Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fully Equipped

To be effective in sports a player needs to have all the necessary equipment. I can’t imagine any coach that would send his quarterback onto the field if the player didn’t have a helmet. What about a 1st baseman leaving his glove in the dugout? Neither player would be able to help his team.

The same is true in the professional world. A construction worker needs steel-toes and a hard hat; a chef needs knives, and a cab driver needs, well, a cab. If they are not fully equipped then they are not able to properly perform their tasks.

As believers we also need equipment to help us live life properly. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 sum it up rather nicely: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Scripture—all Scripture—is important. Recorded on its pages are the answers to what we face in life, but you won’t find them if you aren’t looking. Whether you are grieving, doubting, questioning, or curious, God’s Word has information that can help.

Especially if you are tempted with sin. When Jesus was tempted by Satan He didn’t quote Dr. Phil or Freud, but His Father. That’s what led the psalmist to say, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee (Psalm 119:11).”

Are you fully equipped to live a life of godliness? Don’t leave it in the dugout; grab your Bible dig into God’s Word.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


The word unfaithful has a negative connotation in our society, and for good reason. When I hear the word unfaithful I think of an unfaithful spouse that broke a marriage vow; I also think of an unfaithful parent that continually breaks promises to children. The word also brings to mind the unfaithfulness of a friend, the ones who stab us in the back and betray our trust.

Wives unfaithful to their husbands.
Fathers unfaithful to the children.
Friends unfaithful to friends.

How many times does a person have to be unfaithful to us before we stop trusting them? Usually just once.

If you have been let down by someone’s unfaithfulness, then you will probably like the first three words of 1 Corinthians 1:9—“God is faithful.”

God is faithful. He will never cheat, make excuses, or stab in the back. He will faithfully be who He has promised to be, and He will not go back on His word. He has promised to forgive us as often as we repent, and He will be faithful to do so. He promises an unconditional love, and He will faithfully love us. He has promised a home in heaven to all who call Him Lord, and He will not let us down.

God is faithful. But that verse continues: “who has called us into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” He is faithful and He has invited us into a relationship with Himself.

Maybe you once had a relationship with God but you are not as close as you once were. Guess which one of you was unfaithful.

For many of us, if someone lets us down we are not too quick to welcome them back. If you have walked away from God then He has felt the sting of your unfaithfulness, but He will gladly welcome you back the second you call out to Him in repentance.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Building an Image

When people think of you, what do they think?

Many of us work on building a reputation, and many of us actually succeed in doing so. Do people know you as the one who can throw the perfect spiral or fastball? Are you the one with the best voice? Maybe you are the brainiac or the class clown. Perhaps people know you as the hardest worker or the rising star.

Those things are usually fine, but let me ask you another question: if you are succeeding in being known for what you want to be known for, is it worth it? Are you striving for the best possible reputation?

I have always been into sports, and in my younger days I wanted to be known as an athlete. As happy as I was to be named MVP of the basketball team when I was in 6th grade, do you think that will come up at my funeral? If that’s the focus, then there clearly wasn’t much to my life.

Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child is known by what he does, whether his conduct is pure and upright.” More than being known for things like talents and hobbies, I want to be known and remembered for how I act.

The word “even” in that proverb shows that everyone—from adult down to toddler—is known by his actions. What do people think of you? Don’t get too invested in being known for the things mentioned above; rather, work towards being known as a person whose conduct is pure and upright.

When we live life this way people see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. It is what Jesus had in mind when He said “by this all men will know that you are my disciples: if you have love one for another.” 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Two Women of Faith

In the Gospels there are two stories of women who found healing, one for herself, and one for her daughter.

The first woman had a blood disorder that left her ceremonially unclean and an outcast from society. Her health also drove her to bankruptcy as she turned from one doctor to the next in a hopeless search of a cure. But that was all before Jesus passed by.

This unmanned woman fought through the crowd and was able to touch just one of the tassels on his outer garment. In that instant healing power flowed from Jesus to this woman as she immediately became well. And in Luke 8:48 we see what Jesus credited for this healing: “Your faith has made you well.”

The second woman was a Syrophoenician, a Gentile. In the presence of Jewish men, who would view her as the equivalent of a stray dog, she asked Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus initially ignored the woman, testing her faith. But as she persisted Jesus healed her daughter, declaring, “Oh woman! Great is your faith! (Matthew 15:28)”

In both situations Jesus commented on the faith of these women, and that faith is what led to their healings. These women were similar in that they had nothing they could boast of aside from their faith. The first woman had spent at least twelve years away from the synagogue and probably knew little of the Scriptures or Jesus. The second woman never presented Jesus with a list of her or her daughter’s accomplishments.

They just had faith.

And faith is all that is required of us. You don’t need a PhD to come to Jesus; you don’t need to be an MVP or CEO. You just need faith. It matters none how much or little you know of the Bible or the church; just put your faith in Jesus. The longer you serve Him the more you will learn, but the first thing you need is faith.

We can learn a major lesson from these unnamed women. No matter who you are or what you have done, if you put your faith in Jesus then you too can be made well.