Meditation: December 9

“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23). 

Our private world is to be set in order by us. We must begin and end our day with both praise and thanksgiving. God allows us to live in a world of chaos but at the same time He allows us to possess His peace. The peace that we experience is not as the world would know. It is a peace that is deep within the soul. As we present to the Lord an offering of praise, we are keeping Him in constant view. The circumstances are not greater than our God. Our faith in Him is strengthened because Jesus is both the Author and the Finisher of our faith. To glorify the Lord is to give Him credit for all that He has already done and to anticipate what He is about to do. Allow Him to be the thermostat by which the whole of your life is set. Then His divine guidance and strength will be yours in order to see you through. 

Meditation: May 17

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). 

The Lord extends to each individual the opportunity to be saved. It is the road that leads to life. The destination may not be clearly defined or easily understood, but the path to the destination is introduced to everyone. It may be a subtle approach from a stranger, or a dramatic experience. Each situation, when viewed from eternity’s perspective, was the extended hand of God releasing mercy. The objective is to provide an abundance of opportunities for the wayward to be drawn to Him. His desire is that none should perish. Those who perish are usually stubbornly justifying their rebellious ways and never seeing the need for a Savior. Oh, the wonders of His grace! When we understand the need for both mercy and grace, we will view our self-righteousness as sin, our abilities to love as hatred, and every effort on our part to boast as shame. What preserves us from destruction is the awareness of our absolute need for Him in all things. This is repentance when we turn away from our own ways and wholly turn towards Jesus Christ. Those who perish are those who neglect so great a salvation. It is not His passion that any perish. It is His will that all be saved. 

Meditation: December 3

“…and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:29). 

It is not established paths that causes constant disturbance of the soul. It is the ignorance that there is a course already laid out before us that is both tried and sure. Each message from God provides both guidance and peace. When the commitment is to do the same, the results will be a peace that passes all understanding. The pleading of the Spirit of Christ is “learn from Me!” He is fully aware of the outcome of every decision made in a lifetime. He still pleads rather than forces us to do what is best. Yet many will stubbornly reject the offer to learn from Him what He knows. My friend, your restless soul can only find rest in Him. He will take your burdens and permit you to be His yokefellow. As you walk with Him, even though there will be challenges ahead, the lessons learned through those challenges will provide a much greater reward than the little effort required of you. You will discover a new kind of rest, a rest in labor rather than from it for His yoke is easy and His burdens are light. 

Meditation: September 10

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:8-10). 

The assignment of the Apostle Paul is to be extended through every saint of God. He has graced us to put on display what is hidden in Christ. It is not merely a matter of speaking the truth, but we must become the truth of which we speak. The transformation of a sinner’s life to becoming a saint is a mystery. It cannot be scientifically explained. The work of grace granted to all, even to those who were not born as children of the promise have been given the privilege to fully participate in this marvelous experience. Why would it be that we should hide what has been so freely given to us when the objective was to convey to others what we have received? The way we show our appreciation for the gift of God is to display it to the world. The reason it was hidden is because it was reserved, not for the wise and the prudent because they think they know what they really need. It is to be revealed to those who have come to know that there is a deeper need within them than what they are able to meet alone. God will bridge the gap between our deepest desire or need, and His perfect will. Only then will the heart find the satisfaction that will cease its wandering in all directions. 

Meditation: June 7

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14). 

The series of events are in sequential order. First they were appointed that they might be with Him. Then they were sent out to preach. If they had not come to Him when He called them to be with Him, they would not be in position to be sent out. They learned from Him how to live and what to preach by being with Him. It is not enough to merely hear about Him from a book or word of mouth. The experience must be personal. We are called to an intimate relationship with Him. His life is an open book to those who will to know Him. But to the casual inquirer, He is misunderstood and often maligned. They accuse Him of things that are not a part of His character because they only know Him from a distance. John, the beloved disciple laid His head upon His breast. Peter the Zealot stepped out of the boat in order to join in on what Christ was experiencing while walking on the water. Intimacy includes both emotional and experiential connections. 

Meditation: January 16

 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).

Our common ancestry unites us all into the human species. We are a species of beings to which God has given special attention. All may not be aware of it, but God has given His undivided attention to mankind. All created things have been set in motion to affect him in some way or another. He has been allowed to provide care for every created thing that dwells on the earth. The Dominion Mandate given to Adam is to be given expression through us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. To understand our physiology would be more than remarkable because, in spite of our significant knowledge, there is much more yet to be discovered.  The question as to why we were made remains unanswered and even “unasked’ by modern science  which does not delve into thoughts that appear to have no answers. If we are honest with ourselves, deep life questions always lead to the question of God. And if there is any evidence in nature around us or in our human nature that reveals the wonders of God, we are forced to acknowledge His existence. And if He exists, we are compelled to inquire into what He wills for our lives. We occupy both time and space in order to know the Lord and to make Him known. Our peace is joined to our mission. We benefit from what we share with others.6

Meditation: January 4

“If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Ex 33:15).

As we move forward into this New Year, we need the Presence of the Lord. We stretch our hands into the darkness of uncertain experiences, but by faith believe that there is another Hand on the other side to take hold to guide us throughout the year. We trust God who has gone before us and has full knowledge of the end as well as every beginning; but our hope is for His Presence to be with us. As Jesus became man to dwell among us, we need His Presence daily to assure us that we are not alone. If God be with us, who can be against us? He will guide us past every pitfall and entrapment of the enemy as long as He is doing the guiding and we are not merely following the dictates of our own hearts. It is our prayer to be changed this year in order for our hearts to be after His own, thus having the will to fully follow Jesus wherever He may lead. “If He does not go with us, we do not want to be brought from here.”

Meditation: October 23

“Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God….” (1Cor 15:33-34).

The company of the deceived is hard to penetrate. There is strength in numbers among them. Even God had to come down and confound the language of those who would have built a tower that would reach the heavens. They would have made a name for themselves and stood in competition with God Himself. The company that is evil influences the behavior of those who gather together. Only the pursuit for righteousness will awaken them from the daze and cause them to be aware of what has taken control of their lives. 

The wisdom of God shouts in order to draw their attention away from the path that leads to destruction and death. The warnings are for their good. But the loss of familiar companions often arrests their reasoning and they continue on the track leading to hell. Be not deceived. There is a way that leads to death, but God wills us to learn and live.

August 2018 Article: “The Cross Cultural Attraction”

The distinct cultures of the world are the current cause of much controversy. It is the cultural clashes that divide people into competing and warring factions. The exclusivity of a particular culture, in their eyes, becomes the standard and measure of right and wrong. We changed the name of our church to Cross Culture Church over five years ago realizing that there are distinctions among culture.   There are things to be celebrated within every culture, but there are things within every culture in need of change. It is easy to accentuate the positive attributes of a culture, but the majority of people are blinded to the defects. We need an established standard and objective criticism for those invisible defects to be seen. The first lesson to be learned is that no culture is to be deified. Christ did not come into the world to affirm culture but to transform culture. He introduced to humanity the culture of heaven. The established order of heaven came down to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ and lived among us! This invasion of spiritual reality into a sinful and wayward environment created turbulence rather than peace. The world’s reality was defined by their culture, even religious traditions, which were defied by the physical presence of Truth. Jesus demonstrated truth and the power of the Father of Truth confirmed His message with signs following. The power of heaven accompanies the order of heaven. 

The customary beliefs, established systems, material traits of a racial, religious, or social group are the characteristic features of everyday living. They are shared among people in a particular place and time. Even though it may be accepted as conventional wisdom, the world’s philosophy falls short of the established standard of God. Culture is modified for the sake of expedience. Racism is a belief and practice that one people group is superior to another people group. It is perpetuated by expediency. The lesser is used to fulfill the passions, desires, and often greed of the greater. If the lesser loses its value as chattel or tools in the hands of the greater, there is no need for the lesser to continue existing. There is the culture of the slave and the culture of the slave master that can become deeply embedded into the psyche of cultures. The mindset remains even after the laws have prohibited the practice of slavery. The set standard of superiority and inferiority no longer needs supportive laws to survive. Children are born into a world where unspoken rules are established and set in motion. 

One passage of Scripture, among many others, that gives a clear expression of God’s intent is in the Book of John 12:32-33. Jesus said,  “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”  This He said, signifying by what death He would die.”

Death is the equalizer that neutralizes egoism and false images of superiority and inferiority. The death of Christ, after He demonstrated the standard, revealed the truest disposition of fallen humanity. Perfection had to die on behalf of imperfections so that the flaws within every culture can be fully realized. All must fully identify with Christ’s death so that none will attempt to justify what was formerly believed concerning his or her own life. Our ethnicity is insufficient to save us as an individual or as a people-group. Since we all have a common need, we exalt a common Savior. To lift Him up is to allow the work of the Cross to work deeply within our heart and soul. It is the culture of the cross that will become the attraction to tear down the dividing wall of partition and collectively draw people together as one, to worship the only One deserving of our full devotion. 

Meditation: July 21

“Storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1Ti 6:19).

The grace of God produces works of righteousness. It is from a heart of love that we do the will of God and not for the sake of earning His favor. If we love Jesus Christ, we will do His will and find pleasure in doing it. Those who are rich often think of themselves as having all that they need. Paul’s admonishment was not that they become impoverished, but rather to make sure that their hearts are not held captive by the things of this world. Those who find greater pleasure here and now, but lack a heavenly perspective will sacrifice eternal life for what their money is able to buy them. When Christ is our foundation we store up riches for the time to come. Every act is centered in our love for the Lord and given full expression through how we use our resources. We participate with the Lord in what He is doing on the earth as fellow laborers in His garden and in the construction of His house. After our work is complete, we will spend eternity with Him giving full expression of what has been developed within us as the result of our labor of love.