As we enter the holiday season, we have much to be thankful for!!! Our Lord and Savior Jesus, our faith, our families, our church, our friends, our career, our home, our possession, our health, and the list goes on. But as we all know we live in a fallen and broken world, and not everything in life is a bed of roses. In fact, you may not be at all thankful for many of the items I have listed. Your family maybe not supportive and has been abusive in your life. Maybe you have friends who take you for granted and use you. Maybe you are harassed at work. Or maybe you are battling an illness or injury. How can we be thankful for things that hurt us? Let’s see what God’s word says about this. Let’s discovery how He directs our us to have thankful hearts in all things (1 Thess 5:18).
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV) it testifies that God's ways and thoughts are not like ours, but His ways and thoughts are higher. Thank goodness!!!! Remember, there is only one living perfect God, and none like Him. He knows the beginning from the end, He knows all, and sees all. As a believer, we are charged to have full faith and trust in God's ways, but as we know this is not always the case. Especially when times get tough. God never promised His ways are easy, but He did say His ways will lead to life.
John 15:13 (NKJV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. What does this mean to you? Really, what does it truly mean to you when you read it or hear it? It is a great Bible verse, and one that many times is linked to the military, especially on Veteran's Day or Memorial Day. But what does it really mean to you? Do we fully understand the depth of what Jesus was commanding? Let's see what God want to show us in today's message: No Greater Love.
God sent His Son Jesus to save the world, not to condemn it. But according to Matthew 7, the gate is narrow and difficult the way which leads to life; life found in Jesus. The beauty is Jesus continually sought out people to heal, to restore, to redeem, He never turned anyone away. Jesus desired relationship with us, in order to change us, transform us into His disciples. But not everyone wanted to be a disciple. Many follow Jesus to get something, not to make Him their Savior and Lord. Thus when it comes time for us to make a decision of the world (wide gate) or Jesus (narrow gate), which do we chose. I know Jesus wants you to choose Him, because He wants you; He wants eternal relationship with you.
As Christians, there is one thing we all have asked God for, and that is for Him to use us. For His will to be done; to bring Glory to Him; to be an instrument for His pleasure! But sometimes being in God's service does not always goes the way we want or desire. Being used by God, for God, can be hard, it can be tough, it can be challenging. But if you are truly wanting to be in His service, do we not have to trust Him regardless of what it looks like or feels like? I would have to say that being "used" by God is the greatest honor any Christian can have, we just have to position ourselves to be willing, to hear, to obey, and to be confident in God! Four aspects we have to prepare for is: Give God the glory, Die to self, Being used by God is not easy, and It is always God's timing. Remember, God is a holy, faithful, loving God; Who wants nothing more than the best for you.
The world is looking for answers, and we are to be that light to them, not to be a part of the divide. Speak words of life and truth through love. In all your relationships and conversations, point them back to the One Who died for us on the cross.
We live in a hectic and challenging world. Our days can be filled with stress, difficulties, and chaos. At times it can be overwhelming, but God is a God of peace. Jesus said in John 16, "in Me you may have peace." Let's discover this peace that is generously given to us through Jesus Christ.
God has called a people who are committed to His purpose and destiny. A warrior’s heart is one that is founded on passion, tenacity, character and has a never-quit attitude. But a warrior’s heart established in Christ, provides victory over this fallen world and the ability to walk in truth. In Romans 5, we are instructed to glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character. As fire is used to clean and shape fine metal, so can tribulations be used to shape our heart. A warrior's heart, founded in Christ, gives us the courage, strength and faith to put on the armor of God and to stand, and not run. Let’s discover how Christ can change our hearts forever.
In life, we are faced with many challenges and decisions. Some easy, some difficult. How we approach those moments is a reflection of our character and faith. Sometimes we may chose the wide (comfortable) road (choice), because it is easier and requires nothing. But as we know with God, "just getting by" is not His way. He wants us to change, and with change there is a process. Let's embrace God's driven process of transformation and become extraordinary!
God has placed a gift in each of us, and His desire is to see us tap into that gift. However, there is a process that takes time to cultivate and prepare us for the birthing of that gift. Travailing is to engage in painful or laborious effort. Just as Christ birthed salvation in the garden, it is our job to birth the gift that Christ has placed in us.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads! Because of God's immense love and grace for His children, we are able to celebrate together as families. Let's discover how our Father in Heaven saved us and continues to transform us. It is all Because of the one true Father!