Archive for glory

Relationships, living together, and nothing God-centered

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2009 by rylanreed

I have seen too many relationships and marriages go down the drain because of a base that is set on the wrong things.  Make it about the future, it doesn’t last; make it about the money, it doesn’t last; make it about the long time together, doesn’t last; make it about the physical touch, doesn’t last.  One person I know is on her 10th boyfriend, lived with probably 4 of them and none of those relationship had any lasting goodness to them.  Another person I know got married because the person they had married were with them since high school and it was common sense to get married.  Their marriage didn’t last as long as everyone thought it would.  I have heard of other situations where either people have lived together before marriage, slept together before marriage, or even thought of no one else for marriage, most of those relationship fell away.

Why do these relationships fail? well, I think its one factor and one factor only, what is at the center of that relationship.  And if that relationship is not centered around God, it probably won’t last or be any kind of a wonderful marriage that everyone hopes for and looks for in a fairy tale.  God made marriage to be a holy and unified partnership of a man and a women, that when followed after God’s word, it will be a wonderful and joyous marriage (even with the different hard circumstances that come along).  If we focus on the marriage being from God and centered around him, we should make it a priority to not live with anyone before marriage, to not sleep with anyone or have much intimate activity withany one, especially for those thinking of marriage, so that the relationship will be fully focused on Christ and having Him be glorified.

Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will Judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

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God in football?

Posted in following Jesus, Sports world with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2009 by rylanreed

Nebraska football isn’t all about becoming a star on and off the field for a few of the players on the team, even though they have become stars in their own right.  Its more about giving glory to Jesus Christ in everything they do, both on and off the field!

Not having football be god like so many people do, but having God be in football.

so unworthy

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2009 by rylanreed

There are just some points in my life where I see my wrong and the sin within, maybe by comparing what I do to someone else, and wonder how I could deserve such grace.  How many times have I walked away from Him, or been a hypocrite, pretending that I was a Christian but living the way that I wanted to live in my dark little hole.  I’ve seen so many other people that look and do so many good things, and have wondered why me and not them, but that is how grace works.  See, its really not the fact of what I have done to be deserving of any of what God has given me, but its hopefully the praise and adoration that will come from a heart that knows without Christ it is worth nothing and having God get all of the praise and glory.  And for those that look good and do great things, they pretty much have believed in themselves and will believe in themselves until something big changes their lives, or they meet the Creator face to face on that Judgment day.  I am humbled each and everyday for what God has done in my life and the chance for me to be in Heaven with Him when I die.

Here is an excerpt from a friend, and I think he explains it well enough for everyone to understand where we stand with Christ:

Every now and then I realize anew how unworthy I am of everything that God does for me every day; the way He loves me absolutely unconditionally. That’s when I break. When this happens, it is usually the highlight of my week. Is this strange to you? What does the Bible say on this?

Read Luke 7:36-48. (own commentary) The woman, a “known sinner” cries, washes His feet with her tears, dries it with her hair and anoints His feet at huge expense while the watching pharisee judges. Jesus’ response?  v47 “But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Jesus tells us that the most important important thing we can do is to love God(Mat 22:37). If we’re honest with ourselves about where we are(and as Paul points out in Rom 3, we’re all in a bad place), we will love Him more.

CS Lewis puts it this way: “Knowledge of broken law precedes all other religious experience.” Not to condemning us, but making us realize our constant need for our Savior!

Jesus speaks about Himself in Luke 20:17-18: The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone. Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.

Personally, I choose being broken.      André Baladi

What is so better about the other side?

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2009 by rylanreed

I have been getting encouraging emails from Christianity.com and Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Most of these devotions are written by women (I am in no ways putting down women) and I have learned a lot from their writings.  I don’t usually use most of their stuff, because I can’t understand a lot about women and what they go through… I am a guy, its just fact.  Anyways, I really liked this devotion and thought I would share:

So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33 (NIV)

“Do you ever get jealous?” my friend asked me. In that moment, I had a choice to make – be honest and vulnerable with her or gloss over the truth with some spiritual platitude. To say out loud what I wish weren’t true, or purport those feelings I wish were true. “Of course!” I responded. “I struggle with jealousy more than I wish I did.” And then we spent some time talking about the things we find ourselves being jealous of, how petty we feel about it, and how we keep our focus in the right place, redirecting our thoughts to where they need to be instead of running off on a jealous tangent.

I wish I wasn’t prone to those jealous feelings. Jealous that this person got a book contract by a company that turned me down. Jealous that this person got booked to speak at an event I really wanted to do. Jealous that this person gets waaay more blog comments and waaaay more hits than I ever dreamt of. Jealous at this person’s true gift for writing, and that person’s unique blend of humor and profundity. Jealous of houses, clothes, weight. It’s so base, so silly, so human.
God has taught me much about jealousy – how to turn from it, how to guard myself against it. But unfortunately, knowing what to do and actually forcing my mind and my will to do it are sometimes two different things. Through the years, God has shown me “the rest of the story” when people I was jealous of in the past had terrible things happen to them. And I heard His whisper: “Still want her life?” Oh, how ashamed I was for wanting what was never mine to have, because I couldn’t handle the burdens that accompanied that life. He knew it, why couldn’t I accept it? Yes, the big green-eyed monster does rise up within me unbidden, too often for my taste. I want to slay him forever but he seems to have multiple lives, returning again and again to take up residence in a heart that isn’t supposed to be his home.

Do I ever get jealous? Absolutely. Do I want to be jealous? Not at all. Each day I focus on who God created me to be (complete with gifts as well as limits) and the situation He has placed me in. I re-situate my mental blinders so that I am not tempted to look to my right or my left. I keep my focus on Him, and Him alone. When I do that, jealousy has no place in my life. The trick is to keep doing that every day, learning to be content where He has me and resting fully in that.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help me not to be jealous of others. I know I can do this when I stay focused on You and trust Your will for my life. Please help me to keep blinders on, not looking to the right or to the left at the people around me, but constantly training my eyes to look to You and Your Word. Thank You Lord for Your perfect plan for me and I am excited to see what You will bring about in the fullness of time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It says in Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 5The fool folds his hands and eat his own flesh. 6Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”

When we work to try and better someone else because we want what they have and don’t have it ourselves, God calls it as “vanity and striving after wind.” “The Fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.” When you are jealous of what other people have, it eats away at your flesh and you are totally consumed by it.  Your focus and heart are totally distracted and will get you no where, except in misery.

The only way that we will ever be able to “prosper” is by us working for God’s glory and not our own success.  When we are praising and glorifying God in how we live our life, He will give us the necessary tools and objects to live our lives for His glory.  Nothing more than we need, but nothing less… Only God knows what we need and He will give it to us when we truly follow after Him.

“Better is a handful of quietness…” or as Proverbs 15:16 says “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than with great treasure and trouble with it.”

Call to serve…

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by rylanreed

One of my posts a little while back talked about service and who we should look to for guidance, Jesus Christ.  I dug a little deeper into His word and found some verses giving us some guidelines,  for a service here on earth.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” Deuteronomy 10:12

We are required, in a commandment from God, to serve Him with everything that we have. This is not a have too, this is a get too, something that we can do to give glory to our Maker and the one that has given us all that we have and need.

“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the spirit.” Romans 7:6

Through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, we don’t have to live under the law of the Old Testament.  Instead, we can live in Him and Him in us as our Lord and Savior, who can do all things through those who believe in His name and have faith for which they cannot see.  Being used by the Spirit, we can serve in a way that will be a blessing to God as He watches from His place on High.

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mystries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1

‘Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6

We are to serve Christ above all else, and be one with what the will of God is for our lives.  We should look to Him first, before we turn to others to serve and help in anyway possible.  Sometimes the two go together and God is wanting you to serve exactly the way that those you are serving, want it done.  Other times, it can seem like they are the same, but the call on your heart from God is stronger than what you have been told to do and you should follow in what God says.  Again, I do not intend to sound like the position of ‘we should not follow in what our leaders or those in authority over us say, because we don’t like what they are doing.  God calls us to honor those in authority and respect and follow those that He puts over us.  What I am saying is that sometimes God has a different plan than of those in authority and we are to politely and respectively decline in what they want because of what God has placed on our hearts to do.

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my father, I have made known to you.” John 15:15

A friend of mine has somewhat of a different perspective on service.  He believes that when one says that he wants to serve others, then that person should do exactly what the other person wants them to do.  To me that seems like slavery instead of serving one another.  There is no give or take, not saying that it has to be like that all the time, but when one person doesn’t budge, there might be a big problem.  I believe serving is exactly what Jesus was saying to His disciples in John, where they were working alongside of each other for one purpose and one along, to glorify God (and bring people to the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ).  Both are giving their stances and both are taking different things that will help in spreading the gospel to all reaches of the world.

“…and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5

“10As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strenth that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”        1 Peter 4:10-11

What is service?

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2009 by rylanreed

What does the word service really mean? Why do we serve and where does that term come from?  There are many different ways of looking at service, but I think the main thing to do is to look to Jesus! He came to serve those around Him, not to glorify Himself, but God His Father.

Jesus served, but he didn’t do everything that people wanted him to do, only things that were good in the site of God.

Jesus came to earth to serve a human race that didn’t really want his service or help.  “…but made Himself nothing, taking the form of  a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7 It was only afterwards, from the things that He did to the miracles He showed, that people started to realize the significance of what happened.  “But when He (Jesus) heard it, He said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners’.” Matthew 9:12-13 He served us by His preachings,  told us and the people in the time of Jesus, that He was the only way to God and when we beleive in Him, we will have eternal life.  He served through the miracles that He showed:

“17On one of those days, as He (Jesus) was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20And when He saw their faith, He said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’ 21And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sing but God alone?’ 22When Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered them, ‘Why do you question in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sons‘ — He said to the man who was paralyzed — ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’ 25And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26And amazement seized the all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen extraordinary things today.” Luke 5:17-26 (can be found also in Matthew 9:1-7, and Mark 2:1-12)

Those people sitting near Him, probably thought that He was just going to do a miracle and impress everyone, didn’t see the point of His saying to the man that his sins were forgiven.  Jesus Glorified God first, in that he healed the man of his spiritual body and gave the man a cleanness that only can come from Jesus and then he healed him of his earthly body.

“1And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Him they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He answered them, ‘When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance if the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So He left them and departed.” Matthew 16:1-4

All they wanted signs and miracles, but they didn’t see the greatest miracle standing right in front of them.  One who would take all of their sins up on a wooden cross and shed His pure cleansing blood, so that they and ourselfs today, could have eternal life with our God and father, if only we would belive in Him and turn from our sinful ways.

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

We should serve Jesus in what we do, and make sure that it is He who we are working for, not people around us.  I know it also says in the Bible that we should respect our elders, summit to authority, but Christ is our savior and we should serve Him first and foremost.

He Knows you best!

Posted in God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by rylanreed

1″O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is a light with you. 13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”                    Psalm 139:1-16

My God knows me even when I don’t know myself. He can see inside of me for who I really am even when I’m not acting like it…..God you know me!! You’re the only one who will ever know me fully inside and out. People can try, but there’s no absolute, possible way that they ever could. Please bring out ME in my life so I’m not playing a fool of somebody else! So I can live the way you have designed me to live!! Bring out my talents and my abilities so I can honor you in every possible way!!….To you be all the Glory!!!