Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Do you need TASSELS?

Numbers 15:38-40 Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: Throughout the generations to come, you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord.  When you see the tassels you will remember and obey all the commands of the Lord instead of following you own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God.

Even though the 10 commandments were written in stone (and probably prominently displayed in the camp), the wandering Israelites seemed to have trouble remembering what God had instructed them to do. Something was needed to keep their thoughts focused heavenward. Consequently, God instructed Moses to have them tie small tassels on the corners of their tunics as a visual reminder of His law. Since they wore their tunics everywhere, there was never a time when they weren’t aware of God’s presence and direction.

Christians today have no such visual clothing enhancement to direct our thoughts to God’s desires. In our complex world, thoughts often drift to worldly matters. How can the modern man or woman “keep in perfect peace, with our minds stayed on Him” (Isaiah 26:3)? Sewing tassels on each garment is just not 21st century-practical but there are ways to keep our thoughts focused on God. If you are visually oriented, small devotional calendars in several places around your home or office could aid you. If you find auditory prompts are your style, Christian music and teaching tapes or radio can keep your thoughts centered. If tactile, a small cross in a pocket and wallet serve well.
 Discover what is your best mental prompt and employ it to remember God daily.

PRAY: Heavenly Father, help me to bring every thought captive so that I can have the mind of Christ.

Friday, February 24, 2012


A slice of this, 6 oz. of that--just what is the right amount of food to serve someone? The trend toward "supersize" portions is starting to reverse and people are seeing the value of just eating what the body needs and no more. 
In the Lord's model prayer, Jesus told the disciples to ask God for their "daily bread", just the right size portion to sustain their health for that day. When God sent manna to the Israelites in the wilderness, it was just the right size portion for each day (except for Friday, when it was a "supersize" amount to cover the Sabbath Day's need as well).
There is danger in excess and there is danger in want--in food as well as in our prayer lives.  Agur, the author of Proverbs 30, saw that danger when it came to material needs.  He understood that we are to ask God for our "needs", both physically and spiritually, but to be careful when it comes to our "wants".  The Bible also tells us that often we have not, because we don't ask. So what is the right amount of anything to ask for? He is our portion. Ps. 119:57 We just need more of Jesus--supersize please!

PLAN: Write your prayers down on paper--are they needs or wants?
PRAY:  Fill me up, Lord, with You--your mind, your heart, your desires.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What is beautiful in God’s eyes?

What would you suppose God sees as beautiful?

From God’s perspective, the Creator of all beauty, there is one thing that He considers ultimately beautiful. If you guessed Jesus, you’d be sort of right! It actually has something to do with Jesus’ feet.

Now when Jesus was on this earth, He wasn’t considered beautiful...or even movie star handsome. The Bible tells us “He had no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him”. Is. 53:2 
The Message Bible puts it this way:  There was nothing [particularly] attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He didn’t want anyone following Him just because He was a great looking guy.
I once had a friend who was a model.  Now if you saw her, you would probably be surprised. Yes, she was super thin but she had rather plain features. Yet she made her living as a Sears catalog model--for shoes!  She had beautiful feet!  That kind of beauty wasn’t what the Old Testament writer Isaiah meant when he wrote “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring the good news [of salvation].” (vs. 52:7) The idea here is that those who tell others the way to find God are beautiful. Beauty isn’t something you ARE, rather it’s something you DO.

Jesus’ feet are the feet that brought the good news to us, that told us how to know God, how to be in relationship with God--through His death on the cross to pay the penalty due for our sins. Jesus—the ultimate beauty that brought us good news. We too can have beautiful feet as we share the good news about Jesus with others.