Friday, April 29, 2011




(Rev 22:17) And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

It's nice to get an invitation to a desired event. Someone was thinking of you and sent you an invitation and it made you happy. You get all excited and put the occasion on the calendar. You start to look forward to it and as time grows closer your anticipation amps up. Perhaps you go shopping to get a gift or something you need to wear. Isn't it interesting how we get so energized about an invitation? But have you ever received a royal invitation?

The royal invitation comes from the King of kings Himself. He wants all to come to the feast: (Mat 22:2-3) “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding... Who's getting married? It's Jesus and the Church! (Rev 19:9) Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” It's going to a real special event: (Mat 22:4) Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ The King sends His servants everywhere because all are invited: (Mat 22:9) Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’

Have you received the royal invitation? Are you planning on being at the wedding? Are you part of the Bride of Christ? Jesus died for you! (Eph 5:25-27) ... Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. The Spirit says, "Come!" Take the invitation and accept the Lord today! (2 Cor 6:2) ...Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

If you are part of the Bride of Christ then the Bride also says, "Come!" There are thirsty souls that need the water of life. Jesus is the Living Water and He who drinks from Him will never thirst again! (John 4) And the water is free! Most pure water you have to pay for! But the price has been paid on the cross when Jesus died for our sins. Do your family and friends know that? Have you given them the royal invitation?

Do you know that most people come to the Lord by the simple invitation of a friend? Preachers lead many to Christ. Evangelists might lead multitudes to the Lord. But all in all most people come to the Lord by someone they know who gives them the royal invitation. That's right...friends lead friends to the Lord. Family members lead family members to the Lord. Employees lead other employees to the Lord, etc. You see, God uses relationships you already have. As you get to know people you do the most loving thing you can do for someone else...lead them to Christ! Remember how Peter was led to the Lord by his brother Andrew? (John 1:40-42)

Sometimes all you have to do is invite someone to church. It's a great form of evangelism. As you tell people about the Lord and whet their appetite you can then invite them to church. As they come they hear the message of the Word of God, are impacted by the truth, and respond by placing their faith in the Lord. Did you know that my wife Cheryl accepted the Lord by a girlfriend of hers who invited her to a church camp? She heard the gospel and got saved. Someone took the time to give her a royal invitation!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011




(Gen 6:13-14) And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. {14} Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.

The story of Noah’s ark is found in Genesis, chapters 6-9. The earth was filled with violence so God decided to destroy the earth but save righteous Noah and his family alive.

Facts about the ark: The ark was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. It was the length of one and a half football fields and as high as a four-story building. The ark was exactly six times longer than it was wide, which is the same ratio used by shipbuilders today. The volume of space in the ark was 1.4 million cubic feet, equal to the capacity of 522 standard railroad box cars, which could carry 125,000 sheep. Scholars have calculated that a vessel of this size would hold more than 43,000 tons. Henry Morris states it can be shown hydrodynamically that a gigantic box of such dimensions would be exceedingly stable, almost impossible to capsize. Even in a sea of gigantic waves, the ark could be tilted through any angle up to just short of 90 degrees and would immediately thereafter right itself again. Furthermore, it would tend to align itself parallel with the direction of major wave advance and thus be subject to minimum pitching most of the time.

It took 120 years to build the ark (Gen 6:3). During that time Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet 2:5). Noah and family (total of eight) and animals sat in the ark seven days before the first drop of rain. Even more time for people to rethink their life styles. (Gen 7:4). He was in the ark over a year! (Gen 7:11-13; Gen 8:13-16).

The Bible says the ark rested in "the mountains of Ararat" (Gen 8:4), a mountain range in eastern Turkey. Many people claimed to have seen the ark through the centuries but there has been no scientific evidence to date that proves where the ark is located. Former astronaut James Irwin led expeditions to Ararat but found no tangible evidence of the ark. I have theorized that after the Church is raptured perhaps global warming will cause it to slide down the mountain to the skeptics feet! (Rev 16:8-9)

Was the flood local or universal? The language of the Genesis account points to a universal flood: (Gen 7:19) And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.

A story of a great flood sent by a deity to destroy civilization as an act of divine retribution is a theme widespread among many cultures. Most of these flood stories contain a culture hero who strives to ensure the rebirth of the earth after the flood.

Some doubt the story of Noah and reference the problem he would have getting all those animals into the ark. But it looks like God took care of that problem by leading the animals to Noah and the ark: (Gen 7:16) So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.

God sent the rainbow as a sign of the covenant he made with Noah that He would never destroy the earth again with a flood (Gen 9:12-17). But the apostle Peter states that the Lord will destroy the earth by fire at the end of the age in preparation for the eternal state (2 Pet 3:10-13). Let’s be ready like Noah was and make sure our family is in the faith! (Heb 11:7) (Gen 6:9)…Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. (Mat 24:37) But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.




Thursday, April 21, 2011




(Phil 3:10-11) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, {11} if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Don’t you wish you had constant energy, every day and all throughout the day to do all you are called to do in life? But we seem to constantly be sluggish, lugging our bodies around like a box of bowling balls tied to our feet. We are like a video that only works in slow motion or like the person trying to run in water. Very rare is the day in which we feel indefatigable, slaying giants on the right and left and checking off all our “To Do” list. So is there any hope for the weary who is leery of the theory that you can be cheery and get in gear(y)? (oh, that’s bad! But at least it rhymes!!)

Paul wanted to know the Lord. What a great goal of the Christian life. Not just know about the Lord but really know Him. To have Him in the very center of the heart and life. To be intimately acquainted with Him in true love. That this relationship would far surpass any love of lovers or friendships.
(Eph 3:17-19) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, {18} may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—{19} to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Then Paul said he wanted to know the power of His resurrection. That’s a lot of power! Just think of it. How many people can raise themselves from the dead? (John 10:18) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” That resurrection power of Christ is now available to the believer! (Eph 1:19-20) and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power {20} which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. Now we have power over sin and temptation. (Rom 6:14) For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. We also have power to endure trials and so get the victory and reward.
(James 1:12) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

But is that all there is to the Christian life? Is it always flying high and never struggling? The way some preachers preach you would think that you always have to be up. That it’s a sin to be down and depressed. After their message you walk away feeling guilty that you’re not climbing up the stairway to heaven to be permanently enshrined in Arch of Triumph of the Christian faith.

I think Paul had something else in mind because after he spoke of the power of His resurrection he spoke of the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. That means you have power to not only be up but also to be down! You have power through the resurrection of Christ to face your problems and to be an overcomer like Jesus did when He went he climbed the hill to the cross! That it’s okay to be up and it’s okay to be down. Down doesn’t mean defeated. It means you are there in the valley of the battle with all you need in Christ to fight and win! Now that’s true power. You don’t need power when you’re up! You need power when you’re down. God gives the recharge you need to keep at it and be victorious. The outcome is you will not only be conformed to His death but you will also attain to the resurrection of the dead! (2 Cor 4:11) For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. RESURRECTION POWER! Now it’ time to get in gear(y)! Sorry, had to do it!!



Wednesday, April 13, 2011




We have talked about how scripture says that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God through them. We have also discussed the importance of nutrition and getting the right fuel for your tank. Now we come to the importance of exercise.

People used to get enough exercise and for the most part stay naturally lean. People used to walk a lot, eat more natural foods, and were physical in their environment. Then came modernization and the resulting stress on our health because of inactivity. So what must we do? We need to make up for this by exercising. Now that might make you groan but when you see a list of benefits of execise you just might get excited to get moving! BENEFITS OF EXERCISE: Improves your mood; combats chronic diseases; helps manage weight; boosts your energy level; promotes better sleep; improves sex life (Mayo clinic).

So with all these benefits, why aren’t we running to get in shape? It’s because we are prone to laziness and taking the easy road. We would rather take a pill or have surgery than to get into a regiment of discipline. But if we really believe in Inside Out health then we will find we have all we need in Christ to make a lifestyle change and reclaim our health for Him. So where do we begin?

CHRIST: (Phil 4:13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Forget those lame excuses and turn to the Lord for the strength you need to take that first step.

CHOOSE: Now you must choose your form of exercise. Begin by walking around the block. Fix up that bike and ride through the park. Join a gym. Buy an exercise DVD and work out at home. There are so many choices but the main thing is to find something that you enjoy.

COMMIT: The big thing about exercise is the commitment it takes after all the fun wears off. You have to stick to your routine and make exercise non-negotiable. Just as you eat, sleep, go to work, attend church, etc., so you must have the same mentality in regards to exercise. Exercise for life!

The Bible speaks a lot about exercise. My favorite is from the apostle Paul: (1 Cor 9:24-27) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Notice how Paul speaks of running and the reward? That’s what you’ll experience when you exercise. Then he talks about discipline and the importance of telling your body what to do instead of always obeying its demands and impulses.

Here’s a good one: (Heb 12:1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Lay aside the weight…I love it!

Our goal in exercise isn’t to improve the quality of our bodies to get people to notice. Rather, the goal of exercising should be to improve our physical health so we will possess more energy to serve the Lord and others. (But do be prepared for compliments for they indeed will come!)

Let’s use fitness as a witness!



Wednesday, April 6, 2011




(Gen 1:12) And the earth brought forth…the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

In part one we established the fact that we have a scriptural mandate to take care of our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Today we get practical in terms of food and nutrition.

In Genesis chapter one we see God creating the world in six days. Within that creation we see food was provided for mankind in terms of fruits and vegetables, fish, and meat. It was all natural food. Before the flood man lived close to a millennium in duration without doctors or modern medicine. Then on down to our modern day things changed. Food became processed with lots of fats and sugars. We became removed from the green earth and chose to travel the fast food turf. Adding on a lack of exercise and the advent of machines and computers we developed an unfit body subject to strain, pain, and gain.

In reaction to this weight gain has been an obsession with dieting. But how many diets have we tried over the years only to gain it all back or even more? And yet we still pour over the magazines or talk with friends about the “this is it” diet that is going to drop off those pounds to obtain that killer figure. So what can we do to remove ourselves from this senseless cycle that sadly repeats itself? Let’s go back to the Bible to get the wisdom of God because there we find two basic nutritional facts:

- EAT NATURAL: As much as possible we are to eat as close to the earth as possible. That means a balanced diet incorporating the essential food groups. Cut down on fast food and junk food and get back to fact food that is good for you. Then reward yourself with a goody every now and then because you’ve been good! (Single scoop!)

- PORTION CONTROL: I love this insight from the book of Ruth: (Ruth 2:14) Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. Do you see how she ate until she was satisfied and then kept some back? So why do we keep shoveling it in as if there was never going to be another meal? Take the time to cut your hamburger in half and remove one half of your French fries off to the side (or order fruit!). Just because you ordered it and paid for it doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. You’ll be eating again in a few hours. Save the remaining food for lunch tomorrow.

There is another important item that needs to be discussed, and that is EMOTIONAL EATING. It is common to overeat and to eat unhealthy when we are under stress. Food makes us feel good. It temporarily covers the pain but then comes the gain. What is the answer to emotional eating? (John 6:35) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. We need to go to the Lord when we are stressed. As we cast our burdens and cares upon Him (1 Pet 5:7) He lightens our load and grants us His rest and peace (Mat 11:28-30; Phil 4:6-7). He becomes our Bread of satisfaction. Don’t let food become your god! (Phil 3:9)…whose god is their belly…

Food is good. God made it. God gave us taste buds to enjoy food. It brings people together in fellowship and harmony. Most of the feasts of Jehovah centered around food. We see Jesus eating with His disciples. We’ll even be feasting in heaven! So when it comes to food let’s not destroy. Let’s enjoy…the way God intended!