Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Lord Speaks in Many Ways

Bottom Line
“The Lord Speaks in Many Ways”
December 2011

Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.’ -- Acts 26:15-16

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” --- “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. -- Luke 1:30-31 & 38

Paul’s conversion and call into service of the Lord Jesus Christ was nothing short of dramatic. Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel was dramatic.

I somehow believe that if we all encountered the Lord in these dramatic ways that we would not hesitate one moment to get up and do His will. But, He doesn’t always speak to us so dramatically, does He? Now do not take me wrong He will do things to get our attention. For Paul it was “a light from heaven, brighter than the sun…” Acts 26:13. For Mary it was the angel Gabriel. For Balaam it was his donkey talking (Numbers 22:28). For Peter, it was a vision (Acts 10:9-22). For Joseph it was dreams (Genesis 37:1-11). For Elijah it was a powerful wind, an earthquake, a fire then “a gentle whisper” (I Kings 19:11-12).

For us today I believe it could be any of the above ways or it could be through a number of other ways like: His Word, a friend, a message on Sunday morning, His Spirit to your spirit while you are in prayer. The point I am trying to make is that God is speaking to us 24/7 and it is not always “sky-writing” or so dramatic that we cannot miss it. I do miss it! I know I do. I admit it. Mainly because it is not always “sky-writing” or very dramatic! Lord, help me to hear You in the simplest of ways. That recently happened to a lady I know. She was ordering inside at a McDonalds and the little register girl commented on her purse. While the lady was waiting for her food to be brought up the Lord spoke to her Spirit to spirit and very simple said, “I want you to give that girl your purse.” There was no blazing light, no angel Gabriel, no powerful wind, or earthquake or fire to get her attention just a simple gentle nudge of the indwelling Holy Spirit -- and she heard. The lady emptied the personal contents of her purse into the bag that her food came in and then presented the girl with her purse. Wow!

There was no dramatic manifestation of the Lord but the result were dramatic and there is no telling how dramatic an impact it had on the girl who was the recipient of the purse. Listen, because of history – recorded through the power of the Holy Spirit -- we now know that the results of Paul’s conversion and obedience to serve the Lord brought the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. And that Mary’s response brought forth the Christ child. However, we may never know the results and we may never see the history written concerning our obedience to His Holy Spirit speaking to us. But I firmly believe as we respond positively to the Lord speaking to us in the simplest of ways that over time there is a dramatic result that reverberates down through the ages to come.

Bottom Line: Listen for the still small voice of the Lord. Even at the most unusual times and in the most unusual of places. Listen and be obedient.

Love in Christ,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

And Do Not Forget To Do Good

Bottom Line

“And Do Not Forget To Do Good”
November 2011

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise --- the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
-- Hebrews 13:15-16

We are about to come into a season of giving and thanksgiving. The latter has to do with us giving recognition (thanks) to someone who has done something for us. In effect they have given to us. The former has to do with us giving to someone else. In all of our giving and giving thanks, I hope we remember not just this season but all year long that God is our source of everything. The conduit may be your neighbor or a friend or a brother or sister in the Lord, but the Source is God.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that we are to continually (give) “offer to God a sacrifice of praise” and we do that by “the fruit of our lips” confessing His name. Will you do this for me?

Say out loud: “Praise God!”
“Praise God the Maker of heaven and earth!”
“Bless the Lord O my soul!”

You do that with your lips. Praise and thanksgiving should be abundantly upon our lips -- daily!

The writer of Hebrew also tells us, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others”. Why? Because it pleases God. He is pleased with a sacrifice of (giving) sharing and doing good to others.

Man! Can you believe that? By just doing good and sharing with others I am doing something that God likes – that pleases Him – that gives Him joy.

And all of this is “through Jesus”. We do it all in the name that is above all names, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Bottom Line: May we offer a sacrifice of praise to God with our lips and may we “not forget to do good and to share with others”. And, let it not be just for this season but daily -- through the name of Jesus.

Love in Christ,


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Now Word -- Stay the Course

A Now Word for the Church at CCC
July 2011

Stay the Course

Stay the course I have mapped out and planned for you
individually and corporately as a body.

Do not veer to the right or to the left. Do not try to out plan Me. Do not try to shorten the pathway I have for you.

For you are in a season of being patient. A season of trusting in My plans as I reveal them. A season of trusting the place I have put you. Walk through this season with patience and with endurance and in My timing the season will change and you will see that My plans for you do not fail. And, My plans and pathways do not and will not lead you astray.

Do not listen to the spirit of darkness who would try to mislead you and cause you to stumble. Do not listen to the spirit of darkness that would have you pity yourself.

Know that you are a child of the King. A child of the Creator of heaven and earth. Follow My Word of Truth and My Holy Spirit and My plans for you will be fulfilled.
Stay the course.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We Welcome You Jesus

September 2011

So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly. – Luke 19:6

I shared this scripture at the beginning of the church service several weeks ago. They are words describing Zacchaeus, the tax collector after Jesus commanded him to “… come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Two things I want to briefly mention:

First, Zacchaeus obeyed and came down at once and welcomed Jesus into his home. We are not told that there was any hesitation whatsoever. The words “at once” indicate to me that he took Jesus’ “immediately” to mean just that – immediately. Not later, not when he felt like it, not when it was convenient, not when there was less attention on him – but immediately.

Second, is the welcome part. Zacchaeus, a very well known and wealthy tax collector probably got rich by over charging people and/or withholding what was due to the Romans. His fellow Jews considered him a “sinner”. Yet, Jesus chose to go to his house and Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus gladly. That tells me Zacchaeus probably had a sense of happiness about himself, a sense of joy, a sense of excitement.

Questions, (and I am asking these of myself) would you obey immediately if asked by the Lord to do something? And, would you welcome Him gladly into your home knowing the condition of your heart at any given moment?

I believe Jesus knows us from the inside out and at any given moment he definitely knows the condition of our heart, our attitude, our behavior and yet He desires to be with us just as he desired to be with the “sinner” tax collector, Zacchaeus. Yes, He lives within our heart but do we welcome him daily into every aspect of our lives.

Bottom Line: May we be obedient to the Lord when he speaks and may we gladly on a daily basis welcome Him into every part of our life.

Love in Christ,


Sunday, October 9, 2011

There was a Sacrifice on Calvary

April 2011

Luke 23:33-34 – And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

Mark 15:25-26; 33-34; 38-39 -- It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. … At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” --- which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”… The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”…

John 19:31-34 -- Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Luke 23:50-56 -- Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Matthew 28:1-6b -- After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, May Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.

Bottom Line: There was a sacrifice on Calvary. A sacrifice for you, a sacrifice for me, a sacrifice -- “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Love in Christ,


Friday, October 7, 2011

Be Still

August 2011

“Be still, and know that I am God;” – Psalm 46:10a

About two and a half years ago I composed a monthly Bottom Line on this scripture. I would like to take it from a different perspective this time.

I awoke on Saturday morning May 28 of this year with this scripture in my mind and my heart and I spoke it out loud. I think that is good to do with scripture that comes into our hearts and minds. Speak it out loud. Let it resonate throughout our being as it is spoken.

Sometimes God just wants us to “be still”. To calm down. To become inactive for a period of time. In a sense to just turn everything “off”. Sounds, phones, I-Phones, Blackberrys, computers, TVs, radios, to turn “off” worrying thoughts, to lay schedules aside --- to just sit still for a few moments. Even if it is only five or ten minutes or maybe an hour or longer. I think He deserve that much of our time at some point in our day or week.

And to realize within that moment of time, however long it maybe, that Christ reigns supreme over all and He holds all creation together. It is thorough Christ that God made everything in heaven and earth. Things we see and things we don’t see. Even the kings, and kingdoms, and rulers and authorities are made by Him. And that goes for this present day right here and now this very moment the world over! You do realize that He is still in control of everything? Just take time to read Colossians 1:15-23.

Bottom Line: May we all come to a place in our day or week where we choose to be still. And, may we come to know that “I AM” is God over all things.

Love in Christ


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Be Glad

July 2011

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-- Psalm 118:24

It takes action on our part to be glad and we do have so much to be glad about. Allow me to mention a few things:

Be glad that you have health and life.
Be glad in knowing that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Be glad that you can praise His name.
Be glad that you live in a country where you can freely worship Him.
Be glad that you have covenant friends.
Be glad that you are able to serve the Lord.
Be glad in knowing that God loves and cares for you.
Be glad in knowing that your strength, your hope, your security, and your rest is in the Lord God Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Be glad for His mercy.
Be glad for His grace.
Be glad for His faithfulness.
Be glad for His patience.
Be glad for His justice.
Be glad for His forgiveness.
Be glad that this is the day the Lord has made.
Be glad! Be glad! Be glad!

Bottom Line: Take action – Be glad! And let it show!

Love in Christ,


Monday, October 3, 2011

The One Who Is In You Is Greater

June 2011

If you have forgiven anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven --- if there was anything to forgive --- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. – II Corinthians 2:10-11

“in order that Satan might not outwit [get the advantage of] us. For we are not unaware of his schemes [devices, plots, intentions].”

Satan desires to trick us and trip us up. He will lie to us. He will deceive us. He will make sure we get wrong information. He will scheme, plot and plan things against us. He will do anything, anything to try and outwit us. To get the advantage over us.

However, if we are “aware” of all that then we can be prepared to withstand and fight against his schemes. God gives us the strength, the courage and the armor to stand against Satan’s schemes.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – Ephesians 6:11

This next verse from I John has been on my heart all week and I have been referencing it in my correspondence with different ones, even this week’s Sunday’s Coming!

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – I John 4:4

Bottom Line: May you daily be aware of Satan’s schemes, but may you also daily “put on the full armor of God” knowing that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Love in Christ,


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Whom Are You Living For?

May 2011

“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
-- I Corinthians 8:6

Two questions for us: First, whom are we living for? Second, through whom are we living? What I see as answers in this scripture from Paul is that we are living for “God, the Father.” And, we live through the “one Lord, Jesus Christ.”

In Acts17:28 we again see Paul stating something similar, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” That is -- our very existence comes from God, the Father through our Lord, Jesus Christ. And, in Christ we have a new life: II Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

This month we are about to witness nine people who have chosen a new way of life. They are “a new creation”, they will make a public profession of their faith in Jesus Christ, they will be baptized on May 1, and they will then be living for God, the Father through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen! And Hallelujah!

Bottom Line: Whom are you living for and through whom are you living? May it be for God, the Father through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Love in Christ,


Thursday, September 29, 2011

He Who Is In You Is Greater

March 2011

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
-- I John 4:4

I think we sometimes give the enemy too much credit. I am not saying he is not out there trying to trick us, trip us, and cause trouble for us. I’m saying The Word says he has already been defeated. (John 16:33)

The Word states that when the enemy tempts us that God gives a way out. (I Corinthians 10:13)

The Word states that, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (I John 4:4)

The Word states that we overcome the accuser “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of” our testimony. (Revelation 12:11)

The Word states that, “He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(I Corinthians 15:57)

We do not need to give in to a defeatist attitude of, “I’ll never get out of this.” Or, “I’ll always be this way.” No! We have a choice. We have a way out! By His help we can overcome.

There is not a person among us that has not at some time faltered and failed but listen to this with your ears as you read:

“My heart and my flesh may fall, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

Hallelujah! Forever He is with us! Forever He is faithful!

Bottom Line: May we come to a complete understanding of the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.

Love in Christ,


Saturday, September 24, 2011

"... he who humbles himself ..."

October 2011

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. – Luke 14:11

What we are talking about, in a sense, is bragging about how good we are –- at anything. We are good at building ourselves up. In 1992 a popular shoe company ran a series of ads leading up to the 1992 Summer Olympics. The ads featured two men, Dan and Dave (Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson). They were touted to be the next Gold and Silver winners of the Decathlon event in the Olympics. However, Dan never qualified and Dave came in third to win the Bronze. Exalting ourselves can have some devastating effects.

Moses was a very humble man (Numbers 12:3). He never wanted a position of leadership over God’s people. But, God saw a humble man and exalted Moses to a position of leading the Israelites out of Egypt and toward the Promise Land.

Paul thought of himself as a very important man. He had letters from the high priest that would allow him to arrest anyone “who belonged to the Way.” (Acts 9:2). God humbled Paul on the road to Damascus and Paul accepted it. He then became a believer and worked tirelessly the rest of His life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It does us no good to exalt our self. God can and will humble us. If we accept it and accept our weaknesses and not promote our self --- God, in His timing will come and exalt us. And, where we are weak – His power comes through. (I Corinthians 12:9).

Bottom Line: Do not exalt yourself in anything. Be humble and let God exalt you in His timing.

Love in Christ,


P.S. In 1996 Dan O’Brien won the Gold for the Decathlon in the Summer Olympics. Makes you wonder if being humbled fours years before played a part in his Gold Medal win.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who Is Directing Your Heart?

Bottom Line
“Who is Directing Your Heart?”
February 2011

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

– 2 Thessalonians 3:5

The above verse is just a very simple one that caught my eye as I was reading His Word a few months back. So, who should be directing our heart? Man? The world? TV? Radio? The news? Our favorite author? Our friends? Who?

The scripture makes it clear that it should be the Lord directing our heart. And then the follow-up is – Into what? The answer is again clear – “God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

To me that speaks of two things:

First, we are to view things from the love of God. We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19) God is love. (I John 4:16) We should be viewing others around us through the love of God.

Second, “Christ’s perseverance” speaks to me of staying the course. Do not be distracted by the world and worldly things. It speaks of standing firm in godly convictions, standing firm on His Word, doing the right thing.

Bottom Line: May our hearts be directed by the Lord and may that directing lead us into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance so we can view others through His love and so we can stand firm, stand strong in the faith and not wavier in our walk with Him. Amen? Amen!

Love in Christ


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Be Bold

The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. – Proverbs 28:1[NIV]

So Saul (later Paul) stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. – Acts 9:28 [NIV]

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6 [NKJV]

I have been saying for a few months that the Lord has been speaking to me about boldness and being bold. I believe this is something we are to take to heart as we enter the 2011 New Year. The scriptures are repleat with examples of being bold, of exhibiting boldness, and encouraging others to be bold – all in and for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I pray that this New Year brings a “boldness” into your daily walk with Him that you have never experienced before. And, that as we recognize His activity around us (wherever it may be – home, work, publicly, privately) we will be “bold” to enter in and be a part of it for the sake of His Kingdom purposes.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Now Word -- Be Bold

A Now Word for CCC
Be Bold

Be bold in letting your light shine so that His light shines through you to others.
Be bold to speak His truth in love.
Be bold to uphold His standard of righteousness.
Be bold for the Lord Your God is with you.
Therefore, do not hold back.
Do not hold back your joy.
Do not hold back your excitement.
Do not hold back your gifting.
Do not hold back your service, your giving, His tithe.
Do not hold back the love, grace and mercy in your heart.
Do not hold back your transformed life in Christ Jesus.
Be bold in Him and in His calling upon your life.

Let your light shine so that His light shines through you to others.
Be bold in Christ Jesus.