THE OTHER SIDE

THE OTHER SIDE

The Bible states in Mark 4:35 (NKJV): “On the same day, when evening had come, [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’” 

Jesus and His disciples had done some great things on that side of the Sea of Galilee…but it was time to move on. It was time to “cross over to the other side.” Jesus was always on the move. He went to unpopular places at inconvenient, even dangerous, times. He was on a mission.

When we find something that works, when we come to a comfortable place, when we’re having a good time, we like to camp out. We settle and then we cement. But God is on the move and He leads us to fulfill His purposes. That’s what Jesus was doing when He told His disciples, “It’s time to move. Let’s go over to the other side.”

There is always an “other side” for us – it represents God’s next assignment for our marriage, our kids, our mission. They say that the worst thing to do in a snow storm is to go to sleep, because you may not wake up. There’s a difference between rest and retirement. Don’t let past accomplishments keep you from your present assignment. What’s next for you? What challenge is God leading you to take on?

If you’re already on your way to the “other side”, if you’ve taken the steps needed to move toward your next assignment, you may encounter some storms along the way. But remember, if Jesus said to cross over to the other side, no matter what comes, you’re going to make it. He doesn’t abandon those He calls. He doesn’t forget those who have taken a step of faith.

[We will be releasing our second 90-Day Challenge in the coming weeks, including a new Bible Reading Plan. Until then, in celebration of Easter, we will be encouraging you to read through various chapters from God's Word.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Luke 3

SHOW ME YOUR GLORY

SHOW ME YOUR GLORY

In Exodus 33:18 (NKJV), we read: “And [Moses] said, ‘Please, show me Your glory.’” 

Moses’ prayer was simple, yet powerful. He wanted to experience God’s glory. The word “glory” means “weight.” The idea behind it was that things of value have weight to them, like gold. They’re not hollow or shallow. And that’s what Moses wanted. He wanted a relationship with God that had depth to it. He wasn’t after a one-night-stand.

Our relationship with God needs to go beyond wanting God to make us feel good about ourselves. God wants more for us than feeling better. He wants us to be better and to live better. It’s been said that man looks for better methods but God looks for better men. If our goal in life is to feel good, we’ll miss out on a lot of what God has planned for us.

If we want to experience God’s glory, the best He has, then we need to be ready for Him to take us to some uncomfortable places. The problem isn’t with Him; it’s with us. It’s not that He doesn’t want to show us His glory, but that we must deal with those things in our lives that keep us from seeing it. If we will dare to pray what Moses did, God will answer. He will take you to places that force you to deal with things you would rather ignore. It may be painful, but so was the Cross. And on the other side is always the resurrection.

[We will be releasing our second 90-Day Challenge in the coming weeks, including a new Bible Reading Plan. Until then, in celebration of Easter, we will be encouraging you to read through various chapters from God's Word.]

Daily Bible Reading:  1 Corinthians 15

LET IT GO

LET IT GO

Isaiah 43:18-19 (AMP): “Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

You don’t have to feel guilty or condemned because of something you’ve done in your past. It may be something from long ago…or from 15 minutes ago. The point is that it’s past and only God can take care of it now. If you’ve sinned, you can’t go back and “un-sin.” All you can do is admit it, confess it, repent, and move on!

God wants us to get off the treadmill of guilt, and enjoy a new beginning. We must choose to have a new attitude in dealing with old problems. And the first thing we must do is stop feeling sorry for ourselves because we don’t have perfect lives – no one does!

Just as God’s mercy is new every morning…we should arise each day with a fresh, new attitude toward old problems. Here are a couple of things to remember about your problems:

1)    No problem is too dead for a resurrection!

2)    Press toward your mark and go on!

What’s done is done. Receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. Let it go and move on!

[We will be releasing our second 90-Day Challenge in the coming weeks, including a new Bible Reading Plan. Until then, in celebration of Easter, we will be encouraging you to read through various chapters from God's Word.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Ephesians 2

EVERYONE BUT ME

EVERYONE BUT ME

In Job 14:7-10 (NKJV), we read: “For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant. But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last and where is he?” 

Job has a profound thought:  nothing is too dead for a resurrection. Like a tree, even if a man’s life is cut down, even if it seems beyond repair, when it’s watered, it will sprout back to life. It’s roots will take it in and the tree will be revived. There is always hope. No matter how far gone, there is always hope.

Job should have left it at that. He should have just encouraged himself in this truth and looked forward to the day when his suffering would be alleviated. But like most men in pain, his agony affected his perspective. Just as his faith was being revived, he added, “But man dies…”, and opened the door to doubt and despair.

Job was saying, “There’s hope! Things can be brought back to life! It’s going to get better! But not for me…I’ll breathe my last and then where will I be?” Despair often does this to us. We acknowledge God and His power to turn things around for everyone else…but us. We have all heard the devil whisper into our ear, “God is blessing them…but not you. God is healing him….but He won’t heal you. Yes, the Bible is true…but it doesn’t work for you.”

Don’t believe the lie that you are the exception, that the Bible works for everyone but you, that God loves everyone but you. Job was in so much pain that he started to believe this lie. He had a hard time seeing past his own experience. Don’t let your pain lie to you. You are not the exception. God hasn’t forgotten about you. He never had and He never will. He always keeps His promises.

[We will be releasing our second 90-Day Challenge in the coming weeks, including a new Bible Reading Plan. Until then, in celebration of Easter, we will be encouraging you to read through various chapters from God's Word.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Hebrews 10

NO OTHER NAME LIKE JESUS

NO OTHER NAME LIKE JESUS

In Philippians 2:9-11, Paul writes: “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Have you ever wondered how your parents chose the name they did for you? Some of us know the meaning and the “story” behind our names and some of us don’t. It’s interesting how a name comes to be. We name a lot of things…our pets, our homes, our cars,  flowers, insects and teddy bears. Can you imagine all the things that we have given names to?

Just think about it! Some of our names were given to us by our parents who passed it from generation to generation, from a best friend, your mom’s favorite movie star, musician, author, composer, or historian. Whatever or however we received our name, there’s a name that precedes every and all names. It’s the name of Jesus. Imagine how many times you hear your name in a day (have you ever counted?). But there is a name that is worth counting, worth researching, worth repeating, worth worshipping, worth praising, worth rejoicing, worth loving over and over, minute by minute and day by day…the Name of Jesus.

Paul the Apostle tells us that at the Name of Jesus…not at the name of a person, a god, or a planet, an idol, or even a movie star – but at the universal name of Jesus – every knee should bow and every tongue should confess. That Jesus Christ is Lord! Disciples of Christ know His name and love to say it over and over and over giving praise and glory to whom it is due!

[We will be releasing our second 90-Day Challenge in the coming weeks, including a new Bible Reading Plan. Until then, in celebration of Easter, we will be encouraging you to read through various chapters from God's Word.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Hebrews 9

REVIVE ME

REVIVE ME

In Psalm 119:154-159, we read: “Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your Word… Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord; revive me according to Your judgments…. Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.”

No matter how much we love the Lord, all of us know what it is like for that love to grow cold. We get busy. We get distracted. Life happens. And before we know it, our passion for the Lord is gone. Our desire for Him, our service to Him and our ministry with Him is no longer something we desire. We become more concerned with paying our bills and reading the sports page than in Jesus.

David knows what that is like. He prayed, over and over again, “Revive me.” Revive means to “return to a flourishing condition.” It’s something we all need from time to time…to return to our First Love. But how does God revive us? David points out three (3) ways:

Revive me according to Your Word. God’s Word, the Bible, is supernatural. It’s not an ordinary book…it’s His Living Word. If you’re heart has become cold, making the time to get into God’s Word will re-fire the passion in your heart. This is one of the main reasons why we have this “Faith in the Word” daily devotional.

Revive me according to Your judgements. When we think of the word “judgement” we probably associate it with “punishment.” But that’s not the case. God’s “judgement” refers to His “decisions.” Revival takes place when we submit to God’s will for our lives. Are you like Jonah, running from God’s will for your life? Stop running and surrender.

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness. When our heart grows cold, we tend to feel God becomes angry with us and we don’t deserve to return to Him. Again, this is not the case. Remember His lovingkindness. If God didn’t want you, why did He send Jesus to die on the Cross for you? If God throws you away, He wastes His Son’s sacrifice.

Allow God to revive your heart. Burn brightly again.

[We will be releasing our second 90-Day Challenge in the coming weeks, including a new Bible Reading Plan. Until then, in celebration of Easter, we will be encouraging you to read through various chapters from God's Word.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Isaiah 53

GOD FINISHES WHAT HE STARTS

GOD FINISHES WHAT HE STARTS

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).

It had been ten years since Paul had seen the believers of the Philippian church. At the time he wrote these words, he was sitting in a Roman prison, and yet his heart was confident that all would be well with them. He wasn’t worried or anxious about their well-being or afraid of how they would turn out without him. He knew something deep within his heart that all of us must come to understand as well.

Are you facing a difficulty? Are you worried about how your life may turn out? Are you concerned about your children or a family member? Like Paul, you can be confident that regardless of what you or someone else may be facing, everything will work out. How? By knowing this one thing:  He who began a good work will complete it.

The work that God began in you, in your spouse, in your children and your family…He will complete. God won’t leave anyone undone or unfinished. He won’t abandon the very people that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save. He won’t leave your marriage incomplete. He hasn’t forgotten about your kids. Trust Him. Cooperate with Him. Today, why don’t you encourage yourself and others with this promise – God began a good work and He is faithful to complete it.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our first 90-Day Challenge for 2014.]

Daily Bible Reading: Day of Reflection