Where to Find Treasure

Have you ever felt like there was something out there for you, but you weren’t quite sure what it was, or where you could find it? At different times, even our own minds play tricks on us— “If I just had more money I wouldn’t have to struggle so much” or… “If I were famous I could really make a difference in this world”, or… “If I were more beautiful….” and the list goes on & on. We find ourselves chasing the wind most of the time.

“There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” (Proverbs 21:20, NKJV)

But here’s the thing: God fully understands our human nature – in hunting for what satisfies; that’s why He says in Proverbs 21:20… “There is a desirable treasure!” It’s like…

“Don’t give up. Just re-adjust your mindset as to what you interpret as “treasure”.

If your treasure is gold, glory, or glamour—you’re squandering the real “treasure”. But if you join your faith to the Word of God, and say, “There IS a desirable treasure!! And it’s the oil of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and being tapped-in to Heaven’s resources, and the relationship I can have with God thru the person of the Holy Spirit!” – then truly you’ll have found the most valuable treasure any person could ever possess! You’ll feel like you’ve struck it rich!

“Lord, if there’s areas in my life that I’m trying to find fulfillment in, but I’m looking in the wrong places, please help me to re-adjust my focus today. Please forgive me for squandering the real treasure of my relationship with You. I want the oil of the Holy Spirit in my life today. I’m hungry for Your presence today. Fill me now, in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!”

The Right Telescope

In Maui, we now have the world’s largest digital camera, (located on top of Mt. Haleakala, of course). It’s ability to capture the span of 40 moons across the canvas of outer space – is amazing indeed. But the main function of this camera is not mere “star gazing”, no, it’s used to watching out for meteors that could potentially “rock our world”. (Remember the movie, “Armageddon”?)

”Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” [John 13:1]

On the night Jesus was to be betrayed, He took His disciples to a place called: “loving them to the end.” And when you see a person loving his dearest friends to the very end his life, what does that look like? The phrase, “…to the end has it’s origin in the greek: telos, from which we get the word, Telescope. Jesus was absolutely focused and zeroed-in on demonstrating His love for His disciples.

When you look up to the God of the universe, what do you see? What are you expecting? Many people actually think of God as One who is dropping “meteors of trials” down on them, as if He is the “Cosmic Kill-Joy” of the universe. Others are always expecting the worse thing will happen, and that “…Oh, God probably doesn’t love me, because of all the bad things I’ve done….” But, here’s the thing, when you look through telescope of God’s Word [James 1:22-25], you’ll see that what is on the horizon for your life are… the multitude of mercies and love drops from Heaven, because of the great love of a great God. And just like Jesus loved those disciples of His to very end, in the same way He will love you and I – right up to the very end. Aren’t you glad for a Saviour like this?!

Pray This Prayer
“Lord, this morning I want to thank You for Your great Love for me. I know at times I deserve a meteor of judgement, but I ask for mercy and for grace to be extended from the scepter of Your Throne. I receive Your unconditional, agape love over my life and right now, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

My Smog & God’s Cloud

Burning Sugarcane in Maui

This morning as I was driving down the mountain I saw a familiar scene, but something was different. Fields of sugarcane were being burned; and the heat of the smoke was actually pushing away the beautiful white clouds that were being formed around the west Maui mountains. Brown, smog-like haze was beginning to overtake the white clouds. And I thought to myself, “I wonder how many times God has wanted to come down and hover over my life with His presence, but I have such a carnal smoke cloud burning that it pushes Him back.” But I came across a scripture that gives the believer courage in times of struggle.

“Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go.” [Neh. 9:19]

Here, God’s Word is saying that even when the children of Israel were creating the “smog of self-centeredness”, (#1.) They weren’t forsaken by God. And (#2.) The cloud did not depart from them! Just when you think you’re at your worst, and that God is “holding His nose” to your “fires of sin”, He stays with you, showing you mercy, and gives you a real hope that you’re still His, and that He’s not going to leave.

No matter where you’re at today – you may feel like a failure, or that you’ve worn-out your welcome at the altar of God by your multitude of transgressions, but God Word is true! You cannot chase Him away from you. Your “smog” is no match for His “cloud”. He saved you, He changed you, He’s got a vested interest in holding on to you! Think about it, He’s invested too much in you to, somehow, let you go now. No! He’s drawing near to you, and causing His presence to blow away all the carnal pollution that you’ve been spreading in your life. He’s letting you know that, the change you’re seeking is right around the corner, and that you’re new beginning can start today!

Changed by “The Look”

Have you ever had someone give you one of those “looks”? You know what I’m talking about, because when they do you feel their eyes piercing through into your heart.

“All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?” Lamentations 2:15 KJV

As the Children of Israel are being invaded by the barbaric Babylonian forces Jeremiah’s tears begin to fall. Although this mighty prophet told them this judgment of God would take place still his heart breaks over their blatant disobedience. Jeremiah isn’t one of these, “I-told-you-so kind of Christians”. His heart is genuine – it’s the very heart of God. Remember Peter after denying the Lord? You would have thought that Jesus would have given him the cold stare of death, but His eyes conveyed an understanding that crushed the heart of this rugged fisherman [Luke 22:61]. Through all his mistakes Peter still remained one of His favorite disciples. How do we know? After Jesus rose from the dead He singled Peter out as He spoke those grace-drenched words, “…and Peter” [Mark 16:7].

Have you ever been so convicted by the Lord, that you just buried your face in the palm of your hands? Have you ever been so embarrassed by your friends who caught you in the very act of rebellion against the Lord as they said, “but… I thought you were a Christian…”? If they didn’t say the words, they sure did give you “the look”. It’s the look that will either cause you to give up and go back to the world, or give up and go back to carrying your cross.

The bottom line is that God has called us His own. Are we going to make mistakes? Yes. Are we going to do stupid things that the world will point their fingers at us, and mock us because we haven’t been faithful to our Lord? Probably so. But in it all I want to see the look of grace from the Lord, and remember that there’s always mercy and forgiveness with Lord. As Peter was crushed with “the look” it was the very thing that caused him to rise up like never before and formed him into the man of God that was so mightily used of God in the early Church. We, too, can be changed and renewed if we allow the Lord to look into our hearts today.

Wasted Grace

Would God allow anything He gives to go to waste? You might think, “That’s absurd. God is so wise… yada, yada, yada…”

My Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chron. 19-24

“…as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Pet. 4:10

1 Peter 4:10 speaks of God’s grace as being multifaceted, or having many aspects, sides and characteristics to it. God’s grace comes…

• …to Melt us
• …to Correct us
• …to bring us to Repentance
• …to Forgive us
• …to Restore us
• …to Strengthen us
• …to Empower us
• …to Teach us

If we’re not careful, all this grace in its different forms will get wasted. Someone might say,

“Oh no, that’s all wrong. None of God’s grace is wasted.”

Really? How about when we trample underfoot the Blood of Jesus according to Hebrews 10:29 and all God’s grace goes down the drain? How about those who end up dying in their sins when they could have accepted God’s Love, but they rejected it, died, and God’s grace got wasted? You can’t tell me God’s doesn’t weep over His Wasted Grace.

The Cleansing Sea

I just love the Sea. In the early 90’s I lived in Maui and the ocean has such a calming and cleansing effect on the human spirit. Whether you surf, swim, or just stare at it – the Sea is the place to be.

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chron. 1-4

“He (Solomon) made a Sea–an immense round basin of cast metal fifteen feet in diameter, seven and a half feet high, and forty-five feet in circumference. Just under the rim, there were two parallel bands of something like bulls, ten to each foot and a half. The figures were cast in one piece with the Sea. The Sea was set on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. All the bulls faced outward and supported the Sea on their hindquarters. The Sea was three inches thick and flared at the rim like a cup, or a lily. It held about 18,000 gallons.” 2 Chron. 4:2-5 MSG

This “Sea” must have been a sight to see! It was so huge they actually called it a “sea”. The main purpose for this Sea was for the priests to cleanse themselves ceremoniously before they ministered. I wonder what people thought about the Sea as they saw it. I’m sure some thought, “What a Sea of Sin! All those sins are just floating there!” But I’m sure others saw it differently, “What an incredible Sea of Mercy! Wow, they just get in there and they’re cleansed and set free!” Matthew Henry says that this “Sea” was right in front of the Temple, as if it were right at the front door of the Church. It made me think how that many today see Church. Some see it as a place of hypocrites that they avoid like the Bubonic Plague. Others though see the Church as a place of mercy, a place to be cleaned and set free. But as Christians, (and especially as Pastors), we are to be those who are daily being washed in the Blood of Jesus and cleansed in the water of the Word of God.

There were also these 12 bulls that were actually built-in to this sea – three facing in each direction. I see these bulls representing the 11 disciples (and the 12th – in my opinion is the Apostle Paul), who were send out by the Lord Jesus…

Matt 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV

And in the same way Jesus has commission us to bring cleansing to everyone in the whole world. And not only that, but we are to be so joined and melted together in a lifestyle of purity. When the world sees us they ought to see the beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2). It’s not a contrived self-righteousness that is “holier than thou”, but it’s supernaturally natural because we are so connected to the life of God, which is holiness and purity of heart.

Are you really in the Sea of Mercy? Are you an authentic representative of Jesus Christ? Or is your life dirty and impure? As people see your life and think about God, Jesus, the Church, are they thinking, “Yeah right, just another hypocrite. No thanks”, or are they attracted by what you have and seem to represent? Wherever you’re at today there is a Sea of Mercy for you. The Lord wants you to jump in and be cleansed and refreshed in it. It’s open to anyone who wants to get in.

Micah 7:19 says, “And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean” MSG.

Let the Lord sink your sins today. You’ll never be the same!