B Moments, travel

God Wants You to Travel Light

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how God wants you to travel light.

Lately we’ve been studying from the Gospels. We’ve seen Jesus crisscross the land, traveling from the region of Galilee to Philippi and down south through Sumer, teaching and healing and casting out evil spirits.

Jesus knew his days were numbered, so he called together his twelve disciples. He then gave them the authority to go and teach about the kingdom of God, heal the sick, and cast out demons.

Before he sent them on their first journey, he gave them a set of instructions on what not to take. Imagine if you were traveling out of the country, you would have your lists of do’s and don’ts when packing. But I want to take a closer look at what he told them not to take so that we can better understand what he would supply them with.

First, Jesus said, “No need to put money in your belts.” Why? Because he will provide for you. Jesus then said, “Don’t take bread.” Why? Because he is your nourishment; he will sustain you. He went on, “No need for a traveler’s bag.” What’s that other than necessities? Christ knows your necessities better than you ever could.

Jesus continued, “No need for an extra tunic.” Why? Because he’ll provide your warmth and comfort. He also said, “Don’t take a staff,” which in those times was either used as a walking stick or as a defense against predators. In other words, he was saying to lean on him because he is your protection.

In summation, what Jesus was saying to the disciples then and to us now is to go free. He wants us to be who he called us to be, and leave the rest to him. As you think about that, hold onto these words: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, travel light.

B Moments, stand

Challenge the Status Quo for God

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: James 4:17 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we can occasionally move so far away from what really matters to God. When this happens, we have to challenge the status quo and take a stand for what really matters to Him.

This is what Jesus did when he saw that the temple had become a marketplace. It’s important to note that all stories about Jesus aren’t reflected in each gospel, but this story is told in all four gospels, hence its significance.

Let me set the scene. The Israelites were coming to Jerusalem from all over to celebrate Passover. In addition to the tithes that they paid when they arrived, which were a tenth of their earnings, there was also a temple tax that they had to pay for the upkeep of the temple.

Because the Israelites traveled from several different places, they arrived with multiple currencies. Therefore, there were also money changers on hand to exchange those currencies, and they often did so at a premium exchange rate.

Since it was Passover, people in the temple were also selling animals to be sacrificed. It was clear that the central objective of the operation was to get as much money out of the people as they could. This made it much more like a marketplace than a house of worship. In fact, the people at the temple had moved so far away from what mattered to God that Jesus had to chase them out.

In your community or your place of worship, do you need to challenge the status quo? As you think about that, remember these words: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, take a stand for what matters to God.

B Moments, give

Give God the Glory He Is Due

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 Peter 4:10-11 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today as I am still on the road, I am thinking about the importance of giving God the glory.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I see that this is exactly what the prophet Elisha did when he performed one of his miracles. In this instance, there was a man named Naaman, who was the commander of the Syrian army. Naaman was known as a mighty man of valor, but he was also a leper.

Initially, Naaman was told that the king of Israel could heal him. Given that he was a Syrian, he had to get special permission to approach the king of Israel. Once he received permission, he approached the king with many gifts and asked him sincerely to heal him of leprosy. The king, in astonishment, tore his clothing and asked, “Am I God?” In other words, he acknowledged the fact that he had no power to heal Naaman.

When Elisha heard about the situation, he sent for Naaman and healed him himself. In return, Naaman offered Elisha gifts. However, Elisha refused them because he didn’t want to take personal responsibility for Naaman’s healing. Elisha wanted Naaman to understand that it was God who worked through him to heal his leprosy. Instead of accepting the gifts, Elisha chose to give God the glory.

As you think about that, remember these words: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another…that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that great things happen when you give God the glory.

B Moments, approval

Remember Whose Approval Matters Most

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about our inclination to seek approval.

In this series, we’ve been talking about how we interact with those in positions of power. Sometimes we are more inclined to seek approval from those in higher places.

Recently, I was talking about the time when David was on the run from King Saul. I talked specifically about how Saul walked into a cave where David and his men were hiding. In that moment, David stepped forward to take Saul’s life, but then quickly decided not to do so.

Soon after Saul left, David ran out of the cave and towards Saul to make him aware of the good David had just done. In fact, David even called out to Saul, “Look, my father!” Notice how David still referred to the man who was trying to kill him as his father.

David then showed Saul a piece of Saul’s robe that he had cut off in the cave. David was trying to prove to Saul that while he had the chance to take Saul’s life, he chose not to seize the opportunity.

However, even though David tried to appeal to Saul, he did so after the the fact. In other words, he didn’t seek Saul’s approval until after he had already sought the approval of God.

Sometimes, we can work so hard to win the approval of others, especially those in a higher position, that we lose sight of who is ultimately in the position of power.

Therefore, let us remember who is ultimately in control as we cling to these words: “…so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember whose approval really matters.

B Moments, ultimate sacrifice

The Sacrifice Has Already Been Paid for You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 6:23 (ESV)

Today, I am reflecting on how the ultimate sacrifice has already been paid for us.

Recently, we talked about engaging in those activities that can separate us from God. Sometimes we can even have the best intentions and still allow something to impact our intimacy with Him. This is what happened to the Israelites as they traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover festivities.

First, the Israelites incurred expense after expense. Therefore, even though they were in a place to worship, their preoccupation with whether they had enough money impacted their worship.

In addition to their financial worries, they also worried whether their animal sacrifice would pass the inspection. The slightest imperfection in their animal meant that it wouldn’t pass the test, meaning they would have to purchase another animal at great expense.

Let us be comforted today that this is the one test that we never have to worry about again. That price has already been paid.

One interesting fact is that a perfect animal sacrifice could never have any broken bones. Even as Christ’s body endured the most horrific beating that it did, he ended up having not one broken bone. He is the ultimate, perfect lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.

Let us remember these words: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remind someone else that the ultimate sacrifice has already been paid for them.

B Moments, good shepherd

Know Who Your Good Shepherds Are

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: John 10:11 (ESV)

This morning, my heart is heavy, and I’m focusing on what a modern-day shepherd looks like.

Our country experienced another blow with yet another mass shooting. This time, seventeen students were shot and killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida. I know it’s been in the news for days now, but it is still on my heart this morning.

Two of the seventeen who were killed were Aaron Feis, a 37-year-old football coach, and 49-year-old Chris Hixon, who was the school’s athletic director and wrestling coach. I’d like to dedicate this morning’s B Moment to them.

I’ve talked before about the role of a good shepherd, and these two men epitomize that for me. In ancient times, the sheep would stay in a sheepfold, and when all the sheep were inside, the shepherd would physically lay across the opening, using his body to form a gate since the sheepfold had no door.

This is exactly what happened in that high school. The students were in an open hallway and there was no door, so these brave souls lay their bodies across their students to protect them. There is no higher good on this earth, one would think, than to sacrifice your life for another.

I just want to sit with that and realize that we never know what a day holds; we never know who God will work through. As we do ponder that, let us cling to these few words and remember: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” John 10:11 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know who your modern-day good shepherds are.

B Moments, heart

God Has the Power to Change Men’s Hearts

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Ezekiel 11:19 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how God will change a man’s heart just for you.

Recently, I’ve been talking about taking action and the way we should respond if God calls us to action. So, this week, I decided to reflect on all of the ways God will move others on your behalf.

I had this thought as I was reading about the time when Paul and Silas were out and about spreading the good news. Then, suddenly, they were beaten, arrested, and jailed. To ensure they couldn’t escape from the prison, the jailer even put them in the inner dungeon of the jail.

However, shortly after midnight, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken at its foundation. All of the doors flew open, and the chains flew off all of the prisoners.

The jailer was deeply shaken by the whole incident. He ran down to the dungeon where Paul and Silas were being kept, then knelt before them and asked what he needed to do to be saved. So, Paul told him to believe in the Lord Jesus because not only would he be saved, but his entire family would be saved, too.

Here’s what’s interesting. The jailer who had thrown Paul and Silas into the inner dungeon earlier that day came to wash their wounds later that night. In this incident, we see how God can change a man’s heart.

Therefore, let us not shy away from an assignment because we know we have to deal with a hard heart. Instead, put those hearts in God’s hands and cling to these words: “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11:19 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that God changes hearts.

B Moments, reveal

God Uses You to Reveal His Miracles

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Acts 4:30 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how God uses us to reveal His miracles.

Not long ago, I talked about the importance of keeping an open mind because we never know who or what God will choose to work through. As I mentioned before, I had this thought as I was reading about the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land, and how hungry and thirsty they had become on their journey.

In the story, God then instructed Moses to command a nearby rock to pour out its water so that everyone would be fulfilled. Not only did the people quench their thirst, but the livestock had their fill as well.

One other thing I noticed when reading this passage is that before God instructed Moses to strike the rock, He asked him to gather all the Israelites so they could witness firsthand this miracle that God was going to perform through Moses.

In reading this passage the first time, I had focused on how we never know who or what God will use to meet our needs. However, when I read it a second time, I could see that God used both the rock and Moses.

The Scripture said God specifically asked Moses to gather all the Israelites together. This underscores how God uses us to reveal His miracles.

Recently, I talked about my girlfriend who had a baby after many attempts, over many years. Her story gives me hope about what’s possible. God can pour water from a rock, and put a beautiful baby in a womb. He does these miraculous things around us all the time.

Therefore, let us be reminded of His miracles and cling to these words: “While you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:30 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that God is using you to reveal His miracles.

B Moment, center

Stay in the Center of God’s Will

B Moment, center

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about what it means to stay in the center of God’s will.

A short time ago, I heard a woman being interviewed about her experience mentoring kids. She had started an after-school program for kids living in some of Chicago’s at-risk neighborhoods, and she was explaining her work to one of the interviewers.

One of the topics the interviewers touched on was whether or not she was sometimes afraid to go into these dangerous neighborhoods. However, she answered that she knew, deep in her heart, that God called her to the work, and her work was God’s will for her life.

She told the interviewers that as long as she stayed in the center of His will, she felt safe and protected.

I am also reminded on this Good Friday about how Christ faced being in God’s will, even with some of the most difficult challenges. For example, he was on a journey with the disciples, and they were trying to encourage him to eat.

However, he let them know that he had food they didn’t know about. He told them that his nourishment came from doing the will of God, and from finishing God’s work.

It is clear that God will sometimes put us in circumstances that are not always easy because accomplishing His will is not always easy. Yet the call is upon us to do His work and to finish His work.

So on this Friday, let’s celebrate and be grateful that Christ finished his assignment, and be inspired by these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, allow your mind and heart to stay in the center of God’s will, despite how difficult it sometimes may be.

B Moment, follow

Are You Following Christ Completely?

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about what it looks like to follow Christ.

Recently I read in Luke 14 about the time Christ talked to a large crowd about what it looks like to follow Him. He told them that if they wanted to be His followers, they had to love Him more than their own fathers and mothers, wives and children, brothers and sisters–even more than their own lives.

He then went on to say that they could not be His disciples if they did not choose to carry their own crosses and follow Him. Then He urged them not to take on the commitment of following Him without beginning to count the cost.

He continued by reminding His listeners that they wouldn’t begin construction on a building without first getting estimates, and checking to see if their funds were enough to pay for the bills. Otherwise, they might only complete the foundation of the building before they would ultimately run out of money. Therefore, they should count the cost of following Him before committing to it completely.

As those that are on that walk with Christ know, it is not always easy to continue. You go through periods in your life when things seem unfair, or when you find yourself surrounded by the unknown and don’t know what’s coming next.

However, when you keep Christ in your heart and at the top of your thoughts, I have found that the rewards of serving Him far outweigh the costs or fear that you might experience in the moment. So the words that I cling to are: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, choose to follow Christ; it is the best decision you will ever make in this life.