Tuesday, August 26, 2008

God's Poetry: In Different Ways

We are his workmanship. - Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

I've been hearing an awful lot of "those other" Christian churches bashing. What a waste of time! Although it's important to stay sound in God's word, the Holy Spirit works in more ways than we can understand...so it's best to let God do His thing!

This from Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment,Volume 2:


Scripture calls the church a poem. “We are His workmanship” (Eph. 2:10). Workmanship descends from the Greek word poeo or poetry. We are God’s poetry! What Longfellow did with pen and paper, our Maker does with us. We express his creativity best.

You aren’t God’s poetry. I’m not God’s poetry. We are God’s poetry. Poetry demands variety. “God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposes through them all” (I Cor. 12:6 Phillips). God uses all types to type his message. Logical thinkers. Emotional worshipers. Dynamic leaders. Docile followers. The visionaries who lead, the studious who ponder, the generous who pay the bills...Alone, we are meaningless symbols on a page. But collectively, we inspire.


Reading a Max Lucado book is as comfortable as having coffee and conversation with a close friend. He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart is signature Lucado: warm, conversational storytelling blended with scripture, humor, and vulnerability. Lucado invites us to understand the symbols surrounding Christ's crucifixion and celebrate the significance of the promises they offer. From the sign in different languages tacked to the cross ("I will speak to you in your language") to the burial clothing ("I can turn your tragedy into triumph"), he speaks of each symbol as a "gift of grace" that reveals God's love for mankind... - Amazon

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Heaven is a Lot Closer Now

After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. — Mark 16:12

Hope you were able to catch the Harvest event this past weekend. I felt that Greg Laurie gave some remarkably powerful messages. Laurie had lost his son, Christopher, only days before the evangelical outreach. His "Heaven is a lot closer now" statement will reverberate for a long time.

This from Greg Laurie's Daily Devotion:


I think it's interesting to note those to whom Jesus chose to appear after His resurrection. We don't read about Him appearing to Caiaphas or Caesar.

Now if it had been me, the first person I would have appeared to would have been Pilate: "Yo, Pilate! Remember me? Can't keep a good man down, can you?" Or I would have appeared to Caiaphas, the high priest who, for the most part, orchestrated the crucifixion.

But it is interesting how Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus and joined them on their journey. We don't know who they were, and they are not mentioned again in the Bible.

The Bible tells us that Jesus appeared in another form to them as they went into the country. In other words, He was going incognito. They didn't know that it was Jesus.

The last sight they had of the Lord was His beaten and bloodied body. Surely they wanted to get that image out of their minds.

There they were, walking along, and Jesus was walking with them. It's a reminder to us that at all times, even when we don't realize it, Jesus is walking with us.

Isaiah 43:2 promises, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you."

Maybe when you are in church, you feel close to God. But wherever you go, you can know that Jesus is with you there too. When you are going through hard times, even when you cannot feel Him, Jesus is there.

Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Fellowship Church in Riverside and founder of the Harvest Crusades, recently released Lost Boy: My Story. Anyone interested in not only how Laurie came to be one of the most prolific evangelicals of our time, but a peak at how Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith's preaching affected many during the "Jesus movement," will want to read this book.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Living For Personal Gain

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be." - Matthew 6:19-21

You can be stopped at an intersection anywhere in the OC (Orange County, Calif.), waiting for a green light, and see three Mercedes Benz, two BMWs, and a Hummer stopped at that same red light. In the OC, where I live, it's hard not to covet!

Yet, there are often times I think, I would not trade in a million years what I have in the way of my relationship with Christ for that Hummer or any other expensive car. I'll go on driving my 1999 Chrysler Concord, asking for God's will in everything I do.

"Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!

"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
Matthew 6:22-24

Lately, I'm finding it more and more important to check my motives. Am I making a decision based on what God wants for me, or am I deciding while keeping only my own desires in mind?

This isn't a one-time struggle. Daily, we must surrender and do God's will not our own. Dangling ourselves out into this world on our own power may seem to work, but it's short-lived at best.

"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.

"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!

"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
- Matthew 6:25-34

Here's the Reflections part of the Life Recovery Bible in regards to these verses:

In Matthew 6:19-34 Jesus made it clear that living for personal gain will only lead to great anxiety. Materialism and anxiety are two enemies of recovery. They often work together to lead us away from a balanced life. We need to realize that the essence of life is not found in the possession of things and that worry about the future availability of material things is never helpful. We are powerless to change the future and must trust God to take care of us and empower us in recovery. As we entrust our life to him, we will no longer need to worry about what is around the corner.


Read notes on bible verses as they pertain to recovery from our hurts, hangups, and addictions in the Life Recovery Bible, New Living Translation. Also, read 12-Step and Serenity Prayer devotionals with scripture references. Get a copy now!


Alexander is a writer in the online spiritual battlefield. You can also find him at The Scrooge Report.