Tuesday, January 29, 2013
As I was thinking of writing this week on the next phrase, "I will fear no evil", I wasn't too sure how to tackle it. The easy way out will be to only address it as it relates to death; I will not fear, death. Or better yet I will not fear death because I have hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus, my Savior. But fear is a powerful thing! It can be used mightily by our enemy, Satan. Or even be an emotion that cripples us as we walk here on earth. Sometimes we don't even know what fear actually involves or means. We don't understand the different types of fear. Types? Let's not think that I'm an authority. Now there are words that we use that are associated with what we call "fear". In a little bit we will see a list of these words. What is very important to realize is that fear is a very real thing. It doesn't matter who you are "fear" in some way or another is part of our life and needs to be addressed. It is addressed by God numerous times and He wants us to work on it in our Lives. It is easy sometimes to recognize certain fears as silly but fear grips each of us differently... You know each of us, men and women, have fears. Yes, not only girls have fears, us men have fears too. We just try to hide it... So let's get to the list of words. Frighten, afraid, dread, anxious, anxiety, panic, danger, terror, pain, worry, apprehensive, scared, nervous and concerned. Now when we see these words and associate them with everyday life; can you see fear or types of fear? It is real and comes in different forms and levels. Each of us deals with these words differently and we also associate differently when we try to explain these words. For example some are afraid to speak in front of a lot of people, there is a big fear, while some only have a little concern, while some are just terrified... As with this fear and others we have a choice in how we will deal with them and how (sometimes) they will affect us. In Heb. 13:5-6 "Make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you." so that we confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do with me?" Fear is a very real thing; it can come from within ourselves or it can be from outside sources. So this week we focused on; let's call them fears of doing everyday life. In a week we will continue to talk about fear and address the word "evil" as it relates to fear. We all have fear(s), so remember Heb. 13:5-6.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Yes, it sure does look pretty. But then again, so doesn't spring, summer and fall. Yes, we live in a beautiful planet. But if you look around you can see that the snow in places starts to get that dirty look. The same with our planet or world you can see the beauty, but there in the midst or not too far off, is let's call it dirt for now. The earth is a dangerous place. It's true, not only that, you also have to factor in time. That is that time ages things...and that we live in time and things could change in a moment. Also with that time is everyday life, the interaction with the world, nature and people. We have good days and we have bad days. We watch the news and we sometimes can't believe what happened. If you really break it down we live in a dangers world, where it is easy to get hurt... where bad things happen every day. Psalm23:4a "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" So we are walking here on earth, and there is death before us all. Never mind all the other hard stuff. You see as believers death is just a shadow, it is something we need to walk through; on the way to eternal life. This earth is not our home, it's just part of our journey and there is no way around it. So while we are here we need to be lead by the Lord and follow Him. He will lead us through this valley(earth) and bring us home. Have you ever read about Corrie Ten Boon? She was a Christian lady who live during W.W. 2. During the war she was arrested and sent to the prison camps, the ones you see pictures of, that takes you breathe...away. Terrible, terrible places. But she had a firm foundation in Jesus our Lord. You see no matter where we are Jesus is there. He's active. He's leading....It doesn't mean that the outcome will be great here and now, but that the future outcome will be, eternal life in heaven. You see Corrie lived through the prison camps; but her sister Betsie, who was with her did not. God took her home and now she lives in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One day we all will be called home. For us death is only a shadow, because we have life in Him, Jesus our Lord.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Have you ever recieved a box of chocolates? The kind with all the different types and fillings? You start picking the ones you know you like then you are at the hit or miss stage, let's face it some fillings just don't go good with chocolate. Maybe it's just me! So toward the end of the box your guessing what might be a good one and sometimes you are taking the advice of someone as to which are the good ones; just to be disappointed. In life there is are lot of people giving advice and also a lot of people seeking advice. A lot of times this advice is like the advice with the box of chocolates, it's hit or miss. Psalm 23:3b " he leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." You know what's so great about our God? His name and what is associated with His name. In this verse we are going to look at righteousness. That is doing right...let's break it down into 2 areas, the first with doing right and not sinning and the second as to making a right decision; more over a decision that is morally right...as compared to a decision where we benefit, and it's questionable and without honor or merit...You see it's not the outcome of the decision that is important but the motive behind the decision. Also it is not just doing the good in our actions but the why we are being good, the motivation to act good. As with both, our motivation should be our love to please our Lord... Now here's the important part. God always leads us in paths of righteousness, always. He is not a God who directs us to do evil. His leading is for good. Now let's not get caught up in when God used people to judge...or when God sends discipline on someone(s)....Remember sin has a hefty price and sometimes hefty consequences. When we are going astray, we must think who am I following? God? Myself? Satan? or the world? You see God wants to lead and He is leading, but think about it, it is so hard for us to follow. Just like playing follow the leader, we eventually want to lead. Or even playing Simon says, we eventually want to be Simon. Sometimes we need to stop, just stop and give the control back to God. Sometimes we need to stop believing the lie that certain things, questionable things are o.k. Paths of righteousness as to the super high ways of unrighteousness in this modern time. When you find yourself in a place or time when it seems questionable, just stop and think, am I following the Lord? Is there someone else leading? Or am I leading? When you are in a wrong place, for whatever reason, are you looking to be led out by the Lord? As men we tend to try to fix it or figure it out on our own; without the Lord. Let's begin to follow His lead.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Is something missing? Life is going good; you like your work, you have a nice family, you have a nice home, the bills are paid and there is even extra money for a lot more. But deep down there seems to be something amiss. Something is not right and you just can't explain it. Your happy, because of all that you have, but deep down there seems to be one more thing you need. You know for me that need, was there, but I didn't know what it was. Now I know what it was but, there was a time I didn't know what I needed or even what would fill that deep need and I was seeking different things to fill that need. Let me give you an example that might help us understand this. Have you ever received a gift from someone, father, mother, brother, sister...that you know they gave it because they had to? There was a friction there between you and that person. So you receive the gift but truly you are not as happy as you would have been if the friction...between you and the giver was not there or made it right before hand. You see the gift just doesn't have the meaning... You are not as appreciative as you should be. There is something amiss between the two of you, it might be you who was wronged or you might have been the one who wronged the other. Deep down you want the relationship to be restored. You want to be in a right standing with that person. Now to our text Psalm 23:3a "He restores my soul". The Lord restores my soul, that is the Lord Jesus restores my soul. Jesus is the only one who can do this. We can't do it, and yes we do try, with all types of things...But we can do only one thing. To turn to Jesus. You see that deep need is to be brought back into a right relationship with God. The relationship that we have broken; unlike the example above with you or another breaking the relationship. We must come to terms with, we broke the relationship and that God restores it through His Son Jesus Christ. That we broke it with our actions, be it bad behavior, bad thinking or not doing what we are suppose to... "All have sinned" Romans3:23a. We all have gone amiss or astray; that is away from God. So God reaches out to us, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not sent His Son to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged, he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John3:16-18. So there we have it, it is Jesus Christ who restores, gives us life. Who forgives us our sins...1 John 1:9 " If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Thank you Jesus!