Monday, July 18, 2005


"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." Matthew 6:5

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." Matthew 6:16

All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the lord. Proverbs 16:2

This Wednesday, we are praying about our motives. Many times, people have hidden motives in the things they do. It may be passive aggression or it may seem manipulative. Sometimes it may be so hidden that the person doesn't even realize they have ulterior motives. So this week, we are praying that we understand our motives and that these motives are in line with God's will. A couple appropriate questions to ask:

1. Am I doing this to be a blessing to that person or am I doing it to make them think I am quite the blessing?
2. Am I doing this to show my love for them or am I trying to get them to love me - keeping score?
3. Am I sharing this truth with them to ultimately make them a better person or am I pointing out a shortcoming to make myself feel better by comparison?
4. Am I sharing this information in a genuine effort to help this person or do I just like the feeling of gossiping?

Ultimately, is God's love at the heart of my motives or is my own selfish self running the show? Being in God's will is both the actions that we take as well as the reasons that we undertake them. Remember, it's possible to be doing the right things for the wrong reasons and it's possible to be doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

Have a great week and a great fast.
Your brother,

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Have you ever had a revelation? You may not think so. In fact, the word "revelation" may conjure up images of being alone somewhere and hearing God's voice in some weird megaphone-like manner. So let me ask it a different way. Have you ever had a breakthrough or an "AHA" moment (some prefer to say AAAAAAAAAAHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!)?

Let me start by saying it seems quite appropriate that I'm writing the first draft of this message at 3:30 am on a Thursday morning. You see, I've been awake for about an hour now, unable to fall back asleep, because these thoughts about breakthroughs are swimming through my head. And even as dim-witted as I can be, I could recognize that I was having an "AHA" moment about "AHA" moments.

I think these "AHA" moments can fall into many different categories. A few pop into mind:

1. A new clarity about God's word: Perhaps the breakthrough is a new understanding of a certain passage that used to be confusing to you. Or maybe it's seeing how two seemingly unrelated passages are actually related - which strengthens your faith in the divine nature of the bible. Or maybe you see a whole new deeper meaning in a passage that you thought you understood completely - reaffirming that the word holds something for everyone - no matter where they are in their walk.
2. A nugget of self-discovery: As we let Him take control of our lives, it's extremely helpful to know as much as we can about ourselves. You can probably think of numerous times when you learned something new about yourself. And if you're at all like me, a lot of them aren't such good things… which just reaffirms the need to let Him take control of my life.
3. A glimpse of God's will for your life: "For He knows the plans He has for me…" and I really like it when He lets me see a little piece of it.

Yesterday I heard a quote from Winston Churchill - "Man occasionally stumbles across the truth… but he usually manages to pick himself back up and continue on his way." This Wednesday, let's pray about these "AHA" moments. That when we stumble across these truths... we recognize them, learn from them, incorporate them into our lives, and bless others with them. Let's pray that we don't just "continue on our way"… We want to "continue on His way."

Have a great week and a great fast.
Your brother,

Monday, July 4, 2005


Some of the miracles we read about in the bible are beyond comprehension. But what's even more amazing is how the witnesses of these very miracles often reverted back to a lack of faith shortly after the miracle. They would see proof of God's existence yet this "proof" was not enough to sustain faith. Look at the Jews with Moses in the desert (crossing the Red Sea, Manna, etc.).

In the beginning of Matthew 9, Jesus is with a paralytic. The first thing He did was forgive the paralytic's sins. At this, the teachers of the law accused Him of blaspheming. Jesus replies with the rhetorical question "Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? Matthew 9:5. Both are miracles but the forgiveness of sins is an eternal miracle as opposed to the temporary miracle of healing. As saved individuals, each one of us is an eternal miracle of the transforming grace of Christ. Our sins are forgiven and we are new creations as a result. Many unbelievers think a miracle would convince them about God. Yet it didn't work for the Jews in the desert. The fact is there are miracles of His salvation everywhere. The next time an unbeliever says a miracle would convince them of God's existence, tell them they are talking to one. This Wednesday let's pray that unbelievers everywhere would wake up and recognize the miracles all around them.

Have a great week and a great fast.
Your brother,