Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Word 11/30/2011

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” ~Proverbs 14:12
Through our fallen nature we are prone to always want to take the easy way. The path of least resistance. And why not? If it looks easy to us it should be easy, right? Wrong! Anyone who is real with themselves will recognize the fact that what seems easy to us in the beginning usually ends up being much more difficult in the long run. Why? Because we want to conduct our lives in our timing and by our standards, but then get upset and confused when we don’t get God’s results. We want the easy way.

We like things quick, easy, and exactly our way. God does not always operate under those circumstances. Sometimes we have to go His way even when it seems so hard. These are the times where your faith is truly tested. Do you really believe that the Lords mind is on a level much higher than yours? If so, then stop trying to lead yourself. The way that seems easy will end up in failure because God is not in it. Trust God and take the “hard” way today. It’s easier than you think!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Truth 11/29/2011

We are not supposed to understand all that God is doing in our lives. We can allow ourselves to get confused and discouraged if we think we need to fully understand everything going on in our lives. However that is not faith. Faith requires us to trust God even when we may have no idea what is taking place in our lives. This is why many of us do not grow in our faith; we are too scared to step out and trust God more.

Christians like to say that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. But when we say it do we really think about what that means? We are not meant to fully understand God. The way He operates is on a level beyond human comprehension. Even the way He thinks is over us. Don’t try to understand everything about Him, just believe that He has everything under control. Believe in your heart that He is the same God you claim He is with your mouth. Trust Him!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Motivation 11/28/2011

God already has your situation worked out, even though you may not be able to see it yet. So often we get discouraged because we’re waiting on God to work something out in our lives. We get upset because He is not doing something our way or in our timing.  Here we must remember that God’s methods are nothing like ours at all. Everything about Him is so much higher and holier than us.

God truly does work in mysterious ways. Well, they are mysterious to us anyway. We can easily get upset when we do not see God working something out in our lives. But just because we do not see it does not mean He is not working.  Believe that the Lord truly is omnipotent and omnipresent. Trust that His ways are not yours. Rest in the fact that He always has your best interest at heart. Stop worrying and let your God work it out!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Freedom 11/25/2011

When waves of affliction sweep over your soul.
And sunlight is hidden from view. 
If ever your tempted to fret or complain
Just think of His goodness to you.

Think of His goodness to you. 
Think of His goodness to you!
Tho' storms over thee sweep, He is able to keep. 
Just think of His goodness to you. 
In the midst of all you have going on right now take time to reflect on God’s goodness. If you really think about it, His goodness outweighs anything else. He always makes a way when there is seemingly no way to fix a situation. He can use anything to work out for your good. It may not always feel like it, but if you think back He is always right on time! He is so good. He is great. God is awesome! Don’t complain, just think of His goodness to you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday Thought 11/24/2011

Are you truly thankful for all that God has given you? Many will set this day aside and go to designated church services to express “thanks.” But are you really thankful? Don’t wait until this one day to express it. Your gratefulness to God should be seen all year long! The way you act, the way you talk, and the way you treat others should all say, “Thank You Lord for ALL You have done for me!”

Followers of Christ are called to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18). Does that describe you? If not think on this. No matter what you may be going through it doesn’t change the fact that Christ died for your sins and it nothing but His grace and mercy keeping you day after day after day! Take time right now to give God praise just because of who He is. Pass His love on to someone else who is in more need than you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Word 11/23/2011

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. ~Psalm 119:67
The psalmist here makes it real clear. Trials are form of discipline. We often struggle with wanting to please God, but still doing things our own way. Therefore our Father has to discipline us to get us back on track. Nobody likes trials, but they are usually the most beneficial times in the life of a true Christian. They show us who we really are.

A few verses later the psalmist says it is good that he has been afflicted. Why? So that he study God’s word more (Psalm 119:71). Most of us would never choose a bad situation if it was up to us. However, if we are honest with ourselves we realize those are the times where we come to experience God more and more and more. This is when we understand that we can not depend on anyone else, so we must study, pray, and seek God’s holy will like never before. Anyone who hasn’t realized that is probably going through the same trial over and over again. Don’t get discouraged in a trial. God may be allowing you to be broken down, but only so that He can build you up to what He knows you are supposed to be!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Truth 11/22/2011

God will let everything around us fall apart to show us that He is all we need. Many times, without even realizing it, we can put our trust and attention in things besides the Lord. We seek comfort, peace, and rest from the world, and wonder why we end up disappointed.  There is no substitute for what only God can give. Sometimes we say that in our hearts, but do not live it out. Therefore God has to let us know He really is the only One we can lean on.

God has to be your only means of support. Yes, sometimes other things and people will assist you, but it must be those that God appointed for you. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). When everything around you seems to be falling away, do not panic, but run to God. Let God be your only support. Trust that whatever is going on is just a way of Him showing you that He is all you need. Remember all other ground is just sinking sand.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Motivation 11/21/2011

You can always depend on God anywhere, anytime, and in any situation! Life changes all the time. We really do not know what a day will bring, but we do know that we can always lean on the Lord. Sometimes we feel great, sometimes we feel terrible. Sometimes life is going great, other times we wish we could just forget certain days ever happened. Sometimes 'friends' are all around, sometimes it’s just you. Through it all, however, if you are a child of God He is right there and willing to let you lean on Him.

Life is ridiculously unstable; things change, money fluctuates, friends leave. But Christ is a firm foundation! He truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He loves you when you’re right and when you’re wrong (and we know we can be wrong). Because He is all-powerful, He is the one Friend who has the desire AND ability to be there whenever you need Him. You don’t have to figure out anything on your own. You don’t have to go anywhere on your own. All you have to do is simply rely on Him!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Freedom 11/18/2011

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Trusting and obeying go hand in hand. Actually obedience is a sign of trust. When your confidence rest in the Lord, you will have no choice but to follow Him. God is the source of all things good. Therefore true happiness and joy can only be found in Him. Decide today to let go of confusion. Decide today to let go of fears. Let go of what you think you want and seek what the Father knows you need. Decide today to fully and totally rely on God and His power. Trust Him and only Him. Obey His Word. There is no other way!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Thought 11/17/2011

Are you ready to handle what you are asking God to do in your life? Can you handle the responsibility of the blessing? Too often we tell God we want certain things when we really don’t understand what it entails. When a teenager is getting closer and closer to sixteen all they can think about is driving a car. They want it so bad. They have a desire to drive, but usually they don’t consider insurance, maintenance, gas, etc. Most would probably be more hesitant to say what they want if they knew all the details. Are you considering all the details?

We know that God loves us and that He truly wants to bless us. He wants to do amazing things in our lives. While you are waiting on the Lord ask yourself, “Am I preparing myself to receive what I want from God?” Some of us need to live a more disciplined lifestyle. Some of us need to handle our finances better. Some of us need to treat other people like God commands us to. Continue to take a good look inside yourself. Don’t just ask to move up, ask God to show you how to get there too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Word 11/16/2011

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
You can quote it in your sleep, but do you live it out? In order to receive the abundance God has for us He calls us to a higher level of trust. He wants us to trust Him and only Him. Even when everything we see, hear, think, or feel is pulling us in a different direction, God urges us to put all of our confidence solely in Him. And yet sometimes that just seems so impossible…

The truth is that trusting God is not so much difficult as it is uncommon. Fully relying on the Lord is not the cool thing to do. In order to walk into the blessings in store for you, you must go against the grain. You will do things that stand out. People may think you are crazy. You may even question Him yourself sometimes. But all that doesn’t matter. Why? Because He will direct your paths. The beauty of fully relying on God is that He will give you every single thing you need to make it through. So when life gets difficult, don’t stop trusting and fail, trust that He still has it all under control. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Truth 11/15/2011

There are some times where we are required to wait on the Lord, but there are other times where God is waiting on us! Sometimes we wonder why we are not being blessed like we think we should. Sometimes we wonder why God hasn’t given us that new thing or taken us to that new level. We think that He is just being unfair, but many times He is just waiting for us to reach the maturity level to receive more from Him.

God wants to bless us more than we can imagine. However, He is not going to give us more than we can handle. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that God does not have your best interest at heart. He gave His only Son for you, why would He let you down now? Be honest and look inside yourself. Are you ready to handle what you are asking God to do in your life? If you do not like the answer to that question, ask the Spirit what changes need to be made so that you can walk into your blessing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Motivation 11/14/2011

There is so much more in store for you from God! Christ has provided the opportunity for us to have an abundant life. He wants us to have life to the full (John 10:10). There is a fulfillment and a joy from continually and constantly walking with God that is incomparable. Now is not the time to give up! Now is the time to seek God with your whole heart. It is only when we stop seeking Him that we begin to feel empty, lost, and void.

Paul declared in Philippians 4 that he learned to be content in any situation. We should learn that contentment as well. However contentment is not that same as complacency. While you are experiencing God’s joy in whatever stage of life you are in now, be determined to move forward. God is so vast. In this life we will never be able to comprehend His fullness. There is always more of His love to sense. There is always more of His mind to discern. There are always more goals He has for you to reach. If you think you are successful in Christ now, just keep following Him earnestly. You haven’t seen anything yet!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Freedom 11/11/2011

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Is He Lord of your entire life? Are trying to hold something back from Him? Do you trust Him with all of your heart? Often times the valleys in our lives will show us that the answers to these types of questions are not what they should be. God wants ALL of you. That may sound intimidating at first, but it is truly amazing. Why? Because when you give God everything you truly give Him every single thing. When you give Him complete control you also give Him all of your concerns, your fears, and your deepest darkest secrets. There are no worries anymore. Live daily in His presence. Let His blessings fall on you. Find rest in Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Thought 11/10/2011

Are you seeking God’s guidance in all areas of your life? Do you trust that He really can handle everything? People sometimes do not seek God’s guidance in certain areas of their lives for a couple reasons. They may have a few specific areas that they are not sure if He can handle it or not. Another reason may be that they have a certain area in life they do not want to let God into. Right now just take a moment to ask yourself, “Is He Lord of my entire life?”

One of my favorite songs is, “I Surrender All.” Sadly today most Christians think they are OK with surrendering “most” but not “all.” (And we wonder why we get so stressed). If there is an area of confusion in your life make sure you are not trying to handle it all by yourself. Be confident that no matter what it is, your God is able. Don’t try to keep Him out of it; He knows everything anyway. Let Almighty God be God in every aspect of your life! Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Word 11/09/2011

“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (KJV)
God has the ultimate plan. He has wonderful plans for all of our lives. Have you ever wondered why sometimes what you are trying to do just will not work? There is a possibility that you are not walking the path that God has set for you. Sometimes it may be a matter of just not understanding what is taking place in your life. If this is the case, however, there is no need to worry because God is directing your steps. So when you feel like asking Him, “what are you doing, Lord?” He simply replies back, “Do you trust me, child?”

The first person I think of when I read this verse is Jonah. God had plans and so did Jonah. They differed dramatically to say the least. It took three days in a big fish, but God directed Jonah to Nineveh to prophecy. Don’t wait until your “big fish moment” comes get yourself together. If you have plans you are trying to pursue and they are unsuccessful, then your plans and God’s plans may be conflicting. What you are trying to do may be wrong or you may be pursuing a admirable goal, but maybe not the way God has intended you to. There is nothing wrong with having goals, desires, and plans on your life, but make sure God is directing your steps. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Truth 11/08/2011

God uses times of uncertainty to show you who you really are. Any low point you are going through is simply a test. God already knows how everything will turn out, but He is trying to show you some things. Proverbs tells us that if we quit in the times of adversity, then we have small strength (24:10). Times of uncertainty give us two options. You can either give up and try to figure life out on your own or continue to trust God even when it may get somewhat scary.

Life’s tests are also learning experiences. We find out if we are as faithful as we claim to be (or want others to think we are). These are the times where we need to be totally real and honest with ourselves. If we realize we don’t trust God like we should, then we should figure out why. If we are going through the same tests repeatedly, then we need to figure out what God is trying to show us. Trusting in God during hard times is the difference between letting the world beat us down and allowing the Lord to lift us up!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Motivation 11/07/2011

God sees the bigger picture; where you came from, where you are, AND where you are going. Just trust Him and follow His direction. It is hard sometimes to believe our Father has it all worked out in the middle of some tough situations. Here we have to remember that what we see is not everything. If you’ve ever looked out the window on a plane the site is fascinating. You have a panoramic view; bodies of water, roads, cities, clouds, mountains, etc. This is a good example of God’s view of our situation. All we see is what is right in front of us, but He sees everything from up high.

Don’t let your current situation discourage you. If you are at a low point this is just one scene in the beautiful story that is your life. If you feel lost right now, you can find your way. God is looking down and can give you direction. If you just want to quit, don’t. There is more in store. God has the plans and the directions. All you have to do is simply walk into your blessing. Stop looking around for the answers to your problems and look up!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Freedom 11/04/2011

Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
Does it get any clearer than that? No matter what is on your mind right now, you can keep moving forward. No matter who is trying to stop you at this point in your life, you will continue to press on. Whatever it is can not hold you down if you are in Christ. Christ’s glorious resurrection proved that He is more powerful than sin, more powerful than death, and therefore more powerful than anything. Say it right now to yourself, “Because Christ lives I can overcome (put your issue right here).” The Spirit of the same God who overcame death is the same Spirit who lives in you, if you are saved. You are not your past. Almighty God holds your future. Life is truly worth the living just because He lives.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Thought 11/03/2011

Can others tell that you are a Christian? It is easy to claim membership in a local congregation, but can other people really see that the Spirit of God lives inside of you? I heard an amazing sermon this week entitled “How to Know You Have Been Changed” from 1 John chapter 3. If you are saved, then you should feel different on the inside. God’s love should be abounding in your heart. There should be comfort from the friend that sticks closer than a brother. How does the permanent change of being born again affect you?

Along with being renewed inwardly, the changes salvation brings should be displayed outwardly as well. God’s love should be displayed through you to other people. Letting your light shine will cause you to stand out amidst those around you. You should be inclined to forgive when others hold grudges. You should be led to hold your tongue when others blow up. You should be led to be righteous even if you don't necessarily feel like it. How does your permanent change of salvation affect those around you?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday Word 11/02/2011

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

I am firm believer that too many Christians take the phrase “born again” for granted. We throw it around so loosely to the point that we forget what it really means. Just as surely as Christ literally died and rose again to new life, the same has happened to us. If you are one of God’s children, you have literally died to your old nature and have truly been born again spiritually. You may look the same on the outside, but the real you, the spiritual you, has been reborn. God has made you a new person with a new mind.

Old things have passed away. In another one of his letters Paul tells us that we are dead to sin, but alive in Christ (Romans 6:11). You are not your past. God has made you new. He didn’t start from where you were and improve on that. He didn’t just modify what you were. He did away with EVERYTHING and started over afresh. With this new mind you have the ability to stay focused on heavenly things. By the indwelling of God’s Spirit you can live a godly life. Sin has no power over you; no more than you give it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday Truth 11/01/2011

God has a glorious plan for your life, but you must do the work to fulfill it! Life can seem so draining at times. All of life’s responsibilities can actually make us think we are too busy for God. We take care of everything else and give God what is left of our time. Did we forget somewhere along the way that there is someone in this world who actively and persistently trying to steal, kill, and destroy us? When we put God last we feel disconnected from Him, and therefore set ourselves up for the enemy’s attack.

When Christ warned about the enemy He also let us know that He came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10). He wants us to have life to the full. But He did not say it would happen instantaneously. We have to work at it. We have to communicate with Him all throughout the day. We have to read His word daily. We have to constantly work to develop our relationship with Him. He has the plans, but we must seek them out.