Thursday, June 11, 2020

We get so tired ... we need to find rest.

We work. We take care of our families and our homes. We struggle with different things in our lives. We struggle with our health. We try to help others. It is exhausting.

We know we need to rest. We need to get enough sleep. We need to stay hydrated and we need to eat. All things that help us from being exhausted.

Yet when it comes to your spiritual life, are you being fed? Are you resting in God? Psalms 23:1‭-‬2 NLT is a great reminder:

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.

A shepherd watches over their flock. The shepherd cares for, protects, and feeds their flock. The flock stays healthy, happy, and safe. Jesus is our shepherd. We do have all that we need. Maybe not all that we want, but what we need. And what we need is to have a relationship with Jesus so that once we get to the end of this life we will be in heaven with the Father for eternity. Jesus tells us we will have trials here. We will get weary, tired, and exhausted. The Good News is that until we leave this Earth to join Him, we can find rest in Him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Live and love like Jesus.

As Christians we often hear that we are living in this world but that we are not of it. When we become believers, the world as we know it changes. Actually, how we see the world is what changes. We develop a biblical view instead of worldly view.

We see that Satan is ruling the world and our interest in those things fade as our relationship with Jesus grows and as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in is and through us. In doing this we begin to behave differently. This is what Paul says about it in Philippians 1:27 NLT:

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

As believers we must live and love like Christ if we are going to conduct ourselves in a manner worry of the Good News about Christ. That means helping others. Loving others. Doing what is moral and right. If we are not living out faith, if we are not walking the talk, then as James write, what good is our faith? 

Start actively living out your faith. Live and love like Jesus. Make a difference in this world. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Working for the Lord

Working for the Lord

We all had dreams growing up of what we wanted to be. Some wanted to be doctors, teachers and lawyers. Some wanted to work for the police or fire departments. Others wanted to be farmers or engineers. Some of us loved it those dreams. Some of us did not. Many people love what they do, many do not. The reasons for why and why not vary greatly. 

People, regardless of what they do, can get bored with their jobs. They get stuck in routines and they begin to wonder why they do what they do. They have lost their passion, their drive. If asked, I would raise my hand in the so called been there, done that club. For me it was Paul's words to the Colossians that help snap me out of it:

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 NLT

When I realized this truth, I got it. No matter what I was doing, if I did it with the mindset of doing it for God, He would open my eyes to see how I could serve Him. I'm working to honor God, things started happening. The first was that I was re-energized to do my job. Then I started seeing how I could be His light in my workplace. Good had me right where He needed me and He, as always, had a plan.

Let's think about this. Jesus did everything with excellence. He did everything for the Lord. Read what is written in Mark 7:37 - They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”

If we are to be like Christ, we need to do the same as He did. This goes beyond work and covers every aspect of our lives. Are there areas in your life where you fall short? I would be lying if I told youi did not fall short. Even so, I keep striving to honor God in everything I do. Are you?

Saturday, June 06, 2020

What is getting in the way of the light?

As we go through life so many things seem to get on our way. The things that can get in your way change throughout your life. When we were kids the things that got in our way seem pretty trivial now. Having to get your chores done before going out to play. Seemed awful at the time didn't it? Today the things that get in the way have changed and are likely more impactful on your life.

The question that comes to mind is this, are the things that seem to cause a shadow in you life preventing you from seeing God? Let's face it, we are going to deal with a lot of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual things. Where do you turn? Psalm 23:4 gives us some great direction, Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

We all go through a dark valley. For some that valley is very dark and feels like it goes on forever. I know people are dealing with things, sometimes for their entire lives. Things that I have no idea how it feels. The Good News is that our Father in Heaven is there walking with us through it. And yes, that means even when it doesn't feel like it, He is there. God is there protecting us. 

As followers of Jesus Christ we need to help in protecting others. We need to love on others. We need to seek to understand others. We need to live out our faith. We need to be God's light in this world that makes the shadows go away.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Re-created through a relationship with Jesus

All too often I hear “people can’t change.” I beg to differ. We all change in many ways. There is the change that no one cares for, we get older. God, please do not let me become that grumpy old man on the block! We change in other ways too. Every 7 years our taste buds change. Sometimes it does not take 7 years. Many years ago, I had the opportunity to go to France as an exchange student and was privileged to stay with a wonderful family. Every morning we had grapefruit juice for breakfast. I still cannot stand it to this day. Sauerkraut was another thing I just could not stand, that is until we had it for dinner with sausage. I still love it to this day, although if I want to have any, I have to cook it on the side burner on our grill. Diane does not like the smell in the house.

We also change in many other ways. People who come into a relationship with Jesus Christ change. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT; This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! It is in Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit that we begin a journey that changes ours lives. In verse 14 Paul writes Christ’s love compels us. His love through the Holy Spirit urges us on. Through that guidance we change, we become new. 

When a person goes to jail it is hoped that they will become rehabilitated and reformed into a productive member of society. With Jesus we are created new. We are not changing how we look like getting a haircut. Being re-created is not superficial. It is transformational. That means the old life is left behind us. It is no longer who we are. It is not who we will be.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Finding confidence through faith

What rattles you? What causes you to sink back and not doing something? What shakes your confidence to the core? It could be any number of things. It could be speaking in front of people. If you are still in school it could be a class or a teacher. College algebra did it for me. I had been taking online classes towards my degree and I got to college algebra. Diane and were in Colorado Springs helping her brother and his family move. I needed to get some class work done so we went to a restaurant that had WiFi. She had was with me because math is her thing. She tried more ways than I can count to help me understand, but I just was not getting it. I knew I was in trouble when I started getting hot and then came the sweating. I was so uncomfortable and then I got upset. That was the end of that study time. 

I have done much complex things than those algebra problems before and since that day. I have setup elaborate spreadsheets and databases that when you look at them had plenty of algebra in them. So what in the world happened? How had I let fear in and get control of me? To say the least it was embarrassing. 

Looking back I sure could have used the advise Paul was giving to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 - 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. Instead of fear and timidity I should have prayed for the power, love, and self-discipline that we get from the Holy Spirit. God will give us what we need by His power to get through each storm. If faith is present we can conquer that fear and timidity with the confidence that God gives. Walk in faith, walk with God.