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All or Nothing

18 Jun

Today we are bombarded with countless choices. This constant decision-making keeps our minds actively planning, anticipating, and, worst of all, stressed.

 

This stress impacts us beyond what we might have imagined. According to Mayo Clinic.org, “stress that is left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.”

 

Yet the remedy that combats stress is freely available to all who will receive it. The cure, which is found in God’s word, instructs us simply to be anxious or stressed about…NOTHING. Not our families, not our finances, not the future, not our health, NOTHING.

 

Instead, in everything…in everything… in EVERYTHING— our families, our finances, the future, even our health—in everything: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” (Philippians 4:6 MSG).

 

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “doesn’t God already know my concerns?” Yes, He does. However, as you release your worries to Him, He works everything, everything…everything, out for your good.

 

“Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:7 MSG).

 

So, it’s all or nothing. We can either choose to worry about EVERYTHING, or release it, in thanks and trust to God, and worry about…NOTHING.

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Try Again

9 Mar

The Bible shares a story in which the disciples fished all night. Despite their expertise as fishermen, they didn’t catch a thing. Jesus appeared on the scene and told the disciples “cast your net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find” (John 21:6).

Although the fishermen might have been frustrated by their plight, at Jesus’ command they tried again. ” So they cast and were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish”.

Why were the disciples able to accomplish in minutes, what they were unable to do all night long? The source of the command made all the difference.

When Jesus told the disciples to try again, creation obeyed. The fish waited on the right side of the boat for the net to draw them in.

Is there anything in your life that you’re feeling compelled to try again? Like the disciples, it may be something that you’re good at, yet in the past you came up empty.

Don’t give up. Commit your plan to the Lord in prayer. As you pray, expect that you will receive answers. After praying, you may find that now is the time to try again!
(Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 16:3).

It’s Your Choice

22 Feb

As I sat reading the word of God and praying, I heard a whisper. You know, the kind of whisper that’s so deep within you until it seems as though it’s your own thought.

The words I heard were simple, yet profound. “You don’t have to worry”. Okay, I thought to myself, The Lord has everything in control and I don’t need to be afraid.

What appeared at first to be a few words of encouragement began to mean so much more as I rehearsed the words in my head. “You don’t HAVE to worry.” If I don’t have to worry, when I do worry, Im making a choice.

When we worry, we subconsciously choose to doubt God and lean on our own understanding. We choose to focus on the situation, instead of what God has said. God loves us and has said He will never leave, nor forsake us. His word tells us that we should always pray.( Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 41:10, Deuteronomy 31:8, I Thessalonians 5:17).

We believe the scripture that states, “through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we can bring our requests to the Lord”. But our hearts check out before the end of the promise which states, ” and the PEACE of GOD which passes all understanding will guard and KEEP our HEARTS and MIND THROUGH CHRIST JESUS”.
(Philippians 4:6)

Worry is definitely a natural response to the unseen answers we hope for. However as believers in Jesus, there is a better way. It’s our faith that is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” As believers, we have the right to replace our worry with faith. God even commands us to do so!
(Hebrews 11:1, Matthew 6: 31,34, Luke 12:22).

Let’s choose to rest in our faith, and resist our natural inclination to worry. It’s not necessarily an easy battle. But we have the God of all hope on our side, Jesus interceding for us, and the help of the Holy Spirit. We don’t HAVE to Worry!
(Romans 15:13, Romans 8:31, Hebrews 7:25, John 14:26)

I’ll Go..But Send Someone Else!

8 Sep

When The Lord told Moses that he would be used to set the children of Israel free, like some of us, Moses looked at himself and knew that he had  limited skills and abilities “Who am I – that I should go unto Pharaoh – and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt”. Moses continued, “Who shall I say sent me – they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice, – I am not eloquent… I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4).

Of course Moses started out all wrong by focusing on self, as opposed to looking to The Lord, the omnipotent creator of heaven and earth. The fact that The Lord was giving the orders should have caused Moses to look to Him. How about you and me?

What has The Lord told us to do?  Well, one of his assignments for every believers is similiar to Moses’ assignment, go and tell (Mat. 28:18-20). Let’s start there!  As we, in obedience, go and tell others about the Lord’s goodness, mercy, and love, He will perform the miracles, He will cause the seeds that we plant to grow. Remember, the scriptures tell us that “one plants, one waters, but it’s God that gives the increase”(1 Corinthians 3:7-11).

Are you focusing upon your shortcomings and remaining silent?  Pray for opportunities, wisdom and for boldness to help along the way. The scriptures tell us that he who wins souls is wise, and the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 11:30, Proverbs 28:1).

You and I don’t have the full picture of all that the Lord wants us to do, but we can start with what we do know. Talk to someone about The Lord. Start  by talking with your family! The Lord Jesus has sent you as His ambassador (IICorinthians 5:20). Yes, there are other laborers in the field, but you your assignment has been specifically designed for you. Did I hear you say, I’ll go, Lord send me!

From Irritability to Opportunity!

1 Aug
This summer, as well as last summer, I was blessed with the 
privilege of working with youth. Last year, I became frustrated 
during this process for a variety of reasons. This year, again, 
I found that I was becoming a bit annoyed and begin to think 
about making this the last year that I would participate in
this venture.

A heaven sent message came to mind as I thought deeply 
about the situation.  I was reminded that working with 
youth is more of an opportunity to give, than it is to 
receive. I've been given the opportunity to impart life
skills into our youth, the leaders of the next generation!

Sometimes the skills that I endeavor to teach are
unwanted, and may be down right despised. Nevertheless, 
with patience and grace I believe that I will continue to
"serve" the next generation. In essence,because of the 
heaven sent message, l have now taken my eyes off of my 
own feelings, and have begun to focus upon teaching 
whatever I can in this short time I've been given to make a 
difference now, and into the future!

Mark 10:45 tells us “For even the Son of Man did not 
come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a 
ransom for many" (NKJV). Is there a disturbing situation 
taking place in your life that you can apply this lesson to? 

Our perspective will change when we remember
that it's not all about us! We can serve Jesus by 
taking our eyes off of self, and serving others.  
We will then gain unimaginable peace, turning 
irritability into opportunity! (Acts 13:36, Col 3:24).

Free Food & Drinks!

26 Jul

Day in and day out routines can leave us feeling dry. Caring for family, paying bills, commuting to work, and work itself, can all be draining factors.  Sometimes we become so exhausted until we’re running on empty.

When we don’t take the time needed to replenish ourselves, we are no longer able to give our best, or even be our best. Our entire attitude can become tense and irritable as we maneuver through life on dry air.

But there is a place that we can go to be refreshed. A place where money is not needed, yet huger and thirst are required to enter. In this place, we are filled to the overflow to thrive, not just survive! 

Just where can we find this secret place (Psalm 91:1).  Some call it their quiet time, while others call it meditation. The name, matters not as much as the action of getting away with The One who refreshes, Jesus Christ (John 14:4).

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ invites us – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.”

The only food and drink that truly satisfy are  found only in Jesus who is the Way, The truth and the Life (John 14:6).  Come and cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you (1Peter 5:7).  Get away to that secret place! Read the Bible and allow it to speak to you. Pray, sing unto the Lord.  Or just come and be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Come and be satisfied. The food and drinks are on the house!

Hidden Life?

12 Jul
Although you may be a Christian, have you ever felt that
your life was missing something grand? Does your whole 
being cry out for more? Have you sensed that there is 
some unique thing that you should be doing that escapes
you?

In the stillness of a "must be more moment", I 
sensed a whisper that said "hidden with Christ" (Colossians
3:3) But what does that really mean? Did God hide the very 
thing that He sent His Son Jesus to die for; this thing called
life. Jesus said, "I came that you might have life, and have 
it more abundantly" (John 10:10). So if Jesus not only 
came that we might have life, and He even died so that we 
might have life, why is life hidden?

As Matthew Henry's commentary states "It is hid with Christ; 
not hid from us only, in point of secrecy, but hid for us, 
denoting security. The life of a Christian is hid with Christ".
Our lives are hidden, or secure with Christ.

But the question goes back to, how can we actually 
allow that abundant life that is hidden with Christ to 
be felt, experienced and expressed daily?  

Jesus Christ, the one with whom our lives are hidden, said 
that we are to "Love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, 
soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves"
(Luke 10:27).  

While this may not be the entire answer to our 
question of more, going back to the two greatest
commandments on which the whole law rests is 
a very good place to start in finding the "more"
that our hearts long for.

Love more! Focus upon seeking the Lord and loving
Him, as well as loving those people that have 
been placed within your circumference more. As we follow
these two commandments, we open our lives to
greater possiblities of abundant living for and with
Jesus Christ, with whom our lives are hidden and secure!