Category Archives: Devos

Just a Dream?

We wake up with a start and say… “Aw it was just a dream! But something tells us it was more than that – what we just experienced was profound – deeply significant – we won’t soon forget it!

It’s happened to me on several occasions… not many, but several! I remember them – I’ve reflected on their significance – I believe God was speaking to me through those dreams! Ever happen to you?

It happened to Solomon! The account of his dream is in your Bible… Powerful! Profound!! Life and destiny changing!!!

Here it is… (from 1 Kings 3 in your Bible)

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream. And God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’” [Now that will blow your mind! Experiencing something like that is easily dismissed… “I was just dreaming – it’s just a dream!” … But God was in it! God was speaking to Solomon!]

Dreaming or not, Solomon responded… “Lord, my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen – a great people… So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?” [I mean, it appears Solomon answered God in his dream! Was he still dreaming? Remember God was in it … it was more than “just a dream!”]

And here was God’s response…

“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.’ Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.”

Just a dream you say… But it was a “God-dream” – God was in it – and God fulfilled it! In fact, the Bible says, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else…” (from 1 Kings 4:29-34 NIV)

So “It’s just a dream” you say… Listen God may be speaking to you through that dream! Don’t easily dismiss it! Weigh it, consider it, pray about it, check it out and respond to it with faith-obedience… and if God was speaking His will to you through it, believe it! … And watch and see what He will do!

Lessons learned from doing a jigsaw puzzle…

My wife, Sharon, and I are no different than most of you… COVID-19 has forced us to do a few things to pass the time while we’ve been staying close to home. One of them has been doing a few jigsaw puzzles… and believe it or not, we’ve learned some important spiritual lessons while we’ve struggled to put the puzzles together!

We purchased one jigsaw of Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, in our home state of Montana, that was especially challenging…

Here are some of the spiritual lessons we learned… (And may I suggest you read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:1-16 and 1 Peter 4:10-11 as Scriptural support for many of the lessons learned.)

1. Every piece is important if the picture of the beautiful landscape is to be completed… the shapes may be different and the colors varied (even those with slight differences) – but all are important! And so it is in the Church – the “Body of Christ” – all are important, all are essential, if we are to represent Jesus Christ without distortion in our world.

2. Recognizing the difference between the pieces and appreciating what they contribute is an important key to successfully completing a jigsaw puzzle. And it is no different in the Church – the “Body of Christ!” If we are to complete the beautiful picture of who Christ is and what He has accomplished, the differences among us (as well as our similarities) must be acknowledged and appreciated – differences in background, culture, race, gender, gifts… and I could go on – all are important.

3. Our puzzle was on a card table in one of the rooms of our home. We had to be vigilant – there was a time or two, or three, or four, that a piece of the puzzle slipped from the table on to the floor – and there I was on my hands and knees searching the carpet for the fallen piece. In the Church we can afford to be no less vigilant! Every member of “the Body of Christ” is important to our Lord! As His faithful servants, we must do our best not to lose even one member of the Body! He, “the Good Shepherd,” searches for “the one lost sheep!” until He find them – so should we (cp. Matthew 18:10-14)!

4. Sharon and I fumbled around a lot on this puzzle… it wasn’t the easiest by any means to put together. Human spiritual leaders, even the very gifted, do a lot of fumbling around as we seek to represent Christ through the Church in our world! But not Christ! He knows where every piece fits and we are at our best the more we consult Him and let Him lead us. I don’t know how many times I grabbed the box that the puzzle came in to see what the finished product would look like and where a piece might fit.

5. And finally… you NEVER want a missing piece to mar the beauty of the picture on a jigsaw puzzle! To Sharon and my dismay, we had one piece missing (see where the arrow points on the pic). When Christ is involved – when His Lordship is acknowledged – when He leads there will be NO MISSING PIECES! When all is said and done and we, the Church (and each individual in it) stand before Him in Heaven the picture will be complete! The church in Philippi was given this inspired assurance from the Lord… “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in [or among] you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ!” (Philippians 1:6)

COVID-19 Restricted… and FRUSTRATED!

FRUSTRATED! That’s how you feel…

Thanks to COVID-19 (or something else) you feel like you can’t do ANYTHING!

You love the Lord… you love His people… You’re seeking to serve Him and do His will… You haven’t been able to go to church in a normal way… Those stupid masks (and “social distancing”)… the class you love to attend with friends is only done on Zoom… You love to go out, meet people, and share with them about Jesus, but you feel locked up at home… FRUSTRATED!

You think you have it bad… How do you think “Type A” Apostle Paul must have felt? He writes to Timothy from prison and says, “I am suffering, even to the point of being chained like a criminal!” Not an easy situation for an “international evangelist” and “church planter” to handle! It had to be frustrating for a guy used to being a mentor – investing in the lives of young guys in the ministry, like Timothy!

But Paul hastens on to put things in perspective – for Him, and for us! He declares, “But God’s word is not chained [or bound]!” (From 2 Timothy 2:9)

I mean, just look around, incredible doors of ministry to places and people we’ve never reached before because of the restrictions of COVID-19! Opportunities to be the hands, feet, voice, and healing presence of Jesus to others in the power of the Holy Spirit! Sure… a lot of things we can’t do anymore or places we can’t go – but just as truly new doors of opportunity we never dreamed of! Social media, can be a vehicle for sharing the gospel, an encouraging word, and a prayer – not simply a time waster, garbage can for gossip, or smelly pool of negativism.

Hey, “The Word of God is not bound!” In another epistle Paul declared, “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard that my imprisonment is for Christ!” (From Paul’s prison letter Philippians 1:12-13)

With God’s help let’s put our “frustration” in a garbage can, and reach up and take “faith” from off our spiritual pantry shelf! Let’s trust God to open incredible doors of opportunity, to lead us, and use us so that in this challenging time, we discover “the Word of God is not bound!”

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