July 29…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…”The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;”Lam 3:25
…We can live days without food, hours without water, minutes without air, but we cannot live at all without hope. For that reason, people will sacrifice almost anything to grab a few, fleeting moments of false hope wherever they can get it: a substance that dulls their senses, a relationship that destroys their self esteem, or even a career that subverts their life’s purpose. What we choose to place our hope in, gets our focus and our allegiance. It is what we seek. Only God is capable of giving you the hope you need. Jesus will not only meet your need for hope today, but you will find that He is worthy of your focus and your allegiance. He will give you a harbor of hope in an otherwise chaotic world. He will not take from you. He will give to you hope. Seek Him, and you will discover that He is good. He will be all the hope you need.
July 29…DAILY ENCOUNTER
July 28…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…Ready to get drenched?
“…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1Jn 4:16
…We live in a self-absorbed world. As a result, we have become a culture of people saturated with fear. We worry constantly about what may or may not happen. Our self obsession dominates our lives and drenches everything we do. We don’t have to lead such defeated lives. We can saturate ourselves with something other than fear. Love is to God what wetness is to water. Wetness is the means by which water has contact with everything around it. Love is the means by which God has contact with us. As any object covered by water becomes wet, whoever is covered by the presence of God is saturated with love. Need love? Let Jesus drench you with His presence today… And discover just how great a love soaked life can be!!
Sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee, wearing my LIFE IS GOOD porch sitting shirt. Heading out to Princeton, KY later to preach @ Pleasant Grove Church where Johnathon Arzin is pastor. Prayers appreciated!
July 25…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…What do you crave?
…”Jesus answered,’I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.‘“John 14:6
…We are all created with certain cravings, desires that we are driven to fulfill and will do almost anything to see met. In fact, you could say that fulfilling these 3 basic desires is the obsession of the human condition. We all need: 1-to be loved; 2-to believe in something that is true; 3-to become someone whose life matters. People will succumb to a substance, betray a friend, work themselves to exhaustion, or embrace the latest and greatest just to move a little closer to possibly resolving these soul cravings. The irony is that there is nothing we can do to meet these needs in our own lives. These cravings were placed in us by our Creator, and only He can satisfy them. They are there to draw us into His embrace. Only in Jesus do we find “the way” to unconditional love, “the truth” we can believe in, and “the life” that counts. Let Jesus bring you to the Father today… And find the cravings of your soul satisfied FOREVER!
July 24…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…Are you ready for some peace?
…”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14:27
…Jesus gives us His peace as a gift, not like the world gives, expecting it to be earned or demanding something in return. Jesus gives His peace to those who follow Him. His peace does not guarantee the absence of trouble, hard work, pain or noise. It doesn’t make sense. His peace allows us to stand in the midst of chaos and still be calm in heart. His peace delivers us from fear and allows us to smile while others worry. The peace Jesus offers us is unaffected by our circumstances, our past failures, or our immediate distractions. His peace allows us to live our lives with purpose, unaffected by the threats of others. It is His peace that will carry us, eventually, into His embrace where we will live in peace forever. That peace is available to you, today. What is bothering you? What do you fear? Let the peace of Jesus, not your pain, your challenge, or the noise of this world define you. Follow Him and find the peace you were meant to know!!
July 23…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…Who do you trust? Really trust?
…”I will say of the LORD,‘“He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91: 2
…Whatever threatens to disrupt our lives is no match for our God, who is the “refuge” where we find comfort and the “fortress” where we find protection. To know His comfort and protection requires that you know Him (“my God”) and “trust” Him. The problem is that we all have trust issues. We have all risked trusting someone who has either let us down or, even worse, has purposely betrayed us. What are we to do with that violation of trust? The answer to that question will determine just how engaged in life we will be. For those who refuse to trust again, their lives are marked by suspicion, isolation, and fear. For those, however, who are willing to risk trusting again, while they may experience yet another wound, their vulnerability allows them to live without fear. Have you closed yourself off from others because you are afraid to trust again? Try, as a place to begin, trusting the One who will not let you down. Jesus will not betray you. Are you trusting Him in your challenge today?
July 22…DAILY ENCOUNTER
… Are you focussed?
“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down….” Neh 6:3
…The enemies of God’s people came to Nehemiah and requested a meeting, but Nehemiah refused to meet because he refused to lose his focus on his calling. We live very unfocused lives. There are so many voices and noises clamoring after us that we frequently spend our days with no real focus. Technology only serves to compound the problem. Everything from texts to emails to social media demand our attention. As a result of the multitude of distractions, we lose our focus on what matters most, the purpose God has designated just for us, our calling! Focus a light and it becomes a laser that cuts through the hardest steel. Diffuse the light and the result is a dimly lit room at best. What has God called you to do that deserves your full, undistracted focus today? Focus like a laser on that one thing and you will not only cut through all the distractions, but you will make a difference.
July 21… DAILY ENCOUNTER
…”Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” Heb10:25
…People often evaluate a church service by what they “got out of it”. We should rather evaluate the service by what we gave to it. We should be giving God our worship and others our encouragement. It is wrong to make church something selfish. It is not about us. What comments have you made about church recently? Have you complained about the music… the pastor… the sermon… the service… the people… the length of time in church… the temperature in the building… the crying baby… or whatever didn’t suit you? Maybe you need to rise above your selfish self and put your focus where it belongs, worshipping our Lord and encouraging His people! Try praying for your church and your pastor instead of complaining. You will be amazed how much you will be changed.
July 19…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…Do you need a second chance?
…”Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:” Jon 3:1
…Like Jonah, we often run from God’s will. We may not be swallowed by a fish, but our rebellion will come with a price. The cost of our rebellion will be high and will most often be measured in the lives of the people that we wound as we blindly, and selfishly, make our rebellious choices. There is, however, hope for those of us who have succumbed to the temptation to rebel. If we return to God, then, also like Jonah, God will renew our call, our purpose. He will help us rise above the mess we have created with our rebellion and show us how to set things right. We serve the God of the second chance. Where do you need to get back on track with God’s will so that you can get your second chance? Why don’t you start today? And… just maybe, if enough of us turn back to God… America will, too!
July 18…DAILY ENCOUNTER
…Are you grieving a loss?
…”Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”Mt 5:4
…When we grieve a loss, like a loved one who passes away or a dream that is shattered or a betrayal that ends a relationship, the worst part is often the loneliness that accompanies the loss. It can leave us inconsolable. It is our dark night of the soul. We feel completely abandoned. Jesus said that we would be comforted at those times of greatest mourning, which implies that we are not alone, that someone will help us. That someone is Jesus. He was despised and rejected by His own creation, betrayed by those closest to Him, and murdered by the very people He loved and wanted to help. His dark night of the soul was a cross and a tomb, but He refused to be defined by His dark night. He rose above the dark night of His soul and delivered those who would follow Him. Refuse to be defined by your dark night of the soul. Run to Jesus. Follow Him. And, in His embrace, find not only comfort, but the peace of knowing that your dark night was not wasted. It… and you… have a purpose!