Divine Intersection

“…the hand of the sovereign LORD came upon me there. “ Ezekiel 8:1

Have you ever felt like life was more than random, that something or someone was bursting on your scene, beyond your arranging? What comes to mind?

There are indeed moments in life when events cannot just be random. And they can’t just be chalked up to the triplets Luck, Chance, and Fate at work. These three have no power. They have no game. They are way more imaginary than we think. They exist for those too timid to believe in God, too arrogant to give Him credit, or too indifferent to sense His care.

Something more powerful and personal is at work. Face facts. It’s God Himself.

Yes, God invades the affairs of men. His hand comes upon them. His Spirit rests on them. He shows up at special times, unique places, cool moments…often in striking, powerful ways. It’s His way. (In fact, He did it again for me, just now, as I am writing this…Amazing! Just ask my friend Jonathan Irby)

The hand of the LORD came upon Ezekiel in Israel as seen in Ezekiel 8:1. Altogether, scripture records 156 instances when God’s hand came upon or His word came to someone at a specific time and place. Divine intersections abounded then. And they abound now. God’s Spirit sees to it. (Ezekiel 36:27 & 37:14))

Have you experienced a divine intersection lately? Has God arranged something to command your attention, up your awareness, invite your new commitment, generate your fresh worship or greater devotion? Has the hand of the sovereign LORD come upon you?

May I also ask as follow up?

What divine intersection is coming to mind for you right now?

Why? For what purpose does/did He do this? How much weight should this carry with you?

If this hasn’t happened lately, have you been too busy, too noisy to notice his hand, his voice, his intersection?

LORD and Father, thank you for every moment you have invaded time and space and intersected me. Rest your hand here. Make me ridiculously confident that You are here and that I am not alone. Don’t let me go too fast, be too busy, or move so proudly as to miss your touch, ignore your intersection, or reduce you to being one of the ‘triplets’.

Do the same for so many others I know and love too. Come upon them by your Spirit. Keep creating divine intersections for us all. For Jesus sake and our joy in You. Amen

Touched, intersected, grateful,

Coach Mo

Peace and Presence

Here’s a power thought for today…

Peace is not the absence of trouble. It’s the presence of God. 

“But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.’” Isaiah 43:1-2

Bottom line… 

Choose relationship over circumstance. 

Who you belong to makes all the difference in the world.

Keep looking UP. 

Grace and peace. 

Listen to This…

Endeared American college basketball coach Skip Prosser had a favorite quote that expressed his heart in working with with his team, his players. It was this: 

“Our chief wants in life is Someone who can make us do what we can.“ (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

We all need Someone to show up in our life to help us get over the hump, to get us where we really want to get and be all we were meant to be. And we all need to be someone that shows up in another’s life to help them too. And, as necessary, keep showing up. 

Today’s short scripture meditation helps us think about this a bit more and offers a crucial way to live a well-prompted life. Check it out. 

Maximum effort. 

Heart for others. 

Glory to God. 

Coach Mo

The Greatest Bottom Line

“To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.“ 2 Peter 3:18

We all need a good bottom line. It gets us beyond all the distractions. It settles our thinking when all sorts of things vie for our attention. It moves away the clutter. It lifts the haze. It clarifies. It doesn’t let us drown in the sea of everything else. It sheds true light. It brings the power of one thing to center stage and eliminates all the rest. It is the most powerful soliloquy there is. 

Athletes need one. Teams need one. Students need one. Coaches need one. Businessmen need one. Families need one. Churches need one. Communities need one. Rulers need one. Nations need one. The living and the dying need one. Men and women need one. The whole world needs one.

Do you know what it is? The book of 2 Peter closes by highlighting life’s greatest bottom line. 

It’s not me. 

Not us. 

It’s this: 

God’s glory. 

Yep. That’s it. 

Bringing Him honor. 

Specifically Jesus. 

As the exact representation and fullness of God, the Father wants our bottom line worship routing this way, towards Christ, to honor the Son. 

And a role of the Holy Spirit is to prompt this bottom line playing out in us. 

Our bottom line why, chief purpose and maximum motivation is found here: God’s glory in Christ. Any other bottom line you and I rest on is not the bottom line. It will cave in on us eventually. It’s not built to handle the weight. Only His glory is. 

And may I remind you that there’s an urgency at play here? Scripture says to do it now. And forever. So stop and drop anchor around this. Download it for a lifetime. No delay. 

We were made for worship. His! Everything we say and do is to reflect this somehow. So give Him the honor due his Name now and forever. That’s the bottom line.

May I ask…

  • Is your life’s biggest bottom line bringing Him glory now? Trending faithfully towards forever?
  • Are you better at stealing glory or giving it? Which one is your default setting?
  • Where could God’s glory be more evident in your bottom line living?

Father, thank you for giving us such a clear, selfless, powerful bottom line in Jesus. May this play out in all I say and do today through the power of your Spirit, now and forever! Amen

Bottom line living, love, and prayers,

Coach Mo

Two Things We All Want

“How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” John 5:44

Two things we all want are praise and validation. Being affirmed, as having what it takes, is important. The trick is to get those things the right way, to make sure the right voice(s) are weighing in. 

Jesus gives us three great clues as to how to do this:

1. DON’T CREATE YOUR OWN PRAISE. No fishing for compliments. It’s tempting but not wise. Bragging about yourself backfires. It works against the praise you seek. Self-generated praise is not valid, just vain. Heed Jesus’s words: “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.” (John 5:31)*

2. DON’T ACCEPT THE PRAISE OF MEN. It makes you settle for less than the best. That kind of praise comes back to bite because it is consistently fickle and fleeting. It skews reality and becomes addicting. Heed Jesus’s words instead: “I do not accept praise from men.” (John 5:41)

3. GET IT FROM GOD. Seek His praise. Let Him validate you by His word, through His spirit. Take aim at His approval above all (Audience of One). Jesus suggests that pursuing other praise diets will drown out God’s voice in our lives. Expect the greater reward, God’s reward. Get a “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master” from Him. (Matthew 25:21) 

Jesus clues us well because He’s like the finest of coaches. He will not seek praise to validate Himself, only to praise and validate others along the way. Having His Heavenly Father’s approval was, is, and always will be enough. (Do you believe this?) O may we function this same way. 

Pushing back…

  • You better at generating praise for yourself or the building up of others?
  • Are you addicted to man’s approval, dependent more than you care to admit on their praise and affirmations? 
  • Is social media getting too much playing time in your life? What adjustments might be necessary?
  • Who makes you feel most validated in life? Getting enough true messages that you have what it takes?

Sweet, strong Jesus, don’t let me become easily satisfied with the praise of men. I want Yours. Win the approval war that’s waged in me. Settle my heart and make me like You. Amen

No fear. 

Sound mind. 

One true voice. 

Coach Mo

*Bonus coverage: Notice Lebron’s self-pronounced GOAT reference:  https://youtu.be/87AIZBYuIXY How does it line up with what you just read? 

Bottom line: Identify what’s truly special but don’t self-exalt. Be sure to follow the coaching set forth in John 5 and Jeremiah 9:23-24. Memorize and practice these lines instead.

The End in Mind

“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” 2 Peter 3:11-12

Stephen Covey wrote a massive 20th century bestseller called ‘7 Habits of Highly Successful People’. The third habit he identifies is ‘Begin with the End in Mind’. All great missions, all great teams start and build from here. 

The Bible repeatedly talks about the end and asks us to live in light of it. That end includes coming judgment, the destruction of this world, the ushering in of another better one, and Christ’s catalytic return to set this brand new end in motion. 

God’s Word in 2 Peter 3:11-14 gives us a few pointers as to what living with the end in mind should look like. Here’s the picture: 

  • LIVING HOLY. This does not mean living perfect. It means living ‘set apart’ for special service to our Master. It means living for Him. 
  • LIVING GODLY. This means living like Jesus, imitating Him, patterning ‘your game’ after His. It means living like Him.
  • LOOKING FORWARD. This means anticipating His return – vigilant, ready, hopeful and hope-filled. It means living in the now but with an eye on eternity. It means living with Him always in view. 
  • GETTING BUSY. This means seizing and maximizing moments, pushing the tempo, making possessions matter and each day a masterpiece.  It means ‘speeding His return’ by not being spiritually lazy, casual, or indifferent. It means working hard for what matters most.  
  • BEING BLAMELESS. This means fighting off sin and receiving forgiveness when you do. It means living spotless before God and others, cleaning up the relational messes you make. It means keeping yourself clean. 
  • EXPERIENCING PEACE.  This means forging a great relationship with God and maintaining it. It means close friendship, committed to being on great terms with Him consistently. 

May I ask… How well are you living with the end in mind? Of the six pointers scripture mentions here, where could you use some tightening up?

LORD, thank you for making the end game clear and showing us how to live in light of this. You don’t leave us guessing on either front. All other religions and worldviews do. I love You for this!

Keep future, eternal realities ever before me. Don’t let me get numb to this. I want to live with the end in mind…just like Jesus. Spirit of God, help me make this habit. For Your glory and my joy and peace. Amen 

Be strong. 

Stand for truth. 

Live for eternity. 

Coach Mo

Great Reminders and a Nasty Nine

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Extensive research among Olympians has identified 7 common personality traits of all elite athletes (high performance-type people). High organizational ability is one of them. It gives them structure and helps them figure out what needs to be done when. ‘W.I.N.’ (What’s Important Now) shapes their thinking. And good self-reminders populate all the time. 

How do you create structure in your day (or do you simply let others structure the majority of it for you)? How do you remind yourself of what’s important, of what must be done today? One crucial but oft overlooked way is to let God’s Word remind and stimulate you. It’s prompts are amazingly valuable and beneficial, insightful and wise. The more often scripture is deeply, daily read, the better. 

And what happens if you and I don’t? 2 Peter 3 gives us some clues, a ‘nasty nine’

1. Doubt will start to dominate. (v3-7)

2. Coming consequences (judgment) will seem imaginary not inevitable. (v7,10-12)

3. Overall perspective will get wacky. (v8,10-13, 15)

4. God will seem distant and slow. (v9)

5. God’s promises will be forgotten, sidelined, benched. (v10, 13)

6. Living life with a good sense of urgency will be lost. (v14)

7. Living in right relationship with God will seem irrelevant. (v14)

8. Playing good defense, being vigilant and always on guard, will seem pointless. (v17)

9. Insecurity in life will rise. (v17)

Are you being routinely stimulated to wholesome thinking? Are you getting enough Bible intake to live wisely, with the end in mind? Are you suffering from any of the ‘nasty nine’? What mental or organizational adjustment(s) need to be made in order to get more daily wins?

LORD, fill my days with great thoughts and sound structure. Don’t let me succumb to the ‘nasty nine’. Your Word Is such a good gift. Keep feeding me the truth and reminding me by your Spirit of the wholesome thinking I need to get wins every day. 

“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders, to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.“ ~ 2 Peter 3:1

Be strong. 

Stand for truth. 

Live for eternity. 

Coach Mo