Author Archives: lrbartel

When “enthusiasm” isn’t enough to win!

An embarassing scoreToday’s “coffee with the Lord” post is just a practical observation about the importance of preparation vs. enthusiasm.

You’ve seen it and so have I … You’re attending at pep rally for a sports event or a “rah-rah” sales meeting… the enthusiasm is running high, the applause is deafening, the victory cries are deafening, and emotions are infectious. But the opponent – the competition – is superior, is prepared and determined!

(Just as an aside – it’s a bit like some “worship services” I’ve attended… Heavy on “rah-rah” and emotion, but weak on a sense of mission, commitment, Biblical grounding, and prayerful strategy.)

Time for the confrontation with the adversary arrives… And the results are devastating – in a bad way… It’s a bit like a junior high JV team encountering a professional basketball team in a playoff… The score ends up something like “3 to 150” or worse!

Worse part is… sometimes God gets blamed for the embarrassing defeat! (“We prayed about it, after all! We were ‘doing it for His glory’ and look what happened!”)

I just happened to read a couple of verses in Proverbs this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” that helps put this picture in proper perspective… and provides some wise counsel…

“Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good – haste makes mistakes! People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then blame God.” (Proverbs 19:2-3)

Enough said… just let it sink in!

The Holy Spirit… Indispensable!

Filled with the Spirit“Born of the Spirit!…” “Filled with the Spirit!… Empowered by the Spirit!… “Endued” [clothed] with the Spirit!… “Baptized in/by the Spirit”… “Walking in the Spirit!”… “Led by the Spirit!”… “Sanctified by the Spirit!”… “Sealed by the Spirit!”… and one day “Raised/resurrected by the Spirit!” … et. al!!! I want it all!!! Everything He provides!!! Don’t you?

Are you willing to forgive?

forgivnessWhat if God decided to forgive some people for their sins, but just decided not to forgive others?

And what if the criteria He used for forgiving us was, “If you forgive those who sin against you, I’ll forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, I won’t forgive your sin!.”

Oh, you mean that’s how it works?! That’s what Jesus actually said?! (Check out Matthew 6:14-15) …Scary, eh?!

Don’t know about you, but I’m grateful He forgives all who come to Him for forgivness in repentance! And I am really determined to forgive others just as He has forgiven me!

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