Category: thoughts by John Fischer

Share

 “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (- Jesus Christ) Luke 6:35

If you want to get a little taste of what God is like, try loving your enemies, lending money to those you know won’t pay you back, and then try being kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. What does this do to one’s sense of justice and fairness? What could this possibly be about? Jesus can’t be serious about this, can he?

Here’s what I think. I think Jesus is getting us to think this way because he wants us to see something important about ourselves.

After all, what are we thinking here… that we are God’s friends, that we always pay back what we borrow, and that we are most certainly grateful and holy, and that’s why it’s so hard for us to understand why God would ask us, the holy ones, to be kind to all these wicked and ungrateful folks? Gee, somehow we’re going to have to find it in ourselves to love these awful people. But I suppose that if God can do it, we can too. It will be a stretch, but we will try… Is that what this is about?

Hardly. Here’s what I think it means:

There is relatively little difference between the most ungrateful, wicked people I can think of and me, and I had better be deeply grateful that God is, in fact, “unfair” in this way, because otherwise there would be no hope for me. I know this is what Jesus is saying because the very next verse is: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful [to you].” And that is followed up with: “Do not judge and you will not be judged.” See where He’s going with this?

When you look at it this way, it changes the whole picture.

Love your enemies and be kind to those who, like you, have received the kindness of God when you didn’t deserve it. And if you are ever tempted to think of God as being unfair, then go all the way and rejoice in the glorious inequity of grace that has made unlikely room for you and me, and in that same spirit of “unfairness,” make room in your heart for others.

By John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_god-isnt-fair/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow Us On:

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestrss

 

 

 

___

thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.

It is the knowledge that you are pleasing to God right now regardless of what you have or haven’t done.

Grace is the realization that you have already earned a place in the kingdom of God, but you didn’t do anything to get it.

Grace is knowing that the law has already been fulfilled. There isn’t anything more you can do or anything you can add on to make it any better.

Grace is knowing you’re forgiven.

Grace is receiving the gift of being everything you wanted to be.

Grace is looking in the mirror and liking what you see, only because you know that’s what God does.

Grace is a starting point. It’s starting at a point at which you never thought you could be, even if you spent your whole life working for it.

Grace is the absence of judgment.

Grace is utterly and completely received. There is nothing you can do to get it.

Believe it or not, we don’t like this. Grace, as wonderful as it seems, gets turned down every moment of every day. We don’t like it because we have nothing to do with it, and that doesn’t set well with us. We don’t like receiving free gifts; we get very nervous around that. We feel much better being in control of something. We were made this way – made to earn our way.  We want to get somewhere by following the rules or sit around and complain about how we can’t. But to start out where we are already pleasing to God … what is that? That doesn’t compute using the math we learned in school. It just doesn’t add up, and that makes us nervous, because if this is true for us, it’s true for everyone. And if this is true for everyone, then it changes dramatically how I see and treat other people.

Or as a friend of mine just taught me: “How dare I judge anyone that Christ gave His life to forgive.

How dare I lay on other people burdens that Christ has not laid on me.

How dare I have one set of rules for me and another set for everyone else.

How dare I make a big deal about anyone else’s sin except my own.

These last few observations are all about grace turned outward. Once I realize and accept God’s grace for myself, I must of necessity apply it to everyone around me, or I am merely showing that I have, in fact, not received it for myself. You can’t turn grace outward without fully taking it in.

Surrender. Receive. Jesus paid it all; there’s nothing more you can do but accept it. And once you’ve accepted it, you won’t look at anyone the same way again.

By John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_grace-turned-outward/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow Us On:

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestrss

 

 

 

___

thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5

I know something about this feeling. We have an adopted son and the pleasure he has brought us has been unequaled. And I thought I was doing him a favor.

We have two of our own who are now adults and pretty much out of the house. This new little guy could be our grandson. I often tell people having a child at this stage in life is like being a grandfather without having to give the child up. I know grandparents are supposed to like the fact that they can return their grandchildren to sender, but in this case we are doubly blessed because that would be very hard to do, as attached as we are.

What’s really going on here is something I’m not quite sure I can explain, it’s just that I haven’t loved anyone in quite the way that I love my adopted son. There is no question that he is mine. It’s not like he’s in second position or anything less than my own. In some strange way he is more mine than my own, and I know that I can’t explain that. The fact that he doesn’t belong to me by birth means nothing because he belongs to me anyway. I’ve always loved him. He has my name. I have his papers.

I grew up in a family that did not look very favourably on adoption. I had a cousin who, according to the adults in the family was always causing trouble. And I always heard she was trouble because she was adopted. Bad blood. Should have stuck to our own. Never know what you let in otherwise. If someone even hints of this kind of thinking in regards to my adopted son now, they will meet with my wrath and it will not be a pretty sight.

By the way, I haven’t been in touch with my cousin very much but when I do talk to her I realize how wrong we all were about her. I don’t know of anyone with more love and compassion than this person. And she will do anything for you at the drop of a hat. She has so many legitimate reasons to be resentful, but she is not.

Now here’s the point. How I feel about my son is just a small picture of how God feels about you and me. We have all been adopted into the same family. No one can degrade us or take us away from where we belong. And there’s a whole bunch of us who, as brothers and sisters, share this incredible privilege together. And here’s the catch: God did this so we could bring Him much pleasure. I understand this now.

By John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_adopted/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow Us On:

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestrss

 

 

 

___

thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

One of the prerequisites for being a servant of God is to think like a servant.

This would be fine if it wasn’t so impossible. We are all naturally wired to think only of ourselves.

Learning to give preference to others is one of the true marks of a Christian because it is so contrary to human nature. That’s why desiring it comes from God, and doing it comes through the Holy Spirit.

Paul said of Timothy: “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares for your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:20-21, NLT).

Hidden in these verses is the secret to making an attitude of servanthood become a part of your thinking. It starts with Jesus. When you fall in love with Jesus, you focus on Him and worship Him. As you do this, you find out about Him – you get to know Him as you would a friend – and soon you come to know what matters to Him, until finally, you start to realize that what matters to Him, matters to you. This is not just a factor of familiarity, either. There is a supernatural element at work here as well. What matters to Jesus connects with the Holy Spirit in you, and the Spirit answers from deep inside you to the call of truth.

Other people mattered deeply to Jesus. He could read their hurt and pain. Scripture says He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Well where did that grief and sorrow come from if it didn’t come from the suffering of people around Him? In other words, He was carrying their grief. He was empathizing with their sorrow. Once a woman touched him in a desperate need to be healed, and He could feel the compassionate power go from Him even though He didn’t see who touched Him in the press of the crowd. He was that sensitive to the needs of those around Him.

Now truly, thinking like a servant doesn’t automatically make you one, but it goes a long way toward getting you there. If you are thinking like a servant, you are noticing others; and the more you are aware of others, the more the Holy Spirit can use you in reaching out to them. All this increases the opportunity for the gospel. People are simply not used to being served.

Take it from me, a guy who is not by any stretch servant material, it’s actually a relief to get off my most popular subject “me” and on to someone else. Ask God to help you think like a servant today, and I’m certain you’ll get a chance to be one.

Question: Where are there opportunities in your life (at home, work, church, or elsewhere) to “think like a servant“?

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/j-fischer_servant/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow Us On:

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestrss

 

 

 

___

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father....”
(Luke 15:17-18)

Most of us can identify in some way with the story of the Prodigal Son. He had spent all his father’s money on wild living and “came to his senses” when he ended up working on a pig farm just to survive and noticed that what the pigs were eating suddenly looked good to him. That’s when he decided to go back to his father, admit his bad decisions and offer to work as a hired hand on his father’s estate. The surprise was that he wasn’t given even a chance to apply for the job. He was welcomed as a son. Before he could get a word in edgewise he was smothered in his father’s love and a welcome-home party began.

What can you do in the face of this other than put the welcome mat out to all other scoundrels out there like you? This is like no love we have ever known before or will ever know. God the Father’s great big hands are open to us and we are embraced without judgment. How can you ever wish for anyone else to pay for you got for nothing?

We crawled back home ready for the worst – ready to eat crow. We were prepared for the taunts from the others in the family – even from the servants. We weighed the cost and decided the embarrassment was worth it. We calculated all that. We left bragging and returned in humiliation. We left on top of the world and returned a failure. And yet there is no “I told you so” speech. There is just joy and acceptance. We come home willing to negotiate a servant’s position and receive a son’s welcome. One day we were sucking up to pigs, the next we are escorted into our father’s house and in the process, we discover the wonderfully good news that we’ve always had a home here. This is where we belong.

Okay, let’s take this one step farther. Let’s think about all the other sons and daughters who are out there ready to come home – looking for a place to belong. How are we going to treat them – like the older son who wanted the younger to pay for his sins, or like the father who forgave?

Once we’ve experienced this, you and I need to put the welcome mat out to everyone – even those we’d rather not have in our family. If there is a selection process, that’s up to the Lord, not us. As far as we know, we are in the business of welcoming sons and daughters of the King, and that includes everyone.

So put out the welcome mat and get ready to have a party!

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_welcome-mat/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow Us On:

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestrss

 

 

 

___

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” – Jesus Christ
Luke 6:35

If you want to get a little taste of what God is like, try loving your enemies, lending money to those you know won’t pay you back, and then try being kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. What does this do to one’s sense of justice and fairness? What could this possibly be about? Jesus can’t be serious about this, can he?

Here’s what I think. I think Jesus is getting us to think this way because he wants us to see something important about ourselves.

After all, what are we thinking here – that we are God’s friends, that we always pay back what we borrow, and that we are most certainly grateful and holy, and that’s why it’s so hard for us to understand why God would ask us, the holy ones, to be kind to all these wicked and ungrateful folks? My goodness! somehow we’re going to have to find it in ourselves to love these awful people. But I suppose that if God can do it, we can too. It will be a stretch, but we will try! Is that what this is about?

Hardly. Here’s what I think it means:

There is relatively little difference between the most ungrateful, wicked people I can think of and me, and I had better be deeply grateful that God is, in fact, “unfair” in this way, because otherwise there would be no hope for me. I know this is what Jesus is saying because the very next verse is: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful [to you].” And that is followed up with: “Do not judge and you will not be judged.”  See where He’s going with this?

When you look at it this way, it changes the whole picture.

Love your enemies and be kind to those who, like you, have received the kindness of God when you didn’t deserve it. And if you are ever tempted to think of God as being unfair, then go all the way and rejoice in the glorious inequity of grace that has made unlikely room for you and me, and in that same spirit of “unfairness,” make room in your heart for others.

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_grace/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow Us On:

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestrss

 

 

 

___

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14

This is Christmas. This is Emmanuel: God with us. This is the advent – the coming of the Lord. God invading history. The one who invented it coming into it and submitting himself to all his own rules.

The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a Man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul; he is a man glorified, but his glorification did not dehumanize him. Today he is a real man, of the race of mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a visible and audible man, whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this, he is the heir of all things, Lord of all lords, head of the church, firstborn of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel, and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell, and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on him in truth. Salvation comes not by accepting the finished work, or deciding for Christ; it comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as his own and paid it, took our sins and died under them, and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ; nothing less will do. (from the pen of A. W. Tozer)

by John Fischer
Used by Permission


Would you like to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?  The following is a sample prayer.

Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Saviour and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Bring peace to my world this Christmas. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


Enter Email

Links that may help you learn more:

How To Be Sure You Are a Christian

Reading the Bible – where to start?

How to Have a ‘Quiet Time’ with God

How to Chose a Local Church

How to Pray

How To Be Sure God Listens To Your Prayers

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

Are you aware of having certain patterns in your life that you are unable – even unwilling to change? They seem so entrenched, so beyond your ability to do anything about. You might even see yourself walking in the same path of a parent or a parent’s parent and you realize this rut runs generations deep. How am I ever going to be able to overcome against these odds?

The scriptures give us a clue as to how to answer that in Romans 12:2 where Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Being conformed to a pattern sounds a lot like being in a rut. We all have ruts we run in. Paul suggests that the way to a new path is through renewing our minds. This makes sense when you realize that the patterns we run in are fueled in large part by our thinking. We have these old tapes that constantly run over and over again. They tell us we can’t change, or we are not loved, or such and such has too much power over us, or it will cost to much in personal investment to change. We might actually have to work at change – be awake and alert to it – make ourselves make different choices. Believe me, this is hard.

By renewing our minds, we remind ourselves that there are new tapes where we are concerned, played by the Holy Spirit and power is available for change through his presence in our lives. Even in this Book of Romans there are life-changing truths that can break the patterns. For instance earlier in this book he told us that we’re all in sin – even the “best” of us – but that Christ’s death and resurrection has set us free from that sin. We no longer have to subject ourselves to the vicious sin and guilt cycle because Christ has removed us from being wed to the law to being wed to Himself. We have a new husband as it were, and this one is full of grace, truth and forgiveness. We are not tied to a taskmaster; we are tied to Christ. And then there is the new life in the Spirit made possible by Christ being in us to the extent that we can actually take off that old life -the one that runs in all those ruts – and put on the new life that Christ has made possible.

This is why we need reminders. New ways of thinking that God has established as a fact in space and time and you and I can count on for our step by step life in the trenches.

Yes, it will take effort. Change doesn’t come easy nor does it come overnight, but it comes as we purposely focus on the new truths about ourselves that Christ has won. We are loved. We are forgiven. We have his Spirit. We don’t have to walk in those old ruts. We can break the pattern. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

There are a lot of bad tapes out there; there’s a lot of negative reinforcement in here. Do nothing and you probably will keep on rattling along in the same rut. Renew your mind with God’s word and His truth about yourself and you can stand down those old tapes and start down a new path. It’s worth it. We aren’t just waiting for heaven. We are fighting a battle here. We are on a mission. We have a gospel to live out. If it doesn’t work in our life, how can we recommend it to anyone else?

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

23 Mar 2005, Hawaii, Hawaii, USA — Hilly Road — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_looking-new-road/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

There is only one you. But this information is much more important than to just be boosting your self-esteem. It is to help you better serve others by being more confident about your God-given role in life.

No one else fits your shape. No one else has your blend of gifts, talents and natural abilities making you very important in the whole scheme of things. ‘God made our bodies with many parts,’ wrote Paul, ‘and He has put each part just where He wants it’ (1 Corinthians 12:18). And as it is with the human body, so it is with the Body of Christ, the corporate collection of all who believe.

But this uniqueness goes beyond giftedness; it reaches as well into the depth of each of our experiences in life. No one else has your life. No one else has your pain, your hardship, your joys and sorrows. Everything in life shapes us and we are shaped by everything for a reason: so that we can touch others in a unique way based upon who we are and what we’ve been through. God doesn’t waste anything in our lives.

Every piece of our lives and experiences can be used of Christ to touch someone else. We were made for each other; we live for each other; we even die for each other. We die with hope so that others who live might see the reality of Christ in even the darkest of hours. God uses everything.

Are you just getting by, or are you living for a reason? Think about your unique gifts and ask yourself how those gifts are benefiting others. What specific way is God using you to touch others in the Body of Christ?

Do you seem to have an extra measure of wisdom, or mercy, or discernment, or knowledge, or administration, or desire to serve? These will help determine how you can look for opportunities to help others.

And then think about the things you have gone through so far in your life, especially the difficult or challenging things where God has met you with His presence and power. That information is not just for you, it’s for you to empathize with and encourage others who have encountered similar struggles.

God isn’t messing around here. There are no accidents with our lives. Whatever we have received and experienced has shaped who we are, and because of that, we are qualified servants. There is truly no one else like you – for a reason.

Question: How has God crafted you uniquely, to make you uniquely you?

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_only-one-you/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

Jesus Way


Love your enemies
Pray for those who persecute you
If someone forces you to go one mile, go two
If someone takes your shirt, give him your coat, too
If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also
Give to those who ask
Don’t turn away from those who want to borrow
Return good for evil
Do not judge others
Forgive those who sin against you
Get rid of the log in your own eye so you can help with the speck in another’s
Treat people the way you want to be treated
Don’t make any vows you can’t keep
Don’t worry about tomorrow
Show mercy if you want your heavenly Father to be merciful to you.
(Read Matthew 5)

You may be thinking, “What kind of poppycock is this?” This, my friend, is Jesus’ way. This is true Christianity. If you must measure yourself, measure yourself by these things.

I would dare to say these are the most ignored words by Christians in all of scripture, yet they are the basis for everything Jesus stands for. I have grown up in the church all my life and heard these things seriously talked about maybe a handful of times. Why is that? Because they run contrary to us all. Because no one can hold to these things unless they are born of God. Heck … no one can even want them unless they are born of God.

These are not suggestions. This is not Jesus trying to shock people so He can get their attention. (Jesus doesn’t really mean these things. Oh yes He does.)

Not only does He mean these things; this is rudimentary. This is the real thing. This is true Christianity. This is Following Jesus 101.

Instead, I’m used to: “What’s the Sermon on the Mount? That’s that weird part in the beginning of Matthew that no one seems to understand or pay much attention to.” Or if they do, they explain half of it away.

This is how you know if you are a true Christian.
This is how you know if the Holy Spirit has been born in you.
This is how you can check yourself – by these attitudes and actions.

If these attitudes are not yours, but you want them, keep following and asking the Lord to change you by His Holy Spirit.

If these attitudes are yours, and they are increasing, be glad!

If these attitudes are not the way you want to live, then it’s probably time to get off this train.

Notice how most, if not all, of these things are against human nature? That’s because you have to be born again to have them. You have to be born of God.

This is what you want to build into your life – these attitudes and these actions.
This is what you put on your refrigerator.
This is what you stick to your mirror.
This is what you ask God for.
And in case you missed it the first time, here it is again:

Love your enemies
Pray for those who persecute you
If someone forces you to go one mile, go two
If someone takes your shirt, give him your coat, too
If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also
Give to those who ask
Don’t turn away from those who want to borrow
Return good for evil
Do not judge others
Forgive those who sin against you
Get rid of the log in your own eye so you can help with the speck in another’s
Treat people the way you want to be treated
Don’t make any vows you can’t keep
Don’t worry about tomorrow
Show mercy if you want your heavenly Father to be merciful to you

By John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_jesus-way/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

God doesn’t desire more of our time sometimes; He desires more of our attention all the time.

Ever feel frustrated because you hear messages about getting closer to God and you definitely desire this for yourself, but you are inundated with so much to do already that this only makes you feel guilty because you are too busy for God? I think we all feel this at one time or another, but carving more time out of your busy schedule to be with God isn’t necessarily the only answer to this question. Look at the following scriptures:

I have set the Lord always before me.” (Psalm 16:8 NIV)

My eyes are ever on the Lord.” (Psalms 25:15 NIV)

I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” (Psalm 34:1 NIV)

Reading these words makes you wonder if these are the words of a monk who had nothing else to do but devote himself to God. Actually, they are the words of David, King of Israel, a great ruler and warrior. How did he manage to run a nation at war, and keep his eyes on the Lord at all times? The only conclusion is that he did this while he did everything else. It’s a continual awareness of God that we are talking about here, not necessarily more time devoted to spiritual pursuits.

I once saw a sign that read: “Your God is what you pay attention to.” You see, I believe you can pay attention to God while you are doing everything else. It’s all about doing everything for God and seeing God in everything we do. It’s about bringing God into the boardroom, the exercise room, the living room, the bedroom. Now of course He’s already in all these places but we’re talking about being aware of His being there at all times. That’s what it means to set the Lord always before us.

Worship is a frame of mind that always has God in the picture. We don’t need church, or Bible study, or devotions to remind us about the Lord if we’re already aware of Him all the time. These opportunities then become more precious to us because we can devote all our attention to that which we have been doing all along.

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/j-fischer_time-attention/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

Serving and giving are two verbs that describe the essence of the Christian life. I wish this weren’t true because I have trouble with both of these. Serving is something I have expected others to do for me, and giving is something I often put off until I have more. My warped thinking goes something like this: When I have enough to spare, I will be more than happy to be a generous person. You will never have seen such a generous person! In fact, I will break the bank on generosity — just you wait and see — as long as I have enough left over for my needs. And since I rarely have enough for my own needs that means I don’t have to worry about this giving stuff.

Right about now, some of you are thinking that I’m not a very spiritual guy. Well, I don’t know about how spiritual I am; I’m just being honest. This idea of characterizing my life by giving and serving is hard. It’s not an easy thing to serve and give when you are thinking about yourself all the time.

Jesus went over to the collection box in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two pennies. He called his disciples to him and said, ”

I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the others have given. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)

This widow blows a big hole in my excuse theory, doesn’t she? She simply gave what she had. She wasn’t waiting for anything. Actually, according to Jesus, giving and receiving works opposite to what we naturally think. We think, “Once I receive, I will start giving.” Jesus always said,

Give and you will receive. Be faithful with the little that you have and I will give you more.”

A widow once brought a paltry little offering to the temple, but in Jesus’ economy, she out gave the wealthy, because she gave all she had.

Lord, make the subject of my thinking someone other than me for a change. Make me aware of others. Help me to think about those around me before I think of myself. And help me to learn to give, not like the great philanthropists whose wealth I so often envy, but like this poor widow, who, according to you, knew the true measure of giving.

Question: What are some ways that you can encourage yourself to give more freely?

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to  https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_two-penny-offering/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

Does God only love Christians?

Does this question even need to be asked? Unfortunately, yes, because there is an impression out there that that He does. I encounter it in innuendo and assumption. I used to encounter it in myself and the attitudes caught from a strongly Pharisaical upbringing, and I have found it to be an attitude that is hard to get rid of.

The way this usually works out is that God doesn’t love anyone I don’t love, and the human inclination is to not love anyone who is not like me. That makes God’s love an extension of myself, instead of the way it should be, with me as an extension of God and His love. I have much to learn about God’s love. God is love; I am not. I am the one who needs to change. I am the one who needs to learn to love like God.

God is love” (1 John 4:16), says John. God is synonymous with love. How could God not love His entire creation? It is His nature to love.

God so loved the world that He gave...” (John 3:16).

The tragedy of God’s love is that it is not universally received. “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11).  What a tragedy. Do you think God feels that tragedy? Personally, I think that is why the prophet Isaiah called Him a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. That is why Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He wanted to gather everyone up and bring them to Himself, but they would not all come.

How is it that God being God would create a world where His love was limited by the free will of those He created, making Him appear helpless to do anything about those who would reject Him? I honestly do not know how this works, but I do know God feels these feelings because He has expressed them in the inspired scriptures handed down to us.

My point today is not to enter into a theological debate over this, because that is where these discussions often lead, but to capture some of the nature of God in His love for us and suggest that we should at least share in these same attitudes and emotions, primarily that we should be governed more by the tragedy of those who reject God’s love than in their judgment or their wrong doing.

Do we weep or do we condemn? If you ever catch yourself shaking your head in judgment and condemnation, stop. Stop judging and weep instead. That’s what God did, and He even has the right to judge (and will someday). The cross has put that judgment aside so that He can love. Can we do any less?

So if you love like God, you will love and hurt at the same time.

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_to-love-like-god/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

God doesn’t desire more of our time, sometime, He desires more of our attention all the time.

Ever feel frustrated because you hear messages about getting closer to God and you definitely desire this for yourself, but you are inundated with so much to do already that this only makes you feel guilty because you are too busy for God? I think we all feel this at one time or another.

Some of you may need to carve out some time out of your busy schedule for more specific time to be with God, but that isn’t necessarily the only answer to this question. Look at the following scriptures:

I have set the Lord always before me.” Psalm 16:8 (NIV)

My eyes are ever on the Lord.” Psalms 25:15( NIV)

I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1 (NIV)

Reading these words makes you wonder if these are the words of a monk who had nothing else to do but devote himself to God. Actually, they are the words of David, King of Israel, a great ruler and warrior. How did he manage to run a nation and keep his eyes on the Lord at all times? The only conclusion is that he did this while you he did everything else. It’s a continual awareness of God that we are talking about here, not necessarily more time devoted to spiritual pursuits.

I once saw a sign that read: “Your God is what you pay attention to.” You see, I believe you can pay attention to God while you are doing everything else. It’s all about doing everything for God and seeing God in everything we do. It’s about bringing God into the boardroom, the exercise room, the living room, and the bedroom. Now of course He’s already there in all these places but we’re talking about being aware of Him being there at all times. That’s what it means to set the Lord always before us.

Worship is a frame of mind that always has God in the picture. We don’t need church, or Bible study, or devotions to remind us about the Lord if we’re already aware of Him all the time. These opportunities then become more precious to us, because we can devote all our attention to that which we have been aware of all along.

Thought – Are you aware of God in everything you do?

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/john-fischer_worship-on-the-go/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

Share

Often, as a child, when I complained about some ache or pain that had no clear physical explanation, the simple parental diagnosis was: “It’s just growing pains.” I used to imagine my muscles and bones actually hurting while they stretched and grew. While I know nothing about the scientific nature of this evaluation, I do know it has a spiritual application that is entirely accurate. It hurts to grow.

It hurts to grow because we have to die to old ways in order to live anew, and old ways die hard. We place a high premium in life on dying peacefully, but in reality dying almost always is accompanied by pain. We have dependencies with coping mechanisms that have enslaved us. It’s hard letting go of our security blankets.

In a touching scene from an older romantic comedy, Mr. Mom, Michael Keaton has to coax his toddler’s “whoopee” blanket away from him. Upon rendering it up, the little boy asks for a moment to himself to grieve the loss and we can almost touch his pain. We would like similar moments to grieve our little daily deaths, but we have to learn to move on, because the pain of losing is followed by the greater joy of finding God always meets us on the other side of our loss.

It hurts to grow because growing usually means facing into some fear or weakness that has limited us. Though God saves us through no effort of our own, he asks for our cooperation when it comes to our spiritual growth. Real spiritual growth only happens when our effort to act upon God’s word meets the provision of the Holy Spirit in us.

Or as Paul teaches, “Put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.” Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT).

This is always the spiritual principle of growth. We obey by stepping into our weakness or our fear, trusting in the fact that because it is something He asks of us, He will meet us somewhere along the way with the power to do it. This is almost always a painful proposition because it requires a step into the unknown. What if God doesn’t show up? I suppose we can ask that question, but we will never get the answer on this side of the risk. We have to take the step, believing that there is something there that we can’t see. And if that doesn’t hurt, it’s probably not faith.

Old ways die hard, but new life dances on the gravestones.

By John Fischer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/jf_growing-pains/

 

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men