What Are You Looking At?

You have seen the video clips… A woman texting on the phone and falls into a pool of water for a fountain. Or it was a man walking along the sidewalk right into a light pole. Or the person looking at their phone and about to walk into oncoming traffic only to be stopped by a passerby. Where we are looking matters.

Consider Revelation 4:8 “Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty – the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

I have always thought these are some really weird creatures. What are they all about? It dawned on me this week that the beings are covered with eyes so as to always be looking at Jesus no matter what direction they are heading. And, it is because their eyes are always on Jesus that they are always in worship of Him. The honor, and praise and worship, and singing all come from creatures whose eyes are always on Jesus. Never is Jesus out of their sight, thoughts, hearts.

Our greatest need in life, my greatest need in life is to have my eyes always on Jesus no matter where I am or where I am going. When my eyes are on Him I worship better. When my eyes are on Him I honor him in greater ways. When my eyes are on Him my unique service for Him shines just like these creatures in their calling. Hebrews 12 is right – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”

What are you looking at?



Of Hats & Hearts

Hats; we wthear them or see them worn everywhere. The baseball cap variety has any number of things on them. Flags, sports teams, brand names, etc. I have never thought of a hat or logo on a hat as life changing… until this past weekend.

We had stopped at a store – one of those places a guy is ready to get through ASAP. As I walked by the registers to exit a hat caught my attention. One word was on the hat – “blessed”. It really wasn’t the word on the hat that captivated my thoughts. It was the thought the Lord brought to mind. It started with one word, that led me to a question, which in turn led to an assessment. The Word? “Obedience.” What if the hat said obedience instead of blessed? I bet there would not be much of a market for that!

As Christians, we can be obsessed with the perks of knowing Jesus, but not so much with the calling or responsibility. Frankly, we are blessed to be vertical and above ground. To exist at all, given our sinful nature is a blessing from God. Yes, I should relish the blessings of God. I should live in faith that God will bless my life in Christ. After all, we are called to live in hope and blessing must be a relative of hope. But what about the call to obedience?

Obedience is a response of being loved, forgiven, blessed in Jesus. Obedience is following the pattern in the life of Jesus who lived in obedience to the Father. It is certain that we will not live perfectly in obedience. This is why Jesus came. But obedience includes recognizing sin, seeking forgiveness, and turning from it.

I wonder… does our hesitancy of wearing a hat that says obedience come from excusing our disobedience? Do we ignore those twinges of conscience from the Spirit? Does our lack of passionate love for and study of the word of God stem more from subconsciously wanting to avert anything that would touch on places of disobedience? I’m just asking questions…

For me, this all became a call to encourage myself and other followers of Jesus to consider obedience as main stream rather than extreme. Consider the following verses and your thirst (or lack of) for obedience:

“Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, FOR OBEDIENCE to Jesus Christ.” -1 Peter 1:2

“And this is love: that we WALK IN OBEDIENCE to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” -2 John 6

Blessed and seeking a life of obedience,

The 90 Day Challenge Day 90 – Promises & Inspiring Questions


“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” – 1 Peter 3:15

I like my coffee. I have tried many different kinds, flavors, and means of preparation. As a result there are some coffees that are just poor quality to me. Forget instant, can’t even be in the mix. Many regular store brands I can drink but not fully enjoy. And, there are specialty brands for which I do not care for the taste. I have developed this sense of taste for coffee by experience. And sharing our faith is also about experience.

Many focus on our need to be ready to explain our faith. And we should be ready to clearly and simply explain why we believe to others. But it is not that hard. It is not rocket science. What captures my imagination is the phrase “And if someone asks.” Why does someone ask? What happened that caused someone to ask? When was the last time I/you had someone ASK us about our Christian hope? I can only come up with one answer. The person who asks about a Christians hope can only come to that point by experiencing a Christian living a life of hope; living a life of worshipping Christ as Lord of their lives. The person who asks is experiencing the Spirit of God creating interest in them by experiencing a believer living out his/her faith in the real world.

Which brings me to another question. Why am I/we not being asked this question more? There is more than one answer to this question, and more than I will outline here. People will ask questions, when we as Christians are sharing more than cursory time with them. People will ask questions, when we as believers are pleading to God for the Spirit to awaken spiritual sensitivity in people we encounter every day. People will ask questions, when we actually live distinctly from the world. In fact, we may even need to live distinctly different from typical Christian or church culture. People will ask questions when we live and talk like Jesus is the most important thing in our lives. People will ask questions when they know we love them and will be there for them whether they ever come to Christ or not. No one asks questions if they are feeling like a project!

Father, make my life a question generator to all who cross my path each day.

Readings: 1 Timothy 5, 1 Peter 3, Genesis 1, Ecclesiastes 4

The 90 Day Challenge Day 83 – Promises & Patiently Saving


“And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved…” – 2 Peter 3:15

Jesus came to this earth with a mission – for people to believe in Him and so be saved. Jesus gave the disciples and us a mission – to “go and make disciples of all nations”, in other words share the message of life only in Jesus. Amazingly, even the second coming of Christ is focused on redemption. So often we/I think of the second coming and associate it with judgment. But this verse tells us the return of Christ is arranged so people will be saved. Now obviously, not all will be saved because not all will believe. However, the Lord delays the return of Christ for more people to be saved. Maybe it is time to associate the second coming of Christ more with his mission than judgment. Certainly judgment will come on that day, but it will be a consequence of those who refuse to believe. In the end, the return of Christ is more about salvation. This hope coupled with the reality of judgment for all who do not receive Jesus as God’s remedy for our sin, should stir a fresh passion to share Christ with others. It should also cause us to plead with God to fulfill His promise through us to “make us fishers of men.”

Jesus, my wonderful savior, keep my focus and passion on sharing you with others in a way Your Spirit will use to lead others to receive and believe in you!

Readings: Isaiah 21, 1 Thessalonians 5, 2 Peter 3, Hosea 13

The 90 Day Challenge Day 82 – Promises & Rejoicing


“Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.” -Philippians 3:1

There are a few things that would come to mind that would be a safeguard, a protection to my faith. Time in the Word of God would be a safeguard for my faith. Prayer would be a safeguard for my faith. Listening for the voice and leading of the Spirit would be a safeguard for my faith. The ministry of other believers in my life would safeguard my faith. But Paul bypasses all of these. The safeguard of my faith is rejoicing in the Lord. Rejoicing in God’s love, attention, provision… and so much more is cause for rejoicing. Rejoicing in whatever happens to me protects my faith because rejoicing in “whatever” grows my faith that God is good and will always do what is best. Rejoicing gets my eyes off of me and my circumstances and focuses me on God and His ability. This kind of rejoicing is a choice, a faith choice. This kind of rejoicing changes my attitude and thinking when I am not feeling so joyful. In essence, rejoicing builds joy. Seems crazy, but that is how God has designed it to work! So, I’m going to choose to rejoice…

Father, in the “whatevers” of life strengthen my choice to rejoice in you by faith.

Readings: Philippians 3, Matthew 24, Matthew 25, Mark 13

The 90 Day Challenge Day 81 – Promises & Enthusiasm


“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” -1 Corinthians 15:58

Work is at times a great joy and pleasure. At other times it is just work – grinding out, persevering, enduring work. And at times, even work for the Lord can feel the same. And, therein is the problem – feelings defining how we work. Working enthusiastically can also fall into this trap. Enthusiasm is often treated as a feeling, something that can be ginned up, manufactured, created. So, if we create the right environment, we can work enthusiastically for the Lord. However, this verse paints a different picture. Enthusiasm is not an emotion, or feeling, or created by environment. Enthusiasm is a choice, a faith filled choice. I choose to work enthusiastically because God works through what I do and it always accomplishes what He plans. I work enthusiastically in serving the Lord because there is eternal reward in serving the Lord. I work enthusiastically because God Himself approaches each day, each moment enthusiastically. I choose enthusiasm by faith.

Father, keep before me that enthusiasm in serving you is a faith choice in what you are doing.

Readings: Titus 2, 1 Corinthians 15, Hebrews 9, Joel 3

The 90 Day Challenge Day 78 – Promises & Weapons


“We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.” -2 Corinthians 6:7

Weapons. When I think of weapons guns of varying sizes comes to mind; or military armaments, even swords. When it comes to Spiritual weapons I may think of the Scriptures, prayer, praise, fasting, singing. But righteousness? Righteousness is a gift. Righteousness is what Christ provides me because of my faith in Him. Righteousness continues with following the gift of righteousness with seeking to live a righteousness life in the power of the Spirit. But righteousness – the gift of righteousness is a weapon for both attacking and defense. Recognizing the gift of righteousness rather than relying on my living a righteous life is a weapon! When I count on what Christ gives me rather than my performance it is a weapon I can use to attack doubts, fears, temptation, and spiritual warfare. It is a weapon that relies solely on the cross of Christ. Righteousness is also my means of defense. Any attacks on me to cause me to doubt, or give up are pushed aside because my trust is in the righteousness Jesus provides, not my sinlessness.

Father, let your righteousness be my fortress and victory.

Readings: Nehemiah 8, Isaiah 61, Luke 10, 2 Corinthians 6