Category Archives: Series

God Size Perspective (Part 3)

“And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:14 esv

Our perspective in life determines so much.  Obviously it determines how we see our circumstances.  It determines how we respond to our obstacles.  It determines the influence or lack there of we will have in the lives of those around us.  It determines how we respond to God.  Which our response to God determines everything for our lives.

As I mentioned in the previous posts of this series, Paul possessed a God Size Perspective.  He looked past his unfavorable circumstances and looked up to God to gain a healthy perspective.  He realized his problems were being leveraged for God’s purposes.  But the part I love the most is that Paul realized that his obstacles were giving others much needed confidence in their own lives.

I’m not real sure what your perspective tends to be in life.  I’m not sure if you see the glass half empty of half full.  I don’t know if you are a pessimist or an optimist.

What I do know is that God can work through your greatest burdens to give others boldness. 

Paul’s time in prison gave other believers confidence in the Lord and enabled them to speak the word boldly and fearlessly.

How can your burdens equal confidence and boldness for the Lord? Continue reading

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God Size Perspective (Part 2)

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,…my imprisonment is for Christ.”Philippians 1:12-13 ESV

What a perspective! Paul had a God Size Perspective.

God Size Perspective – The ability to see your greatest obstacles as God ordained opportunities

How do you view the obstacles in your life?

How do you view your greatest challenges?

How do you view the one thing you desire for your life so much, but God won’t seem to allow it to happen?

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most of us Continue reading


God Size Perspective (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago Lauren and I laid down to go to bed one night.  As usual Lauren fell asleep in no time. I laid there for about 45 minutes unable to fall asleep.  Frustrated at my inability to sleep, I decided to grab my bible and turned to Philippians.  I know many would argue, but I believe Philippians may be Paul’s best letter.  If I did not have a bible reading plan, I’m afraid I would spend all of my time reading Philippians.  Anyways, to the point.

As I was reading Philippians I noticed that Paul possessed a God Size Perspective.  Take a look at the verses below.

“12I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ14And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14 

What is a God Size Perspective? Continue reading


Uncommon: He’s Got Your Back

“Why then were you not afraid 
   to speak against my servant Moses?”

 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.

  When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease,” – Numbers 12:8-10

As this series of posts “Uncommon” closes out today, I am speaking at a youth camp in Smithville Arkansas.   Enjoy the last post of this series and keep me in your prayers as I prepare to speak tonight, Wednesday night, and Thursday morning.

We learn a lot from Numbers 12:1-10.  We see the results of the uncommon humility that Moses lived out.  It’s these results that Continue reading


Uncommon: You’re Gonna Have Haters

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.  “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)  – Numbers 12:1-3

Moses had a lot going for him.  He had a face-to-face relationship with God, clarity, vision, faith, and to top it all off, scripture says he was the most humble man on the face of the earth.  He was one of if not the greatest leader of all time.  But with all the influence Moses had, it also came with much responsibility.  He also had some haters.  

Miriam and Aaron were jealous of Moses.  They were insecure.  They wanted what we had.  But instead of looking at Moses’s life map and learning from Moses, they hated on Moses.  They talked bad about his wife.  They questioned his relationship with God.

When you live Continue reading


Uncommon: Clarity

“When there is a prophet among you, 
   I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, 
   I speak to them in dreams. 
But this is not true of my servant Moses; 
   he is faithful in all my house. 
With him I speak face to face, 
   clearly and not in riddles; 
   he sees the form of the LORD. 
Why then were you not afraid 
   to speak against my servant Moses?”  (Numbers 12:6-8 NIV)

Last fall I read a bible study that focused on the topics of faith and clarity.  The author wrote about how we pray for clarity, but that God has not called us to live with clarity but by faith. He went on to say that instead of praying for clarity we should pray for faith.  I have never forgotten about that one particular devotion.  Why?  Mainly because I agree and disagree with what the writer says.

I do believe and understand that God has called us to live and walk by faith (Hebrews 11:6).  However, Continue reading


Uncommon: Face-To-Face

“When there is a prophet among you, 
   I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, 
   I speak to them in dreams. 
But this is not true of my servant Moses; 
   he is faithful in all my house. 
With him I speak face to face
   clearly and not in riddles; 
   he sees the form of the LORD. 
Why then were you not afraid 
   to speak against my servant Moses?”  (Numbers 12:6-8 NIV)

I have to be honest with you.  When I read that Moses experienced a face to face relationship with God I start to feel a little bit envious.  As did Miriam and Aaron according to Numbers 12:1-2.  As we read further into this passage we see that Miriam and Aaron’s envy led them down a destructive path that stirred the righteous anger of the Lord.  So, instead of dwelling and becoming envious of Moses’s face to face relationship with God, it would probably be better if  we learned a thing or two from Moses.  After all Moses experienced a relationship with God that went far beyond the surface.

Have you ever been around another believer and just by being around them you sensed that they had a strong connection with the Lord?  I know I have.  I have been around several people like this.  In fact these people have such a strong connection with the Lord that you enjoy being around them and soaking up every little bit of what they have to say.  I would say that these people, like Moses, experience a “face to face” relationship with God.  Not literally…but literally.  They experience a deep, rich, exciting, freedom filled relationship with their creator and king.

Like Moses, these people have one thing in common.  Humility.

A deeper, more rewarding, more satisfying, more exhilarating relationship with God begins with humility.

The Lord looks to those who are humble.  The Lord is eager to work through those who are humble.  The Lord is ready to honor those who are humble.  The Lord extends grace to the humble.  The Lord gives favor to the humble.  The Lord lifts up and repositions those who are humble.

Why is humility the key?

The humble don’t want to share credit with God.  They want God to receive all of the credit.  

Take a look around you.  The people that are raising generation changing kids…the people God’s using to lead churches that are really making a difference…the people that are leaving a positive mark on the lives of others…The people that make a difference in and on everything they touch…The people that give generously…They have one thing in common…Humility.

A God honoring life is a result of a Face to Face relationship with God.  A Face to Face relationship with God is the result of humility.

Don’t misunderstand me.  The humble do experience dry seasons in their relationship with God.  The humble doubt, fear, struggle, and at times want to quit.  We even see this in the life of Moses.  But through the smooth times and rough, the humble draw near to God, recognize their need for him, and are moved by his word (Isaiah 66:2).

As we will see in the post’s to come, not only is humility the key to a face to face relationship with God.  It’s the starting point to receiving vision, clarity, and strength as your relationship with God deepens.

Because of his faithfulness to the Lord and humility, Moses spoke with the Lord face-to-face.

What could our lives look like if we consistently practiced a face-to-face relationship with God?

P.J.



Uncommon: More Humble Than Anyone

 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:3 NIV

 As I was vacationing in Gulf Shores a few weeks ago, I felt like the Lord wanted to me begin walking through different passages in scripture that deal directly with the topic of humility.  Numbers 12:1-8 was one of the first passages that my index leads me too.  The words of this passage caught my attention while I read them and continued to draw me back in to read the passage over and over again.   There is much for you and I to sort through in this passage and apply to our lives.

I’m excited to start a new series of posts titled Uncommon that will walk through Numbers 12:1-8.  I don’t know about you, but the humility of Moses inspires me to dream a little.  Dream about what my life could look like if I strived for the humility that Moses displayed.

Moses was uncommon.  But God has not called us to live common lives.  He has called us to live uncommon for his glory and honor.

How uncommon was Moses? Continue reading


RADICAL (Ehud: You’re Gifted)

“Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man…” Judges 3:15a ESV

Before I jump in, let me just bring attention to our 100th post here at NGYNW.  We are excited to celebrate our 100th blog post!  Thank you for taking time to read and comment on our posts here at NGYNW.  Your visits to our blog keep Derek and I motivated to write and share our thoughts with you.  Thanks, again!

Today I am closing a series of posts on Ehud.  Let’s review what Ehud was all about.

Ehud…

  • Second judge of Israel
  • Man of action, a brave leader
  • A deliverer that foreshadowed The Deliverer, Jesus Christ
  • A obstacle remover
  • A obedient, godly, generation changer
  • A left handed leader

Let’s finish up this series taking a look at Ehud’s left-handedness.  In our culture today, we tend to make jokes about left-handed people. However, being left handed in Ehud’s day was considered an exceptional ability. Many Benjaminites were left handed (take a look at Judges 20:16), this made them very special troops, that were able to use a sling or bow in a way that would repel right-handed warriors.

I love that God chose to share with us, through the writer of Judges, that Ehud was left-handed.  God shows us that Ehud had God given ability and that He is eager to use us just the way he made us.  God gave Ehud a gift, a unique ability, that he knew would be vital in order for him to accomplish his purposes through Ehud!

Just like Ehud, God has gifted you with special, God given ability!  You’re gifted!

Ehud was left-handed.  But, you may be an excellent photographer.  You may be a gifted public speaker.  An insightful writer.  A phenomenal instrumentalist.  You might have the unique ability to lead others. You might be a tender and wise counselor.  You might have the ability to do graphic design.  Maybe you are a godly stay at home mom.  You might have the gift of encouraging everyone around you.  You might have an incredible ability to work with numbers and do math.

I’m not sure what you’re God given gift is.  You have to discover and discern what that may be. But my point is, You are Gifted!

God has wired you with ability, a gift, and a talent, to use for his purposes and for his glory.  Everyone is gifted.  There is not a single person on the face of the earth that God has not given a special, unique ability too.  The difference is some people channel their gifts in the wrong directions.  While others use their gifts for the kingdom of God.

Ehud used his gifts to serve God’s purposes in his generation.  He could have chose to use them for his own benefit.  Instead he chose to channel them in a direction that changed a generation.

God has gifted you! You have unique ability!  You have talent! You’re gifted! 

Discover it.  Practice it.  Use it for His Glory and His Honor.

“Do not neglect your gift…” 1 Tim 4:16 NIV

P.J.


RADICAL (Ehud: Obedience)

“Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite….At the idols near Gilgal he himself turned back and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat,  Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.”  Judges 3:15 & 19-22

Obedience.  It’s a theme woven through the pages of the Old and New Testament.  In fact, I would say that every story and every book in the bible has an element of obedience or disobedience.

Every principal and practice of the Christian faith comes back to obedience.  Jesus said if we love him, we will obey what he commands of us (John 14:15).  James said that when we know what to do, but don’t do it, then we sin (James 4:17).  In other words James is saying that disobedience isn’t just a matter of doing the wrong things in our lives, but, not doing the things we ought to do, is also sin.

Obedience isn’t just about avoiding all the “wrong” things in the world.  Obedience is about God’s love flowing in you and through you, compelling you to live a life of obedience.  You can sit still, throw your life in neutral, avoid the world, and still live in sin.

Your obedience to God is an example to those around you.   Whether you realize it or not, you life is painting a picture of obedience or lack there of to the world around you.

Ehud was and is an example of radical obedience.  If the Israelites were going to experience peace for 80 years, be delivered from King Eglon, and the Moabites, Ehud would have to obediently deliver a generation changing message.  Ehud’s obedience changed an entire generation (Judges 3:30)!  This is very interesting to me.  Ehud could have sat still and watched his people live under oppression.  Instead, he musters up courage and drive, to obediently follow through with what God had called him to do.

What kind of example will your obedience leave behind?   Your life of obedience may carry much weight when you tell others you’re a Christian or your lack of obedience may water down your faith, and make God appear to be really small.   

Don’t just watch your life slip by and just get into heaven by the skin of your teeth.  If you are a Christian, you have been forgiven, set free, and loved, to life your life obediently for the Glory of God!

Ehud’s obedience changed a generation.  Will yours?


P.J.


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