Daily Spark

Daily Spark

Evangelist Kevin Harrington writes a daily blog that entitled "Daily Spark." Kevin writes a new blog post every week day morning. The Daily Spark started back in October 2011. If you would like to receive the Daily Spark straight to your email, please contact us at efoothill@gmail.com.

You can find more Daily Sparks at dailyspark.blog.com.

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Graduation - Daily Spark #407

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daily Spark #407

            Graduation is just around the corner. Some colleges are already out for summer vacation, while High School is not too far behind. This is the time of year when everyone is making big decisions about the next phase in their lives. They are thinking about career opportunities, internships, where to spend their summer vacation, and college choices. Graduation is a time when students reflect on where they’ve been the past several years. Many view graduation as the end of their time at a particular school. Instead, graduation should be viewed as the beginning of the next chapter in your life. Let’s consider a few things about our futures.

  1. God wants you to succeed. Many people think that God has it our for them God doesn’t want them to succeed or God is just cursing their lives. That’s just absolutely false. God wants you to succeed in life. God wishes nothing but the best for his people. God “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). God is not wanting you to fail, instead He is your biggest cheerleader. He will love you and encourage you in your darkest times. When your future looks bleak and stormy, must remember that God is on your side.
  2. You will only succeed with God in your plan. As you make decisions for your future, God must be part of them. This is a lesson I need to learn. It’s really easy to make decisions that would please the flesh. It’s really easy to make decisions that would get you more money and more perks, but what about pleasing God? Many people, Christians included, will do anything to get ahead in life but sometimes we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what’s really important. Is it the money, the fame, the promotions or is it pleasing God in everything you do? You can find success without God in your life, but eternal success only comes from following God’s commands.

I’m guessing that most of you are already graduated from high school and college. Take a moment today to see if you are following God’s plan for your life. Do you know that God wants you to succeed? Did you factor God into each of your decisions in life? If you are graduating in the next few weeks, then may God bless you as you start a new chapter in your lives. If you have already graduated and are in the middle of your careers, then just remember that it’s never too late to start living your life for God.

Kevin

~Read more Daily Sparks at dailyspark.blog.com

What Was Lost Is Now Found - Daily Spark #406

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Daily Spark #406

            Over ten years ago, three women in their teens disappeared in separate abduction cases. All three were presumed dead and the searches were called off. Earlier this week, these three women were found in a house in Cleveland. They had been held in captivity by a man who was keeping them locked up in ropes and chains. So often when we hear these stories, we hear of police finding the bodies of the missing kids, but this scenario is different. Over ten years of waiting came to a close this week when the three women were able to escape. This morning, each of these three women are waking up in their own beds and they get to go out and see their families. In watching an interview with one of these girl’s parents, the mother said, “what was lost has been found.” It’s good to finally hear some good news when you turn on the TV. It’s good to hear these stories of hope, perseverance, and strength. These three women who were presumed lost and dead, have been found alive and well.

            This reminds me of one of my favorite stories in the Bible: the Prodigal Son. The story of the prodigal son is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. The youngest of two brothers asks his father for his share of the inheritance. He then leaves home, wastes his money, and finds himself eating and sleeping with the pigs. When he comes to his senses, he returns home expecting his father to be upset for wasting all his money. Instead, his father welcomes him with open arms, a feast, and a ring stating, “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:24).

            Sadly, many of us experience this in our spiritual lives. So many Christians have left the comforts of home and turned against God. We’ve all turned to sin and fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve all been lost in sin, wandering around in the dark world. We’ve all been enticed by Satan to turn away from God. The question is: do we stay lost in the world or do we come to our senses and return home to God? Unfortunately, when you look at the world today, you see so many people who are continuously living a life of sin. Sadly, many Christians think that attending one service a week is good enough to be in a right relationship with God, but the rest of the week they are lost in sin. Are you lost? Are you living in sin? It’s time for you to come home. It’s time for you to return to the loving arms of your God. God will not be angry with you, he will be happy that what was lost, is not found.

            Take a moment today to see where your relationship is with God. Do you need to come home? Those girls didn’t have a choice when they were abducted ten years ago. They didn’t have a choice on whether or not they wanted to return home. You do. I guarantee those girls will never take home and family for granted ever again. Make your choice today. Come home to the open and loving arms of God.

Kevin 

~Read more Daily Sparks at dailyspark.blog.com

Wednesday Encouragement - Daily Spark #405

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wednesday Encouragement - Daily Spark #405

          It’s Wednesday and in my opinion, one of the hardest days of the week. Wednesday has become known as “Hump Day.” It means that Monday and Tuesday we are working our way up the hill until we come to Wednesday and we finally reach the top of the hump. After Wednesday, it’s all down hill from there until the weekend. Sometimes, getting over the hump is the hardest part of the week. We are tired from the beginning of our week and by Wednesday we are out of energy and ready for the weekend. Sometimes we just need a little encouragement to get us up and over the hump so we can finish our week strong.

“I will praise You with my whole heart;
Before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord,
When they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
For great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138)

            Sometimes a simple reminder that God blesses those who are righteous is enough to get us through the day. Sometimes we need to hear what God thinks of us. God regards the lowly. When we walk in the midst of trouble, God will revive us. Go will stretch out his hand and save us.

            Just remember that no matter how bad your day or your week gets, God is there for you. One thing that makes Wednesdays better for me is the chance to attend Bible class with my local congregation. It’s the perfect refreshers to carry me through the rest of the week. I hope that all of you have a local congregation that can help uplift you. I hope that all of you turn to God when you are needing help. I hope that all of us can remember what God thinks about us.

            Sometimes we just need a little encouragement. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever. What can be more encouraging than that? I hope we can all make it over the hump and start coasting towards the weekend. I hope we can all stay encouraged and motivated to love and serve the Lord.

Kevin

~Read more Daily Sparks at dailyspark.blog.com

Falling On Deaf Ears - Daily Spark #404

Monday, May 06, 2013
Falling On Deaf Ears
 
     Growing up with two brothers, there were times where we weren’t the perfect little angels we thought we were. We were good kids, but we were boys who liked to have fun. There were times when mom and dad had to be very stern with us and put us in line. My father grew up 70% hard of hearing in each ear. When he was disciplining my brothers and I, he would always ask, “can you hear what I’m saying? I’m the deaf one, not you.” I’m sure there were times when we disobeyed our father and he thought we were legitimately deaf because we weren’t listening to his instructions.
     I often times wonder if Jesus felt the same way. Jesus spent His entire life trying to preach and teach the will of His Father, but sometimes it seemed like His message was falling on deaf ears. Yes there were times when Jesus actually healed the deaf (Mark 7:31-37), but think of all the times He was preaching to people who heard His words, but decided not to hear Him.
     I know first hand what it’s like to preach week after week and have no reaction at all to what was said. It’s amazing how many sermons can be preached on attendance, but yet the numbers in the church still suffer. How many sermons have been preached with passion and zeal about being baptized and giving your life to Christ, but yet no one comes forward to respond to the gospel? How many sermons have been preached on unity, brotherly love, and working together as one body, but yet churches still argue, bicker, and split? I know exactly how Jesus felt. It saddens me to look out at the congregation while I’m preaching and see people talking, texting, sleeping, clipping nails, sewing, etc. Am I talking to deaf people? Is what I’m saying falling on deaf ears? I’m sure every preacher has felt like that at some point during their work. Maybe you aren’t a preacher, but I’m sure you’ve still experienced this feeling at some point. It could be your kids, your coworkers, or your friends.
     What’s wrong with people today? I think there are three major problems with people today.
     People are lazy. I’ll never forget, some time ago, I preach a lesson on becoming stagnant and stale in the Lord’s work. I made a strong effort to get the brethren to see that we had become stuck in a rut. We had become complacent with where we were and we weren’t moving forward spiritually. I was shocked by some people’s reactions. “I’m fine with where we are and I don’t really want to do anything different,” “If we start doing new things, we might get new people and we are fine with who have,” and probably the most shocking, “I know what we need to do, but we just don’t want to do it.”
     It amazes me that some people know what they need to do to make changes in their lives, but yet they just don’t want to do it. Paul told the Romans to “not be slothful in zeal, but be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Rom. 12:11). We should be zealous and passionate about serving the Lord. When we see things that need improvement, we should be excited to start working right away. Instead, people have become lazy and they neglect the Lord’s work. People will willingly let other people work hard, while reaping the benefits for themselves. James said, “if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror” (Jas 1:23).
     People are too busy. Apparently attending worship services has become optional. It’s apparently acceptable to miss services if you have other obligations at school or work. Sporting events, band concerts, and friend’s birthday parties have now become acceptable supplements for a worship service. I hope you are catching my sarcasm. People have become too busy for Jesus. God has been put on the back burner until all other activities have been accomplished and participated in.
     I’m reminded of the time when Jesus was approached by someone who was willing to follow Him where He went. Jesus told the person to follow Him. However, before this person would follow Jesus, he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” (Luke 9:59). Another person was also willing to follow Jesus, but first he want to “go and bid them farewell who are at my house” (Luke 9:61). Those two attitudes describe our world perfectly; people who want to serve the Lord, but are too preoccupied with other things to give Him one hundred percent.
God should be our number one priority. We should look forward to attending services every week. We should never be too busy to worship God and be with His people. Yet, it seems like people have become so busy in their lives that God has been placed on the backburner.
     People are too stubborn. We are all human and therefore we all have a little stubbornness to us. However, there is a growing trend in the world today that if something doesn’t go my way, then I am free to throw a fit until it does go my way. Even Burger King has jumped on the band wagon and made their slogan, “have it your way.” God had to warn the children of Israel as He was giving His commandments and His Law in the book of Leviticus. God said, “If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. I will break down your stubborn pride” (Lev. 26:18-19).
     It seems to me that people don’t understand the urgency in the message of Jesus Christ. After every single one of my sermons, I give an invitation to come to the Lord. Every single invitation consists of two things: a chance to be baptized and a chance to repent. Three times a week I extend an invitation to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. very rarely will someone move from their seat. Some people are scared, some people are unsure about what to do, but I think most people are stubborn. They don’t want to admit they’ve done wrong and can be a sinner. That means they don’t truly understand the urgency of Christ’s message.  
     Jesus gives us a very strict and stern warning. He reminds us of Noah when he was building the ark. “In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:38-39). Jesus is coming soon. He has given us every opportunity to hear the gospel and respond to it. Don’t let laziness, being busy, or our stubbornness get in the way of following Jesus Christ. “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31)
     I wonder how many people will consider these things. I wonder how many people will actually listen to what’s been said and make changes. Jesus wants action. He wants you to hear His words, build your foundation on His commands, and grow in the faith. Will you listen to God’s word or will His words fall on deaf ears?
 
Kevin

~Read more Daily Sparks at dailyspark.blog.com

On Fire for the Lord - Daily Spark #403

Friday, May 03, 2013

Daily Spark #403

            This is the time of year when weather starts to warm up and snow begins to melt. Well, if you’re in the Midwest then you are still getting snow, but the rest of us are starting to warm up a bit. In California, we are experiencing record high temperatures this week, along with strong winds and this is a recipe for disaster. Heat plus winds equals fire. In you are a California resident, I’m sure you turned on the news and saw that there are three fires burning in Southern California and a few more burning just north of San Francisco in Northern California. These fires are hard to contain because the heat and wind act as a constant fuel to keep these fire burning. This is nothing new for Californians to witness, but if you’ve never seen video of a wild fire, the images are breathtaking. They leave behind a trail of destruction and there is no predicting where they will go next.

            I wonder how many of us are on fire for the Lord. I’m sure we’ve all known people who are very passionate about God and living His word. I’m sure we’ve all known people who have souls that are on fire for the Lord. They live their lives trying to serve God, read His word, and teach other people. They live their life to honor God. And then I’m sure we all know people who just seem to be ice cold. They could care less about church and serving God. They may come to a service every now and then, but they don’t care about having perfect attendance. When they are at church they will think about church, but then they don’t think about services or their brothers and sisters during the week. And then I’m sure we know people who are caught somewhere in the middle.

            Jesus told the church in Laodicea “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). It’s time we decide if we are going to be on fire for the Lord or not. It’s time we decide we want to be powerful like those California wild fires or do we want to be cold and lazy.

            Once the wildfires get going, it’s very hard to stop them. I wonder what the Lord’s church would be like if every Christian was on fire for the Lord. Who would be able to stop the raging inferno of love and dedication for the Lord? Who would be able to say no to the passionate plea of repentance of sin. Instead of a trail of destruction, our fire can leave a trail of Biblical teaching and truth. We can leave a trail of saved lives that could also be on fire for the Lord.

            Only you can decide if you are on fire for the Lord. Only you can decide if you want to turn up the heat a little bit. Imagine what the Lord’s church can be like if we are all hot and on fire for e the Lord. It’s time we let our spark become a fire and our fire become a wildfire. It’s time we become passionate about the Lord.

Kevin

~Read more Daily Sparks at dailyspark.blog.com

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