Archive for June, 2016

If we are going to finish a race, a project, a speech or whatever, the way we begin greatly affects our completion. The same is true in our walk with God. Learning how to memorize scripture, or to have a quiet time with God, or how to study the Bible are for sure blue ribbons. They get us going, but if we don’t know the “why” we are doing these things, we will probably drop them when life sneaks up on us and hits us with real hard stuff.

If we know why we should memorize scripture, it makes complete sense to do it. David said it like this in Psalm 119:9 and 11 in The Word on the Street “The chances of a young guy staying pure? The odds on a girl not getting hurt?…I’ve memorized your words in my heart as my guarantee not to make you frown.”

If we don’t know “why” we should “hide God’s Word in our heart” (memorize it), we’re kidding ourselves about our intention to please God with our life or win the battles our enemy wages against us every day. The same can be said of having a quiet time or reading or studying the Bible. The “why” makes all the difference in what marks our life when we are 40, 50 or 75 years old.

WHAT THIS MEANS: Have you started the race on the right foot? If not, it’s never too late to begin. We must understand the power in knowing “why” we are doing something before we focus on the “how” to do it.

Memories are interesting. The older I get, it seems my life has become more uncluttered. What that really means is that I don’t remember a lot of things. But there are some things I know, have seen and experienced, that will always be ingrained in my memory. I can see them in my mind’s eye.

The early followers of Jesus had a unique place in history. They actually saw, listened to and talked life with Jesus. We get to read about it. The first verses of 1 John 1 say it like this in The Word on the Street “I’ve seen the Real Thing. He was around way back before history heard the starting gun. I was there! I heard him, clocked my eyes on him…we’d share in court that he’s the genuine article.”

There was no way they would be talked out of the stories they must have repeated many times to people. We haven’t seen Jesus like these guys did, but we can know him and see who he is anyway. Once we know and see, we are changed and we can’t decide we never knew or saw the truth that walked around the middle east. We can’t go back!

WHAT THIS MEANS: Keep making memories of Jesus events in your life. Google Maps can’t diagram this destination and once we begin the trip, we “know and see” and build a memory for a lifetime.

You can get a coffee at many coffee shops and there are many places you can get a burger and fries. How do you decide? In the long run, it really doesn’t matter (except for coffee). Do you ever stand before your closet and take 20 minutes deciding what to wear? Gender probably plays a role in that one-just saying.

But there is one decision you can make that will change everything. would you like to know? Or might you have some questions as to the implications, dangers, benefits…?

Think with me about 2 Corinthians 5:17. If we’re “linked to Jesus”as The Word on the Street says, “…we’re not genetically modified but are brand new.” There’s a big decision to make here. John 3:5-7 talks about a destination that’s better than our dream vacation-God’s kingdom. But a decision must be made. If every person will kneel before God at some point, making a right choice is huge. Look at Romans 14:12.

So, we make decisions every day, but one is make once and then reaffirmed many times in our lifetime. Everything is affected when we decide Jesus meant what he said and we’re going to do it all and not miss out.

WHAT THIS MEANS: Each person has an opportunity to let Jesus be the boss. Our decision to be “all in” affects everything. How do you know you have made that decision and meant it?

It was recently discovered that a house built in the foothills of Boise had a crack in the foundation. The hill had settled and caused the damage. It may take a little while to discover flaws in a foundation. An earthquake can expose them quickly, but rain over a few years eventually can do the same thing. Either way, something could be incomplete in the construction.

No one would want to purchase the house mentioned above until the issue is resolved. What about spiritual growth? We can easily accept learning information about the Bible without dealing with it in our life. Just as we wouldn’t want to live in the house with an exposed flaw in the foundation, we shouldn’t settle for learning Biblical facts without seeing a change in our life.

In John 13:17 Jesus is clear that the benefit for us is not in knowing what he said, but rather practicing what he said. He spoke about this also in Matthew 7:24-25 using another analogy. The Message speaks about “incidental additions” we can make in our lives that don’t change anything in our attitudes or character. They only have an appearance of change. James 1:25 also in the Message speaks about how distractions can derail us in practicing what matters.

WHAT THIS MEANS: Take a hard look at your life this week and ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you are practicing what you have studied and maybe even memorized. What hangs you up in making an application of the Word? What distracts you from getting serious about practicing what you know?