September 29, 2017

1 Samuel 17:34-35 ~ ESV
“But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.”
 
Why do we always say that David wasn’t afraid during his fight with Goliath? Yeah, he trusted God; but here we see him comparing the fight with Goliath to killing a lion or a bear. Are you telling me that didn’t scare this guy? I’d be scared if I had to fight one of those things by myself. And there we go, that’s the point. David never fought his battles by himself. David fought from a place of confidence, knowing that he was never alone and that God had his back.
 
In life, we don’t have to fight our battles alone. Sometimes we try, and we end up losing BIG TIME. We can fight as a team with other people and with God on our side, but we should never ever fight alone. Why? For the same reason you should never swim alone, hike alone, ride horses alone, fill in the blank, just don’t do it. Why? Because if you get in trouble, nobody knows where you are, how to help, or even that you need help. David knew that he wasn’t alone. That is how he was able to fight even though he was probably (at least a little bit) afraid.
 
Sometimes you may have to fight the first part of the battle ‘’alone’’ where it’s just you and God and that has to be enough. But when you keep pushing and you start making breakthrough and stuff starts happening, the rest of the army is going to jump in behind you. Sometimes all it takes is ONE PERSON to have the courage to take the first step. Battles are scary, but you never have to fight alone. God is always with you, even if you’re the only one willing to fight.
Advertisements

September 28, 2017

Psalm 27:13 ~ NKJV

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

 

It is so easy to become discouraged in life. There seem to be thousands of things going on and often times it can be hard to just keep up with everything. When this starts to happen, it is important to remember how faithful God is. God is greater than any circumstance, better than any situation, and more full of love than we could ever understand. 

 

When we are starting to become discouraged, we have to remind ourselves to look to God. He’s a good God and no matter how bad a situation looks, His goodness will always win the day. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, God is still good and He still does good. If we can’t see it, we just have to hold on and remember that God is still on our side. There is nothing we could do to change His love for us. It is in His very nature to care for us. We just need to hold on to the promises He made and remember that we WILL see His goodness in this world. We just have to wait for it. 

September 27, 2017

Matthew 9:8 ~ NIrV

“When the crowd saw this, they were filled with wonder. They praised God for giving that kind of authority to human beings.”

 

I know I already talked about authority, but I think there is so much to talk about and learn about this subject. So, here we go for authority day two. When this verse happened was right after Jesus healed the man who was unable to walk. Jesus performed a miracle, but not before making sure his heart was right with God. Jesus forgave the man’s sins which made the Pharisees mad, but it made the people really happy. What’s the difference? The crowd recognized and accepted Jesus’ authority. Conversely, the Pharisees, while they may have recognized Jesus’ authority (the remains to be seen) they did not accept it.

There is a distinct difference between recognizing someone’s authority and accepting it. Chad Senuta said, “Perhaps the origin of authority come from more than one part. On one hand, it must be acknowledged or given. On the other, it must be accepted or claimed. Since the temple leaders won’t recognize His authority, Jesus is reluctant to declare it. Is is possible that God loves us so much, that God refuses to accept authority in our lives until we give it?” I think that says it perfectly.

If we want God to be free to work in our lives, we have to not only believe that He can but accept that fact. The man who was healed believed AND ACCEPTED Jesus’ power and love in His life. I wonder what would have happened in the Pharisees’ lives that day if they had accepted it. I wonder what would happen today if we accepted it.

September 26, 2017

Matthew 8:9 ~ NIrV

“I myself am a man under authority. And I have soldiers who obey my orders. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes. I tell that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my slave, “Do this,” and he does it.””

Every other time I have read this verse I always got extremely confused. Why is he saying this? The back story is, there was a soldier whose servant was sick and about to die. He came to Jesus and asked Him to heal the servant. When Jesus offered to go to the man’s house, however, the man replied that he was not worthy to have Jesus come to his house, but if Jesus just said the words his servant would be healed. Then we have this seemingly bizarre verse. Is this guy just bragging to make himself sound important? No.

The soldier is explaining that he understands authority. Because he has authority, he knows how it works. When he says he wants something done, it happens. He also says that he is under authority, meaning, when someone tells him to do something, he does it. What’s the point? Jesus had – and still has – authority; all authority on earth, and in heaven, belongs to Him. This soldier recognized that, and he knew that Jesus had the power and authority to heal his servant even if He wasn’t there Himself. There was something in that soldier that recognized the authority in Jesus and KNEW that everything was going to be okay, even if it didn’t look the way everyone expected.

Sometimes, we pray for things and we miss the miracle because it doesn’t look the way we want it. We pray and we expect God to show up in a big way and if that doesn’t happen, we assume God either didn’t hear us or doesn’t care. That’s not the case at all. But that isn’t a good understanding of God’s authority. He doesn’t have to do things the way we expect. He almost never shows up in the same way twice. That is what makes walking with Him such an adventure. You never know how He will come, but He will always come. Even if it doesn’t look quite like you expected. God is good and He does good, and He always shows up right when and where we need Him the most.

September 25, 2017

Genesis 11:4 ~ ESV

“Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.””

Almost immediately after God had destroyed the world and started the population over for their disobedience, the people start making plans to disobey AGAIN! God had given specific instructions that people were supposed to spread out and live in the whole land. But they wouldn’t do it! Instead, they decided to build a huge tower to the heavens. Some people think this was made to worship the One True God. However, MOST of these ”ziggurats” were made as temples to foreign gods. Either way, it’s not obeying God.

Let’s just assume for a minute that this tower was for the One True God, maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but we are going to say it was. How often do we do that same thing? God gives us a command and we do everything but that one thing. We may have a good excuse, we may be trying to honor God. But if we are building something that God didn’t tell us to build – even if it is in His name – it doesn’t bring Him honor. It’s disobedient. God didn’t tell them to build a tower, He told them to repopulate the earth.

If God didn’t tell you to do it, you should probably think long and hard about whether or not it is something you should be doing. Whether it is something good or not. There are plenty of things that are good, plenty of ministries that do wonderful things for the Kingdom of God. But if it isn’t bringing you closer to the purpose God put inside you, then you aren’t obeying. God has a distinct plan and reason for everything He does. His plans are big and His plans are so so good, but we will never see them if we are too busy building something that He doesn’t want us to build.

September 21, 2017

Psalm 22:30 ~ NIV
“Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the Lord.”
They say the church is always one generation away from extinction. All of us need to do our part to ensure that doesn’t happen. How do we make sure that doesn’t happen? We tell the next generation about God; but not only that. We can’t just preach Jesus to people and expect them to want to serve Him. If it doesn’t look different from the world, nobody is going to be interested in it. If kids hear people talking one way, but watch them act completely differently, why should they believe in God? Yeah, they hear the stories, but if they don’t know what it looks like to live as Christian, what good is it?
We have to do more than just talk about Jesus and hope some of it gets through to the next generation. We have to live loud for Christ or they are going to get distracted by whatever else looks exciting. We have to teach people how to really be close to the Lord BEFORE they need it, so when the hard times come, they are already equipped to handle it with their foundation in God.
Steffany Gretzinger talks about wanting to be the crazy great great grandmother who wouldn’t shut up about God. That is how we have to get the next generation. It can’t be a one and done deal where we tell people about Jesus and hope they listen. We have to say it again and again and again. We have to live it. Everything about our lives should declare the goodness of God. If we ”preach” a message that we don’t live, nobody will be interested. If we preach a message that we don’t believe, nobody will be interested. But if we preach a message with our whole lives, people will be drawn in. They will wonder why we do what we do and that is when God can really start working in lives.

September 20, 2017

Matthew 6:21 ~ NIV

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The thing I thought about as I was reading this morning was, maybe that can be said the other way and still be true. Here’s what I mean by that. You can find your treasure in whatever your heart does automatically. Whatever is most important to you, that is the stuff you are going to find yourself doing the most. Whatever that looks like, whatever that stuff is, it’s what you are probably thinking about while you read this.

Wherever your treasure is, that is where you are going to find your heart. That is what you are going to spend your time doing. When you don’t HAVE to be doing anything, what are you doing? That’s a treasure. Whether it is something awesome or kind of lame, it is a treasure.

It isn’t bad to have ‘’treasures’’. But, when they don’t look anything like Jesus, that’s a problem. When our ‘’treasures’’ take over so much of our time that we don’t have any time left over to do the things we need to do, we should probably step back and look at our priorities. There is nothing wrong with doing things that we enjoy; but we should remember that God needs to be the most important thing in our lives and if He isn’t, what is?