Friday, April 28 2023
When I was in college, one summer I visited my friend that was attending summer classes at Baylor. He was living in a temporary dorm room for this brief summer session. Back then, the bathrooms were down the hall. So, in the morning and at night if you showered, you had to carry all your stuff to the showers, toiletries, towels etc. The dorm was full of junior high summer campers from all over Texas for a middle school aged retreat. So, needless to say I had to “time” my evening shower appointment strategically. The second night there, when I turned out my light and laid in bed, I suddenly sat up reaching for my other hand and realized I was missing my ring! My National Championship ring I had just received for football that spring for the season before. You see I had this bad habit of taking my rings off and putting them on the sink when I washed my hands. So in the dark, I immediately ran down the hallway to the bathrooms to seek my lost ring. Gone. It was so late there was no one to call. I was embarrassed. In a panic I told my friend and we searched every stall, every shower. Gone. I reported it missing the next day. We checked lost and found several times the next few days until eventually the realization came that I had to go home. I got in my car to go home. Ringless.
Our scriptures for today are about lost things too:
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.
*Interesting that tax collectors would gather around to hear Jesus!
In Roman times the tax collectors were loathed.
Reviled. They were like “varsity” sinners. Compared to the “regular” or JV sinners!
2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
The Pharisees were as well in the same room! They considered tax collectors as “those people”.
Think about this, tax collectors and Pharisees both legalistic on opposite ends both in their roles doing their jobs without compassion!
What a great opportunity Jesus had before him! Before this time Jesus had gone to them but because of His ministry they have “gathered” themselves to hear Him.
Then the greatest story teller ever took full advantage of this opportunity.
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
The Tax collectors understood this from a business standpoint, they understood that it was important to “protect” the investment
The Pharisees struggled with this idea because they did not see God as this caring God but a more authoritarian God with rules. More like a King vs. a savior. They cannot comprehend this idea of “inviting” others in!
5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home.
My favorite verse!
And it gets even better!
Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
Think about the most precious possession you have lost. Maybe you thought it was lost forever!
Even finally reach the point of realization that its gone and most likely never to be found.
And then you found it!!
You want to tell everyone!!
A party! You are relieved. You are grateful. You are happy. You want to celebrate. And it’s just a thing!
With God, we are more than a thing. We are His precious children. He yearns for us.
When we go to the depths of despair and it seems hopeless he cries with us.
When we experience a miracle of new life, He rejoices with us. We are not just a thing. We have been adopted into His Family.
7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the houseand search carefully until she finds it? 9 Andwhen she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
God wants an active relationship with you.
How valuable we are to God! He cares about each and every person on this earth.
When we are lost, He pursues us.
When we wander, He pursues us.
When we run, He pursues us.
And He and all the angels rejoice when even one person comes to Christ.
I am daily the wandering sheep.
I am like the lost coin that falls on the floor and rolls under the bed into darkness.
I am like the one in the story later in Luke of the Prodigal son, that goes away from his father.
But like the shepherd with the one lost sheep, and the woman with the one lost coin or a father with the one lost son, God never gives up His seeking for us.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
DADs, Ultimately God is going to meet you where you are.
God’s grace covers all. We fight not for the victory, but from the victory.
Thanks, be to God, who runs to us with open arms, and is always ready to greet us with His kiss and pick us up over His shoulder and carry us home.
DADs, it’s SIMPLE, just surrender to Christ that is constantly SEEKING you, allowing you to be the DAD God has called you to be!!
Friday, April 21 2023
The History of DAD (Fathers) Day started in 1910 by Senora Dodd who had lost her mom when she was very young but had a great father, raising her and all her siblings! Dodd thought her DAD along with many other DADs needed a day to recognize all DADs everywhere that were more than just present but the DAD. Thus Father’s (DAD) Day got its origin!
Remember, being a real DAD means:
DADs, when I was kid my favorite toys were:
When my parents were together I thought the greatest gift was the next toy.
When they got divorced I discovered that the greatest gift was time because I was with my Dad only every other week.
However, Sunday nights having to leave my Dad was the worst. I would run to my room and turn on all the lights and radio to try to distract me from the sadness.
I called my Dad every day. I worried about my Dad. I think I was sad, because I felt my dad’s sadness. Even now, on Sunday nights I feel sometimes anxious. Not because of the new work week ahead, but because I still remember how hard it was to say goodbye to my Dad.
When you are a kid, two weeks is a long time.
The Gospel of Matthew teaches us; “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also...” (Matthew 6:21)
DADs, Where is your treasure?
God wants you to “treasure” above all a relationship with Him. I wonder if God feels the same sadness on Sunday nights or the many other times when we don’t take Him with us.
How is it that we sometimes allow what should matter the least to substitute for what matters most?
How do we allow our stuff, our busyness, and our things, our broken relationships to harden our hearts, our heart condition and affect our relationship with Him?
Paul teaches us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world-but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Questions to ponder:
DADs, reflect upon your heart condition?
How is it with your soul?
Where are your Treasures?
Who or what needs MORE of your Precious Time?
Thank you for being the DAD that God has called you to be!!
Friday, April 14 2023
DADs, as you know once every year the nation gathers around the TV to watch the Super Bowl. Even if you are just a casual sports observer, if nothing else, you will watch to see the commercials!
At the conclusion of the game there is always the announcement of the MVP of the game. The Most Valuable Player. MVP.
Every team needs a MVP to win. DADs, we too, in order to win, need to surround ourselves with MVP’s.
People that Motivates our Character.
Those who values our souls and praise our journey!
Those are the types of MVP’s which equip us for victory in Jesus Christ.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up
DADs, you are not an island, even Jesus Christ had his huddle!
DADs, do not stand on the sidelines of life…get off the bench…“get in the game”…Today is game day…and so is every day…God gives you!
So…C’mon Men…Suit Up!
Friday, April 07 2023
Make sure the fast track is the RIGHT TRACK!
In 2010 I traveled overseas to Athens Greece. In the airport I noticed that one of the airlines at one of its gates had a sign that said “all fast track customers enter here”. It looked like the line was smaller with much less wait time.
DADS, my first I thought was “I want to travel by fast track too, especially if it means that I can get on the plane first and sit in a bigger seat with more leg room!” Then I realized that those flying by fast track paid more for their ticket, a lot more!
Fast track at a higher price, at second thought, did not look so good anymore. Besides, as far I could tell our arrival time would all be the same!
DADs, one of the most important scriptures in the New Testament and the pure basis for Christianity is John 14:6; Jesus said, "I am…the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
This is THE fast track worth paying for! The question remains, is it worth it to you to pay the price here on Earth for a seat later in heaven?
DADs, when it comes to your flight with Jesus are you on the fast track to heaven or do you allow your environment, your desires, your temptations to move you to the wrong gate of life that is only filled with temporary comfort that fades and soon forgotten?
DADs, get in the game. Get off the bench. Be the DAD God had called you to be!
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