Sunday, January 28, 2007

Galatians 6:10

Galatians 6:10-“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

About six months ago, I did a devotional thanking you for sticking with me throughout this exercise of obedience. I told you that I appreciated you being with me and helping me. I appreciated your words of encouragement. Most of all, I like it when you identify with the events happening in my life, and relate them to your own.

I really have felt that it’s time for thanks, again. However, I think you should look at each other, and say thank you. I think it’s time we look at those around us; those whose deeds and sacrifices go somewhat unnoticed and unappreciated. I think it’s time we say thank you to everyone who contributes into our life.

As Christians, we sometimes get into the mentality of being a “receiver” and getting, getting, getting all the time. We never take time to be a “giver”. Now, don’t turn me off, I’m not talking about money or anything at all like that.

When is the last time that you told someone “Thank you” just for doing something they probably took for granted? When was the last time you thanked someone for being there for you or for supporting you? When was the last time you put someone above yourself and said, “I appreciate your sacrifice”?

I know I don’t do it NEAR enough. So that is another thing that I have set out to do this year. I want to increase my thank you quotient. I want people to know they are appreciated and welcomed.

Then there is the other side of that coin. The one where we wonder what motive there is when someone tells us thank you. We complain that no one acknowledges us. Then, when they do, we wonder what they want from us. We think they are getting ready to ask us to do something else in our already overloaded schedule.

So, let’s make a deal. Take your thank you with grace and mercy. Take it for how it’s meant, as a true token of appreciation. If you do that, then I’ll do it for you when you tell me thank you for doing something as well. Let’s show the world our love for one another as an example of Christ’s love.

Oh, and one more thing. I don’t want any of these off-handed thank you statements, either. You know what I mean. I’m talking about the grunt that you offer up as a pathetic attempt at acknowledging someone’s effort. The half-hearted “thank you” said under your breath or just above the hearing threshold. The one you hope that someone catches on the fly as you run out of the house.

NO! I want a thank you where you look someone in the eye, and really let them know you are paying attention to them. I want one where you speak clearly, and audibly. I want a thank you that engages someone to their core. I’m not asking for speeches or anything like that. I want you to use two little words a bit more in the future than you have in the past.

Thank you all for your time. Thank you all for your effort. Thank you all for keeping me in your heart and carving out a place for me in your life. Thank you.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Proverbs 30:7-8

Why can’t I do what I want? Why does it seem like my life is always determined and bound by what I CAN’T do? At what point is my happiness not dependent on things around me?

We’ve been over what Paul the Apostle said about being content where we’re at in life. Why is that so hard? Why can’t I just be FREE in where I am at this point?

Why am I bound in this prison?

I know in my heart of hearts that I have everything I need, but I always want more. I’m never happy with just being content. Someone else always has it better than I do.

Did you ever think about that?

Think about what?

You look and see that someone else has it better than you. Did you ever really think about that?

I don’t understand; think about what?

If you can look at someone else and think that their life is so much better….who is looking at yours and thinking the same thing?

But, I mean, I don’t….

I know how you feel about everything in your life. You know that, don’t you?

Yes.

Do you, inside in the part of you that you keep from everyone else, REALLY think that I have left you hanging in life?

No; not really.

It’s a human thing. Something that you need to understand is its part of your basic makeup. I use you wanting to get better stuff to get you to keep on studying My Word, and getting closer to Me.

Sometimes it really hurts. Especially when I’m just going through the motions with certain stuff…I’m just tired of it. But, You know, I just keep trying for You. You’re worth it.

You are worth it to me, as well. Here, let me help you out. This is something that I want you to use as one of YOUR resolutions this year. Okay?

Alright; what is it?

Proverbs 30:7-8-“Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches-feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

Wow. I don’t ever remember reading that before, in all the times I’ve read Proverbs.

It’s amazing how this stuff just kind of jumps out at you when you need it.

God?

Yeah, Bo?

I don’t know that I’m….alright….yet. But, as I said before, I’ll keep working on it because of what You did for me.

Hey, don’t worry. I already knew that. How about you be blessed in the Lord today?

Thanks.

Bo J.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Proverbs 3:33

Proverbs 3:33- “The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just.”

This verse means a lot to me in the context of my life recently. See, during my quiet times, I’ve been reading and learning about Job. You know the guy who had all sorts of trials and tribulations happen to him, seemingly for no reason?

People have debated this for many, many, MANY years. They wonder why God did this to him; they wonder why he was tested if he was righteous before the Lord.

Let’s get this straight; God didn’t test Job-He allowed Job to be tested by the enemy. It’s stated in the Bible in black and white. God DIDN’T do the tormenting, the enemy did. God set BOUNDARIES on what the enemy could do in his persecution of Job.

I think God did this for two reasons. One, so that the enemy could see how much Job loved God. The other, so Job could see how prideful and arrogant he behaved towards God.

But wait, whoa, back the truck up Bo! God did what?

I said God showed Job his pride and arrogance. He showed Job that he thought his righteousness and his standing came from his own behavior. Job acted like God OWED it to him to be kind to him.

We’ve discussed this before, but I’m hard-headed, so it bears repeating. God DOES NOT OWE US DIDDLY! (And yes, diddly is the descriptive term.)

Sometimes, things happen in our lives. Things don’t go the way we think they ought. We get caught up in the moment; in our circumstances; in what is going on around us. We get bogged down in the quicksand of life.

God tells us to “look to the hills from whence cometh our help.” He tells us not to forget Who He is, and what He has already done for us. However, we get to the point in our walk where we take for granted our relationship with the Creator; not to mention the fact that we begin to expect certain things from God.

We expect that if we make a commitment to do something, and God is in it, that nothing will go wrong. And if/when something does happen to us, we look at God like He has lost His ever loving mind!

Job demanded from his “friends” that he wished he could approach God and show him why he did not deserve what was going on in his life. He wished that he could tell God how wrong He was for coming against him. After all, he was righteous; everyone around him knew it!

Then, something happened to him that happens to all of us at one time or another. God bowed up on Job. He came to face to face with him and told him to be a man and show God where He was wrong!

How small do you think Job felt at that moment? When the rush of adrenaline and anger is all gone, and all you feel is the utter insignificance of your being compared to that of the Almighty?

But in the end, Job redeemed himself, by repenting. And God blessed him TWICE as much as before. He was richer, more powerful, better known, more everything than ever. And I bet that he ascribed ALL his status to God; and rightfully so.

Let’s not forget that, if we are believers, our house is blessed. Sometimes, it may not seem like it. Sometimes, you are going through lots. Sometimes LOADS of garbage seem to be piling on top of you.

Don’t forget that we are blessed. This is my second New Year’s resolution-to TRY and remember that I am too blessed to be stressed. Sometimes, you may see me bowing under. But the greatest quality of a Christian, to me, is not that we bend under the strain. It’s that we REFUSE to BREAK under it.

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Bo J.

Monday, January 08, 2007

1 Peter 5:6-7

Hi! Wow, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

Sorry, I just wanted to give you a break during the Christmas season, and then the New Year came around and well, you know…

So how are those resolutions coming? Come on, you know you probably made some. You know what they are; promises you make about the coming year to make your life better. The only thing is that you probably didn’t have a PLAN on how you were going to implement these sweeping changes into your life.

Here, let me add some more to your list. I have 3 resolutions for this year. I may share them all with you, so you can help me keep them. Here is my first one:

1 Peter 5:6-7- “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

I resolve to TRY and allow myself to be used more of God, and block him less and less. I resolve to TRY and let God remove this useless pride and desires for my own way from my life. I resolve to TRY and step back more and allow God to take care of my worries and cares, so I can focus more on learning and growing in Him.

Will it be easy? No; nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Will it be worth it? Oh, you betcha! How much more fulfilling will my life be if I allow the Almighty to have free rein in it?

If I humble myself under God’s hand, He will exalt me. That way, I don’t have to spend my time trying to puff myself up and make myself look all wonderful and purty in everyone else’s eyes. I just let God do all the work, and give Him the credit. But I get to reap the benefit. Doesn’t that just sound cool?

And when something comes up that tries to take my focus off of God, I immediately give it over to Him. I just take it to Daddy God and say, “This thing is trying to get me to look at my circumstances and not at Your goodness.” Then I step back and watch the fur fly. Heehee! That poor ole problem didn’t have a chance against God!

So, there you have it. It’s good to back in touch with each and every one of you again. It’ll be a year at the end of this month that we have been together. I thank God for all of you; and for your patience as I muddle through and stumble in this thing called life.

Be blessed in the Lord today, and this year.

Bo J.