Monday, April 25, 2011

Accept the Help Sometimes

"Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise." Proverbs 13:10(NLT)

It's okay to admit you don't know everything. No one will be surprised because none of us knows everything. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and we all have different experiences, skills, and talents. What is disturbing is that some people would rather fail than seek help from someone else. They can't bear to share the credit of success with someone else, or to admit they aren't perfect.

Think about it. If you refuse every suggestion that someone gives you, s/he will soon stop making suggestions and just let you do it your way. Win or lose, the outcome of the project becomes your burden alone. Not only will you get all the credit for success, but you'll also receive all the blame for failure. How will you ever grow as an individual if you never learn new ways of doing things? Abundant life involves growth and development.

We can learn, not only from our own experiences, but from the experience of others. Take time to listen to advice from others. I'm not suggesting that you can use all the advice you're given, but at least find out if you can use it before you refuse it. Sometimes we allow our pride to drive a wedge between ourselves and the people who can help us. Begin to have discussions with those attempting to advise you. Find out if the suggestions are viable, or how they can be altered to work in your situations.

Seek God's counsel above all else. Ask Him to guide you into the proper place with the right people. Line up with His Word, and pray without ceasing. If any advice is contrary to God's Word, you MUST discard it. Pray for discernment and wisdom in all things.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Victory in the Valley

"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 NASB

I was reminded this week that the enemy has plenty of weapons. Just when you think things are going well, he pulls out a rocket launcher against you. Well, God never said that the weapons wouldn't exist. He said they wouldn't prosper. I believe that the closer we get to where God wants us to be, Satan becomes more urgent in his attacks.

The enemy wants us to give up before the promises of God are manifested in our lives. We cannot give in, and we cannot lose our faith in God's divine plan. We must continue to trust that God is in control, no matter the obstacle opposing us. The pressure is what creates the pearl from the sand and the diamond from the lump of coal. The pressure is what releases God's oil of annointing on our lives.

Know that whatever demons you are battling today will NOT win. We are assured in Psalm 37 that the wicked only appear to win briefly. The righteous will always prevail by the power of God. You will make it through this storm, and the weapons formed against you will fail, but you have to persevere. You have to trust God; you have to submit to His will. Let Him take you through the valley of the shadow of death to strengthen you. There are skills that you will learn from this valley that will assist you on the next mountain top. Learn from this experience, and encourage someone else with the lessons you learn. Trust that your time in the valley isn't in vain. God is with you, and He is a shelter for you from the enemy. Trust God.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Victory in the Resurrection

"I don't know why Jesus loved me. I don't know why He cared. I don't know why He sacrificed His life; oh, but I'm glad, so glad He did." - Andrae Crouch

Jesus is amazing. We don't have words enough to describe how amazing He really is. He gave up His throne to walk this earth for our benefit. We did not even understand how badly we needed a savior, but He did it anyway. He knew He would be persecuted, rejected, ignored, alienated, and ridiculed. He still chose to become the ultimate sacrifice. He knew He would have to shed His blood for the remission of our sins, although He was and is sinless!

He understood how dire our situation was, and that we could not reconcile ourselves to God the father. Jesus Christ knew that we would never be able to keep the law. He knew everything about us, and still He loved us enough to die. As we approach Resurrection Sunday, let us not take for granted the greatest sacrifice ever made. We tend to tell and re-tell the story without really pondering what it meant for Jesus to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah.

Take some time today to earnestly consider the sacrifice that Jesus made for you. He died so that I/you can live eternally. Not only that, but He rose from the dead as He said that He would. Jesus Christ defeated death, hell, and the grave on that Easter Sunday morning. Victory is in His resurrection. You are an overcomer because of His resurrection. You can conquer any obstacle you face today through faith in Jesus Christ, and His ability to make you victorious!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Do You Need a Reason?

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit," Titus 3:5 NASB

No matter how good we think we are, or how much we've improved in our lives, we must remember that our so-called righteousness is nothing but filthy rags before God. We can do all the good deeds we can think of and still not be worthy of salvation. We can never earn God's grace, mercy, or favor. These things He gives to us because of who He is.

When we recognize God's character in our everyday lives, we can almost understand how worthless we really are on our own. The God of the universe, who placed every star in the sky and knows each of them by name, is actually mindful of me. The only wise God our savior, who touches the hills and they smoke, calls me friend. There is no good thing in my flesh, yet this same God chooses to offer me protection, grace, and mercy every day! I will never be worthy, but I can come boldly before His throne through the blood of His son, Jesus Christ.

God allowed His only son to become the ultimate sacrifice for ME, to redeem me back to Himself, to reconcile my relationship with Him. I owe Him my life! Although I can't work for my salvation, I can work BECAUSE of my salvation. I just have to maintain the proper perspective. God's mercy found me, and I will spend the rest of my life praising Him for reaching me. I was sinking to rise no more, but His love lifted me. God is far too big to be concerned with me, or so I thought. God is God, and our finite minds cannot comprehend His infinite wisdom. He deserves our worship and our praise! Let's make it a sweet sound to His ear.