The Right Place

Jesus had just fed 5,000 men
(the total crowd was probably close to 15,000
if women and children had been counted).
He told His disciples to go ahead and cross the sea because He
wanted some time alone with Father God to pray.

At evening, the disciples climbed inside their boat and began the
journey. But you know what happened, don’t you? A violent storm
came out of nowhere and water began filling their boat.
(See the full story in John 6.)

The disciples saw Jesus walking on top of the waves toward them.
He calmed the sea, the waves died down.

“Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they

arrived at their destination!” (John 6:21 NLT)

He climbed inside the boat,
and immediately
they were where they were supposed to be!
Just. Like. That.
Once Jesus is aboard, they’re where they are supposed to be.
They’re at the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

It’s a supernatural event.
Actually, there are LOTS of supernatural events in this chapter:
The multiplying of bread and fish . . .
Ceasing the storm . . .
Water that was sinking a boat, suddenly gone . . .
Immediately being on the other side of the sea
without having to row or paddle to get there . . .

Here’s what I’m learning from this story:
Wherever Jesus is, is where I want to be!
I know I’m safer with Him in the midst of a storm

than I am even in calm water by myself.

Do you ask Jesus to go where you go?
Or are you seeking to be wherever He is?

I want to be in His presence.
Walking with Him.
Sitting with Him.
Even in the midst of a storm with Him.
As long as He’s there, I want to be by His side.

What would happen if we quit asking Jesus
to tag along with us—
and instead began living where He is?

Thoughts?

Liar! (Conclusion of a seven-part series)

In John’s short five-chapter book of 1 John,
he describes six types of liars. We’ve already
looked at five. Let’s take a peek at the last one:

#6: People who deny Jesus is the Christ;
the Messiah;
God Incarnate.

“Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Such a person is the antichrist—
denying the Father and the Son”
(1 John 2:22 NIV).

This is the biggest lie of all!
And it’s so prevalent today.
A good example is global religion.
You’ve heard this: “Let’s all believe the same.
We’re all serving the same God, right?
Allah, Buddah, the Light, Jesus.
Don’t all paths go to heaven?
And who goes to heaven?
In the end doesn’t everyone?”

This is false teaching.
It’s a perverted gospel.

There is one way to heaven and one way only:

“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me
(John 14:6 NIV).

Any other way to heaven actually leads to hell.
And yes, hell actually exists.
Satan doesn’t want you to believe that,
so he has worked overtime to make people think
hell isn’t what the Bible says it is.

We’ve looked at six types of liars the apostle John warns us about.
I don’t want to be a liar.
I don’t think you do, either.
I want to know the Truth, walk in the Truth and live Truth
in every area of my life.

Is that your heart’s desire?
I love this quote: “All the water in the world, no matter how hard
it tries, can never sink a ship unless it gets inside.

All the evil influence of the world, no matter how hard it tries,
can never sink a Christian’s soul unless it gets inside.”

The greatest battle we’ll ever fight is within.
In our mind and in our heart is where the battle is either won or lost:

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”
(Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).

You may have the lies of the world inside you.
Maybe you’re battling the world’s lies in your mind.
Or perhaps your heart has been struggling with lies.

Let’s commit to absolute Truth.
Let’s live—through the power of the Holy Spirit—as Jesus lived.

Would you commit to living a “no-lies” life?
Would you like to renew your heart to His Truth?
Let’s dedicate ourselves being Truthful warriors of God.
Will you join me in living the Truth?

There’s a really old hymn called “I Would Be True” that says this:

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

Thoughts?

I’ll be speaking in Torrance, CA this weekend.
Please pray for God to move in a powerful way.

Liar! (Part 6)

In John’s short five-chapter book of 1 John,
he describes six types of liars. We’ve already
looked at four. Let’s take a peek at the next one:

#5: People who say they love God but really love the world.

“Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you,
for when you love these things you show that you
do not really love God”
(1 John 2:15 LB).

This means: Choose not to love this world—
or even the mindset of the world.
Don’t value what the world values.

It’s easy to watch celebrity shows and read
about their lives in magazines and start to
place value on the things they cherish: homes,
jewelry, affluence.

But God doesn’t want us to value the things
of the world. They’re only temporary.
Instead, He wants our focus on Him.
Let’s value the eternal.

There’s only room for one master in our lives.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one
and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one
and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”
(Matthew 6:24 NIV).

Let’s ask God to reveal to us anything that has become
more important than it should be. This is how we keep
our priorities in check.

There’s a difference in enjoying our home, our car, and
the things God has blessed us with—and in loving them
to the point that we cherish them more than we should.
If we claim to love God but actually love the things of the world,
the apostle John says we’re lying.

Thoughts?

I’m speaking in Paris, PA this weekend.
Please ask the Holy Spirit to anoint me
in a fresh and powerful way.

Liar! (Part 5)

The apostle John mentions six types of liars in his short five-chapter
book of 1 John.

#1: People who say they’re Christians but actually walk in
darkness.

#2: People who claim they haven’t sinned because they've
redefined sin according to culture’s standards.
 
#3: People who claim to know Jesus but don’t obey Him.

#4: People who claim to walk in light while hating their brothers.

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or
sister is still in the darkness” (1 John 2:9 NIV).

If we can’t love Christians from different backgrounds, denominations,
races and cultures, we don’t know Christ.

If we don’t love those who drive us nuts, those who get on our nerves
and even those who ridicule us, we’re lying when we say we love
Christ.

That’s why Christ says:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God”
(1 John 4:7 NIV).

Pause for a moment and think about that one person you find it most
difficult to love.

Do you realize that your love for God is measured by how much you
love that person?

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a
liar” (1 John 4:20 NIV).

Ask God to bring to your mind any bitterness or unforgiving spirit you
be holding against someone. When he brings that person to your
mind, will you release this to Him?

Be willing to pray, “Father, I’m so sorry I haven’t completely forgiven
so-and- so. But right now, I choose to forgive. And in Your power, help
my feelings to match my words.”

You may not immediately FEEL that you have forgiven the one who
has hurt you. But keep praying, “Father, I choose to forgive. Help my
feelings to match my words. I’m consciously choosing to forgive.”
God is faithful!

And eventually He’ll bring your feelings and your words into
alignment.

Thoughts?

Please pray for me as I speak in Kingfisher, OK this weekend.

In John’s short five-chapter book of 1 John,
he describes six types of liars.

Let’s take a look:

#1: People who say they’re Christians but actually walk in
darkness.

#2: People who claim they haven’t sinned because they've
redefined sin according to culture’s standards.

#3: People who claim to know Jesus but don’t obey Him.
“Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he
commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person”
(1 John 2:4 NIV).

Jesus says love = obedience.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who
loves me” (John 14:21 NIV).

Are you living in radical obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
This is a far cry from casual Christianity, isn’t it!

According to the Bible, if we’re not obeying Christ,
we don’t really love Him. Therefore, if we claim to
be a Christian but aren’t living in obedience to Him,
we’re actually lying.

Wow.
What a wake-up call!

Thoughts?

I’m wrapping up the week in Howell, MI, and I’ll fly home tomorrow.
Thank you so much for your prayers!

Liar! (Part 3)

The apostle John mentions six types of liars in his short five-chapter book of 1 John.

#1: People who say they’re Christians but actually walk indarkness.

#2: People who claim they haven’t sinned because they’ve redefined sin according to culture’s standards.

If we claim we have not sinned,
we make him out to be a liar
and his word is not in us”
(1 John 1:10 NIV).

If we say we haven’t sinned, we’re actually calling God a
liar—because He says ALL have sinned.
Let’s just be honest: We HAVE sinned.
But the good news is that God can and wants
to give us victory over sin.

We don’t have to remain in a sinful lifestyle.
When the Holy Spirit empowers us,
He can give us the strength we need
to say no to sin.

We’re still human—
we still may choose to sin—
but when you DO sin, be honest about it
and seek His forgiveness!
Don’t lie about it and rationalize it away.
Or call it a mistake.

Let’s ask the Lord to show us any area
of unconfessed sin in our lives so we
can repent and live in holiness and obedience
to Him.

Thoughts?

I’m speaking at the district family camp in
Howell, MI July 23-28 and would appreciate
Your prayers!

Liar! (Part 2)

The apostle John mentions six types of liars in his short five-chapter book of 1 John.
#1: People who say they’re Christians but actually walk in darkness.
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6 NIV).
If we say we’re Christians but walk in darkness, we’re lying.
What IS darkness?
It’s the opposite of light.
It’s not being in God’s will.
If I say, “It’s OK to steal if you really need it,”
I’m teaching you something that’s against God’s will.
I’m walking in darkness, and I’m leading you into darkness.
But, wait a second! you may be thinking.
If we’re walking in the light and living in the light,
how do we suddenly start walking in darkness?
Well, it’s usually not suddenly.
It often happens gradually.
We become desensitized to the truth.

Here’s an example: Eskimos in the barren North
often kill wolves by taking a razor-sharp knife
and dipping it in blood.
They allow the blood to freeze to the blade.
Then they bury the handle of the knife
in the snow with the blade exposed.

As the wolf begins to lick the blade,
his tongue becomes numb and desensitized
because of the cold. As he continues,
his tongue begins to bleed,
and he licks even faster—unaware that he’s consuming his own blood and slowly killing himself.
Later, the Eskimos return and bring the dead animal home.
In the same way, satan numbs us through compromise.
Within time, we, like the wolves, don’t realize that we’re dying spiritually. The devil desensitizes us until we’re numb to the things of God.
So we need to ask our heavenly Father
if we’re truly walking in the light—
or if we’re slowly being desensitized to Him.
We want to be men and women of truth—
not liars who say we’re walking in the light
but are actually dwelling in an area of darkness.
Will you ask God to shine His spotlight on every area of your life?
Let Him reveal any area of darkness that you need to confess.
Let’s be truth warriors!
Thoughts?
I’ll be sharing more about the types of liars the apostle John talks about in next week’s blog!
I’m speaking in Fishkill, NY this weekend and would appreciate your prayers.

Liar! (Part 1)

Ever heard this phrase: “Liar, Liar! Pants on fire!”
It’s a phrase that children like to scream at each other
whenever they think the other is lying.
It’s really a stupid thing to say—because if your pants actually
caught on fire when you lied, more politicians would be dead.

(Ha! I couldn’t resist.)
I did some research, because I wanted to know where this phrase came from. One story tells of a boy who stole his dad’s cigar and ran out to the shed to smoke it. He heard his dad approaching, and he quickly shoved the cigar into the pocket of his pants. When Dad asked if he’d been smoking, he denied it—even though his pants were beginning to burn. Thus, “Liar, Liar, pants on fire!”
But the phrase actually originated from a poem written in 1810 by William Blake titled “The Liar.” The Bible actually has quite a bit to say about liars. But lets just look at what the apostle John has to say about them.
You know he wrote the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and the also the very last book of the Bible—Revelation. In John’s short five-chapter book of 1 John, he describes six types of liars. Let’s look at one of them right now:
#1: People who say they’re Christians but actually walk in darkness.
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6 NIV).
Ephesians 5:6-16 explains the contrast between worldly darkness and Christian light. This passage reminds us that we once were in darkness, but when we committed our lives to Christ, we began living in the light.
But it takes EFFORT to remain walking in the light, doesn’t it?
It takes discipline.
This is why it’s essential to read the Bible consistently
and to pray throughout the day.
Even if you only read the Bible one minute a day, DO IT.
By keeping ourselves in the Word and praying,
God helps us avoid walking in the darkness.
He helps keep us in His light.
So if we say we’re Christians but walk in darkness, we’re lying.
Meet me back here next week, and we’ll continue this thought.

Meanwhile, please pray for me. I’m in Peru right now on my annual international missions trip. I’d love for you to join me next summer when we go to Guatemala. It’s usually the first two weeks of July. Please start praying about it now.
Thoughts?

Game-Changer

Women speak an average of 20,000 words a day while men average
7,000. Knowing this is the average amount of words you’ll use in any
given day, you can decide to use your words to bless people or to
gossip about them. And this decision can be a game-changer!

Make it a point to LISTEN to yourself today.
How are you choosing to use your words?

The Bible has some strong warnings:

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of
judgment for every empty word they have spoken”
(Matthew 12:36 NIV).

Have you ever been part of a conversation that begins like this:

• “What I’m telling you is highly confidential, but you’re my friend and I know I can trust you. . . .”

• “OK, I’m not totally sure about this, but I heard . . .”

• “It’s really none of my business, but here’s what I think about . . .”

These conversation openers are usually a huge forecast of idle wordson their way.

“A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him.
An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it” (Matthew 12:35 LB).

Wow.
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

I want to be part of the solution—not the problem.
So I’m choosing to spread “positive gossip.”
Anytime I can say something good about a situation or a person,
I’m doing it.

You see, we’re either part of the judgment problem,
or we’re consciously choosing to be active in the grace solution.
But we can’t have it both ways.
So choose your words wisely.

It really CAN be a game-changer!

Thoughts?

I’m driving to Cleburne, TX this Sunday morning to begin speaking
Sunday evening through Friday evening at the West Texas District
Family Camp. I’ll be teaching Bible study during the mornings, and I’ll
be preaching in the evenings. I’d love to know your prayers for God’s
anointing are with me.

My annual two-week international missions trip is June 26 to July 9.
We’re headed to Peru. We’re close to $1,000 short on funds. If you’d
like to make a donation to help, I’ll send you a tax receipt for your
files, because I’m a 501 C-3 non-profit ministry. You can make your
check to Susie Shellenberger Ministries and mail it to me at: 3128 N.
Timber Avenue, Bethany, OK 73008. I’ll need to receive it this week
to be able to use for the trip expenses. Will you pray about helping?

The Next Step

Oftentimes we make “knowing God’s will” into something much
harder than it really is. Most of the time, it’s simply taking the next step.
Doing what’s right.
Walking forward.

I think of Moses.

Yes, he’s known for leading God’s chosen people out of the bondage
of Egypt’s slavery, but the scene begins when he was simply
watching sheep for his father-in- law. A nearby bush went up in
flames, and when Moses turned to look, He heard directly from God.
So he took the next step. He did the right thing. He obeyed and
moved forward. The result? He led millions.

And David.

Sure, he went down in history as the giant-killer. But the only reason
he was even near Goliath is simply because he was running an
errand for his dad. Once there, he just did the next thing.
He took another step forward.
He obeyed and later became the Israel’s greatest king.

 

What about Andrew?

He would never be the leader like his brother, Peter.
He wasn’t good in front of a group, he wasn’t a leader, and he wasn’t
an extrovert. But he loved people. He shined at one-on- one
relationships. And in the midst of thousands of hungry people,
Andrew made friends with one little boy.
When Jesus instructed the disciples to feed the thousands, Andrew
simply did the next thing. He took another step. He brought his new
friend to Jesus. And Jesus took a few fish and some bread and
produced the greatest food delivery service in history.

Then there’s Peter.

He and his fishing crew had been out all night, but their nets were still
empty. Jesus entered the scene and challenged them to fish a
different way. Peter obeyed. He took the next step. He tossed his net
on the other side of the boat and pulled in a haul so great, he madehistory with it.
But do you think when he slid into his sandals that morning and
pulled his tunic over his body he had any idea that this was the day
he’d be drafted by the Messiah to join Team Jesus and turn the world
on end with Christianity? Do you think any of Peter’s fishing crew
even imagined they’d write parts of the Bible and launch the church?
They all just took the next step.
They did what was right.
They simply obeyed.
Instead of wringing your hands trying to figure out God’s will, why not
simply take the next step?
Do what’s right.
Keep walking in obedience to His Lordship.
This is His will.
The rest of the plan will unfold in His perfect timing.

Thoughts?

I’m not speaking this weekend. I’m home and will be attending my
home church this Sunday. Will you pray for my annual missions trip?
It’s coming up June 26-July 9. We’ll be serving in Peru. I’m taking 125
with me. We’re a bit short on funds. If you’d be willing to help
financially, please consider writing a check to Susie Shellenberger
Ministries. You can send it to me at:

3128 N. Timber Avenue,
Bethany, OK 73008. I’ll send you a tax receipt because I’m a 501 C-3.

Anything you can do will help a LOT!