Sunday, July 27, 2014


July 28, 2014
John 19:30  "When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

Unfinished projects are everywhere.  I'm sure you have a project started but is lacking in completion.  You might even have more than one unfinished project.  I know of people who started projects twenty years ago and have yet to complete them.  For whatever reason we get sidetracked or derailed from finishing them.  Life gets in the way, we lose motivation, run out of finances, and we get tired.  There are many valid reasons for unfinished projects and there are many invalid excuses for unfinished projects.  But we all have them.  Unfinished business weighs on us, dangling overhead but we pretend not to see them lest we get stressed about it.  Our intentions are very good but our follow through is lacking sometimes.

Jesus completed His major project, thankfully.  He came to die for our sins.  Period.  When He breathed His last breath on the cross He spoke those important words, "It is finished."  I am so glad He did not get sidetracked or lose motivation.  He kept His eye on the task, knew what He had to do, and completed it.  He got the job done and because He did, you and I can now have eternal salvation.  Imagine what your life would be like if Jesus didn't finish the work, if you did not have the hope of being in Heaven someday.

Everyone has something to do for the Lord.  He has given us all talents and special gifts required to complete it.  This is not new to this generation.  In the book of Revelation, the Lord sent a word to one of His churches.  The message said, "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God."  It was for those nearing the end of life but did not complete what the Lord asked of them.  Sadly, this happens everyday.  People die having never finished what the Lord asked of them.

You, too, like Jesus, have a project to complete.  It is unique to you, designed specifically for you by the Lord and no one else can do it.  I don't know what that is, but at one point in your life you were excited for a project from the Lord and started out doing the work.  But you may have lost motivation.  Maybe there was a valid reason for not finishing the work.  You have unfinished business to do for the Lord and even as you read these words your heart is burning within you for something specific, something you started years ago but never finished.  The Lord's plan doesn't change.  If He asked you to do something then He still wants you to do it.

No man is told when he will die.  Your life is not a guarantee and everyday is an opportunity to complete what the Lord has asked of you.  If you put it off another day, sadly that day may not come.  Today is the only chance you'll get to begin again at finishing what you started.  Hopefully, when you breathe your last, like Jesus, you'll be as completed in your task.  I pray one day you will be able to declare, "It is finished."

If there is something hindering you from finishing your project for the Lord, I pray right now in Jesus Name that the roadblock would be moved.  I speak to the mountain in your life to be thrown into the sea, that you may continue on in the work you started!

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ezra 5:15-17, 1 Thess 5:1-11, Titus 1:5, Revelation 3:2-3

Sunday, July 20, 2014


July 21, 2014
2 Corinthians 1:20  "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God."

There is a word that we say at the end of a prayer and seldom do we think of it as anything less than a book-end to that prayer.  The word "Amen" is simply a sign that the prayer has ended, that it's OK to open your eyes and look up, maybe begin a new task.  We say it at the end of a quick prayer before we eat, we say it at the end of a long prayer in church.  We say it during a time of deep intersession.  Some don't even say it anymore, thinking it is an outdated word, too cliche or church-speak.  I would suggest to you that it is a very important word, almost a prophetic word if you use it correctly.

The word "Amen" has its roots in Aramaic and it was adopted by the Hebrews possibly thousands of years before Jesus.  Jesus used it only specifically, and it would benefit us to figure out how to use it correctly.  The word means: to be confirmed, supported, or upheld.  It is a confirmation of truth.  Jesus used it at the beginning of a few sermon instances, which is translated, "verily, verily I say unto you" or "truly, truly I say to you."  He was using the word Amen to confirm He was speaking the God's honest truth about a subject, declaring its truth into existence (but it is not translated as "Amen" since we understand its use to be at the END of a prayer only).  Fun fact, Jesus never actually used the word "Amen" to conclude a prayer (read John chapter 17).  He didn't even use it to conclude what we know as the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew chapter 6.

In the book of John, Jesus says the phrase, "I tell you the truth," twelve times.  In each instance, the Greek word for "Truth" is translated from the word "Amen."  These are the only times Jesus used the word, "Amen."

When the Bible declares that the Lord's promises are "Yes" and "Amen," it is saying that the Lords promises are correct and they will be confirmed.  It is saying "Yes" He can do it and "Amen" it will come true.  Jesus taught us to use the word "Amen" correctly but it is lost in translation.  There are two sentences in the Bible that could revolutionize your life if you understood them the way Jesus intended, found in Mark 11:22-24.  Jesus spoke the words.
    "And Jesus answered them, 'Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.'"

Go back through those words and replace the word "Truly" with the word "Amen," using a correct understanding of the word "Amen."  It might read like this:
    Have faith in the Lord.  What I say is confirmed and will come true.  Whatever you ask for, believe it will come to pass and do not doubt in Me to do it for you.  Believe that you have already received it and it will come true.

Jesus wanted you and me to understand the word "Amen" should be used to speak things into existence.  We have commonly adopted it at the end of a prayer, hoping to convey a sense of truth to what we are asking for in prayer, but seldom do we actually use it as any other thing than a book-end to prayer.  Jesus didn't use the word to support a request, He used it as a declaration, to support a solid fact.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matthew 6:5-15, Mark 11:22-24, John 17, 1 Cor 14:15-17

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith
July 14, 2014
Matthew 12:39  "He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.'"

Believing that Jesus is Lord requires our human logic to take a leap of faith.  The voice inside of you, the still small voice of the Lord whispering to your heart, it takes a leap of faith to follow it.  Believing what is written in the Bible to be true requires our rationale to take a faith walk.  Maybe if Jesus appeared to you in person, it would be easier to believe?  Maybe if Jesus painted a sign, a visible sign in the sky, it would be easier to step out and do what you think the Lord might be asking you to do?

Sadly, Jesus did appear in human form and there were many who did not believe in Him.  Sadly, Jesus performed amazing miracles and painted various signs but still people did not believe in Him or follow His leading.  Jesus said that His generation was wicked because they wanted a sign, too many signs before they were willing to believe in Him or step out in faith to follow His leading.  Sadly, there are many today attending our churches who never fully take that leap of faith into believing in Him.  Sadly, there are many Christians today who never step out and follow the still small voice into taking a unique road the Lord would like to lead them down.  We ignore the voice or the leading and ask for a sign instead.  We want a megaphone in the room and aren't willing to take a leap of faith because it requires a leap of faith.  We want to KNOW!  We want to be SURE!

The older I get (and I'm not that old yet), the harder it is to take new paths, trusting that the leading is from the Lord.  Taking a leap of faith is risky.  Moving to a different city, changing jobs, adopting a child--all things that require a leap of faith, especially if there is no human rationale for doing it.  When Peter stepped out of the boat as he saw Jesus walking on the water, it required a leap of faith to believe it was actually the Lord calling to him.  Would you and I have stepped out of the boat with Peter?  I'd like to think I might have stepped out, but the reality is I might have wanted a brighter sign or secondary reassurance.  I would have wanted to see the water turn to hard ground before I was willing to take a leap of faith to step out of the boat.  There is just too much at risk, too many things could go wrong.

Jesus has so much more for you and me in life but it takes a leap of faith to acquire it.  Jesus has so much more for you and me to do for Him but it takes a leap of faith to accomplish it.  Jesus has so much more life for you to experience but it takes a leap of faith to begin the adventure.  Living a Christian life requires more faith the longer you live it.  Living a Christian life means living with a degree of whimsy as you must be willing to go where ever the still small voice would like to lead you.  Since I have been alive, I've never once seen a sign painted in the sky or heard a voice from Heaven speak like a megaphone but I have stepped out in faith, even leapt.

The Lord is speaking to many of you even now, and has been for a while but you've been waiting for a sign painted in the sky or that megaphone voice.  Those things aren't coming.  It's time to take a leap of faith.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  1 Kings 19:12, Matt 14:22-33, Heb 11:6

Sunday, July 6, 2014


July 7, 2014

Nehemiah 6:15  "So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days."

Nehemiah was a man who cared deeply about his God, his people, and his homeland.  He was loyal and faithful and bold.  The fortified walls of his hometown were in shambles and his heart ached because of the destruction.  True, they were just walls but they represented so much more to his people and he understood this.  The walls represented solidarity, steadfastness, and security.  But they had been torn apart during battle.  Nehemiah had in mind to repair the walls.  He rallied support and with solidarity and steadfastness, he began to rebuild the security of the walls.  His project was not without obstacles, however.  There were many who were intent on seeing Nehemiah fail in his endeavors.

Nehemiah was up against ridicule, intimidation and threats, even sabotage.  Not only did Nehemiah have to solicit volunteers for the construction, he had to motivate his volunteers through the obstacles.  It took fortitude to press onward in the project.  Many would have seen the obstacles and become disheartened, even ceased working.  But Nehemiah had fortitude.  He marched onward in his efforts.  He envisioned the goal despite the obstacles and with boldness he finished the task.  He didn't even allow the obstacles to slow his pace.  Swiftness and deliberate could describe his movements, even through adversity.  Some of his volunteers suggested quitting, but Nehemiah did not let that discourage him.  Nehemiah was the epitome of fortitude.

The Bible describes all of Nehemiah's obstacles with detail and finishes the successful rebuilding project with a time-stamp.  October 2nd (in today's terms) was the finishing day, with a total of fifty two days for the entire elapsed time of construction.  Some translations of the Bible say the project took "only" fifty two days, suggesting it was quite an accomplishment given the enormity of the task and severity of road blocks.  Nehemiah was quite the leader to press forward in his task with such fortitude, not allowing anything to deter him from his goals.  It was not easy but Nehemiah was successful.

Unlike Nehemiah, most of us let the obstacles of life deter us from success.  We get hindered when the going gets tough, slowing our pace and keeping us from our goals.  With abandonment we set aside our vision for the future in exchange for the doldrums of normalcy.  Satan uses obstacles to derail us from our path in life to keep us from the success the Lord intends.  While I will not suggest it is easy to press forward with fortitude, it is necessary if we are to reach the goal the Lord has planned for our lives.  You have been given a path with a project to complete but may have gotten sidetracked by the obstacles of life.  It is paramount to keep moving forward, not allowing life to slow you down from success.  You cannot listen to the naysayers; you cannot give in to fear and doubt; you cannot submit to intimidation if you are going to be successful!  With boldness and fortitude march forward on your path, refusing to succumb to any roadblocks.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Neh 2-6