Tag Archives: faith

Is God ‘Able’ or is he ‘Willing?’

There’s a difference between what God is ABLE to do and what God WILL do.

His ABILITIES are limitless.  He knows no boundaries.

His WILL, however, does have limits.  This is because it has purpose.

You remember the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, right?  In the 3rd chapter of Daniel these 3 guys boldly refuse to worship the golden idol king Nebuchadnezzar made.  After the king calls them to him, he gives them one final chance (warning) to bow down or he will have them thrown into a fiery furnace.

Their response in verse 17 is bold, and contains two messages in it.

“…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.”

First, they are proclaiming God’s power and ability by saying that he definitely CAN deliver them from death by fire…if he chooses to.  They didn’t say God would.

Second, they made it clear to the king that God is going to remove them from the grip of his hand.  Think about this.  If they are put to death, the king no longer has control over them.  And if God does happen to save them from the fire (which he did), this too proves that Nebuchadnezzar has no control over their lives by failing to kill them.  Either way…not allowing fear to dictate who they worship secures their fate.

What fears are you allowing to challenge your faith in God’s abilities?  

God is calling me to lead our church’s first satellite campus this year.  Do I have fears come and go about my ability to lead this new body of believers well?  Absolutely.  But I have to constantly remind myself that God is the one who will give me what I need.  We obey…He equips.  Period.

How about you?  Join the conversation, leave a comment below.






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ROFL at God

photo by: dubsism.wordpress.com

photo by: dubsism.wordpress.com

Have you ever laughed at God?  Be honest.  Has he ever asked you to do something so ridiculous or promised you something unimaginable that you literally laughed out loud at God?

I have.

There was a time years ago when God was calling me into full-time ministry.  I had all the excuses in the world…and good ones.  I had a shady past.  I was a licensed EMT and had a secure, good-paying job at a hospital.  I had not gone to seminary (and didn’t plan to, either).  I wasn’t perfect, we all know that pastors are perfect (insert sarcasm).

You name it, I had every reason in the book to not do what God was asking of me…and laugh in his face in the process.

Well, thankfully I’m not the only person who’s ever done this.  There’s a relatively small character in the Bible.  You might have heard of him.  Abraham  (more sarcasm)?  God had a specific plan for mankind in this piece of history, and he was going to use Abraham and his wife, Sarah, to do it.  They screwed it up the first time by taking things into their own hands.  So this was round two.  God (again) tells Abraham that he and Sarah will have a son.   Abraham was 100 years old at the time, and Sarah was 90 when this passage comes into the picture…

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”   Gen. 17:17

See, ROFL  (rolling on floor laughing) was started by Abraham even before Twitter.

So, has God made you a seemingly ridiculous promise lately?  Is he asking you to do something for him that is way beyond your own capabilities and imagination?  If so, I’ll pray for you.  I’m in that season myself.  Recently, God has been calling me to transition into a Campus Pastor roll as our church begins moving toward a multi-site church model.  Intimidating?  Yes.  Beyond my own capabilities?  Oh, yeah.  But…

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.   2 Cor. 9:8

God will come through when you and I are in his will.  He is able.  Do you believe it?

May you have the courage and faith to say ‘YES’ to his call on your life today.

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No need to kiss up to Jesus

The other day my wife and I were out shopping when she said to me, “Ha,ha, did you see that?”

Me:  “No, what?”

Her:  “That little girl over there just gave her mom the sweetest, biggest kiss…”

Me:  “OK?”

Her:  “…and then asked her mother if she would buy her something!”

If you’re a parent you’ve been there, right?  And most of the time we say ‘NO.’  But once in a while that cuteness gets to us and we give in.  We cave.

This incident got me thinking immediately.  Isn’t this how we often approach Jesus when we need him to intervene in our life?  Especially when we are the reason things are the way they are.  If we’re really honest, we know this isn’t how Jesus works.  But for some reason, we make him promises and try harder and harder to live ‘perfect’ lives so that he might be more apt to do us a favor.

Here’s the thing.

Yes, Jesus wants you and I to live holy lives….but mostly because he knows that’s the only way we can really be happy, healthy, and safe in this life.  We’re his kids, and he wants to bless us and give us gifts more than our earthly parents want to.

Like earthly parents, however, Jesus can see right through us when we are kissing up.  So just do your best at living for him and come to him as you are.  Do it today…right now.  Just admit to him the areas you need to work on, and then tell him where you need help.  By the way, we need his help in a BIG WAY in EVERY PART of our lives.  So, rely on him in every portion of your life instead of just the difficult or empty parts.  If you do this I’ll bet you will notice a huge difference in how you see your life today and where it is headed tomorrow.

So don’t kiss up to Jesus…give up to Jesus!

Comments are very much appreciated.  God bless.

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Don’t Peek Inside My Car

photo by: cindybultema.blogspot.com

photo by: cindybultema.blogspot.com

Ok, be honest. You’ve peered into total strangers’ cars before…at least once…right? No? Are you afraid to admit it?

Well, I experienced this today. (Don’t judge me)

Here’s what happened.

I pulled up at Starbucks to get some uninterrupted work done. (yes, I’m one of those people)  As I am getting out of my car, a fairly large note on the console of the car next to me caught my eye. The interior was pretty dark so the 3×5 ‘white’ card kind of stood out. Anyway, I noticed hand writing on it. I didn’t want to appear like a total creeper, so here’s what I could make of the note in the 1.497 second glance I took.  It was a Bible verse, including the referance.  It might have been from Romans.  (No, I did not take this picture with my phone. Who do you think I am?)

Here are 3 things I learned from this moment:

1.  If you look close enough, you will find evidence of other believers around you every day.  This made me smile.

2.  Similar to this person, don’t be afraid to make your faith visible in public.  Who knows who you will encourage… even unintentionally.

3.  Refrain from trying to figure out whose car it is while you are sitting in Starbucks.  It will drive you crazy.

Important tip:  I do not advise looking into stangers cars.  However, if you do, be sure there isn’t anyone sitting in the back seat before you take second glances inside the vehicle.  #AwkwardMoment 

Leave a comment or similar experience below.

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God’s Really NOT Weird!

photo by: alexisfraser.com

photo by: alexisfraser.com

I was reading in Joshua 6 recently about the Israelites blowing trumpets and shouting as their attack strategy from God to overtake Jericho.  It really is a crazy story.  I don’t think any of us would have ever thought of going about it that way.

We often say that God’s ways are not our ways, and that He tends to do things in a creative and unorthodox manner.

Then a thought occured to me!

What if His ways are completely normal?  And what if our ways of approaching situations and tasks are simply infantile and rediculous?

Maybe if we really learned that our ways of thinking are no where near God’s ways, we might stop praying for specifics regarding the ‘how’ …and pray more toward our change of heart to receive God’s providence when He gives us a solution….no matter how weird it may seem.

It really boils down to our expectations, doesn’t it?  When we pray for God to move, are we expecting Him to think as a human….or think as a Creator?  How we answer that question probably defines how we react when He does move.

This week, may we be able to ask Him for miracles….and then have the faith required to accept His solutions.

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Where are the miracles today?

photo by: insidetheshrink-dailygrace.blogspot.com

photo by: insidetheshrink-dailygrace.blogspot.com

During our weekly staff Crave (prayer) recently, I was reading and praying through Romans 6:1-14.  The passage really addresses the issue of God’s powerful grace and our freedom in this new life with Him.  And that sin no longer has power over you and I.

As I meditated on these words for a while, I wrote down this single thought.

Our transformed lives should be the most glaring ‘sign & wonder’ that points others to the evidence and saving grace of Jesus!

Our church has been recently looking at many big questions that believers are wrestling with today.  One of those is the issue of signs and wonders, and why we don’t tend to see God’s hand at work today like when He parted the Red Sea or fed over 5,000 people with a child’s lunch.

Here’s what we’re discovering.  He is!

For a drug addict, prostitute, criminal, or perpetual liar to be transformed and used to advance God’s kindgom is truly a miracle…..a modern-day ‘sign and wonder.’

So, here is a question for you.

Where have you seen God working a ‘sign and wonder’ in your life or in the life of someone you know?  Think…look for it.  He is still performing the miraculous today.  All we need to do is learn to notice it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Comment below or leave me a voicemail.

God bless!


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Reach through your doubt and grasp His robe

photo by: freakingnews.comHave you ever felt like you simply could not get through to Jesus?  Does He, at times, seem distant due to the turmoil in your busy lifestyle?  If you’re like me, you’ve even wondered why Jesus would take notice of our seemingly insignificant negative situation in the midst of greater human needs in the world today.

Once again, it all comes down to our amount of faith.

Remember the event of the unclean woman in Mark 5?  As usual, there were a ton of people following Jesus like paparazzi without cameras.  The Bible even suggests that He didn’t know the woman was there until the ‘power had left Him.’  Isn’t this an interesting miracle?  This woman receives physical healing and she was not even on Jesus’ radar!

I have often felt that I needed to have the full attention of Jesus before He could do a special work in my life.  But this passage confirms otherwise.  It is our faith in Him alone which works miracles.  We don’t need to dance Gangnam Style in front of Him or paint W.W.J.D across our body to get His attention.

So, what is surrounding Jesus today that is prohibiting you from reaching out to Him?  Your own doubt?  Finances? Self-esteem?  Whatever it is, you must do three things.  Reach, grab, & believe!

Reach through whatever is separating you from the person of Jesus.  This requires action.

Then, grab ahold of Him.  This acknowledges our need for Him.

Lastly, have faith!  Reaching out and touching His robe in ‘hope’ of something good will not necessarily do it.  Faith is believing, so we really do need to ‘know’ Jesus will do an incredible work in our life.

What are you desperate to receive from Jesus today…and what is holding you back?

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