Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Spiritual Meme

What's a spiritual meme? I have no idea, but I've been tagged by Pastor Henry to do one, so here goes.

1. What is your life verse?
I guess my life verse would be Psalm 27:4, "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple." I picked this verse because I believe that as followers of Christ, we just aren't adherants to a religion, but part of a life-giving relationship with our our Creator. If you want to cultivate any relationship, whether it's a marriage, or simply a good friendship, you must spend time together. To me, there is nothing greater than to spend time in God's presence, in prayer with just his Word and his Spirit.

2. Give a bit of your testimony
I grew up in a traditional Lutheran Church. That is where I heard the Gospel first preached, and I believed. I believe that I was called initially to ministry on the pews of that church. Then I ran from God. I don't know why, youthful rebellion, maybe. But I ran until I was almost 22 years old. I did some stuff I am not proud of during that time, which included a lot of alcohol. The funny thing is, even though I was far from God, I almost could hear his voice calling me back to him. Even when I was drunk, I knew that God had so much more for me. Finally, after being jolted by the loss of my grandmother that made sure I was in church as a kid (she often took me to church), I came back to the Lord Jesus. I also answered that call on my life as a minister of the Gospel of Christ.

3. Do you have a favorite preacher?
I'd have to say that first of all, I have a great pastor. He has poured into me personally, and I don't just mean from the pulpit. He has mentored me. He is a great preacher, as well. Another favorite of mine is an Assembly of God pastor from the Detroit area, Pastor Tim Dilena, founder and Senior Pastor of Revival Tabernacle Church. I don't know him personally,but he has a wonderful inner-city church and great ministries that operate within the church. He is a great preacher, too.

4. What is the best bible study you have ever done?
Recently, I did a study in John 12, the account of some Greek worshippers of God coming to Jesus to see him. They would have heard of his powerful miracles, which most recently was raising Lazarus from the dead. What I studied out was the phrase in the passage, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit" (vs.24). In this study, it is clear that only the person that dies to themselves, their desires, their ambitions and their comforts, and lives for God, will be most fruitful. I want to die to myself so I can make the biggest impact possible for the Kindom of God.

5. What do you feel God's calling is on your life?
I feel that God has called me to reach those unwanted by society at large, and even by many churches. I have a heart for the homeless, the addict, those in poverty. I feel that God has called me to the inner-city to be a shepherd to those who have no one. I believe that the Gospel of Christ changes lives. Through Christ, those in hopeless situations like I mentioned can find the hope and strength they need to make it. God has given me a big vision, and I believe that he will bring it to pass as I step out and get busy.

Well, that is my spiritual meme. I will now tag another blogger. I'd tag more, but Henry tagged them all first. I will tag Pastor Neil, who is in Kenya right now.

Well, I hope eveyone enjoyed my little story. God bless!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Trip to the Zoo...

This weekend, we took the kids on a little trip to the Toledo Zoo. Knowing that in just a few short weeks or less, our new baby boy will be arriving on the scene, we thought it best to go now, since we will not be able to after his birth for some time. So, Sunday morning, we packed up some lunch, juice pouches and water in the cooler, and headed to the Zoo. We arrived shortly after noon and ate a quick lunch, and then we started our very hot journey through this very nice zoo.

The kids were enthralled by what they saw. They happily screeched when the saw their favorite animals, like the young elephant my daughter Machaela had been wanting to see all day. The saw the polar bears, which I thought would have been cooling off from the near 90 degree heat in the water, but paced back and forth in an intimidating manner, as if to say, “If you even try to cross that fence, you’re mine!”

Then, as I was headed into work this morning, I was hit upside the head with a thought. Of all God’s creation, animals are the ones that are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Think about that for a minute. Birds were created to fly, not to sit in some cage like the bald eagles on display at the zoo. Elephants were created to live in family groups, and that they do. There is a purpose for that huge trunk, from grabbing hard to reach leaves to sucking up water to drink and cool itself down. Animals do what they were made to do. We can even look beyond the animal world. The sun rises and sets at the appointed times. It has always risen in the east, and set in the west as God made it too. The seasons change when they are supposed to. God’s world functions the way that it’s supposed to.

We people, however, are a different story, aren’t we? Out of all of God’s creation, we are the only ones who don’t do what we were created to do. I know that we have something that the rest of the world doesn’t have, which is a free will, ability to reason. Animals simply exist, being animals. Yet there is something weird about seeing something that was created for a specific purpose not functioning in that purpose. I mentioned the bald eagles on display at the zoo. Such a majestic bird that soars to incredible heights, confined to a display that gives them 20 feet. Those eyes that can spot a field mouse from high altitudes are simply watching the people that stop by to look at them. I think about us people, created to praise and worship God, to honor him with our lives, simply sitting in our own little existence, oblivious to the greater calling and purpose given us as the crown of God’s creation.

God created this world, called it good, and commanded it to be fruitful. And it is. Yet all over the Bible, we are called on to praise and honor God. Here is one such command:

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard” Ps. 66:8

In the New Testament, Jesus told us that we are to “love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength” (see Mark 12:33). In fact, by doing what we are commanded, we are actually showing our love for the Lord (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).

I got to thinking about this as I was reflecting on my weekend this morning. I did stuff that I was supposed to do, like cutting the grass, doing yard work, and taking out the garbage. But I got to thinking about the stuff I didn’t do. Mainly, I didn’t spend the time with God that I needed to. I neglected the time I need to spend one-on-one in God’s presence. I didn’t really read the Bible much. I didn’t take the time to get into prayer. I could have, but I was ashamedly too busy. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to paint a picture of someone slavishly trying to please God through daily religious ritual. But the call to worship and honor God is one in which we will answer to the Lord for. I want to live a life of obedience to him. I want to live a life that is pleasing to him.

Friends, just be encouraged today to get that time in with the Lord. Don’t let life keep you from doing what you were truly made for. God bless!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The True Light

Recently, my wife and I have been talking about a particular verse in John 1. It is the 9th verse. Here it is with verses 10 and 11:

"There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."

Perhaps we've wondered about how such an awesome God, full of mercy, grace and love can put on human skin and come to this world and be so rejected and despised. Aside from the Biblical knowledge that Christ has to be rejected by the world, it seems strange to me that we as humankind could treat our Creator so cruely. Yet we did. Simply reading verse 9, it seems like such a nice thought. Jesus, the True Light, shining his light into our hearts. Well, to those of us who love him, we want that light to shine. But he came to a world that did not accept him. He came even to his own people, Israel, and found rejection. Think about that. These were the people called out by God and separated for his purposes. They saw God's miracle power. The Word of God came through them. They had the prophecies. Yet, when Jesus the Messiah did appear, the Bible says the rejected him. One would wonder why.

Here's my take on it. Let's read a passage from John 3:18-20:

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

The people of Israel were a very religious people. As I said already, these were the people God chose as his people. And beyond the common man, there were the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the priests and teachers of the Law of Moses. In short, these people thought they were the real picture of righteousness. Think of a comfortable, old pair of white shoes. You may love those shoes, and think that they are great. Then you compare them to a brand new pair. What a contrast. That is kind of what happened when Jesus interrupted the religious folks idea of righteousness. Some "whiter" than them showed up, to use the white shoe terminology. Simply, as the True Light, Jesus shined into the dark hearts of these people, and they hated the light. Their "deeds were evil", as the above quoted verse says.

It is said that cockroaches will scatter when the light is turned on. I haven't experienced that, I don't let my house get so dirty that roaches would be comfortable. Those bugs hate the light. But those who love Christ will always come to him. Even if it means that dark areas, hidden from the view of others, but unhidden from the Light of Christ. Friends, let's not be like those that ran from the light that was meant to expose their darkness, so that they could be made truly righteous. Come to Jesus. Read his word. Let his Spirit mold you into his likeness. He wants to make us all like him. May God bless you all today!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just Like Him

Hey, all, it has been a few days since my last post. I don't have too much to talk about this morning. I was scheduled for an appointment this morning that had to be rescheduled for this afternoon. So, me and the Mrs. decided to hit the local library. Kind of boring.

I have been thinking today about the Lord Jesus. You know, not only did he come to this earth to die for the sins of mankind, but while he was walking this planet for 3 1/2 years, he was also giving us an example of true ministry. Jesus displayed a selfless, giving love for us. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2 that Jesus didn't look out for his own interests, but for ours, for the worlds. Let's read:

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." -Philippians 2:5-8

In other words, the Apostle Paul is telling us that Christ is our example. I mentioned in Monday's blog that Christ came from the Glories of Heaven to a poor existence on this earth. Let me speak on that. Paul told us in 1 Timothy 3:16 that "God was manifest (revealed) in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." You see, the Lord Jesus wasn't just some good teacher and prophet, and he never claimed to be simply some good teacher. He claimed that he was God, and proved it by the miracles he performed. Jesus was divine, he was and is God. I say that to kind of combat what the popular book, and now today just released as a film, The Davinci Code, says, but I digress. Jesus left the Glorious Heavens and was born into a smelly, filthy stable. He was surrounded by dirty animals. He was raised in poverty. He learned a trade from his earthly guardian, Joseph, namely, carpentry. Think about this, folks. All the glory, all the splendor, the angels constantly praising him, and he left it to come to this little planet! He endured a hard life, worked with his own two hands, and hung on a cruel cross for us. The Bible tells us that he endured that torturous death for the joy of bringing us to a right relationship with him.

And so he is our example. The next time you pick up your Bible, and you read the Gospels, and the rest of the New Testament, study the example of Christ. Ask him to help you be more like him. That's all, folks. God bless!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Are You Dogmatic?

We live today in an age that would be defined as “tolerant”. It is an age of supposed open-mindedness in which various worldviews are viewed as on par with each other, each one supposedly as true as the next. Or so goes the theory. The problem with those who hold such a “tolerant” view is that most are not truly tolerant of those views that are in opposition to their own. In fact, the word “tolerant”, or “tolerate”, has changed considerably in definition to when even I was a child 25 years ago. To my mom and dad, to be tolerant meant that they were only going to put up with so much of my junk until the spanking came. It meant that their patience was being tried, and punishment would soon be coming. My, how that word has been redefined nowadays.

Today, I was listening to a message preached by Pastor Tim Dilena of Revival Tabernacle Church. He spoke about living and dying for Christ, and that either option is a good one. Whether we are living in our bodies here, able to preach the Gospel, or whether it is our time to die and be with Christ, it is a good thing, as the apostle Paul said in Phil. 1:21-24. But in this message, he made this statement: “The spirit of this age is unfriendly to dogmatic theology”. I can tell already that for some readers, the sirens in your mind started blaring just from reading that word, “dogmatic”. That word has had so much negative junk attached to it that it isn’t even funny. What does the word mean? I like how Pastor Tim defines it: “To believe in principles that are incontrovertibly true”. In other words, there is no use fighting it, this thing is true. Hot is always hot, and cold is always cold. Up is always up, and down is always down. It is also defined as "something held as an established opinion". I guess it could even be said that those who are opposed to anything dogmatic, are themselves quite dogmatic in their viewpoint!

Those today that are the most intolerant are those claiming that they are tolerant. They are tolerant up to the point that someone is claims their viewpoint is wrong. They are intolerant of dogmatic people that believe in absolute truth, and believe in an absolute God with holy standards who will one day judge every person that has ever walked on the face of this planet. So, am I a dogmatic person? You bet I am! I have to be dogmatic in what I know to be true. I have to be dogmatic in knowing that Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords that will one day judge this world. I am firm in my convictions that he came to this earth, from the glory of heaven to the stench of a stable to grow up in abject poverty and face a rugged cross for my sins and yours! I’m adamant and unyielding about my belief that no one can make heaven without him! I won’t budge from my position that he was God in the flesh, and proved it by miracles seen by eyewitnesses and disproved by no one! I am absolutely convinced that he topped it all off by raising from the dead on the third day after the cross, and his subsequent ascension 40 days later. Yes, I am dogmatic about what I know to be true!

Even those who would be offended by what I have written here have things that they are dogmatic about. Who wouldn’t dogmatically exclaim to their little child that to touch a burning stove will result in a burn? Who would say that to play on the stairs can mean a painful tumble down? We don’t have a problem being dogmatic, friends. The question is, what are you dogmatic about?

Are there some things I just don’t know? Sure. I can’t explain God’s existence from eternity past. I can’t explain how God has always been around. I can’t explain how the blood that Christ shed on that cross 2,000 years ago is sufficient to cleanse the sins of humanity. I can’t explain the Trinity. But, friends, when it comes to the things I know and am certain of, I can’t be silent.

Pastor Tim quoted a verse from the Old Testament that really speaks to this topic today. Here it is:

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” -Deut. 29:29

In other words, there are things that only God knows, and we must leave those things to him. But the stuff that he has revealed to us, they are ours, and must hold to them. Again, I will declare those things that I know to be true. May God bless you today!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Into The Ground and Die

One thing I enjoy doing is gardening. But there is a problem-I’m not really good at it. I have in the past attempted to plant seeds in the garden, follow the instructions on the back of the seed package, and keep them moist, only to never see that seed sprout. So, I thank God for the half grown plants that I can buy from Lowe’s or Home Depot! Someone else better at it than me, under the proper conditions planted those seeds that did sprout, and became a young, healthy plant, ready to be transplanted into my garden.

I say this because for the past couple of days, there has been one scripture on my heart, John 12:24:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

First of all, it’s important to realize the context in which Jesus spoke these words. It was during a feast time, when many Jews from around the known world flooded to Jerusalem to celebrate what God has done for them. In addition to the Jews, there were also Greek converts to Judaism that came to worship God as well. So, the city was extra busy at this time. Jesus had quite recently performed one of his greatest miracles, raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. He also had just triumphantly entered the city, with scores of people praising him, and spreading out palm branches and clothing for him to ride over on the donkey in the city. Well, some of the Greeks in town to worship at the feast caught word of Jesus and the great things he did, and decided to come see him one day. They came to Phillip, and asked if they could see the Lord. Phillip then told Andrew about them, and they both went to Jesus, and told him that these Greeks wanted to see him. With that, Jesus began to speak about the grain (or seed) of wheat that falls into the ground and dying. He spoke of our need to deny ourselves, to hate our natural, sinful life, only to gain eternal life from him. He spoke of us as his servants following him wherever he goes. “Where I am, there my servant will be also” (vs. 26). Then, he clarified where he was going a few verses later:

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”- vs. 32

Everyone around him listening understood what he meant. He was going to the cross. And if Jesus had a cross to bear, friends, so do we. He even said in Luke 9:23 that we must take up our cross daily and follow him. Our cross may not be a physical one, but we have a cross to bear nonetheless. The cross was where people died. It was where crime was punished by the criminal’s life being taken. It was there that Jesus took our sins upon him, the sinless dying in place of sinful humankind, so that we could be forgiven, and have a relationship with God through Christ. It was his sacrifice on the cross, and his dying that abundant fruit came forth as you and me, and all who have come to Christ through the centuries. He died, and he bore much fruit.

So we must die to ourselves, to our sin, our ambitions and our desires. As we die to ourselves and live for Christ, we will find the true eternal life that Jesus spoke of. Paul put it like this:

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the {life} which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”- Gal. 2:20

And also said this in Colossians 3:5:

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry”

We are to consider our sinful nature dead. We have been crucified with Christ. But as Paul says, when we die to ourselves, and live for Christ, others who we minister to will benefit from it (see 2 Cor. 2:14-16). The only way for the Lord to use us and receive the glory from our ministry is when we “fall into the ground and die”. We must die to ourselves and to our wants and comforts in this life to really make an impact for God’s Kingdom. Paul even looked upon the past achievements in his own life and said, “It’s all nothing but a pile of rubbish!” (see Phil. 3:4-14). At the end of that passage, he then encourages us to be like-minded (vs. 15).

Friends, if you love the Lord today, then you certainly want to please him, and do great things for him. But only workers in his field that realize the task at hand of bringing in the harvest of souls will do. We can’t be double-minded in the work of the Lord, and in our relationship with him, for that matter. So be encouraged to set your sites on heavenly concerns (Col. 3:1-2), for it is only the heavenly things and the mind of Christ that will push us through to being the man or woman of God that he has called us to be. God bless you today!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Love of Jesus

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for church, I was reading the eleventh chapter of John. I came across something that really stood out to me. Here is the passage in some context:

“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” John 11:1-6 (emphasis mine)

Now, let me just say before going any further, that I believe every word of the Bible is God-inspired and placed in its spot for a reason. The passage I quoted above is no different. What jumped off the page into my spirit are what verses 5 and 6 say- Jesus loved them, so he decided to stay a couple extra days. If he loved them so much, why would he let such a good friend die, and put his sisters through such an agonizing time? Many critics of Christ and his message would surely look at such action and try to smear the Lord. Yet, they don’t know that God has a purpose in everything we encounter in life.

Jesus decided to head to the town of Bethany, where his friends lived, and couple days after his friend died. By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead for 4 days! When Martha came running to Jesus, she said, “Lord, if you were here, my brother would not have died!” (see vs. 21) Jesus told her that her brother would most certainly rise again. Martha thought he was speaking of the final resurrection, but Jesus let her know that he was the Resurrection and the life. In other words, Jesus didn’t have to wait for that last day to raise Lazarus up, he had the power to do it then. It seems that these sisters had the faith to believe that one day, Jesus would raise them up, but what they needed to know was that the resurrection power of Christ was not just a “someday” power, but present in Christ as he walked this earth.

So, why did Christ let Lazarus die? To build up the faith of these 2 sisters! He had to let them get to this point so that he could increase their faith. In short, just as verses 5 and 6 say, he did it because he loved them! In that love, he needed them to have greater faith in him. What on it’s surface seemed so final, so impossible, Jesus used for their greater good.

He does the same for us too. In a time when the westernized church wants to preach peace and good times to all who follow Christ, the truth is that not all will go smooth for the Christian. Jesus himself said that in this world, we will have trouble. No one gets a pass. If anyone has led you to believe that your problems fade away when you have Christ has lied to you. There are storms and fires and floods that we will go through. But, praise God, we don’t go through these alone! Just listen to what Isaiah says:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2

So, if you sometimes wonder why a God that is so loving would let you go through such trying times of pain, even sickness and death, realize that he is making you stronger! Let those times of hardship build your faith up. Paul wrote in Romans 5 that our troubles work out endurance in our lives, which in turn builds up hope. And hope in the Bible is an expectation. In other words, as we endure such battles, and face such floods and fires, we get stronger, knowing that Christ is with us! As new battles begin to mount up, we can take comfort in knowing that if he was with us then, he’ll be with us now! It’s because of the great love God has for you that he lets you endure such times.

Remember what Romans 8:28 says, and it’s with this verse that I leave you:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

God bless today, my friends!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Screaming Eagles

Why do I have a picture of my girl Machaela next to a guy in a big eagle suit? Good question. This picture was taken Sunday at Eastern Michigan University's Graduation. The school mascot is this eagle. They call him the Swoop the Screamin' Eagle. He may look victorious, but this eagle can't soar. I guess it's accurate to call him a screaming eagle, because EMU sports teams usually go away screaming in defeat!

Thank God that real eagles don't go down easily. In fact, in the Bible, God sometimes talks about his people as being like the eagle. Let's read this familar verse from Isaiah 40:

But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. -vs.31

When we think of the eagle, we think of strength. That is what God was trying to tell his people in this chapter. God spent a lot of time giving his credentials in this chapter. We read about how great, how powerful, and how wonderful God is. Let's read a bit of what this chapter tells up about God:

"Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed out the mountains and the hills? -vs. 12

"Has the Lord ever needed anyone's advice? Does he need instruction about what is good or what is best? No, for all the nations of the world are nothing in comparison with him. They are but a drop in the bucket, dust on the scales. He picks up the islands as though they had no weight at all." -vs. 14-15

"To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" asks the Holy One.
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And he counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away." -vs. 25-26

Why does God find it necessary to brag on himself? These people were having some real trouble. It seems that somewhere along the way, they forgot just how powerful God really is. In fact, in the 27th verse, God asks them this question:

"O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case?"

He was telling them that nothing gets past him. He could see the trouble they are in, and this immeasurable God who flung this universe into being was able to give them the strength they needed! Friends, whatever you are going through today, be encouraged that God not only sees you, but he will give you the strength to make it through!

Well, that is all for me today. I pray that this message has blessed you. God bless!

**Scipture taken from the New Living Translation

Monday, May 01, 2006

You're Being Watched

Yesterday my wife finally graduated! She now has a Bachelor's degree and is certified to teach. At the Commencement at EMU's Convocation Center, where the basketball team plays, they had two huge video screens, and as the procession of graduates started, they were broadcasting them for all to see. It was humorous, because as the camera would focus in on people, they would suddenly notice themselves on the screen. It was funny to watch how they reacted to seeing themselves, and to the fact that everyone else was now watching them. Talk about the potential for an embarrassing moment. Good thing no one was picking their nose or anything!

Do we really understand that we also are being watched in our daily lives? We talk about the all-knowing, all-seeing God, but many of us take that knowledge for granted. The Lord Jesus is watching us constantly. And he isn't watching from a distance, no matter what Bette Midler sings. Psalm 139 is a passage of scripture that talks a lot about the all-seeing God. Basically, there isn't anything that we say, think or do that God does not see, good or bad. He saw us when we were yet in utero, and he sees us now. Let's look at a couple of verses from this Psalm:

"You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways"-vs. 3

"Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all."-vs. 4

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,' Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You." vs. 11-12

This can be both wonderful news, or frightening news to us. It's good because God sees us as we seek to truly honor him with our conduct. But it's frightening because he sees what we do when no one else is looking. He sees what we do in the dark, as verses 11 and 12 tell us. He's sees the things we watch, he sees the websites we visit. He knows the thoughts we think (vs. 2). It really doesn't matter what others say about you. You could have a good reputation as a godly person. But reputation and character are two different things. Reputation is what people think about you. Character is who you are when no one is around. It's who you are in the dark. But God sees you in the dark just as easily as in the light (vs. 12).

Whether we like or not, we are being watched. Don't let yourself ultimately be taken by surprise, like those graduates on the video screen. Honor the Lord with your life, not just when people are around, because the camera doesn't stop rolling when everyone goes away. Let you attitude be the same as David in this psalm. I will leave you today with his inspired words:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."-vs. 23-24

God bless!