Happy 20th birthday Josiah! So grateful to have you here to celebrate!
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Today I am enjoying my family, eating good food and hearing from friends all over the world. I am counting my blessings and weeping as I do it. God has been so good to our family. He has always been good to us, but the last two years have brought me to a new level of gratitude and appreciation for the simple and little things in life. We can move so fast that we take things for-granted. Take time everyday to taste and see that the Lord is good… because He is!
As for me, I am thankful to have my family around me today. I am thankful that my kids and grand kids are ALL healthy and whole. I am thankful that I have a wonderful group of people at Christ Community Church that I get to pastor starting this next week as we move to Oklahoma. God is good!
What are you thankful for today?
So, the Israelites forget all that God had done for them in the past, and they measured the task by their own strength. We also see that…
- They viewed things in their own perspective rather than in the light of God’s promises.
In Numbers 13:33, the Bible says that the Israelites “saw the Nephilim,” compared themselves to those giants, and decided that compared to the giants, they were like little bugs.
God had already promised them the land, yet the Israelites lived as if this was all going to depend on them to accomplish. NEWS FLASH: God has already won the victory! What He says he will do, He will do! He is faithful!
We can get so wrapped up in things and our circumstances around us that we forget that God has already promised to take lead us to a determined end. If we are going to be “Giant Killers” and not “Grasshoppers,” we have to remember the promises of God.”
Ok, one more!
- They were more concerned about their circumstances that they were God’s will.
In Numbers 13: 27-28 the Israelites said, “It is all like God promised it would be… It is good like God said… It is just as He promised…” And then they said, “But…” (vs. 28) . They recognized God’s will and then saw it in the light of their own circumstances (the people that were in the land) and they decided God’s will was just not worth it.
I know many people that have done the same thing. They think they want to follow God’s will until they see the circumstances around them as they step out to follow God. Then, they just decide it is not worth it to follow God’s plan for their life.
It is not always easy to follow God’s plan, but it is always worth it!
If we are going to be “Giant Killers” and not “Grasshoppers,” we have to focus God’s will, not the circumstances around us.
Let’s strive to live like Giant Killers, not Grasshoppers!
Today is my wife’s birthday… she is 35… again… (not really, but I am NOT going to say how old she is today… but it rhymes with 40!) She is more beautiful than the day I married her. She just gets better as the years go by! I love you Jennifer! Cannot wait to post the same thing when we are 80!
I am at the National Worship Leader Conference with about a billion other people (yes, that is an exaggeration!). I am sitting in the lobby of the host church (lobby makes it sound very small! It is not! I love to watch people, so that is what i am doing as we wait to go eat and then catch the evening events. As I look around it is cool to see people reconnecting with friends, laughing, sharing stories and just having a good time. It is so cool to see! There are many churches represented. Many different beliefs held, and yet, we are all getting along. That is so refreshing!
I grew up in a system that said if you do not believe just like me, I cannot have anything to do with you. And, you must be ungodly and a heretic. We did not say it in so many words, but that was our practice. Once I got into college and realized how many differences there could be I was amazed at how little tolerance was shown for things that make no difference at all, and this was among “believers.” Over the last several years, I have listened to people criticize other people, who they don’t even know, just because they usually criticized people who were making huge impact for the Kingdom or were doing things different. Quite honestly, I am tired of the egos, tired of the fussing and tired of small people trying to make themselves big all in the name of Jesus.
We will worship together tonight… several thousand of us. It will be a taste of heaven I am sure. I am sure there are some there are some that would criticize us and how we worship here tonight. They probably won’t like heaven either…
Thanks dad! You are a great example of a Godly father and husband! Plus, you raised me a Nebraska Cornhusker fan… who could ask for more!
Most people that read this blog (all three of you) know that I have 5 kids. It is exciting and rewarding, as well as tiring and challenging at times. One of the great things about kids, is that they say some pretty crazy things at times. They will use words that do not make sense in the way they are using them, or they will make up a word to describe something. “Out of the mouths of babes” refers to a truth that a kid will say, and they usually have no idea what they are saying!
This same thing happens in our spiritual lives as well. I have run across many spiritually immature people that will say things that make me want to smack them in the name of Jesus! I know, that is not a very “spiritual” response either. I do not smack them, I just want to! (That is great progress for me!) The statements that are made are an indicator o just how mature they are as Christ followers. Now, before you think I am picking on new Christians that just do not know any better, I just want to let you know that I am not talking about new Christians. They usually are not the ones that make these statements. It is usually people that have been “Christians” for a long time. You see, many years as a Christ follower do not mean maturity. Ok, let me get to a couple of the statements:
- “I am not being fed.” – News flash: It is your job to feed yourself! Come on, you have been a Christ follower for 20 years and you do not know how to pick up the fork (Bible) and eat? All five of my kids needed help to learn how to eat. They had the desire to eat, but they did not have the ability to feed themselves at first. by the time they reached their first birthday, my kids knew how to pick up the food placed in front of them and do something with it! And now they get up and pretty much find their own food and fill themselves up. Many times immature Christians say this, but what they really mean is that the message is not entertaining enough, it does not “tickle” their ears. Other times, there is a spiritual sickness that zaps your appetite. If you are not being fed, is it because of lack of desire? Is it because of sickness? I have never met a mature Christian that has a problem with being fed. They know how to pick up the Word and be fed. That is our responsibility.
- “What does this church have for me.” – As I read the Scriptures, I never once see where the church is to worry about having things for people. I do see that the church is all about putting people together that have gifts to use for the good of the body. In other words, we ought to turn the question around and ask people, “What do you have for our church.” After all, the gifts that are given to each believer are there to edify the church. Having great ministries is not a bad thing, but it is to be a by-product of people serving and using their gifts for the good of the church.
We will continue this tomorrow!