Thursday, July 30, 2009
We can either choose to sit in traffic through that construction project or we can take that alternate route and sit in traffic along with every other driver that had that same gut feeling,"I can make it home faster going this way."
The two things we could all agree on are:
1. We don't like driving on bumpy roads.
2. And we don't like road construction.
But, once those roads are finally paved and it's smooth riding, we come to realize that construction was well worth it. The problem is, we don't think about how it is going to be when it is completed, we only care about the "here and now moment".
The same thing in life, we hate those bumpy roads we sometimes go through, but that is how our faith grows the most. Bumpy roads are a challenge, but it is how you respond to those challenges that gets you through that road construction to that increase of faith.
I've been on a certain bumpy road for quite a few months now, and I can tell you, it hasn't been easy. But, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God has been paving that bumpy road with good intentions.What I had to do was take a positive approach to that bumpy road and adhere to God's plan and pretty much trust in Him.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (Ps.18:30)
For once, I am actually thankful for the overkill play of a song; Fail Us Not by One Thousand Generations gets a lot of airtime on radio worship.net, and for good reason:
Whatever may come
we'll rise above
You fail us not,
You fail us not.
No matter the war
Our hope is secure
You fail us not,
You fail us not.
When you're faced with a bumpy road, approach it with confidence, approach it with Jesus.
Monday, July 27, 2009
"My husband will walk again!"
Just last week Rich went back to work, in a wheelchair, but getting physically stronger each day with rehab. Rich emphatically claimed,
"I'm still going to walk again. It's no big deal. That's my goal and I'm sticking to it!"
I admire their faith in the midst of their circumstance, to be able to stand and boldly claim in faith that he will walk again.
In the Bible the word believe occurs over 250 times. The words confess and declare show up altogether over 500 times, in one form or another.
A wise preacher once taught me to pray the answer, not the problem whenever situations would arise. In other words, he was telling me the same thing scripture tells us:
to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth. In fact, the Lord rejoices when we speak by faith:
My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice- indeed I myself;
Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things. (Proverbs 23:15,16)
Sometimes we believers forget that we have His Word in our hearts and in our mouths:
But what does it say? "The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
We're just forgetting to put that Word into action, applying it to our circumstance. When we apply the Word of God into our situation what we are doing is renewing our mind with His Word.
Do you remember when you first got saved,what did you do?
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be be put to shame." (Rom.10:9-11)
Faith, such a simple thing, yet we struggle with it big time. All we need to really do is renew our minds with His Word, His love. Believe and confess.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
I remember 2 years ago hearing a testimony at church from a Muslim teen (traveling with Eddie James Ministries) on when he gave his heart to Christ. Naturally his parents had trouble accepting this, so he literally had to hide his Bible from them, sneaking it out to read when convenient. Sometimes reading it in the bathroom. This youth was so excited about Jesus and the things God was doing for him that he wanted to share it with his sister. He would sneak into her room late at night, talk to her, and read scripture to her. One night she locked herself in her room and prayed. She prayed to both Allah and to God, demanding each of them to show themselves to her if they were for real. Now, who do you think showed up?Yes! God lit up the room with His presence that only He Himself could do. So, now both brother and sister can work on their parents.
When reaching our own siblings, hopefully our relationship with them has already been established. So, if we're presenting the gospel to them for the very first time, the hard part, a relationship built on trust, is done. The main ingredient is to approach them in love. Express to them the wonderful things that God has done for you, the peace that He has given you, and the love that God has for them. If they turn you away, don't fret or give up on them. There will be other opportunities for you with them. If they become argumentative, stop, find yourself an alone place to pray about it and pray for them, then just continue to show love on them. Don't be so overeager in your reaching them, God will work with you, if you ask Him. You need to continue to show you care for them, help them out when they need it. You might even want to go the extra mile and spend more time with them, just as siblings.
Now comes the hard part, parents with their kids. I am not a parent so I am not speaking from experience.But, we all know, if you've laid the foundation within your home while your kids were young, the groundwork is done:
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov.22:6)
I love this verse because it is so absolutely true. It is the one verse that parents need to remember most for their kids. Parents need to realize that once their kids become adults they are going to have to make choices on their own, and hopefully they retain the groundwork that you laid upon them. They will test the waters and your patience, but you just have to continuously love them and pray that they make the right choices in life.
It's sort of like the white bread-wheat bread way of life: as a kid you ate white bread and hated the wheat bread your parents may have forced you to eat.But when you got older you ended up loving the wheat bread, that same bread you hated as a kid. As parents you need to be there for your kids no matter what they go through. Us kids, it's what we remember most about our parents; them just being there for us. This is love!
And finally, spouses..another area I can't personally speak of yet. But, I do know the key words for any marriage: to love, honor and cherish till death do us part. When dealing with an unsaved spouse, again, you just need to show them love and pray for them. Have them see that joy and peace that you now have within you. Make them jealous of what you have in Christ Jesus.
A great way to begin ministering to them is just by asking them if you can pray for them. As my Pastor always says: "Don't pray about them, pray for them." In other words, don't pray for God to fix them.
In your daily devotional time or during breakfast,ask your spouse if you could read to them, either a passage of scripture or a snippet from a daily devotional. Begin to plant a seed in them. But, remember to administer grace to them. They may not at first be receptive to your approaching them with something as new into their lives.
Love is our key witness.We need to not look so much for results, because you'll come away disappointed. All you need to do is plant the seed. Always have an attitude of prayer for your family. I've seen and I've heard countless stories of family members coming to Christ while at a funeral because of that loved one's walk with the Lord. That noble Christ-like legacy that you leave behind will be remembered. And.. someone will continue your labor in the Lord for your family.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Hook, line, and saved!"
Conclusion on Friday post.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I am one of 5 kids raised in a Christian home. I am one of 30 grandkids, some not raised in a Christian home, but they all heard the gospel through my grandfather, the preacher, who spent 2 hours a day literally praying for all of us.. Like all kids when they reach that "conquer the world" age of 18, we have a tendency to want to check out the surrounding waters of life. Dabble into what the world has to offer. Not all kids do this, but a high percentage of them will. I've had several preacher kids as friends, all of them tested the waters,but eventually got back to their roots, and what they were taught. And the reason why? Somebody was praying for them.. I am not a parent but I do know the one thing any good parent knows: to pray, pray, and pray for their sons and daughters. We all need to have a prayer attitude, or what I like to call a Prayertitude
It was 14 years ago when I had a spiritual encounter with God that changed my life forever.
I was at my grandfather's funeral, he lived a full life to the age of 95. Not everyone in the family took it as hard as I did, sure, everybody loved him, but they knew he lived a full life and was heading to where he most wanted to be. I really can't explain what happened to me that day, but I'll never forget all the tears I had. Some family members asked what was wrong, I had no explanation for them. I had always frequently visited my grandparents, sometimes more than my siblings. I even got to say goodbye to him 5 days earlier, when they knew his life was getting shorter. I spent alot of my childhood with him, so we were close, but still, I had no answer into what was going on. I had a feeling God had something to do with the way I was feeling.
That night I remember so vividly: I coudn't sleep, I was tossing and turning constantly, punching the pillows in anger for not being able to sleep. As soon as I did actualy doze off, I awoke, the room kind of lit up a little, and sure enough it was God speaking to me. Now up to this point I guess you could say I wasnt as strong a Christian as I should've been from growing up in a Christian home, nor was I practicing going to church on a regular basis. So this was the Big One!!
God spoke, and put me back into place. God pretty much told me the torch is being passed onto you, so what are you going to do with?
On a previous post I had wrote that it took faith to have a spiritual encounter. I think I was mistaken. Because I definitely wasn't expecting this encounter. But it does take faith to accept and receive your encounter and move forward with the action that God expects from you. I don't know why I was chosen to continue my grandfather's work, I don't think he prayed for me any more than the others in the family. But, I have such fond memories of him, and the things I saw God do through him, I must've had to have been there for a reason. Just recently I heard a scripture verse mentioned in church, one I had never heard before:
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works will follow them." (Rev.14:13)
Whatever works in the Lord you do, someone close to you will carry on that torch after you've gone home to be with the Lord. All you need to do is continue in faith with that torch, and don't ever stop praying for your family. Have a prayertitude.
More on how to reach others in your family on my next posting.