Friday, February 22, 2008


This week I have been meditating on John 15:13 NASB "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." The Message Bible says, " This is the best way to love. PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR YOUR FRIENDS." Now I used to think this meant being willing to die. And I guess it does. However, there have been times recently when putting my life on the line has meant many other things.

Have you ever been in the middle of something where you think dying would be easier than seeing the situation through? We have had a number of suicides occurring around us that have absolutely devastated families and friends. The people who took their lives saw no way out of their situation. They saw their situation so difficult and so challenging that death was easier than living. The devil stole their joy and the families joy. The devil stole days that God had marked for them, and to some degree their testimony. Devil is a thief and a very good one if we allow him into our lives.

But to put your life on the line for someone or lay down one's life for a friend does have many other sides. Take a moment write down the things in your life that you would say are important or that you really enjoy. For example:

  • My family and friends are really important to me.

  • My ministry is very important to me.

  • My hobbies I really like - i.e. motorcycle, exercise, fishing, movies, sleeping.

  • My future retirement is important to me and my wife.

  • Doing things that help me stay fit and healthy.

  • My dog, Harley is something I really enjoy.

  • My house and my office in my house I really enjoy.

  • My freedom to do things I want to do when I want to do them is important to me. I like being in control.

  • My Stuff - plasma tv's, comfortable chair, futon, cool Harley Davidson jackets, DSL, tools in my garage.

You get my drift.

So am I willing to lay these down for a friend? A friend in need. This includes not only the items themselves but the time that I take to enjoy them. Some days my answer would be absolutely YES and then there are days when I would say absolutely NO. The NO days are usually after a really bad day or week or maybe even a whole month. If a situation drives my 'YES 'to John 15:13 then my love is really not true love but situational love. Situational love is selfish, self centered love and not the true God kind of love that John 15:13 is teaching us. In fact, many would say that it is not love at all but plain old selfishness. I would have to agree.

If you find yourself at times saying Yes and at times saying NO, I would say welcome to the human race. However, our goal is not to be human but our goal is to be like Christ.

Ephesians 5:1 NASB Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

Ephesians 5:2 MSG Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


A number of months ago I was praying and talking to God while I worked in my garage on my Harley. I was wrestling with Him concerning direction for what I needed to do. I guess in my heart I knew the answer but my head didn't agree with my heart. I suppose everyone has been there one time or another. Finally I flipped over a 5 gallon bucket and sat down, frustrated. As I leaned on my hand I looked across the garage and I saw the yield sign I had laying up against the wall. The Spirit of God spoke to me immediately. I knew at that moment if I wanted to do God's will I just needed to yield to Him.

Of course this is not always easy. I decided to remind God of His word that says He will give me the desires of my heart. God spoke to me, not in a audible voice. I guess it was more like the straight into your soul type of speaking and said, "When your heart is a reflection of My heart, then I will give you the desires of your heart." I knew exactly what I needed to do for this particular situation.

There are times when we have a desire but it is not a reflection of God's heart. Early that week I was driving behind someone going very slow, I had a desire to push them out of the way. Fortunately God did not give me the desire of my heart at that moment. It certainly was not a reflection of His heart.

When we seek direction from God we must yield our will to His will. This is a easy thing when our heart reflects His.

v1 How well God must like you-- you don't hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.

v2 Instead you thrill to GOD's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.

v3 You're a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.

v4 You're not at all like the wicked, who are mere windblown dust--

v5 Without defense in court, unfit company for innocent people.

v6 GOD charts the road you take. The road they take is Skid Row.
Psalms 1:1-6 MSG