God created us all with the need to rest. He never meant for us to work so much that we never took time for ourselves. Resting is important for the body to go forward. In scripture we see where God sanctioned the seventh day as a day of rest. Now I know there is an important theological lesson behind it. However, we must also see the practical lesson as well.
When one takes time to rest, it allows his or her body to get charged back up for what might lie ahead. If one continues using a rechargeable battery but never recharge it, it will finally die. The same is with us. We need rest, we need time to recharge.
I encourage you that if you have not taken time to rest, do so soon. You will find it that by practicing it, you will be able to deal with what lies ahead.
Be encouraged today.
Forgiveness is the hardest to give but of necessity to do. The reason is because forgiveness releases the one who has been wronged by someone else. When a person refuses to forgive, it keeps that person under bondage to the one who has committed the wrong. When one forgives, God’s grace, and love fills that person with peace and strength that frees him or her, helping them to go forward in life.
Ask, the Lord to help you to forgive today!!!
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:12-13 ESV
Tonight we are on the brink of another year. As this year ends, we reflect on what has happened and what we have learned. As we begin the next year, we will meet surprises, obstacles and joy along the way. Regardless of what may come, may we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Wishing all my family and friends a wonderful and happy New Year!!!!
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 ESV
There is a story of a young man who was starting out in his faith. He was a new believer in every sense of the word. He had never really been in a real spiritual battle before until then. This young man did not know what to do. He struggled for weeks with this battle. He felt so overcome with it. Until one night before Thanksgiving day, the battle became so extreme. He tossed and turn in his bed unable to sleep. Finally, he got on his knees and began to pray to God. He prayed and prayed till he could not pray any longer. He got up, went and washed his face then it was there that he felt something amazing—the presence of God. This peace gave him strength and encouragement thus allowing him to go to sleep.
The lesson behind this story is that God’s presence is available to all if one will choose to seek Him in faith. God may not keep you from going through the battle but He will give you the peace that will help you endure.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
As I look at that first Christmas over 2000 years ago, I begin to see the love of God in full form. Scripture tells us that sin entered the world thus causing death. God in His holiness must judge sin.
However, Scripture goes further for in John 3:16 we are told that God loves the world thus He sent His Son to take our sin upon Himself. When one thinks about that, they must come to the realization that while God is holy, He is also love. This truth is realized through the action of God allowing His Son to be born, becoming like us so we might become like Him. That my friends is love.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” John 3:16
Merry Christmas are just some simple words that we often overlook. For some they feel as though saying these words are not that important. The reality is that these words could be what someone is needing at the particular moment. During the Christmas season many are feeling depressing and struggling with so many issues. They feel as though no one cares about them. However, if we would take the time to just wish people “Merry Christmas” maybe through those simple words, we may show those who are struggling that we do care.
Christmas is a time to extend grace, kindness and forgiveness to those who need it the most. May I encourage you to follow the advice given by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Remember someone does care about all of you
Keep on Keeping on
“And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23 ESV
There are many of churches who are struggling when it comes to attendance. For some reason or another it seems that people will not come. Why is that? I believe the reason is based on myths that we as a church have chosen to believe. Allow me to list a few of those myths here: 1. If we build it they will come, 2. If we have sound preaching, then they will come 3. If we change the music they will come 4. If we have fantastic programs they will come and 5. If we have younger leadership with a family then they will come.
While these myths sound factual, they are not for if we are putting our hope in this for people to come then it will not work. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that sound preaching is important and I believe it is important for churches to be open to some of the newer music. However, that alone will not cause people to come our church. A church can have the best preacher and the best music but still be empty. So the question arises, what can we do?
I believe what we all as churches must realize is that we can’t wait for people to come to us, we must go to them. Jesus never meant for us to wait till people darken our doors, instead He always wanted us to go where the people are. Jesus illustrated this in the scripture mentioned above for this is exactly what He did. Jesus was always among the people, so should the church be also.
The more we outreach to people in our community, the more we will see the effect in our church over time. It will not be overnight, in fact it will take a long time. It might even take years. However, that does not really matter for if we are doing what we should be doing then in God’s time He will grow His church. So what we as a church must choose to do is to be faithful to our Lord by reaching out to others just as He wants us to do.
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” 1 Timothy 3:1
Many times when we think of our pastor, we think of someone that is suppose to be super close to God, has it all together, and never struggles. We often put our pastor on this pedestal and when they fall off we become devastated but the reality is this truth: PASTORS ARE PEOPLE TOO. They struggle with depression, they get discouraged, they need encouragement, they want things, they feel lonely, they need friends and they don’t have it all together. Pastors are not more special than you or better than anyone, they just have been given a task to take care of God’s people through preaching, teaching the Word and equipping the saints. Pastors need your prayer. Pray for and encourage your pastor today
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
We truly are a forgetful people. What we do one day, it is easy for us to forget tomorrow. For us as the church we know what Scripture teaches that relates to loving each other and bearing one another’s burdens but we have also easily forgotten it.
The reason to this forgetfulness is because we have got use to church just being a place that we go to every week, sing a few song, hear a message and then go home. While that is what we do at church, the reality is that we have forgotten that the church is a place that we bring our burdens too.
Scripture plainly tells us that we need to bear one another’s burdens and the best place to bring those burdens is at church. The church should be a safe place and a comforting place. The church should be a place where we know we will find strength and encouragement to go. The church should be a community of believers helping each other and loving on each other.
The question is–how do we get back to that purpose? It begins by getting back to the Word and discovering what the Lord expects out of us as the church. It begins by confessing to the Lord and asking for forgiveness for not being that place that is willing to help others. And it begins by making a commitment once again to be the church that is willing to help, love, and bear one another’s burdens.
This purpose begins with you!!!!
Have a blessed day!!!