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When you are battered and beaten by the world it’s hard to burn brightly. We can be smothered by so many things from our past it’s hard to see the good we can do.

We can be smothered by that sin that seems unstoppable. We can be smothered by that act in the past that still has it’s consequences in our lives, that still haunts us. You know the one. The one you hope no one ever finds out about. We can be smothered by the unrealistic expectations of other people, or by the constant reminders others give you that you don’t measure up. I call them bullies and the worst bullies are the ones who bully you in Jesus name. The Bible is referred to as a sword but it was never intended to be used in friendly fire!

Not only does Jesus come to bind up the bruised reed, he comes to fan into flame the smoldering wick, the almost dead potential that was almost smothered by our past or by others. To fan a smoldering wick one needs gentleness and care lest you kill the dying ember.

In Jesus day, the wick was part of an oil lamp. Oil was the fuel that fed the flame. You know what the Holy Spirit is referred to in some parts of scripture? Oil. You know what else oil was used for? Healing.

Jesus fans the smoldering potential of our lives through the healing oil of the Holy Spirit. Allow him to fan your potential into a warm, room brightening flame.


Wisdom isn’t dependent on your level of knowledge. Wisdom is using the knowledge you have to its fullest extent.

I have a friend who is my example of the American Dream. He’s well in his 70’s now, owner of over 50 banks, 5 corporations, and his worth is in the billions. One time he said to me, rather sheepishly, “I don’t really know how much money I have, but God has given it to me to bless others.”

The amazing thing to me, and the lesson I’m hoping to learn is that he didn’t operate on tons of knowledge to get him where he is today. He relied on hard work, wisdom and vision. His story starts out as a young man who cut wood and sold it to make a living. But he saw possibilities in what he did know, was wise in pursuing his vision, and along the way picked up the knowledge he needs today to manage his business empire.

What books haven’t you written? What calls need to be made? What is it that you haven’t pursued? (Yes, I have my list!) We serve the God of all wisdom. Seek him to guide you.

Wisdom isn’t dependent on your level of knowledge. Wisdom is using the knowledge you have to its fullest extent!


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?


We often don’t see God do great things in our lives because we try to do things in our power, not his. He works best when he has complete control. Our Father is more concerned about our availability than our ability!

We may not see God do great things in our lives because we doubt our ability to accomplish anything significant. It’s about our openness, not our gifted ness. 

We may not see God do great things in our lives because the things we strive to accomplish are intended for our glory not his Kingdom. We are called to build his Kingdom not our name. 

He can use you best when you are open to his working power in your life.


There are many who try to make a name for themselves. Some focus on money and a good retirement package. Some seek gain from sports or try to live vicariously through their children. Some try new relationships. Success in material things is short-lived at best. Lasting wealth isn’t counted in dollars and cents but in a life of integrity. You can disagree with ones beliefs, but you can’t argue their integrity. Money handed down to your children brings temporary joy but a good name lasts forever.

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