Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Enjoy The Journey!

Reading from the Book of Acts 20:24
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Whatever your present station in life, whatever you are called to do, wherever you are called to go, finish your course with joy. Do not waste one day of the precious life God has given you! Enjoy the journey!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Broken Wing

Reading from the Book of Acts 11:19-21
Acts 11:19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

“Why would God let this happen to me?”  This is a familiar question, and probably a quite common one among the Christians who fled from the persecution led by Saul.  They had heard the message of Jesus, either directly from Him or from one of His disciples, and they had believed and accepted their salvation.  But their bright, new life in Jesus turned sour quickly when faced with the hatred of the Jews and the non-believers around them.  They were beaten… they were persecuted… they were killed… all for believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Those that were not killed ran away… as far away as they could get to find safety.  Uprooted from the only homes they had ever known… living as aliens in pagan cities far from home… isolated… afraid for their lives… it would not be surprising to hear them ask, "Why would God let this happen to me?  All I wanted to do was to follow Him."

So many times, you and I are faced with the same kind of situation.  A person comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus and finds himself basking in the loving Light of the World.  He is walking on air, filled with the joy he has found in Jesus.  Then disaster strikes.  His house burns.  Or he loses his job.  Or his wife leaves him.  Or a child is injured or killed.  Or he has an automobile accident.  Or a long list of other, lesser problems keeps cropping up.  It would be very natural – and is often the case – that this person would ask, "Why would God let this happen to me?  All I wanted to do was to follow Him."

Let's take a look at what happened with those early Christians.  Yes, they were uprooted and scattered throughout the known world.  Why?  Jesus had told them to go to all nations and teach.  He, Himself, had covered quite a bit of that ground, going as far as Samaria, which was populated by Greeks (Mark 5:1-20), and preaching to Romans (Luke 7:1-10).  But what had the disciples done as soon as Jesus ascended?  They sat down on their blessed assurance in Jerusalem – and stayed there!  Oh, they ventured out a little to some of the surrounding cities, but in general, they pretty much stayed in the neighborhood.  God wanted the Gospel spread to all of the world.  As such, He allowed the persecution to happen… quite possibly so that the Christians would be scattered.  Since they hadn't gone out on their own, He made sure they did what He said by forcing them out in fear for their lives.

In every trial that you and I face, there is a lesson to be learned and a part of God’s purpose in us to be accomplished.  Perhaps it's the best way He has of getting you where he wants you to go!

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

His Perfect Timing

Reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace. 

God has an appointed time in which to do everything He has planned. There is a time appointed for every matter, every purpose, and every work.

The devil offers us two lies: the "forever" lie and the "never" lie. The enemy tells us the negative things in our lives will "never" change and will "forever" be the way they are. He tells us we will "never" get what we want, and we will "never" experience the freedom or healing we desire. He says you will be the way you are right now "forever." The devil is a liar! These lies create fear in our hearts, and they are untrue because sooner or later, everything changes.

If we continue to believe God and place our trust in Him, bad things ultimately give way to better things. We must repent for any impatience we have had and make a fresh surrender to God's perfect timing for everything He wants to do in our lives.

The good things you believe God for are on their way in His perfect timing!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Angels Among Us

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
What a comfort to know that God provides angels to minister to help us. Angels are everywhere even though we cannot see them.
Psalm 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
How can we increase the company of angels in our lives? This verse says that the angels of God are moved by the Word of God. This means they are not moved by complaining, grumbling, fear, worry, anxiety, or any other negative emotions that provoke negative comments. If we want angels to work in our lives we must be careful about what we say.
Psalm 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
God gives His angels charge over us to defend and protect us in all of our ways of obedience and service. Angels will not help us if we disobey God or live selfish, self-centered lives. But, when we speak God's Word and walk in His will, angels are on the scene, helping us more than we can imagine.
I wonder how many times our angels save our lives and we do not even know it? How often do we complain about some minor bump in life without realizing that our angels protected us from a major crisis? Let us begin to be more thankful for all the divine, supernatural help that God gives us, including the angels He sends to assist us and protect us. Thank God for angels among us!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2 Different Paths

Reading from the Book of Matthew 7:13,14
 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

In these two verses, Jesus speaks of two different paths we can take in our lives: the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to life.

On the broad way there is room for all kinds of fleshly things like bitterness, forgiveness, resentment, and vindictiveness. But on the narrow way there is only room for the Spirit.

In the flesh it is easy to take the broad path, but the end result is destruction. It is much harder to take the narrow path, but in the end it leads to life.

Emotions tempt us to take the easy way, to do what feels good for the moment. Wisdom moves us to take the way that seems hard at first, but later on we find that it leads to life.