Thursday, April 28, 2022


"So he said to them, "I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.".
Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, "Why have you done this?"  For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them
Jonah 1:9-10 (NKJV)

One meaning of the word hypocrite is, "a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings", someone who says one thing, but does another.  The things we say should not be totally different from what we do, there should be an alignment of our words and actions.  For example, if we just talk about doing something, or we say we are committed to or believe in something, but our actions are different than what we say, there is a problem.

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to the people there.  But, instead of doing what God said, Jonah disobeyed and sailed away in the opposite direction.  Then, when a storm arose, Jonah told the men on the ship how he had disobeyed what God told him to do, but Jonah also said he was someone who "feared God".  On the one hand, Jonah talked about serving God, and on the other hand, Jonah would not do what God told him to do, Jonah's words and actions were not aligned.

Paul wrote to Titus about the same problem that Jonah had, how some people profess to know God, but what they do does not agree with what they say.  If we really believe something, and for Christians this would be believing in God and His Word, it should have an impact on how we live and what we do.  We need to be sure that what we say and do is in alignment with what we believe.  This is beneficial for us, and for the people around us who hear what we say and see how we live.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

You Were Chosen

"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,"
Ephesians 1:4 (NKJV)

When I was growing up, the kids in my neighborhood and school played games.  Usually, to get things started, we chose teams.  Most of the time there were two people who were the captains of the teams, and then, from all the kids who wanted to play the game, they would pick them one by one to be on a team.  It was always great if you were picked first, and one thing no one wanted was to be the last child chosen, because that meant no one wanted you on their team.

As believers, God has chosen each of us, and He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us.  God chose us all, He picked us to work with Him, and no one is left off of His team and out of His plan.  The first step in following God's plan is coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ; then, it is up to us to find out what God has chosen us to do.  There is something God has called each of us and equipped us to do, to serve Him and function as a part of the Body of Christ.

We need to realize that God has already chosen us and it is not a matter of whether or not we will ever be good enough for God to use us to do something important for Him.  The fact is, no one can ever earn their place in the Body of Christ and no one in themselves is good enough for God to use them.  Yet, in spite of this, God has chosen us to be with Him in His Family and to have a significant part in His plan.  We did not earn it or deserve it, but God chose us to be with Him and to be a part of His plan!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Winning Strategy

"You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once.  This you shall do six days.
And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark.  But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.

It shall come to pass, when
they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat.  And the people shall go up every man straight before him."
Joshua 6:3-5 (NKJV)

Having a good plan is necessary for being successful in things like a business, a military operation, or a personal goal.  But having a good plan is only a part of what is needed.  Along with the right plan, having a good strategy, and then executing the plan according to that strategy is also necessary.  A good plan alone is not enough, because with the wrong strategy a plan may not succeed.  And if no one implements the plan according to the strategy, success is not guaranteed.

When Israel went into the Promised Land, they faced challenges from their enemies.  And in every situation, in every battle, God gave Israel the winning strategy.  What is really interesting to see, is how the strategy that God gave Israel did not always make a lot of sense naturally, like when Israel came to the city of Jericho.  God told Israel to march around the city and blow trumpets, which sounds foolish if you are trying to conquer a city.  But, as Israel followed God's strategy, Jericho was conquered.

In life, we will all deal with challenges.  As Christians, we have a great advantage, because we have the Holy Spirit as our Helper.  The Holy Spirit will guide us and direct us in life, in the big and small decisions we need to make, and He will give us the winning strategy in every situation.  Sometimes the winning strategy may not look reasonable to us, but if we learn to listen to and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit, we will be victorious in every situation.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Where Are You Going?

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

Over the years, I have done a lot of traveling. And every trip I have taken has had one thing in common, there was always a destination and goal for my trip.  Wouldn't it be strange to get into a car, an airplane, or a train with no idea of where you were going?  What if you showed up at the airport or train station and did not know which plane or train to take because you had no clue as to where you should go.  That would be crazy, no one would do such a foolish thing.

In our life, there are large and small goals that we will, and should have, and all of those things should be in connection with God's plan and will for our life.  By this I don't mean that every little detail of our life has to be guided by some direct word from God.  But, everything in our life, the direction we are going, the goals we are pursuing, and the things we are trying to do should be a result of some direction from God.  This can be direction from God through His Word or a leading of the Holy Spirit.

If we don't have any direction from God, through His Word, by the Holy Spirit, or in knowing that what we are doing is a part of the purpose God has for our life, then why are we doing what we are doing, and how do we know that we are even doing the right thing?  If we don't know where we are going, we may be involved in a lot of activity that produces nothing of eternal value in our life.  We all need to find God's plan, in His Word, by the Holy Spirit, or as a part of His purpose for our life, so that we will know where to go, how to get there, and when we have reached the goal.