Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Party in Heaven

This past Saturday I took all three of my girls to Chick-fil-a. It was a daddy daughter date for lunch. After they ate they all three got a balloon. On the way out to the car I said to them, "Hold on tight to your balloon's, if you let them go I  can't get it back." One of my daughters quickly spoke up and said, "That's ok, they'll just go up to heaven for the party."

I thought about that for a while, a party in heaven!

You know, there are so many things about heaven that are a mystery, but there are some things that the Bible does tell us about heaven. Here are just a few.

There will be no more crying, pain, or death. (Revelation 21:4)
There will be a great wedding feast (Revelation 19:9)
There will be great rejoicing (Revelation 19:1-7)
Heaven is so great we can't even imagine all that it will be. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Luke 15:10 tells us that "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents"

If the angels get excited over one sinner repenting, imagine the joy and excitement went we get to heaven.

Will there be a party in heaven? Absolutely!

And I look forward to being a part of that party! Don't you?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God's Abundant Resources

Most people never take advantage of God’s abundant resources. Ephesians 3:20 says that God is ...able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think...

The problem is we don't always tap into the tremendous resources that God has made available to us.

The verses just before this is one of Paul's prayers for the church.
Ephesians 3:14-19 says, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

1st - Paul prays that we would be strengthened ...in the inner man. When we get up in the morning we usually shower, shave, get dressed for the day, make sure our hair is fixed. We spend a lot of time on the "outer man", but oh how our inner man needs that same attention.

2nd - Paul prays that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. This is really how we gain our strength. The word dwell literally means "to make Himself at home". In other words, Paul is praying that Jesus would feel at ease and comfortable in your life. In reality this has to do with Christ being Lord of your life, He must have full control.

3rd - Paul prays that we would be able to comprehend ...and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. Paul prays that we would understand something we aren’t able to understand.That our understanding would go beyond the mere religious grasp to a personal, growing, overwhelming experience! It's like Paul taking us out on a dark night and looking up at the stars in the sky and vastness of the universe and saying, "God's love for you is bigger than all that." It’s absolutely crazy that He loves me that way! I don’t deserve His love, but He loves me and you anyway!

4th - Paul prays that we would be filled up to all the fullness of God. The following story may help to understand this. A little girl came home from Sunday School and asked her mom, "If God is bigger than we are and if we have God living in us, then wouldn't He show through? And that's the point. We should be so full of God that He shows through.

This prayer that Paul prays for the church is my prayer for my own life, for those in the church where I serve, and for you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Who was St. Patrick?
Little is known of Patrick's early life, though it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century. 

At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken captive to Ireland as a slave.

After six years of slavery he escaped to the Irish coast and fled home to Britain. Upon returning, he studied to be a priest. In 432, he was called back to Ireland, as a missionary, to share the Gospel with the people in Ireland.

Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. 

After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on March 17, 461. 

Although there were already some Christians living in Ireland, St. Patrick was able to bring upon a massive religious shift to Christianity. 

Maybe you have worn green on St. Patrick's day and have celebrated for years, but never knew the real story about who St. Patrick was. Now you know. 

So if you are celebrating St. Patrick's day today, remember it's all about a man who answered the call of God to go and tell others about Jesus!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

God Is Good!

Have you ever been asked to describe God? What would you tell a person if you were asked to tell what God is like? Would you tell the person that God is love, powerful, infinite, sovereign, and the creator of the world? Would you ever think to say that God is good?

In Psalms 119:68 we find these words about God, “You are good and do good…(NASB) 

God is good! It is His nature to be good. He can’t be anything but good. All of His actions are good. Everything that God is involved in is good. Even in those times when we don’t understand why something has happened, we can be sure that it will ultimately turn out for good because God is good. 

5 different verses in the Psalms all say the same thing. “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psalms 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 118:29; 136:1 NASB

4 times in Psalm 107 we find these words about the goodness of God expressed toward us, "Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalms 107:8, 15, 21, 31 NKJV)

God is so good to give us wisdom, direction, provision, and life itself. You and I receive the goodness of God every day of our life.
Here are just a couple of things you and I receive because of God's goodness.

1. Forgiveness of sin. Psalms 86:5 - For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You. (NASB) 

2. Help in times of need. Hebrews 4:16 - Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NASB)

Take time to thank God for His goodness toward you today!

Psalms 34:8 - O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (NASB)

Friday, March 4, 2011

What do you delight in?

According to Webster's Dictionary, to delight in something is to take great pleasure in something.

People seem to delight in many different things: sports, fishing, hunting, shopping, reading, etc.

You might put it this way. It is what happens when there is excitement inside, a tingle, a spark. When we are doing what we really love to do, or when we are with someone we really love.

Psalms 37:4 says, Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

What does it mean to "delight yourself in the Lord"? I means to take great pleasure in Him. Not in what He has done or in what He can do, but in Him alone. When was the last time you took great pleasure in simply having fellowship with God?

Some people read this verse and think, If I delight in God, He will give me what I want! 

Well that is true in this sense, if we truly delight in the Lord, then the desire of our heart will be to know Him better so we can delight in Him even more, and the Lord will satisfy that desire! This is not a promise for people who want "things," but for those who want more of God in their lives.

So, in what or whom do you delight?