Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 25 (Mark 9:24)

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  (ESV)

I love the old church songs, classics like “Borrow my life and let it be, sometimes, partially for thee.”  I well remember “Some to Jesus I surrender, I surrender some.”  Even little children know “Jesus loves me, I guess so.”

If we were honest with ourselves, those are the lyrics we would sing.  The originals, of course, are more certain, more convinced and convincing.  Sometimes, however, I do not want to surrender my entire life to Jesus and yes, even as a Christian, there are times when I doubt His love.  I am human, just like the man in the verse for today.  Yet unlike so many of us, who feel we need to save face and pretend a perfect Christian walk 24/7, he cried out in his unbelief and in so doing showed real faith.

If your Christian friends and family were not around, if it were just you and Jesus in the privacy of your heart, what would you say to Him?  Trust me, there is no hurt, anger, frustration, fear, doubt, hesitation, or question that He has not heard.  On top of that, there is not one of those that He does not already know you are hiding in your heart.

Jesus, I want to take off the fancy outfit for a moment and be real with You.  To be honest, I am a bit scared.  I am so used to maintaining this fa├žade.  Will You hear me as I share my heart now with You?

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 18 (Matthew 28:17)

And when they saw him they worshiped him….  (ESV)

The early disciples were faithful, first to their Jewish religion and then to the truth that Jesus had taught.  They would never have worshiped a false god like Zeus or Minerva.  These few words tucked away in the last chapter of the book of Matthew reveal something of extraordinary significance.  When they saw the risen Jesus, they worshiped Him and they would never have worshiped anyone other God.  The conclusion is obvious.  They believe that Jesus was God.

Jesus is our friend.  He is our brother.  He is our savior and the lover of our souls, and each aspect of our relationship with Him is perfected by His being God.  Why can I count on Him when I cannot always count on human friends?  Because Jesus is God.  Why can I trust Him with every fear and doubt without worrying over how He will receive it?  Because Jesus is God.  Why can I have confidence that He knows what is best for me in this life and can secure my eternal future?  Because Jesus is God.

When you see the love and grace of Jesus in your life, thank Him as you would anyone else, but do one more thing, a thing you can only do with Jesus.  Worship Him.

My Lord and my God, my Savior Jesus, I adore You.  I lay my life before You and worship You.  You are my light and my salvation.  May every word from my mouth, every thought in my mind, and every action I take glorify You, my God and my friend.  Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 11 (1 Corinthians 2:2)

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  (ESV)

I have not been diagnosed with ADD, but sometimes I wonder.  As I like to tell people, I am just interested in a lot of things all at the same time.  I really do find life vastly interesting and find myself wanting to do this, that, and the other thing pretty much all the time.  Added to my natural wiring are the demands placed on me by job, family, and friends, and life quickly comes, as William James once said, “a great blooming, buzzing confusion.” Know the feeling?

Paul has a simple antidote.  When he went to the people of Corinth, he did not go armed with sophisticated arguments and the most intricate philosophy.  He did not pack a multi-media extravaganza of a presentation as we would likely feel the need to do today.  He had one message, and that was Christ crucified.

Can you unplug sometime today or this week?  Can you disconnect from electronics, people, and things to spend a few minutes with Christ and Him crucified?  I know I need to.  I desperately need to set aside all that I love for a few minutes with the One  Who truly loves me.  What is really stopping me?  What is stopping you?

Jesus, I am sorry for my rudeness to You and my neglect of our relationship.  I let so many other things get in the way.  Thank You for being there and waiting for me.  I want to spend some time just with You.  Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4 (Mark 8:46)

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  (ESV)

Last week I met with a United States Senator and Congresswoman and shook the hand of the President in the White House.  I was in rooms where history has been made.  I spoke with policy makers and those who advise the President on matters of education.  Yet all that is nothing if I do not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine is running for office in another state.  We talked about how easy it is even for those with the best intentions to become swayed by power and the influence of others once elected.  A person dare not approach such leadership without being firmly grounded in Christ.

My family and I had wonderful experiences last week in our nation’s capital.  We made memories I hope never to forget.  Yet when we came home, our children were eager to go to church, and I was excited to shepherd my small group of 4th and 5th grade boys.  The lesson was on the Trinity, and I could not wait to explore it with them.  God provides for us many opportunities to enjoy this life, but we must never forget in the midst of our greatest earthly celebrations, that we serve a King far greater than any we can imagine, and He has a true celebration in store for us the likes of which we cannot conceive.

O Lord, I bow before You in humble adoration.  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart always bring You joy and honor.  You are my King.  In the name of my risen Savior, Christ Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins