Wait!

August 31, 2008

Psalm 27:14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

14 Wait for the LORD;
    be courageous and let your heart be strong.
    Wait for the LORD.

 

Waiting is difficult.  We expect immediate results.(Fast food, high speed internet, fast cars, etc.)  Then when we go to God in prayer, we expect the answers to happen very quickly.

If waiting on the Lord results in becoming courageous and developing a strong heart, then the opposite is fear and a weak heart for being impatient.  The world expects us to be constantly on our toes and pushing us to the limit. The world believes waiting results in loss of productivity and money. 

When the storms of life come, I want to race through the storm and get out a.s.a.p!  Yet, God says TWICE in this passage to, “Wait for the Lord.”  The Lord exists outside of time and sees the end results of our actions. As for me, living in time,  my flesh wants to keep going, going, going.  When God makes a statement more than once in His word, I should pay attention and follow his orders.  Waiting on the Lord, can produce positive spiritual and physical results.

Some examples of positive results by waiting on the Lord is a focus on the Lord and less on my problem(s), puts the issue(s) in God’s hands and out of mine, peace from the presence of the Holy Spirit and not having to worry about falling into pieces,  less likely to be physically ill, plus courage and strength replaces fear and weakness.

Prayer:

Jesus,

Forgive me when I have failed in lack of patience and waiting on you in your timing.  Help me to understand you see the future and know the best course of action.  Please develop in me a courageous and strong heart to be used for your will and glorify you.  Help me to know waiting is a sign of wisdom and not foolishness.  Thank you for being patient and waiting on me to come into a relationship with your Son, Jesus.  If you are patient, then I want those same traits you possess.  Amen

 

Advertisements
Watch the film. If it isnt playing in your area. Get your church to sponsor the film to play in your area.(JOPLIN, Missouri this means YOU)

[clearspring_widget title=”Billy: The Early Years – Official Widget” wid=”48ad8e610a958cda” pid=”48b20422b26b7173″ width=”337″ height=”286″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

Keep moving forward

August 22, 2008

Philippians 3:12-14 (New Living Translation)

New Living Translation(NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

 

Pressing toward the Goal

 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

I will definitely admit I am far from being Mr. Super Christian.  Once you make it known you are a Christian, many times the world will hold you to a high standard. When you fall, then the world will say, “I thought you were a Christian.”  Many times its a good check for believers to recognize the responsibility we have for being proclaimers of God’s Word.  Yet, I do struggle in life with sin just as much as a nonbeliever. The difference is I am forgiven by the blood of Jesus.
When I fall in sin, it doesn’t take much for me to become convicted by the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, I find myself moving from falling on my tush in sin to falling on my face crying out to Jesus in confession and repentance.
Now as the above mentioned scripture passage states, I can either wallow for the rest of my life in a depressed state of my past sinful condition OR I can seek forgiveness and turn away from the sin.
The children’s movie, Meet the Robinsons, has a positive message throught the film. The phrase is, “Keep moving forward.” I am ineffective both to God and myself if I constantly dwell on the pains of my past. Yet, Paul has a God-focus attitude.  Paul has the godly desire to press forward, even though events of his past try to hold him back from accomplishing what God has desired for his life. 
Thank you for God’s grace to me even when as a believer I fall.  I am glad for the spritual encouragement of the book of Philippians. As long as I have a pulse, God still has a reason for me to move on in the life he has entrusted. 
My relationship with Jesus is the greatest reward  and incentive for completing the race of life.  Watching the Olympic runners in all catagories shows how they are dedicated to finishing a race. They may not be the first one at the end of the track, yet after all the effort they dedicated to having a opportunity to run in the Olympics, they have purposed to press forward to finish the race they started.
Jesus, help me to press forward by the power of the Holy Spirit to finish the life race you have given me the opportunity to complete.  Even when I fall down, help me to get back up and keep moving forward. Thank you for being my reward for starting and finishing the race.
Show me wisdom on how to better serve you and others as I run the race of life.

Storms of Life

August 10, 2008

Mark 4:35-41 (New Living Translation)

New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

 

Jesus Calms the Storm

 35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
The storms of life are never pleasant at the current moment. At times, I focus my eyes on the problem and become fearful. As a believer,  I should never focus on the uncomfortable times in my life. Jesus is my Savior and knows everything beginning to end occuring in my life. I should always focus on Jesus during the storms of my life.

 

Whatever happens during my life, God is always with me even in the storms. This gives me great comfort. The person not having a personal relationship with Jesus has no hope during the storms. God allows us to experience storms so we can draw closer to Him. If my life should be taken during a storm, I know I will be immediately in the presence of Jesus for eternity. 

We can allow the storms to overtake us or we can allow Jesus to overtake us.  No storm in life took Jesus by surprise. He controls what occurs in our life. I rather have Jesus direct my steps than allow a storm to sterlize me into ineffectiveness.

Brokeness

August 3, 2008

Brokeness. It’s not always a pleasant experience. When we sin, it hurts not only us, but God and others.  During the broken areas of our lives, God is able to work on us and repair us. If we are to be fruitful Christians, sometimes God allows us to be broken. When it comes to my brokeness, it has been result of sin.  God still loves me, even though I have made major errors in life.  Right now, I am having to face consequences of my actions.  Can God still use me? I am a broken and have burned bridges which are now piles of ashes.  I’ve made a mess of relationships and areas. I have tearfully repented to God for my actions. Yet, where do I go from here? The Lord continues to bring this passage to me during the past two months.

Isaiah 61:3 (New King James Version)

3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

God desires for me to be healed during this valley time. Oh, Jesus please heal me now!
In exchange for my ashes, mourning, and heaviness;  he gives me beauty, joy and praise. Then I can be called once again righteousness so that God may be glorifed. Oh, how I thank you, Jesus for taking my sin upon yourself and covering me in your blood by your grace and mercy.
It’s nifty too, Pastor Mark is teaching us through the book of Mark on the sower and the seed. God likes using gardening terminology. I am a plant in need of constant care and a watchful eye of the master gardener. Sometimes he has to roto-till the soil in my life to break up any hard areas and remove the rocks and weeds stunting my growth in the Christian walk. He sometimes has to prune me. Any weightiness in on me can kill me or not produce healthy spiritual fruit. God desires me to be fruitful not fruity!
While I am still currently in a valley time(Mainly by my poor decisions.) God desires to still use me. He loves using broken people. I look in the Bible and see how people serving him still had character flaws.  Broken people have to be used so when others look, they notice a force beyond the broken person is working in their lives. We, as broken people in the Lord, can share with others of the grace and mercy of the Lord. As long as we are living, it shows God is patient and has not given up on me or you. If we are still breathing after we sin, we need to make the most of the opportunity we have left and come to God for forgiveness.
To answer my question: Can God still use me?  Yes. How He decides to use me for His glory and will, is for Him to decide. I must allow the Holy Spirit to guide me day to day, convict me of sin, and by His power the strength to overflow in me and through me.