“Feel the Wind”

Posted March 15, 2019 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

Recently, we were camped near the base of Grandfather Mountain in western North Carolina. It was pretty windy all weekend, but come Sunday night, the wind was blowing very hard.

In fact, it set a new record of 124 mph! One of the park rangers said it blew over 100 mph for at least 11 hours. It sounded like a jet going over the mountain, except it was a constant sound. THAT is a LOT of wind!

But, it was soon gone. If it was a rock, we could see it. If it was sand, we could bring it home in a jar for a souvenir. We took a picture that afternoon, but you can’t see the wind.

But… There were tress falling over. The cold air was made much, much colder. It was easy to see, hear, and feel the effects of that wind. There is no question it was there. No one was saying, “I don’t believe in the wind.” Or, “If I could see it, then I’d believe in the wind.”

Jesus tells us the same is true of the Holy Spirit. He goes where He wills, and He does what He wants. We can’t see Him, but we see the effects of His power. Part of that is the change He brings about in the life of those who are believers.

My prayer is for each of you to know and trust the power of God working in your life on a daily basis.

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“Let Your Light Shine”

Posted March 8, 2019 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b]they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Recently, while going through some old boxes, I found a package of “glow sticks.”

These are those liquid filled plastic tubes you open, break a tube inside, and then it glows for several hours.

Just taking it out of the package does nothing. Shaking it up does nothing. To get the “glow,” you have to break the vial inside.

A lot of folks are familiar with the verse above, but not the context.

In the previous verses, Jesus tells His listeners they are going to go through some very difficult times. They will be persecuted and treated in an evil fashion – because of their faith in Him.

It’s in those times Christ says our light is to shine. This means our faith in Him should be evident.

It’s easy to let our light shine when things are going well, but how do we do when the going is rough? How do we respond when we are treated with contempt for the sake of Christ? Does our light shine bright in those circumstances?

Just like those glow sticks, the way we respond when we are broken is a testimony to the world about our relationship with Christ.

My prayer this week is for each of us to let our light shine in those difficult times.

“Overdrawn”

Posted February 28, 2019 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”  Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” – Luke 7:41-43

What does it take to be overdrawn on your account?

If I have $10 in my account and write a check for $11, will it clear? Nope, I’m a dollar short. What if I have $999,999 and write a check for a million? I’m a lot richer, but I’m in the same boat as the other situation. Same as if I had $10 and wrote that $1,000,000 check.

You see in all three scenarios, whether I had a lot or little – whether I was a little short or way short – in all three cases, I didn’t have enough.

When we think about Jesus’ teaching in the verse above, we find the same lesson. Some people behave better than others. Some folks are nicer than I am. Some are worse; however, on our own, none of us are good enough.

None of us, by ourselves, are good enough to reach the standard set by Christ. We need His forgiveness, we need His goodness, and His righteousness.

My prayer is you have experienced that forgiveness and righteousness. If not, please don’t trust your own goodness, because we all come up short.

“Hated to see him go.”

Posted February 15, 2019 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” – Mark 14:34

I’d like for us to pick back up where we were last week. We looked at how some of our painful experiences can be used to help others.

Recently, a friend lost her young son to cancer. She has shared about the unimaginable hurt and some of the things people said which added to that pain.

I was reminded of Job’s friends. They showed up when they heard of his sufferings. And for days, they just sat with him. They hurt with him. But, then they started trying to give him advice. It was ALL bad advice.

It was based on their interpretation of conventional “wisdom” and none of it applied to Job’s situation.

Even if it were true, not everything needs to be said, especially to someone who is in an emotional pit.

This quote helps illustrate.  “Another came and sat beside me. He did not talk. He did not ask leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour or more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.”

In the verse above, Jesus asks Peter, James, and John to just be there with Him, to be there for Him.

My prayer this week is for each of us would demonstrate the love and presence of God in such a way others will hate to see us go.

“Washing Up”

Posted June 2, 2016 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“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
Categories: Uncategorized

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
Categories: Uncategorized

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.