Impress

 

Wow Surprised Word Astonished SurprisingJust about everyone I meet makes some sort of impression upon me. Some impressions are positive and some are negative. I must also realize that I’m actually making some sort of impression upon them – either positive or negative. Some folks are always trying to impress others by how much they know or how important they are. Others seek to impress by what they wear or how they carry themselves.

A friend of mine used to describe some of the prideful, arrogant as “impressed by themselves”. He also said, “if you could buy them for what they are worth and sell them for what they “think” their worth, you could retire tomorrow.”

I know that I should be trying to impress the Lord with a heart that seeks His heart. I believe if my heart is right, my actions follow from there.

Jesus was speaking to many people about Who He was and what He was trying to do while He was here on earth. And there was a sad statement in the narrative that I think is still happening today. Check this out….

42 Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. 43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43 NLT)

I must admit that I do like human praise. I like it when people compliment me on something I’ve accomplished. It is very dangerous to lean into those accolades and compliments. I must stay grounded in Who I belong to. I must remember that without the Lord, I’m nothing. I can’t get pride-filled and arrogant. I must remember where my hope is.

Some people even today desire human status rather than eternal hope. I’ve seen young people “chunk their faith” to be liked and accepted by college friends or co-workers. I think that I’m often so “short sighted” when I try to make an impression on one person at the expense of another. I should be simply trying to impress the Lord with a humble and hope-filled heart. I should seek to love like He loves. I should care way more about what He thinks of me, how I look and how I carry myself, rather than what others think.

I heard a great line yesterday that said: “I’m not trying to impress you with my story, I’m trying to impress upon you the joy in the journey”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Judgement

JusticeI used to be pretty freaked out by court rooms. I enjoyed television shows that involved the court system. I watched Perry Mason when I was young and again when I was older. I moved to Matlock and then finally to Law & Order. Our justice system has its problems for sure, but for the most part, it takes care of the offender and brings justice to the victims. The checks and balances in our justice system are designed to make sure the right person pays for the crime they committed.

As I was reading in Revelation this morning, the whole chapter I was in was the personification of Babylon as a woman who was destructive. John was excellent in his writing because after a few verses I was visualizing a vile woman versus the city of Babylon. Her judgement is complete and she will be completely destroyed. Check this out…

21 Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

In this way, Babylon the great city
will be thrown down violently
and never be found again.
22 The sound of harpists, musicians,
flutists, and trumpeters
will never be heard in you again;
no craftsman of any trade
will ever be found in you again;
the sound of a mill
will never be heard in you again;
23 the light of a lamp
will never shine in you again;
and the voice of a groom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
All this will happen
because your merchants
were the nobility of the earth,
because all the nations were deceived
by your sorcery.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and saints,
and of all those slaughtered on the earth. (Revelation 18:21-24 CSB)

It appears that Babylon was given many chances to change and “she” refused. The city was destructive and decadent. There was no respect for the Lord or the rule of law.

I believe that the Lord is a God of Grace, but also a God of Justice. We can’t continue to live sinful and destructive lives and expect eternal life. When the Lord won my heart, I became committed to obedience and honoring His call upon my life. I want my life to bring honor and glory to Him. If I’m serving myself, I’m not serving Him. I must repent often of seeking my own way and ignoring His gentle instruction, counsel and directives. I have no worries about judgement if I seek that course of action daily.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

His Love Endures Forever

forever stampI can’t hardly get my head around “forever”. I only know seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years and maybe decades. I don’t know how to describe forever –it’s beyond my ability to understand as it completely transcends time as I know it.

In Psalm 136 the Psalmist repeats after every first line of the verse, the words: “His love endures forever”. Check this out…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1-5,26 NIV)

Forever doesn’t sound like it even has a timeline.

Forever doesn’t need an incremental break like minutes, hours, etc…

Forever doesn’t have a beginning or an ending.

Forever is the Lord bringing me from my timeline of my life into His timeline of life. He’s been operating in forever time continuum … well forever!

I don’t understand it, but I believe in Him. If He says it I believe it. I believe His Word is truth. I believe His Word is true.  Even though I don’t understand gravity, it doesn’t mean it’s not fact. Even though I can’t see the wind; I can see the effects of the wind. Just because I can’t understand or explain forever, doesn’t mean much – it is still real.

This passage reminded me of a song that we used to sing a lot.

“His Love Endures Forever” by Chris Tomlin

I want to love the Lord and honor Him forever!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

It’s Not About Me

 

Life changesI must admit that I like it when people compliment me and talk about what a great person I am. I do get embarrassed and I’m not sure how to reply, but a part of me does like that. I’ve learned over the last several years that if I am anything of value, it comes from the Lord. If I am kind, it’s the Lord. Any gift or talent that I possess comes from the Lord. If I do receive compliments, they should be directed to the Lord. He’s the Source of everything that makes me good at anything. I’m now operating with eternal currency and that money is always spent on others and never on myself.

Not to us, Lord, not to us
    but to your name be the glory,
    because of your love and faithfulness.

Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever pleases him.

11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord—
    he is their help and shield.

13 he will bless those who fear the Lord—
    small and great alike.

14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 115:1,3,11,13-15 NIV)

I serve at the call of the King of Kings.

My life is all about His Kingdom and not my own.

The activities of my life should reflect my commitment to Him and my trust in Him.

Without Him, I am nothing. With Him, I have everything! This is not any kind of secret – He’s been calling me to this for years – It’s simply clearer now than ever before. My life- my work- all that makes up “me” belong to Him!

My Heart Is Yours

I give You my life I give You my trust Jesus

You are my God You are enough Jesus

I give You my life I give You my trust Jesus

You are my God You are enough Jesus  

 

My heart is Yours My heart is Yours

Take it all Take it all My life in Your hands

 

I lay down my life I take up my cross Jesus

For You are my God Whatever the cost Jesus

My heart is Yours My heart is Yours

Take it all Take it all My life in Your hands

 

All to Jesus I surrender All to You I freely give

I will ever love and trust You

In Your presence I will live

Lord All to Jesus I surrender All to You I freely give

Oh I will ever love and trust You In Your presence I will live

 

My heart is Yours My heart is Yours

Take it all Take it all My life in Your hands (by Kristian Stanfill)

_____________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Temporary & Eternal

 

john-3-16The older I get, the more I ponder how much longer do I have on this earth. I’m not trying to be negative or morbid, I just want to make my days count and not just count my days. I see people who are attacked with cancer or heart disease and the number of their days here on earth shrinks incredibly. I’m not trying to scare anyone including myself. I’m a bit of a realistic person and while I don’t feel bad, I realize that my life could end quickly in an accident as well. This life is a vapor according to the book of James…

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)

As I read Job’s response to his “friends”, it dawned on me that Job is speaking in the here and now. He is not really looking forward to eternity. I guess if I didn’t have hope of eternal life after this life, it would be easy to get discouraged when suffering comes. Check this out…

3 Bear with me while I speak,

    and after I have spoken, mock on.

7 Why do the wicked live on,

    growing old and increasing in power?

8 They see their children established around them,

    their offspring before their eyes.

13 They spend their years in prosperity

    and go down to the grave in peace.[a]

14 Yet they say to God, “Leave us alone!

    We have no desire to know your ways.

15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

    What would we gain by praying to him?” (Job 21:3,7-8,13-15 NIV)

I don’t think I ever realized before that Job didn’t have insight into the offer of eternal life. It appears that he understood this life on earth to be all that there is. I would have a totally different view of my life today, if I felt that this is all there is. I would hope that I would be somewhat health conscious. I would look at funerals way differently too. I have believed in heaven and hell my whole life. I didn’t discover until the past few years, the value of the abundant life here on earth and how it folds right into eternal life with the Lord.

When I know Him, my life here looks way different.

When I know Him, my future in eternity looks ways different.

When I know Him, my today has hope and a promise all it’s own.

I can’t imagine pushing through the suffering that I’ve been through or that is possibly yet to come without Him. His Presence in my life now gives me perspective and insight that I need to keep moving. Today is another investment into the abundant life that leads to eternal life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Inheritance

 

Bag with inheritanceI thing that this word is a word that can be a synonym with gift. An inheritance is a lot like a gift but it’s given because of some prior relationship. It can be possessions that are left behind by a friend or family member. It can also be characteristic or trait given genetically by ones parents or ancestors. Inheritance is generally something, which we have very little control over. The family of a wealthy person can’t control how generous he or she is to specific individuals. The division of the inheritance is often spelled out in a last will and testament.

The Lord is giving His people an inheritance of the Promised Land. Out of 12 tribes, one will not receive the same inheritance. Check this out…

1 The Levitical priests – indeed, the whole tribe of Levi – are to have no land allotted to them or any inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.

5 for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always. (Deuteronomy 18:1-2;5 NIV)

I think it’s healthy to see the Lord as my inheritance. If I were to be the recipient of an inheritance worth millions of dollars, it will still be temporary. If the Lord is my inheritance, then my eternity is secure. It is so easy to be distracted here on earth with things that don’t last. I need to keep my attention and my gaze upon Him because He is eternal.

It’s interesting to see people’s response and reaction to money. A large inheritance seems to really change some people. I heard a great quote recently that said, “Money magnifies who we already are”. If we were a jerk without money, we will be a jerk when we get money. If we are kind, even though we’re broke, we’ll be kind even when we’re not broke.

I’m reading a series of books called “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall. The author conveys with this series of novels the value of character and an understanding of the gifts of this life. Our values really are magnified by money. I would be really wise to make the Lord my inheritance and use the resources that I have here on earth to pursuing eternal life with Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne