Friday, January 18, 2013

He Is At The Door

Think back to the time when you invited some friends over. When they arrived did you open the door, frown and then close it right in their face? No, you probably didn't! You most likely opened the door and warmly welcomed them in.

Revelation 3:20 states - "Here I am? I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me."

Jesus Christ is anxiously awaiting the moment when we lwt him enter into our hearts. Unlike some guests that arrive late, God will always be on time to let us join His kingdom.

In the future, I pray that I would distribute hospitality when guests arrive. I do not always greet neighbors with the greatest response, and that is something I would like to change.

Major Results

If you walk into a gym, lift a few weights and run a little bit, you cannot expect to walk out ripped. Whether you are trying to bulk up, tone, or build strength, it will take months of hard training and consistency.

Galations 6:9-10 states - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

Stay strong in the Lord, lean on Him, and put your total trust in Him. Life is hard, and the spiritual battles we face are much harder. But like someone who is trying to get results in the gym, we cannot give up either. We have to keep pushing regardless of if we are tired. If we are consistently serving the Lord we will reap results.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Training For Success - (a devotional I wrote that was published in Sports Spectrum)

Every professional athlete knows it. To reach his highest potential, he must train his body for success. Did Kobe Bryant, Albert Pujols, or Adrian Peterson get where they are by sitting on the couch eating potato chips? No, of course not! From an early age, these current superstars began training their bodies and minds for success.

Whether they were building up their stamina or toning their muscles, they knew that by training themselves they would dramatically improve their chances of being successful.

Are we taking the necessary steps of becoming successful Christians? Are we reading the Bible and praying? Are we spiritually toning our minds by attending Bible studies and memorizing verses?

A couple of weeks ago, an older friend gave me this analogy. Picture your relationship with God as a milking stool. Each leg on the stool plays a vital part. Take any leg out, the stool will fall. If we don't read the Bible, pray or attend church every week, our relationship with Christ will suffer.

Strive to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ. For in the end, all that will matter are the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

-- Joshua Magnuson

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Truth Is...

The truth is that young men of this age are no longer striving to serve God.  They have taken a turn on the straight and narrow path.  Eventually, they will have to lead a younger generation.  Will they be prepared and capable of completing this task? Thoughts For Young Men By J.C. Ryle is written to help young men see the whole picture about eternal things.
Are the ones in leadership now taking the time to encourage and direct the this growing generation?  A vast majority of our youth have not truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  It is imperative that we witness to this age group. So often they disregard the fact that they will stand before an Almighty Maker who will judge them for each and every decision they make.  Without their conversion through Jesus Christ, they will be the same lost generation in forty years as they are right now.
If you do not destroy common dangers, they will destroy you. “Pride is the oldest sin in the world.”  Many well-known people, such as Adam and Satan have fallen prey to this hazardous sin.  They were not willing to release their selfish desires, therefore God punished them for their disobedience.
To a young person, death is a lifetime away.  They live in the moment and only for the moment.  If you decide to give the party life a try, remember every action has a reaction.  These small, unfulfilling pleasures will last for only a short moment.  Ask any victim that has fallen to the love of pleasure, “Did it really satisfy you in the end?”
Countless times in a young man’s life he does not use the three pound brain that God gave him.  God will judge us for every thought, decision, word, and action that we think, decide, say, or do.  For the most part, we sin because we do not think.  Satan cleverly disguises sin and weaves it into our hearts because we are off guard.
When a person does think, sometimes he can overdue it.  Another problem with today’s youth is that they are constantly fearing man’s opinion.  What will people say if I read my Bible or pray in public?  Satan has implanted in the majority of youth the lie that if I act contrary to what God’s Word says, then maybe I will not be accepted.  God wants you to be yourself.  Just obey God’s Word and then you will not have to worry about what other people think.  In the end, it only matters what God thinks of you.
Make sure that you know that there is sin on this earth and that it is more than a small matter.  Sin has plastered a dark covering around this world from top to bottom.  Thankfully Jesus Christ died for all of the sins that we have committed.  It is vital that you begin or maintain a close relationship with our Holy Savior.  If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, I urge you to do so.  Do not grow old and weary, regretting the days you lived on this earth.
If you start serving God when you are young, you will find it much easier to serve God when you are older.  Use God’s Word to guide and instruct your life. Avoid the opportunity to sin and constantly pray asking God for help.
An important lesson that was noted in this book that I struggle with would be, fearing man’s opinion.  For example, it was my first official baseball practice/conditioning of the 2009 season.  I had not thrown all winter, so I knew that I was not supposed to throw hard.  Well, soon it was time to loosen our throwing arms.  I was afraid of what others might think of me including the coach. Instead of throwing softer like I was supposed too, I started throwing very hard (like the other players) so I would be accepted.  I learned that day and was reminded a few days afterwards (by a painful, sore arm) that it doesn’t matter what others think. God is only concerned with the fact that you are trying to please Him.
Throughout the ages God has seemed to notice people like Daniel, David, Samuel and Moses, who decided to serve God at a young age.  Proverbs 14:24 states - “The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.” The ungodly will most assuredly pass on like the seasons that come and go.  But those who have trusted Christ, followed His commandments and tried to live by His standards, will surely live forever.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hasty Decisions

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ" - Philippians 4:6-7. We shouldn't be hasty with our decisions. Rather we should wait upon the Lord and seek guidance from Him. We can do this by praying to Jesus Christ. If you present your request to God, He will arm you with a sound mind and an inner peace. Testifying in my own life, there have been times when I have been anxious about my Type 1 Diabetes. I have a hard time being thankful for it. My application for this verse is to pray that God will help me to accept what He has given me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Different Ideas, Different Beliefs

The voters have decided. The Democrats will rule the Senate, The Republicans will rule the House. This year the concern has not been focused on abortion and immigration. It has been directed toward economic concepts. Like always, many of the races were very tight, others not so much. Both parties coming into office knew that much would be placed upon their shoulders if elected, but some would take their job more seriously than others. Ron Wyden is one of the many senators who is now presiding in office. He ran in Oregon and vacuumed in fifty-seven percent of the population’s vote. He supports the health care bill.
California was much like Oregon, split on which senator to vote for. Leading the race for the majority of the time, Barbara Boxer claimed the victory. She does not support the armed forces that fight for this country.
On the other hand, Republicans were gaining decisive victories also.
Senator Dan Coats slayed his opponent Brad Ellsworth by over four-hundred thousand votes. Senator Coats opposes tax increases.
Another sturdy win came to Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley. He won by another four-hundred thousand votes. He supports a strong national defense.
Further up the border was the Empire State, the state of New York. Now reigning in office is Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who politically crushed his opponent Jay Townsend by 1,315,637 votes! Charles Schumer believes that the health care bill will save money in the long run.
Interestingly, South Dakota boasts the fact it was the only state to have a candidate win without even being contested. Republican John Thune was the Senator honored with this privilege. He does oppose the partisan health care reforms bill.
In Florida Republican Marc Rubio won his fight. He beat the next closest contender by nineteen percent. He claims he wants to delete the government’s debt.
Traveling toward the east you will run into the state of Arizona. Now governing this state is Republican John McCain. After losing in the 2008 presidential elections, he is back to providing justice to the borders he now rules.
Democrat Senator Michael Bennet from Colorado, came very close to losing the race entirely. He only beat his opponent Ken Buck by one percent. He voted against adjournment.
North Dakota is occupied by Senator John Hoeven. He brutally murdered his opponent, Tracy Potter. In fact, he won by seventy-six percent. He promotes the protection of communities.
Finally, Democrat Joe Manchin, now the senator of West Virginia, swept the competition under the rug. He beat his opponents by sixty thousand votes. He claims that in the future he will stand firm and confront government takeovers of businesses.
All of these senators that have been put into office by the people of the United States will obviously effect the country in one way or another. Will the decisions these men make influence Christ’s Kingdom? It is up to these leaders. If they decide they want to govern for their own personal gain, God will humble their self-centeredness. On the other hand, if they rule to glorify God, He will bless them. Once these leaders submit to God, they will be great witnesses to other non-believing countries and leaders.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Spiritual Leadership"

“A shepherd’s work cannot be done effectively without a shepherd’s heart.” Spiritual Leadership was written by J. Oswald Sanders. It is a twenty-two chapter, two-hundred forty-eight page book that will challenge you to answer the call to become a Christian leader.
Sanders exposes the reader to many accomplished leaders who served Christ throughout their life. David Livingston, Peter, Nehemiah, Paul, and Charles Spurgeon are just a few examples. Do you seek power, fame, or riches? For each of the topics Oswald introduces, he displays the difference between worldly desires and Christian ambitions. Along with this, he includes the world’s definition and a Christian description of leadership. This book is meant for ages junior high and older because it does deal with some serious issues. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends because it will encourage them to evaluate their leadership skills. J. Oswald Sanders addresses many different areas of leadership. Some of the highlights were: discipline, vision, wisdom, decisions, courage, humility, integrity, and sincerity.
Many of the topics did apply to my life, but one of the issues seemed to be targeted right at me. Many times I find myself trying to perfect things. Oswald Sanders noted that a perfectionist might not always be a good leader because he may set that standard too high for himself or for others around him. My commitment is to do my best to set reasonable goals in the future.