“Washing Up”

Posted June 2, 2016 by rebrev
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“Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.” – John 13:10a

Recently, while camping, I was out walking down a dusty dirt road fairly early in the morning and this verse came to mind as I looked down at my feet. Ii hadn’t been that long since I had showered, yet my feet looked as if they hadn’t seen water (much less soap) in a while.

In Jesus’ day, they wore sandals and walked on dirty roads all the time. When you entered someone’s home, the lowest ranking servant was tasked with washing feet. This was what Jesus was doing for the disciples when Peter protested. He felt it was just wrong for Jesus to be put in such a subservient role.

But, Jesus took that moment to teach about spiritual cleansing. He told them if you’ve bathed and your feet get dirty, you need to wash them, but you needn’t go take a full bath again. Spiritually, if we have been cleansed by His saving grace, we are not made perfect, yet – and the lesson from that is twofold.

The first thing we need to learn is that when we have gone to Him in repentance and are forgiven, we are indeed given His righteousness. This assurance brings us a freedom to live as His child.

The second thing is that we still get “dirty” by our daily sinful actions and thoughts, and we need to go to Him often for His cleansing forgiveness.

My prayer this week is we will realize our need for spiritual cleansing through God’s amazing grace – whether for the first time or a daily “wash up.”

“The Little Things”

Posted May 26, 2016 by rebrev
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And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’” – Luke 10:27

Many years ago, I attended a seminar where I was introduced to the “Broken Windows” theory of policing. Essentially, this theory says if we mind the small things such as vandalism, trespassing, etc. it will help deter great incidences of crime.

An oversimplified way of saying it is “take care of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.”

This week’s verse reminds us this is not only true in policing, but in our spiritual life as well. Many times we tend to let the “small things” slip and then find ourselves way off course and wonder how that happened.

If we tend to these two “simple” commands, they will take care of those larger issues.

My prayer this week is for each of us to mind the small stuff.

 

“Learning to Walk”

Posted May 19, 2016 by rebrev
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He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah 6:8

Recently Murphy began obedience school. One of the first things he learned was to walk by my side. He often had his own agenda and would want to pull ahead or go off in a different direction. I recently saw another dog owner basically dragging her dog who did not want to go at all.

Now that he walks with me, he seems to enjoy it a lot more – I know I do.

The verse above reminds us that what God expects from us – to walk with Him.

Too often we have our own agenda and try to take off in a different direction. – or we just don’t want to go at all.

One thing I learned in training with Murphy was I need to talk to him and he needs to listen. God has spoken to us by His word and His Spirit – and we need to learn to listen. This will enable us to “walk humbly with our God.”

My prayer this week is for each of us to listen and walk more closely with Him.

 

“I am Resolved…”

Posted April 14, 2016 by rebrev
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But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.” – Daniel 1:8

Temptation. Everyone has, and everyone will, face it. What will you do when that time comes? We often hear folks say, “Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” Or, “It depends what it is. How should I know till that time comes?”

Daniel and his friends didn’t take that approach. They faced a variety of temptations and challenges, yet they never gave in to any of those.

The key to their resolve is found in this verse, and others like it throughout the book of Daniel. He resolved he was not going to give in from the beginning. He didn’t wait to see what was on the menu. He didn’t wait to see what others would do. He didn’t look for excuses. He didn’t take a poll of popular opinion.

He resolved. He made up his mind before the temptation came. His friends did the same thing. Even if it cost them their lives – they were not going to do what they knew was not right.

The same thing will work for us – if we exercise that same type of resolve.

My prayer this week is you will resolve to the right thing, the right way, at the right time – all the time, by the strength God gives for each day.

 

“Building on the Rock”

Posted April 7, 2016 by rebrev
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Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24

I recently went for a run on fresh asphalt. Maybe it’s just me, but if I must run on asphalt, I prefer it be new. And this was. New, fresh, asphalt. It was a beautiful thing – as asphalt goes.

But, I got to a particular spot and it was all cracked and crumbling. It seems they had had a tremendous amount of rain and the ground had washed out from under that section of road. Even though the paving was a couple inches thick, it just wouldn’t hold together with nothing of substance under it.

This was Jesus’ point in the parable of the builders. One built on rock and one built on sand. The problem wasn’t the quality of the structure, it was the substance of the foundation.

The world offers us many “foundations” today. But only one, God’s Word, has and will stand the tests of time.

My prayer this week is you will be comforted during the storm of life by knowing your foundation won’t wash away.

“Walk, Run, Fly”

Posted March 31, 2016 by rebrev
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but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

I was fishing at the pier at Myrtle Beach State Park last week. No, I don’t tell you that just to make you envious. The fish weren’t biting and it was a bit cool and windy.

Since I had not much else to do, I was watching the birds. Pelicans were doing their thing by diving from high in the air into the water to snag a quick bite of fish – who were obviously not hungry themselves.  Other birds were flying or floating, just enjoying the day.

I watched one seagull heading into the wind for what seemed several minutes. His ground speed was zero. Relative to the pier, he stayed in the same spot for all that time – making no headway whatsoever.

Ay first, I thought to myself, “Well, he isn’t going anywhere.”  Then it dawned on me, at least he was flying. Eventually, he adjusted his wings and took off.

As I’ve pondered that, it occurs to me a lot of life is like that. There are days when it looks to others, and maybe even seems to us, we are making no headway at all. But, we are up, and regardless of what others see, or what we feel, we are doing what we are supposed to do. Sometimes it might take a slight adjustment in our attitude to change our altitude. At other times, we know – and God knows – we are making tremendous headway regardless of how it may look to others.

Some days we can run, and some days we do good just to walk. But, by God’s Hand and His strength, we do what we can.

The journey of life is a long one, and we’ll not always be in the air or be moving fast when we are, or when we’re on the ground. The important thing is to be moving in the direction God has for us. Then we’ll always be going in the right direction.

My prayer this week is for the comfort and assurance of His presence in your journey. Whether you are experiencing the joy of flying high at the moment or seeking strength just to make the next step.

 

“The Resurrection”

Posted March 24, 2016 by rebrev
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If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead…” – I Corinthians 15:19-20a

This week as we enter the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, let’s just refocus on that reality.

The Resurrection. A historical fact even those who hated Christ the most had to admit. He was seen by so many they couldn’t hide it. Even those who had guarded His body were bribed to say it had been stolen. But, if that were the case, they would have been put to death.

The crux of Christianity is the Savior who lives today.

The Resurrection. The source of our hope. The source of our faith.

My prayer this week is for the reality of these truths to soak in as we reflect on the reality of the Resurrection!