domingo, 15 de abril de 2012


If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31
Most of us at some time in our lives have heard someone say, "I've got good news and bad news." The Scriptures are the epitome of that saying, aren't they? I believe one of the reasons the gospel is referred to as the "Good News" is that we're so inundated with bad news and are desperately looking for relief! But the bad news we hear from the media each day scarcely comes close to the bad news we can find in the Bible.
Yes, there is a lot of bad news, but we can sum it up like this: The world is NOT fair, the devil hates us and wants to destroy us and never takes a vacation, and the situation will probably get worse before it gets better.
But God...
And that's where the Good News comes in. Though the world and the devil and all his demon hordes may align themselves against us (and they have!),God is for us,! Romans 8:17 therefore confidently declares, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" That verse isn't promising that nothing or no one will come against us, but rather, because God stands with us and for us and even beneath us, holding us up, not one of the enemies who comes against us can defeat us! Though they may inflict temporary pain and suffering and torment--and even take our very lives--ultimately they lose, and we win.
And that, my friends, is the Good News! The One who stands with us, who fights for us, who even died for us to ensure that the enemies who hate us can never triumph over us, has determined that we are to be "more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). In fact, verses 38-39 continue with this amazing promise, which we would all do well to memorize:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we continue to "fight the good fight," let's remember that the One who fights for us has already secured the victory and has promised that absolutely nothing can separate us from His great love. And that  is the best news anyone can ever hear!

viernes, 24 de febrero de 2012


Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Nearly  ten-years ago, as a relatively new believer, I was getting ready to leave a Sunday morning church service when I noticed a newcomer sitting in the pew in front of me, a few seats down. As we all made our way toward the center aisle to exit the building, my eyes caught his so I smiled and introduced myself. We exchanged brief pleasantries, and then, as I turned to move on, I wished him well and promised to pray for him and his family during the week. I had no sooner climbed into my car, however, than I felt convicted of not having taken the time to pray for him on the spot. The feeling that I needed to offer to do so would not go away, though I argued with myself that he had probably already left. Still, I decided to go back into the building to check.
Sure enough, though the sanctuary was otherwise empty by then, the young man sat alone in a pew, his head in his hands, and I realized my sense of urgency had been God's call to prayer. I went to him and told him I believed the Lord wanted me to pray with him, and he began to weep.
"I live just down the street a few houses from this church," he said. "My wife left me a few days ago and took the kids, and I've been so depressed. This morning I decided to give life one more chance by coming here to this church. I told myself that if God would send someone to pray with me, I wouldn't kill myself when I got home. I'm so glad He sent you."
And I'm so glad I obeyed! How often do we say we will pray for someone and then forget our promise? And how important is it to obey God's specific call to prayer? Sometimes that call to prayer comes as a nudge from the Holy Spirit, as it did for me that day more than three decades ago, but other times it comes through a command in the Scriptures. First Timothy 2:1-2 is explicit in its call to all believers to pray "first of all" for those in authority, whether political or church leaders. Are we heeding that command? Do we regularly pray for our pastors, our congressmen, our President, regardless of how we may feel about them personally?
I for one have been guilty many times of promising to pray but not following through. As a result, I find myself becoming critical of others. Whether a young man contemplating suicide or individuals in positions of authority with nearly unfathomable responsibilities on their shoulders, people need us to be obedient and to intercede for them. Let's commit together to use our words "first of all," as the scripture instructs, to pray for and bless people, rather than criticize them. If we do, God will be faithful to fulfill His purpose.

viernes, 27 de enero de 2012


Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan 
{and} crossed over, weary yet pursuing.
Judges 8:4, NASB
The story about Gideon and his meager band of men defeating a massive enemy gathering is always inspiring to me. First, I'm reminded that no battle is ever won in my own strength. Second, I'm encouraged by the fact that nothing is impossible with God.
This last week, however, as I reread this familiar passage of scripture, three little words jumped right off the page and into my heart: "weary yet pursuing." Wow. Though this story emphasizes God's strength and power and sovereignty, it also points out what is required of us as we partner with Him in battle. Certainly we will grow weary, for the battles continue throughout our lifetime here on earth. But even when weary, we are to continue pursuing!
What does that mean? In the story found in Judges 8, we see the victorious Gideon and his 300 men pursuing the pagan kings who had escaped. Though we as believers aren't called to pursue pagan kings, we are definitely called to pursue the King of kings--even when we are weary--for it is in His presence that our strength is renewed. If we give in to our weariness and fall by the wayside, we will miss seeing the victory that God has already won. And oh, how the enemy would love for that to happen!
Beloved, it is God Himself who fights for us, but He has called us to keep pursuing His heart, His presence, His mercy--even (and most especially) when we are weary. As the world changes about us and life as we have known it melts into the realities of fulfilled prophecy, it is more important than ever to pursue God with each step, clinging to Him and His Word with every breath, refusing to turn aside from following hard after Him (see Psalm 63:8, KJV).
May our motto today and always be that we are "weary yet pursuing," for God will see that our pursuing is rewarded by His presence!