August 29 – Devotional: Spiritual Heritage

I guess styles come and go, as I have pretty much stayed the same. I recently watched my son hang out with some of his friends at church. And I could not help but laugh. All four of them were wearing khaki shorts on a Sunday morning; I know that is wrong, but at least they were there. What I was laughing about is that one teenager was wearing bright blue socks, another red, a third neon yellow and the fourth one black- all while wearing shorts.

aug29 socks

I can assure you no self-respecting teenager of the 1980s would have been caught dead wearing colored socks with shorts. That is what old people did and we made fun of them for it.  But alas today, that is what it takes to be cool, that and $14 per pair. I can still buy a whole package of 12 pair of socks for $14.  I guess things aren’t the way they used to be.

But, I do hope one thing will stay the same for him – a spiritual heritage that he can call upon when things get tough. I had the privilege of growing up in a family that believed and followed Jesus. We always went to church, served the Lord and lived like we believed it. As a result, I came to know the Lord at an early age. For me, Psalm 71:5 is true which says, “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.”

He has been that for me, and I hope my son does the same. But even if you did not have that privilege, you can call on Him today and let Him be your hope and your trust.

Psalm 71:5

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

August 28 – Devotional: 100% True

Can you believe this? The AccuWeather company recently debuted a new forecast.  No, it was not a 14-day or a 30-day forecast, but a 45-day forecast. They announced, “The 45-Day Forecast is yet another way that AccuWeather is helping its customers plan for the special events in their lives through superior forecasting information,” said Steven Smith, AccuWeather’s Chief Digital Officer. (WorldNow)

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Planning a special event 45 days in the future based on their weather forecast? When these guys can’t even get this afternoon’s weather correct? Which I guess is okay concerning a weather forecast, but a totally different thing when it comes to speaking on behalf of God.

In the Old Testament there were lots of people who claimed to be prophets speaking on behalf of God. They would scare the people with messages of destruction or win the favor of people with stories of God’s favor. It would often confuse the people. In Deuteronomy the people were told how they would be able to know whether or not the prophet was accurate.

It says in verse 22 of Deuteronomy 18: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”

In other words, God’s prophecies come to pass 100% of the time. You see, they are more than prophecies, they are actually promises and every promise in the Word of God will come to pass.

Why not spend some time reading His word today? You might be surprised at what the Lord has forecast.

Deuteronomy 18:22

“When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”

“AccuWeather Launches First-of-its-Kind 45-Day Forecast – ABC6 – Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather.” AccuWeather Launches First-of-its-Kind 45-Day Forecast – ABC6 – Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather. WorldNow, 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

August 27 – Devotional: Sweet Sleep

Are you afraid of the dark? I never have been, but I am afraid of all of those things that might be hiding in the dark. There’s something about darkness that makes everything seem so scary . . . like waking up in the middle of the night with, well, a nightmare. We all have those from time to time I suppose. The result of some type of emotional stress, or maybe a bad burrito, but the tricky part is trying to determine if what you were dreaming was real, or just a dream.

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Maybe it is that confusion that keeps little ones up at night. Lately, my youngest has been having a hard time going to sleep. He has his own room now, so the buddy system (so effective against monsters) is no longer in force.  I am not always the most patient at those moments and normally send him to bed with just a simple “go to bed”. But, I found a Bible verse I am going to try, and maybe you should try it next time you have trouble falling asleep.

Proverbs 3:24 says, “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

This is not a magical formula, but rather the result of following the advice given by a father to his son, which begins the chapter and reads “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

You see, for the most part, a good night’s sleep is the result of a well-lived life, one of love for and obedience to His commands. So, the next time you can’t sleep one night, get up the next morning and live for Him.

Proverbs 3:24

“If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

August 26 – Devotional: Beware

You have to be careful, just because a person looks legit, doesn’t always mean he is.  Recently, along the East Coast of our country, exclusive country clubs have been targeted by a couple of thieves stealing cash and credit cards from the locker room. How do thieves break in to places like that, you might ask? Well, they dress the part.

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A surveillance camera caught a man wearing a blue polo shirt, golf pants, a hat and even a golf glove. But, he wasn’t there to golf. He and an accomplice stole credit cards and cash from unlocked lockers. They took the stolen goods and purchased over $8,000 in gift cards. But, the next time they tried it at a different club, employees recognized them from a police sketch. The authorities were called and let’s just say they will be wearing different outfits for a while.

In our world, all kinds of people try to fool us by looking a certain way, and it is not just thieves who want our money.  Jesus warned about people who want to lead us astray from the truth. He said in Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

You see, some people may say nice things about Jesus. They may even claim to be following him, but instead they are looking out for their own needs and desires. How do you know? You will recognize them by the fruits of the way they live their lives.

So, the next time you see someone who is preaching a message in the name of Jesus, you better read the Scriptures for yourself and see how they are living their own life. They just may be dressed up to look like golfers.

Matthew 7:15

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

 

August 25 – Devotional: Pride Comes Before The Fall

How proud are you? I have prided myself on being proud, if you can do such a thing. I thought about that recently when I read about Jonathan Knight. He is one of those guys who stands on the side of the road and begs. He has his sign, has his favorite street corner upon which to stand, and spends hours every day looking into the faces of people as hundreds drive on by and a few, a very few stop to help.

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No, he is not begging for food, his sign does not say will work for food, but instead it reads, “Please Take a Resume.”  He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy, Interred with a US Senator, but has not been able to land a job. So, every weekday he puts on his suit with tie, stands on a street corner and hopes that someone will take his resume and eventually offer him a job. (Los Angeles Times)

I am proud of Jonathan for not being proud.  He is not ashamed to say, Hey I need some help. I am qualified and I am willing to work. I am willing to be creative.  If I had an open job I think I would want to hire Jonathan.  But, I wonder sometimes if God would rather I not work for Him because of my pride.  How many times have we been ashamed of Him? In front of friends, or family members or even total strangers?

The Apostle Paul never was, in Romans 1:16 he writes “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God that brings Salvation to everyone who believes.”  I don’t know if Jonathan Knight believes, but he is not ashamed to let everyone know of his need. May we not be ashamed of our God, who meets every need.

Pool, Bob. “Young Job-seeker Hopes Freeway Ramps Lead to an Entry-level Position.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2013. Web. 03 Aug. 2013.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

August 23 – Devotional: Pure

I was invited to speak at a major conference. Over 4300 people were in attendance.  Now, I just spoke at a breakout session with only maybe 30 in the room, but I was treated as if I was the main speaker.  I was given access to the green room for the main speakers and got to hang out with people like Luis Palau and Jim Cymbala, and also received free snacks. Plus, at my hotel room a welcome bag was given to me.

[Vimeo-]

In it was a strange looking bottle of water. It was called Voss. I had never heard of it, but as I read the bottle it claimed to be artesian water from Norway. When I looked it up online it is supposed to be among the purest water in the entire world.  Though another report said that when a group of experts tasted the water in a blind taste test, it finished sixth out of six, even behind Helsinki tap water.

I tasted it and it was good, but I don’t know that I would pay the asking price for the water. Apparently, some people do as the water has spread to over 50 countries commanding prices by the ounce I would pay for hundreds of gallons. Its purity is what drives the price. People will pay a high price for something that is pure.

Of course, the highest price ever paid for purity would undoubtedly be the price paid for your purity. You remember what the Psalmist said don’t you? “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Pure snow, that melts and turns into water.  Praise be to God, for the blood of Christ.

Psalm 51:7

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

August 22 – Devotional: Servant Of All

Recently, I was traveling to a conference by air. The circumstances allowed for my wife to travel with me, and I was able to bring along my assistant and one of my younger staff members. Because of the way we purchased the tickets, my wife and I were on one order and then Amy and Mark were on the other.

aug22 first class

Now, I love flying, particularly this airline because they offer lots of free things, like snacks, and allow bags to fly free. I don’t really care for the “open” seating plan where you can sit anywhere you want to on the plane. So, the sooner you board, the more options you have. Since you can check-in up to 24 hours in advance, the sooner you check-in, the sooner you can board. They have two groups, A and B with each going all the way up to 60.

The last time I flew this airline I checked in 24 hours early and was in group B, and my friend who checked in later was in group A. So, when I asked my assistant what her group number was she asked me what mine was, and so I said, “B40”. She did not want to tell me hers, when I insisted she said, “A1” and Mark who was on her ticket was “A2”.  How in the world did she get such favor? Well, she paid for the upgrade. She did not pay for my upgrade, but paid the extra money and even got a free drink to boot.

What is it about us that will pay extra to go first? (It turned out, although I got on the plane a full five minutes later than they did, the only seat left for me who got on the plane last was up front.) Jesus told His disciples “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Now, there is nothing wrong with paying for an upgrade every once and a while, just don’t expect it.  Instead, be willing to serve, even those who upgrade.

Mark 9:35

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’ ”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013