Look, He Blinked!

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT

boys_pose_as_mannequinsOne day while I was at the mall, I watched a little girl try desperately but unsuccessfully to convince her family of something she’d seen. It wasn’t that she hadn’t seen what she described to them, but that each time her family came around to checkout what she described, they saw nothing. She was so frustrated as her mother and siblings practically dragged her off down the mall. The little girl wasn’t making up a story; I’d witnessed the same thing she had. Two boys would come to the front of a store and position themselves in the display window, standing perfectly still, or posing, like mannequins. Many people didn’t see them or passed by without acknowledging them. When any passersby stopped to investigate, and noticed that they were indeed real people, they’d laugh victoriously and run back into the store, away from the window and out of sight. They repeated this little trick over and over, more elated with each surprised ‘victim’. They were children having fun at the expense of others. My daughter recognized that they were not really mannequins when one of the boys blinked. The little girl saw one of the boys blink also, and they were discovered, so they ran away. By the time the girl got her family to come back over to the store, the boys were gone. Her family never witnessed their mannequin imitations and subsequently didn’t believe her story.boys_in_storefront_window

Sometimes people have a hard time believing our stories when we tell them we are followers of Christ because we don’t really reflect Him very well. We don’t love others (especially our enemies). We don’t resist behavior that runs contrary to godly character. We only imitate the qualities of Christ that we are comfortable with and ignore the ones that will challenge us to be tested and grow in spiritual maturity. When challenged, we ‘blink’ and are discovered to be lacking in Christlikeness. Today’s Dose verse calls us to follow God’s example in everything that we do. God desires for us to be like Christ Jesus—to act like Him and think like Him. As difficult as it may seem to imitate Christ in all we do, we must remember that nothing is impossible with God. We can ask Him to intervene in our lives with His supernatural power. He’s waiting and willing to help us be transformed into Christlikeness.

Are you imitating Him in everything today, or are you poised to ‘blink’?

By grace through faith,


Faith In Action

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.”
1 Kings 17:15, NLT

Faith_SignIsn’t it easy to claim faith in God when all is going great for us? I know it is for me. But, how well does our faith stand up when tested– does it reveal faith in action or faith in theory only?

God tested the faith of a widow in the village of Zarephath who, along with her son, faced starvation. God sent Elijah to the woman with instructions for her to feed him. She told Elijah, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”  1 Kings 17:12 NLT

The widow obeyed God and was blessed. Read today’s Dose verse. “There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:16 NLT

God also tested Abraham’s faith. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” Genesis 22:2

Abraham obeyed God and was blessed. “… Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number… And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:16-18 NLT

No doubt, things looked desperate for the widow and Abraham, as fear and uncertainty threatened their families, provision, and lives. Yet, they yielded their great uncertainty and fear to their greater faith in God to provide for their needs.

God sacrificed even more for us–His only Son for our sins!

Are you unable to see how your needs will be met and your family provided for right now? You wonder, “Should I obey the Lord and trust in what I can’t see or try and handle things myself?” Perhaps you’re resigned to die (like the widow was) because that’s all you can understand to do. Why not call out to God and obey Him (despite what you feel, see, or understand) instead? Now, that’s faith in action!

By grace through faith,


Resisting Temptation

“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”
Matthew 4:10-11 NLT

No matter how hard I try, I simply can’t resist (fill in the blank)!” We’re all tempted at some point in life. But, are we really powerless to resist temptation? Perhaps you think, we’re only human; only God can resist temptation, and He’s never tempted because He’s God. And how’s He going to help anyway? He’s not the one facing the temptations that I am. How can He possible understand? Read today’s Dose verses.

Jesus was tempted in His human form. We read in Matthew 4:1, “…Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  Jesus understands when we are tempted in our place of “wilderness” because he was tempted in just such a place for forty days and nights. This was no fleeting temptation either– it was a long time.

Jesus fasted during His time in the wilderness and became really hungry. The devil tried to get Jesus to turn some stones into bread to satisfy His hunger. But Jesus told him no. “People do not live by bread alone, but by every wordTemptation_of_Christ that comes from the mouth of God”. Matthew 4:4, NLT Jesus understands very well the physical desires, which tempt us.

Following that failed try, the devil tempted Jesus to show off His power, enticing Him to jump from a high place and instruct angels to protect Him from harm. Jesus told him “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God’”. Matthew 4:7 NLT Jesus understands our temptation to impress others with our power, status and achievements.

Finally, the devil offered Jesus the entire world if He would only kneel and worship him. The final response that Jesus gave the devil during these temptations was to go away from Him and the devil did just that. Then, angels came and met Jesus’ needs. Jesus understands our temptation for significance and possessions.

God clearly understands our temptations; He resisted every form of human temptation without fail!

_Jesus_Denying_SatanThe devil and his angels will try to tempt us in our most vulnerable areas when we pursue Christ. He’ll misquote God’s words. Don’t be surprised by it. Be encouraged that Jesus showed us how to resist temptation. It’s by properly applying the word of God and humility! They make the devil go away!

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

By grace through faith,