Monday, January 26, 2015


As we read in Acts the events that unfold of the early church beginning to grow, it is not until persecution forces the believers to leave Jerusalem and GO to the surrounding areas that we see significant growth begin.  It was when the truth of the Gospel message began to spread beyond the Jerusalem church that the power of the Gospel was seen and felt on a grand scale.  The reality of the Gospel was evident in Jerusalem, the hub of all of the Hebrew faith and leadership.  But when the Gospel began to expand beyond the local region and people were willing to GO to places they had not been, that is when the exponential growth began to become a reality!

We are all familiar with, "Go and make disciples of all nations..."  Yet, we see through other passages that this going is multi-facetted.  In Matthew 28 we know that the reference by Jesus is to "as you GO into your daily life," walking this journey daily make disciples.  In Acts 8 we see the Spirit telling Philip to GO to a specific place in order to share the truth of His Word!  And in Acts 13 we see the going of Barnabas and Saul was to several locations to share the truth with people from many communities.  In every occasion of people being sent out to GO into the world with His truth, we see a unique power going with them.  

The Holy Spirit has been promised to be our teacher, comforter, guide and protector.  The power that the Spirit has is the same power that created the world, overcame kings, and dealt with spiritual depravity.  It is this Spirit that beckons us to GO with this amazing truth of the Gospel.  It is this Spirit living within us that motivates and stirs our hearts to reach the lost and care for the saved.  It is this Spirit that pours over us the blessings and provisions of the Father in order to make His ways known and His salvation clear.  It is this Spirit that has called us all to GO!

This new year many things will demand your time.  Many significant events will happen that will cause you to go many places and do many things.  However, none of these things will be as significant as the things the Spirit calls you to GO and do for the Kingdom!  In the spirit of Matthew 28 the Holy Spirit is calling you to GO into your daily life with an expectation of Kingdom work being done and lives being changed by His grace.  In the spirit of Acts 8 the Holy Spirit is calling you to GO to specific places to share and show the Gospel to see Him transform lives with the Gospel.  And in the spirit of Acts 13 the Holy Spirit is leading you to GO to people, places and communities where His name needs to be shared and His ways taught and His salvation proclaimed.  

This year, will you REFRESH your commitment to Him, INVEST your time, resources and energy in others, and GO to follow the Spirit's leading in sharing and showing the Gospel?  How has the Lord led you to GO into your daily journey with His ways and His salvation at the forefront of your daily walk?  Who is the Lord leading you to GO to with His truth to help them be free from sin and learn His ways?  In what ways do you need to adjust your life this year in order to GO with God?  He desires you to follow His Spirit into the world to show His ways and share His salvation.  Now is the time to commit to GO with Him into the field where the lost and struggling world is seeking His truth.  They will only hear if someone preaches and they will only see if someone GOES to show them the way.  Will you GO this year to Reach the world and Teach the Word?  
In His Grip,

Monday, January 19, 2015


(Mrs. Mary investing in lives on the Navajo Rez in New Mexico)

God brings people across our paths every single day.  His purposes are being mapped out in our lives each day we awake and walk this journey.  As these two worlds cross, our daily journey and other peoples' journeys, the Father orchestrates time and occasion for us to INVEST in others.  His plan includes my life intersecting other people in their journey and together His ways being made known and His salvation being shared.  

Many have heard the words from Psalm 67 and been challenged to be involved in Kingdom work.  On a daily basis each of us can see the blessings He is pouring into our lives and the abundance in which He is providing.  We remember these wise words, " May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us..."  Our desire is to find the favor of God in daily life.  We want to be blessed by the Father and have His grace poured out on our lives.  We all long for the warmth of His smile to shower over us the goodness and greatness of the Lord Himself!  What are we to do with all of this amazing grace?

As you begin this new year and set your priorities in order, look to the ways you can INVEST in others.  Investments come in many different shapes and sizes. Our opportunities to invest in other people are no different, many shapes and sizes!  Our willingness to invest time and resources will impact other peoples' lives and will accomplish Kingdom work.  When you set your heart to pour into others and INVEST in their lives for the sake of the Kingdom, that's big "K", the Lord uses your investment in ways that sometimes brings about eternal change in people's lives.  He always uses your investment to improve lives, yet sometimes we see the eternal scope of that investment come to life in the freedom of souls from the bondage of sin!  Your willingness to think about His Kingdom first and INVEST your time and energy and resources in others will fulfill the passage.  " that His ways will be made known among all peoples and His salvation among all nations."

The opportunity to participate in His Kingdom work comes as a result of His provision through blessing and grace and favor.  He then invites us to join His work through sharing our resources, our time and our energy by INVESTING in others.  The Spirit of the living God then works through our lives to bring about amazing grace moments in other peoples' lives.  His desire is for us to seek His grace and His blessings and His favor so that in His generosity toward us we will in turn show His ways and His salvation to others as we flesh out the Gospel in our daily lives.  So, who can you INVEST in this week?  How about this month?  How about this year?  Where is the Father calling you to INVEST your time, your resources, your energy?  Who is the Father bringing to mind, even now, that He desire you to INVEST in for the sake of the Kingdom?  

Take some time right now to ask Him to show you who, where, how, when, what?  Seek His Kingdom right now and look for His direction in your daily life.  Ask Him now to show you the people in your path He has orchestrated to be there for you to INVEST in their lives for Kingdom impact.  Start this year off RIGHT by REFRESHING your commitment to Him and seeking to INVEST in Kingdom work through the people around you with your time, your resources and your energy!  If we all will focus on utilizing His blessings to make His ways known and His salvation clear, then we will Reach our world and Teach His Word!
In His Grip,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


That little semi-circle in the corner of the address box on your computer is a very valuable tool.  I'm sure you have been in the same boat as I have been many times.  I have looked up a website or address online and then something happens.  The phone rings, the children scream, the dryer buzzer goes off, etc. and the next thing you know it has been several hours since you first were working on that site.  The refresh button gives us the quick and easy way to reload that site with fresh new content to be as up-to-date as possible.

Some days in this journey of life I wish I had a "refresh" button for the stressors of this daily grind.  The opportunity to start over with fresh new data and information to face the trials that come our way would be a refreshing experience.  And then we read from an obscure place these words of truth,
"Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!  I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.  It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord."-Lamentations 3:21-26

What an amazing thought!  When all seems to be lost or crashing in and all we can think about is the end is near, the Lord reminds us to hold on, wait on Him.  Wait...that wonderful Hebrew word qavah' (remember Isa. 40:30-31) once again draws us to the place of faith and trust.  The overwhelming days of this journey will give way to the fresh new day of His mercies being renewed and poured out over us again and again as we purposefully and intentionally wait in Him.  

So, as this new year begins and the journey continues with a new calendar to plan and organize, take some time to REFRESH your commitment to Him and His purposes.  He has worked in your life as well as my life this year to show Himself faithful.  The rough days we have are safe in His hands even when we feel overwhelmed because we know the morning is coming.  Just as the passage in Lamentations shares with us, His mercies are new with the dawning of a new day.  The new year offers us all an opportunity to REFRESH our lives and our commitments to Him through receiving His new mercies and allowing His faith to grow in us as we listen to the Holy Spirit teach us His ways and His purposes.  

Click that REFRESH button and begin a new day with Him.  Start this year off with a fresh desire for His faithfulness to motivate faith in us to grow.  Begin this new calendar year with a commitment to follow obediently and with passion His will for your life.  Step out of the boat and go with God where He wants to take you in your daily journey, in your relationships with others and with Him into the fields of harvest all around you.  This year REFRESH that commitment to reach the world and teach the Word by offering up to Him your time, your resources and your abilities.  Join Him today as He guides your steps into His will and His purposes for your His heart and follow His hand!  

In His Grip,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Start Your Year Off Right!

In the first few days of this new year you and I must set the pace for our year with some critical decisions.  This new year has potential to radically change our lives and the lives of others around us for all of eternity!  The opportunities for serving others, sharing and showing the Gospel and intentionally joining God in His efforts to reach the world are exciting.  So, start this year off RIGHT and choose!

Choose to REFRESH your commitment to His calling on your life.  Each day we live out our lives in the middle of many other issues and stressors that demand our attention.  The daily grind of life sometimes distracts us from the real eternal matters at hand.  Over time the "worries of this world, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things," spoken of in the parable of the sower (Luke 8, Matt. 13, Mark4) demand more and more of us to the point that we are no longer focused on the Kingdom things that once drove us with passion.  This January, as the new year gets rolling, take some time to reflect on His grace and mercy in your life as well as His blessings and gifts.  Think through the ways He has brought you through so much over the past few years.  Consider how the Lord has provided for you time and time again.  Take some time to REFRESH your commitment to the things that really matter.  Re-commit to His calling to reach this world with His Holy truth and His Gospel.

Choose to INVEST your time in the Kingdom projects and people God has brought into your path.  Henry Blackaby shared in Experiencing God that God Himself invites us to join Him in His work.  He is always at work around us and by joining His work, we join a Kingdom work that is far bigger and more powerful than anything we could ever dream of doing on our own!  Take the time to seek out His plans and His purposes and then INVEST your time, resources and life into these Kingdom things.  Choose to give yourself to the things that matter for eternity.  Intentionally place yourself in the paths that lead to His ways and His purposes being made known among all peoples.

Choose to GO this year!  The place that God is at work may surprise you.  He is working all the time all around you.  His calling on your life is to show and share the Gospel in every occasion of life.  This new year will you commit to pursue Him in every place He leads you and then obey His Word in each of those occasions?  Going to the neighbor's house to lend a helping hand.  Going to the church to teach young people the Word.  Going across town to tutor a young person struggling with math who has no father at home to support and encourage their potential to flourish.  Going to the little church high on the western plains to teach truth and show His love by feeding hungry people.  Going to the foreign context to support missionaries who have given up comfort and safety for the sake of His great name!  Whether it is near or far or anywhere in the middle, going this year to show and share the love of God is what He has called us all to do!

Choose this year to HELP those around you.  God has placed you in a community of people who have needs every day.  Those we work with and live life with each day have needs.  Those we run across during the daily lives of our children's extra curricular events have needs.  The people we live life with whose faith and family are very close to ours have needs.  The list goes on and on.  The Lord has filled our worlds with people all around us who have needs.  This year focus on helping those around you.  Pour into the lives of those whose paths cross yours and serve them.  Carry some meals to families in the midst of struggle or crisis.  Share coffee with friends to hear and help carry their burdens.  Serve those around you who have traumatic events unfold within their lives and need care and comfort though the rough days that follow.  Whatever the need, God has gifted, blessed and prepared you and me to show the love of God and share the truth of His Word with those all around us who are in need!

Choose this year to TRUST.  Trust in the sovereignty of God to guide the steps each day that direct and move each of us closer to Him.  Each day the Father is orchestrating events and paths and circumstances all around us to mold and shape our lives to be more like His heart.  The Lord is actively proving His love for you each day through His blessings and His provisions.  This year will you TRUST his heart and allow Him to take you to a place of faith and obedience that you have never been!  This can be a year for you and me to TRUST him with everything, even those things we've held back for quite some time.  You and I know the faithfulness of the Father as He has proven Himself trustworthy over and over again.  Now, let us live out that faith daily before a world in desperate need of seeing our faith through our works of obedience.  Let us accept the challenge of the Scriptures to take up our cross daily and follow Him in every area of our lives!

So, will you start this new year off RIGHT?  Will you REFRESH your commitment, INVEST your time and resources, GO to serve and share, HELP those around you and TRUST His heart?  It is time we as the Body of Christ act like the redeemed Bride we are through His blood and show His love and share His grace.  It is now that He has called us to let go of the selfish ambitions and grasp hold with both hands to the cross on our shoulder.  We need to walk boldly into the fields that are white unto harvest and work until He comes to get us or until another comes along to help us!  Let us look both directions to our elders for wisdom and an example and to our children for the motivation to press on faithfully.  Join me this year in seeking to live out faith as if every fiber of our beings is dependent on our faithfulness to His calling to REACH the world and TEACH His Word!
In His Grip,