Archive for September, 2017

Holy Glow…

Sunburns are normally a way of life for me. Fortunately, this year has been better than most.  Only on a few occasions did I have what could be called mild burnS, possibly due to my being outside less than usual, but more likely the careful and conscientious work of a caring wife who sees to it that I wear sunscreen.

But turning red is normal for me whenever I get any amount of sun. Someone told me once that it must be the Irish in me. But when I get a real sunburn, I practically glow in the dark. We don’t even need a nightlight in the house when I’ve not worn enough sunscreen!

All of this reminds me of Moses who, after extended visits with the Lord, would glow with an otherworldly light. In fact, so profound was his shining countenance that he had to cover his own face, veiling the aura of holiness so that others could look at him.

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.  Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.   But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai.   And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.   Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded,   the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining.  And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.” (Exodus 34:29-35 ESV).

Consider some of the amazing things about the communion that Moses enjoyed with God. First, there is the fact that although the Lord is beyond a man’s ability to apprehend Him with human senses or comprehend Him with human reason (in other words, He is “transcendent”), God presented His infinite, and therefore spiritually “indigestible”, qualities in a manner that permitted Moses to experience God personally and deeply. This gentle touch and tiny glimpse comes from a God Who is otherwise simply too overwhelming for us to know. He nevertheless permits the hungry heart of humanity to see that there should be more to life than living for the moment, more to religion than ritual, and more to worship than praise choruses. God touched mankind through the life of Moses and introduced to the world a spiritual life that is the purpose for which each man and woman who has ever lived was created. In other words, you have been created to know God!

But just as amazing is the effect that the presence of God has upon the one who has entered it! The holy love of God radiated into the face of Moses and filled His countenance with divine energy. It not only worked on the inside of who he was, but literally emanated from him channeling authority and awe into his service for God!  That holy “glow” emphasized that the One Who was working and speaking through Moses was God Himself and conveyed an awesome majesty upon the message that Moses then shared with the people of God.

Today’s Christian world needs a few more men and women like Moses. We need leaders who know both the ecstasy and the duty of fellowship with God in order to allow His truth to bring clarity to the vision of today’s church. We need those who have been met by the power and the wonder of intimacy with God to lead the church in engaging the needs of those around us with the life-saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, the whole world needs those who abide deeply in the presence of God to allow the light of His presence to shine through them into these dark and evil times, demonstrating that there is something real and incredibly authentic about the call of Christ.

The practical steps of fellowship with God are in our abiding in and obeying His Word, learning the wonder of true worship and dwelling in an ongoing attitude of prayer. Trusting His Son for salvation and then earnestly pursuing Him in everyday life produces a change in appearance in us – not physically, perhaps, but most definitely spiritually. And while it’s not exactly a sunburn, this is a “holy glow” we really don’t want to miss!

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

Read Full Post »

So Why Worry?

Every so often, I will have a conversation with someone who is especially frustrated with financial struggles and is not afraid to say so. It is not hard to find such frustrations especially aggravated by the various realities we face concerning economics, healthcare, drug abuse and addiction, international tensions, terrorism, and natural disasters.  With such apparent uncertainties upon us, one might be tempted to feel worried when financial difficulties come and upset about how one will make ends meet. In all likelihood, you yourself have been affected directly or indirectly by the many upheavals going on in our world and have even found yourself having to tighten your belt or make hard financial decisions at times.

Seek first to be an earthly agent of God’s will on earth while you strive to personify His holy character… and watch Him open opportunities and make good on His provisions for you and your family.

But consider for a moment if worry is an appropriate “go-to” attitude for when times are economically challenging.  If it is, ask yourself the question, “Is worry how I respond to money troubles?”

If now is one of those times when you feel trouble about money and are tempted to fear how things will fall into place, please know that God sees what’s going on. He knows how difficult things are right now for you and even sees down the road all that awaits you in regard to financial recovery, stability and even a sense of sanity. He already knows about future challenges, difficulties, accomplishments, and victories.

Yes, He knows – and cares – about you and about how all these things affect your family. If fact, consider yourself invited to sit down with the Scriptures and listen to God’s thoughts on the matter, so that you will find comfort when so many others might only find worry and fear.

For example, Jesus, God’s Son, said, “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’….  Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31, 32b-33 ESV).

In essence, God both knows and cares about your needs. After all, how could He not? He is not only your Creator, but is also your heavenly Father from the moment you first personally receive His Son, Jesus, as your Savior. And while I’ll admit that you’re one of many, many children of God, you are still known to Him by name for His knowledge and memory and love are greater than all the oceans combined and are as limited in height and breadth as the sky above with all its teeming starry hosts. You are known and prized as a precious child of the everlasting God. So why worry? Simply seek first to be an earthly agent of God’s will on earth while you strive to personify His holy character, and watch Him open opportunities and make good on His provisions for you and your family.

If things seem tight for you and your fiscal future is in doubt, remember that He cares for His own. Not only that, but take pleasure in knowing that you are indeed so beloved as His own, that He moves in your life to remind you that there is more to life than getting (and keeping) stuff! “…One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions…. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:15b, 32-34 ESV).

If you have found yourself living in what seems to be a financially precarious place, don’t lose yourself to the pursuit of trying to upgrade your lifestyle. But instead thank God for allowing you be in a spot in which you can both truly depend on Him and focus on accruing the “heavenly riches” of introducing the lost to Jesus Christ, encouraging discouraged Christian brothers and sisters in their walk as fellow pilgrims, and focusing yourself upon a genuine and passionate God Who undertook the cross of Calvary for you.

And if you have found yourself in a genuine spot of suffering, having been brought to a place where real pain and loss has not only entered your life but has apparently come to stay, think of Job. Here was a man faithful and true as a follower of God, but singled out for suffering and sorrow. Though devoted to God and faithful in all areas of his life, God permitted him to lose everything (wealth, family, health, and reputation) in order to bring Job to an incredible encounter with Himself! Sometimes God strips good things from us in order to make room for better things.

So… if you’re worried about money, take heart. If you’re fretting over the future, take courage. If you’re God’s child through faith in His Son Jesus, take Him at His word: you’re important to the Lord, He has assigned purpose and value to your life, and He takes seriously your needs and the needs of your family.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3-7 ESV).

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

Read Full Post »

A Passion for Something

Years ago, my youngest brother and I were having a discussion about the various twists and turns that the Lord has led us through in our spiritual walks when he mentioned that he had been asked what his “spiritual passion is”. We chuckled a bit at that because we have both discovered that, in some ways, the expression has become somewhat cliché. Ask a cliché question and most folks learn how to throw back a cliché answer. And if not a cliché answer, then perhaps a mechanical one.

My wife, in a car ride home one evening shortly after, turned to me with a twinkle in her eye. “And what is your spiritual passion?”

“Oh, you overheard our conversation, did you?” I said, laughing. She nodded. “Well, my passion is for God to be glorified.” She waited expectantly. “But what does that mean?” she seemed to be saying. I thought a moment and then continued.

“My passion,” I continued, “is for people to fall so head-over-heals in love with God, that they’re passionate about Him in every aspect of their lives.” And it’s true: I deeply long to see people take the Lord Jesus with them to work, to school, and to play instead of leaving Him at home… or worse, at church on Sunday morning (if they’ve even bothered going). I want to see folks say to the social pressures crowding into their lives, “I’m sorry. I have a very important date with God that I can’t break.”

I want to see people participate in the life of the God’s church NOT because it’s just a cool place to be, or because it’s their duty, or even because they’re hoping to get good moral training in for their kids (although all those things are true). I truly wish that people crave the presence of God so earnestly in their lives that they make meditation in His Word (the Bible) and intense prayer daily parts of each day of their lives.

My passion is to see people involved in God’s kingdom just because they love God. A radical transformation took place in my life when I was about twenty years old. I had called Jesus my Savior and said that He was my Lord, but I had never really surrendered all of my life to Him. At least not until I became friends with a college football player named Darrell. Darrell wasn’t a Christian when I met him. He was a nice guy – big, burly, and a lot of street smarts, but still a nice guy. And then one day, he came into the room in which I was working on a project and started talking to some mutual friends about something incredible that had happened to him. He had realized that Jesus had died for him and that He was wanting to be Lord and Master of Darrell’s life. Darrell shared that he had given his heart to God and that everything inside of him had changed.

He got rid of a gold cap on his front tooth (something he had done to make a point with the street gang he had once hung with in Miami, Florida). He got involved in Bible study and then a church. He even became a mentor in a program designed to encourage low-income kids and model for them healthy lifestyle choices. As I watched the changes taking place in him, I recalled a Bible verse that he quoted, Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you” (or “all your needs will be met”).

I remember now, even as he shared then what God was doing in his life, a perfectly clear sense of God’s Holy Spirit speaking to me. “What about you? What are you doing with the investment of my love in your life? Are you going to continue to live your life as you see fit? Or will you truly let Me take charge?”

Of course, there is only one answer to that question. When I consider how miserably lost I would be without Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life, there is no other choice before me. When I think of how I would squander my time here on earth if I were to do with it as I saw fit, I know that there is only One Who can and should hold the reins of my life. As God graciously opened my heart to His loving lordship in those days, He also opened doors of opportunity to get connected with people through whom He’d prepare me for serving Him. Even the wonderful lady who is now my wife is a perfect example of someone I met shortly after that experience with Darrell and who became a major player in helping to shape my future life and work, not to mention that it was during this time of my life that I lived for awhile with my grandparents, both passionately walking with God in the details of life.

And since those days, recalling again and again the lesson that God shared with me in that life-changing experience, I want as much or more than I did then to see God glorified in the lives of His people as they fully surrender their lives to Him.

So if ever my heart desired something and if there is something about which I feel truly passionate, it is that an incredible transformation will take hold of all the Believers in all the churches in our community. How I long for all God’s people to wholeheartedly serve Him. Just think! When He begins to really get a hold of our hearts, our lives begin to radically impact the lives of others and we begin to change the world!

“Thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV).

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

Read Full Post »


There is something dreadfully wrong with our Christianity when it is hardly more than a program affiliation. In a day when Kroger Plus™ cards and Speedway’s Speedy Rewards™ (for example) loosely tie us in to various brand name or corporate loyalties, I should not wonder that churches might also be on the verge of issuing such membership cards with “perks” or “rewards” each time a “member” condescends to make an appearance at a worship service.

I will concede that this is exactly what society demands of religion in general. It requires and promotes a nice, quiet civil religion that picks up the slack of helping to clean up the mess that society makes, as well as placating its participants with an overall sense of well-being. But it only tolerates even these contributions as long as religion essentially stays out of the way of culture’s pandemonious pursuit of temporal priorities. Yes, I like alliteration (No, I love it actually).

Anyway, inasmuch as Christians buy into such ideology (or at the very least tolerate it), powerlessness and fruitlessness continually plague the Church (overall and individually). It should not surprise us then to encounter emerging adults who get “fed up” with the games that their elders have played with religion. Seeing that “membership” and participation in church do little to actually influence practical living, many conclude that religion is not satisfying and, worse yet, that God cannot satisfy. They then “bail out”, determining to invest their devotion, energies, and time on things that promise to be more rewarding.

Only there isn’t anything more rewarding or fulfilling. At least not in any real sense. Not in any way that proves to sufficiently anchor the soul when calamity strikes (such as the cataclysmic hurricanes that have affected our country), when health fails (as in cancer or Alzheimer’s afflict us or our loved ones), when our economic means are taken away (when we are laid off), when loved ones abandon, reject or abuse us (which is all too frequent), or when our eyes dim as death comes and we slip – ready or not – into eternity.

For religion to truly “work” for those who profess to belong to it, we must meet God. For us to “meet God” – in the here and now – we must seek Him. For our search to be successful, we must come to God on His terms and nothing less.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me. When you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the LORD…” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a ESV, emphases mine).

Therefore, membership in a church, although appropriate, is not enough. Attendance and participation in church (and presumably Biblically sound) events, although essential, is not enough. Going through the motions of spiritual activity is not enough. Giving all that we have and doing all that we can to appease or impress God is not enough (and please don’t insult Him by trying).

We must simply come to Him as we are, or better yet, as little children, sick of playing games of pretense that we’ve learned as adults. We must hunger and thirst for more than mediocrity and truly seek Him. We must be willing to lose all that we have and all that we are in order to possess the “one thing” without which we are utterly lost.

If you have read much of the New Testament, you may have noticed that Jesus had a way of losing followers (see the Gospel of John chapter six, verse sixty-six as an example). Our Lord had a way of thinning out the crowd, so to speak, so that those who wanted “things”, might not get in the way of those who wanted God.

“Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV).

So what will it be for you? Will you be a mere member of a church or a true follower of Jesus? Will you seek Him when you have the time or seek Him with all your heart? What will your children see in you? What will they say of you? Most importantly, what does God see in you? What will He say to you when you finally stand before Him when this life is over?

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

Read Full Post »

Behind These Walls

There is something about the love of God expressed in the conduct and character of Jesus Christ that makes all other pursuits silly and superfluous – at least as ends in of themselves. Just think of it.  We spend our time, our energy, and our resources in order to have a merely momentary pleasure, a fleeting sense of importance, a fading façade of purpose, or an all-too-brief taste of love.  Even at their best, our past-times, pursuits, and priorities are all-for-naught if we do not live under the banner of God’s love in Jesus.  Without Him, such things are “Vanity of vanities!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 ESV).

Not only that, but in our frustration of gleaning only crumbs of comfort from dubious flirtations with such things, we flail about and end up settling for things that can only give us the illusion that we have found what we have been looking for.

Finally, too tired to keep up the search, we entrench ourselves in rationalizations and put up walls of suspicion and defensiveness, housing within ourselves a shrine to whatever it is we have decided to place our faith in: self, relationships, sex, drugs, work, money, power, fame, possessions, food, exercise, politics (or politicians), social causes or even escapism.

Behind these wallsWhat a sad lot we are behind those walls that we have put up. Tired of fighting off the wolves that would prey upon any of us who are unwary and foolish, we increasingly turn inward and fail to hearken to the voice of the One for Whom we have truly been searching, the One Who alone can bring healing, wholeness, cleansing, truth and beauty.  Indeed, even when we hear His voice, we eye Him with suspicion for we do not recognize Him.  In a world of liars, cheats, thieves and murderers, who can dare to open our hearts to Him?

Yet, when once we hear His voice, and find that this Righteous Judge has scaled the walls of our jadedness, we perhaps see His mercy… a mercy so great that it bears within itself the beautiful scars… ugly for they are the evidence of our sinfulness, but beautiful, too, for they are the evidence of His gracious forgiveness.

If we could then dare to lift our eyes to meet His, we would see there a fierce fire that would have consumed us in flames of holiness if it had not already been satisfied by the perfection of the righteousness of the Son Who died in our stead on the cross of Calvary. But we would also see a timeless look of love that would be like our falling into a well filled to overflowing with mercy, patience, kindness and goodness.  Looking into the eyes of Jesus, we would, I’ve no doubt, gladly lose ourselves to Him so that He could fully make us to be all that we ever hoped and dreamed to be, washed clean of failure, evil, and fear.

As He casts aside every stone of pretension we ever set up against Him, He steps fully into those places of our hearts and lives we feared most to let Him enter. And as He does so, we find that we have finally been made free and fully alive.  No more do we run from His presence or hide from His face.  No more do we seek to put up barriers to keep Him out for we have found our truest Friend.  We clasp the hands that have been holding us all along and we gladly lead Him to each corner of our lives, seeking His light to illuminate the shadows that would still haunt us and hold us at bay from the future He holds for us.

He is faithful to love us with infinite patience, doing us the kindness of bringing our rebel and sinful hearts from a posture of death into a place of life and victory. Only Jesus can do this.  Only Jesus can be this.

Whatever “good thing” you live for, it is not all it could be or should be unless you find first your fulfillment in Jesus Christ. He is the starting point for every life worth living and He is the end point for all of us – whether or not we care to admit it.

“Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own” (Philippians 3:7-12 ESV).

Because He is good and gracious, we are given the immeasurable opportunity to fully lay hold of what it means for Him to have laid hold of us. Let down your walls, friend.  Let them down and go forward into His purpose for you, a purpose which is secured by the atoning work of Jesus’ death on the cross and the astounding wonder of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Do so and find that there is a world of wonder and delight before you and God’s mighty hand to uphold you.


Copyright © Thom Mollohan

Read Full Post »