Category Archives: Dan’s Blog

If Only I Could be Recognized

The desire for recognition is a central to our nature. The alienation that results from a lack of acknowledgement causes deep emotional hardship. God understands this about us, and He has done something about it. But He goes further than mere recognition. God honors us—He esteems His children.

Jesus made this apparent in His parable about the Wedding Feast: the guests were being honored simply by being invited. Yet nothing would have come of it without their reply: “Yes, I would love to be there!” Can you see why God would be pleased by such a response? At the same time, we can appreciate how grieved He is over those who wouldn’t bother to take the time to attend, or worse yet those who neglected to reply at all. The Bible puts it this way in First Samuel 2:30: “Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Wisdom Shouts in the Street!

“Professing to be wise, they became fools,” says Paul in Romans 1:22. As the ungodly chase meaning in their lives, the futility of their pursuits is pretty obvious to the Christian. But what about those in the church who attempt to supplement biblical truth with human philosophy? This is where things get a bit fuzzy. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Proverbs 1:7 proclaims.

So when we as believers seek truth from worldly sources, all the while failing to really understand what the Bible has to say about life, trouble is brewing. In so doing, many have been led astray. A solid understanding of God’s purpose, found only in the Bible, must always come first. Only then can we discern genuine truth. Jesus didn’t pull any punches: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.“ He also declared, “you will know truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 14:6, 8:32.

It’s All About God

The principle of honoring God is laced throughout the entire Bible. God’s creation exists for the sole purpose of glorifying its Creator. God demands that He be honored, not for some selfish desire but simply because He is God. Put yourself in His shoes. Wouldn’t you want to be recognized for who you really are if you not only had the power to speak the universe into existence, but were also so loving and benevolent that your one desire was to share a part of yourself with us?

Clearly God has created us for Himself.  Jesus came to reunite us with Himself, giving us the ability to understand and know Him, with the intention of allowing us to ultimately share eternal life in Him. So let’s, “… walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God,” as Paul so insightfully prays in Colossians 1:10.

Boasting in Scripture

Pride is instinctive to human nature. So boasting, no matter how we may attempt to disguise it, flows from our core as effortlessly as breathing. We simply need to express who we are and what we’ve accomplished—“wise, strong or rich,” as the Lord explains in Jeremiah 9:23. Still, there seems to be a place for boasting. God goes on to say: “let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

The key here is to redirect the glory away from ourselves and on to God. Paul makes it all very clear in 2 Corinthians 11 &12, “If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.”  “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” the Lord Jesus proclaims.

You’ve been Invited!

What if you were invited to a party of a lifetime, so lavish, so impressive, that everyone who knew you would be green with envy? Why him? What did he do to deserve such an honor?

Maybe you have been asked, but just don’t know it! The truth is, a priceless invitation has delivered by God Himself, not just to you but everyone on earth. Invited to what? To an eternity united with God for an indescribable life you never dreamed possible: the party of all parties!

Yes, whether you are aware of it or not, you’ve been invited. The question is, “Who’s listening?” Are you among those who genuinely seek the truth? And if so, are you asking the right questions? Just what is required of me to be included with those who will enjoy eternity in heaven? Jesus said it well in the Bible: “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Don’t Despise the Small Things

Sown all around the hem of Aaron’s robe were “blue and scarlet pomegranates, with gold bells between them.” The tinkling of the bells accentuated the duties he was performing, just as the gifts of the Spirit tend to draw attention to God’s power through us today. But what about the pomegranates? If the bells represent spiritual gifts, maybe the pomegranates speak of the fruit of the Spirit.

Makes sense. But why pomegranates? Why not apples or oranges? Well, the answer jumps out when we break the pomegranate open. Inside are hundreds of tiny fruits, each with its own seed. It makes me think about the little things I’m able to do, and what impact each of those small good works might have on those around me. Often what seems somewhat insignificant is what’s actually vitally important. And planting godly seed in in this way is easily within our grasp.

Serving Not in Our Own Strength

Helping people pleases God, and it matures us. Serving God this way sets the stage for solid growth in our life, because focusing on the needs of others helps us lay aside our own desires. And we need not worry about serving in our own strength. Why? Because helping others opens wide the floodgates of God’s power. Do you ever wonder why spiritual gifts are not more evident in your life? Serve, and you will quickly begin to experience them.

God wants to use you in the lives of those around you. And He is ready to equip you to do so by a mighty flow of His power. He wants not only to live His life in you, but through you. Yet because God often works in subtle ways, you may not experience a dramatic display of His power. On the other hand, He may very well surprise you!

Discerning Our Destiny

The sense of destiny God has placed in our life can easily be misread. Pride rooted in self-will can lead us to think that we must be set apart for some highly esteemed task. But God may have something entirely different in mind. Without question, God wants us to start at the bottom and work our way up, rather than the other way around. Jesus said: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much.” Luke 16:10

There isn’t a job in God’s kingdom that He doesn’t consider really important. What you might think of as insignificant may actually be your calling in Christ. What’s important is being faithful in whatever He gives you to do. Your obedience will earn you a reward equal to anything the more highly acclaimed might receive. God plays no favorites! Whatever stands the test of eternity is what will be rewarded.

Aiming at Two Essential Targets

We must aim at two critical targets in our lives as believers: We need to serve God, and at the same time pursue personal transformation. Both need to be in play if we are ever to be effective. Jesus Himself is the prime example of self-sacrificing service to others: “I did not come to be served, but to serve, and give my life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

We must recognize that serving God always includes serving others. It’s vital to the process of personal transformation. Why is serving others such an indispensable source of change in our character? For at least two reasons. First, extending a hand both benefits them and helps us, since it steers us away from the self-centeredness of our nature. Secondly, it provides a conduit for the flow of spiritual gifts in our life. Who wouldn’t benefit from a little motivation in this area?

Given Up Because of your Sin?

God has set us free from the power of sin by causing us to die to law. His purpose is to make us alive to Him in spite of our weaknesses. Only through His provision could such intimacy ever be possible. The Christian life is so much more than being content with our initial salvation experience. God never intended for us to settle for a life of mediocrity. “I’m just not able to overcome the weakness of my flesh,” is no excuse!

In Christ, God has lifted us out of the pit of human frailty and set us in a place of unbelievable exaltation. The stage for such a powerful relationship couldn’t have been set in any other way. Have you given up because of your sin? Have you settled for the mundane? Don’t give up! Seek God with aggressive and persistent determination. He has something wonderful in store for you.

From Free from the Power of Sin: the Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself