Friday, January 25, 2013

The Thing About Mountains

What do you do when a mountain is blocking your path?  Do you turn back or try to find a way around it?  Maybe you are the adventurous type who pulls out your hiking gear and climbs it.  There is a problem with each of these approaches:

1.      Turning back – Why go backwards when your destiny is ahead of you?

2.      Going around – Why waste precious time going out of the way to reach your goals?

3.      Climbing over – Why wear yourself out and be too tired to enjoy the journey?

Our human nature will want to tackle the mountain in the natural sense in one of these three ways (or maybe just camp out in front of the mountain, waiting for someone else to decide what to do with it).  You have the power to speak to the mountains in your life THROUGH FAITH, and tell them to get out of your way.  What obstacles are keeping you from living abundantly in Christ?  Stop working around them, shying away from them, or fighting against them.  It’s time to exercise your God-given authority to remove them!
Mark 11:22-24 (NASB)
22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

God's Name: His Nature

Psalm 20:7 (KJV) Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
We are bombarded daily with images of worldly success.  We as believers cannot afford to trust in these things that have no eternal reward.  Our battles need not be fought with carnal weapons.  The Bible tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so we need our spiritual armor and God’s might to conquer whatever demonic opposition we may face in this life.

Sometimes the battles we fight are against our own minds.  We have to battle our human nature every single day.  We can overcome the temptation to rely on things of this world, by remembering the name of the LORD our God.  Remembering God’s name is remembering His very nature.  Every name that has been used for God throughout time reveals something about who He is.  Here are a few that you can use to remind yourself that God is your only source (although Jehovah has made its way into our vernacular, please be mindful that it has been attributed to an error in translation long ago):

El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (The Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Yahweh (LORD)
Yahweh Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
Yahweh Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Yahweh Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
Yahweh Shammah (The Lord Is There)
Yahweh Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
Yahweh Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
El Olam (The Everlasting God)
Elohim (God)
Yahweh Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
Yahweh Shalom (The Lord is Peace)
Yahweh Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Get that Knowledge!

Hosea 4:6 (NASB) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Never stop learning!  Growth and maturity come through various types of knowledge.  Whether you read it in a book, pick it up in a class, or experience it by trying new things, knowledge is imperative to growth.  If you apply the knowledge to your life, you will gain wisdom.  You will find out what works and what doesn’t.  The best part about knowledge is that no man can ever take it from you.  Once you’ve learned it, it’s yours.

The greatest knowledge we can ever hope to attain is that of God.  There is so much we can learn from Him, about Him and through Him.  In His Word are so many wondrous things that we have yet to grasp.  We have to come to Him, admitting that we know nothing aside from what He allows us to know.  We must pray to Him with our hearts open to receive whatever He would impart into our spirits at that time. 
For those of us claiming to belong to God, we have the best teacher in the entire world:  the Spirit of God.  We have no excuse for why we don’t study God’s Word.  There are translations for just about anyone to understand, there are audio and video Bibles, and numerous scholars have developed excellent study tools to assist us in learning the “law of God”.  We can’t rely on a sermon once a week to give us everything we need to know God.

You have a responsibility as a child of God to know Him for yourself.  What better way than to gain that knowledge from His Word?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Jesus, the Great Healer

Matthew 9:12 (NRSV) But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
There is a misconception that people need to have it together before they can come to church.  Church should be the one place that we can go in order to get it together.  If we had the ability to heal ourselves, we wouldn’t need the Physician.  There are ailments in our minds, souls, and bodies that only the Balm in Gilead can cure. 

It isn’t just that people are embarrassed or uncomfortable coming to church when their scars are visible.  Some in the church make it absolutely clear that the disfigured are not welcome.  If you cannot hide the ugliness of your sins and put on a ‘holy fa├žade’, then you cannot worship here.  What we fail to realize is that hiding the pain prevents us from being healed.  Burying the sin under acceptable behavior won’t allow us to be forgiven.

It’s time we used our churches the way Jesus Christ intended – as hospitals for the sick.  We need to hang flashing neon signs welcoming the broken because the truth is that we are ALL broken and in need of Jesus.  We need to admit that we are sick, that we are bound, that we are weary, and that we are in need of a Savior.  I encourage you, no matter how unworthy you may feel, to find a place to worship.  It may not even be the place that has your membership; it doesn’t matter.  Find a place where you can be real for at least a little while, a place where you don’t have to be so put together, a place where you can just fall at the feet of the Great Healer and say… “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”