I Read the Entire Bible in a Year and So Should You
When I was in High School, I had to read the Bible through as part of a discipleship and leadership program I was a part of and then when I was first a youth pastor in Wyoming when I was in my 20’s I read through it again. This year I made a commitment in January to read through the Bible and let its words and principles guide and absorb into my life. Little did I know the massive life-changing direction my life would take with the passing of my Father In Law a few days after I made this commitment.
I started my Bible reading plan on January 1st and my Father In Law passed on January 12th.
My wife was elected the President of Christian Television Network on January 14th and a few short days after that, I became the Vice President in charge of leading all 18 of our station managers in 13 states around the country and also in charge of Creative Content Development for the entire network. Needless to say, 2022 was a very busy year for me. I only spent a total of 97 days in our home state of Colorado from flying and traveling with Yolanda to stations and driving our 28’ travel trailer around the country to connect with and encourage all our stations. It has been a wonderful time of travel with my wife and seeing our managers be encouraged by our hard work and step up in each their own ways in our ministry of broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus. We know there was hard work that went into the initial building of CTN from those who have gone before us and we are dedicated to that same work ethic to continue to build for the glory of JESUS ALONE. And we know that prayer and a focus on the Bible is an integral part of what we will do.
The fact that I felt led to read the whole Bible in a year was kind of random. I already have a devotional time I do but to take on reading the entire Bible was another level. But God knew that was EXACTLY what I was going to need this past year as I am a firm believer that if you want to be used by God in a greater way then you need to do greater things. This is not comparing yourself with anyone else, but to evaluate your life and then make changes if you want to see a different result.
The reason why I am sharing all of this is to encourage YOU to read the Bible through in a year. It was not an easy task. I had gotten about 10 days behind in my reading and took a weekend to get caught back up. And this happened a few times! The good thing is that the plan I use is only based on 25 days a month so you always have time to catch back up if you need to or you can read ahead and get further along.
There were times of reading the Old Testament where I read pages and pages of what seemed like boring information about what generation was connected to another generation. When I read those sections this time, I was gently reminded about how much God loves the family and that generational blessings are important. Things like that are lost in our culture and the Bible was a great reminder to me about it and spurred me to pray for our culture that is losing the concept of family. Then you have the New Testament reading an important truth like Acts 8:3 with an illustration of what Saul was doing to destroy the church going house to house and putting men and women in prison. Reading that verse, I wrote a note to myself that, “Saul (who became Paul) knew the depth of persecution of the church before HE became the one to help build it.” I can now look back through what I highlighted and verses I added notes to and be encouraged for this coming year. I am excited to dig back into the Bible and start over this new year and see what else God wants to speak to me through the Word of God!
A few thoughts for you about the importance of the Bible and putting the Word into your life.
1 – If you think you are too busy to read the Bible this coming year then…you are.
We make time for the things we want to do. So it really comes down to us spending time on things that we value. You need to make the decision for yourself, but you will not regret spending time in the Word.
2 – There is an epidemic of people taking verses out of context and/or using a single kernel of truth and then building humanistic lies around it.
If you consider yourself a follower of Christ it is so important that you know the Bible. To have the context of scripture for yourself so it is not even what your pastor preaches on a Sunday morning but for YOU to know the Word. There are also so many great Bible study tools that are free or low cost on the internet that you can use. I did a segment on my program Man360 that you can watch to read about Blue Letter Bible and Bible Hub website and how to use them. You can click on the Youtube link here to watch that segment – https://youtu.be/2mMT9NAJKMU?t=1298
3 – We always need to be doing things that stretch us
For me, reading has always been a stretch. I read because I know I must and not because I necessarily want to and reading the Bible in a year was something that I knew was going to stretch me. The way we grow in life is to not just stay in the same place doing the same things with the same level of push. On top of the stretching personally, my life changing with becoming the VP of CTN upped the stakes even higher! BUT, it was all something that God knew I needed and was one of the most satisfying years of my life. Busy, but satisfying.
4 – The Bible is not for the people who don’t know Christ, it is for the follower of Christ!
The verse in 2 Timothy 3:16 that talks about the value of the Bible being for “teaching, correcting, and rebuking for training in righteousness. That is NOT talking about non-believers it is for the CHURCH! When those principles are enacted then WE go out into the world and LIVE those Biblical principles to make people hungry for something they don’t have.
The problem is that it’s VERY hard for us to live the principles of the Bible if we are not READING the Bible and allowing it to do surgery on us each day first! Our culture has shifted to a “feeling -based” theology and not a BIBLE based theology. The Bible is replete with verses that talk about how our senses will deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9 & Proverbs 28:26) and not to trust them! It is ok to have feelings and emotions but when left unchecked by the Word of God we run the risk of leading ourselves AND others we encounter away from God and not towards Him!
The Bible should be the beginning and the end of our lives. We need to read it to challenge us, to protect us, to guide us, and give us the encouragement we need each day. The Bible is the BEST way to rehearse the victories of God and what He did back in the day and what He can do for you TODAY!
Take the Bible reading challenge for this year! I dare you!
Click below for a link to a PDF that you can download and get started reading the Bible for yourself!
Thoughts on January 6, 2021…Something BIGGER
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the situation some are calling one of the worst days in the history of the US. This blog is NOT to defend or refute what happened (because frankly, no one has ALL the information/truth but only comments about what others purport to have happened that day) but want to share a few important thoughts to consider especially for someone who calls themselves a follower of Christ.
We are as Divided as EVER in America
I am wearing my FLEX watch that has the American flag on it to remind me to pray for our country today. There are those on the left and the right saying they have ALL the answers to America’s ills and if you just vote for this or that then everything will be nirvana and bliss in your life. It is true that there are two distinct philosophies for how to run this country. I choose to look at the track record of similar policy decisions in the past because to me, that is the best way to judge what will be the future results. But more than policies and procedures of the country is the heart to pray for our DIVIDED States of America. That truth would prevail AND people would see the value in another person as a human being and not just someone from the “opposing political party”. We need to be part of the solution and not part of the problem when it comes to division in our country. I consider myself a man of God first and then anything else second.
Speaking the Truth is Not Automatically Love
I can remember preaching to my kids when I was a youth pastor that two of the most important things in communication are timing and tone. You can absolutely have the right things to say but if you use the wrong tone and the timing is not right then it has no chance of being received. Jesus always gave us the perfect example of human interaction in that he would listen MORE than he would speak. Do we really listen well and especially to people we disagree with? Every person in this country is not going to see the same on every issue and there will be policy differences forever. But we need to always be listening to those around us FIRST and speaking second. Now some would say that we have a responsibility to stand up for truth and speak the truth. I 100% agree with that statement, but if it is not spoken in love then it will not change who it needs to change. What I mean is that there will be people you speak truth to, and they will not accept it and just get angry but if you have acted like Christ and spoken the truth then you don’t need to worry about the outcome. We need to learn to speak truth like Christ and trust HIM with the outcome.
If You Don’t Like the Direction of our Country then Go Get Involved!
Become a member of the school board or run for a city office or go support the candidate that reflects your values. I ALWAYS use the Bible as my plumb line when supporting a candidate and make sure and vote every election cycle. I am praying for truth and transparency in all of our voting systems and procedures in this country and that GOD would promote and put into office those people who need to be there.
You are going to hear and see lots of comments today about what people thought of the January 6th situation but please remember a few things.
- We will all be judged not only by our actions but by the words that come out of our mouth (and that includes social media).
- No single elected official or social system should be the true source of your happiness and if they are, then you are putting something or someone in the place of Jesus in your life.
- If you cannot listen to someone who you disagree with then you are part of the problem and not the solution in America.
- If you are not praying for whomever is president of the US (Biden OR Trump when he was in office) then you are part of the problem.
- Truth should NEVER be shied away from but if it is not spoken in love then it is not like Jesus. PLEASE REMEMBER: Jesus did not come to the earth to convince people that he was right. He came to speak about a better way to live to get a different result and have access to eternity in heaven with him. That was his emphasis with the disciples; speak true words MATCHING true actions.
- Disagreement in life is not hate. That is a construct of the current culture attempting to keep people apart and only around “yes people” in life. There is no growth where there is no opposition of thought.
Have a great day today and know that God is still in all of what we do as America but we need to BE Jesus to those we come in contact with on a daily basis.
2021 Was a Great Year! Am I Insane?!
Well 2021 is finally over. I see people posting some pretty funny memes about what they thought of this past year but as I look back I can say what a great year! Now, why would I say something like that considering where we are in the world in so many dysfunctional ways?
Maybe 2021 has been a year of seeing and knowing what NOT to do. Isn’t that as important as a year we would define as “great”? Generally, I don’t like correction but when we get something wrong or something bad happens in life those moments raise the value of the “right” in life when we have Jesus in control. It seems like correction is something talked about in every other verse of Proverbs. From the results of being stiff necked in Proverbs 29:1 (A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed–without remedy) to Proverbs 12:1 (Whoever LOVES discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid) Such fun verses to meditate on the first day of the new year. Haha
You may say, “That’s easy for you to say. You had a relatively uneventful year.” Unless you realize that I fell in the airport late last year, had to have major rotator cuff surgery and be in an a sling for 42 days. AND since the new year has happened my insurance deductible went back up and I start 6 months of painful physical therapy that will cost thousands of dollars so…yeah…I would have a reason to complain to start the new year but I wont. I am going to ask God to put the people in my path that need to hear about him; Doctors, nurses, receptionists, my PT person, etc. and not just complain. I pray that our eyes are fixed on HEAVEN and not on the trappings of this earth.
2021 has also been a WONDERFUL year of defining lines in the church body and those who want to pursue holiness in life and those who want to just add Christianity into the other things they do. This may sound like a judgmental statement, but it is not. I know about the story of the thief on the Cross and him living his life for himself to the end and Jesus inviting him to heaven. I do think that there will be people who make it to heaven who don’t do much on this earth for Christ. To me, that is a scary place to serve God from because if we say we are a follower of Christ but we only follow him to the local church on Sundays and our Bible and prayer when it gets tough in life can we TRULY say we are a follower of Christ? ALWAYS remember that Jesus didn’t come to CONVINCE anyone that they needed to follow Him. He came to live a life of example and OFFER a different way to people who had unmet expectations in life. It is also an observation based on people who want to get to heaven but don’t want to change their actions including the trend of “Christianity in Hollywood”. I do believe that there are some wonderful followers of Christ out there, but there are many A list stars that have professed their Christianity but still take acting jobs that reflect Godlessness. I believe that is leading people astray to think that a walk with Christ is about just saying you follow Christ but not doing anything in life to prove it.
So what will 2022 be to you? Will it be a year of recognizing what you did wrong this past year then changing what you do this year to expect a different result? As we get closer to the return of Christ remember that there will continue to be a blurring of what it means to have Jesus in control of your life. You may be reading this and say, “How do you know that YOU are right?” The only thing I know is that I don’t want to live as far away from Christ as I can and only reach out to him when things go bad. I will use the Bible as the guidebook for my life and be involved in a church that preaches the Word AND is not afraid to defend what is being preached from the pulpit. I will love EVERYONE equally but also not be afraid to let people who I disagree with know that there is another way to live life. That may sound like judgement to some, but I’m not trying to make anyone live the life I do. People have to come to the end of themselves before they decide to do something different. This new year I will be a bridge to people getting back to Jesus who have walked away. Basically, I want to be an example to people i come in contact with and see the fruit of the decisions I make to put Jesus first in everything because it is not about ME or anything about me but Jesus IN me!
Have a GREAT 2022 and I am praying for you!
One Usable Arm Helps Bring Perspective in Life
I had rotator cuff surgery about a month ago and am now starting the process of physical therapy. I can say that you never really realize what you have with two functional arms when you only have one. From folding a blanket to putting on your socks to tying your shoes! When everything happened with almost losing my eye it was a similar journey in that there were never things I considered with my vision until I was confronted with the potential of vision loss.
So the question is what are you taking for granted in life? Is it your health or maybe mobility in some way? Is it relationships and something as simple as appreciating your parents? Maybe it is your job that you complain about when there are others who would give their right arm (pun intended) for what you do. Maybe it is a relationship with Jesus. I know for me, I have known Christ all my life and sometimes the gravity of what God did for me is lost in the milieu of life even being in full-time Christian television ministry.
Pauses in life are vital to reflect and reevaluate what is important in life. But what we don’t realize is that pauses can come in all kinds of ways. For me, my shoulder situation is something that has caused me to pause and reflect on the things that matter most in my life. Not to mention my wife who has done an outstanding job taking care of me while executing all the other responsibilities in her life.
Today, take a moment and reflect on the good things in life but also the challenges or things that hurt. Maybe take a moment and consider where you are with Jesus. I mentioned in a devotion time the other day that Jesus didn’t come to the earth to try and convince people that they needed to follow him. He would love people, listen to their story and then offer a different way of living. Some “contemporary Christians/churches” have the loving and listening part down to a science but there needs to be engagement when it comes to interacting with people who don’t know how great Jesus is when the Holy Spirit leads. Jesus would offer a “pause” to people’s thinking to help them evaluate the results of their actions in life and followers of Christ need to look for opportunities to do the same!
Today is the day to consider where you are in life, where you would like to be, and what is bringing you TRUE happiness. Remember this practical lesson when you go through life today; when you buy a vehicle the BRAKE is as important as the ACCELERATOR.
Have a great day and use or take those pauses in life to make sure you are going the direction you think you are and consider giving Jesus control. I’ve got 49 years of following Him and He has never let me down!
Memorial Day 2021 – Remembering Heroes Doesn’t Mean Justifying Past Mistakes
Right now, our country is in an interesting place. Memorial Day is today, and there is a part of this country that cannot understand what “remembering” truly means.
The freedoms we have in this country have not just been inherently given and simply granted but have been fought for by men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the ability to stand for or even burn an American flag. Remembering and honoring those who came before us in defense of our country doesn’t mean they always did everything right.
The power in remembering the past is that we can see what was good and what was wrong and then work FORWARD to not repeat those same mistakes again. There are people/organizations who would want to erase or rewrite history or to “start over” with a clean slate but there are dangers in that thinking, especially for future generations.
In my life, I cannot just erase the things that I have done wrong and start over. This may sound strange, but as a follower of Christ, there is actually power in being able to not look at your past and be depressed about what you did, but to look at where you have come from and the strides you have made towards becoming a better person with the help of Jesus. Errors in life can either be markers to show how far you have come or can be anchors that keep you from being able to move forward into the best version of you for yourself and the world around you.
In looking back at the history and growth of America, I can say that we did not always do everything right. But those things that were not done right do not discount all the GOOD that has been done for the citizens of America and the world in general. I am an eternal optimist when it comes to our country and its members to find the right way, with God’s help, and to be the best version it can be for the sake of the country as a whole and the world. This is not turning a blind eye to the things that have been done incorrectly through the years but taking moments like Memorial Day and committing to never walk or do those same things ever again.
We cannot truly rewrite history, but we CAN commit to making good decisions going forward and honoring those who have brought us this far in this great country called America.
Man360 is Coming and YOU Are Invited!
It is hard to believe that after 2 years of harvesting segments for my men’s program and all the things we have had to fight through, that Man360 is going to launch in a week! I am excited for what the program is going to do in helping men. I wanted to share a quick blog about what people can expect who tune in each week including the creative use of the website Man360.tv as a full part of the program as well.
Man360 was birthed out of a desire to produce a TV/streaming program that is high quality, clean, entertaining and Spiritually challenging for men. Although anyone would enjoy watching the program, it is specifically geared towards men and helping them become complete in every way. This means that we will have interviews from people like Tony Dungy, JB Brown, Dr. Henry Cloud, John Tesh, and many more. The interviews are geared towards honest questions that focus on struggles that each man had and I give them a chance to speak into the lives of viewers to help challenge or encourage them in some way.
Another segment we are developing is “Things Brian Doesn’t Want to Do” and is basically getting me to do things that I don’t want to do. The first episode will include me getting a pedicure with my brother in law, which was hilarious.
We also have book reviews or teachings that I will do from the Bible to challenge and encourage men to get into the Bible. We may review a devotional for men to pick up or just talk about a good book that deals with a topic like fear.
Yolanda and I have worked very hard on getting segments from around the US and around the world from our travels. We have segments that will play from states and countries like Florida, Utah, New Hampshire, Barcelona, France, and Dubai. These will be focused on interesting facts about the areas we are in or maybe a quick devotional to get the viewer thinking.
I will also do outdoor gear reviews on things like how to choose the right hiking boot to picking a good pocketknife.
We will also have musical guests like Josh Baldwin from Bethel Worship Collective, Tyree Morris, and Sean Be. It was fun to sit down with these guys and hear about their journey into Christian music and I think you will really enjoy each interview.
The website, Man360.tv will play an integral part of the program as well. After each episode, we will provide viewers with “additional content” on the website that will be directly connected to the episode they will see. We will have additional footage that we didn’t have time for on the program as well as links to gear you can purchase or books that we mention on the program. There will also be a link to my book if people want to pick up a copy and an email connect for people to let us know how we are doing, send a prayer request, or request me to come speak at their event. Content will be changing each week so you will want to make that part of your regimen each week.
Yolanda and I created a program that I hope you will enjoy with a bit of humor, informative reviews of things like gear, books and also teachings from the Bible. We have been praying over this program that I touches many men and helps people see that you can have fun and be a Christian too!
Man360 launches next week, November 12th at 7:30pm (MST) nationally and will also replay here in the Colorado market on Saturdays at Noon. You can also go now to Man360.tv for more information about where to view the program.
We appreciate all the love and support for the program and believe that God will use it to touch many people!
Testimony From a Reader
I have had people through the years share with me how much my story has meant to them but this testimony I received recently really struck a nerve with me. Maybe because it hit so close to home in my mind and reminded me of the depth of despair I was in when I was at my deepest darkest point.
As I have said many times, stories like the one below are not just about selling more books but about sharing what God has done with my simple story and how he can use what YOU have gone through for His glory too!
Here is the testimony I received from a reader. I pray it encourages you AND helps you know and recognize that you are not alone in the fight.
“I just finished your book. I can’t say just how much it touched my heart and soul. As soon as the new church I want to go to opens back up I am going to go. I am going to call the pastor tomorrow and ask him when I can start going.
I have been sick with a disease since I was 10 years old. I have been lost many times on the journey of life and am recovering now from being lost and making the wrong choice when it came to trying to take my life. I was in so much pain that all I wanted was for the pain to stop. All I remember is waking up in the ambulance and being so mad that my plan didn’t work. That was about 8 months ago and now I can say I am glad that I didn’t lose my life that lost moment.
Thank you for sharing your story and making me feel like I am not so alone in this world.”
As I pray for this new friend, I pray for you as well. That you would sense God in the middle of your darkest night and that Jesus’ great love would intersect you in a miraculous way.
There is just as great a chance of something wonderful happening in your life tonight as there is something terrible. How about you expect a MIRACLE and not just more crap in life? You can do it. I am cheering you on!
A Key to WINNING the Coronavirus FIGHT
I can remember three times when debilitating fear struck me when i was sick.
One was when I had been sick for a few months and Yolanda and I were sitting on the couch at our house waiting for the results of a CAT scan of my head/eye area. I remember laying on the couch and not saying anything to Yolanda and my mind wandering from cancer to anything that could be worse. The test came back negative and the doctor said that everything (minus my eye situation) looked normal.
I can also remember being sent to the hospital to get a test for Grand Wegeners disease as a possible solution to why my eye was flaring up. I remember laying in the hospital before being admitted to the ICU and singing, with tears in my eyes, an old Imperials song “He Didn’t Lift Us Up To Let Us Down”. I got my kidney biopsy with a three day stay in ICU to make sure I didn’t have internal bleeding and released with another “good” report that my immune system was not functioning correctly and the core issue of my eye flaring up. This didn’t help where I was mentally and struggling to get a foothold on my disease.
The third time was when I took a trip to Barnes Eye Institute in St. Louis Missouri to meet with one of the best retinal doctors in the country. Barnes is known as the “Mayo Clinic for eyes” and I had high hopes that they would be able to give clarity to why my eye was acting up and giving me issues. I remember sitting in the examination chair with my eye dilated (which I have and always will hate) and the doctor taking a look in my eye and saying, “It looks like your doctor in Colorado is doing all he can. I don’t have another solution to your issue.” It was like someone punched me in the stomach.
Each of these situations gave me greater insight into what despair looked like when someone faces an issue, especially when it comes to fear and health. The best way I could describe what I was feeling during my entire time of being sick was like I had claustrophobia but it was coming from inside me and not from outside forces. Meaning, there was nothing I felt like I could do or anywhere I could go to make it better. It was like I was drowning inside myself with water pouring down my throat and an anchor tied around my foot.
I learned that when i got sick I knew Jesus for everyone else besides myself. In essence, I had lost my first love with Christ and thought that I was in full control of my destiny as a youth pastor and able to just cruise through life because I was a good person and doing the work of the Lord. I believe that God had to interrupt my life so that I could recalibrate and learn how to trust him even in the darkest days or nights.
I share these things to illustrate what it was like to lose control, or what I THOUGHT I was in control of, in my life. You see, we live our lives with a false sense of controlling the things around us or even our own health. Of course, we can be wise and eat healthy, get sleep, etc. but the reality of life is that we cannot prevent all bad things from happening to us. I can almost remember to the day after being sick for so many years when i finally let go and said to God, “I recognize that I cannot control this situation and whatever you have for me is what I will receive.” After I prayed that prayer, things turned around for me. It was not that I was succumbing to defeat but deciding to live my life in SURRENDER.
It is funny to think about how I reacted when I got sick and how I grew up with important outdoor life skills. I do a lot of hiking and always have from when it was a kid. Growing up in Montana, we were always taught one simple and important fact about getting lost in the woods. It wasn’t to bring enough extra supplies or know how to make a shelter, how to sterilize water or even build a fire. It was to STAY CALM. If you lose your head in adverse situations then you already start at a disadvantage. I even had a time when I was hiking a 14er (a 14,000+ ft mountain, for those of you not from Colorado) and got off trail and started going the wrong way up the mountain. I was assessing our situation and making plans to stay overnight in the wilderness but was able to think logically through the situation and not get nervous. Also because of keeping my head, we were able to find the trail again and get back to the car with limited problems. So even with all my learning and understanding of keeping calm in adverse situations I still “lost my head” when i got sick because I felt out of control with limited information about my sickness and why I was dealing with a rotten eyeball.
It is similar in seeing people’s response to not having a lot of information about COVID19 so they spin out of control and (for example) buy up rolls and rolls of toilet paper! There was nothing any of us could have done to prevent where we are and the only thing we can do is STAY CALM, trust in God and take patient steps to get through this season of life. In fact, those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus will be watching how Christians react to this situation and if we are going to walk in the same worry and fear that others do or are we going to show where our hope is; in CHRIST alone. I know that the peace I feel now in this situation is from spending so many years in fear when I was sick with my eye condition and see the results; loss of sleep, tearing down of my trust in God and pulling everyone around me into my black hole of defeat. Christians need to now PROVE all the worship songs we have sung for years in church and take a stand against the enemy and his lies and schemes.
Praying for you all and that the PEACE and love of God surrounds you like a flood and that you will NOT listen to the lies of the devil who wants to try and flex his power when the ONLY power he has is what we allow him to have in our lives. That you will take this time now to develop your relationship to Jesus or maybe start on the journey of making Him the Lord of your life. Once you experience HIS peace there is no virus, no disease no earth-shattering event that can keep you from mental and emotional well being that people have searched for and never found without Christ.
Solving Anemic Christianity
I changed the way I do devotions and it has absolutely revolutionized my life! That may sound like an overstatement but the things I feel like God is showing me now in my quiet time has jumped exponentially.
I would have people tell me that they wake up early in the morning to spend time with Jesus and I would think, “That sounds like some kind of religious activity to make yourself feel more spiritual than everyone else.” Then I decided to wake up early a couple of months ago and doubled down by starting to journal as well! Journaling was something else that seemed so foreign to me when people would say it is good to write things down in your quiet time. I am not a writer by trade and even the fact that I wrote a book is more of a miracle than it is a simple obedient exercise of retelling what I went through with my eye. And now that I think about what helps me be the man of God that he wants me to be I could never think of my life being WITHOUT getting up early to do devotions and journaling. Even my journaling is something that works for me. I don’t sit and write multiple pages in a book but use intentionality with meaningful things that I feel God reveals.
I always read something in scripture and then ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Bible in some way. I also write down the names and needs of people every day and sometimes God uses that exercise to write something.
Even though I now do television, I have been a licensed pastor for over 25 years and so my devotion time went the way of prayer, reading the Bible, God sharing something with me in that time and then I would instantly equate those ideas and thoughts with new and ground-breaking sermons to share with the world.
After about a month of doing my devotions with journaling, I felt like God told me that when I only think of others when he shares something with me that I actually CHEAPEN my time with Him. That doesn’t sound very spiritual to “keep things God shares to yourself and not share those things with others.” I would actually say that ALL the things God shares with me would make a bunch of great sermons but that those words he shares in my quiet time are for ME. They are not just for my impulsion to share what Jesus says to me with others. Growing up in church for so many years has possibly programmed me to think that the obvious process is God shares something with me, I package it and then share it with whoever will listen to change their lives and get them to ask Jesus into their heart. There is NOTHING wrong with sharing Jesus with lost people who don’t know how much God loves them, but we need to realize that when God shares something with us in our quiet time we need to first meditate on it and hold it as a precious gift. Now I am not saying that everything God shares with me in my quiet time never makes it out of my devotion time but that I always honor what God tells me as a holy moment between me and Him.
The form or timing of your personal time with Jesus may look different than mine, but I will say that it is necessary and that there is certainly something to setting your day in the right direction and writing down deep impressions given to you by God. The point is that I believe a contributing factor to the anemic Godly actions of Christians in our culture today is not from the Bible losing its power or Jesus’ concern for the lost waning, but a lack of a MEANINGFUL personal time with Jesus in the lives of believers. We each need to be spending that time with Jesus so that we can know our personal part in bringing the Gospel to the people around us but also bringing vibrancy to OUR relationship to Jesus. How can we tell others about a relationship with Jesus if we cannot be that example in our relationship with him?
Praying for you to have INTENTIONAL time with Christ that not only changes you but everyone you come in contact with today.
Where People Find Jesus…
I was praying for the viewers of my TV station this morning that they would find Jesus if they don’t know him. I also prayed for people who have known God for a long time that they would continue to deepen their relationship and be open to Him showing them new revelations of his glory, grace and peace.
As I was praying, I thought about a term I have used many times while talking to people about having a relationship with Jesus and “coming to end of themselves.” I considered what that term actually meant to someone finding and deciding to follow Christ. Then I felt impressed by this statement:
People normally don’t find Jesus in the “middle” but at the “end” of themselves.
When people are still in the “middle” they can think of a relationship with Jesus as something else to add to their lives. But when they are at the end of themselves, they are done “doing” things to find peace and they are willing to accept the peace and direction from Jesus, which has fully to do with surrender.
Even the term “surrender” for some people can be difficult because that word can be synonymous with hurt/pain or being taken advantage of. Hurt from the past can be a deterrent from people walking into a relationship with Jesus but I can tell you that trusting in Him is a step towards a freedom you have never experienced before. The difference is that Jesus only wants the best for us when we give him control of our lives.
Following and trusting Jesus is simple but can be difficult at the same time because the “effort” shifts from us trying to FIND peace to ACCEPTING Jesus, who actually IS peace. When we accept Jesus we get peace and don’t have to wait for something additional to fill the voids in life. This is where the power and importance of the Bible comes into play. The Bible is the guidebook for life and not just a book of suggestions to help train our minds to trust in God. For example, the book of John can be a great overview of who Jesus is to humanity and the book of Romans helps illustrate the power and importance of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
Today, no matter where you are with God, take one step closer. If you have don’t know Jesus and have trouble in life, just cry out to Him and tell him you need help. If you are a follower of Christ and don’t have a good church home, find a church that teaches the Bible and Jesus. If you attend church somewhere and are not currently involved in anything more than Sunday am, find a way to serve.
Praying for you today to find the peace that I found so many years ago as a kid and then with my physical issues, realizing that Jesus NEVER left me through my entire life. Jesus loves YOU that much too!