In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…. So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1: 1, 27
In the beginning God created everything and He created us all in His own image. Just think about that for a minute. You were created to be like God. I know that can be hard to imagine and understand. Most of the time it is hard for us to understand God because we can not see Him or touch Him. But if we look around at everything He is present in it all. Take a moment today, put all your distractions aside and just watch where God is present. You may be shocked.
And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise. Mark 10:34
I can not imagine what it would be like to know you were going to die, when you were going to die and how you were going to die. Jesus knew all of this and more importantly he was willing to take this brutal punishment for all of us yet he did not even know us. Just imagine being told today that tomorrow you were going to die for the rest of the world tomorrow. That you were going to die for your friends, family and even your enemies. That would not be easy to take.
The good news is that Jesus did this for all of us and to remove all of our sins. But he also said he would be back. Yes he would rise from the dead. He would come back for all of us because that is how much he loves all of us. Just don’t forget that today is Friday but Sunday is coming!
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. Proverbs 19:11
Most of you may have not known me when I was younger but I had a serious anger problem. I would actually just blow up about anything and let anger control me. With all the stuff that is happening in the world today it is hard not to get angry about it. But just read what the scriptures tell us about anger and how we should deal with it. I have learned a few things from these three verses.
- Don’t ever go to bed angry. Make sure who ever you are angry with you work it out before the sun goes down.
- We must listen to everything before we judge.
- Don’t react immediately with your voice. Remember once it has come out of your mouth you can not put it back in.
- Be slow to get angry. Don’t let the anger control you.
- By controlling our temper and overlooking who or what has wronged you, you will gain the respect of those around you. Remember you probably once wronged someone yourself.
- Most importantly. Leave your anger with God. Turn it over to Him and let Him take control of it.
It would be so cool to travel across Europe on a bike or on on a bus or on a train. Yes on a train! How cool! traveling on a train is doing life as you go. You eat in the dining car and sleep on bunks. You talk to people you do not even know and all the time you are moving.As you are headed to where you are going you are living out your life. The people you meet you wonder, what they are reading, where they are from, where are they going, what do they listen to and what do they believe in.
Well our spiritual journey is a lot like traveling on a train. Jesus is our map. The journey is living our life as His followers. We are headed somewhere, right? An awesome destination. A perfect reunion with the maker. But, life does not wait for the destination. We are living life everyday as we journey closer to our eternal home. On this journey, we encounter others. Do we get to know them? Do we find out where they are headed? Where they have been? Do we ever invite them to travel along with us? To join us on our journey.
Lord, I want my time on the journey to make a difference. I want to live for Christ as I travel towards my destination. How about you?
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Our family visited Hilton Head, SC this past year. We stayed in a beautiful place but it had previously been hit by a hurricane. As we rode bikes or walked around we saw many trees uprooted. It was so cool to see the root systems of these trees. I was amazed at how big some of the trees were but had such small root systems. We came across a few trees that were just standing there all by themselves with no damage.
These trees reminded me of what God wants from us. He does not care about what we look like on the outside, how tall we are, how pretty we are or what color our hair is. No, He wants to see what is growing beneath. He wants us to be rooted in Him no matter what type of situation we are going through. He wants us to develop a deep-rooted trust and confidence in Him.
Maybe today you are going through a tough time or you just don’t know what the right decision is to make. You just need to remember to stay rooted in Him and let Him get you through all of your situations. This allows you to grow as a believer and it also lets those around you be blessed by your faith.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
Trying to be still is not something I am good at. I like to be going and do not like to sit still. If you know me at all you know I have a hard time saying no. It is just something I am not good at.
Being still for God can be just as hard. We feel like we are in control and we want things to happen in our time. But God does not work that way. His time is way different than ours. That is because He knows what we need and when we need it. If we are going to be still before God we have to let go of the need to be in control. When we do this we let God’s light shine through us.
If you are worried about something, take some time to be still and turn it over to God.
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 17-22
Most of us have heard the phrase, “like a fish trying to swim upstream”. Going with the flow is always easier. We can choose the easy way and just swim with the stream or we can choose to go the other way where it maybe a little harder but will be more rewarding. There will be people that do not agree with you and may doubt you but you must stay strong and show mercy.
Like a fish swimming upstream is difficult so is being a follower of Christ in the world today. We are in a constant battle with those around us. They may make fun of us and they may even hate us. But like the scripture says we can not retaliate or ignore them. We must show mercy to all and share the message of Jesus with them. This is easier said than done but we do not have a choice. God’s plan for us has always been for us to love all and to lead people to Him. Swimming upstream will be hard. But it is well worth the fight.
There are signs everywhere around us that warn us of the dangers ahead. Wrong way, keep out, warning, do not enter and the list goes on. Just like most warnings in life if we would listen to them we would live a better life. Most of the time these signs or warnings are there to protect us and those around us.
Deuteronomy 8:19 says, If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
That is a pretty stern warning. God is calling us to follow Him and Him only. Even when we completely do that it does not mean that there will be no danger ahead. As a Christ-follower we will be up against all sorts of evil. But God has equipped us to fight against anything that comes our way. Yes the signs may say danger ahead or keep out but our faith in God moves us forward. He has given us the strength to conquer anything that comes our way.
Yes, there will be danger ahead of us but we have the ultimate weapon right by our side and His name is Jesus. Watch out danger here we come!
You would rather take care of yourself than anyone else. You would rather look after your own needs before you took the time to look after someone else. It is just a side of human nature that we all have. But if we love and follow Christ that should change. When we love Christ, we begin to see everyone else as people who need Jesus. Loving Jesus compels us to love others and to pull them closer to Him.
Loving Christ means loving others. Loving others means wanting them to love God. Stop what you are doing and point others to God by loving them as Christ does.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. James 2:14-18
We tend to make excuses for the things we do or do not do. We see people in need or struggling and wonder why but may not take the time to ask them how they need help. There are so many things in the world that are messed up and we think they are going to just fix themselves. It is just like having faith in something. I may say I have faith in my car starting but have I really done anything to make sure that happens. No, I just walk outside put my key in and expect it to start
Our faith in God is sometimes like that. We expect Him to take care of us but we get lazy and do nothing for Him. Also when things start going wrong, we blame Him. We want Him to make everything right on our time. Well it does not work that way. In order for us to live a life of faith we have to get up off the couch and do something about it. We need to work from the outside in. Let what people see on the outside reflect what you feel on the inside. Not the other way around.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. – Psalm 73:26
It seems like everyday I hear of someone getting cancer or some other kind of illness. It just makes my heart break. Even though going through illnesses can be a tough thing and can break your spirit, it can also make us stronger. I have seen a few fight cancer over and over and it has never broken them. The reason for that is they have God at the center of their lives. If we keep God our main focus we can get through anything. He is always by our side and will be there through the good times and the bad times. No matter what your situation is keep God at the center of your life and let Him take control.