From the Kitchen Table Day 24​

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 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 the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:1-10

What can a believer do to serve God? Serve others for God! The Bible calls it sowing when we serve because when we live out God’s goodwill personally it affects others publicly. God has chosen to do His will in and through us who believe. God has chosen to change the world today by working His goodwill in us and through us. In fact, we discover God’s will for our lives as we give ourselves to serve God’s will in others. People who don’t know God’s will for their lives probably aren’t showing and serving God’s will to others. When we begin to sow into the lives of others, God begins to show us His will for our lives. And this sowing of God’s goodwill isn’t about being nice but rather obedient to the Spirit. Learning to listen and live by the Spirit is the secret to living in and living out God’s goodwill for our lives. If we don’t live by the Spirit we will live for our flesh, taking care of me and mine. God wants us to know His goodwill for our lives and He’ll show it to us as we make know His goodwill to others.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Kitchen Table

Day 23

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.                         John 15:5-10

What can man do to honor God?  That’s part of the plan, honoring God with our love and our life.  But how do we honor the God who is all-powerful, all=knowing, all-loving and all-holy?  What can we do except surrender everything to Him?  What can we do except live in His love with thankful hearts?  We were deceived and damaged by the life and lies of hell and sin, our understanding was warped by what’s wrong and we could do nothing to really honor God except bow our knees and our hearts before the all-loving God and say, “I surrender”.  Our humility is His honor and God is honored or glorified when we let Him do His thing in us and through us.  Only God can do something big enough to bring honor to Him who is Lord of all things.  All we can really do seems like such a small thing but it’s really a very hard thing and that thing is to simply surrender to His love for us.  Surrender to His love.  That’s what honors the Lord who will then be honored when His thing is worked out in our lives.  That’s called bearing fruit.  Living in God’s love is God’s will for us and all we can really do is to surrender to His love and let it do His thing in us and through us.

The Kitchen Table Wednesday, August 28, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 22

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  his love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.  Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.  They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.  Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.  He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.  Psalm 107.1-9

Your life is on God’s mind and if you let Him, He will satisfy your hunger and thirst with good things.  The table of the Lord is on the other side of thanksgiving.  God will not force His will and gifts on us, but He will set a table and save a seat for us.  It’s impossible to know God’s will for our lives if we don’t know or believe that He loves us.  He loves us and He keeps us in His heart and mind to bless us.  Two critical exercises that we must fill our lives:  Thoughtfulness and Thankfulness.  If we want to live in the blessings of God, then we must be thoughtful of Him and thankful for Him.  The psalmist writes, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…”  Want to be thoughtful and thankful?  Keep talking about what God has and is doing for us.  He loves us and we are constantly on His mind and in His heart.  What a great way to live.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 21

​ O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  So, I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.  Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So, I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands                                                Psalm 63:4

Nothing satisfies like Jesus.  Nothing starts our day off on the right foot like personally declaring and dedicating ourselves to the love of God.  You see, we will live for what we look at.  We have a choice today to either set our eyes on here or on heaven.  Setting our eyes on heaven, we will see the power and glory of God.  Not everything here is evil and always bad, the problem is that the things this life has to offer cannot quench our thirst for life.  Believe me when I say that knowing and living in God’s love will be the greatest decision we can ever make.  How do we look at and live in God’s love?  Lift your eyes toward heaven and make a personal declaration and dedication to live in God’s love all along the way.  His love is better than life.

Monday, August 26, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 20

​ The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness  for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 Psalm 23

Life is tough without togetherness.  We can think that its pleasures, possessions and prosperity that makes life fun and fulfilling but it’s actually the presence of others that makes life fun and fulfilling.  Psalm 23 is about walking through this life with the best friend a person could possibly know, God.  Life is about love and until we discover God’s love for our lives, we will struggle finding fulfillment and fun in life.  Love values the lives and longings of others.  And that value is shared.  The psalmist writes about the value God has for him and how he, as an individual, values the presence and passion of the One who values him.  When I’m with Him I find what I really need, and it is refreshing.  And when I’m with Him, I find peace and security even in the midst of my enemies.  When I’m with Him, I just know that everything is going to be alright.   People trade this relationship for all kinds of other recreational activities but it’s this relationship that’s most rewarding.  I’m not alone, He is with me all the way.

Friday, August 23, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 19

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.                                                                                                Is 29:11-14

It’s our knowledge of love that leads us through life.  We have a tendency to look at the world around us and decide if we are loved but God calls us to look at His word and know that we are loved.  In this Scripture, the Israelites find themselves prisoners in a foreign land because that’s where their disbelief and disobedience took them.  Like we saw yesterday, live in love of you’ll live a lie and lies have a way of taking us into an ugly and unwanted truth.  God has plans for us, that means God is always thinking about us.  His plans for us are good, His word says so.  But God won’t force His plans on us.  He just won’t!  He waits to talk to us through prayer and lead us into His plans as we process things with Him.  Here’s the thing, it’s hard to talk to someone if we don’t think they care about us or love us.  Until you and I begin to believe and know that God loves us, this prayer and these promises will be difficult for us to believe in.  God loves us, He has told us and shown us over and over again.  It’s our knowledge of His love that will lead us into God’s thoughts for us.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 18

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.                    Eph 5:15-21

Live in love or you’ll live a lie.  God created this life to be lived in love and if we live that way, we will make the most of this life.  Ephesians chapter 5 begins with “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Living in love is where we will discover God’s will for our lives.  The other things people do, such as, getting drunk, acting sexually immoral, speaking crudely and just being foolish with their lives will keep anyone from knowing the life God has planned and purchased for us.  One of the most devasting things about living in sin is that it makes us selfish.  But there’s something about making room in our hearts for the Holy Spirit that miraculously changes everything about us to look and live like Jesus.  Receive the leadership of Holy Spirit in your life every day and let Him fill your heart, your mouth and your eyes with His love and you will possess life wherever you go.  This life is the one that really works.  Live in God’s love or you’ll live the devil’s lie.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 17

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.  Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.  Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.  Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:8-11 This life can be as big or small as you want it to be.  God made it that way.  God’s will for us is a big life where you and I live in the steadfast love of the Lord, trusting Him for the big life.  If you read all of Psalm 32, you’ll find that sin is what limits this life.  You see, a big life isn’t determined by where you go but what you do or how you live this life.  The words that come from God’s Scriptures and God’s Spirit will show us the way.  Sin saps us for health, energy and joy because sin is about self.  When we make this life about us, it becomes very small.  Self is very, very small when we compare it the solar system God has created to orbit around the sun or the Son.  God is calling us to a life of “love” and “joy” as we trust in Him.  He made us for this big life of love.  But we can’t get there until we acknowledge and confess our sin.  Be real with yourself.  Do you have Joy?  Do you know love?  Are you free to love and appreciate others?  Can you hear the voice of God?  Disbelief and disobedience will let the sorrows of sin detain and dominate our lives.  If we’re going to live this big life God has made for us, we’re going to have to listen to and live in what we hear God saying to us along the way.. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Day 16

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.                                         Colossians 1:9-14

This morning I want to remind you to never stop growing and knowing in your relationship with Jesus.  Jesus has rescued us from the rule and reign of darkness and has brought us into the rule and reign of Jesus, the light of the world where there is freedom and forgiveness.  This is God’s will for our lives.  But we must keep learning in order to keep living in this kingdom.  It’s not that God gives up on us but that we often give up on God because we quit pursuing Him.  The better we know Him the deeper His love, the higher His hope and the wiser His faith will be in us. The stronger our faith the bigger our hope and the greater our love.  God has chosen for us to love, live and laugh.  The closer we get and stay to Him the further He takes us in this life.  Jesus lived large so that we could too.  That’s a life that is worthy of the Lord.

From the Kitchen Table

Day 15

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.                                                                                                                      Colossians 1:3-8

God has a plan for our lives.  We get focused on the “what” but God’s will is first and foremost on the “how”.  If we can adjust to the “how”, I believe we can find the “what”.  Remember this, God is more interested in who we are than what we are or do.  Paul writes that we have heard of your faith in Christ, your love for others because of the hope you have in heaven.  There are three characteristics of a bona fide believer: faith, hope and love.  That’s the kind of life that will bear fruit and will lead us into the “what” of God’s will for our lives.   In fact, living from faith with hope in love will develop a world of opportunities for us.  And we need to remember who brought us into this undeserved, unreserved love of God (grace) because we discover this life when we encounter love that creates hope that inspires faith.  That’s a witness that will change the world and isn’t that the will of God for our lives anyway.