Thursday, November 29, 2007


Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”

I Samuel 7.12

Classic! One of my favorite verses in this early portion of I Samuel.

The Israelites had just witnessed the Lord win a miraculous victory over the Philistines; their formidable and constant enemy.

And so they set up a stone, a memorial to the Lord which served as reminder of the victory and a declaration of thanksgiving but it went a bit further yet.

The name given to the stone was Ebenezer which means, “stone of help” and in His declaration Samuel said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us”. “Today we mark this place, we set up a standard and we erect this memorial to the Lord making this declaration… 'thus far the Lord has helped us'”.

This is a very practical, simple and extremely powerful model to follow in our walk.

Pause, regardless of where you are in your life right now… put it in neutral. Take a look back over your life and survey your past for just a moment. Can you see the hand of the Lord working covering, providing, protecting? Is there any place where He let you down, dropped the ball or abandoned you? Any time when He didn’t come through? Any time things weren’t working together for good in your life?

You might be saying “yes, there is”. For you, let me lovingly recommend you take that to the Lord and ask Him to reveal His greater purpose, His sovereignty, His grace to you. I know He will open your eyes and heart. But that is another subject all together.

For the rest of us, though we might not have seen it or understood it at the time, we can now see that without fail, the Lord has brought victory into my life. THUS FAR HE HAS HELPED ME. No exceptions, no debate about it; it is absolutely true… God has never failed me.

If that is true for you, today might be a good day to set a marker, to place a standard and make that declaration as Samuel did.

Here is the deal.
I am reconfirming God’s faithfulness to me. Not how the Lord was faithful to someone else, not the teaching of the Word on faith, not exhortation from the pulpit on being a man or woman of faith; this is my testimony! It is not doctrinal, not hypothetical and not anecdotal, it is experiential… and it is my experience.

No one has to convince me or convict me and no one has to understand it really, its mine. It is my memorial of God’s faithfulness in my life. Thus far he has helped me.

Now this could certainly be expanded; a couple could do the same thing and say thus far he has helped us, a family could do likewise; a church leadership could do the same (and I am here to tell you we have done just this very thing) and declare, “Thus far the Lord has helped us."

So what does that looking backward do for me? It gives me confidence as I look ahead. It is very simple and very powerful. I thus far God has helped me, and I am the one who concluded that!

If can say that in my own heart… God has helped me every day up to this point. This gives me confidence to move forward with the expectation that His faithfulness will not fail me now.

Ebenezer, a very good idea; a memorial to God’s faithfulness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Twelve Step Program?

From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. I Samuel 7.2
The nation of Israel had lost its way, had fallen away and had turned away from the Lord their God. The ark was back in the country but it might as well have been on the other side of the world as far as the Jews were concerned. The Lord, however, was not about to give up on them.

God had called a young boy by the name of Samuel to be a judge and a prophet to His people Israel. It is at this point in the story that Samuel steps to the forefront.

In verse 3 Samuel calls the people to return to the Lord and in his instruction to them, in his encouragement of them, we see a “12 Step program” for seeing victory. Victory over the enemy, over that thing which constantly attacks you, a perpetual temptation or trial… victory!

If you have been around me very long you know that I have little regard for 12 step programs; the Lord doesn’t tell us there is some progression that we have to follow to make our way back to Him or to see victory in our life… it is ONE STEP.

But let me show you why I think Samuels 12 step program might be helpful; he begins in Vs 3 by saying:
“If you return to the LORD with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the shtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the LORD and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”
In verse 3 we have the first four steps, but did you see the first one; “If you return to the Lord…”. That is the one step! Samuels first step is the one step that must be made; in that step the victory is seen.

So why do we have 11 more?

What I see in this passage are very practical things we can do in our lives WHILE we are turning to the Lord, practical actions and activities that will begin to shape a new attitude; that will give us a new perspective helping us stay on the positive track.


Step #1 Turn to the Lord
This is repentance, changing direction

Step #2 Remove the foreign gods
Do I have things in my house, at the office, wherever, that trip me up?

Step #3 Direct your heart
It means apply, stand up, ground yourself in the Lord

Step #4 Serve him alone
You want to see sudden impact on your life… serve!

There are another six steps in verse six which reads:
They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.
Step #5 They gathered
Do not forsake the assembly of the saints

Step #6 and #7 They poured it out before the Lord
This is an act of worship and offering or giving, both are key

Step #8 They fasted
There is a mystical dynamic released in fasting that I can not explain

Step #9 We have sinned
Confession; agreeing with God concerning sin

Step #10 Samuel Judged
Start making good decisions

We find the final two steps in verses 8-9:
Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the LORD; and Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel and the LORD answered him.
Step #11 Do not cease to pray
Pray - and then pray some more

Step #12 Offered a whole burnt offering
This is the very idea behind Romans 12.1-2:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Sorry this is such a long entry but bear with me as we end here…

The result? (vs 10)
Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.
One step to Jesus… and then some practical things that can be done to encourage us to keep making that one step toward Him moment by moment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Joshua's Stone

The cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stood there where there was a large stone; and they split the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.

The large stone on which they set the ark of the LORD is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite.
I Samuel 6.14, 18b

The Ark of the Covenant which was lost in battle to the Philistines had been returned being carried on an unmanned cart pulled by a couple cows.

What a sight it was when it just showed up on day in the field of Joshua.

They took the wood from the cart and offered the cows as an offering right there on the spot… on that spot, on the large stone in the field of Joshua.

This was an agrarian society, they earned their living from and were sustained by the land through the providence of God. But here in the middle of Joshua’s field was a big rock.

Each fall and then again before planting they would have to plow around this “large stone” it was an obstacle, it was a hindrance to the work they were trying to accomplish. When the seed was sown, any that fell on the rock would be wasted and during harvest the large stone just reminded them that there would be no profit coming from there, it was useless; just a big waste of space in the middle of the field.

But then The Ark showed up and that waste place became a place of rejoicing, a place of worship; in fact, it became a memorial. From that day forward that stone, that spot that was previously “useless” became a reminder of the day the Lord showed up.

I bet you might have a “Joshua Stone” or two in your life as well; a waste place that has become a place of rejoicing. Maybe for you it is some old habit, some behavior where the Lord has brought victory. For others it might be a once fruitless relationship that the Lord entered and now there is a harvest of fellowship.

Perhaps we should look at this as a promise. I know the Lord wants to show up in the middle of your “dead zone” and bring life; He wants to make Himself available to us. He longs to take what was before an obstacle and transform it into an opportunity for worship.

Do you have a “Joshua stone” that you can identify? Invite the lord to visit you there; I know He will show up.

And when He does He will leave you with a memorial that will last a lifetime as a continual reminder or His redemptive grace and power.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Re-print from Chris Stadler

Amen, Scott. Here's a little personal testimony. I'd put in in my own blog, but I want it to get read, so here it is:

I've felt lead, lately, to start glorifying God in specific parts of my life. He's asked me to do some crazy stuff - and I'm blessed with a wife who's almost as crazy as I am (maybe the word is "naive;" still not sure).

In any case, I read in Jeremiah today that God wants our roots to grow deep. And that's cool, because I think God is doing something pretty darn amazing in us. We'll let you know when we figure out exactly what that is. Actually, you'll know it when you see it, because we'll be telling everyone who will listen about the excellent things He's doing in us.

But right now, it feels like He's planting roots - not a ton of external fruit yet. But if He's getting a big ol' root system laid down, it kind of makes you wonder why. Why do I need such a deep root system? Maybe it's because trees with strong roots can reach way higher.

Furthermore, He's doing it in such a way that I can't take credit. Oh yeah, and nobody else can, either. That's because we're not putting people in a position where they can take credit.

Lest you think we're anything special, here's the thing: we have doubts. Yesterday was a particularly discouraging day. It's been a tough weekend, and yesterday, I was doubting. That happens often. But God assures me that He's faithful, even in those times. And the next day is always better, as evidenced by my joy this morning.

Also, don't be stopped by thinking that you don't have the endurance. It's tempting to be a "realist," and say, "Sure, I'm excited today, but I know me, and I'll just fail in a month or so." But consider this: God wants to change you. And if you're holding back hope because of fear, then seek Him out on that subject. Tell Him straight up, "God, I doubt my faith. Help me." And don't be afraid to ask about the details. Don't be limited by Christianese; pray your heart.

Finally, if you're willing to take a risk, whether it's financial, career or whatever, but you're wondering if you're hearing from the Lord, consider this: we've all heard stories about people who trusted the Lord and didn't get what they expected. We've also heard about people who hear from the Lord only good things, like they have selective hearing. Personally, I just didn't want to be called "naive." But here's the thing: God's not going to let you fall into ruin when you're listening to Him. And by investing in learning to hear from Him, you're getting ready to do those mighty things Scott talked about in his blog post.I

I don't think you can do mighty things without listening to God, doing the scarry things He asks us to, and giving Him that room to work mightily on His behalf.

Just remember David. He put his life on the line right there and then in front of Goliath. But his trust was in God to deliver Goliath into his hand. A few minutes later, there was a big thud, as Goliath hit the ground. Not only that, but the story encourages millions of Christians, and gives us evidence that God wants to use us.I

If you're afraid to trust God, for whatever reason, don't worry. Simply start the dialogue with Him. You will be absolutely surprised at how easy He makes it for a willing heart.

- Chris Stadler

Monday, November 19, 2007

God Can Handle It

And the cows took the straight way in the direction of Beth-shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth-shemesh. I Samuel 6.12
The Ark of the Covenant had been captured by the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. While in the hands of the Philistines no Israelite attempted to rescue it, recover it, or even discover which city it was taken to.

Initially the ark was taken to Ashdod but the citizens there soon realized that they had stirred up a hornets nest and that this was no ordinary prize they had won in battle. In fact the people began to be plagued by tumors and death so the ark was sent to another major city, Gath. That might ring a bell, it is where Goliath was from. The plague followed so they sent it away again until they finally figured out that they were simply spreading the plague through their own country… something had to be done to rid the land of this ark once and for all.

The Philistines decided to send it back where it came from, which they accomplish by putting it on a cart and aiming it in the general direction of Beth-shemesh.

Sure enough, the ark had been returned safe and sound. The Lord had taken care of it Himself without the help of Israel. He didn't need their help.

The Lord doesn’t need our help either. He is well able to accomplish His objectives without any assistance at all. It’s a good thing to remember from time to time… God does not need me.

Having said that, had there been an Israelite who stepped forward even in the face of overwhelming odds, even at the risk of life and limb; and had gone after the ark… Oh my, what a story we would have had.

And we would have had that story! I am certain the Lord would have made it a part of His living record as He did so on many, many other occasiosn when there was seemingly even less at stake.

The Lord is looking for men and women who will take a stand, who will report for duty, who will step forward and be counted when there is work to do. How do I know?
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. II Chronicles 16.9
The Lord doesn’t need our help, but here is the amazing thing; He wants our help, He lets us help. He is looking for people with a heart to help, who want to be part of HIS-story, who are willing to risk a bit at times for the glory of God.

Oh, the work will get done, no question about that. The only question is do I want to be part of what the Lord is doing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bring in the Ark!

Now the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
I Samuel 5.1

The Israelites had taken the ark into battle as a good luck charm, and they lost not only the battle, but the ark as well.

This emblem of God’s power, where God dwelt between the Cherubim; the ark that had led them across the Jordan, that they had followed as they proceeded on their victory march through the promise land; it was now in the hands of the enemy.

Where are the men who would stand up on His behalf and fight for His honor? Where are the mighty men who would risk it all for God? There were none to be found in Israel. We will see later in the story that the Lord is well able to take care of Himself. But it still a question that confronts the saints today, “who will stand for the cause of Christ and His cross?”

They bring the ark into their temple where their gods are all assembled and leave it there.
When the Ashdodites arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and set him in his place again. (vs 3)

This might be a hint… if your god needs a hand, maybe one ought to look for another god… ha! And, if your god is on his face before another God, maybe you ought to pick the one standing… ya think!

Then vs four:
But when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.
And the Ashdodites said, (yeah, you are ahead of me) “Dagon-it”. Talk about needing a hand… a he needed two, and a head. Their god had become a stump.

Please read the following with care. It is so critical to the issues of life that we deal with.

They had an idol in their temple, a god that was ½ fish and ½ man, it was unnatural, an aberration, an amalgamation of a warped mind.

And there it stood until the God of Gods was brought into its presence. When the Glory of God entered that temple Dagon bit the dust.

Now apply this to our own lives.
We are the temple of the living God. And on occasion we deal with idols of one kind or another, we have issues that need to be dealt with. Sometimes lots of them. The Psychologist and the analyst will tell you that you need get a handle on your issues and to face your feelings. Begin to work on ways to remove those things from your life.

This story gives us a much more direct approach. You want to see the Dagon’s in your life deal with; bring in the presence fo the Lord. What you will see, what I will find is that the Dagon’s will fall in light of His presence, his glory, His power.

I can exhaust myself trying to “deal” with my issues or I can simply bring in the ark.

Dagon-it that’s simple! And it’s true!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good Luck Charm

When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.” I Samuel 4.3

A treacherous time for the nation of Israel is seen in this story. Allow me to give you the punch line to these events then we will take a quick look at some of the fallout.

The Israelites, including their priests Hophni and Phinehas who are right in the middle of this (vs 4), are so totally disconnected from the God who loves them and have fallen so far from the Lord; that after losing the first skirmish with the Philistines, use the Ark of the Covenant as a good luck charm. “That it might come among us and deliver us”. In fact, it seems even the writer of this bit of history is a little incredulous as he amplifies by saying, “the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts who sits above the cherubim” (you know… that one, I’m not kidding!)

When it comes into camp the people of Israel “shouted with a great shout”. At first glance it sounds pretty spiritual, but what they should have done is fallen on their faces in fear.

The Philistines on the other hand; upon hearing the great shouting of the Israelites say, “Woe to us”. “Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods?” It should have been the Israelites who had that reaction.

What happens next? Let’s make a list:
· The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and
· Every man fled to his tent; and
· The slaughter was very great, And
· The ark of God was taken; and
· The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died. (vs 10-11)

The news reaches Eli...
· Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and
· The ark of God has been taken.
· When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died (vs. 17-18)

The Ark was lost; it was an unmitigated disaster of the nation of Israel.

God’s power is not at our beckon call. He is not available for us to use at our whim. The Holy Spirit is not someone, or something that we wield; far from it. We are the ones who are to be available to be wielded by the Holy Spirit, the ones totally yielded to the Holy Spirit.

It is healthy I think, to remind ourselves of just how awesome God is. To realize again that He is not to be called upon at our convenience. That he doesn’t “snap to” when we decide we finally want Him involved in our lives.

The question is not will God be a part of what I am doing but rather am I a part of what He is doing.

And may we guard against treating God like a good luck charm, like a genie; like a fire exit… “Use only in case of emergency.”

Israel had no regard for God, there was no relationship there, there was no devotion, no reverence and no worship. Then they thought, “Oh yeah. The ark is spiritual; let’s get God involved, that’ll do the trick.” It didn’t.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It is the Lord

So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him."

I Samuel 3.18

Samuel had his first assignment from the Lord and it was a doozey! Samuel was to deliver a message to Eli, his mentor and father figure. The word from the Lord for Eli was,” Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” (vs 14 )

You can read the rest… it was a tough message, a message of coming discipline from the Lord for Eli’s refusal to take keep his boys in line.

What a tough job Samuel was given. I mean he just learned to hear the voice of the Lord and once his ears were tuned, this was the first word God passed to him.

What catches my attention is the response of Eli to this very heavy message. After getting the full download from Samuel Eli says, “it is the Lord.”

I don’t know if you have ever had to deliver a hard word to someone, occasionally the Lord gives me that assignment. It is not one I relish to say the least. So it is with great interest that I have considered Samuel’s manner to glean some help so that even if I have a word of correction or exhortation to deliver it is received as, “it is the Lord.”

Let’s look together at some of the key lessons to learn from Samuel:

Eli was asked – It never pays to get ahead of God. And in these situations all the more so. Wait for the Lord to make the opening, to bring the conversation around or at the very least, give you the green light to proceed. That waiting time is essential as the Lord prepares the heart on the receiving side to accept the message. Let the Lord go first.

This wasn’t the first time Eli had heard about this. (Read chapter 2). I can be confident that the Lord has sent the message ahead of time. If my message is truly “from the Lord”, the news I am sharing is not new information, it will only confirm what the Holy Spirit has already been whispering.

Which brings me to another point… Samuel’s message actually WAS from the Lord. I had better make sure mine is as well. No personal agenda or axe to grind; no personal investment in the outcome, no manipulation. Any of that becomes obvious and is of the flesh. So if I want a word received as from the Lord, it must actually be “from the Lord”.

You see humility in Samuel in vs 15-16 of the story. Hey, he had a word from God for the boss… time to take him down a notch, time to see him squirm – there was none of that at all. When Eli calls him in vs. 16 he says, “Here am I” just as he had said before. There was no air about him, not haughtiness, just the same servant heart he had always possessed. Humility is key. To remind ourselves that, "there but for the grace of God, go I" is always helpful.

The message was not editorialized it was, “just the facts” as officer Friday would say. No editorializing, no extra input, no personal anecdotes, Just the Word of God. Oh man, how important is that. They don’t need our wisdom; they need to hear from God.

Colossians 4.6 says
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

Paul encourages us in the "how" of what we say; the "what" we we are to say is to be the Word of God.

There are times when we have been asked to speak truth into someone’s life. It isn’t easy; it isn’t always comfortable. But my prayer for you,,, and would you pray for me, that in those times the message would be received as FROM THE LORD.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now? Pt II

...the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” Then he ran to Eli... I Samuel 3.4-5a

Well I have certainly done that; not recognizing the voice of the Lord.

Young Samuel had no experience with hearing the voice of God, in fact not many did in that day as verse one tells us, “And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.” Verse seven tells us, “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.”

There are many things to encourage us and challenge us in this story of God’s first words to a young boy who would become one of Israel’s greatest prophets. You see, God had plans for Samuel, big plans, and He would make sure his ears were tuned properly so he could pick up the messages God would be sending him.

The Lord is sending us messages as well! Have our ears been tuned to His frequency?

The Lord called Samuels’ name and he popped up from where he was lying in the temple near the ark of the Lord. Samuel runs to Eli thinking the old priest had called him. “No, wasn’t me, go lie down”.

Again the Lord calls and he runs to Eli, “wasn’t me”

A third time the Lord calls and he runs to Eli; this time Eli figures out what is going on and tells Samuel the next time you hear the voice say, “speak for your servant is listening

Well, that might be a clue to ear tuning… hearing and listening are two different things aren’t they. Oh, we might hear the Lord, but are we listening. The Word rendered ‘listening” means to "hear with attention". “The Lord doesn’t speak to me!” Really, or is it that I am not hearing with attention?

A double dipper

When the Lord does speak to Samuel again He says, “Samuel! Samuel!” It’s a double dipper! The other times He called his name only once but here He says it twice.

Here are a couple things to note –
Firstly, the Lord is patient to keep coming, to keep calling, to keep speaking as our ears are in the tuning process. He knows we are weak, sometimes a little dull of hearing, sometimes we are a little slow on the uptake (can you relate) and He is patient with us.

Secondly, if the Lord has something for us to hear, he will make sure we hear it. We don’t need to worry that the Lord will put a call into us and if we don’t pick up He moves on. He will keep coming until He delivers His message.

With one exception
And we already saw it. That is, if I am choosing not to listen, to live my life with my fingers in my ears going la-la-la we could find ourselves in the same place Israel was at at the beginning of this chapter… “And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent”. The Lord was not speaking to his people because they had walked so far away in their rebellion and idol worship. (Remember this is really the continuing story from the end of the book of Judges).

Frequently on the frequency
Samuel was learning to listen; his ears were being tuned to the frequency of God. May we continue to learn to listen as well. Become familiar with the voice of God; come to understand how He speaks to you, how He speaks to me. May we keep a tender heart, a hearing heart, a heart that is “hearing with attention”.

The Lord will keep trying… “can you hear me now?.” He will be faithful, “OK, let me try this way… can you hear me now?”

The LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard

Isaiah 30.30

Thursday, November 1, 2007

To and Before

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

I Samuel 3.1

This verse jumped out at me this morning because it reminds me of something I was told just last Thursday.

A brother who has been faithfully serving at the church, was finishing up his work that morning when I caught him and thanked him for his faithful work, told him how much “I appreciated it”.

His response was, “as much as I love you , I don’t do it for you… I do it for the Lord”. I was tickled to hear that. This is absolutely the right heart to have in serving, without a doubt.

Look again at the verse above Samuel was ministering TO the Lord BEFORE Eli. Eli might have been the one around at the time but the ministering was to the Lord.

I can not tell you how important that perspective is when giving of our time, energy or resources. It is so easy to find ourselves in a place where we think people should thank us more than they so, to think we deserve more credit than we receive, to think that I have earned or am owed something as a result of my serving, or I can just simply grow weary in well doing; all of which leads to getting “burned out” with ministry.

Nadab and Abihu we a couple guys who experienced burn out in ministry. Their story is found in Leviticus 10. The setting is the dedication of the tabernacle; a time of great celebration and praise and thanksgiving. As the convocation began these two priests grabbed their firepans and placed fire in them and began to burn incense on them to the Lord. But their offering was “strange fire” and fire came out from the presence of God and consumed them.

Talk about burned out in ministry…

The deal was that fire was to come from one place and one place alone… the altar. So the only place fire was to be taken from was the place of offering, of sacrifice. The altar in OT typology is a picture of the cross.

How does that relate to us today?

Our “fire” for ministry must come from the altar as well, from the cross, from Calvary. Our passion for service must come from a response to the great gift given to us there, from the great love demonstrated there, from the great sacrifice offered there.

The fire comes from the cross.

The cross is to be the single, ever available, source of strength, encouragement for ministry. Any other motive, no matter how noble sounding, is “strange fire” and will lead ultimately to one being “burned out”.

So when this brother said that he did not serve at the church because of me I thought, “here is a guy who gets it”… awesome!

So may we minister to the Lord before people for His glory with a passion and energy that come directly from the altar... the cross of Calvary.