Hide and Seek

toddler 1Most toddlers don’t play “hide and seek” very well.  The toddler can’t wait to be found and will often come out from where they are hiding, so you can find them, and when you see each other’s face, oh the joy, the smiles, and the laughter.  It’s a great feeling.

God doesn’t play “hide and seek” very well either.  He loves to be found, and will go to any length to find you, and when you see each other’s face…

 Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Temple

20180618_103427I was sitting in a church admiring the grandeur, the architecture.  Then, I opened my Bible to a random spot.

As he walked away from the Temple, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at that stonework! Those buildings!” Jesus said, “You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble.” (Mar 13:1-2 MSG)

Then I heard God whisper, “They try so hard to please me.  To follow rules.  To get every step of pomp and circumstance in order without missing a beat.  But I, the Lord God simply want to rule their heart.  I will put my rhythm in their steps.  I will take their chaos and create order.  Even the windows to their hearts are stained.  There are many doors, but where do they lead?  Do they lead to me?

Their prayers are simply memorized.  Just hit play!  Where is the freshness that drips from their lips?  Their place of worship is hard and cold.  I desire 20180618_103903they worship me from their soft, warm, living hearts.  They feel their good deeds achieve tally marks on a chalk board by my chair.  I would rather the receivers of those deeds feel me.  They step into a dark, small closet to confess their sins.  I say confess them loudly from your roof tops, so you are less likely to repeat them.

The water by the doors is not holy.  Only I, the Lord God Almighty is Holy.  Dip your fingers in me.  Sprinkle me upon your body.  And while you’re at it, take a shower in me.”

God can be in any building, in fact He can be anywhere like your home, office, or car, but only if you take him there, or invite him in.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Believing Builds Believing

“I just don’t believe there could be one, all-powerful being,” David said.

“So you would like proof, first, before you would choose to believe in God,” I replied.

“Yes!”

“God asks us to believe in him by faith,” I said.

“I need proof.”

“Okay.  Let’s say God will, because of how much he loves you, let you have proof first.  What would it take?  What would you need to see, or witness, in order to believe in God?” I asked.

As David sat in his office chair, he was visibly considering my question.  After ten minutes, he turned, looked at me, and said, “I don’t know.  I don’t know what would be enough.”

God_you thereA somber event took place in front of me.  The reality is this; for a man, using his own reasoning, which is limited, nothing could satisfy him.  No proof would be enough.  Everything God might do, or has done, to prove his own existence, some men would reason it away, and have.  It’s as if they try to make God conform to their rules of existence, and that’s just not going to happen.

Another reality is this; God does exist.  I have met him.  I have talked to him, and he has answered me.  I have seen his work, in creation, in the most intricate details of nature, and in the life of a man.  Only God, can take the vilest of men, and change him forever.  One example is Saul.  He saw Jesus.  Saul had a life changing encounter with Jesus, and he went from wanting to kill those who believed in God, to preaching to those that didn’t.

All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem. He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?” He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. (Act 9:1-5 MSG)

If you want to see God the Father, then study the life of Christ.  For Jesus himself said, “To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?” (Joh 14:9 MSG)

(Note: The person’s name, in this real story, was changed.)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Does God Go to Your Church?

Church 1You might be asking, “How would I know?”

Are people accepting God, and His message?  Are people getting healed?  Are there words of prophecy, or of knowledge being spoken?  Are people walking away touched by God and filled spiritually from hearing God’s word?  I once quit going to a church because I left hungrier for God then when I went in.

Or is your church more of a social club?  Maybe your church is popular and therefore has large numbers attending and people think, “Now that’s a good church, because so many people go there.”  But is it good?  Does God go there?  A good church should not be measured by the number of attendees.

If you leave church hungry, or wanting more, then perhaps it’s time to start looking for a church that God goes to.  Don’t just go to the same church, because that is what you have always done, unless of course you can say God goes there.  I know, it’s hard to change, but go to a church that you can get excited about, and you want everyone you know, or meet, to experience God in the ways you have.

As times get harder, and they will, the only ones to make it will be those who know God.  Go to a church where you can meet him and get to know him.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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Descending Order of Predominance

Can Label 1According to our government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food packages have to list the ingredients, but in a particular order.  Here is the rule:

INGREDIENT LISTS 1. The ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance.

Great!  So, what does that mean?  It means all of the ingredients, in that container of food, has to be listed in order of which ingredient’s total weight is the most to the least.  I would put it this way: the predominant ingredient is listed first.  I actually looked this information up.  (I know.  I need a life!)

If someone was to list the ingredients in your life what would be the predominant one?  Greed?  Lust?  Power?  I hope not, but looking at how some people, whose lives are lived out in front of us these days, I know it is true their predominant ingredient would not be good.

I strive, to live my life in such a way, so the first ingredient would be God.  It’s hard!  My flesh’s sinful nature keeps trying to reduce the amount of God in my life.  Knowing this, I purpose my life, in a way, that focuses on God as much as possible.  I talk to him throughout my day, and read his word.  (I enjoy reading “The Message” by Eugene H. Peterson.  It’s a modern English Bible translation.)  I also spend time with others who believe as I do.

If this is your desire as well, then go for it.  Don’t get weary from trying your best.  God knows your heart’s desire, and remember this, his grace is sufficient, and new every morning.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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EVOL

LOVE 105Would you recognize LOVE if you saw it?  Are you sure?

Joh 3:20  Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.
Joh 3:19  “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.
Joh 3:18  Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
Joh 3:17  God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
Joh 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. (MSG)

If you could only see God’s LOVE for you.  His LOVE for you, cannot be measured, for there is no unit of measurement adequate.  His LOVE is so vast one cannot see from one side of it to the other.  His LOVE for you is so powerful.  His LOVE can conquer all!  His LOVE never fails.

Also, God uses His people, all around the world, to show you His LOVE for you the best they can.  Know God’s LOVE, for it is perfect.  Seek it out as if it’s the greatest treasure on earth…for it is!  Ask God to help you recognize it.  Start now, for tis the season.  For God’s LOVE, Jesus, came to you in Bethlehem.  Born in a manger.

Look for God’s LOVE as if your life depends on it, for it does.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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Stay With It to the End

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“Behold!  The coming of Jesus is so soon, it’s as if He is standing up now getting ready to go gather his church home!”  I was about 8 years old, when that word of prophesy sure got my attention.  I thought dang!  I had better tie my shoes!  I was ready then to stand before God and to give an account for how I had lived my life.  After serious soul searching and one more prayer asking God to forgive me of all of my sins I can say right now I am ready to stand before God.

In these last days, one has to be intentional about staying focused on the prize of eternal life.  Satan is working overtime, and with the help of the Russians putting out “fake” news to keep Americans stirred up (okay, kidding), but honestly, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a straight path toward heaven.

Mar 13:4-13  “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”  Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people.  When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end.  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.  “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth.  The Message has to be preached all across the world.  “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart–the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.  “It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents.  There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. “Stay with it–that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved. (MSG)

All one has to do is read the above verses, and then turn on the world news.  Am I predicting a date of Jesus’ return?  NO WAY!  If you read further down chapter 13 it goes on to say that only God knows the exact day and hour.  Therefore, I beseech you, okay a little too much King James, but I urge you strongly to keep your focus on God, hold Jesus’ hand, and listen to the Holy Spirit, and you will make it home.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Sight Unseen

052012_47JBWould you buy a house sight unseen?  Probably not.  On the other hand, have things or people always been as they appear?  Most likely no.  So why is seeing so important?  Why is one state, I traveled through today, called the “Show me state”?  We put so much infaces on seeing before believing, that when it comes to God we want the same thing.

I asked a coworker some years ago this question, “What would it take for you to believe God was real?”  He thought long and hard and finally could not give me an answer.  Possibly in his mind anything God would do for him, would still trigger doubt, and disbelief.  Knowing how He made us, I think that is why God asks us to accept Him by “faith”.  Faith, is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

It can be difficult, somethimes, to believe in God.  Especially when life is tough, but given the chance, and time God has proven Himself to me over and over.  He also promises to prepare a home for me in heaven.  I’ll accept that home, “sight unseen”!

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Looking Your Best for God

big-hatThere was an emphasis on wearing your “Sunday best” when I was growing up.  Every week at church most would be decked out in the nicest piece of wardrobe in their closet.  “You should look your best when going to church,” was often heard.  Believe it or not, in some churches, the hats worn on Easter are so large one cannot see the pastor when sitting behind such monstrosities.

Now there is certainly nothing wrong with looking nice when one attends a church service, but note that wearing your best is on the outside.  God probably appreciates the effort, but what is likely more important is someone coming into God’s house looking nice on the inside.  In other words, having a contrite heart, or a heart after God’s heart.  A heart that is concerned for others, and where they will spend eternity.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.”  Psa. 51:10 (AMP)

Knowing this, perhaps here at the beginning of a new year, it is time to clean out your “spiritual” closet.  Get rid of all of the things that make you look good only on the outside.  Let God examine your heart, and guide you in where changes need to be made.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved