Wouldn't life be wonderful if there were no worries? Think about it. There would be no heart attacks, no strokes, no stomach problems, no irritableness, no frustrations...and a whole lot more peace! The majority of sicknesses, diseases, and disorders would be nonexistent.
Did you know there is a cure for worry and anxiety? No, it's not a pill. It is not psychological therapy. It is simple trust in Jesus and His Word. That may sound a bit "Pie in the sky" to you...but it's true. Some may think that when you compare the level of stress and worry to the simplicity of simple trust in Jesus it's just too good to be true. However, it is true. And it is good! Again, a worry-free life is the result of simple trust in Jesus and His Word.
The best explanation of this reality is in the book of Matthew, in Chapter 6. Jesus starts off the passage by saying "...Do not be worried about your life." (Verse 25) I was reading this this morning when I felt the need to underline that part. (If you can't underline and write in your Bible set it on the shelf and get one in which you can!) Don't worry about your life, Jesus said! That's nailing it on the head.
Are you one to worry about your life? Have you even once managed to improve the quality of your life by worrying? Worrying takes away from the quality of life. Jesus went on to say, "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:27) The answer is very clear. No one! As a matter of fact, it has been proven time and again that worry and anxiety shortens one's lifespan. What I love about God's Word is the comfort and confidence it gives to me; comfort and confidence that God is in control! When I realize God is in control, the more simple trust I place in Him. This faith produces peace that surpasses mental logic! In other words, this peace goes beyond all human reason.
Jesus continues, "...for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." (Matthew 6:32) Please realize my friend, God is so big that He knows what you need. When you're worrying about a need, He already knows you have that need. Instead of worrying about what you see (or don't see), simply trust Him, and the truth of His Word; and that He promises to take care of those things we can't take care of.
"Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." (Psalm 55:22) Notice "He will NEVER allow the righteous to be shaken." The only way to "never be shaken" is to roll your cares over on the Lord. Then He takes them. When we carry our own burdens, instead of casting them on Him, we are overcome by worry and anxiety. This leads to our being shaken. God wants you to be in a place in which you are "never allowed to be shaken". That place is a place of peace and of faith, and you will only experience it as you roll your cares upon Him.
Jesus further states in the passage in Matthew Chapter 6, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." He said, "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:33-34) Jesus says the last thing we need to do is worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow do the worrying for itself. It's about today. Seek Him today. Seek Him now. Seek Him first! Seek His kingdom and His righteousness. Then tomorrow will be taken care of. How? By God Himself who lives in tomorrow as much as He lives in today!
You see, to seek His kingdom is to seek the principles of His kingdom. These are the very principles that dispel the worries of this world. God's kingdom principles are opposed to this world's principles. So when one seeks first His kingdom, they are eagerly seeking superior laws and principles; principles that transcend the forces of worry and anxiety. This works only when the King is made the highest and foremost priority.
If you're trying to figure out how your need will be met, you are worrying. If you are one to attempt to calculate even how God can provide your need, you are limiting the all-powerful, almighty God to your own mental capacity. Stop it! Stop imagining how God will provide! Instead, simply thank Him for providing! He said He would. Now.....simply believe that He will, and rest well tonight.
"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it." (Psalm 37:5)
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
It's that time again. Football season is upon us! Even though it's 193.1 degrees here in the South, it's still football time. At the time of this writing college football (which is my favorite by far) has just kicked off. The pros will be banging heads by this weekend. Yes, pigskins are beginning to fly everywhere!
Everyone has their favorite team. You know, that one team you'd die for. After all, it is YOUR favorite team. It doesn't matter whether they win or lose, whether they stink or not, or how funky their team uniforms are....they're YOUR team; and you're loyal to them to the end. It doesn't matter if you are a nice person or not...during football season you're a ravenous, rambunctious, uncontrollable fan of your favorite team. Right?
So what are you waiting for? It's time to get your social media oiled up and ready for those obnoxious digs toward those who oppose your team; or just those who like different teams. Let the human race know you are loyal only to YOUR team! Proclaim to the cosmos your "Hook'em Horns", "Hotty Toddy", or your "Waw Eagle"! Let the universe know YOUR team rules!
And never forget this guys...your manhood lies in football. (Not sure about the girls.) When your team wins, YOUR man-card credentials are genuinely validated. So...may your team win (unless of course they play mine). Let YOUR team rule, until they bow to mine. It's football season!
(In all seriousness, I do love football. But my how powerful the church could be if we could give it all for Jesus as we do football. What do you think?)
I was up early this morning pondering the goodness of my God. The Bible says, His compassions are fresh and new every single morning. "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23) What an encouraging Scripture! The actual truth is, no matter what time your day begins, His compassions are new and fresh. Because of His infinite grace, His love for you never stops. It is fresh and new each and every day. This brings great joy and peace to my heart.
It's true most Christians struggle with what they struggle with. No, not trying to be funny or confusing. But think about it. When you struggle with sin, do you often feel you are not pleasing to God? Truthfully, sin is not pleasing to God, but YOU ARE. Listen carefully, Jesus took your sins upon Himself when He died on the cross. "But He, having offered one sacrifice (Himself) for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God... For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (Hebrews 10: 12,14) I just love that "for all time" part.
What He did for you pleased God. Therefore, you are pleasing to God. That's where many Christians struggle. We think our acceptance by God is based on our performance (good or bad). So we struggle with not being acceptable to God because we struggle with sin. That's an unnecessary struggle however. The struggle won't make us any better, but trusting Jesus will. Simply believing He made us acceptable on the cross enables us to walk in His grace, mercy, and compassion every single day! That's powerful!
We live in a body of flesh, in a fallen world, so there will always be struggles with sin. But the struggle doesn't mean we are not pleasing to God. As long as the cross stands...we are pleasing and acceptable! This is God's grace. Through grace we are accepted by God. Thus, the power of the cross continuously works in us to overcome sin. If I could pick one Scripture (and I will) that powerfully declares who I am it would be (Romans 8: 1), "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." All condemnation has been removed by Jesus and His finished work of the cross. Your part (and mine) is to believe and act accordingly. That's when we begin to see the power of grace overcome the power of sin in our own lives.
So stop struggling because you are struggling with sin. Instead, believe who you really are in Christ Jesus...acceptable and pleasing, God's very own righteousness. Turn the struggle into faith in Him who accepts you...not on the basis of your performance, but in and through what Jesus did on the cross.
|The War is Over: God is Not Mad, So Stop Struggling With Sin and Judgment
By Andrew Wommack
Do you still feel the guilt of past sins? Do you struggle to believe that you're really forgiven? Peace is available, because Jesus did everything for you on the cross so you could be free from judgement and fear. In The War is Over, Andrew Wommack reminds you of the extent of God's grace through Christ. As you read about all Jesus did for you, you'll be freed to receive God's blessings in a new way.
Friday, September 4, 2015
There is a word we use quite often in our vocabulary. It is a powerful word. It can be used positively or it can be used negatively. The essence of this word can change situations. It has been known to move mountains. No, I'm not talking about faith. This word has produced victory in the worst of situations. In the midst of incredibly impossible scenarios this word causes folks to prevail. Without the force behind the word, faith would be impossible. The word is "Hope".
Hope proclaims a multitude of messages, all with one result...victory. Messages like, "It's never too late!" Or, "It's not over yet!" How about this one, "God's not done with me yet!" Another, "Sin may abound in this world, but I will stand in the grace of God!" Here's one that has molded my entire life, "With God....all things are possible!
While the word hope proclaims a multitude of messages (all resulting in victory), these messages are relative to the person who anchors themselves in such hope. No situation is identical from person to person. However, hope extends its victory to every person!
There is another side of this coin that can bring defeat, instead of victory. The road to defeat is forged by the power of the word "hopelessness". Hopelessness is drastically opposed to Hope. However, understand...hope is far more powerful than hopelessness. That is why the Bible is very adamant and direct about the power of hope. "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." (Psalm 42:11) David seems almost baffled that his soul could even reach the depths of despair. But even when it does, he commands his soul to hope in God. David declares he will again praise God almighty, the one who puts the smile on his face.
From David's example we learn that discouragement, despair, even depression will attempt to grip us. But the key is to NEVER lose hope. Hope leads us forward and upward. Hope says, "It's not too late." Hope says, "God has something better for me ahead." Again, hope says, "It's not over yet...the best is yet to come."
In these last days, hope in Jesus Christ will be the force that moves us in victory. There will be no other way. Humanity's finest accomplishments will not be enough to bring us success, protection, and deliverance. Only hope in our supernatural God.
Remember, hope is not anchored in your past. It is not anchored in humanity. It's not anchored in the world's current events. But genuine, despair-defying hope is anchored in Jesus. With Him all things are possible! I love that old adage, "It's not over till it's over." And the good news for you and me is...it's NOT over! Put your hope in our mighty God!
|Finding Hope When Life Seems Dark: Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah
By Kay Arthur
In this booklet you'll study five of the prophets who ministered to both the northern and southern kingdoms before the exile of the southern kingdom to Babylon. Though God commissioned His prophets to preach unique messages to different audiences, He gave them a common theme—hope when life seems dark. As you study these, you too will find hope. Group or individual study includes a daily guide to help you discover truth for yourself, questions for discussion, a thought for the week, and a memory challenge.
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