Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Worry Exchange

Why does it have to be so hard?  How do we turn the simplest of tasks into insurmountable obstacles?  It's time to get back to basics.  We often talk about how things were so much easier when we were children.  Well, that's because we just lived day to day, playing with our friends, enjoying our world and being taken care of by our parents.

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."  That is the perfect formula to have the carefree life that we once enjoyed.  A lot of us have to go to work (or work in the home), pay bills, keep cars in good repair, maintain houses and yards, keep our places stocked with necessities, feed children and pets, and try to squeeze time in there for some fun every now and then.  We don't have to be overwhelmed with these things.

Whenever you are feeling particularly stressed, remember that God wants you to give that anxiety to Him.  You shouldn't be losing sleep over what you cannot control.  Even if a decision you made has come back to haunt you, let it go.  Beating yourself up over milk that has spilled isn't helping anyone, least of all YOU!  Ask God to give you peace and the ability to make better decisions in the future.

When we make a decision to surrender to God, we mean everything.  Every care of life, every worry, every decision, every day.  He won't take the anxiety from you; you have to give it up.  When you feel fear trying to grip your very soul, pray.  When you begin to fret because you don't know what to do, where to go, to whom to turn, pray.  He won't leave you empty handed after you have given Him your worries.  He will exchange them for peace, comfort, love, mercy, and grace.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jesus Didn't Come to Give Us Religion

I understand why Jesus Christ rebelled against the established religious system while He was here on earth.  Religion seeks to sustain itself, rather than build the Kingdom of God.  Religion doesn't necessarily meet the needs of the community in which it resides.  Religion and tradition walk hand in hand, looking behind them and reminiscing about what once was.  They will often refer to the "good ole days" with misty eyes.

I am challenged in my walk with Christ to forget those things which are behind me and press forward, toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).  There is a calling higher than religion, my friends.  There is a calling to imitate the example that Jesus Christ gave us while in human form.  He met the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of all those who chose to believe that He could.

The offer is still being extended to believe that He can!  He can eliminate that void in your life that you are trying to use religion to fill.  Church busy-ness won't satisfy your soul.  That longing that you feel deep down within is God calling you into relationship with Him.  The time is coming and now is for you to worship Him in spirit and in truth (see John 4:23-24).  God isn't seeking religious people; He's seeking true worshippers!

"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10b (KJV)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I've Got My Own Problems!

"Right now I"m having so much trouble with D. L. Moody, that I don't have time to criticize my friends." ~ D.L. Moody

There is so much work to be done with Jennifer that I really just don't have the time or energy to worry about what's wrong with the rest of the world.  Things can always be better, but the person who deserves my focus in that regard is me.  God has given me the desire and resources to get myself together first and foremost.

When you are being given safety instructions on an airplane, the flight attendant says for you to get your oxygen mask on first before assisting anyone else with theirs.  How are you going to help someone else if you're passed out?  Well, I've come to the conclusion that life is just like those oxygen masks.  I can't point at you to criticize how crooked yours is, if mine isn't even on and I'm gasping for air!

My primary responsibility to you is not to tell you what you're doing wrong, but to love you with the love of Christ.  Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8).  I find that most people know when they are doing something wrong, backwards, ineffective, or foolish.  It is truly pointless to argue or try to force someone to your way of thinking (maybe you're the one who's wrong).  State your case, voice your opinion, and move on.

Bottom line: focus on your own faults, rather than find fault with others.  I guarantee that their fault will find them eventually.  Meanwhile, you will be much happier not worrying about what's wrong with the rest of the world. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You Must Needs Go Through Samaria

John 4:4 (KJV) And he must needs go through Samaria.
If you will read the story in John chapter 4 about the Samaritan woman at the well, you will understand that her encounter with Jesus was life-changing.  In fact, she ran and told her people about this man Jesus, and many of their lives were changed as well.  Jesus knew that there was a need in Samaria for a savior.
You also 'must needs go through Samaria'.  You might think that there is nothing there for you, but God has a need to meet that requires your presence.  You may have no kinship with the people there, but there is something for you to do.  Your journey is going to require you to go to places that you don't see as beneficial.  Your purpose may include spending time with undesirable people.
You need that Samaritan experience to grow.  What if Jesus avoided going through Samaria?  There would have been a whole town of people who would have missed benefiting from the woman at the well's personal encounter with Him.  If you don't go through your Samaria, you will miss out on some fulfilling experience intended for your life.  Samaria might not be pleasant; it might not be your ideal situation.  God has a plan for Samaria and its people.  He loves them just as much as He loves you.  Be grateful for the opportunity to be used by God in whatever situation you find yourself.