KKK Plus 17

maxWhat thought comes to your mind when you think of a K or a series of them?

  • If you are a fan of the Kansas City Royals, you probably think of Kauffman Stadium when you think of a K.
  • When most people think of KKK, the Ku Klux Klan comes to mind.
  • The KKK plus 17 may have never entered your mind until today.

 

The 20-K club is one of the world’s most exclusive groups, and it consists of just 4 members.  The 4th member was added last night in an amazing performance by Max Scherzer–he struck out 20 Detroit Tigers last night!  When Scherzer trotted off the mound last night, he walked into the record books, and his name now appears alongside of Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens (who recorded 20 K’s twice).

While Scherzer’s 20 K performance gained him admission into an exclusive club, it’s not the most significant membership in the world. The one of most significance is not entered by performance, but through a person—Jesus Christ:

Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  ~Romans 10:13

The K in the case of Romans 10:13 is the Kairos.  The ancient Greek’s defined the right or opportune moment in which a person could do something or make a change as their Kairos moment.   The present is always the Karios moment to join the “whosoever” club:

“Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring (Proverbs 27:1).”

The *At-Risk Asterisk

AsteriskSometime during the day, I usually stop by McDonald’s and grab a cup of coffee.  When I made my caffeine pit stop yesterday, a sign caught my attention.  It was promoting McDonald’s 2016 version of the Monopoly game.  At the bottom of the sign a red circle was emblazoned with the words, 1 in 4 Win*.

I’ve learned that a person can be at-risk, if he doesn’t pay attention to an asterisk.  After a quick search about the significance of the 1 in 4 Win asterisk and the odds of actually winning, I discovered the following:

  • The odds of getting the exact combination to win the $1 Million prize is 1 in 513,591,720.
  • The odds of winning one of the instant cash prizes is 1 in 45,000.
  • The best odds of winning are associated with the food prizes, and they equate with the advertised 1 in 4 Win*.

An asterisk offers essential data about information that has been changed, is missing, or has been updated.  It’s a coach that guides you through the mental gymnastics of comprehension.

When I think of the asterisk in this context, it reminds me of the work of the Holy Spirit who will offer an at-risk warning.  The ministry of the Spirit is multifaceted, and he empowers, guides, and convicts of sin.

Jesus said the coming of Spirit would be a great benefit to His disciples:

The truth is that My departure will be a gift that will serve you well, because if I don’t leave, the great Helper will not come to your aid. When I leave, I will send Him to you. When He arrives, He will uncover the sins of the world, expose unbelief as sin, and allow all to see their sins in the light of righteousness for the first time.  This new awareness of righteousness is important because I am going to the Father and will no longer be present with you.  ~John 16:7-11, The Voice

Whenever you feel an impression to take some action or you hear a small voice within you, it might be the whisper of the Spirit attempting to give you a new awareness of righteousness.

Paul contrasted the new awareness with the old nature in Romans 8, and I think I’ll use it as an * to share some essential information with you concerning the transforming power of God’s Spirit:

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. ~Roman 8:5-8, The Message

The Real You in 72 Hours

real-meSaturday, Sunday, and Monday—what was your focus over the past 72 hours?  What does your focus say about the real you?  The 5 questions below may help you answer this question:

  1. What did you find to be funny?
  2. On what did you spend your money?
  3. What is it that you were wanting the most?
  4. What thought was the frequent focus of your mind?
  5. What did you do with your leisure time and with whom did you spend it?

After thinking about the questions above, compare your answers to the lifestyle that Paul spoke of in Romans 12:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil. Cleave to what is good.  Be devoted to one another with brotherly love; prefer one another in honor, do not be lazy in diligence, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord, rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Do not pretend to be wiser than you are.

Repay no one evil for evil. Commend what is honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

When you compare your answers to the qualities Paul discussed, is the real you a “doer” of the word or just a “hearer” of the world?

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man viewing his natural face in a mirror.  He views himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

 ~James 1:22-24

 

Hero Chris Mintz and the Oregon Shooting

umpqua10By now you’ve probably heard of the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, but there are a few details of this incident that you may have not heard.   Evidence indicates that the gunman had an anti-Christian bias. Witnesses reported the gunman asked his victims about their faith. If they confessed to being Christians, he shot them in the head. Those who didn’t answer were shot in the leg.mintz

One victim, Chris Mintz, was shot multiple times.  In a heroic effort to eliminate the threat to fellow students, this Army veteran stepped into harm’s way and charged the shooter.  Even though he was shot in the upper back, left hand, abdomen, and both legs, Mintz survived.

While lying on the floor, Mintz said:  “It’s my son’s birthday today,” and the gunman shot him again.

Whenever you hear another news report about this incident, I encourage you to do three things:

  1. Remember to pray for the full and complete recovery of Chris Mintz and the other victims.
  2. Take a moment to pray for the grieving families of those who died.
  3. Reflect on the words of Romans 8:

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: “They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.”

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ~Romans 8 (The Message)

A Five-Five Relationship

3-9-12-CMI-hands_of_god_and_adam-400-300x250One of my favorite sections of Scripture is Romans 5:1-5, and I read it again this morning. I call it the 5-5, and I share it with you below:

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

In these brief verses, we find a long list of truths that provide the secret of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ:
• You are justified and declared righteous before God when you accept His son as your Savior.
• The initial result of your salvation is that you now have peace with God.
• As a child of God you have around-the-clock access to God—24/7.
• You can gain a better understanding of your affliction because hard times increase your endurance; the new found endurance builds character; and, Christ-like character produces hope.
• The hope within you is based on the love of God which has been “poured out” into your heart, and it is always available because the Holy Spirit now resides within you.

There is a reason I like to think of this section of Scripture as the 5-5. The 5-5 is a mnemonic that I use to help remind me of the relationship I have with God. SpeedLimitReduction55MPH Whenever I see a 55 MPH speed limit sign on the highway it reminds me of this Scripture and the peace I have with God through Jesus Christ.