Friday, April 11, 2008

More Than Bread Devotional 4/11/08

Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Christianity is a call to a life of work. We don't work for our salvation as if we could earn it, but consider this. Jesus' call to his disciples wasn't to make a confession; it was to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. I think it is important for us to remember that we can't serve Christ sitting on the sidelines. There are no bench players in the Christian life. The amazing thing about this passage is the request His disciples were told to make and consequently us as well. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for the harvest, but don't be surprised if one of the first workers He wants is you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Than Bread Devotional 4/10/08

Luke 8:24-25
24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

This past evening I was praying for many friends who were in the path of severe storms and frightening weather. In the midst of that, these verses came to me. This same story with almost these exact words are recorded in three of the Gospel accounts. I can see why this would make a lasting impression on all who were there. No matter what storms come into our lives, physical or otherwise, we serve a God who commands the obedience of the storms and the turbulence. He can calm the storms in our life as well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More Than Bread Devotional 4/9/08

Luke 16:27-31
27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "

Have you ever tried arguing with someone who just doesn't agree with you? I did this for years myself over a variety of topics. I was sure that I could convince people of the truth of if I just showed them enough evidence. It took me a long time to understand human nature. I am not saying that we shouldn't point out the truth. I am certainly quick to correct or at least try to if I feel that someone can benefit from the knowledge. But if that correction falls on deaf ears, then I am not going to keep on arguing anymore. So do what you can do. Speak the truth in love and let God do the rest. After all, if they won't listen to One who rose from the dead, what makes you think they will listen to you?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More Than Bread Devotional 4/8/08

Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

Have you ever been afraid to speak up for Christ? It isn't unusual. I was reading Ray Comfort's book "Out of the Comfort Zone" and he was relating how he had fear everytime he went to hand out a tract. I still find that hard to believe after seeing him preach open air in the street on so many videos. Part of the key to overcoming that fear is just pushing on through. I will tell you that I also find myself in chicken mode far more than I would like to admit. But we have a word to share that gives life to those who hear it. So, don't be terrified; God is with you.

Monday, April 07, 2008

From the Pastor's Desk column for 3/30/08

The idea of humility is often foreign to today's society. I read a story of a pastor in Chicago, who related to an elder friend his struggles with humility. The friend told him to make a sandwich board with the Gospel message on it and to wear it for an entire day everywhere he walked through the downtown and other areas of Chicago. The pastor took the advice to heart and did just that. At the end of the day as he reflected on the humiliation that he had indeed experienced another thought came into his mind. He found himself patting himself on the back mentally as the only "person in Chicago who would be willing to do something like that." Or there was an old joke about humility, they gave me a humble button as a token of my achievement. But they took it back because I wore it. The teaching of Scripture regarding humility is one of the most challenging. It leaves no doubt about a calling of service that Jesus exemplified in his life. There is no doubt about the fact that the Bible calls Christians to a level of commitment in humility and service that can make many downright uncomfortable. Look at the passages in Philippians 2 and John 13 for a couple of radical examples of humility and service. What does this mean in practical terms? It isn't about me. Selfishness is a path that leads nowhere. Jesus Christ displayed a life that was selfless and powerful. We must equip ourselves with this same attitude.
On the opposite side we find pride. Most of us are very acquainted with pride, even if we don't realize or admit it. If we were to do an honest assessment of our lives we would be the first to admit that selfishness is much more abundant that selflessness. In fact, pride is the number one obstacle to a relationship with God. Many people understand the truth of God's Word and the essence of what He desires from them, but they are unwilling to humble themselves to His will and His way. The first sin in history was the sin of pride, when Satan attempted to exalt himself above God. And it continues to be at the root of most if not all of our problems in this life. Take a self-test of your life and see which is the dominant factor. Take an inventory of your spiritual life and see whose will wins out more often. You have a choice to make in life. Will you choose your own way or will you choose God's way?
If you have comments or questions, you can email me at

More Than Bread Devotional 4/7/08

1 Timothy 2:20-21
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Most of us would probably prefer to be the instruments of gold and silver in the Lord's hands. Those are the places of honor and the high profile services. But there is a need for everyone and everything. Sometimes the dirty work of ministry is overlooked as people strive to do that which is more rewarding or appealing. But did you see the end of verse 21? When we are ready to be used, we are ready for "any good work". If we submit to God and His direction, we give up the right to choose how we are used by Him. It isn't an easy thing to do, because sometimes He may choose to use us for work that we wouldn't pick on our own. And sometimes He may choose to use us in a way that is beyond our wildest dreams. But no matter what, we must be willing to be used by Him.