Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:1
We all have certain fears in life. Some have simple fears such as the fear of spiders or snakes. Others have more serious fears such as the fear of death. One of my fears is the fear of certain medical procedures that I hope I never have to endure. At times, I will also have a fear of failure and a fear of confrontation. There is also the fear of saying the wrong thing or making a poor decision. Perhaps you can identify with some of these fears. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.” Jesus is the light that helps us navigate through life. He is our salvation when we make a mistake. He guides us and He rescues us. There is no mistake or failure that He cannot deliver us from. There is no fearful circumstance that He cannot guide us through. The issue has to do with our focus. Are we focused on our fears or are we focused on Jesus? When we focus on our fears, we will most certainly fall. When we focus on Jesus, there is nothing to fear.
What is God saying to me: I know you have fears. But, you need to understand that there is nothing to fear as long as you trust Me. I will guide you. I will deliver you. Trust Me.
What should I do today: Focus on Jesus. Don’t allow my fears to overwhelm me.
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:27 ; James 5:16
James 5:16 teaches us to pray for one another. Romans 8:27 talks about the ministry of intercession and how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. In Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, he asks the question: are you helpful or heartless? Too often we tend to be heartless. We see someone who is hurting and we just pat them on the back and tell them its going to be okay. We shrug our shoulders and tell people to just get over it. To intercede for someone is to stand in the gap for them. It is stand up for them and support them and encourage them. It is to pray for them, not in a flippant way, but with passion. We will often pray for others in a general sense, but do we ever pray for them specifically? The church is a family. As a family we are to look out for one another. We are to protect each other. We are to provide for one another. We are to help each other. We are to serve one another. We are to pray for one another. Who is God leading you to intercede for? Ask God to lay someone on your heart today. Pray for the them. Give them a call and let them know you are praying for them. Help them by doing something tangible that will lighten their load. We should intercede for each other as the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
What is God saying to me? The Holy Spirit intercedes on your behalf. Now, I want you to intercede for others.
What should I do today? Find someone to pray for and offer to help them.
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (NASB). Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’ve got this” or “I can handle it”? Paul seemed to be defending his ministry in 2 Corinthians 3. He talked about how that changed lives are the greatest evidence that the work he was doing was of the Lord. He then mentions that he was not adequate to do the work, rather, it was God that was working through Him. We cannot take the credit for successes in life and in ministry. Every success that we have would not be possible if it were not for the Lord. Without Him we are nothing. Without Him we are useless. We must make sure that in everything, we are giving God all the glory. We must recognize where our power comes from. We must acknowledge that it is not we who are doing the work, but it is God that is working in and through us. Understanding this will lift the burden of thinking that we have to make things happen or that our success and people’s view of us is dependent on what we do. It is God who does the work. We are simply instruments that He uses to accomplish the work. The question is: are you a willing instrument?
What is God saying to me? Without Me you can do nothing. All that you are comes from Me. I gave you abilities and talents. I placed you where you are for a reason. Now go and serve me. Allow Me to do a work in and through you.
What should I do today? Trust in the Lord and recognize that I am nothing apart from Him.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:19-34
From the Pastor’s Heart
There is a television commercial where a man is standing at his front door trying to keep the mailman from putting another bill in the mail slot. He is then seen sitting in the shower with his arms around his legs sobbing and crying. This comical commercial gives a picture of real life. Paying bills can be very depressing. Just like the typical American family, our family has its share of bills. I have all but given up on saving, because every time I think I have an opportunity to get ahead here comes the braces, tonsils removed, car repairs, broken appliances, and so on. As you read this article, no doubt you are smiling right now because you have either been there before or you are there now. The responsibilities and circumstances of life is something that we cannot run from. Life is life. I tell my children that they do not want to grow up too soon because, as you get older, the more responsibilities you are going to have. It is easy for us to get bogged down with life issues. It is easy for us to get stressed and worried. However, we must remind ourselves that all of this is temporary. As believers in Christ, we have a future. We have Heaven to look forward to. My friend, there is no pain in Heaven. There is no suffering in Heaven. Praise God, there are no bills in Heaven! Jesus teaches us a very valuable lesson in Matthew 6:19-34. We don’t need to concern ourselves with the cares of this world. Our goal in life should not be to make more money or to be financially secure. Our goal in life should be to be secure in Jesus. Invest in the Kingdom of God. Live your life for Jesus and don’t worry about how you are going to pay the bills or even if you are going to have enough food for the week. God has a way of providing for His children, especially those who put Him first. Don’t worry about today or tomorrow. God is in control and if you trust in Him, everything is going to be alright!
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:19
A lesson that we all need to learn is that God does not compartmentalize our lives. In other words, there is no distinction between the physical and the spiritual. This is why Paul said that we are to glorify God both in our body and in our spirit. The physical things we do has an affect on the spiritual. The spiritual things we do has an affect on the physical. If we live with this perspective, we will be well on our way to living a life that brings glory to God. Living with no distinctions will change both our attitudes and our actions.
What is God saying to me: You are a whole person. There is no distinction or compartments of your life. You are to serve me and love me with all of you, not just part of you.
What should I do today: Glorify God in my body and in my spirit.
Scripture Reading: Genesis 21:14-21
Hagar is an example of a modern day mother. She was a single mom who had the worry and stress of caring for her new born baby. After being poorly treated by her master, Sarah, she is sent away to make it on her own. She did not ask for the trouble she faced. She was dealt a bad hand. Sometimes life happens and there is nothing we can do about it. The issue is not the hand we are dealt, but what we do with what we have been given. Too often we wallow in our misery and play the victim. We use the fact that we are a victim as an excuse to treat others badly, have a bad attitude, and sit and do nothing with our lives. This is not the reaction that God desires from us. He wants us to make the most of our lives. He wants us to get over it and move on. Don’t waste your life by allowing yourself to be a victim. Get up on your feet and rise above your circumstances and do something with your life. The key is to trust in God’s provision and to do our very best with whatever life brings to us. As we do this, God will bless, provide, and He will be glorified.
What is God saying to me: Life may have treated you harshly. Things may have not gone as planned. But, it’s okay. You don’t have to stay there. Look to Me and I will help you to make the most of it all.
What should I do today: Stop dwelling on how bad I have it and start making the most of it all.
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58:6-14
The Lord desires to break the chains of sin that has us bound. He desires to do great things in our lives. He desires that we grow in our love for others in such a way that we are compelled to action. The Lord desires that we focus on our care and love for others rather than on our own personal pleasures. He desires that we keep the Sabbath Day holy and that we put Him first in every area of our lives. When Jesus is the center of our lives, He will answer us when we call upon Him. When Jesus is the center of our lives, He will provide for us and bless us. We make Jesus the center of our lives when we surrender to Him on a daily basis and we live a life of obedience and we fulfill His desires for our lives.
What is God saying to me: I have great desires for you and your wellbeing. I have a storehouse of blessings to pour out upon you. All I ask for is your heart. Put me first. Obey my Word, for I know what is best for you.
What I should do today: Examine my life and see what areas of my life that I need to surrender to Jesus. Live in obedience and put Jesus first in all that I do.