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JesusWOD

Things Above

“…set your hearts on things above…set your minds on things above…When Christ, who is your life…”  – Colossians 3: 1, 2, 4

The things our hearts and minds are focused on is usually what drives our lives. They take our energy (physical, mental, emotional), and time (a commodity you cannot buy more of and is short in length).

Have we ever really thought about what we are setting our lives on?

Does Jesus really think, or believe, we will keep our hearts and minds on Him 24/7/365? No. The majority of us are lucky to do that for a half-hour straight. We are too full of “us”.

I do believe He wants to see a better consistency established in this area of our lives. It won’t be complete until we are called home.

JesusWOD:

If Christ was taken out of verse four, how would we fill in the blank?

“When ____________, who is your life…”

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JesusWOD

the-lord-is-near“The Lord is near.” – Philippians 4:5(b)

How often do we forget this simple fact? Even though God reminds us throughout the Bible he “will never leave” or “forsake” us, we tend to take life head on … alone.

Oh, we may have sought the “wisdom” of family and friends, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, “The Lord is near” and still waiting for us to give him a ring.

In verse four, Paul exhorts us to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Verse six reminds us to not “be anxious about anything” (easier said than done, right?).  Verse seven states, “the peace of God” will “transcend all understanding.” Why can all these things take place?

Because, “The Lord is near.” (We also forget, as His kids, He lives within us – can’t get much closer than that.)

It doesn’t mean we will waltz through life’s struggles or laugh past utter disappointments.

Life is tough.

The struggle is real.

But, “The Lord is near.”

He can give us a reason to “rejoice”, quell the “anxiousness” and provide the “peace” we cannot comprehend, if we only remember He “is near.”

JesusWOD:

As we travel through the peaks and valleys of life, are we tapping into the power of God that lives inside of us?

JesusWOD

Exits

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

Everyone has traveled, or is traveling, through the wide gate and on the broad road. Age is irrelevant and Christians are not excluded.

Just because we are saved doesn’t mean we still won’t take the “on ramp” to the world’s highway. It’s a thoroughfare filled with promises of fun, happiness and great times without signaling what lies ahead.

The world’s road is like a playing field with no boundaries. Anything goes. No whistles blown. No penalty flags thrown. With no regulations, it must be more fun than a narrow path with guardrails and warnings? How many times have we become caught up in the chaos of the broad road? The focus is on us or keeping up with the Joneses. Everything must be bigger, stronger and faster. The promises it offers becomes a dizzying frustration leading to disappointment, discouragement or ultimate “destruction.”

Thank the Lord for exits. Exit sign

God promises in Deuteronomy 31:6 He will not “leave… nor forsake us.” As we “merrily” travel the world’s paths, exhausting ourselves along the way, God provides countless opportunities to exit back to the peace, joy and safety of His “narrow” road.

No matter how long we stay on the world’s path, an exit to paradise is always there. Ask the thief on the cross (arguably my favorite person, besides Jesus of course, in the Bible because we are all, in one way or another, a thief).

I think he would encourage us like this: “I was blessed to be dying on the cross that day. I could not have been in a better place. It brought me to my last exit ramp, Jesus.”

JesusWOD:

What road are we traveling on today, right this very moment? Do we need to exit to the road less traveled? The ramp is there. The choice is ours.

 

 

JesusWOD

“…GOD is for us.”

If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31

From “the beginning”, God has been for us. All 66 books of the Bible are an account of how far, deep and wide His love is for us. In the same way He hovered “over the waters” of a dark and empty earth, God hovers over our dark and empty lives filling them with His light and His purpose.

He was for Noah on the ark.

He was for Moses standing at the edge of the Red Sea.

He was for David facing Goliath.

He was for Daniel in the lion’s den.

He was for Hannah who was childless.

He was for Saul, who became Paul, on the road to Damascus.

He was for Peter who denied Him three times.

He was for John the Baptist who was beheaded.

He was for the woman at the well.

He was for Thomas who doubted.

He was for Lazarus who died.

He was for the thief that entered paradise.

He was for men that administered the whipping.

He was for the Romans that nailed Him to a tree.

He was for the Pharisees that spit upon Him.

He “is for us…” 

And that goes for every human that has ever graced the stage of life. Whether we accept the gift of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, or not, it still does not take away the underlying truth that God has always been and will always be for all of us.  

John 3:16 states,“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

Jesus came for the sinner, and that includes all of “us.” 

JesusWOD:

To the unbeliever, will you be for Him, by asking Jesus Christ into your life today? Will you believe someone can be for you so much He would take on your sins and die in your place? 

To the believer, are we for Him? And, if so, how?

Jesus WOD (Workout of the Day) – apart or a part

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”  –  John 15:5

As a basketball coach, it’s not difficult to tell what players are about the team and which ones are about themselves. Do they want to play defense as much as they want the ball on the offensive end? Will they hustle, dive for the loose ball … do the dirty work? Does their body language affect the team in a positive or negative manner?

In John 15:5, Jesus basically said if you’re on My team, you “can do all things through” Me. Jesus is the lifeline. He is the life giver. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

On God’s team, you are a segment, a piece of His divine plan that serves a special and specific purpose. “The body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ…Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it.” (I Corinthians 12:12, 27)

As Christ is “the vine”, we serve as an extension of Him to the world. Our every breath and heartbeat comes not from our greatness, but the simple fact we are attached to Jesus.

Break a branch off from its main source and certain death will come. For non-Christians, being “…apart from” God doesn’t mean a successful life cannot be had, for it certainly can. The difference is when those individuals die, and we all will, they “can do nothing” to be a part of God’s team. Time has run out. The game is over. An eternity apart from the Father has been sealed.

JesusWod:

  • God has a place for you on His team. Have you asked Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior?
  • If you’ve already accepted Jesus, is He asking you to be a part of something “special and specific”? Are you following His calling?

The New Yorker is Chicken

The vaunted, highly esteemed, socially left leaning New Yorker magazine is … chicken.

The fearful arrival of southern fowl into the Big Apple is not at the heart of Dan Piepenbring’s recent article entitled, Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City.

Like most places in America, “The city that never sleeps” has a pallet for poultry and the many ways this feathered delicacy can be presented.  Pipenbring’s piece, though, is more of a pluck job on Christianity.

He states: “And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. (The same Judeo-Christian values America was built upon – my emphasis) Its headquarters, in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays.”

He does mention the long lines waiting to enter Chick-fil-A’s newest, and fourth restaurant, in New York city, but Piepenbring apparently cannot digest this “infiltration” is welcomed by thousands of his fellow citizens.

Piepenbring-Chik-fil-A

He has trouble swallowing “The company has since reaffirmed its intention to ‘treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,’ but it has quietly continued to donate to anti-L.G.B.T. groups.” Please do not forget, Mr. Pipenbring, Chick-fil-A is a privately owned company and can parcel out its funds as it wishes.

It appears The New Yorker, published by Conde’ Nast and owned by Advanced Publications, writes about anything is chooses.

I have first-hand knowledge of Chick-fil-A’s intentions having worked at an establishment in Macon, Georgia. From the initial day of training, it is stressed that every customer is the same. Every customer is equal. Every customer is valuable. The goal is for them to walk out feeling as such.

Chick-fil-A employees  are not trained to decipher, decode, decrypt, or descramble a customer’s religion or sexual ethnicity. Customers are not quizzed before ordering and no exit polls are taken following their delicious meal. Evangelism does not take place. Salvation tracts are not included with the sauce (Polynesian, Chick-fil-A, Honey Mustard, etc…) of your choice. Bibles do not adorn each table nor are they found on the bathroom sink.

But, without the name of Jesus being uttered, customers know there is a different aura, atmosphere, and feeling here.  Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Paul wrote in Romans 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Pipenbring sees it as “distasteful” that Chick-fil-A would “portray itself as better than other fast food.” This is simply called competition. To survive, you must compete. Since 1925, The New Yorker has been doing the same thing.

Honoring its customers is what truly separates Chick-fil-A from other fast food competitors. Simply, it is genuine, professional, courteous service, something rarely seen these days, guided by Biblical principles.

For The New Yorker, there’s no reason to fear this infiltration of light in the darkness. It’s just chicken.

 

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