In twenty-one seasons with NBA teams I often heard, “Can you get me free tickets?” Usually for big games! I’d scour my network, pleading for freebies. When the Ticket Manager called the day after the game, saying, “Those tickets are still here,” I was sad about that missed opportunity.
God loves us so much that He went to the extreme to have you and me join Him forever in His “Owner’s Box.” He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the ultimate price for your ticket and mine, entitling us to the best seats in the house, with all the privileges enjoyed by the Owner, isolated from all unpleasantness.
Your ticket, bearing your name (but no price since it’s priceless, and not for sale), is waiting for you at Will Call. Don’t miss this opportunity to be with God, forever forgiven of all your sins. It’s a two-step process: (1) God gives you the FAITH to believe that your ticket will actually admit you to His skybox, and (2) you must ACT on that faith by going to Will Call.
It’s God’s gift to you. He left it at Will Call because “Whoever WILL CALL on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Tip-off could be any moment. Have you picked up your ticket?
‘Tis the season for giving, but if we’re separated from loved ones by many miles, we’d rather have their presence than their presents.
Of all the presents ever given, the most valuable is the gift of having all our sins forever forgiven. It’s a game-changing pardon paid in our stead by God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His life for us.
By inviting Jesus to be your Life, you’ll forever be in His presence.
Your government forbids you to turn on any lights after sundown. Shrouded in darkness, you no longer walk about safely, no reading, no looking into someone’s eyes, no sense of security. Your productivity and enjoyment have been slashed. Trying to reverse this law has earned you prosecution and persecution.
When you can take it no longer, you gather family and close friends and strike out for freedom, knowing this adventure could end in devastation or deliverance.
Setting foot on foreign soil, you hunker down to make your surroundings more livable. Time passes, and one day you pause to reflect on all your blessings. After congratulating each other on the courage to sacrifice the known for the unknown, you realize that you don’t deserve all of the applause.
Is it enough to just be thankful to God? Or should we give Him thanks?
Don’t panic. If you’ll be celebrating Mardi Gras next February, there’s time to shop for your mask. Or you could always make do with the one you wore for Halloween. The one that wowed the neighbors and frightened all the pets on your street.
Why are people so attracted to masks? Is it the anonymity? The temporary rush we get from the notion that we’re getting away with something? Or is it a deeply embedded dissatisfaction with how we see ourselves?
The remarkable man who introduced Jesus Christ to Europe wrote to his fellow believers in Rome, “I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should.” He wasn’t recommending low self-esteem. On the contrary, he was encouraging them to see themselves as God views them and us, i.e., supremely loved and completely forgiven. Our part is to embrace that priceless pardon by receiving this gift as a willful act of faith.
There’s no need to put on a happy face, or a scary one. Relax and be the you God created you to be. Let’s “faith” it; He made a masterpiece when He made you.
Would life be worth living were it not for promises?
A promise is a commitment, a pledge, a guarantee to do or not do something. In effect, it’s an IOU. At the bar of justice it’s an agreement, sworn upon the Bible as the ultimate expression of Truth. In a marriage ceremony it’s a solemn vow of love and oneness under all circumstances.
A promise creates a perception of certainty, of hope. What’s the most foundational promise that propels you to get up each morning and face whatever the day may bring?
The One who loves you most said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Is your life based on His promise?” If not, on what?
As Summer slides into Fall, what feelings rise within you? Has our atypical warm, dry weather tempted you to move to the always-sunny South? Or do you secretly long for cooler, cloudier, drippier days that embrace you like a snug-fitting glove?
The Creator of seasons has a specific purpose for you as you “play the back nine” of this year. What is His plan, the one with your name on it? Would you be better off to focus on and follow it? Or to strike off on your own?
A wise king had this counsel: “Put your total trust in the Lord. Don’t rely on your own intelligence or intuition, but in all your thoughts, words and actions give Him first place. Then He’ll take your hand and lead you along the path He designed just for you."
What does it take to convince people to be pro-active?
A recent New Yorker article, “The Really Big One,” says the Pacific Northwest is long overdue for a monster earthquake triggering a Stars Wars-sized tsunami that will wash away everything west of Interstate 5. Yet only 25% of Seattleites are stocking up or even have a survival plan.
In Revelation, at the end of the Bible, gargantuan upheavals are predicted that will devour millions of earth’s inhabitants. Unimaginable devastation will accompany God’s judgment for mankind’s sin.
But in Psalm 91 God promises those who have a faith relationship with Him need not fear. “Because you love Me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know My name. When you call to Me, I will answer you.”
Your preparedness kit has been pre-paid. God’s lines are now open, awaiting your call. And it’s toll-free.
Surely June is the year’s busiest month. It’s #1 in weddings and births (and commission checks at Hallmark). Students scatter for family vacations, summer jobs or European hostels. Winter duds are stored. Sunglasses and lotion are pried from some bottom drawer.
And a certain blush of emancipation from our normal “earning or learning” routine is our parole for being so responsible the rest of the year.
What three actions could you take in June that would make this your best summer ever? If God whispered His three in your ear, would they mirror your three?
While your mental mainframe is searching and evaluating, why not jot them down now? June is gone far too soon.