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One of the most sobering statements Jesus makes comes from the gospel of Matthew. In the midst of warning his followers about false prophets he makes the statement that, “not everyone who calls him Lord” will enter God’s kingdom. He was addressing people who had done many good things (healing, prophesying, performing many miracles, etc.), however they had done all those things without doing the most important thing, giving him their heart. Their actions were noble but in done in the interest of appeasing a god they did not know, thereby rejecting a Son who longed to know them.

As believers, we should pursue excellence, not for our own satisfaction but for God’s glory. We serve and excellent God who desires to see excellence from us. What drives you to succeed? What is your motivation to get up every morning? Is it a paycheck and a few atta-boys or is it to look forward to another day of bringing glory to God through our thoughts, words and actions?


It’s easier to blame others than to accept responsibility for our actions; to dwell on the mistakes made in the past than to build towards the future. Some look on the social, political and physical problems of today and blame God or others. Yet the evil of today isn’t because of divine action but due to the natural consequences of greed, lust, hatred and anger. Fire can’t be fought with fire. More darkness won’t defeat darkness. The smallest amount of light will penetrate the deepest darkness

Desire. It’s really the driving force in all we do. It’s desire that drives our relationships. It’s desire that keeps us going through the tough times. When we lose desire we lose the will to go on. But desire is a cruel taskmaster. It often drives us down the road most easily traveled rather than the way best for us. It entices us to grab for the things that hurt rather than nurture; that poison us rather than help us. Jesus came to show us desire in its purest, most excellent way.

We’ve never done well with choices. Ever since Adam and Eve chose the fruit over obedience mankind has consistently chosen self-gratification. Ironically, satisfying our physical desires never lasts. The body constantly demands more to fill the emotional side of us. It’s a futile attempt because nothing we can see, taste or touch will satisfy forever. Someone once said that within the soul of every person is a God shaped hole. The only thing that will fill the void is Jesus. But here’s the kicker. You have a choice. Will you continue to try to fill the void with the temporal or will you choose the narrow road and follow Christ? It’s your choice and your decision will determine your level of satisfaction and contentment.

Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Proverbs 2:2

Slide1Those of us from my generation remember a time when just changing the channel on the television set was a chore. Not only did you have to get up and walk ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE ROOM and manually turn a dial, once you found the channel you wanted you had another dial to turn which was called various things. The one I remember was fine tuning. You see, back then you had to adjust the tuner ever so slightly to get the clearest picture. Since I always lived in rural areas, the challenge was even trickier some days.

Sometimes we need to ‘fine tune’ our lives spiritually as well. Just as the ‘TV waves’ strayed from time to time, so do we. One of the first things an orchestra conductor does is to listen to the musicians to make sure every instrument is in tune. A good conductor can hear even the slightest variance and that makes all the difference in the performance.

Knowing God as he is requires us to constantly check our attitude according to the tuning fork of his Word. It’s too easy to play the comparison game. It’s safer to follow the religious dogmas and creeds, than it is to measure our lives according to the standard of God’s will. Those standards are clearly spelled out in his Word and exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ.

“Good enough” and “Close is okay” is never an attitude God uses. Everything he does is perfect and he calls us to perfection. Fortunately, he also empowers us to live as perfect as we can through his Holy Spirit.

A daily prayer I’m trying to implement in my own life is an adaptation of what the Psalmist says in Psalm 139. ‘Father, today yourself to me in a way that will direct me to live more closely to your will. Amen’

The real beauty of that short prayer is that your Father want’s to reveal himself to you and he’ll never ask you to change something without empowering you to change. It’s really a matter of trust. If you believe he loves you, you can trust the path he leads you down.

PRAYER: Father, there are so many times I’m distracted by the world or waver in my love for you or others. Show me where to change and how to change. Then, empower me with your Holy Spirit to fine tune my heart to yours. Amen.

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