On Wings Of Eagles

free counters

Monday, July 22, 2019

I am the Good Shepherd

John 10:11 (ESV)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Sheep are not very intelligent animals. In 2005, shepherds in Turkey watched 1,500 sheep walk off a cliff because the neighboring shepherds were not paying attention for a few minutes. Sheep are also defenseless. They don’t have horns, stripes, or speed to use as protection or for disguise. Sheep need a shepherd, because without one, they are an easy target for whatever predator gets to them first.

You also need a shepherd to guide you through life on the path to heaven. Trying to find your own path will lead to a terrible place. By nature, you won’t wander toward God but away from him. Following the crowd is dangerous too. Unless they know the true God, they are as lost as you are. You are also defenseless against the attacks of Satan. He is like a roaring lion looking to devour you. Temptation is always lurking for you, waiting to pounce like a tiger in the tall grass. Like sheep you are dumb and defenseless. Like sheep, you need a shepherd.

Thank God you don’t have an ordinary shepherd, but the Good Shepherd, Jesus. He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” You would have ended up in hell on your own, but Jesus laid down his life for you, his sheep, to lead you into heaven. Satan had his sharp teeth and piercing claws ready to pounce on you, but Jesus destroyed the devil on the cross. He has no power over you. He is no longer a threat to you because of Jesus.

Rest secure. Each day when you wake up ready to face everything the world is going to throw at you, remember that you have the Good Shepherd watching over you. He will lead you in paths of righteousness. He will not let any harm come to you that he will not work out for your good. Yes, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is YOUR good shepherd.

Dear Lord, we pray that Your will be done. Destroy the work of the devil and his demons. Stop all of those who oppose Your Gospel. As the Good Shepherd, guide and guard me. In the Name of Jesus, 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Signed, sealed, and delivered

1 Corinthians 15:17-20 (ESV)
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Let us take a step back in time. The year is 1970, and Stevie Wonder is singing one of his many hits. This one is entitled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.“ These words especially connected with the teenage crowd since teens were starting their personal search for “the one,” the person they could call their own.

The reality is that whether you are married or single, you have someone you can call your own. There is no denying that a person who dies in your place exemplifies love. Therefore, if a person denied that love exists, they are denying an undeniable truth. The same logic applies, if someone denies that Christ rose from death, the empty tomb and hundreds of witnesses of his resurrection would prove the opposite. The resurrection signed, sealed, and delivered the fact that God is alive and sin is dead! Here’s God’s promise to you: Your past no longer dictates your future with him. We often can’t hold the pieces of our life together, so God sent his son to make us whole again, redeemed, restored, and forgiven. Christ’s resurrection is his final signature for mankind that his total victory over sin, death, and Satan was completely accomplished. He shows you his hands and feet and body broken for you. He says, “I’m yours, and you now belong to me.”

How do you know that you truly are forgiven? Look in the empty tomb! Look at the living Jesus! It’s the proof you need—signed, sealed, delivered!

Dear Lord, thank You for giving us all the proof we need in Your holy Word that Christ came out of his tomb while our sins stayed buried. Help us to live our life today reflecting that undeniable truth! In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

50th anniversary of the moon walk, We can worship God anywhere

John 15:5 (ESV)
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

The launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969, resulted in astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin stepping foot on the moon on July 20 and famously placing an American flag on the moon’s surface.

Armstrong delivered the famous line, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he stepped onto the moon’s surface in one of the most significant scientific achievements in history.

Discovery and exploration, Nettles noted, can lead to a greater amazement and worship of God.

“As we gain more understanding, we, as Christians, should stand in even greater awe and have a deeper sense of not understanding our world,” Nettles said. “To put it another way, as Christians we need to realize that the more we learn, the greater the number of things that we don’t know. That’s because the mysteries of God are unfathomable, but we can have deep joy in that thought.”

In addition to the importance of the moon landing as exploration of the created world, Christians also can view it as an opportunity to worship God both for what He has allowed mankind to discover and for who He is.

An act of worship related to the moon landing involves one of the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin paused for a moment to take communion on the lunar module around two hours before stepping onto the moon.  Aldrin took communion while reading the words of Jesus from John 15, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

This moment of Aldrin thanking and worshiping God, is a great example to all Christians that no matter where we are we can praise and honor our God.
 Where are you today that you can worship and praise our God?

Dear Lord we thank You for the world that You have given to us. Help us to remember that no matter where we are, we can praise You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Google maps and Following God's Plan For Your Life

Proverbs 3:5-7 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you were in a new town and you didn’t know your way around. Let’s say that you’ve got a smart phone, and you know that you’ve got Google Maps on the phone. You know that Google maps can give you turn by turn instructions on how to get to your destination.

The interesting thing about your Google maps on your phone is that it is up to you to use it. You can keep your phone in your pocket and never use it and wind up lost. If you don’t ever consult the directions, or look to see where to go on the map, you won’t get to where you want to go. You’ve got to consult something smarter than you…Google Maps to help you get to your destination.

The same is true in life. Whatever path you take in life, you’ll find success in that by letting God lead. Success is consulting God on each turn, like you would Google Maps on your phone to help you get to your destination and to get which way to go.

So to be successful in life, we need to do what today’s verse says and let God lead your life. Don’t run around life without direction and lost. Find success in your endeavors by letting God lead. Seek God’s direction in the decisions you make…include Him in what you do.

Self- sufficiency & self dependence have been the ruin of man-kind since Adam. The grand sin of the human race is their continual endeavor to live independently of God – Adam Clarke
Just like Adam said, living independently of God, just doesn’t work. It doesn’t bring happiness or fulfillment. When you try to live your life in your own strength and ability you will always fail, be unhappy or feel like something is missing.

The foundation for happiness and success in your life is knowing Jesus and letting him lead in your life. As you go through life, as you make decisions and as you make choices for your future, consult God in everything you do, and you’ll find true success!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are here to lead us in our life. Help us to make the right decisions and choices in our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Who are you copying?

Hebrews 6:12 (KJV)
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Most actors who play the part of a real-life person will study to get into character of the person they are playing. For example, a professional actor who would represent Abraham Lincoln would study his life by reading books to get all the facts of his life. Then they might read his writings to get an idea of how he thought. In other words, they study the person to understand them to the point that they almost become like him in order to “act the part” .

This word “ followers”  indicates acting or copying someone. Like the good actor who studies and tries to mimic the person he is depicting, we are told to do that too. Who are we to mimic or copy?

The Bible says those who spiritually are our leaders. Those who have faith and character and have stood up morally in hard times. Jesus certainly is that leader to want to replicate. Your pastor or a leader at your church might be such a person.

Study them and listen to what they say. Study what they do in difficult situations. The more you study good examples of godly people, you will begin to talk like them and act like them. In fact, we are told to do that! Study how they treat their other people. Study what they do under pressure. You can learn to follow or replicate them.

If you follow many celebrities of today, you will see they are in trouble with the law and their relationships don’t often last. These are not the people you want to follow because you don’t want the failure they have experienced in your life.

True heroes may not be on television- they may be in your church or in your own home.

Dear Lord, show me the people around us that have your promises and blessings so me may learn from them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What We Learn About God from The Force

Ephesians 6:10  (ESV)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

A long time ago in a movie theater far, far away… I went to see the original Star Wars movie. I was a young kid at the time, but in retrospect it has become one of my most cherished memories. Up until the unveiling of this film, the whole genre of fantasy/science-fiction/adventure was a veritable wasteland of cheesy endeavors that made you want a refund.

Ah, but in Star Wars we have an opening scene with a rebel ship being pursued and fired upon by an Imperial Battle Cruiser, and from that moment on, your eyes and senses are glued to this fantastic universe where good battles evil in the context of The Force.

“There is a God and there is a good and bad side.”—George Lucas
Then, 38 years later (like I said…a long time ago), one of the biggest movie release perhaps in the history of the celluloid industry is The Force Awakens. A whole new generation of Star Wars aficionados will be generated, and we will anxiously anticipate the final two installments of this immortal series.

But in the meantime, have you ever thought about what we can learn about God from The Force? Many may quickly dismiss even considering this possibility, but I would like to offer a few thoughts that might alter that perception.

First, if you look deep enough into the dialogue of the series, there are some really cool parallels with Biblical truth. For example:

Luke Skywalker: May The Force be with you.
The Bible: May the Lord be with you.

Obi-Wan: The Force will be with you…always
Jesus: And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

Watching and reflecting on Star Wars through the years, and particularly focusing on the constant and abiding presence of The Force has been an ongoing reminder of the great truth that God will never leave us or forsake us.

Still, there are some stark and significant differences. One of these is the personal nature of the God of the Bible vs. the impersonal nature of The Force. By this I mean that it is one thing to be comforted by a Force that “surrounds us and binds us together,” but it is a much greater and more profound thing to know that our Triune God indwells our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and because of that, we are never abandoned or alone in this world.

Our Triune God indwells our hearts and because of that, we are never alone in this world.
And speaking of dark and light, that is the other critical reality that the Star Wars series has brought to center stage. That’s why George Lucas made this statement: “All I was trying to say in a very simple and straightforward way is that there is a God and there is a good and bad side. One of his motivations in making the Star Wars series was to counter the pervasive morally relativistic thinking of that generation—which obviously is still alive and well.

And the Bible makes it very clear that there is a “good side and bad side” as well, and you are either engaged in one or the other at all times. Check out Jesus’ words to the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus:

“I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me” (Acts 26:17-18, The Message).

As we enjoyed The Force Awakens I hope you realize that we have a God who is with us…always. And we fight in an intense battle between darkness and light. So as you step out of the theater or turn the DVD off, step into the very real story line that makes a very real difference both for now and into eternity!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the fact that You will never leave us and as we fight the battle that is before us, You give us the strength.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out?”

Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I am sure you have heard those well-known words of Dr. Seuss many times before, but have you ever thought about their meaning?

Those famous words of Dr. Seuss are a perfect motto for Christians in today’s world. With all the temptations and peer pressure of everyday life, we often try to base our definition of right and wrong by those around us instead of God’s word. We do this because we want to fit in with the crowd.

However, fitting in with the crowd is not what God has called us to do. Followers of Christ should not follow the ways of the world, but instead they should follow the ways of Christ. Doing this will not always be an easy task, you may feel rejected at times when you stand up for your faith and do what the Bible says is right. You may feel like an outsider when you don’t participate in things you know are wrong but your friends do them anyway.

There is a long list of things that the world can make you feel different for, but what is important to remember is that if you have put your faith in Christ, you are not of this world.

John 15:18-19 says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

It may seem like “standing out” in the world comes with a lot of unnecessary problems, but those problems will seem like nothing compared to the incredible rewards you will receive when you follow Christ’s example.

Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate that leads to life, and only a few find it.” We must continuously choose to make Christ-like decisions such as spreading kind words instead of swearing, or standing up for someone being bullied, even if it could lead to you getting made fun of as well.

Many people choose the easy way out…they will do what the crowds do.

Most people will follow their friend’s example without truly thinking about what Christ would think of their actions. However, as the verse above says, doing this will only put you on a path of destruction. Choosing to take the narrow road and follow in Christ’s footsteps may come with multiple obstacles to overcome, but Christ will be with you and ready to help every step of the way so that you can stay on the path that leads you to eternal life with Him.

Dear Lord, give u the strength and courage to take the narrow way.  Help us to follow in Your footsteps. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.