Archive | July, 2014

I’ve got nothing

22 Jul

It is 5:08am local time, Limon, Colon, Honduras.  I am sitting on the back porch of the clinic.  I seem to be the only one up right now, using the peace and quiet to prepare for a pastor’s conference today.  Yesterday we did a clinic at Plan de Flores, and it was a big one.  Saw at least 200 patients.  But that has nothing to do with the upcoming conference.  And the truth is, I’ve got nothing.

That statement could be a theme for our team this year.  We brought 39 people:  a medical team, children’s ministry team, women’s ministry team, and we have been moving fast and working hard.  I know everyone is tired.  We go until the job is done.  The youth on this trip are remarkable.  But, the truth is, when left to our own devices, we really all have nothing.

I look at this pastor’s conference and think “What in the WORLD could I possibly have to say to 20 or so pastors that could make a difference in their lives?”  I really do believe the devil is good at reminding us of our weaknesses.  Of our irrelevance.  And he might be right if it were all up to me.  But, it’s not.

I wonder if the devil uses that line on other Ebenezerites … Well, I don’t really wonder that because I know he does.  He tells us we are not good enough to serve God … Not good enough to go when God calls.  He tells us over and over again that we’ve really got nothing.

What he doesn’t want you and I to remember is that God’s strength is PERFECT in our weakness.  God never calls us to go without providing everything we need to accomplish the mission.  (I hope when you read that line it gives the devil heartburn)  It’s all true!!  And this is why we put on the full armor of God.  This is why we are called to pray for each other and to equip ourselves for every good work that God has called us to do.  We do have the responsibility to take gather the armor and equipment He provides and put it to good use.  But it is all from Him.

So, I might have nothing … But My Lord has EVERYTHING and no weapon formed against us will prosper when we walk with Him!!  Buenos Dias!

God has no price tag

1 Jul

I’ve got to be honest here:  The title, and some of the thoughts I will express this morning were inspired by my Blackaby Spiritual Leadership Network devotional email.  It’s funny, today’s entry continues a thought I was having last night as I stared into the face of a hot grill while preparing supper …

I will be the first to confess that I am not perfect.  I make plenty of mistakes, and you can ask those closest to me and this will be verified.  One shortfall I’ve noticed lately is this:  My tolerance for those who claim the name of Christ and refuse to live for Him is becoming smaller and smaller.  And this is a problem for a pastor.  God and I are working on this.

I know no one is perfect.  I know we all make mistakes.  But this thought is more specific to those who will tell the world “I am a Christian” and/or “I am a member of Ebenezer” and yet they seem to go out of their way to live in ungodly lifestyles.  They never seem to acknowledge God in their lives in any way.  And seem to be very happy with this lifestyle.  Why does this bother me so much??  Because, as a pastor, sometimes I see this and have to come to terms with my own failure to shepherd.  Then God reminds me that I cannot make every decision for every member of God’s family, and my role is to do my best to follow HIM as a man AND as a pastor, and when I do make a mistake, confess it and make it right before Him.

The writer of today’s BSLN devotional hits the heart of this when he wrote “Today, God’s people act as if God must adjust Himself to their tastes and schedules.  We determine what our offering to God will be and assume He will be pleased with it.”  If we become like this, we are NO DIFFERENT from the world.  But “God has NO PRICE TAG.  He does not compromise His standards based on the … gift He receives.”  He is more concerned with our hearts AT ALL TIMES…  In worship, in service, in our offerings …  It is ALL about our hearts!!

Our relationships with God can never be about our comfort or preference.  We need to take a step back and realize how fortunate we are that God even ALLOWS us to have a relationship with Him.  He clearly reveals His terms for the relationship in His word.  And these terms are not a terribly heavy yoke to bear … In fact, they are much more favorable to US than they are to Him.  Why do we always try to redefine these things to our liking??