day long, as we go through our days. Every time that we expereine something that makes us happy we can say, “Thank you Lord” because every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). It’s only polite to say thank you when we are given something. Lord thank you for my job, my sight, my health, my wife, my house, my friends, my children! Oh Lord thank you! Oh and don’t  be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (philippians 4:6).  I am to aproach Him when I am tempted to find help and victory(Hebrews 4:15-16).  I am to confess and repent of my sin when I mess up (I John 1:9). These are just a few of the things we are to pray about. And prayer is not a fake thing where I have to say just the right words, but I can pour my heart out to God, vent to God. We find this all throughout the Psalms. 

Recently I took my 4 year old daughter with me to a discipleship class at our church. I gave her a sucker, and had her pack her coloring book so that she would not be bored. She was really good, just like daddy asked her to be. She was writng in her coloring book quietly, and looked like she was in her own little world. The pastor was talking about prayer, and asked what are we supposed to be praying about? Just the big things? What about the little things? What are to pray about? My daughter yelled over all the others answering, “EVERYTHING!” I was startled and proud! She is right! We are to pray about everything in our lives! What if i was in prayer, and seeking God about everyone and everything in my life? Let’s pray for every detail of our lives, and everyone God brings into our lives.

We dont have to always be talking to God.  We can have our ears tuned into Him, listening for Him. So that ” Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it”(Isaiah 30:20-22). If we belong to Christ, we have the Holy Spirit in us who is there to guide us thru our day(John 16:13), and remind us of scripture when we need it (John 14:26). We do need to spend time in the Word! We do need to spend time in solitude and prayer! But our conversating with God doesn’t end when our quiet time is over. “Your will be done” is not just something we recite, but is the constant cry of our hearts all day, as we respond in obedience to what we have heard Him say to us from His Word, and as we listen through out the day for the Spirit to remind us of what we have been taught when we need it and for Him to say to us in the middle of our expereinces, “this is the way, walk in it.”

I have an amazing friend who sees her relationship with Jesus like a dance. He leads and she follows. Let’s see prayer more as an intimate dance through our day instead of a legalistic duty before bedtime.

 

Right before  my wife’s bachelorette party her friend called me to ask me some questions. She was gonna ask my fiancé the same questions to see if she could guess my answers. Like who was my favorite athlete, what was my favorite color, and what was my favorite part of her. As I thought about what my favorite part of my fiancé was I mentioned a couple then said, “No, I know what it is!. Her smile.” My world stops when my wife smiles at me. I remember talking to her when we were dating and I would say something that made her smile and I would have to stop and say, “You have the most beautiful smile in the world.” Or “When you smile you are by far the most beautiful woman in the world.” Of course she would smile bigger. I loved making this woman smile. It was a big high to make this woman I loved happy, to get her so smile. I studied her . . . what makes her happy? I would learn what made her smile and do it. How much more should it rock me to make God smile? To make God happy!   What if I did things not because I felt obligated or because I wanted to look good, but because I wanted to warm the heart of my heavenly Father/ my husband Jesus. Jesus what makes you happy? A cheerful giver, humility, genuine prayer, putting other people before myself, taking my thoughts captive, etc. What if my motivation was love, and just a desire to make Him smile? I forgive because I know it will make Him smile. I get rid of any thoughts that would make Him frown, because I want to make Him happy. I have a friend and her email address is MakeHimSmile@something.com. Intimacy with God is saying, “Jesus I want to know what makes you happy . . . because I love you and my heart beats with a desire to make you smile.” We used to sing a song at church that said, “Jesus what are you thinking, what are you feeling I have to know.” Let’s probe the heart of Jesus, and find out what makes Him smile, and then live with the aim of David, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you oh God (Psalm 19:14).” and of Paul “Wherever we are we make it our aim to please HIM (2 Corinthians 5:9)”

I have always sang to my wife. She is so beautiful, and I’m so in love with her, that my heart has to express itself to her. When I hear love songs on the radio, my heart is stirred and my emotions are rekindled for her. Music is powerful. The way it expresses the heart and stirs the heart is unparalleled. It is a very intimate thing to look that chocolate browned eyed woman in the eyes and sing to her . . . the look in her eyes or the tender kiss she gives me tells me that I have touched her heart in a very special way. She feels cherished, adored, worth me doing something she knows I don’t think anyone else in the world deserves. I want that with God. I want to look out into the night sky and say, “Wow I can’t take this in!” I can’t imagine looking into your eyes, and I overflow to singing of His awesomeness. To think that I can communicate to this God that I cherish Him, I adore Him, that He is the only one listening as I strain my voice and have that frog well up in that  ‘I am about to cry feeling’, because I can’t handle the joy of being loved by such a lover. The only one worthy of me standing out in that beautiful night, serenading the love of my life, like I’m singing beneath your balcony. It is too much to take when I realize you delight in this moment even more than I do and you sing and dance over me. Wow! The music doesn’t just express my heart but it stirs it to a new depth, and new level. As I sing of my love for my wife or my God, it becomes more real and more deep to me. I can be having a busy day and a love song comes on the radio and I am stopped in my tracks. My love doesn’t go away, but the business of life can dull me into a slumber, then all of a sudden my heart is reminded of home and I ache for you, I am reminded of things I can’t believe that I forget. Lord I sing to you, because I love you and just telling you can’t communicate what my heart holds for you, it bubbles over into song. I want to be reminded of what my heart forgets and I want to be stirred to a greater depth, I want to share a romantic moment with you . . . get lost in you.