Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Honesty + Grace = Victory

Your faith determines your outcome.

I would be remiss if I said how surprised I am at how quickly God turned a challenge I faced a week ago into victory. God used my circumstance not only for my good, but more importantly for His good. God moved quickly and I believe that is how He rolls  when we approach Him with a humble, contrite heart that stems from having a good relationship with Him.

"Humble souls are made more humble by Christ's gracious dealings with them." - Mathew Henry

God wants us to succeed in everything we put our hands to and to succeed in the relationships we carry. Sometimes He manuevers in ways we can't explain; especially when we tend to mess things up on our own. That's when we need to remind ourselves that God is always in control of the situation.

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.

I'm always amazed at how God can orchestrate through stupid things we do because we can't see the stupid things we are doing. We can't reach the destination or breakthrough that God wants to see in our lives if we don't allow Him to maneuver through the junk.

Do you view your mistakes or circumstances as a conflict or as a growth opportunity?

To trust in God for everything within our life we need to take our faults, mistakes, difficulties, and challenges and view them as growth opportunities.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:25)

I am so glad that the communication line between me and God is always open. He is always there when I need Him; and He is always there to protect me and bring me to a complete satisfaction in Him.

If you are faced with a challenge this week all I can say is seek God out for more of Him. Let Him be not only a part of your life, but let Him do what He needs to do so you can succeed in all that you do, and be the person Christ desires of you to be, which is whole and complete in Him.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mathew 6:33)

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, checkout www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

True Grace

After one of the more difficult challenging weeks for myself, I write this post to not only help others, but also to remind myself of God's grace.. All of us are fallible into making mistakes or bad judgements whether we are a believer or a non-believer. I have made some bone-headed mistakes, even just recently,which brought me to a better understanding of the importance and power of God's grace.

It also brought me to the realization that those of us who are in spiritual leadership roles are even more prone to the fiery darts and wicked ways of the enemy. But we need to remember that darkness has no victory over light.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.    (1John 1:7)

In light of my own past mistakes I could have just sat and waited for the wrath of God to come down upon me in some unique way, but God is not like that. We are living in the age of the New Covenant rather than the Old Covenant. The moral aspect of the Law (old covenant) still stands as the standard of morality for mankind because it is reflective of God's character and does not change. But the Law(old covenant) has been fulfilled in Christ. (Mathew 5:17)

Jesus came so that we may have life, eternal life. He bore our sins and died on the cross. This is love. This is grace. This is what we need to remind ourselves daily.

True grace is not just knowing God's grace, but by acting upon it.

So, how do those of us who are believers act upon God's grace when it is given to us freely?

 It is humbly coming before Him and admitting the mistake we may have just made and by asking for forgiveness.

“God resists the proud,But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

As for myself, I enter into His presence with thanksgiving and praise, all while reaching out to Him for forgiveness because I know, live and breathe His grace:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Cor. 12:9)

I love the wrting of the Apostle Paul throughout the New Testament. Paul's emphasis was always about moving forward

When new hearts are given to Christ, they are always immediately told(or should be told) that they are new creatures in Christ and the past is left behind:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
(2Cor. 5:17)

Although we have left our past behind, there will be days like I said earlier, when we are prone to make a mistake. But don't live each day in fear by asking yourself, "Did I do something wrong today?"

Remind yourself that your future is full of promise; for as we submit to His Spirit, He will change us daily and help us see and be all that God desires us to be.

2Corinthians 4:16-17-

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

If you are faced with a challenge  this week reach out to God, His grace is a perfect grace.

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, checkout www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Exercise in Boredom and Faith

Whenever you visit the zoo and you see the polar bear pacing back and forth in a repetitive motion, it is most likely because he's bored.
In the past few years zoos have spent several million dollars to enhance the animals exhibits so they closely relate to that of nature.
I never really gave much thought and investigation into this until my Saturday morning workout this past weekend. Toward the end of my run I climb 4 flights of stairs near a most recently closed tobbagon sled run. On most Saturdays you will find at least 50 people who will climb up and down those stairs at least 20-25 times. On this particular Saturday there were close to 100 exercising buffs climbing those stairs. I, being a runner, am not a big fan of climbing up and down cement stairs. Those that do think they are getting a healthy workout, but in reality, climbing cement stairs is not good on your knees.
For the life of me I can't figure out why anyone would want to do this repetitive motion several times, rather than finding adventure through the woods itself. To me, I find the repetitive motion boring just like the pacing polar bear.
Exercising can be fun and it serves a purpose, just like when we exercise our faith. The Apostle Peter gives us the importance of exercising our faith and what we can become through that exercising; one that enhances fruitful growth in our faith:
For this very reason, adding your diligence to the divine promises, employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue, and in exercising virtue develop knowledge(intelligence),
And in exercising knowledge develop self-control, and in exercising self-control develop steadfastness(patience), and in exercising steadfastness develop godliness,
And in exercising godliness develop brotherly affection, and in exercising brotherly affection develop Christian love.
That's alot of exercising to do but it builds up our character and faith and serves a purpose:
For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful unto the personal knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter also discloses that whoever lacks in these qualities is blind, spiritually shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him.
(all text taken from 2 Peter 1:5-10)
To be spiritually blinded is forgetting what God's Word says and living through the circumstance in fear.
Our faith cannot grow without some kind of trial or circumstance; so I am eternally grateful for the things that I have went through that strengthened my faith. I, like most Christians, sometimes will fall into a momentary lapse of faith. What is happening is we are forgetting who we are in Christ.
For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:23,24)
 I know I have just thrown a bunch of scriptures at you, but that is just it, we need to remind ourselves who we are through God's Word and what God expects from us. We become strengthened when we seek God's Word for our lives daily.
If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, please checkout www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word to build your faith upon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Road by Any Other Name

What do all these names have in common?

Tank Destroyer

Pansy Court

Psycho Path

Which Way

That Way

Lois Lane

These are all the actual names of streets here in the United States. The first one, Tank Destroyer Blvd. is a street on a military base in Texas.

When I heard this odd collection of street names over the radio one day it brought to memory that of  my grandfather, who was a great preacher and the biggest influence in my life, aside from JC of course. One of my grandfather's favorite hymns was The Old Rugged Cross, so I thought it was poignant that when he passed away, the name of the road he was buried at within the cemetary grounds was aptly named Old Rugged Cross Trail.

I wonder if the streets paved with gold up in heaven will have names, and if so, I wonder which street I will be living on up there.
Perhaps my street will be called It is Well With My Soul boulevard.

How about you?


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Feed the Mike

At a recent high school graduation ceremony, a Senior Valedictorian had his microphone shut off as soon as he began speaking about the importance his faith played in his life.

A most recent NBC interview with the wife of one of the 19 Arizona firemen killed in action last week was re-edited for online residence; they edited out her words of how her walk with Christ will get her through this difficult time.

I admit, this second one got me angry. This fireman and another 18 men  gave their lives to protect other people's lives and homes.
If you ask me, under these dire circumstances of what had happened, not letting this woman's voice be heard was disrespectful.

It's unfortunate that these are the times we are living in America, where the importance of not wanting to offend anyone is the priority.

But to those of us who are followers of Christ all I can say is, "Don't silence your voice."

The Lord gave Joshua, the successor to Moses in leading the Israelites, some strong words of encouragement:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9)

If God is for you, who can be against you?

Joshua is just one of many men throughout the Bible and throughout history who have seen God's glory shine through their witness and walk. Joshua chose to believe and obey God and through his 25 years of adventures Joshua witnessed:

River waters part

Walls crumble

The sun stand still

And 31 kingdoms conquered

There are literally millions of us Joshua's in the world who have chosen to trust God in everything we do. God wants us to be successful within our walk with Him. In fact, God even declares this to Joshua:

And the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you." (Joshua 3:7)

God will exalt you in the sight of many as long as you trust and obey Him. Don't silence your voice, God's got your back.

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, you can read more of God's encouraging Word at: www.biblegateway.com


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are You in a Funk?

Do you feel lost? Agitated at work? Aggravated at every little thing that may go wrong throughout your day? Do you feel tired and weak; physically spent from worrying too much?

If so, and you are a follower of Christ, then you are in a spiritual funk. Here are some great tips to revive you and get you out of that funk you are in:

1. Don't lose sight of the fact that God loves you.

2. Encourage yourself by reading God's Word daily.

3. Get back into a habit of worshiping God more. Praise is a great way to distract us from our problems and brings us closer to Him.

4. Go to God with what's on your mind. Whatever answer you are in need of from God can only come by you asking Him. Ask

5. Read Psalm 91 everynight before you go to sleep. The Psalm that reminds us of the safety of abiding in the presence of God.

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, click on www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.