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Monday, November 18, 2013

God-Size Burden vs Empty Fulfillment!

In life we all are in pursuit of something. Many are in the pursuit of happiness. Many are in pursuit of the American Dream.  Many are in pursuit of nice home. Many are in pursuit of a nice car.  Many are in pursuit of financial freedom. Many are in pursuit of the perfect spouse or mate. Many are in pursuit of academic success.  Many are in pursuit of status.  None of these things are inherently wrong or bad.  However all of these things sends you on a chase of empty fulfillment.  The moment you get the car you realize it doesn't do it.  The moment you get the house you realize it doesn't do it.  The moment you reach the financial freedom you realize it doesn't do it etc.

The Apostle Paul had a God-size burden to advance the gospel.  This burden led to great hardship from lashings, to being shipwrecked, and even imprisonment.  However Paul had what many of us long for and that is fulfillment.  Paul rejoiced in his hardships and his sufferings and his imprisonments not because he knew brighter days were ahead but because he knew it was for the advancement of God's agenda.  He knew what he was enduring was bigger than his self and was God inspired, God designed, and God approved.  There is nothing more fulfilling in life than living out your God giving purpose!!

So here are some things to pursue that won't leave you hanging.  Pursue peace as the writers of Romans, and Hebrews suggest.  Pursue the good works Christ created us anew to do.  You ever notice that there is a small sense of fulfillment you feel when you reach out to the least of them in some act of compassion? Yeah?  Its because God-size burdens brings fulfillment.

What is your God-size burden?  What is that thing that is bigger than yourself that you are willing to give your life to? 

Scripture Reference: Phil., Romans, 1. Cor. 2, Cor.

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beauty of God: Strength

The beauty of God's strength is it is only activated when we surrender.  The beauty of God's strength is it is made perfect in our weaknesses.  One of our greatest weaknesses is trust in our own strength.  However the true measure of strength in God's eyes is your ability to acknowledge your frailties.  In a world that promotes individualism and being a self-made individual.  God promotes trust in his Strength.  He wants to be your strength! 

If we truly understood the omnipotence of God we would delight in trusting in HIS strength.  God wants to be your refuge and very present help in your time of trouble.  So the moment you can't do God will do, but as long as you try to do God will let you do.  Look at the beauty of a God who wants do for you what you can't do for yourself!

Scripture Reference: 2 Cor. 12:9

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, November 4, 2013

Beauty of God: Compassion

When many people think about the beauty of God they think of His creative handiwork.  How beautiful the sunset is or how beautiful a clear night sky is when you can see the millions and millions of stars.  No doubt the beauty of God is on display.

However I would like to suggest that the beauty of God is the fact we serve a God who won't prevent you from suffering but decides to suffer with you.  Not only will He suffer with you but He suffered for you.   The greatest act of compassion ever demonstrated was on Calvary's cross where Christ suffered to demonstrate His love for us.  Christ willingness to suffer then lets us know his willingness to suffer with us now. 

I don't know about you but that's beautiful to me. The beauty of God is seen in His willingness to suffer with you and I.  Compassion means to suffer with.  The compassion of God demonstrates the beauty of God more than any skyline, beach, etc. and can or ever will.  Remember HIS beauty today!

Scripture Reference: Roman 5:8

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All Rise:The Honorable Samson Presiding

As we bring our journey through the "Judges" of Israel to a close we come to undoubtedly the most infamous one of them all Samson.  You know the story of Samson who was to be consecrated as a Nazarite from birth meaning he wouldn't drink wine or consume anything from the vine.  Lord knows I love me some grapes!  He also wouldn't cut his hair.  As the narrative progresses he falls in love with a woman he is not supposed to get entangled with.  Samson believed that his hair was the source of his strength as Samson possessed superhuman strength.  Samson  killed a lion bear-handed, he killed 30 Philistines at Ashkelon and thousand more with a jawbone of an ass just to name a few of his amazing deeds due to his supernatural strength.  The woman eventually seduces Samson and cuts his hair and in turn Samson loses his superhuman strength.  He was blinded and put in jail as a result but when he cried out to the Lord Yahweh restored his strength to him.  Samson story has a tragic ending has he pulled down the Temple of Dagon killing himself and about 3,000 Philistines.

Samson life teaches us an important lesson and that is this God is the source of our strength.  Like the late great James Cleveland wrote in his classic "God is".   However like Samson we have the tendency to try to find  strength in other places i.e. church, family etc.  Like Samson we will find ourselves in situations where we will have to call out or cry out for HIS strength!  God is the source and the strength of my life is what the songwriter said and would have to agree.

So remember God is!  I know its simply but it's true God is!

Scripture Reference: Judges 13

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

All Rise: The Honorable Abdon Presiding

As we continue our journey through the "Judges" of Israel we come to Abdon. Abdon was the son of Hillel the Pirathonite and he had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy young donkeys.  Abdon judged Israel eight years.  Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mountains of the Amalekites.  This is all the bible says about Abdon.  Abdon name means to work, to serve, or servant.

There is something we can learn from Abdon name and life.  Abdon was a wealthy man but apparently that didn't deter him from having a servant's heart.  In a world full of I got mine now you get yours type of thinking we see a man who names means to serve.  God isn't against wealth but God is against wealth at the expense of relationship with Him.  God is more concern with how you use your resources than the amount of resources you have. 

Let us heed the biblical warning not to gain the whole world and lose our soul!  Abdon was a man of wealth but his name indicates that he was always willing to serve.  You are never too BIG to serve and you never reach a status where you are not called to SERVE.  Remember greatness is the eyes of the kingdom is the one who is willing the serve the most.

Scripture Reference: Judges 12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, September 23, 2013

All Rise: The Honorable Elon (Zebulun)

As we continue our journey through the "Judges" of Israel we come to Elon.  Elon the Zebulunite  judged Israel ten years.  Elon was buried at Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.  That's all the Bible says about Elon in the book of Judges.  His name means tree or oak tree.

Elon still has something to say to us because God chose him.  I know that may not sound like much but it really is everything!  The fact that he was chosen to deliver Israel implies that he was a faithful to Yahweh.  No greater compliment can a believer be granted than to be faithful to Yahweh.   Also oak tree in the bible refers to a strong and mighty tree.  Which  implies that Elon perhaps was a strong and mighty judge.

Can you be considered an oak?  A strong believer who is faithful to Yahweh?  Or do you crumble and lose faith as the pressures of life mount.  I encourage you to today to be strong in the faith like an oak and stay faithful to Yahweh even when your life situations suggest otherwise.

Scripture Reference: Judges 12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All Rise: The Honorable Ibzan Presiding

As we continue our journey through the "Judges" of Israel we come to Ibzan.  Ibzan was from Bethlehem and he judged Israel seven years.  He had thirty sons and he gave away thirty daughters in marriage. He brought in thirty daughters from elsewhere for his sons then Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.  That's all the bible says about him in the book of Judges.  Ibzan in Hebrew means illustrious. 

There is an important lesson to be learned from Ibzan and that is we are to seek to live illustrious lives.  Illustrious means well-respected or to be admired for past achievements or accomplishments. What I think is interesting is that Jewish tradition suggest that he is Boaz from the book of Ruth.  If that be the case then he definitely lived an illustrious life but whether he is Boaz from the book of Ruth or not does not diminish the fact that he was worthy to be mention in the book of Judges. We also know he ruled longer that Jephthah who may have the more popular story but doesn't mean he lived the more illustrious life.  Ibzan was respected and most likely well-off.  If is indeed Boaz we admire him for being Ruth's kinsman-redeemer. 

Do you live a life seeking to be well-respected by man or by God?  When you seek to earn the respect of God you receive the favor of God.  Notice I said respect you already has is approval thanks to being in Christ Jesus if you believe in the gospel.  But you can join Job, Noah, and Enoch just to name a few on list of people that were well-respected by God.

Scripture Reference:  Judges 12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis