Category Archives: The Church

What Am I Afraid Of?

We all have things that we are afraid of. Some are small fears, some are bigger fears. For instance; some people are afraid of heights or spiders or clowns.  To my knowledge I don’t have any fears that cripple me like that.  But I do have some smaller fears.
It could be said that I’m afraid of ketchup. It’s not really so much a fear as it is just being really grossed out.  More specifically, when a glob of spilled ketchup on the table that has reached a state of being half dried out, but is still gooey and sticky so that it hitches a ride on your sleeve and you find it later on the front of your shirt from when you crossed your arms or on the inside of your jacket sleeve.  Has this ever happened to you? – (me either.)  I’d swear that the evil, half dried, sticky, ketchup glob inspired the comic villain known as venom.
Well that’s an example of small fear – minor, insignificant, not really life shaping.  Other fears can shape our lives.  Worry can cripple us from truly living.  We fear something bad will happen to our families or to us.  We fear not being able to succeed at our jobs or not having enough money to pay the bills.  These are reasonable fears and it is very understandable that we would have them from time to time, but we cannot live there. We have a hope in Christ and he has promised to meet all our needs.  We must pray for wisdom to recognize the difference in ourselves between needs and wants. ex. I want to drive a newer car, but I don’t NEED one.
Personally, I have a fear greater than these.  And I know that God is bigger than our fears and that He is sovereign, but I can’t help but fearing that the church is falling/has fallen away from her first love. Some churches have traded the gospel in for a gospel of works, adding to “by grace through faith alone.” Other churches have exchanged the gospel for a health and wealth gospel, that if you really love Jesus, he will make you healthy and wealthy.  Jesus is their Prince of prosperity rather than the Prince of Peace.  This false gospel is a contradiction to the very teachings of Jesus.  If you are praying for God to bring you wealth, then you love a another god. (Matt. 6:24)  If you are keeping your wealth for yourself, while reading the story of the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-24), then you have stored up your treasures where moth and rust destroy. Yet, this is not my greatest fear.
My greatest fear is that the church in America won’t be able to get their focus back on Jesus.  I’m afraid that Christians who fill our churches everywhere will remain silent about their faith.  I’m afraid of seeing people love the ways they worship more than they love the person of Jesus Christ.  I’m afraid that if it came to a choice between Jesus and the church, most Christians would choose the church.  I’m afraid of believers being more interested receiving the blessing than in giving sacrifice.
Father, call us back to You and open our ears to hear You.  More than knowing about Jesus, help us to know the person of Jesus.  You are a relational God.  As you have blessed us, help us to bless others, and to recognize that You have indeed blessed us so that we can give as You gave.  Let us not cheapen the work of Christ on the cross by proclaiming works as an added requirement of salvation.  Jesus death was payment in full.  “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” May we worship You as You truly are and lay aside the way we think you should be. You created us in your image, forgive us when we try to redefine You in ours.

“An idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.” A.W. Tozer

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Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

It is easy to get discouraged. Especially when you look around and your situation is not what you thought it would be.  It appears to you that your dreams have failed.  The visions of success you had as a young man or woman are nowhere to be found.  Have you ever felt like that?  Maybe you believed you would have a higher position in your company by now, or that at you would have a larger salary. Perhaps you don’t feel appreciated and aren’t getting paid what you think you deserve.  You never started that business you always dreamed about.  The people around you seem to have everything they want in life; success, money and acknowledgements. You think that you’ve missed God’s best for your life.  You think that God can’t use you because you are not good enough.  You ask God, “why won’t you bless me?”It’s time to put this thinking away. Thinking like this is pure deception. God does have a plan for your life and you are in the perfect position to be used by him.  He has blessed you, but you can’t see it when you compare yourself to those around you.If you are going to compare yourself with someone, try Joseph.  I mean, talk about big dreams getting smashed.  Joseph’s dreams revealed to him that he would eventually be lord over all his family, even his father, the great Jacob.  His brothers made sure that didn’t happen and threw him in a pit, then sold him to slave traders. If something like that would happen to us today, we would walk away from God and claim that he failed to keep his promises.But God’s ways are not our ways.

Joseph kept his faith, though I’m sure he was a bit confused as to why God would had given him his dreams.  Joseph, now a slave, put his whole self into his work. He was living Colossians 3:23. Because of his extraordinary work, Joseph climbed the ladder and was promoted to head servant.   Now he was starting to get somewhere.  Yeah, he was still a slave, but he was in charge! Along comes Potiphar’s wife.

Betrayed by a liar!  If I’d been Joseph I would have been so angry with God.  “I was wronged!”  How is it that evil doers seem to win and those, in the right, get punished?  This was the case for Joseph. Faced with temptation, he made the moral choice – the right choice. (He didn’t buy into the lie that “he deserved this.”) Still he was sentenced to prison.  Lower than ever before and even farther from his dreams, Joseph kept believing that God would use him.  “And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.”

Of course we all know the rest of the story; Joseph interprets a dream for the cup-bearer, who in-turn forgets his promise to mention Josephs plight to the Pharaoh. Two years pass by. The cup-bearer finally remembers Joseph.  Joseph interprets the Pharaohs dreams and is put in charge of Egypt!  (That was when Egyptians still liked their leaders.)  Joseph was in charge of the whole country!  Finally! He made it!  He’d “arrived.” “His ship had come in.”

We look at Joseph’s story and see how Joseph took 2 steps forward and 11 steps back. God used some very frustrating circumstances in Joseph’s life before realizing Joseph’s dreams.  But the final step in Joseph’s journey is not the only point to his life.  Joseph made a big difference EVERYWHERE he was placed.  When a slave, he worked as if he was working for the Lord. God used this to make a difference in Potiphar who, “Realized that the Lord was with Joseph.”  In the prison “the Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” God also made Himself real to the Pharaoh who “gave Joseph a new name Zaphenath-paneah” which means “God speaks and lives.”  All around Joseph’s shattered dreams, people witnessed the hope of God because Joseph honored and believed God.

You may not think you are the success story God wanted you to be.  Change your thinking and let God use you where you are. When He is ready to use you somewhere else, He will move you.  Don’t believe yourself to be a failure when God has placed you exactly where you are for His purpose.  Wherever you are, go after His purpose with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  Live as one who has the hope of Christ.

Do What Is Good

Every day you live, you can Make A Difference.  Each day holds new opportunities to do good.  Opportunities which are different for each of us and have specifically been designed for us.  In fact, you and I have appointments today with people whose names we do not yet know. And those appointments will call for us to “do good.” You’re skeptical, I can tell.  If you don’t believe me read this… Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planed for us long ago.”

We know our time on this earth is brief.  Scripture declares it and we see evidence everyday that life is short.  It would be such a waste to live that life only for ourselves, especially in the light of Eph 2:10. God has made us His masterpiece.  He specifically designed us to do the “good things” and he planned these “good things” long ago specifically for us.  WOW!
Another verse – This one’s a favorite. Galatians 6:9-10 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.” YES! do good to everyone, ESPECIALLY other believers and DON’T EVER STOP doing good.
I believe that all of us want to do good.  But, in a world turned upside down, where evil is declared good and good is deemed offensive, it’s difficult to know where to begin.   Do you lack ideas in your personal campaign to do good?  Here are some starters.
Tithe to your church and then give above that.  Find a place to serve within your church and then find a 2nd place to serve.  Go to Bible Study and Worship faithfully, then stay a little longer to encourage others. Too easy?  Scripture does say “especially to those in the family of faith.”  We can’t just ignore that because it seems obvious.  We are biblical to start with these three things and springboard from them.
Now for the “don’t ever stop” part of the Galatians instruction – But lunch for a friend.  Serve the meal at a homeless shelter.  Invite friends over to dinner.  Send someone an encouraging message on facebook.  Send an elderly widow a bouquet of flowers.  Rake your neighbors yard when he is out of town.  Have a Daddy/Daughter date or a Mother/Son date.  Tell someone that Jesus loves them.  Hold the door for a stranger.  Sponsor a child.  Help an elderly shopper with his/her cart.  help a friend with a repair. Tell someone they are doing a great job.  Tell others that you love them.  Make A Difference.

Give Forgiveness (What’cha doin’ with that rock?)

Of all the things the modern church needs to stop procrastinating with, it’s forgiveness!  Christ DIED for FORGIVENESS!  Some friends brought a paralytic to Jesus and what was the first thing he said? “Take heart my son, your sins are forgiven.”  We live forgiven lives, because of Jesus death – His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sin.  Do we hold his death in contempt when we withhold forgiveness from others?
Sunday we dealt with this issue of forgiveness.  Not one of us can escape.  We all need to forgive. We MUST! No evil could be done to us that cannot be forgiven.  Yet, because we’ve been hurt, we will hold on to a grudge or a conflict because it helps us justify our pain.  There are couple tricks our enemy likes to use to encourage us down a path of unforgiveness.
  1. We can hold it over their head. – Somehow we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that withholding forgiveness gives us power over the person who hurt us.  That is a Lie!  An unforgiving heart is not empowered, It’s imprisoned!
  2. Withholding forgiveness legitimizes my hurt. – No.  It doesn’t.  It only lengthens your hurt.
  3. They should suffer for what they did to me. – Ummm, I don’t know how to tell you this, but… They probably haven’t given it another thought.  How much time have you wasted meditating on their crime and your pain?
As we entered the service yesterday each of us was given a rock.  We were to hold that rock throughout the service.  Awkward doesn’t begin to describe it.  Hindered, restricted, annoyed also fit the bill.  I had to put it in my pocket and it rubbed my leg as I tried to worship.  I attempted to focus on God, but my mind kept returning to the rock rubbing a raw spot against my leg.  When I sat down I took it out and held it in my hand.  My leg was relieved by now I only had one hand free to follow along in my YouVersion bible app.  I was afraid I would scratch my iPad with the rock.  I couldn’t hold my wife’s hand, which we sometimes do while sitting together in church.  The rock came between us.

Finally, when I got up to sing the song of response, I let it go, laid the rock down at the alter.  I’d held it long enough that I could describe it in detail.  I could go back later and among all the rocks, I could tell you which one was mine.  The thought came to me after the final song to go back and pick it up.  THAT would have been a mistake.  I would not have wanted to answer the question later.

“What’cha doin’ with that rock?”

I would have answered honestly. “It is a reminder to me of the bad things people have done to me.  And how I need to forgiven them.”

“Well, if you’ve forgiven them, then why do you want to be reminded about what they’ve done?”

…good question

Father, help me to forgive as you did.  The same death you died on the cross for me is given to the ones who have hurt me.  I have no room to stand and judge anyone.  Thank you for forgiving meI celebrate your forgiveness and pass it on to those whom I need to forgive.

Where do you stand on the subject of forgiveness? Have you been restored after a broken relationship?  

Is there anyone from whom you are still withholding forgiveness?  Please leave a comment below.

A Reason To Remember – 9/11

When they awoke that morning, the victims of the 9/11 attack had no idea that their life would end that day. Everything probably seemed routine as they started their day by going to work or the airport.  Travelers expected to arrive safely to their destination.  Employees anticipated the supper they would later share with their loved ones.  As we all discovered later, those assumed plans would never come to pass for the 2,977 victims of the terror.

Sunday will be the 10th anniversary of that horrible day; a helpless day, as all of us who watched the news casts, stood there, sat there with the realization that there was nothing we could do but pray and mourn. We were helpless, we were anxious, afraid.  We spent the following weeks and months cautious, watching the world around us with a closer eye.  The media warned us that there were other terrorists out to get us.  Anything could happen to any of us, anytime, anywhere.  Our leaders were doing everything in their power to stop the terrorists, but we had to be assertive, watchful, and report anything suspicious.

But for the 2,977 victims of 9/11, all we could do was remember.  And we still remember.  We remember the horror of people hanging out of open windows a hundred stories up, helpless to rescue themselves.  We remember the heroism of great men and women who charged up the stairs of those buildings to save anyone, everyone they could, full with the knowledge that they themselves would not make the return trip down those same stairs.

Is anyone ever really ready to die?  Ten years ago we took for granted that tomorrow would be their for us.  Then the towers fell.  Suddenly we realized again or for the first time that life is precious.  Our life was a gift.  We held our family closer, prayed to our creator more fervently, more humbly.  How much of that feeling has now faded away from us?  Do we demonstrate the same sense of urgency about telling our loved ones that we… love them?  Or have we returned to the illusion that tomorrow will be just like today, and the next day, and the next.

What if we discovered, today, that we only had 30 days to live?  What would we change?  Where and with whom would we choose to spend our time?  Would we give God more thanks, more praise, more service? Would we listen more closely for His voice?  Would we be quicker to follow His lead? Would our family and friends get more of our energy?  Would we have kinder words to say?  Would we keep hanging on to our grudges or would we seek forgiveness and give the gift of forgiveness more freely? Would we answer the cell phone when a loved one is calling or click off the ringer, thinking that we can call back later but we are too busy right now?

These are the questions we seek to ask and the questions we pray to answer right now at our church.


The Tongue (caution! hazardous when in use)

Beware of the backhanded complement.  Yes, I mean you… and me… and all of us.  This is a caution to anyone with a tongue.
Pastor Joe was right on Sunday! Boy, do I need to hear that sermon everyday!  Note to self; Speak Sweeter!  I’m not saying that I’m a foul mouth, though I could have said that about my old self would.  And I’m not saying that I’m prone to insult others either.  I’m sure I have been insulting, but it’s not a regular practice.  All things considered, I think I hold my tongue rather well.  But, on the contrary, I am only deceiving myself because James 3:8 say that “No man can tame the tongue.” It’s hard It’s impossible for all of us.
My mom always told me; “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!”  She was right!  And I’m ashamed of the times when I didn’t heed that wisdom.  I’ve become more skilled at holding my tongue.  You know; keeping it on a leash.  But keeping the tongue on a leash is not the same thing as “taming” the tongue.  I need to graduate from those wise words and use my tongue to encourage and build up others.
A tame animal does not need a leash to keep it from attacking others.  Leashes are for animals that can not be trusted to behave. (The tongue is one such animal!) If the leash breaks, then LOOK OUT!  And if no man can tame the tongue as James claims then it will take more than a man.  It will require the intervention of the God Man, Jesus.  Only Jesus can tame our tongues.  He is the only one who can be trusted with such a powerful weapon.
Let me explain what I mean when I say I hope to graduate from the “don’t say anything at all” set of guidelines.  I want to be good at the art of the compliment.  If my tongue is under Jesus control, then he will use it to build others up and to encourage them.  When I try to do this on my own, my natural gift of sarcasm tends to take over.
  • Me to self:  I want to compliment this person.  They’ve really been doing a great job!
  • Sarcastic self says to me: Great idea, I’ll take it from here
  • Me:  Thanks for wiping down those tables.  It make such a nice impression on people and shows that we care.
  • Sarcastic self:  You’re really good at that, ever consider a career as a bus boy?
WHY does this happen?  Because “no one can tame the tongue.”
2 Reasons we fail to give genuine encouragement.
  1. Sarcasm – We really want to say something nice, but our pride talks us out of it. Somehow we think that building others up will lower our worth in their eyes.  Our desire to “build others up” gets polluted by our “tear others down so we look smarter” strategy.  So Pride sends Sarcasm to the front line and allows us to safely give a compliment (sort of) and at the same time protect our “I’m better than you” falsely inflated ego that we can’t seem to live without.
  2. The Backhanded Compliment. Another detour from a real heartfelt compliment is the “backhanded compliment.” It’s a loophole in the “if you can’t say anything nice” strategy.  It goes something like this; If you must say something rude at least disguise it as a compliment.  Here are a few examples; “You really sound good when you just sing” “You look so pretty today, I almost didn’t recognize you.” “You clean up nice.” “You know, you’re pretty smart for a liberal arts major.”
whywhywhy(shakes head) – Okay, James we get it. NO ONE can tame the tongue.  We try and try, but we just come up with sarcastic, backhanded, what’s in it for me?, half-hearted efforts that fall far short of our goal, which is to offer real encouragement.
Lord, save us from our tongues.  Save others from our tongues!  Have mercy on us when we try and fail to tame our tongues.  May our words be Sweeter.  Give us Your words to speak, to build, and to encourage others.
Have you ever been the victim of a backhanded compliment?  Can you share it with us?  What is your favorite backhanded compliment?  Perhaps it would help if we laugh at ourselves and our stupid tongues.  Leave a comment below.  This could be interesting.

Live Like You Were Dying (a confession)

My church (FSBC Lawrence, KS) is beginning a new spiritual campaign. Building off the popular song by Tim McGraw, we’re asking ourselves “What would we do if we learned we had only 30 days to live?”
I have found myself inspired by this question. For 2 months I’ve prepared for the campaign and in my review of the studies, I recognized how often I take this life for granted. Days pass and weeks, where I put off the things that matter most, in the name of working harder. It seems valiant sometimes for ministers to sacrifice for the sake of their churches. Some churches have even come to expect it, having become accustomed to pastors who have given more than should be expected. But this blog isn’t about churches expectations on pastors. It’s about pastors unrealistic expectations on themselves. Or, to be more specific, this pastor of worship’s unrealistic expectations on himself.

I’ll say upfront that I’m much better than I used to be. There was a time when I felt guilty when taking a vacation. If I sat down to read a fiction novel I would get a pain in my gut because I wasn’t using my time to study. It was difficult for me to enjoy my time with my kids, though I loved them very much. During this time I poured myself into my job and wrongfully looked for approval from the church I served only to be disappointed over and over again.

I hid my disappointments from my wife and glued a fake smile on my face for my kids. This robbed Mel of the calling God had given her – supporting a husband in ministry. Being robbed of the opportunity to fulfill one of her callings was discouraging to her and made our marriage strain. My kids, I’m sure saw me more as worship pastor than as dad, and that is a mistake I can never undo.

My upside-down paradigm of leadership (work harder, longer – neglect family and self) also lead to professional frustration. I’m sure that most of my failings came not from lack of work, but rather from a lack of balance. It is not possible to be successful in ministry following a set of rules that are out of balance with God’s grace.

No one on their death bed ever says “I wish I would have made more money.” or “I wish I would have spent more hours at work and less with family.” On the contrary, more regret spending so little time with family or regret the selfishness of their lives. Ty Cobb, who achieved wealth and fame said this at the end of his life; “I wish I had more friends.” only 3 baseball players attended his funeral in 1961.

God has, more than once, brought it to my attention that, most of the time, I’m not the father, husband or Christ follower that I should be. Jesus died so that my life would be more than this. Why have I allowed status quo? Why have I bought into the “do more/try harder” nomenclature?

Father, help me stand secure in your grace. It is enough. My pride and insecurity lead me down a path of guilt. I feel guilty when I don’t produce the result I think I should, but you have simply called me to be faithful. I trust you for results that fit your plans. I will be faithful. I become defensive when I look to satisfy my insecurity with achievement or adulation from others. Help me to find all the security I need at the foot of your cross. It is enough. Help me to be humble enough to forgive others and courageous enough to seek forgiveness.

What does it mean to you do “Live Like You Were Dying?” In what ways do you want to see more of Jesus in the way you live? Please leave comments below.


Honesty; The Best Policy

Honesty is hard! So hard that I find many people avoiding it all together. I’m not saying they have been dishonest with me. I can’t be sure. I do know this, that honesty is a must for those who choose to follow Christ.
I can think of many cliches regarding honesty and many of them seem negative. “Can I be honest with you?” “To be honest, I…” “Let me be brutally honest,” Brutally Honest? Does honesty have to be brutal?
I guess honesty can be brutal to those who prefer the world of their own ideals to the truth that is staring them in the face. Take it from a recovering idealist; Truth is better than the seduction of a false reality. But I don’t think honesty needs to be “brutal.” It’s not something that needs to brings us fear.
Jesus declared himself to be “the TRUTH, the way and the life” and No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. In order to “come to the Father” we must face the truth of who Jesus says He is and who He says we are. It is impossible to come to God with out coming through Jesus, Who is truth.
Honesty is good. And I don’t simple mean being honest by telling the truth to others. It is imperative for us to be honest with ourselves. Our failings, our brokenness, our inadequacies take on a transformational value when we are honest about them. For instance, if we treat failure with denial, we are doomed to fail again. On the other hand, if we are honest about our failure, we will seek help and advice and turn that failure into an opportunity for growth. Same goes for our brokenness and inadequacy. Healing and Courage will come from truth and honesty. Faking it, will only lead to more pain and more fear.

My prayer for “Live Like You Were Dying” is that we as a the body at FSBC will be honest to God about who we are and where we can improve.

Father help me be honest with myself about the kind of husband, father, son, employee, leader, steward I have been. Help me be honest about how I have spoken to others so that I can Speak Sweeter. Spirit, lead me to a place where I can be honest about the feebleness of my attempts to “love” others and help me to love deeper with Jesus’ love. Where I have chosen to hold on to hurt and anger and bitterness, help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. I don’t want to wait until my life is nearly over to do the things I ought to. Lord, I realize I’m asking for a blessing I don’t deserve. Please grant me the blessing to live a transformed life.


Free – In Christ

Memorial day gives us a chance to remember. Did you remember yesterday? Did you thank a veteran? I spent a lot of time contemplating the cost of the freedoms I still get to enjoy. For men and women who took the stand for what they believed and for the many who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

I wondered what I would be willing to stand up for? I thought about how over the last couple decades we have seen certain freedoms taken away from us. I thought about how our founding fathers sought to set up a government of the people, for the people andbythe people and yet today, we see our government acting as if the people are here to support government rather than the other way around.

I considered how many freedoms I truly have because I am “In Christ.” He paid the ultimate price for my freedom and yours.

Romans 8:1-4
8Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,a2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.c And so he condemned sin in sinful man,d4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

So, we are no longer condemned because of what Christ has done. However, we are still persecuted. There are so many to whom the message of Christ and the Cross is foolishness.

1 Corinthians 1:18
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

What does this have to do with us? Though we seek to carry this message into a world that thinks us to be foolish, it’s Christ they’re rejecting and not us. So why should it matter to us?

How often do we temper our boldness because of the fear of rejection? How many times does our confidence wane when we face criticism?

See, that’s what I mean when I ask myself – What would I be willing to take a stand for? – What would I be willing to die for?

I am grateful for the veterans who have served and remember, with tears in my eyes, those who gave their lives for the freedom I currently enjoy. At the same time I’m reminded that this freedom is temporary. You can quote me on this – The United States of America will not last forever. In the historical scope of things we are a young nation. In our arrogance, however, we sometimes believe and act like this country will always be around and will always be free. Let’s not deceive ourselves. We know too well that some, or should we say, many of our freedoms are already gone.

In direct contrast, the freedom we have “in Christ” is eternal. In fact, it was established for the specific purpose of eternity. If the temporal freedoms of an earthly nation are worth standing up for, worth laying down ones life for then how much more is Christ and His cross worth standing up for? How much more is Christ worth laying down my life for?

Would you join me in these thoughts? I’m not seeking to devalue the sacrifice for country. I’m proud of our veterans! Could you die for Christ? Could you stand up for the church, for Christ and His cross in the face of persecution – in the face of death? I’d love to read your thoughts.


Up, Up and Away!

So many shows on television right now are built around the story of the main character/characters having some kind of super power. Chuck has downloaded a super spy database into his brain and can call upon special kung fu abilities he never learned, only downloaded. The Powell family gained their special powers from a plane crash, when a power giving serum was released into the air they breathed it in. Not long ago we were presented a show with the title Heroes.

Asa kid and even still, I love a good hero story. This summer we’ll see released at the box office, Thor, X-Men; First Class, Transformers; the Dark Side of the Moon, Green Lantern, Captain America, Kung Fu Panda 2, Cowboys and Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie titled On Stranger Tides, and of course Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.

So maybe I’m not the only one who loves a good story about a hero with extra special, supernatural abilities. But wouldn’t the worst story be one about a hero with super abilities that refused to use them. He/she was embarrassed and afraid people wouldn’t like them anymore or would talk bad about them. Perhaps they are proud and want to prove that they can do it all by themselves without their special powers. This is starting to sound familiar.

Don’t you and I live out this story everyday? When we try to do things on our own, when our heavenly Father is listening, waiting for us to call upon his name.

Romans 8:11 “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you! And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

There is power in the name of Jesus! There is healing in the name of Jesus! There is hope and life and deliverance in the name of Jesus! There is freedom, blessing, shelter, and peace in the name of Jesus!

Don’t forget it, don’t doubt it, don’t deny it, don’t suppress it.
Never be ashamed or embarrassed by His dwelling IN you.

Reject the notion that you have something to prove when you try and do it all by yourself. This is a foolish lie of our enemy, for he knows that where Jesus is at work (in YOU daily) that there Jesus will also be glorified. Our enemy is not interested in Jesus glory. When we do it all by ourselves, even when we succeed aren’t we glorifying ourselves? What’s the point of that?

Let’s glorify the One and only true Hero, the Savior, the Son of God, Christ Jesus, by letting Him live His life out through us. Let us embrace His indwelling Spirit that He might do all that He wills with our lives. Let’s put an end to this daydream of making ourselves the potter and get down to the business of being the clay.

(Is it just me or did that get too preachy?)

What do you think of this? Are you a hero fan too? Is Christ your ultimate Hero, worthy of the glory He earned by saving your life at the cross? Does He save you from something silly or serious everyday?