Psalms 119:11 – “I have treasured Your Word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.”

This morning as I read the verse above I couldn’t get past the idea that I have been listening to the Word of God for over 40 years. That is, since a young boy, in one way or form or another, the sentences from the Bible have been in front of me, whether through teachings, readings, others, or however it has come.

40 YEARS! A long time right? Yet as I read the words above I have to think why my treasure chest of God’s Word and love over my life hasn’t completely stopped my SINS?

We have this vault of strength, security, identity, love, and confidence in the blood of Jesus Christ and I do earnestly want HIS WILL in every part and piece of my life. Yet failure in sin still comes… This isn’t a “hey keep sinning you’re always forgiven bit”…. on the contrary it’s a “wake the heck up and get into the fight”.

I’d guess I am not the only reader that has been around the bible for so long that at times we think we could recite every story, passage, or key player from Genesis to Revelation?

No one else?

So what ? What does the Word of God do for us without application? Is it stopping evil or building protection? Can it evangelize or save without the vocal spokesman or spokeswoman?

Hardly capable of anything …. NOW please don’t misread my intentions… I personally have encountered CHRIST through the Word of GOD on my own without a witness…. yet HE CHOSES that time to speak to me… not the other way around… That is… I need to be yearning for His WORDS to come…. not playing the sin cards while skipping along planet earth as “all is forgiven”.

My life and actions, and yours, and those far before us, every feable human’s sin, had caused this horrible pain and torture the KING of Everything endured for us… Why aren’t I more eager to hear him and listen to His Word?

As we continue our daily meditations and prayer and ask the Father to KEEP speaking to us, through our bibles, friends, pastors, and others, should we be asking for more? Shouldn’t I be seeking more after 40 years of learning and prayer?

Are you as tired as I am of our let downs and dissappointments in regards to my faith life and effectiveness for the Kingdom? We need God’s word to come back into our hearts with FIRE and a burning spear to wake our sleepy hearts and jump start us again! The SPIRIT is ALWAYS energized and ready to jump into action!!! How great for us to be anxious to leap with him at every chance?

What they don’t know won’t hurt ’em….. or help ’em…

Genesis 15:1-7:

After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:Do not be afraid, Abram.I am your shield; your reward will be very great.2But Abram said, “Lord God, what can You give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? ” 3Abram continued, “Look, You have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house will be my heir.”4Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body will be your heir.” 5He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.” 6Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. 7He also said to him, “I am Yahweh who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”

I’m sharing this passage to think through Abraham’s doubts and hesitation in regard’s to God’s promise. As I read I thought of an evening my wife and I shared with some friends last Saturday evening. Our friends invited us over to cook for us and share some time together, and before long, both of our marriage stories began to share similar traits and history.

Many here, have become familiar with my story, yet these friends, relatively new to Heather and I; had not heard any of it, nor us of them. An hour turned into 2 and then on, and the night ended well after midnight as both marriage stories were shared on the patio along with tears, laughter, and smiles.

So often I have thought to myself, “I’m not going to tell that part” or “they don’t need to know ALL the details” yet this time, none of that came across my mind. This is likely because Heather and I have become so used to sharing that when we do now… the fears and shame are WELL BEYOND our current mindset’s and heart feelings… Those negative parts of our story have proven to bring us closer to God and closer to each other and when shared with new people, hopefully it brings God the glory shown to them as well.

Have you ever heard the phrase, ” what they don’t know won’t hurt them”?

This is a common statement but I wonder how often the following is true:

WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW WON’T HELP THEM!

Someone may be needing to hear your heart this morning and someone may need to hear your story of reconciliation or recovery or heart change! If you’re not sharing your story with everyone a few things may be present:

  1. PRIDE?
  2. Selfishness?
  3. Shame?

All three of these items are really pointing back to number one, PRIDE, yet we have to let this go…. In fact, NONE of our story (Heather’s and I) had any real lasting change, until we both LAID DOWN our egos and let go of the pride entrapment that tangled our hearts. None of our growth happened, none of our love came back, none of our physical surroundings changed at all until we came clean with each other, BELIEVED GOD could do what He SAYS HE CAN DO, and gave up on our prideful hearts.

Do you think Abraham had some doubts and fears for his family? As he states in the passage he was well aware of his age and the lack of growth in his life when God told him to get ready for a MASSIVE change in their legacy line?

I understand there are times and feelings that get in the way of action… I understand there are hurts and hangups that slow us down from being open and eager to let people get to know us ….

What they dont’ know won’t help them man! Get your ego out of the way and let God do something wonderful for you. The first time you share you may feel awkward and it may come out all wrong to you, BUT GOD can STILL USE THAT and it gets easier every time thereafter! Tell them your story and you’ll be surprised they’ll likely want to tell you theirs! For us, we gained a great new friendship with great people right down the corner from us! Why did we wait so long?!

The extra paint…

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? – Luke 11:13 HCSB

A friend of mine shared this post of his front yard yesterday. One of his girls is a soccer enthusiast and I see him sharing often of her games, her goals, and this: her front yard of their home he has converted to a cool practice field.

I know we, as fathers, wish the world for our children and if you are anything like me, feel that often we fall short of giving them everything we want for them. Additionally, we over-think the things we should be giving them, blessing them with, or teaching them. Yesterday for our home was filled with these thoughts of my own as we enjoyed a lazy day, inside on the couches watching movies, as a brisket smoked out on my new grill.

As we ate dinner, the thoughts of what more i can do for my children; not only the ones still in our home, but also the 3 that have moved out, grown up, and are now ‘adulting’ on their own. So many wishes and wants for them and so many let downs can overwhelm our hearts and minds with shame and disappointment.

Yet we do not read of any of this negativity in the verse above. Only MORE: More blessings coming, more knowledge of what we truly NEED, More of the FATHER giving us the HOLY SPIRIT, more of Jesus Christ mindset as to how we should live and love, and last on this earth.

My friend’s make shift soccer field is no different. He used time and paint and creativity to make this yard something his daughter will remember for years. It took some extra paint to get the lines down replicating her so many games yet he did this happily! It was NOT a burden for him.

Our Father’s blessing unto us are no different. He produces things for us out of HIS GREATNESS not out of our needs. He is handing down from heaven HIS heart of wonder and grace not from our deserving but from HIS WANT for us to seek Him and live with Him and COME to HIM. God is using some extra paint for our front yard and we should be enjoying that playground FAR MORE than worrying about the game, or the chores, or the duties, or the things. —- I have to work on this thinking on my own. I have to know that no matter what we have or see or do or teach…. just BEING HERE as a dad is a great gift! I pray that my children will someday know of the love that I have failed to show but above that I pray they know THE FATHER that gives them eternity over me! He has so much to give!

What do you see?

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17

I’ve been having a bit of a struggle lately with time. Not so much “having enough time” or even “needing” more time.. but rather the IMPACT time really has on us as our little bodies breath and walk this earth.

I have shared recently over the death of a friend and co-worker and how his family now wishes they could revive the times they’ve had together. Also i have shared on running a small side business and the impact that TIME has when it comes to being with family or friends, or even the toll additional physical activity has on our bodies.

I know we have all seen the “meme” calling out the people starring at the smart phone screen or tablet, while the world around them spins on and on… yet as this verse above discusses possible earthly focus.. I wonder how far off we are from thinking too much on our “fixing or our eyes”…

Think through this with me… How often have you been thinking this morning or this afternoon on things of this world? Really?

I’m wondering now to myself how much of the last 8 hours of my work day I have actually stopped working and looked to God for some conversation and focus?

NOT ENOUGH….. In fact… I’m reading the verse above now feeling quite guilty for “not even having some ‘light and momentary’ troubles” in regards to my faith all together?

What the heck am I even persecuted for here in America? Is there anything or anyone that has really strived to bring me down? or hurt me?

Hold up, this is not to say there are not real struggles happening right now amongst our readers: cancer, torment, disease, sin, infidelity, or inhumane treatment,, yes, these all occur and may be encroaching on you right now… But i’m describing the moments when things are put together so to speak… the times when there is no hassle and things are rolling down the track without flaw.

Can we really even relate to the early biblical population in regards to “momentary troubles”? Can we get some time to really look beyond the world and needs of our flesh and dream and pray out into eternity?

How far and vast and wide is God’s love for us that He gave Christ to bring us into His family? We are going to suffer a major loss of mission and miss out on some of God’s greatest feats here on earth if we don’t put out the distractions of nothingness and materials and grasp onto the vision for eternity. One mission…. get the lost to see the KING… One body… soon to be reunited together beaming with His FULL BLESSING and GLORY…

We may not see it now… but as believers, we must be looking to SEE IT THEN!

Was He that low?

I know we have all heard it said – “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.” Another one for sure you know – no temptation shall come to you that you can’t endure… Many times, when hearing this I’m asking mysel: “Lord, do you really need to test me on that?”… “If i am so capable then why all the pain and sadness?” Do you ever catch your thoughts going here like me?

Let’s take a look at this passage from the book of Matthew: (Jesus is speaking on John the Baptist)

7As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? 8Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. 9Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. 10John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,

‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

and he will prepare your way before you.’c

11“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! 12And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing,d and violent people are attacking it. 13For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time. 14And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come.e 15Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

I have been thinking of this point for a few weeks now.. in fact.. i cannot get it out of my head… Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! I am not about to claim biblical knowledge or the slightest skill at interpretations but here is the point that won’t leave my mind: GOD SHUT JESUS OUT on the day of crucifiction. God, the FATHER, LOOKED AWAY FROM JESUS! His Son, His Holy Righteous Son, was cast “no good” for a very fine moment in history’s time, while you and I and every other lowly sinner of the world, past , present, and future recieved a “pass”. We have gained the “God will still love you and care for you” card, despite our unworthiness thanks to Christ.

Is this not the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever done for ME? FOR ME? The current me with all my junk and stink…. ? For me?

The Father in Heaven CAST His eyes away from Christ that day on the cross to accept HIS HOLY PAYMENT for my life? and yours!

Read this once more:

Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!

Was Jesus speaking in a roundabout way of His own worth to the Father that time? Has Jesus suggested to us that He, HIMSELF, The King of Glory, was less than par in God’s Kingdom at some point in time… ?

Even better? Whether Christ implies His lowliness in scripture or not…. does it matter for us when God looks upon us?

Does it even register with me each morning that I don’t deserve this life of grace and good and greatness and forgiveness and strength and meekness and love and eternity? Who gives these blessings away while closing His eye to the ONLY ONE that COULD ever earn it?

Our Father does….. over and over and over again…. Our Father did this for us….

Legend or Legacy

Over the last weekend I got some news that was just awesome.

But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.” Joshua 24:15 HCSB

Unfortunately, for me.. I can’t quite share too much on that excitement. There may be a Barnabas Man reader or two that can figure it out but some of our family’s extended circles will still have to hear for themselves.

This news has me thinking, when we are gone, will they speak of the “Legend” or will they live the “Legacy” … ?

I pray it is the latter. That is, when I am gone, and the ones I’ve loved and taught and raised live on… what will they live for? Who will they serve?

What will they continue to leave the ones that follow them?

Ferocity for Christ does not come easy for everyone but I can tell you this.. without it, the time we have on earth is little to nothing to worthless… No one behind us will talk about our careers, or our wealth, or our abilities … no one will speak of our leadership or our things… they’ll remember our legacies… they’ll live their lives out in the ways we have taught them or the ways we have shown love to the un-lovable.

Working in today’s market is a constant struggle between “be the man” and “honor the king”. The way of modern business might suggest to step all over those around you to climb that ladder. Christ speaks differently of true servant leadership and no other time has been more relevant for me as I experience transition from children to adults in our home.. and now beyond.

DO NOT SACRFICE your faith and character for a dollar or a title. DO NOT SACRIFICE your family time and legacy for the immediate glory. Forget about being a legend and live for His legacy.. Christ will bless this in your family for GENERATIONS… that my friends is glory and honor.

Read it again… or act it out

Recently I had shared with some friends the last book I read, written by Bob Goff, EVERYBODY ALWAYS.

It is interesting how much intake we can handle yet often our “output” remains so much less or even null.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

We get input from everywhere.. input from our friends, our spouses, our children and co-workers, input from the media, the music, the weather and the Word. We get input from the visions our eyes see and the sounds, smells, and feels… As I shared with some friends on this Bob Goff book, i truly feel like the read has given me an attitude change towards people.

Not only have I become slightly more ready to introduce myself to a stranger, I have started thinking differently of my loved ones that are right next to me each day. As some of you may have read a month or so ago, I lost a good friend and co-worker to a tragic and sudden death.

The loss has been weighing on me as I have been asking God to clarify some of my own hangups as to be a stronger father, a better husband, and especially a faithful servant. I read, and study, and listen… and THINK… and pray, and read, and study, and listen, and THINK…

You know what all that thinking and reading and studying is getting me?

Not a damn thing but ideas .. I need to make the lessons and input get CONVERTED to output. TO ACTION… I think especially when we are struck with grief or sorrow or regret, we tend to “freeze up” a bit.

We sit there and perhaps dwell way too long on the topic and forget to get off our butts and get moving on some of those thoughts and ideas.


For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

This is the gospel. ACTION .  Christ did not go through all that pain and suffering so that we can hang around pain and suffering!   His work on earth as the son of adam was to BREAK US from the pain and suffering. To PUSH us to a “next level” faith that produces, and encourages, and leaves LEGACY.

Last weekend I over heard my wife speaking of an event we attended as a family to a friend. As I listened to here describe the evening, and me, I could not help but to question my desires to hear BETTER words or a “more exciting” description of MY INVOLVEMENT. Truth: I want my wife to think I’m amazing. Truth: I want my children and friends to think I’m amazing.

Reality:  DO I LIVE IN A WAY THAT SHOWS SOMETHING AMAZING?

It’s a tough lesson for sure…   Christ is IN US.   The SPIRIT is IN US.   Nothing less than amazing should ever come near us!   It’s incredible how low and worthless I am willing to call something, (ME) that GOD CHERISHES SO HIGHLY!

 

SO about the great books, or sermon, or podcast or lesson… read it again… or go out to the world and ACT IT OUT! 

Love you all,

BK