Define God’s Promises

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20 It is so important to clearly define the promises God has for you. I cannot express enough how essential it is to take an abstract idea, like the promised land, and convert it into a concrete, specific, and date-marked thing you want to achieve. However, when I talk to people about writing down goals or making goals for their life, most people don’t want to do it. You may feel annoyed and uncomfortable over the thought of writing down your goals. You’re probably saying to yourself, “That does not sound fun at all!” On my 30th birthday, a group of us were celebrating. It was a tough time in my life. One friend asked me, “Bobby, what

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God’s Promise of Joy

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” – John 17:13 In the next several Positive Minutes, we will explore how to weave the important threads of experiencing God’s joy, into the fabric of our lives. Did you know that joy is a part of God’s promise to us? It’s in the Bible. It’s a part of the promise of our new life in Christ, and it’s not just something we get when we go to Heaven. It’s actually something that you get when Heaven goes into you. This means that joy is there when the Holy Spirit dwells inside our hearts and bodies, even if we’re going through personal turmoil and trials.  When we experience God’s joy but fall into adversity there is something inside us

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Winter from Two Perspectives

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” – Genesis 8:22 After the holidays, many of us are disappointed. We pack up the Christmas decorations, our hearts heavy with the knowledge that the festivities and celebrations are done. January, on the other hand, is brimming with potential and the promise of new beginnings. This is why I think winter is only a matter of perspective. I relocated to Oklahoma from California when I was a teenager, as I’ve already mentioned. It was a difficult adjustment for me, especially since it was my first time dealing with the brutal and piercing cold of winter. Then there was a snow day, and I got to skip school. I had never experienced a snow day before, and I recall thinking to myself at the time, “well, maybe this isn’t so

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A Behind-the-Scenes Savior

“In his defense Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.’” – John 5:17 Unfortunately, a lot of us Christians are myopic or nearsighted. In other words, we get so wrapped up in our daily circumstances that we forget we serve a Savior who is constantly working behind the scenes. God is infinite, and He has the ultimate “big-picture” perspective, but our minds are finite and only able to conceive of situations in linear time. That said, it’s important to remember that when life seems to be “closing in on us,” what we’re perceiving is only a microscopic blip on the radar of eternity. We can’t begin to conceive of how masterfully and marvelously everything fits together from His standpoint, but we can train ourselves to acknowledge the wonder that it does. No matter how uncertain or daunting

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God’s Covenant Bearer

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:2-4 4,000 years ago in the Ancient East, the world was a dangerous place, full of sickness, plague, famine, and drought. Struggling humanity survived through the enactment of covenants, or permanent promises made between two tribes that combined their strengths, assets, and property. The idea was that when both groups came together, they were stronger, wealthier, and wiser than they were on their own. Such agreements were typically made during a ceremony wherein two tribes faced each other, sang songs, and performed sacrificial rites. The tribal chiefs would exchange coats as a sign of honor and then they would

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The Abundance of God

“You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” – Psalm 65:11 Very often, we think about the gift we receive in salvation being strictly in the context of Heaven, and that is important. However, it’s also important to remember that in Jewish culture, being blessed meant more than inheriting eternal life at death. Deuteronomy 28:5 says, “Your kneading baskets will be filled, and your crops will grow.” And Psalm 27:13 declares that we “…will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Clearly then, God’s heart toward people has always been one of abundance. He delights in giving good gifts to His children in the here and now, and He is honored when we expect Him to deliver on His promises. He is not a “survival mode” kind of Savior — He’s the overflowing, never-ending, all-sufficient King of the Universe, and

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Get Back Up

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 When I finished seminary, the average time a graduate spent in pursuit of ministry was just five years. Even after countless hours of formal education and the sacrifice of months spent studying and training, the unforeseen yet inevitable challenges of doing the Lord’s work in a fallen world are too much for many. And unfortunately, this isn’t just true in ministry. Most people stay at a job for an average of four years before moving on in search of something better. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it speaks to the truth that consistency in any endeavor is hard, because it comes at a cost. In whatever we undertake, there’s a “honeymoon” period when things are new and exciting, and the

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Slinging Stones of Faith

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.” – 1 Samuel 17:49 We know that David killed Goliath with a slingshot, and though many of us were taught that it was a miracle that he was able to knock him down with just one stone, historically-speaking, slinging was a very effective way to hunt. While it was eventually replaced by archery because a bow and arrow have a longer range, a tiny rock slung within 20 feet of a target was just as powerful as a .44 pistol. Such a weapon was simple and inexpensive to fashion, and although there was considerable skill involved in mastering it, David was well-practiced since he was accustomed to fighting off the predatory animals that sought to attack his sheep.

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Anointed to Serve

“Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, ‘See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.’” – 1 Samuel 16:14,15 Right after Samuel met David, the Lord confirmed to the prophet that he was the one who would be king, and without wasting a minute, he anointed the young man. While he wouldn’t take the throne for many years, at the moment he was chosen, the Holy Spirit came upon David and he was filled with God’s presence. Interestingly, at the same time, the Holy Spirit left Saul, and almost immediately, the king was tormented by a demon. Desperate for

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