A Day Of Rest

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.

 

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Never Alone

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

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Christmas Is An Expression Of God’s Love

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

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Merry Christmas

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

 

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Can’t Wait Till They Come

IMG_0227“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.

Taking The Lord’s Name In Vain

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“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain….” Deuteronomy 5:11 NASB

When many of us look at the verse above we think that it is referring to cussing with God’s name on it. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say to a person who did that by saying, “Oh God is going to get you for taking His name in vain.”  But is that what this commandment talking about? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should ever use God’s name in that form but to say that this commandment is referring to just that is not correct.

The meaning of this commandment actually means “to attach God’s name to emptiness.” So just take a minute and think about this for a second. Many times I have heard people say that they have sat through worship, preaching and even Bible study and got nothing from it but yet they say they came in the name of the Lord. Could it be that we just took God’s name in vain because our worship, or our presence in church or in Bible study is empty.

I believe there are many ways in which we all break this commandment. When we come to worship God whether it is at church or at home we should be coming with the attitude of wanting to sit at His feet to learn something.  The reason I believe that our worship seems empty has nothing to do with the preacher, the music or even the Bible we use instead it has to do with our heart.

The next time you get alone with God, I encourage you to ask Him to help you to put your focus on Him so that you will worship Him the way He deserves to be worshipped

Have a good day!!!

Waiting on the Sunshine

sunshineOver the last several weeks we have been having severe storms all around almost all week long. This morning as I was driving to work I notice something different. Instead of seeing dark clouds I saw sunshine, instead of hearing thunder and seeing lighting I heard the birds singing. As I allowed this to soak in, I realized that the storms that we face in our lives will not be forever. I know at times it seems like we will never get through the storm but in time the storms will pass and the sun will shine again.   The question is what can we do till the sun shines again. I believe the following is a very helpful guide.

1. Get alone with God and pour our hearts out to Him through prayer.  Be honest with God, tell Him how you feel and what you are going through.  God has the biggest shoulders ever and there is no problem that He cannot handle

2. Get into the Word Of God.  The greatest help for all is the Bible. When you feel as though you cannot go on, God’s Word will give you strength and help. As the Holy Spirit leads highlight and underline verses that encourage you. This will be great help later when you go through other storms that you will face.

3. Examine Your Heart. Although we may not realize it the storms that we face in life can actually be for our good. Instead of allowing it to overcome you, use it as an examining tool. Such as—What can I learn from this? Are their things that we need to change? Do we rely to much on self and not enough on God?

And finally–

4. Continually draw near to God.  James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Now I do want you to understand that if you do this, God may reveal sins that you need to confess for that same passage in James also says, “Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!”

Yes the storms are rough and hard to deal with but we have a wonderful God who is there willing to help and guide us, only if we will let Him.   Be encouraged today!!!!