Friday, July 23, 2021

Kitchen Table Devotional:  The Game of Life    Day 25

“The View of the End”

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 21:34-36

Don’t lose your view of the end, too many people do.  It’s easy to live for today with no view of tomorrow.  Jesus ended this teaching with our standing before the Son of Man.  We will all be there eventually.  So many people don’t think about tomorrow until they’re looking at yesterday.  There comes a day when we all must face tomorrow and it’s best to think about it today.  The Bible says that it is appointed unto man to die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).  When we stand before the Son of Man, we will receive the rewards of the choices we made today.  God loves us and wants to give us everlasting life (John 3:16).  Those who lose their view of the end will end up with a view of the lost.  Don’t let the dissipations (excess) and drunkenness and distractions (cares and worries of this life) deteriorate your view of the end.

If you don’t have a view of the end, get one!  If we live today with tomorrow in view, and we won’t have to regret yesterday.  Jesus came so that we might have a full life, don’t let the dissipations, drunkenness, and distractions keep you from living this life.  Someday each of us will stand before the Son of Man and tell Him our story.  Make it a good one.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Kitchen Table Devotions:  The Game of Life     Day 23

“View of the End”

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Luke 21:25-33

If we want a vision for today, we need a view of tomorrow.  Jesus said that there was a day coming when He would return.  And there will be signs in the earth and on the people and from the heavens.  There will come a day when the Creator, the Owner, the Son of God will return.  Live for that day.  Live believing that day is coming.  Jesus said, “raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  When we get a view of tomorrow, we can have a vision for today.  Hopefully!  We have to believe God to know what God is going to do.  If we know where to look, we can see what is coming.  We go where our eyes take us.  The only place to look is in the word of God which will never pass away and always prove itself true.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Kitchen Table:  The Game of Life  Day 22

“View of the End”

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.                Luke 21:10-19

“Settle it therefore in your minds (hearts)…”  Get a view of the end, or where you’re going, and your words will follow.  When we don’t have an end in view, any words will work.  To reach our view of the end, we must speak the words that will get us there.  When the end is in view, the voice can and will speak the words to get us there.  God says, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.”  God spoke creation into existence, and we exist in creation by what we speak.  Our words determine our walk, but our will (view of the end) determines our words.  There will be conflict and chaos but keep speaking the words of God for the will of God in your life.  “Your endurance will gain your lives.” 

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Kitchen Table Devotions:  The Game of Life  Day 21

“View”

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Luke 21:1-4

How will this all end?  So often that is what we lose sight of on this journey of life.  We fail to see, or we lose sight of the end so easily.  Jesus recognized this dilemma watching people give their offerings.  Some gave out of their abundance, but the poor widow gave all in her poverty.  She had a view of the end.  She knew where she was headed and who she was to meet.  Others gave out of their abundance, their ability to give without affecting their ability to live out that day.  People with an end in view live their lives for greater reasons and make greater sacrifices to reach that end. 

The disciples missed the moment, seemingly caught up in the great beauty of the moment and the monument.  Jesus knew the power of perspective.  There was and is an end coming and there will be a day when we receive what we have reached for in this life.  If we don’t have a God view of the end, any road will do, and every destination will end in disappointment.  Get a view of your end and keep it at the beginning of your every day. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Kitchen Table Devotions

The Game of Life Day 20

“Vocation”

And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.      Luke 5:10-11

It’s amazing what experience will do for our education.  We can have all sorts of thoughts and theories on life and living but experience is where truth is deeply discovered.  Jesus wants us to know Him, not just know about Him but knowing Him will mean going with Him onto the deep water.

Peter, James, and John were so amazed by their experience with Jesus that once they got their boats to the shore, they left EVERYTHING and followed Him.  What’s missing in so many people’s education is experience.  What’s missing in so much discipleship with doing life with Jesus.  If we want to experience the power and promises of God’s presence, we must “go” to Him, with Him, and for Him.  It’s as we walk with Him that we come to know and share His passion, purpose, perspective, and power.  Peter, James, and John came off that water with a testimony and a new tomorrow because they had gone out on the deep water with Jesus and trusted Him.

We have mundane churches because we have mundane Christians.  Mundane Christians are those who never got off the shore, they never walked the aisle to the alter, they never go on that missions trip or to that prayer meeting or with the pastor.  Anyone can stay on the shore and even hear and believe in good things but those that change the world go with Jesus. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Kitchen Table Devotions

The Game of Life  Day 19

“Vocation”

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 Luke 5:4-7

We will never really know what we can do or could do until we do, do, what we can do.  Until we invest what we can we will never identify what we could.  Jesus said to Peter, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  There’s something about the deep that teaches us what is important and there’s something about doing what we can that teaches us what is imaginable.  If we want to get something out of life, we must put something into life.  Peter invested in the words of Jesus by just obeying those words.  In doing so with his life, he found out what was possible in his life.  He found a purpose and power for life, and it wasn’t fishing for fish but fishing for man.  If he had argued with Jesus and resisted Him, He never would have known who Jesus is and what Jesus can do.  We will never know what we could do until we invest ourselves into what God says we can do.

This discovery doesn’t require finding and doing something risky, it involves risking what Jesus says to do.  The old hymn said, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”  If we want to discover what we could do, we must invest what we can do by just obeying what Jesus says to do.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Kitchen Table Devotions

The Game of Life  Day 18

“Vocation”

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”                    Luke 5:4

We don’t really know what we’re made of until we “put out into the deep” and find out what we really believe.  Anyone can say all sorts of things from the shore.  As long as our feet can feel the land, we don’t really have to believe what we say we believe.  This experience on the deep waters helps us to deal with our false beliefs and shape our true beliefs.  Anyone can have an opinion about fishing from a boat or even with a bobber but only those who “go” fishing know what it’s all about and what it takes to fish.

Finding our vocation in life that satisfies us in life will require “putting out into the deep”.  Our values shape our vocation.  Values do that and for Peter, he found out what valuing the word of God can do to fuel and fulfill our lives.  Who we believe determines what we believe and what we believe determines how we behave.  We discover what we truly believe on the deep waters of life.  It’s not about being foolish, it’s about having faith in the One who is true.  When we know the truth, we can face the test or the things that test our fortitude.  Our future is not determined by what others say but by what Jesus says.  That day on the water in front of everyone after a night of failure, Peter trusted Jesus to go back onto the deep waters and fish again.  It was on that day, the third time he had been with Jesus, that Peter found his calling in life and for life.  It was the day he found the One he could trust and obey.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Kitchen Table Devotions

The Game of Life Day 17

“Vocation”

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.   Luke 5:1-3

I’m always amazed at how Jesus doesn’t give up on His plans and promises for us.  This is the third time Jesus has encountered Peter, James, and John.  The boys were there on the shore washing their nets.  They had worked all night and had nothing to show for it.  They were preparing for the next outing.  At this moment Jesus is ready to fish and they are washing their nets.  There is nothing wrong with preparing but don’t let preparing be all you do.  The church is notorious for preparing but seldom fishing.

Look and listen for Jesus.  He doesn’t give up on us.  He has something He wants to do for us and through us and it will be both amazing and fulfilling.  If we’re looking and listening for Him, He will get into our boat and show us His powerful passion and purpose.  Two things must happen  1. We must be willing to put our boat back in the water.  2. We must be willing to let Jesus get into our boat with us.

If we are willing to surrender our time and treasures to Him, He will prepare us and take us to walk and work with Him.  Keep looking and listening for Jesus.  He makes life fulfilling.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Kitchen Table Devotions

The Game of Life  Day 16

“Vocation”

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets         Luke 5:1-2

A lot of people spend their time and days wondering what they should do or should have done with their lives.  Some even spend years wondering what God wants them to do with their lives.  They spend their lives looking for that “one” thing rather than looking for the One who can prepare them for many things.  The Bible tells us to “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  (Psalm 37:4)  Think about that, the God of the universe wants you to be happy in life, with life, and for life.

I think there are a lot of mundane Christians and mundane churches because there are a lot of mundane choices in life.  This story in Luke is so good because it says that people were pressing in on him (Jesus) in order to hear the word of God.  The word of God will prepare us to find and live a life of purpose, passion, and power.  When a person has those things working for him, he can do a lot of other things.  Knowing what to do in life begins with knowing who to listen to in life.  Learn to delight yourself in the Lord, His word and His will and God will prepare you for the work of a lifetime, I don’t care what do.  God’s word and will are beautiful, giving us a greater hope and heart for life.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Kitchen Table Devotional   

The Game of Life  Day 15

But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”                                                                                                                                  Luke 6:49

This is a big game with big consequences.  We can blame others for our troubles but we’re the ones who must live in those troubles.  Some of these decisions we make in life can last far beyond the life we live.  The prophet Jeremiah reminded the people of God of this truth over and over.  (Jeremiah 16:11-13)  We only have on shot at living this life, chose to live it well.  There is judgment woven into life.  We reap what we sow!  Judgment might be built into this life, but judgment doesn’t have to build this life. 

The one who hears the word of God but doesn’t honor the word of God is in trouble.  Jesus called this man a foolish builder.  Jesus said that these people build their homes on sand and a home can stand on sand for a while until the tides and storms of life move the sand.  There are tides and storms in life.  Build well by choosing well.

This is a big life with big consequences, choose well, chose what is good and right and true.  Paul writes, “Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:8-11 )  Believing is choosing!  What or who are you choosing to believe?