Archive for January, 2012

The prodigal in me: Get up!

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

My soul, praise the Lord,
and do not forget all His benefits.
He forgives all your sin;
He heals all your diseases.
He redeems your life from the Pit;
He crowns you with faithful love and compassion. (Psalm 103:2-4 HCSB)
The prodigal ended up In a pit. After he spent all his inheritance on indulgences, the younger son found himself:
Broke,
Alone,
Forsaken,
In a pit.
Whenever we leave the presence of the Father and the protection of His house we will end up in a pit.
A pit of despair
A pit of depression
A pit of downcast
A pit of doubt
In the pit we are surrounded by things of no value. Living has lost its value.
We are stuck in our own mess.
I know all too well….been there. It’s a tough place to be in. it’s a tough place to get out of.
Everything loses its meaning.
The writer of Ecclesiastes found that out. For him everything became meaningless.
Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
(Ecclesiastes 1:2, 3, 8, 9 NLT)
So here we are in the pit; but you know what? It ain’t over. Your not finished, forgotten, nor forsaken.
Get up! Rise up! Go home. Go back to your father, who is waiting for you. Watching for you. Waiting for you to come home.
I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. (Luke 15:18 HCSB)
God is waiting for you to come home. Home is where He is.
What are you waiting for, it’s time to GET UP.

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Now hear this: You are not alone!
Got that. No? Let me say it again, You Are Not Alone!
No matter where you are, what you’re doing, you are never alone.
Right now I’m at a pastors prayer conference, yet in the midst of praying and talking and fellowshipping, I feel alone.
Feeling lonely is a terrible thing.
But not feeling just lonely,
that sense of being alone.
You can be around a million people and still feel alone.
Ask any New Yorker.
That feeling of being alone comes from within. You know what I mean.
Like nobody understands you.
Like Nobody is going through what you’re going through.
Your pain and problems are different than everyone else’s.
Alone.
But here’s the thing: you’re not alone.
You’ll never be alone.
You’re not suffering alone, or living alone. God is with you.
As a matter a fact He has always been with you.
God showed me that today. All along this journey of life He’s been with me.
Guess what? He’s been with you too.
We’ve been to wrapped up in ourselves to see it.
It happened to the prodigal also. Far from home. Broke, hurting, alone.
Life happened, just like it happens to us. We make choices and decisions that take us far from home. Why? Because inside of us we want it our way, in our time, on our strength.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
We don’t have to leave the Fathers house. We don’t have to be alone.
Remember what the scripture says: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASB)
To be continued.

The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. (Luke 15:12 HCSB)
Give me!
Excuse me, what did you just say…..give me?
Did I hear you?
We have all said that before. If your a parent no doubt you have been asked that.
I hear it from my kids all the time. Gimme that. I want that. You can’t have it, it’s mine.
Such a selfish phrase. Its all about me, all about what I want.
And that was the heart of the prodigal. Wanting his inheritance but not wanting to be a part of the Fathers house.
For many of us that’s how we live our lives.
I know it might sound harsh. But deep down inside we are all inherently selfish.
We want what we want.
We all have the spirit of the prodigal.
What is the spirit of the prodigal. The spirit of the prodigal is the give me attitude. The attitude that says “God give this to me”, without wanting a relationship with God.
We do it all the time.
It’s about wanting to receive gifts, the things we want, but we want them apart from the giver.
How many times when we pray we ask God to give us. Not that provisional prayer, but that selfish desire prayer. I want that. Give me this.
We hinge our outlook on things, possessions, and people. It becomes the objects of our desire and the focus of our prayers.
“You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires”. (James 4:3 HCSB)
So goes the story: young son asks father for his inheritance.
It wasn’t that it didn’t belong to the son, it just wasn’t time.
How many of us want things we are not ready for. It just not the right time, but we want it now. Be careful you might have the spirit of the prodigal.

He also said: “A man had two sons. (Luke 15:11 HCSB)
Probably the most famous words of any parable of Jesus.
2 sons:
an older and a younger.
Both grew up with their father.
Each had a different view of their dad.
The younger based his relationship on what the father did for him, the older on what he did for the father. Both didn’t understand their father.
I have three wonderful kids, but sometimes they don’t understand me. When they get in trouble they fear me. When I treat them to something they adore me. When we are alone they cuddle with me. My oldest son doesn’t want any affection any more in public, but at home he is my little boy again. Does it bother me? Sure. Does it change my love for them? Absolutely not. The love of our heavenly Father is unchanging.
He loves, He absolutely adores you and me. If we could only grasp how much God loves us.
Lately much has been talked about John 3:16.
We can thank a young man named Tim Tebow for that.
But he has people talking about scripture. About John 3:16. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
About Gods love for us.
But just like the story of the prodigal, it’s about more than the Fathers love. It’s about how we respond to His love. So that everyone who believes in Him…..
More to come:

Have you ever lost something important, something of value.
I lose my my car keys all the time. When I can’t find them I turn my house upside down.
Ever lose money, what about jewelry?
On vacation I lost my wedding ring. Man did I freak out. Searched the beach frantically until eventually we found it. What a relief!
Jesus tells a parable of a woman who loses a coin. She searches her house until she eventually finds it. She is so happy she celebrates.
Last blog we mentioned Jesus as the shepherd looking for His lost sheep.
The lost coin is about the Holy Spirit searching our hearts.
We are the lost coin
In the Bible the apostle Paul writes:
Now God has revealed [these things] to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10 HCSB)

The Holy Spirit searches for the heart of God in us.
He is searching, looking, finding the heart of God In you.
God is in you.
In your heart speaking purpose and hope.
God is looking for people, with His heart.
Yes, you can have His heart.
A heart that loves,
A heart that heals,
A heart that beats for His purpose.
Friend God loves you and He is searching for you, why? Because you are of great value to Him. Repent, give your heart to God and let heaven celebrate. I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10 HCSB)

One of the most famous and readily discussed parables of Jesus is the one about the lost son, or more commonly, the story of the prodigal.
We find this parable in the Bible, the Gospel of Luke to be exact chapter 15.
What most don’t realize is that it is not a stand alone story but a continuation of a lesson Jesus is giving to the Pharisees.
All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!”
So He told them this parable: (Luke 15:1-3 HCSB)
It begins with the lost sheep, then the lost coin, and concludes with the lost son.
You might be thinking, why lost?
Because at one point we were all lost. Lost sheep gone astray.
No direction, no hope, no future. Wandering sheep.
Then Jesus came and we were found.
And coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance. (Luke 15:6, 7 HCSB)

Life now has purpose, direction, hope.
I AM FOUND!
Say that with me, IAM FOUND!
Jesus left heaven to find you.
The good shepherd, looking for you.
For you,
FOR YOU!
Lost sheep, yeah that’s me,
but a coin?
Stay tuned……

Start Running!

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Why we Stopped running.
Remember when we were kids, when we ran everywhere.
Always running.
Even your first steps were running. I remember my sons first steps, he didn’t walk he ran.
Remember what you were told….stop running.
My parents were always telling me to stop running.
No running in the house, no running in the church, no running in school, in the halls, no more running. Then…..we stopped, we stopped running, stopped seeing, stopped being carefree stopped being happy, stopped living.
We grew up, stopped being excited by things. Life wasn’t an adventure, it was……well, life.
We settled for normal. We started to walk. Just like everybody else.
Walking, no more running.
Normal people don’t run they walk, and somewhere along the road of life we stopped running and started walking..being normal.
Average
Mundane
Usual
Life wasn’t meant to be normal, who wants normal when you can have extraordinary.
Who wants to walk when you can run. Why? Because you’re excited, happy, living, and carefree.
The author of the book of Hebrews writes about running.
He says:
Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 MSG)

It’s time to start running again. Don’t stop. Don’t worry if people want you to stop. If they complain, tell them to run also. Life is better when you run. It is how God meant it to be lived.
Running, happy, exciting and exhilarating.
Who wants to walk, when you can run!