Monday, October 28, 2013


Jesus said, “The greatest among you must be a servant.  But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12 NLT).  My thanks to all who served at Clay Community Church’s Fall Festival this past Saturday.  Excellently done!  Jesus says you’re great! 

Everyone who humbly serves for His Kingdom’s sake – Jesus says is great.  He says you will be rewarded and receive great honor.  Count on it.  God keeps His Word.  Though in the “here and now” you know something of His reward for serving, in the future there will be a big “pay day” for you.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:9-10).

Monday, October 21, 2013


James says, “Faith that does nothing is dead” (James 2:26 NCV).  Keep your faith living by doing.  Maybe your faith has waned in the last few months.  We all go through times of distress and questioning.  But it’s not the end.  Actually it’s the beginning.  It’s the beginning of another opportunity to believe God and to revive your faith in Him and in what He says.  As we move forward to obey and trust God, He will give us the will to keep going.

“Get the word out. Teach all these things... Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation” (1 Timothy 4:11, 15-16 Mes).

We must pay close attention to ourselves, our everyday living, and what we say and do which teaches and influences those around us.  Persevere in the right things.  Get the word out about the good news of Christ.

It takes decisiveness to mature in our faith and grow in the character of Christ.  Your spiritual/emotional maturity is realized as you give relentless resolve to the teaching of God’s Word.  We’re in it for the salvation we have and the salvation others can have.  We’re into the last quarter of the year.  Finish the year strong for the cause of Christ with a living faith.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.  The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me (Psa. 116:5-6 NAS).  Often it’s in those times we are “low” and humbled that we see life in its simplest form.  And we realize that we’re responsible for some of its complications and some of our problems.  But it may be then that we are ready and willing to receive the Lord’s grace and compassion.  It’s when we’re low on answers, low on solutions, low on encouragement, low on strength – that we will look to the Lord to save us.  And He does.  Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you (Psa. 116:7 NAS).

I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.”  I said in my alarm, “All men are liars” (Psa. 116:10-11 NAS).  Choosing to believe God through the good times and the bad is the issue.  Our troubles and pain do not define our faith.  They refine it.  The palmist is saying that he still believed God when he was “greatly afflicted.”  He still believed God though he felt alarmed at the lack of integrity of people.  Dishonest people don’t make God a liar.  And our emotional response to trouble and dishonest people doesn’t define our faith in God. 

What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.  I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all his people (Psa. 116:12-14 NLT).  How can we thank the Lord for His goodness and salvation?  The psalmist mentions three things we can do:

1) Offer the cup of salvation to others.  Invite others to take the salvation Jesus offers.  Hand the cup to someone you know.

2) Praise the Lord.  Give credit to Him.  Worship Him in your daily living.  Call upon Him for continued strength from Him.

3) Keep our commitments to the Lord.  We choose to be faithful to God.  We choose to keep the commitments we’ve made to obey, to serve, to give.  Yes God expects us to make commitments.  It’s called trust.  God expects us to be responsible with what He entrusts to us, and for us to be responsible we must commit ourselves to it.  

And we are to be responsible with our commitment to the Lord “in the presence of all His people.”  We need one another in order to stay responsible and strong in our commitments.  Accountability and grace and truth, shared with one another, strengthen our resolve.  As we trust God by keeping the commitments we’ve made, we say “thank You” to Him.

Monday, October 7, 2013


We’re not going to get everything we want or dream of.  But we can have what matters, and even more than we dreamed of. 

God tells us if we’ll live according to His instructions, He’ll produce through us a “good life.”  In Deuteronomy 5:33 the Scripture says, “Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” 

The principle for us is that our opportunities for the “good life”, which is a life of trusting God, will extend beyond what they would ordinarily.  We don’t know how long the “ordinarily” would be except that it would be shorter.  God wants us to use the opportunities he has entrusted to us in this life for His purpose and direction.  When we steer our lives to His way of living, He responds to us by giving us what really matters.

Jesus said, “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love those who love me; I too will love them and reveal myself to them” (John 14:21 GNT). 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21).