Galactic Starveyors – The Image of the Invisible God

Colossians 1:15-16

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —
all things have been created through Him and for Him.

He is the image of the invisible God.

God revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man. Even His name implies both.

Jesus was a common Jewish name during the time He walked on earth. He was born to a human and walked among us as a human so he had to have a human name.
Christ means Messiah or Anointed. Those who use this name for Jesus in scripture wanted their readers to know that Jesus wasn’t just a great man, a wise teacher, a healer, a compassionate friend…He was the one that the Jewish nation had been waiting for — the Messiah.

God spoke through Isaiah to let His people know that he was going to come to earth through Immanuel – “God with us.”

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

And Matthew translated that for us as he showed us in his gospel how the prophecy and the fulfillment came together.

Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear A Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

John tells us that no one has seen God at any time. But we know from his writings and others that many saw “the image of the invisible God;” following him, loving him, disputing him, pursuing his destruction.

John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Aren’t you thankful that God planned, before the foundation of the world, while we were yet sinners, to send Jesus Christ as his image so that we could know Him and be right with Him?

Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ, the image of you – the invisible but all-powerful , all-knowing God. How we praise you, Father, for this opportunity to study Christ because knowing Him better helps us to know you better. Help our teaching come out of a passion for knowing you.

Staying Connected and Synch’d

How do you stay connected?  Do you stick to WiFi or strictly cellular service?  Are you out in boonies where you’re blessed to have LTE or do you have 4G?

What about your apps between devices?  Do you have any apps that won’t synch data back and forth?  I have one and that’s about all I can take.  But it is a really good one (other than that), so I keep it.

For,  “Who can known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.  1 Corinthians 2:16 

To have the mind of Christ, we must have the best connection.  Based on what I could find in my Googling, the fastest Internet speed is somewhere past 43 terabytes per second. Continue reading

Love Our Kids: A Devo for Teachers – Loose Lips Sink Ships and Cause Other Troubles

I hardly spend time in my “paper” Bible any more. I am so thankful for the electronic options that allow me almost unlimited access to translations and commentaries. But today I was flipping through my Bible I’ve had since 1990 and reading some of the notes.

On one page in particular in Proverbs I had underlined four verses and three of them were about the trouble your mouth can bring you. For anyone who’s known me for a long time, it is probably not surprising that God has had and continues to have a lot of work to do on me in that area.

“A fool’s lips bring him strife and his mouth invites a beating.” Proverbs 6:18

In fact, my last spanking, at age 16, was for telling my Dad I shouldn’t have to get the milk at the supper table because my brother sat closer to the refrigerator. I’m such a slow learner!

Here I am at age 50+ still needing the Lord’s instruction on listening before answering (v 13) and the power of the tongue being life and death (v21).

Lord, help us to be gracious in all our responses today. There is some child, parent or co-worker who desperately needs a word from You today and I may be the only one they encounter who can give it to them.

Colossians 4:6 NLT – Let your a conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Are you committed?

Psalms 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.

I am really enjoying “Jesus Calling,” which is the most powerful devotional book I have ever encountered. This morning I was particularly struck by,

“Don’t divide your life into things you can do by yourself and things that require My help. Instead, learn to rely on Me in every situation.”

Busted!

Psalms says to commit EVERYTHING I do to The Lord – not just the stuff I can’t get on my own. And, if I REALLY did some soul searching, I’d probably realize there’s a lot less I can do on my own than I typically think.

Lord, help us rely on you in every moment today as we strive to make a difference in our world for you.

Postscript – I don’t read “Jesus Calling” as if God has given the writer new revelation and messages. Evidently, some people do – which is very dangerous. I read it, comparing it to God’s revelation to us through His word and find no new message. What I seek is the same kind of meditation on God’s Word that draw me closer to His presence. I think that matches up with His heart.

Loving Our Kids Devo for Teachers – Getting things in perspective

Matthew 6:33 – Steep your life in God- reality, God- initiative, God- provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

I like this paraphrase of a familiar scripture from The Message.

So today when you’re dealing with the children entrusted to you (or a parent or co-worker), take a second to think about God’s perspective of the situation and take action based on that instead of what your flesh feels.

I find that my first response to a situation is based on how I think it makes me look. That makes me want to start “protecting myself” and making sure I don’t look a fool; making sure I am “respected.” Unless I seek the Lord’s perspective, I am making it about me, when it very often has NOTHING to do with me.

Lord, help us to seek your reality and to see how you are at work. Praise you for your provision in everything.

Love Our Kids Devo for Teachers – Grace Abounding

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV 1984)

Are you abounding in grace? I can assure you that unless I am relying on the Lord, I am not. An attitude of grace (which walks very close to humility) is not one of my natural tendencies.

But “God is able”! These one of the greatest phrases in the Bible. God is able to make grace ABOUND.

I know as you work with kids grace is an absolute necessity. As you work with parents and co-workers who look at life very differently from you – grace is an absolute necessity.

I pray that today we will avail ourselves of the grace that God can make abound to us if we will only let Him.

Humble Benefits

James 4:7
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the a devil, and he will flee from you.

I know this verse – it is very familiar. But yesterday when my day started out with great frustration and then it continued until I left for lunch, it didn’t come to mind. However, I knew that letting the frustration continue to build was going to lead to thinking very negatively about vendors, co-workers and any situation I encountered. The Lord kept reminding me – “This is not really important. Think about the good things that are happening.”

That takes becoming humble and realizing that my current problem is not the biggest thing that is happening right now.

Humility may not be as difficult for you as it is for me, but I want to encourage you today to look at every situation from God’s perspective. Resist the Devil trying to get you all tied up in knots over something very insignificant.

Your day will get brighter in a hurry, the Devil will be defeated and The Lord will be glorified.

Love Our Kids – Back to School

I hope you have had a good summer. I’m sure it’s hard for you to believe it is almost over.

I pray that as you prepare your classroom that you
1. Will spend time praying over each desk/table/seat.
2. Will ask The Lord to show you what each child needs from you – both scholastically and as a gift from him.
3. Will ask The Lord for a servant’s heart that will serve each child with the same attitude.
4. Will ask The Lord for special grace for those students who seem like trouble-makers, but who may just be crying out for basic needs his parents aren’t providing.

You have a daunting task, but a powerful ministry opportunity.

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Philippians 4:19

Love Our Kids – We Are Not Our Own

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:7, 8 NIV)

I pray that as we go through our days will be very aware of nothing is about us.

If we’re in Christ, everything is supposed to be for him. I’ve been contemplating what kind of difference that should make in my choices, speech, behavior and attitudes.

Lord, we commit everything to you today. Give us a keen awareness of the things that we choose that do not honor you.