Saturday, May 26, 2012



John 1
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was in the beginning with God.
3  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The Word, referred to as “He”, is Jesus, the Son of God, the embodiment of God’s Word. He was with God from in the beginning … This Living Word was life and “the life” of Christ is the light of men. This is confirmed in:

Psalms 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The Word of God was given as a light to show us the way of life.

Allow me to share an explanation of some terms we will use today:

·        Shavuot – Weeks
o   Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)
o   The Feast of Shavuot began last night, May 26, at sundown
o    7 Weeks after Passover
·        Pentecost – Shavuot
o   Feast of Weeks = Feast of Pentecost
o   50th Day after Passover
·        Torah – The Word of God
o   The Word of God is represented by the first 5 Books of the Bible – Genesis; Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; & Deuteronomy
o   Torah was given to show the way of life – as teacher/guide
o   Torah was given on Mt Sinai on the First Feast of Shavuot
§  Given 50 days after the First Passover at Pentecost
§  Exodus 19-23
§  Torah Includes the 10 Commandments

The Word of God was given to the Children of God on the first Pentecost in the wilderness of Sinai, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. The Apostle Paul later referred to the law a Shadow of Christ. Fast forward about 1400 years, give or take a few, and we witness another feast of Pentecost … the first Pentecost after the Last Passover.

The Story of Acts 2 and Pentecost …

I will write my laws in your hearts and in your minds

Hebrews 10:16  "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"

You need not that any man teach you for the Holy Spirit

1 John 2:27  But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

I am with you but I shall be in you

John 14:17  "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

This anointing of the Spirit of Truth grants Power to be a witness

Passover frees us from spiritual bondage while Pentecost teaches us how to live the victorious life – and empowers us to be a witness …

God wants each and every one of us to experience a “Personal Passover”, whereby the blood of the Lamb of God is applied to each life and covers the eternal stain of sin.

As well, God desires for every one of His Children to receive the Living Word of God in power by embracing a “Personal Pentecost”.

There are three simple, yet powerful steps to receiving your “Personal Pentecost”.

1.  We must be “Born Again”!

John 3:7  Do not marvel that I said to you, ’You must be born again.’

2.  We must be willing to follow God.

Acts 5:32 "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."

3.  We must ask …

Luke 11:13  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

What are the benefits to embracing a “Personal Pentecost”?

The Light of God’s Word comes fresh from heaven upon you and empowers you to live the witness of the Word.

Salvation frees us from spiritual bondage but it is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to live the victorious life – victorious in our situations of life and victorious over our situations of life.

Acts 1:8  "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Light your lamp today with the powerful light of God’s Living Word! Experience the feast of Shavuot by first giving your life to Jesus, then committing to obey His Word and asking God to fill you with His Holy Spirit.

From the very beginning until now, Jesus has always been the Light of the world … let Him light your life today! You can find Him in prayer …

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Prepared


“Be Prepared” – You might recognize this statement and perhaps have even been told its value over and again. Since 1907 this has been the motto of the Scout movement, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, around the world. 

The founder of the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell wrote:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body ...

·         Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself … and also by having thought out beforehand any … situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
·         Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

"To do the right thing at the right moment" can be extreme:

Now, more than a century later these same demands lie at the door of every young man and every young lady who desires to become a part of productive society. Not only did Robert Baden Powell along with his wife Agnes set high and lofty standards of life for their scouts and guides to achieve and follow, they further dedicated their lives to spend time teaching and training boys and girls to “be prepared”.

Even in 1907, doing the right thing at the right moment could be considered extreme. It’s no different today than at any other point in history. People who are prepared and do the right thing at the right time are often considered radical or extraordinary.

3000 years ago there was a wealthy man who married a beautiful woman. It was not his first marriage, he had been divorced and in fact, this was at least his fourth wife. At any rate their combined wealth and beauty did not protect them from trouble. The first child they had got sick soon after he was born and he died. Afterwards she became pregnant again and in the process of time delivered their second child, a son. God took a special liking to this son and began to bless him early in life.

As the child grew it became evident that he had a keen sense for gaining wisdom through observation of life. His mother, his dad and his preacher spent extra time with him, teaching him and preparing him for the future. When it came time for this man to take his place in society, he was fully capable … in other words … he was prepared. His mother had told him the truth about life, his father had told him the truth about life and his preacher had told him the truth about life. He was prepared …

Throughout this man’s life he used his special God-given gift to gain insight and increase in knowledge and wisdom through observing others and life in general. God was so impressed with this young man that He told him there would never be another person on earth blessed with more wisdom that he. You probably know the man of whom I speak – his name is Solomon. The richest, wisest and most loved man in the bible.

There are three things you can note about Solomon from his writings:

·         He respected what his mother had to say
·         He respected what his father had to say
·         He respected what he was taught from the Word of God 

Near the end of his life he wrote:

Who can find a faithful man? (Proverbs 20:6b) 

Who can find a virtuous woman? (Proverbs 31:10a) 

In all of his wisdom he realized that there were so few who were willing and prepared to do the right thing at the right time.

One of King Solomon’s last claims was that he had lived all of his life, searching for and gaining wisdom while all along and in the end he could have just realized that everything his father had told him was true.

Tonight I want make sure that you are prepared for this next season of your life. I have travelled around the world many times, I’ve lived in foreign countries, worked in many fields, sat in endless lectures, climbed snow covered mountains, crossed crocodile infested rivers, survived deserts, slept out among the wild animals on the plains of East Africa, faced barracudas and sharks on the ocean’s floor, spent years in the military, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, built businesses, been married 40 years, raised two children and have 8 grandchildren, been a pastor for over 30 years … I was young and now I am older, and I can tell you from experience that the same thing King Solomon said is true – Mom, Dad and the Preacher were right!

There are plenty of smart people entering into the colleges, universities, military and work places of our nation this year, but I dare to say there are fewer who are prepared in mind and prepared in body to do the right thing at the right time. Sad to say … not everyone has been told what is right by mom, dad, and they might not have ever had a pastor who loved them enough to tell them the truth.

Whether you are moving away from home to embrace this next season of life or staying right here and taking advantage of the opportunities presented in Southeast, Texas, allow this older preacher who has been around the block a time or two and who loves you, to give you some points of wisdom that will help you be prepared for what you will encounter. Mark these down as truth and do not let the world take them away.

1.   Refuse to believe what the World says about:
a.   God
b.   Themselves
c.   Christians
d.   You
2.   Stay in Church
3.   Keep in Touch

In other words … be prepared - and endeavor to do the right thing at the right time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mother’s Makeup


Life is designed to grow bigger than can be contained by the womb in which it began. Life is destined to fewer confines and greater capacities.

Neither the womb nor the grave shall limit the plan of God.

The story we are about to review came at a very hard time in the life and plight of the Israelites. These Children of Israel were living as slaves of the Pharaoh in Egypt and they were multiplying in population and in strength faster than the Egyptians were comfortable with.

Concerned with the potential of someday being overrun by their captive workforce, Pharaoh’s advisers convinced him to order the Egyptian mid-wives to murder each new baby boy at birth and only allow the female babies to live. Pharaoh felt that this would help to prevent or better control any future uprising or revolt from the Israelite slaves. Because of Pharaoh’s plans the Hebrew women began delivering their children before their Egyptian mid-wife/nurse could arrive. Such was the case with a woman named Jochebed who was married to a Levite named Amram. (Exo 6:20)

Today we will review some great lessons about motherhood which the Bible teaches us through both the biological mother and the adoptive mother of Moses. To begin our Mother’s Day message let’s look at:

Exodus 2
1  And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.
2  So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.
3  But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.
4  And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, kinds and variations. There are:
        Biological Moms
        Adoptive Moms
        Foster Mothers
        Spiritual Mothers
        Mother Figures from all walks of life

What qualifies someone to be a mother, biological or otherwise? Well there are at least three essential ingredients that we consistently see from God’s Word, which have been confirmed since creation, that go to make up a mother.

1.  Love

And by the way, birth mothers are not the only mothers who love and adore their children. Children often experience a mother’s love from more than one mother figure. Such was the case with Moses …

Exodus 2
5  Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it.
6  And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews’ children."

Literally she opened her heart when she opened that basket and then and there, she fell in love. It did not matter that the child was of another race, a different culture or even considered by some to beneath her and a potential enemy … this child touched her heart, a heart that no doubt God had prepared for just such a time as this … a heart that was now full love … the love which feels sorry for, takes pity on, releases compassion towards … the love which motivates a mother to take the next step:

You know, we not only see that Pharaoh’s daughter was moved with compassion for the child and took the place as his mother, later even giving him the name of Moses … but also Jochebed, his biological mother loved Moses so much that she risked her life and the security of her family to have him and hide him before placing him in the trusted hands of the Lord. It takes love to trust and it takes trust to let go of someone you love so dearly. Jochebed loved Moses and trusted God …

As I said, this child needed a foster mother to adopt him and God had no doubt prepared the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter for just such a work. Her heart was now filled with love … the love which feels sorry for, takes pity on, releases compassion towards someone… the love which motivates a mother to take the next step:

2.  Care

Exodus 2
7  Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"
8  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child’s mother.
9  Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.

Not only did Pharaoh’s daughter love and care for baby Moses, she was also willing to pay for what she believed was best for him … best in many ways no doubt … best for now and best for the future. You see, Pharaoh’s daughter was most likely going to have to “butter-up” and soften her dad somewhat to get him to warm up to the idea of having an abandoned slave baby from the river raised in the Palace as the adopted grandson of the Pharaoh --- however, a woman in love, willing to give of herself at great personal cost can seldom be denied anything they desire … she knew her daddy would eventually be ok with this. But for now – she had to take care! In these few minutes this little baby had gotten under her skin. Over the next 40 years Moses would become the unquestionable son of this woman he came to call mother. True motherhood, as God designed, whether biological, adoptive, or step related, is a spiritual dynamic.

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Time in the womb – or in the heart – makes one care. This is the type of care that commands a singular priority and a focused commitment - that says, “this is my child” and I am one hundred percent responsible for them… if they eat it will be because I fed them, if they are clean it will be because I bathed them, if they succeed it will be because I taught them.
God intends for each child to be conceived in the womb, loved from the heart, and cared for by a mother without regard to personal cost.

Motherhood takes love, care and the third God ordained element necessary for motherhood which we see in the life of Jochebed and indeed all throughout the plan of God is that of:

3.  Boundaries

Exodus 2
10  And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water."

From the very beginning of the Bible and the account of creation, ever since God presented Adam with his new bride and he called her “the mother of all living”, God has given us to understand that boundaries are a necessary and ordinary part of a mother’s makeup. Although motherhood is God’s hope for the world, the need for separation is a vital factor in that continuing plan of God. Boundaries can be beautiful …

Galatians 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace …

The first boundary a mother has to prepare to deal with is the birth of their child. It is a separation experience. For whatever time a child is in the womb, whether it is the actual physical womb in the sense of traditional pregnancy and gestation or the many other applications of this principle from adoptive motherhood to spiritual motherhood, that special moment of conception, like when Pharaoh’s daughter opened the little basket and saw the baby, that moment when the seed of new life suddenly chooses you as the safe place to grow, from that time on it is inevitable that future separation and the need to establish new boundaries will occur.

All life is designed to grow bigger than the womb in which it began.

We must let it grow … and growth will demand some separation. It might be painful at times but it is not actually designed to hurt but to help. In fact the very first time God mentions the concept of motherhood in the Bible, He speaks of the necessity of boundaries and healthy separation to facilitate greater growth. We find this first mention of motherhood in:

Genesis 2:24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Much could be said today about a Mother’s love, care, and the steps she prepares herself and her child to take in the future, however, no Mother’s Day would be complete if we did not recognize the well deserved honor we all owe to all mothers.

Perhaps the reason why God expects us to give such honor to our mothers is due to the extra He requires from them to make His plan work. A mother is designed to:
·        Give First
·        Give Most
·        Give Always

How does she do this? It’s just in her makeup …

A mother is expected to give more to the relationship than she initially receives in return If she refuses, she will never become a mother. And remember:

Neither the womb nor the grave shall limit the plan of God … life is designed for greater things than either birth or death can define.

Mothers, we love you and we thank you for giving first, giving most and giving always! We honor you … God bless you … Happy Mother’s Day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Church – “My Church”


I love “My Church”! Turn with me to Matthew 16 …

It is important to note how Jesus felt about His life’s mission which is the Church. The Bible declares that Jesus died for the Church and that one day He is coming back for the Church … The Church is not only His Body, but also His Bride … and, it is the Family of God in heaven and on earth.

Throughout the New Testament this overriding goal of Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection is very well defined and confirmed. Even though the subject of Church is evidently precious to Jesus, yet the word “Church” is only mentioned directly a total of 3 times in all the volume of the Gospels, twice in one verse and only once in another. (Matthew 16:18 & 18:19)

However, from the resurrection of Jesus throughout the rest of the Bible, the Church is directly mentioned by name on an average of once every 1.5 chapters. In fact, virtually every word beginning in the book of Acts through the book of Revelation is either written to or about the Church. You see, Church is not only the main theme but also the ultimate goal and constant work of the New Testament. Both Jesus and the Bible are all about the Church. I’m not talking about the Church as an institution, organization or icon, but as the Body, the Bride and the functioning Family of Christ … souls of men, redeemed and adopted into families.

The New Testament concept of “Church” is an ordered and purpose-filled assembly of Born Again Believers drawn together and empowered by the will and the authority of God. (It’s people, not perfect, but forgiven and driven by the Holy Spirit) The New Testament Church of Christ is built on the pattern of the Old Testament family of God in respect to both relationship and structure. The Bible consistently speaks of Three Levels of Church Family to which each Believer belongs, at least in God’s eyes:

1.   The Universal Church Family Resident In Both Heaven and Earth
2.   The World Wide Church Family
3.   The Local Church Family

(These are not intended to be in reference to names or doctrines to which many errors have been associated, rather these are but simple descriptions in laymen’s terms used in form to define location and connection in the most basic of meanings)

Matthew 16
18  “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

As I said earlier: It is important to note how Jesus felt about His life’s mission … notice:

·        “My Church” – Jesus took it personal
·        “build” – Jesus forewarned it would be work
·        “I will build” – He intended to be on scene and be involved
o   Church, like family, is a “hands-on” project
o   His declaration, “I will”, reveals a tenacious determination
o   Jesus was definitely sending a message of personal commitment
·        “hell shall not prevail …” – Church is
o   destined to encounter attack
o   designed to endure adversity
o   decidedly victorious on every front both in heaven & on earth
·        “I will give” – The Church is the future and the hope

We see this vision beginning to unfold shortly after Jesus spoke these words. Only a few days after Matthew 16, Jesus is crucified. Three days later He is resurrected in victory over death, hell and the grave. For forty days afterwards Jesus showed Himself alive with many infallible proofs. Prior to His ascension into heaven where today He sits at the right hand of the Father, Jesus directed His followers to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and begin building the Church.

One week after the ascension, which was barely 50 days after the crucifixion, God sent the Holy Spirit on an ordered assembly of Believers who were gathered all in one accord and the work began. Everyone in this small Church of only 120 people abandoned their personal pursuits in order to provide powerful testimony to the wonderful works of God.

That day 3000 people were added to the Church. These new converts, led by the example of those 120, gathered together every day to be taught the Word of the God and to pray, growing together in fellowship with other Believers even taking their meals together. (Acts 2)

As a result God added both numbers and strength to the Church every day.

Almost immediately, beginning in Acts 3, the gates of hell began to test the Church.

Neither God nor the devil does anything in the earth except through people.

Acts, chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7, detail the foundation and early structure of this first Church Family Jesus built in Jerusalem. If it had not been for the persecutions, attacks and adversities brought on the Church by the devil, the Church might have well been relegated to only a Jerusalem phenomenon. However, God, as He always does, took what the devil meant for harm and turned it to His Church’s advantage. Let’s look in Chapter 8, at the first mission trip of “The Church” – “My Church”

Acts 8  NKJV
1 ¶  Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

God wants to multiply, the devil wants to divide – there is a difference … one adds strength the other weakness – Romans 16:17 tells us to mark those who cause division or weaken the Church and avoid them.

This division caused great loss and great lamentation. We find it referred to again in Acts 11:19. The Jerusalem Church never fully recovered from this scattering of its strength. God intervened in what the devil intended for evil and turned it for good. Jerusalem suffered but the Church moved forward.

2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3  As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
4 ¶  Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
6  And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7  For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
8  And there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8 is an account of the first mission trip ever made by the Church. Interestingly enough the Church beings at this point to fulfill the second and subsequent portions of the Great Commission given by the power of the Holy Spirit in Matthew 28 and Acts 1:8.

Today, we have no other command and Jesus has no other mission but to build “His Church” on the Rock, and work through the family it to make disciples of all nations. The New Testament is our pattern example and if we are to be more like Jesus we will also need to Take Church Personal.

Let’s each one of us begin to:
·        Develop a “My Church” Perspective
Let’s each one of us:
·        Embrace the reality - it will take work
Let’s each one of us consider and:
·        Commit to be on scene and involved
Let’s each one of us be prayerfully filled with the Holy Spirit so we can:
·        Provide our community with testimony to the wonderful works of God
Let’s each one of us strive for unity in our Church Family so that we:
·        Don’t let the devil use us to weaken the work of God
o   In our local Church
o   In the Church World Wide
o   In the Eternal Church which Jesus is still building

Monday, May 7, 2012

No Heart For The Bull


We are always in a season of great opportunity. Opportunity exists all around us. In fact there is a law of repetitive opportunity. You aren’t the first person to go through the common places of life and you won’t be the last. Often it’s not opportunity that’s lacking but rather heart for the bull!

Ecclesiastes 1  NKJV
9  That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
10  Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.
11  There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.

When I was a young man I was adventurous and always ready for the new thing. I was 18 years old and had been married about 3 months when my brother-in-law and I decided to enter a bull riding contest in Linden, Texas. We and our wives drove the 35 miles, us guys paid our $15 entry fee and drew our number out of the hat. The number indicated which bull we had the fortune, or misfortune, of riding that particular night.

You see, it’s not just the rider who gets judged but also the bull. So to make it fair, everyone submits to the luck of the draw. In effect, the best rider could end up drawing the worst bull and not even have a chance of winning the pot. By the worst bull I don’t mean the biggest, bad-est, buckin-est, bull in the rodeo … the worst bull is the bull that is the weakest, wimpiest, laziest no account easy rider bull. “If he don’t buck – he don’t score!”

In bull riding competition both the rider and the bull score a potential 1 to 50 points depending on how difficult the bull is to ride and how good the rider performs. Those two scores are tallied and the results are the score for the ride. A score of 78 could mean that the rider had a perfect ride but the bull only half bucked – or it could mean that the bull was almost impossible to ride and the rider barely hung on for the 8 seconds, flopping around like a rag doll, just wishing he could find a place to jump off.

I’ve had bulls jump out from under me and me just be glad it was over only to have them jump right back under me on the next jump and find myself still needing to hang on or be hurt. You know, if you do anything very many times or long enough, you’re bound to come up short a couple of times. Falling just comes along every now and again even in such simple things as walking … without regard as to how many years you’ve been practicing.

Like with any competition from dancing with the stars to bull riding, the degree of difficulty and the performance of the person are added together to make up the final results.

I think it is the same in life as a whole. Heroes are only made in battle and even medals are awarded based on the degree of difficulty faced and the manner in which the individual performed under those circumstances. Athletes are judged not only by their individual performance but also in light of their level of competition. The starting pitcher for a class B school who moves to a 4A school his junior year might find himself on the bench. Of course, he might not, but if he is to play – he must prove that he can perform at a much higher level of competition than previously required. He will need passion for and a commitment to the game …

I never did very well at bull riding … it wasn’t because there were no good bulls out there, in fact there were great scoring bulls in every rodeo … I never did very well because I just did not ride competitively … in other words – I just didn’t have the heart for it … it was just something I was doing at the time … and there was also the fact that almost every bull was better at what he did than I was at keeping him from doing it. But that’s ok … I really didn’t want a career in bull riding – it was just something I was doing because I had a passion for adventure, not a passion for bull riding. This is not to say that I did not enjoy it or that I was inept … I was better than a lot of those other wanna-bees- I educated myself, looked the part, talked the lingo and I really did know what I was doing … but success required a focus that I lacked.

Here is a picture of me at 18 years old in that Linden Texas rodeo ---

Even though I was not good at bull riding, and even though I never won any money in that event, and even though I am now 40 years older and haven’t ridden a bucking bull in several years – I could still do it if I wanted to … Opportunities Abound – and even if they did not present themselves, I could seek out and find plenty of opportunity to ride a bull - I just don’t want to! Why – either I lack the passion or have developed better sense.

Nonetheless, every day the sun rises I could find a bull to ride if I really wanted to. You see, there is always another bull to ride – it’s the law of repetitive opportunity.

My wife and kids, along with my parents and friends, were sure glad that I didn’t choose to make bull riding my life’s calling … why??? – because I would have been a miserable failure. I couldn’t ride the best bulls that paid the money and if I only rode the bulls I could ride, those bulls could not make the score I needed to win. It was just not a winning combination.

Now just because I was not a great, money winning bull rider does not mean that I did not have great passion and potential for some other things in life. And my greatest potential both then and now was exactly where yours is today … Your greatest potential lies in your greatest passion.

Somewhere in life you have great potential – perhaps greater potential than you ever imagined. However you may be riding your present bull with no heart for the win. (For the sake of funny – we’ll call this: “No heart for the bull.”) When this happens we either need to get heart for the bull or get ourselves another bull. (Providing God allows.)

God has designed you with purpose. And, even though you may not always draw the best bull, when you ride with passion, you look forward to each ride, you have a better chance of winning and you enjoy the ride even if you lose.

Not every wave a surfer catches is a 10 and not every ride they make, even when they do their best is a 10. However, we are all designed by God to successfully accomplish His will for our life. Life is a partnership with God … He picks the wave, we supply the passion and added together we score either a win or a loss for the ride.

If we want to be successful, we must ride with all our heart – and if we don’t have the heart to ride the wave we are on – then we need to find out where our passions lies and, providing God will allow, get to and stick to our passion. We always do better and seem to be happier when we ride with passion. (Now I am not saying that Jonah should not have gone to Nineveh … it just means that he should have found a way to be happy and passionate engaged in doing what God chose for him to do.)

It takes a reasonable degree of degree of difficulty and a certain level of competition to prove us. What is a reasonable degree of difficulty for you? Only God say – these things should not be left up to us or to the luck of the draw. God will not allow more to come on us than we are able to bear. And because of that, God may well have something else for you to do – something more akin to your passion. You can always ask.

Without regard as to your passion or performance for your current ride, in the end there are yet three things for which we must account. You have heard them before and no doubt you will hear them again. Everyone, without respect to their individual passion or position, is responsible to:
1.   Make a Living
2.   Make a Life
3.   Make a Difference

We do each of these three better when we ride the wave God has picked for us with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength – passion!

And don’t think for a moment that making a living or making a life constitutes making the difference God’s Word demands. For what would it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lost his own soul?

These three responsibilities are God delivered, God defined and God delineated responsibilities. The scriptures speak to each one separately and distinctly. Not one of these can replace or cover for another.

1 Timothy 5:8  But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Luke 12:15  And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."

1 John 3:17  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Without regard as to how we have performed in the past, succeeded or failed, collected wins or amassed losses, there is always another opportunity. Life cycles in predictable patterns.

In Philippians 3:13 & 14 the Apostle Paul declared that he continually committed himself to every “next opportunity” God presented with passion and pursuit, hoping that each one might bring him closer to God’s goal.

Certainly there is nothing “new” under the sun – what has been will be again – only we do not imagine that these opportunities are but cycles, repetitive opportunities … we often imagine ourselves to be the first to ever encounter such things. Believe me, others have been there and others will follow. However, it’s your turn now … find your passion!

Every ride might not be a money maker but don’t despair … there is another opportunity waiting for you … you will find your best ride when you find passion for God’s will … when you have heart for the bull.

By the way … I guess I haven’t completely lost my desire to ride bulls – here is another picture of me a year or so ago in old downtown Fort Worth, Texas on a Texas Longhorn … I just couldn’t resist this opportunity!

Where is your next opportunity? Well … where is your life passion? Don’t live your life with no heart for the bull! Find your place of passion …