Wednesday, June 29, 2016

God's Cure For Anxiety

Anxieties, nervousness, fear, and worry is a big problem for many today. But guess what?  It is not a new problem, for Jesus addressed it in His teachings, indicating it was a big problem in His day as well as ours.

Jesus gives us a divine prescription for handling anxiety. It is found in Luke 12:22-31.  Three times he uses the word “anxiety” and one time He uses “worry. “ Here are the divine pills to take for anxiety, worry, and fear:
1.     Perspective:  God wants us to have an eternal perspective – “life is more than food and the body more than clothing” (v. 23).  Focus on what is really important and that is what is eternal vs. what is temporal.  This helps to put into perspective what is causing our anxiety.  Most of what we worry about are very trivial matters it the grand scheme of life.
2.     Promise:  God promises to provide – “consider the ravens … God feeds them.  of how much more value are you than the birds!” (v. 24).  God promises to meet all our needs if we trust and obey Him (Phil. 4:19).  Every need is an opportunity to experience God in a tangible way.  Hold tightly to His promises when you feel the threat of anxiety coming upon you.
3.     Power:  God’s power is greater than any challenge we face – “which of you …. can add a single hour to his life … then why are you anxious about the rest?” (v. 25-26).  Jesus is contrasting what we cannot do (add a single hour to our life) with what God can do (anything!).  When worried, it is important to focus on God’s unlimited power over the circumstances of life.  We serve the God who spoke the world into existence.  Nothing is too difficult for Him.
4.     Provision:  God’s provision is much better than our solutions – “Consider the lilies …. If God so clothes the grass … how much more will He clothe you!” (v. 27-28).  God has an inexhaustible number of resources to help with our every need and cause of worry.  He longs to send us provision, whether that be His presence, wisdom, encouragement, money, etc.  Just look around at how He provides provision for so much of His creation, and then remember that you are more important to God than the plants and animals.
5.     Priority:  God calls us to seek Him first – “Seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you” (v. 31).  The best defense against anxiety is a good offense of seeking God, His kingdom, His will, His character, His Word, etc.  Be so occupied with the things of God, that you have neither time nor energy to worry about other stuff.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jesus as Living Water

Water is the one thing every living creature needs for survival.  But not just any water.  If the water is contaminated, you just might die.  We often drink from contaminated water in the form of materialism, illicit sex, drunkenness, drug abuse, etc. 

Sin can be described as trying to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate manner.  Our creator God knows what is best for us and wants to be the One we come to for pure water.

Jeremiah 2:13 describes Jehovah God as the fountain of Living Water.  God confronts His people for digging their own leaky wells.  In other words, when we try to get our needs met apart from God, those are leaky cisterns and not the true well of living water.   God wants us to drink from Him!

In John 4:7-19 Jesus confronts the woman who had tried to get her need for love met by 6 different men.  He invites her to drink from Him:  the Living Water.  We often turn to other people to fill our cup, when only Jesus can do that.

In John 7:37-38 Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the living water that can work in us and through us from the inside out!  We need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us look to God to meet our deepest needs.

So here we have the full Trinity described as the Living Water:  God the Father in Jeremiah 2; God the Son in John 4; and God the Holy Spirit in John 7.  Come to God and drink from Him every day, to meet your deepest needs!

For more on how you can experience Jesus as your living water, listen to my sermon at

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What does it mean to judge someone?

One of the most misused phrases I hear is, “We should not judge people.”  What does it mean to judge another?  In what way are we not to judge, and is there an appropriate way to judge others?  I am sure this blog will get a lot of discussion.  Please email me your thoughts at

Just this morning in my quiet time, I read the following passage: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (Jn. 7:24).  As always, Jesus gives the perfect balance on a controversial topic:  do not judge in one sense, but do judge in the proper sense. 

How are we not to judge another?  Improper judgment is assuming something negative about another when I don’t know for a fact it is true.  For example, if I say that someone leads worship on Sunday because they want to be seen as super-spiritual, that is wrongly judging them because I do not know their true motive.  Or if I see someone who is full of tattoos and conclude that he/she is rebellious, that is equally wrong. I do not know their true reason for getting tattoos. 

On the other hand, Jesus tells us to “judge with right judgment.”  What does it mean to properly “judge” another?  As Christians we are to be like Jesus, and Jesus called out sin and confronted sin, but He always did so in love and with the offer of forgiveness to those who repent.  Therefore, if I say that someone who is having premarital sex, looking at porn or having an affair is living in sin and needs to repent, that is not judging improperly, but rather “judging with right judgment.”  Make sense?  I am seeing behavior and reaching a conclusion about the person that is accurate based on the truth of God’s Word.   We are to judge in this sense.  And we are to do so in love, always offering the hope of forgiveness in Christ.  If a person doesn’t see their sin, then they will never see their need for Christ.

Applying this principle can feel like walking a tight rope in our conflicted culture.  So how do we do this?  Only with the wisdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Once again, we have to walk close with God to pull this off!  Enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sexual Purity in an Impure Culture

Men today face incredible temptations and pressures in the sexual area.  It is very difficult to live holy in our unholy culture.  But it is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 2:22 is a great passage to help us.   “Flee youthful passions, and pursue righteousness …. along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”  There are 3 keys to victory found here:  flee, pursue, and do it with others. 
1.  Flee youthful passions.  Don’t flirt with sin or see how close to the edge you can come. Instead, run as fast as you can from pornography, an affair, lustful thoughts, etc. 

2.  After you flee, don’t just stand there. Pursue righteousness. Pursue God with all your heart.  Run hard after God and there won’t be much energy for sin!  The best defense against sin is a good offense of pursuing God.

3.  Finally, flee and pursue with others who are doing the same.  Oh how we need a band of brothers to support us in our walk with God.  “As iron sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17).    I am so thankful to have men in my life that I can tell anything to, and they help to hold me accountable.  If you don’t have this, find a man who can be this for you.

Sexual sin is not a new problem.  It has been around as early as man was created.  And it will be prevalent until Jesus returns.  But in the meantime, let us endeavor to live a holy and righteous life in the power of the HOLY Spirit.  You can do this. God’s grace is sufficient.  Be sure to find others to help you.

If you have fallen or if you are addicted or if you feel trapped, there is grace and mercy at the cross.  And there are places you can go to help professional help.  Don’t wait another day. Today can be the first day of the rest of your life.

For more on living as a godly man, log into “Right Now Media” at

and check out THE SERIES 33.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Does God Test Us?

God tells us repeatedly in His Word that He will tests His people.  Just like in school, a test is to determine if we have learned what we should, and ready for the next assignment.  It is like being interviewed constantly by God for the next “job assignment.” 

Check out a few of the many verses that speak of God testing His people:
Ex. 15:25 the Lord made for them a statute, and a rule, and there He tested them
Dt 8:2  these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 
Dt 13:3 For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Ps. 11:5  The LORD tests the righteous
Isa. 48:10  I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
1 Thess. 2:4  God who tests our hearts.
James 1:3  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

I think a “test” is slightly different than a “trial.”  A trial is the normal hardships of living in a fallen world, but a test is a direct challenge that God brings into our lives to see if we will trust and obey Him, no matter what!

He may test us with a flat tire.  He may test us with marital conflict. He may test us with a rebellious child.  He may test us with a difficult boss. Nothing enters our life that has not been sifted through His loving and sovereign hand.  Joseph said of all his many hardships, “what you meant for evil, God meant for good, for the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:20).

However the test may come, He wants us to “add to our faith, moral excellence, and to moral excellence, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control, and to self-control, perseverance, and to perseverance …… and if these qualities are yours and increasing, they will render you neither unfruitful nor unproductive….” (2 Pe. 1:5-8).

If we pass the test, God will advance us in the kingdom.  He will advance us in character, knowledge of Him, and usefulness for His glory.  We are more qualified for eternal fruitfulness as we pass the tests His puts before us. 

However, if we fail the test, we either have to take the test over, or we get demoted.  Though God will never kick us off His team, He may “bench” us for a season.  We can learn from our failures and demonstrate we are ready to get back on the field.

No test is much fun, but after you pass it, you will be so thankful for how God used it in your life and took you to new heights in Him!

I want to pass every test He sovereignly brings my way.  How about you?  We cannot pass the tests in our flesh, but rather we must be continually filled with His Spirit and do this in His power (Eph. 5:18) and with the help and support of His people (1 Cor. 12).

For more on testing (i.e., purpose of tests, biblical characters who were tested, and how to pass a test), check out my sermon on this at: