October 21- Will The Real Judge Stand Up?

Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

 I was 19 years old when God began to deal with me about ministry. When I was a kid, I admired pastors. But as I grew up, a couple of unfortunate experiences left me feeling let down when it came to preachers and their occupation. In a way, this was good because I began to realize that these men and women are human. They are subject to error just like everyone else. But I also began to see something else. I was responsible. See, like a lot of people, I subconsciously put the weight of my spiritual growth and development on the back of the preacher. I began to realize “all God’s children are ministers!” Over the years, I have become more convinced of this fact. And if there was ever a time for the people of God to step up to the plate and take responsibility for knowing God and His Word for themselves, that time is now.

Until the day I leave this planet, I will advocate that every believer is a part of Christ’s Body, the Church, and thus is responsible to know Him, His Way, and His Word well. That does not excuse us from congregating with other believers on a regular basis (i.e. going to church on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, whenever). But it also does not excuse us from turning our home, workplace, school, and neighborhood into a place for His Presence. Wherever you and I are present, He is present. And to the degree we are aware of His presence is the degree in which we will participate with Him in ministering to others.

God is your judge. And He has judged you “not guilty.” He has judged you “blessed.” He has judged you His. So, by all means, get knee-deep in the middle of receiving that judgment. And I can guarantee, it will give you a measuring stick for what others think you should and shouldn’t do.

 Colossians 2:20-23 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

August 22 – The Little Heavyweight Champion of the World

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

Love is one of those words that carries a lot of weight…well, at least it should. For some of us, cultural trends and television shows play a huge role of distortion in our concepts.

By the time I found my soul mate, “love” mishaps had me gun shy. Yet, in a funny sort of way, I’m glad some of what I thought was love proved to be a horrible impersonation.

Consequently, I didn’t use the word to describe my feelings for my wife now of almost twenty years, until our wedding day. And I must say, I learn on a daily basis a bit more about this little “heavyweight” term.

But today’s Proverbs wields a word that even love has to bow to. Wherever it shows up, it sucks the air out of the room and causes one or two specific responses.

When I hear the word “all” (“with all your heart,” “in all your ways,” see scripture above) I either stop and ponder my responsibility now that I am aware it is a part of the decision, or I run right past it without a second’s consideration of its presence only to pay a huge fine later.

All is a tough one. It leaves no grey and guarantees no bottom. Its boundaries seem invisible, yet it demands visible devotion.

This is one of my life-long scriptural confessions (something I try to say every day): Today, I choose to love God with all of me; my heart, my soul, and all my strength. Then He will empower me with the love I need for my fellow man.

The truth, the way I see it, is this little word all makes the little word love function at its maximum potential. Then love turns and showers all with undeniable evidence of gratitude. I call that real romance!

I waited to say “I love you” until I was willing to say, “I Do.” But all of my heart was the foundation stone by which the commitment was made. And eleven children later and a host of other “lovely life endeavors” fulfilled, with more to come, this little big word continues to be worth its weight in gold!