Humble Yourselves So God May Lift You Up In Due Time

It’s never easy to let go, but sometimes you have to humble yourselves and know that God is ALWAYS in control.

For about a year and a half, I’ve been doing my own ‘thang’ with business.  So I wasn’t working under anyone.  But, every month was different.  Some months were good and some were bad.  I finally decided if I want to really grow my little business I’d need to go get a, gulp, J-O-B.

So, I ended up getting a job.  At first I felt like a failure, but then I realized I needed to humble myself and know that God is in control.

A funny thing happened when I realized that… about 30 minutes later I went to go read my early evening devotional, from The Duck Commander, and the title of the devotional was Let God Take Control.  And the passage they gave was… 


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7


Absolutely amazing.  I knew right then and there that God’s plan for my life is bigger than I can even imagine.  He knows the ultimate plans for my life.

It’s hard for us to see the future.  All we can really see is what’s going on in our lives right now… the short term.  We can’t even fathom the future and what God has in store for us.  His ultimate plan.


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28


Just remember:  Humble yourselves so “…he may lift you up in due time.

Keep spreading the Word!

What’s The Context Of That Passage In The Bible?

Yesterday I saw some atheists complaining about a man preaching the gospel in a subway car.  One commenter said when she sees these ‘street preachers’ she always hands them a little note with this verse of Jesus speaking that leaves them speechless:  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1, NIV)

Now does this verse mean you can’t publicly preach and display your faith?  If you read the rest of the passage you’ll see that Jesus is talking about hypocrites who speak loudly about their good deeds.

These people are doing it for their own benefit like, “Everybody!  Look at me!  I just gave to the needy.  Praise me!”  Now that’s wrong.

So, if this man who is preaching on the subway car was doing it for his own gain, then yes, it’s wrong.  But, if he’s doing it for God and the benefit of other people, then who’s to say it’s wrong?  Who are we to judge another man’s heart?  Only God knows what someone’s ‘real’ motivates are.

Today, as I was reading a devotional from Walter Henrichsen, I came across this… “You should read and study God’s Word like you read the morning newspaper.  The context gives you the meaning of the words.  Let the text make its case.  Don’t try and be cleaver by seeing any more or less in the passage than what the words warrant.”

What perfect timing!  🙂

I’ll admit, when I first started reading the Bible, I’d take things out of context.  I’d even use verses to make my case (out of context) and listen to other’s quote the bible out of context (and I believed them).  Now I’m always looking for the whole verse and passage.  I’m looking for the context of what is written before setting them in stone.

Just remember, taking verses and passages out of context leads to errors and misunderstanding.

Keep spreading the Word!

Pray and Do NOT Give Up

The past couple of weeks at church we have been going over a series called, Conversations with Jesus.

Yesterday’s lesson was titled Conversations About Prayer.

It goes hand-in-hand with my previous article about feeling disconnected from God (You can check out the article by Clicking Here).

Here’s the passage from Luke 18:1-8 (NIV).


Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said:  “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming.'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”


The first sentence of this passage explains it all, “…to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

It’s about always praying and to never give up… NO MATTER WHAT.

When you’re feeling down, pray.  When you’re going through a trial, pray.  When everything is going good… You know it… Pray!

Here are the ‘takeaways’ from yesterday’s notes:

  • Remind yourself each day who you are, and who He is.
  • See prayer as an ongoing conversation with the Lord.
  • God’s delays are opportunities for faith to be deepened.
  • Faith is not so much trusting God for something.  It’s simply trusting God.
  • Pray with others.
  • Remember that this is the only chance you have to live by faith.
  • Accept the invitation of Jesus:  “Always pray… don’t give up!”

And that’s the most important one of them all, “…they should always pray and not give up.”

Keep spreading the Word!

Feeling A Disconnect From God

On Sunday I got back from a 4 day trip down to VA Beach with my uncle and grandpa to visit my dad.

I love seeing my dad and spending as much time with him as possible, especially since I only get to see him a few times a year.

But one thing I notice is whenever I go out of town or have a really busy day I feel like I’m disconnected from God.

I then feel blaaah.

And, I always wonder to myself why is that?  Why do I always feel disconnected from God when I go out of town and I’m away from my normal routine?

It then hits me.  There’s a key word in the sentence above.  Can you guess what it is?

Whelp, if you guessed ‘routine‘ then you’re correct!

Whenever I’m out of town it gets me out of my routine.  I end up having to rush through my devotionals or put them all off until the end of the day where, again, I rush through them.  Not really grasping what God wants me to hear.

Also, while I’m out of town I feel like I put God in second place when he ALWAYS needs to be number one in our lives.  I just never give him the time he deserves.


“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Joshua 1:8


So how can we combat this disconnect?  Whelp, one way is to meditate on God’s Word.  Read it often.  Memorize the words.  This way, when you’re out of your routine you can meditate on God’s words that you already know (this is why it’s so important to read the Bible daily).

Also, if you have to, set an alarm throughout the day to remind you to stop what you’re doing and pray.

Remember, Jesus regularly went off on his own to pray and commune with God.

You’ll always be able to find time for God.  Just don’t get caught up in the world and put him on the backburner where you’ll feel the disconnect from him.

Just don’t forget to meditate on his word day and night… otherwise it’s easy to become disconnected with God.

Now keep spreading the Word!


“Though the rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.  Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.” -Psalm 119:23-24


 

Goals Set In Faith

A couple weeks ago I received a daily devotional from Rick Warren in his Daily Hope teachings.

It was about goals.  And not just making up goals, but setting goals up in Faith.

Rick Warren says, “You exercise faith by setting goals. You set a goal when you say, ‘God, I believe you’re telling me that you want me to accomplish this by a particular date. It’s really going to stretch me to do it, but I believe this is what I need to do.’”


“According to your faith will it be done to you.” -Matthew 9:29


So, what are goals set in FAITH? 

  • Focused: It’s specific, something you can measure.
  • Attainable: It’s possible and practical. If you set an unrealistic goal, you won’t accomplish it.
  • Individual: It’s personal. You can’t set goals for other people. You have ownership over your own goals, not someone else’s.
  • Trackable: Your goal needs a deadline on it. Without a date on it, it’s not a goal.
  • Heartfelt: Never set a goal you’re not passionate about, because you will never accomplish it without the desire to do so.

I just love it!

If you have dreams, then set make them GOALS in FAITH and let God do wonders with your life!


“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” -Luke 14:28


Keep spreading the Word!

*You can get Daily Hope devotionals with Rick Warren delivered to your email box everyday by visiting www.RickWarren.org*

 

God’s Not Dead

Yesterday I ended up watching the movie, God’s Not Dead (after seeing commercials for the second one).

Wow!  I can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie sooner.

Long story short, from Wikipedia, “Josh Wheaton, an evangelical college student, enrolls in a philosophy class taught by Professor Jeffrey Radisson, an atheist, who demands his students sign a declaration that ‘God is dead’ to pass. Josh is the only student who refuses to sign. Radisson requires Josh to debate the topic with him but agrees to let the class members decide the winner.”

The movie also follows a few other people who eventually are all connected with one another.

God’s Not Dead really makes you think about how you’d respond to someone who doesn’t believe in God or someone who’s started to seek God, but doesn’t know where to begin.

Now, I’m not going to post any spoilers, but there is one quote from the movie that I absolutely love and I want to share it here.

Note:  Mark is a cold hearted man who only thinks about himself.  He finally decides to visit his mother who has dementia, via his sister Mina’s urge…


Mark:  You prayed and believed your whole life.  Never done anything wrong.  And here you are.  You’re the nicest person I know.  I am the meanest.  You have dementia.  My life is perfect.  Explain that to me!

Mina’s Mother:  Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God.  Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave.  The door’s wide open.  Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.


I just love it!  “Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God.”

Reminds me of a Proverbs 30:7-9 by Agur.  “…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?'”

If you have everything you need, and then some, then why would you feel the need to come to the Lord?  You may never feel the need to come to the Lord if anything is always fairytales and roses, and then one day it’ll be too late.  You’ll be past the point of no return and never get to be with the Lord.


“Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”


Don’t let Satan fool you.  Put on the Full Armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11)

Now keep spreading the Word!

Do You Bear Good Fruit?

What are you bearing?

How do others view your actions and words?  Do they see you bearing good fruit or bad fruit?

Jesus says,


“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.  People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” -Luke 6:43-45


Jesus is revealing to us that our speech and actions will show our real beliefs and motivations.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.”

So, what are you bearing?  Good fruit or bad fruit?

Focus On God’s Recipe For Your Life

On Saturday, I was reading one of my devotionals and it really stood out to me.

It’s about focusing NOT on the ingredients of your life, but on the WHOLE recipe to see what God is preparing for your life.

I’m going to include a picture here so you can read it for yourself (It’s from Turning Points With God:  365 Daily Devotions by David Jeremiah):

God's RecipeAmazing!

I just love this devotional.

We’re always so focused on the ‘ingredients’ of our lives and fail to see the whole ‘recipe’ God is preparing for us.

At the time, I thought going through my divorce was the worst thing possible.  But, when I look back, it was only one ingredient to my life.  Without the divorce I wouldn’t be here today writing this to you.  I may not even be studying God’s Word or even living it.  I may not even have been truly saved.  Yikes.

So, I’m thankful that all the ingredients in my life add up to something special.  Maybe the final recipe is going to be a baked warm Apple Pie… Nah.  It’s going to be something beyond what we can imagine!

Keep spreading the Word!