Dictionary.com defines “EMPTY” as:
- containing nothing;
- having none of the usual or appropriate contents:
- deprived of contents; to discharge:
- without knowledge or sense; frivolous; foolish:
- without force, effect, or significance; hollow; meaningless:
- without knowledge or sense; frivolous; foolish:
Synonyms for empty: dry, vacant, uninhabited, unfilled, unoccupied, hollow, deserted, devoid, desolate, bare, blank, barren, flat, worthless, meaningless, idle
So how can empty be a good thing?
Can God do this? Can God fix this? Can God move mountains? Can God do the seemingly impossible when all around you say that it is impossible?
The answer is YES!
Recently someone I know reached out to friends and family asking for “divine intervention and good intentions” in a very private matter. I messaged that I would keep them and the family in my prayers. The reply from my friend was “no divine intervention will help”. This hurt my heart as I know that somewhere deep inside, this person knows the truth. Yet somehow over the years a conscious choice to deny the truth of God’s realness, goodness and grace was made.
Some may think that life altering crises happen only to people that have made the conscious choice to ignore or reject God. Oh if that were only true. Time and time again, we see historical evidence recorded throughout the Word of God of the days, weeks, months, years even generations of chaos, calamity and turmoil that erupted in and around the lives of God’s children – divorce, death, adultery, sickness, prison, torture, disgrace, scandal, ridicule, demons, treachery and betrayal – to name a few. In each of these instances, God shows us that there are times the road to the miraculous travels through the ugly, wicked and evil – and it does so because of FAITH – faith that is sure and certain and confident.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 NIV
It is easy to go through life’s disappointments, failures, fears and uncertainties and lose whatever faith in God you might have. Once you begin to question His reason for the pain and turmoil in your life, you can very easily come to the conclusion that God’s really doesn’t care about you or your crises. And if He doesn’t care about you, then He is not a loving God and if He isn’t a loving God, then why would you spend your time believing in some fairy tale. Sound about right? Continue reading
Seven days ago, we had the privilege of attending “The Send” in Orlando Florida. It’s purpose -”The Send is a stadium gathering and national campaign to catalyze every believer into a lifestyle of Christ-like action.”
The intent was to bring together a gathering of 60,000 believers from all ages and walks of life to make a commitment to do whatever it would take to see the re-evangelization of America, and the nations of the world, and the finishing of the Great Commission. By some estimates there were only 59,000 believers, other estimates were upwards of 72,000 and on the day of the event with many more tens of thousands tuning in from around the globe as the entire 12-hour event was live streamed.
This 12 hour day with the sun shining brightly brought the thermometer to 92 degrees… in an open stadium in Florida. Needless to say, it was warm. But that didn’t matter. The entire infield of the stadium was filled, along with the stands… Video From The Send Instagram Link. Believers of every age attended this event; from the youngest in strollers with their parents, to others in wheelchairs, to others in the senior years of their lives . It was clear to me that morning as we waited for the doors to open that we Christians are hungry. We Christ followers are hungry for a mighty move of God; we are hungry for a fresh anointing from Heaven on our lives. We are hungry to know what He wants from us. We want Heavenly direction, we want purpose and clarity. Continue reading
God is shaking our world. He is revealing the hidden things to His people and we cannot be okay with what He is revealing. These things – abortion, pornography, sex-trafficking, same-sex marriage, the legalization of illicit drugs, and blatant contempt for anything remotely associated with Christianity are no longer being done in the shadows and darkness. Things that until now have been kept silent and hidden in the shadows are now being proclaimed loud and proud by leaders of this country. We, the children of God, cannot be okay with what is going on. God’s people can no longer be silent and complicit in letting it all just keep continuing; we must allow our rage and anger to finally come forth and stand.
Stand against the schemes of satan by standing for God’s righteousness and His glory. It is time to stand against abortion at any time, against pornography and sex-trafficking, against same sex marriage. It is time to stand against legalization of illicit drugs. Just stand. Continue reading
Written in collaboration with Michael Sullivan
“The Cross splits the world. Either you look at it and think – that’s pathetic or you look at it and you think – that’s powerful. If you think it’s pathetic, Paul says you are perishing. But if you think it’s the ‘Power of God’, you are being saved. But it’s one or the other” ~ Billy Graham
“Our faith must begin and end at the Cross. The trouble is that many Christians have bypassed the Cross and are trying to be moral by their willpower and self-effort rather than trusting in the indwelling power of Christ to transform them (Galatians 3:3) But if we attempt to build our spiritual life by any other foundation than Christ crucified, we are doing so by our natural strength.” (Newman, Peter, “The Meaning of the Cross”, 11)
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:3 (NIV)
“’We preach Christ crucified.’ This is the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a picture of blood flowing from Christ’s veins as He hung on the cross. The message of shed blood is repugnant to many, and they turn from such a gory sight, feeling that their delicate sensibilities have been outraged. Many people will accept Christ’s character, but they reject His crucifixion.” (Decision Magazine; April 2007)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 AMP
My husband says to me, “what do you want for Christmas?” I answer “nothing”, and he obliges. To me Christmas is one of the most sacred of days. It is the day that my Savior, my King, my Redeemer was born and for that reason alone, I celebrate. Other than that, I find little reason to celebrate.
To many folks, it is a day/season to spend too much money on unneeded and unnecessary “things”. I believe that if these things are needed and necessary they would be bought at the time that they are needed and deemed necessary. So many are entrenched in the mindset of more and more and more; posting, streaming, snapping, pinning, tweeting pictures of mountains of presents under, over and around their tree. For what? For what purpose? Do you really think that the person opening the gift will love you more or less depending on the dollar amount spent? If that is true, then there really isn’t any love there.
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, life to the fullest” John 10:10
You are the son, the daughter of the Most High King. Do not back down when the enemy comes around; do not cower, for we are called to be as BOLD as the Lion of Judah (Rev 5:5). God Almighty has put His Power in you so that it is there when you need it to ROAR.
Our enemy, satan, will use your past, your weaknesses, and areas of your life where you are not strong to entice, beguile and tempt you; believe that he will and he does. Scripture tells is in John 10:10 that satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy your life, your dreams, your future.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an increase on my Facebook feed of posts touting what I am calling “Quick Christianity”. These posts espouse the many blessings and benefits of a three minute devotional time. A Google search of “Quick Christianity” produced an almost offensive “Christianity for Dummies Cheat Sheet” – from the Dummies for Whomever, Whatever genre of helping books.
I don’t know why the title of this offended my sensibilities, but it did. Perhaps it is because so often I’ve heard that only weak-minded, delusional people feel the need to rely on a make-believe god to help them through their day, week, life… and calling it Christianity for Dummies, well I personally find the word Dummies offensive.
I do not want to make this an essay about atheism, or other religions, or religious freedom or tolerance. No. If you come to our blog, or listen to these podcasts you know that we are Christians. Period. That is not open for debate or discussion. You know that we will always speak the truth. Period. But I digress. Continue reading
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. Hebrews 11:1
Sure and Certain
These two qualities, sure and certain, require a secure beginning and ending point. The foundation of FAITH is belief in God’s character; that He IS who He says He is. The finish point of FAITH is belief in His promises; He WILL DO what HE says HE will do.
“… without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” Hebrews 11:6
But believing that God exists is only the beginning; even the demons believe that much. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” James 2:19. God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of His existence. He wants a personal, dynamic relationship with every person… a relationship that will transform your life. The reward for those that seek Him… His intimate presence surrounding you, guiding you, indwelling you, and loving you.
In whom or on what do you place your faith?
“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you, My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.” John 15:1 AMP
A little while back our Bible Study class was discussing this passage in the book of John; pondering it brought to mind the many years that I had my gardens. Specifically it reminded me of tending to the couple dozen tomato plants I would plant in my vegetable garden each year.
Left alone tomato plants will overtake a good portion of your garden space while producing little or no fruit. They love the heat and the sun… add water and you have the makings for some pretty big plants. Notice I say “big plants”… I didn’t say a lot of tomatoes, just big plants.