Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Faith Over Fear

Proverbs 14:15 "The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps."

Proverbs 15:22  "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."

Proverbs 19:21  "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."

Proverbs 14:26   "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence." 

       Today's blog stems from Proverbs 19:21.  Many of us have a plan for our lives from a young age, but as we know that's not always how it goes.  If we seek godly advice and listen to God's nudging voice, we can fulfill both our desires and God's purposes in our lives.

       "Our way is the path of human wisdom and self-reliance. It leads to frustration and emptiness. God’s way involves trusting Him, obeying Him, and depending on Him. It leads to satisfaction and joy—in part on earth but fully in heaven. Each day let’s choose to live God’s way."  []

       Matthew 10:28  “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” 

       "This verse dissolves fear and gives courage to those who accept it. Deep in their hearts they realize that even if the Lord allows the enemy to destroy their physical life they will lose only what is keeping them from enjoying the presence of their Savior in heaven." M.Henry]  

       We must trust in God's sovereignty, even when things don't turn out as one might have  envisioned.  Whatever your dreaming for, believing for, and hoping for, I pray you keep trusting, hoping and believing in God's plan and acknowledge that it's not about you and your perfect plan, but it's up to God and His purpose will prevail.

       As for myself, my plan from 10th grade was to be a pharmacist.  Well a dilemma came up, when my plans after 2 years of college included marriage.  There was no pharmacy school where I was moving to. I changed my plans/major to microbiology and my future plans went in the right direction towards a job I could actually do.  My fears of Chicago winter weather, failure to finish, and my physical challenges didn't deter my goals for myself.  God saw me and blessed me greatly for my will and His.

3 Things to Remember To Go From Fear to Faith in Your Goals

1] Let go of your comfort
2] Accept that failure happens to everyone
3] Remember God's goodness and sovereignty

Fear God and you will have nothing else to fear.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happiness, Disobedience and God

John 15:9-11 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

John 15:14-16 "You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."

1 Corinthians 6:17 "But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit."

       Today's blog is about how God sees us and who we are to Him.  James 4:4 says, "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."  I think many in this world think they are right with God, and yet choose to live by the ways of the world.  This verse in James says that can't be so. "You can’t say you love Jesus and then go live like the devil. You can’t say you’re a Christian and then keep on living a self-centered life. You can’t say you’re a follower of Jesus and then pick and choose the verses that you want to listen to and ignore the ones you don’t. Jesus says you’re his friend if you obey him and his commandments.". Unbelievers are enemies of God and rebel against His ways and Word of Truth.  Matthew Henry says, "Christ takes believers to be his friends. He visits them and converses with them as his friends, bears with them and makes the best of them, is afflicted in their afflictions, and takes pleasure in their prosperity; he pleads for them in heaven and takes care of all their interests there."

       Many people think that being a Christian is a pathway to a loss of fun and happiness on this Earth.  Not true!  Jesus changes your desires.  Ungodly desires may look like freedom, but they don’t last, and they lead to despair, not dignity and depression, not delight.

      We choose to obey God because he loves us, saves us and wants the best for us.  His loves leads us to true joy.  "We must place our happiness in the continuance of Christ’s love to us, and make it our business to give continued proofs of our love to Christ, that nothing may tempt us to withdraw from him, or provoke him to withdraw from us. Note, All that love Christ should continue in their love to him, that is, be always loving him, and taking all occasions to show it, and love to the end. " [M. Henry]

      If you’re not living a full and satisfying life, it’s not because God doesn’t want you to have it. He wants to set you free from: [R. Warren]
  • The pain from your past. This is the regret or resentment that keeps you from being all God wants you to be.
  • The pressures of your present. This is the stress or exhaustion you face trying to manage the complexities of everyday life.
  • The pessimism about tomorrow. These are the worries about your future or the futures of those you love.

       If you’re not living a full and satisfying life with God as your center, also consider the consequences of disobedience on your life: []
  • You will never become the person that God wants you to be.
  • You limit your usefulness to the Lord.
  • You are willing to live a life of rationalized disobedience.
  • You’ll be governed by fear rather than faith.
  • You risk losing not only rewards in heaven but also blessings on earth.
Are you in some way refusing God’s call? The Lord is trustworthy. Whatever His plan of action for you, be assured He will see you safely through the ordeal.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Getting Through Each Day

          Some days can be harder than others, but what keeps us going through it?  Is it our will power, drive or something bigger than ourselves?  "Our humility springs from our preparedness to say 'O Lord, I am totally dependent upon you today.'" [Alistair Begg]  "While there are no guarantees of surefootedness in the physical sense, there is One who stands ready to assist us in our quest to honor Christ in this life and prepare us to stand joyfully before Him in the next." []

Underneath the restless surface
Of each trial that comes in life
Flows the Savior’s love and power—
They can calm our inner strife. —D. De Haan

          What is sustaining grace? Sustaining grace is the power to keep on going when you feel like giving up. It’s the power to do the right thing, when you don’t feel like doing the right thing. There are many pitfalls in the marathon race of life. But regardless of what you go through, no matter what you face this year, you can count on God’s sustaining grace. “My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (1 Peter 5:12)

        "Every day we face temptations (and even false teachings) that seek to divert us, confuse us, and entangle us. Yet, it’s not ultimately through our own efforts that we remain on our feet as we walk in this world. How assuring to know that when we hold our peace when tempted to speak angrily, to opt for honesty over deceit, to choose love over hate, or to select truth over error—we experience God’s power to keep us standing (Jude 1:24). And when we appear approved before God when Christ returns, the praise that we offer now for His sustaining grace will echo throughout eternity (v. 25)." []

        As for myself, I may seem strong but I'm also human with depressed thoughts and moments at different times.  I, too, need encouraging quotes like, “It is I, your Savior, who has brought this experience into your life to show you [that] this is the kind of person—with all your sinful thoughts and temptations which you thought were things of the past—that you always will be, but for My grace.”  It is by His sustaining grace and new mercies each day that I can face and get through each day.  Galatians 5:25  "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."  The Holy Spirit provides  the grace that meets us at our point of need and equips us with courage, wisdom, and strength.  Sustaining grace promises not the absence of struggle but the presence of God.  I know I need that kind of love from God.

Though tempted and sadly discouraged,
My soul to this refuge will flee
And rest in this blessed assurance:
"My grace is sufficient for thee."