Where will we make our home?

And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or  to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall  be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything  but death parts you and me.”
Ruth 1:15-17 NKJV

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
John 14:21-23 NKJV

We choose each day who it is we are making our home with. Are we making our home with the world? Or are we a traveler here in this place making preparations for our eternal home? What we do today,  how we live,  is the reflection of what our heart truly desires – indicates what we truly believe. What will your life say today about where you have chosen to make your home?

As we make decisions about selling our home and moving to the farm,  I hope that our decisions are not as much about the house that we will be constructing – as about the home that we will be making for our family and friends.

Lord, don’t allow us to be satisfied living a life where you have not infiltrated every area of our life. Lord,  create in us a hunger to leave the temporary and worthless things of this world and to cling to the abundant life of a day filled with the fruit of your Holy Spirit. Teach us to love and serve and honor you in our actions, in our service,  from the time we wake up until the time that we go to sleep. Teach us to side step empty religious practice and to instead, dive into a life swimming in your presence. Teach us to love. Teach us to live. Amen.

Attitude & Desires

Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
John 6:27-29 NKJV

What are you laboring for most in your life?

What is your greatest desire?

What is it that you’re all in and won’t stop striving for even until your death?

What is it that you’re willing to suffer for and go through trials and tribulation for?

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Revelation 2:10 NKJV

Let’s remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and their faithfulness. They refused to worship the gold statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar. They were not willing to compromise all that they believed. They took their stands for the living God, even if it meant death. And even though they were thrown into the fiery furnace,  God delivered them.

As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:36-39 NKJV

The Workday that Never Ended

I’ve been at work since 8AM Wednesday morning. The conference call rolled around the globe from one support team to another through the day, night, and morning again. I’m about to see my shift mates return to the office to me still in the same clothes. I’m thankful to the Lord for the strength to endure, but definitely seeking an end in sight to the endless hours and long nights of the past month. I’ve had so little uninterrupted sleep in the past 5 weeks that I’m just a rodeo clown dodging bulls from one day to the next.

My wife and I worked in a quick phone call to still do our morning devotional together, and I was able to tell my daughter that I love her and miss her before she gets ready for school. When we are on the other side of a phone, it doesn’t matter if we are 10 miles away or 1000, because we aren’t there for the hugs, the quality time, the important time leading our household. But even these little sacrifices are nothing in comparison to the cross.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NLT

Continue reading “The Workday that Never Ended”

Get to Work

For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 ESV

“We worked night and day” and “if anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” – Yes, this is the passage that my wife and I opened to for our devotional together this morning – immediately on the heals of yet another late night of work.

I have worked the past 3 weeks working through the nights on the weekends and taking calls almost every single night from work and I’m still there every day for first shift Monday through Friday. In fact, one of the weekends, I had an hour and a half of sleep Friday night and 3 hours Saturday night because of the workload.

Many look at the long hours that I put into my job at times and wonder how I can do it, or even why I would do it. And my answer is, there is a need, and it is in my ability to fill that need. Some of those same people might look at the time that I dedicate weekly to ministry – around 30 hours a week, and they may have the same question, why?

And the reason is the same, there is a need, and I am able to fill it.

Is it a heavy burden at times? It can seem that way if I’m not doing it for the right reasons – but not if I see a need, and I realize that I am able to help, and serve, and give of myself, to help others.

While many might throw accusations that I’m foolish and being used and manipulated and taken advantage of – I would say, if that is so, then am I not blessed to share in sufferings and trials with my Savior?

Isn’t the physical weariness of my long work week nothing beside the sacrifice my Lord and Savior made at the cross?

It encourages me to know that repeatedly the Word of God makes a differentiation between those religious leaders who lived off of the silver of those they oppressed with the law – and Christ the Good Shepherd (and His disciples) who came to serve the needy, to feed the poor, to work and provide for themselves and to help others. It encourages me when I have every urge and passion to spread this gospel to the ends of the earth, but I have no urge to stop working.

And do not take this as an attack upon those who are paid to preach the gospel. I have no fight with my brother, because that is between him and the Lord. We are not all called and used for the same purpose or in the same manner or during the same seasons of our lives. Even the Pharisees were used for God’s purpose when they persecuted Jesus Christ, because if all were perfect, who would there be left to lift Him up on the cross but imperfect me?

I’m just thankful for this blessed assurance that my Lord offers me, in such an encouraging Word just at the perfect moment, just on the morning when it is needed to strengthen me for the day ahead. I may have worked through the night and into the morning, and it may be time again to head back into the office and do this thing again – but I am strengthened by the Lord. And I am doing His work, not working for mere men.

There is a need. There is a great need. Both in your workplace and in the mission field.

Are you stepping forth to fill that need? Or sitting idle and still expecting to eat?

Get to work, friends. The time is short, the need is great, and your end will be upon you sooner than you might imagine.

Please don’t be satisfied with the words LAZY or IDLE or SELFISH even touching the thoughts or tongue of whoever will be giving your eulogy – if you would claim the name of Christ as the Savior of your life. He deserves a better testimony than that from us, friends. He deserves the words FAITHFUL SERVANT to be the undeniable evidence and testimony of our lives.