Why Would God Want Me?

creative ignition

Photo Credit: Creative Ignition via CC Flickr

I’m not perfect. I have all kinds of problems. I have no ability. I have no gifts. I’m just not worthy. Why would God want me?

Well, did you know that?…..

Moses stuttered.
David’s armor didn’t fit.
John Mark deserted Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a persecutor of the church.
Moses was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God’s will.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul – well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn’t require a job interview for salvation. He’s our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. He know who we are and what we are and loves us in spite of ourselves

SATAN SAYS, “YOU’RE NOT WORTHY.”
JESUS SAYS, “SO WHAT? I AM.”
SATAN LOOKS BACK AND SEES OUR MISTAKES.
GOD LOOKS BACK AND SEES THE CROSS.

He doesn’t calculate how you failed in ’99. It’s not even on the record.

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t call us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, what we have done, or the fact that we are not perfect!

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Source: http://gatewaytojesus.com/

Big Difference

Photo Credit: Dean Hochman via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Dean Hochman via CC Flickr

“Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” Genesis 3:23

There’s a big difference between ‘going’ and ‘being sent’.

* Going suggests movement. Sent suggests an authority is launching that movement.

* Going is optional, involving choice. Sent means compelled, leaving no choice.

* Going means directed travel. Sent means mission, a deeper direction.

That’s why it feels so much better to be sent into battle instead of going into battle.

God sends. It’s His way. He launches men on missions. He compels our hearts and moves us deeply to move with Him, move for Him, move for others. Maybe that’s why the word ‘sent’ is mentioned 700 or so times in scripture. He wants us on mission with Him. Today’s verse is just the first recorded mention of the word.

Pushbacks

1. What do your movements look like? Do you just go, whether calculated or carefree,…or are you sent, driven by God to do or say something?

2. Do you ask God to come along and help you…or do you ask God if you can go with Him, for Him?

3. To be ‘on a mission’ means more than just going somewhere or doing a specific something. It means something else beyond yourself is driving you. How missional is your living? In what area(s) of your life do you feel called, sent?

LORD, send me. Don’t let me go anywhere, do anything without a sense of being sent.* The difference this makes is too big to do otherwise.

Be strong.

Stand for truth.

Live for eternity.

Coach Mo

Speak

Photo Credit: Norm4nNorm4

Photo Credit: Norm4nNorm4

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…” Proverbs 31:8

There’s a lot of noise in our world. Televisions run 24/7 and radios pump incessantly. Pandora and Spotify play supporting cast. Earbuds are worn like permanent jewelry and headphones crown our numbed heads. Still, there is too much silence, too many folks living lives of quiet desperation. The cries of the silent are not being heard.

When I was in college, during a big injury low point, a teammate of mine, unbeknownst to me, spoke on my behalf. What he said, I learned later, valued and defended me powerfully to powerful others and ended up making a huge difference in my future. I’m eternally grateful for Tim White.

Today’s Word invites us to speak meaningfully, to add volume to others and let our voices be strategically heard. I’m so glad God champions such dialogue. Following are a few ideas to prime your pump in speaking up today:

1. Defend the defenseless. Find someone who needs defending and stand up for him.
2. Practice justice. Speak up for what’s right and who’s wrong.
3. Help the voices of the abused, the children, the widow, the powerless, the disadvantaged to be heard. Find one paralyzed by fear and become their mouthpiece.
4. Listen so well to the weak that you cannot be silent. Open your ears to open your mouth.
5. Turn a cellphone into a megaphone! Engage in conversations that champion and cheer on others. 😉

LORD, help us to raise the volume on what needs to said and to speak up for others who need support. Don’t let us leave them voiceless. Thank you for Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for us. (Hebrews 7:25) May we follow His example well and do the same for others.

Maximum effort.
Heart for others.
Glory to God!
Coach Mo

What Do Coaches Make?

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

I came across this great story a while ago which perfectly illustrates the life and mindset of a coach. I have been a coach for 30 years and I think this tale hits the subject right on the head. I hope that it inspires you as much as it did for me. 

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The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, tried to explain the problem with college athletics. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to be a coach?”

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about coaches: “Those who can’t play, are those who coach.” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a coach, be honest. What do you make?”

Having a reputation for honesty and frankness, the guest replied, (At this moment Coach Ridder was FIRED up and getting after it!) “You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids run through 90 minutes of practice and sweat. I make kids turn dreams into reality.”

“You want to know what I make?”

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them cooperate.

I make them competitive and respectful.

I make them show all their work in front of hostile crowds and perfect their acts of sportsmanship.

I make them understand that if you have the will to follow your dreams, should anybody try to judge you by a mistake you made you must pay no attention because you tried and gave it your all.”

“I make teams from individuals who work together to build success.”

He paused and continued. “You want to know what I make?” I MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I MAKE LEADERS, I MAKE OTHER PROFESSIONS POSSIBLE.”

Then he asked the CEO, “What do you make?”

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It makes you think doesn’t it?

Ever Feel Like Your Prayers Are Useless?

Photo Credit: Udeyismall via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Udeyismall via CC Flickr

“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:3–4

There are many times that I feel like my prayers are useless. I repeat the same thing, day after day, and see no answer from God, no results.

Other times, I treat prayer like the least and last thing, when there’s nothing else I can do: “I’ll pray for you.” I say it when I’m feeling helpless and hopeless.

When did prayer become like this for me?

Jesus prayed constantly. He would sometimes stay up all night to pray. He went away to lonely places to pray. He experienced everything we do, so I’m sure there were times He felt like God wasn’t hearing Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed for the cup of suffering to pass from Him, and His prayer wasn’t answered.

In Revelation, the prayers of God’s people are offered with incense on the altar. Our prayers are like incense—an aroma before God, pleasing Him, moving Him. The aroma becomes stronger the more we pray or the more intensely we pray. Our prayers rise before God’s throne. Our prayers reach Him.

So even if I feel like my prayers are worthless, or I’ve become repetitive, I have to remember that they’re valuable; they can please God and move Him.

Faith step: Is your prayer life stagnant? Give it a new jolt of energy. Remember that your prayers are treasured, that they rise to God where He sits on His throne. Devote yourself to a certain amount of prayer every day this week, and make your prayers incense before God.

By Camy Tang

This devotion is excerpted from Mornings with Jesus.

Freedom and Captivity

Photo Credit: Lynn Willis via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Lynn Willis via CC Flickr

“An evil man is snared his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.” Proverbs 29:6

The presence and absence of sin in one’s life makes all the difference in the world. When sin abounds within me, it’s like I’m casting a net around my own feet. Sooner or later I will stumble, fall, and get bound up in the entanglement it inevitably causes. When righteousness prevails within me, I stay on the high road, snare-free, making me smile and sing to my heart’s content. I’m lifted and there’s nothing really to hold me back. What a way to live!

Is sin a snare to you? Feeling its entanglements (yet)? Walk free. Head towards righteousness and the Righteous One. Like playing a bad game in the past leaves the heart of a true champion, let His righteousness help you put sin in the past. Then sing a song of freedom and victory. You can’t beat the feeling of being clean.

LORD, help us see how critical it is to our future to deal with sin now. Don’t let us wait and get stuck. May your Son and Spirit coach us out of captivity and into forgiveness and freedom. Keep us on the high ground and put a lifting song in our hearts.

Singing towards my freedom,

Coach Mo

Don’t Get Trapped!

Photo Credit: Stefano Mortellara via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Stefano Mortellara via CC Flickr

“The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.” Proverbs 16:17

Good basketball players avoid being trapped. They back-dribble away from an advancing trap to create space. They pivot out of pressure. They make two passes beyond the trap to break the pressure it causes. They never pick up their dribble early. They never turn their back to the defense. They answer aggressiveness with aggressiveness.

What route do you take to avoid evil? What’s your plan? What’s your means of attack? Evil will eat you up if you don’t have proven ways to beat its choking, deadly pressure. It always seems to trap its opponents, albeit hard or soft pressure, if its opponent is not prepared and committed to break the press.

Today’s scripture offers great clues about how to break Evil’s pressure. Here’s some keys to breaking the press:
• STAY ON COURSE. Cruising on Upright Highway keeps one off Dark Alley. There’s never an exit for evil off that interstate. Stick to the high road.
• MAKE SPACE. Keep your distance from Evil. Evil works best when the gap closes and then draws you in.
• KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. Be on guard. Then a trap coming will never surprise you. Face up to evil. See the pressure coming before it sees you to the bench.
• GUARD YOUR WAY. Guarding your way guards your life. Being vigilant on a daily basis pays off over a lifetime. Never take a vacation from this. It could be disastrous.

LORD, let me see trouble coming before it gets upon me. Don’t let me get trapped and ensnared. Keep coaching me to guard my way so I can make plenty of space for You and avoid evil. Help my vigilance to be strong. I don’t wanna turn the ball over to the Enemy of my soul.

Remember how to break pressure. It will do you good for a lifetime!

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo

Cheerful or Crushed?

Cheerful or crushed

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

I watched a team in Perth, Australia get crushed yesterday, completely overwhelmed. The game was Australian football, an aggressive, 18-men-to-a-side, continuous action, contact sport on a large, outdoor, oval pitch. The first quarter score alone was 49-4. It didn’t get much better. A sell-out crowd of 60,000 fans endured witnessing a massacre at home. I sure don’t wanna see that team stay down.

How do you recover from life’s crushing blows? Like yesterday, they do come. They crack the beach of our spirit like a huge ocean wave, stagger us like a punch from a champion prizefighter, and level us like a blindside sack of a football quarterback.

The answer? Apply the good medicine of a cheerful heart. It is balm to the mind, revives the soul, and resets the spirit.

And where does cheerful heart medicine come from? How do we find this merriment ointment? How do we get joyful recovery? All over the place scripture points to three things.

  1. A GREAT DELIVERANCE. God delivers. It is His way. He delivers men from the crippling inner tyrannies of sin, self, guilt and shame. The Deliverer is Christ. Our deliverance awaits. Our Deliverer has come. He stands before us to fight to insure that our past will not condemn our future.
  2. A GREAT PURPOSE. Great purpose gets a man bravely off the canvas. Such a man refuses to be beaten because the purpose for which he lives and fights is too great, too strong. He knows somehow that purpose will prevail, that victory will be won. Great purpose produces great fight.
  3. A GREAT TRUST. When trust in deliverance and purpose truly forms, anxiety and fear must flee. This allows room for good cheer to grow and healing hope to enter. Trust in truth. The truth will prevail. And remember, Truth is a Person…Jesus. Trust Him.

Don’t stay crushed. Be of good cheer. Take some good medicine. Realize the great deliverance, purpose and trust we have in and through Christ.

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo