Gift of Knowledge

In John 3:11 Jesus was talking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus and says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen but you do not receive our testimony.” Nicodemus was having a hard time understanding everything Jesus was talking about. He was curious, but was having difficulty understanding what Jesus was saying because of his deep rooted teaching. Nicodemus had heard something so unbelievable that he was not able to reconcile this new teaching with his past teaching.

This is very similar to the first time Nick witnessed a Cirque du Soleil show. Cirque du Soleil is a circus that travels around the world and performs some of the most amazing feats of acrobatics that you can imagine. You almost need to see it first hand to truly understand the magnitude of giftedness of the performers. Nicodemus had his own “Cirque du Soleil” moment, when he hears what Jesus told him. He heard the words, but could not grasp the depth of their meaning.

Jesus was sharing the knowledge of Himself, via His testimony. Nicodemus heard Jesus’s testimony first hand. The Bible is the best way to read about Jesus. However, there are many good books that also reveal God in new ways. Mike loves to read. He’s always on the lookout for new revelation and great stories about his Lord and King. Whenever Mike finds a book that moves him, he wants to share it with those around him. When “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young was first published, Mike met the author at a conference and picked up his book. After reading it, he proceeded to buy cases of the book to give out to everyone he met. It had such an impact on Mike, and millions of others, that he just could not keep it to himself. He freely gave the new revelation to others so they could share in his amazement. He spread the knowledge of Jesus beyond his closest friends and had a positive impact on dozens of people through sharing the book.

Action for the day

Think about a book or music CD that had a profound impact on your life. Pick up a few extra copies and pray about who you should give one to. Let them know why it had such an impact on you and why you thought of them. Let them know how special they are and how you pray the book or CD will have the same impact in their life.

Prayer for the day

Jesus, I am glad you revealed Yourself through many different ways. You do it through the bible, through books, through music and directly to us. I ask that You put a name on my heart to share what I have learned through a book or through music that has moved my soul. I long to share it with others so they too can have the knowledge of You. Thank you for the work You will do in that person’s heart through the gift I am to share. It’s in your name I pray. Amen.

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DNA Test

In John 2:18-19, Jesus has just cleared the temple of the money lenders by releasing His righteous anger. In disbelief, the crowd at the temple look at each other and a brave person asks, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” The people are asking Jesus who he was. It would be like asking a man if he was really the daddy to his children. Of course, the man could show them a DNA test or just look at the facial features and see the similarities.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are a new creation. Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). In essence, we get new DNA from God. This new DNA transforms us into sons and daughters, as God did not want to leave us as orphans (John 14:18). Because we are new creations with different DNA, we look like Jesus. People begin to expect us to act like Him as well. The DNA inside us start to shine, the more we allow Holy Spirit to shine through us. This in turns draws people to you as they are attracted to Jesus, even if they do not realize why.

Nick was approached by a person who needed a ride home. The man was attracted to Jesus in Nick. Nick could have made an excuse not to help. He could have said he was already late or he was going in an opposite direction. Instead, Nick traveled down a road less travelled and help the man. Because Nick had agreed to help, it was much easier for him to share Jesus with the man and gave him tangible evidence that Jesus was real.

Jeremy had just moved for his fourth time during high school. As the new kid, he was not known by anyone. While the other students did not know Jeremy, they saw the image of Christ in him. Jake had met Jeremy and was in a couple of his classes, but really did not know him. When Jake needed someone to listen and pray with him, he sought out Jeremy. He didn’t know why, except he was drawn to Jesus and felt like Jeremy would be a safe place to get council and advice. We can all let our new DNA shine through to those around us. When we do, just watch how others are drawn to you, which opens the door for you to share the love of Jesus.

Action for the day

Today, choose to live like Jesus. Ask Holy Spirit to be evident in your life. Wherever you go, be sure to have the mind of Christ and interact with others the way Jesus would. Make sure the Fruit of the Spirit are evident today. The fruit are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let these be the guide as you go about your day.

Prayer for the day

Today Lord allow me to reveal Your fruit of my life. Let me live out love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in a tangible way that draws others to you. Let me join You in the work You are doing and draw others to me. Reveal what actions I should take to demonstrate Your love. Let Your DNA in me be evident to anyone who is in need of You. Let me be your hands, feet and voice. Thank you for being my daddy. I love you and ask for these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Get Out of the House

Growing up I always thought that I needed to go to church to find God. That is where He was right? If I wanted prayer, I go to church. If I wanted healing, I go to church. If I wanted salvation, I go to church. All of those statements are correct, however, they are not sufficient to live out the great commandment to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Church is a safe place to be with those who know Jesus and believe in His life giving message. Too many of us equate the building with the broader understanding of “the church.” Every believer in Christ Jesus is the church since Holy Spirit lives inside us.

I find it interesting when I read the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2. He creates the heavens, the earth, the animals and finally man. Then in Genesis 2:8 we are told, “now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” There were trees and rivers and flowers. What was not there was a building. God had not wanted Adam and Eve to be restricted with a building. Fast forward to the time Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. He had them live in tents. In fact, God Himself resided in the tabernacle, which was a tent. Then God had Solomon build a temple for God’s present to reside. However, it was a place to go to and then go from. Finally, Jesus gives His life for our sins and transforms our bodies into the temple of God.

Just like the tabernacle in Moses time, our bodies are meant to be the mobile temple of Jesus. We are not meant to restrict ourselves to a building. Church on Sunday should be a time where we can get instruction, a time to worship God as a whole body and be encouraged. We are then to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus. He wanted us in a garden, to be outside, interacting with His creation. He wants us going to where people are sick and hurting. We are to get out and bring the gospel or good news to a world in pain.

 

Action for the day

Today, make a commitment to get out of the building and find a place can serve. The church is good, but get out into the community. The good news is search engines today enable us to find places that serve areas of our passions. If you don’t know where to start, try some of these searches:

  • Place to serve <insert the name of your city>
  • Volunteer opportunities <insert name of your city>
  • Soup kitchens near me
  • Serve food to the homeless
  • Anti-trafficking organizations <insert name of your city>
  • Non-profit organizations <insert name of your city>

Once you have searched and chosen a place to serve, take the action to contact them today and get involved.

Prayer for the day

Father God, thank you that You created a world full of wonder and beauty. It is good! Today, as I make a commitment to get out and be your hands and feet, guide me to the place where I can join You in Your work. Let my heart break for the things that break your heart. Reveal how my passions are in line with my purpose to live an abundant life. Show me where I can best serve to bring Your glory and the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. It is in the powerful name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Divine Interruptions

There are only 24 hours in a day. Everyone is subject to the number of hours, minutes and seconds each day brings. In essence, it is a limited commodity for everyone. It does not matter if you’re rich, poor, black, white, Christian, Muslim. Time impacts all of us. With so much to do, so much to be distracted by, a new term has emerged for those who are over scheduled, over committed and overtired. It is called time poverty. It basically is telling us what we already know. We are too busy.

It was not supposed to be like this. In 1928, John Maynard Keynes predicted that by 2028 our wealth and technology would permit us all to work 15-hour weeks and dedicate our lives to leisure. Instead of having a lot of extra time to help others and relax, we find ourselves in a much different world.

  • Americans work an average of 8.8 hours per day as compared to the UK at 7.8 hours per day. Those in Italy and Germany work only 6.8 hours per day. This does not include the “shadow work”, which is all of the tasks that take time in which we don’t get paid for like cooking, driving the kids, communing, etc.
  • In America, we spend an average of 60 hours a week at work, as compared to 40 hours per week in 1967.
  • In America, we take fewer vacations than other parts of the world. We take an average of 14 days a year, as compared to Norway who take an average of 70 days per year.
  • We also do not get enough sleep. The average person only sleeps 6 hours a night, as compared to 8.5 hours a night a century ago.

More work, more tasks, less sleep, fewer vacations. It is no wonder we are tired and feel overwhelmed and too busy. But are we too busy for the divine interruptions that allows us to share the love of Christ? Lisa is not. She was at her daughter’s softball game and got to talking with an out of town grandparent. He asked Lisa if she knew where a particular place was that he needed to visit at the end of the game. Lisa’s initial thought was to teach him how to use his navi on his phone. Unfortunately, he struggled a bit. Instead of leaving the man to his own devices, Lisa chose to allow the interruption and offered to lead the man to his destination. The man was shocked that someone would take time out of their busy schedule to help him. He was so grateful. That day Lisa realized the value of not overbooking her schedule. It was a great example to Lisa’s daughter as well. Taking time to help a person in need is exactly what Jesus would have done.

Action for the day

Your task for today is to review your weekly schedule. Look at every activity and task that you have. Do you have enough open time to accommodate a divine interruption? If not, prioritize and take some things off your plate. If you are to truly make a difference in this world, you will need some time to engage with people.

Prayer for the day

Jesus, thank you that you always had time for those in need. Today, I pray you will help me see how I can manage my time so I can also have time to join You in your work. Help me to see those in need and step into their lives and make a difference. Father, I ask that You help me to be time rich so that I can give it away freely. It is in your powerful name Jesus that I ask these things. Amen.

 

Notes:

Tim Chester, The Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2006)

Richard A. Swenson, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2004)