Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58   Entries 236-240 of 286
March 26, 2017, 5:00 AM

Follow or Guard your heart, the choice is yours!

Do you find yourself following your heart on a regular basis? What usually happens when you do?  We hear the phrase “follow your heart” almost daily.  The Bible actually says that we are to guard our heart, not follow it. “Guard your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The Hebrew word for "spring" in that verse means "goings out, going forth." Meaning that basically what is in our heart is where our life will lead.  


You see when we follow our hearts we are basically just following our misguided feelings.  Our feelings, aka the “heart”, lead us into situations simply because it feels right especially when sin enters the equation. The sinful nature of our heart can also cause us to make wrong decisions just because it feels good. Decisions like having that affair, stealing that money, and doing those drugs, because they feel good and if it feels good has to right, right?   


“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 We have to be careful to compare what our hearts are leading us to do with what the Word of God and His spirit are telling us to do.  And as the saying goes “The Holy Spirit will not lead you where the Word of God can’t keep you”.  If we make following our hearts a daily practice it will only yield pain, disappointment.


When it comes to making decisions in our lives that honor God, consider getting God’s opinion first before just “following your heart.” By following God’s word and living by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you can guard your heart which will yield joy and peace.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7


This is my Prayer:  God help me to guard my heart.  Lord help me overcome my emotions and follow Your leading and not my own feelings.  Jesus give me a heart like Yours, so that I will be able to follow Your word and Your will.  Lord teach me to make decisions that honor and glorify You.  In Jesus name, Amen.

March 25, 2017, 5:00 AM

You are in right standing with God, because of what Jesus has done, not what you’ve done.

Do you trust that He is completely satisfied and pleased with who you are?  For years I lived with the mentality, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.”  I focused my whole life on work that need to be done. Even in my relationship with God, I felt like I owed God something for all the wrong I had done, so I tried to work hard every day and make up for it.  I wanted so badly to be blessed by Him, and I felt that I could earn His blessings or pay Him back if I worked hard enough.  I finally learned the truth that we cannot earn or pay for God’s gifts; otherwise, they are not gifts at all.  “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  Ephesians 2:8-9


I love God and try to follow Him, but I don’t do everything right.  All I want is for His will to done with my life and it hurts knowing that I have disappointed Him.  That hurt produces feelings of guilt that lead to fear.  Fear that I’m not good enough or strong enough to follow Him.  That fear brings back the mindset that I need to try to work and prove that I am, and the cycle starts all over again.   God sees the heart of man, and how He deals with us is based on the kind of heart He has not what we have.  Perhaps like me, you experience those feelings of guilt and fear.  God loves you unconditionally and it is Jesus who has reconciled you, not yourself. What does it mean to be reconciled? It means your balance is zero. You don’t owe anything! 


Do you really believe you are reconciled to God?  Do you find yourself walking in shame over your past decisions? What is it that takes you back and makes you feel that shame?  In 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” Paul begging the people to take the reconciliation that God is offering, and I urge you to do the same.  Don’t wait another moment to be reconciled to God.  He accepts you because you have accepted Jesus in to your heart.  You are in right standing with Him, because of what Jesus has done, not what you’ve done.  Nothing you can do or have done can earn that!


This is my Prayer:  God renew me from the inside out. Jesus teach me when I experience shame over my past to remember that You reconciled me to You.  Lord please remove the feeling of shame and replace it with peace and joy.  God help me to be willing to follow Your will and believe that my balance is zero.  In Jesus name, Amen.

March 24, 2017, 5:00 AM

Are you broken or blameless?

Have you ever just set back and watched people?  People watching is kind of a hobby of mine. I just enjoy learning about people and you can learn a lot about a person by just watching them.  Not only do I like to sit and watch I also like to listen. I enjoyed listening to people no matter their age, demographic, or intellect. I believe I can learn something from everyone. In all of this, one of the things that I've learned about people is that some are broken and some are not.   And I have come to the conclusion we all need to be broken.  Allow me to unpack this for you.


Brokenness is God’s gift, designed to motivate you to initiate reconciliation.  Broken people are aware of their need for a Savior. They have no time to focus on anyone else’s sins. Broken people are fully willing to accept the consequences of their sin and don't dodge responsibility for their actions.  I've heard countless stories from people who weren’t broken, people who can't or won't take responsibility for what they've done. They play the blame game and search to place blame on anyone else but themselves for the situations they find themselves in.  Sometime it’s hard for me listen to them and not to just tell them “It’s your sin, own it”.  


The truth is hard to deal with for them, because truth is even if you feel like you did something because of someone did something to you or because someone didn't meet your needs, you still sinned. When it comes to sin, there is never a legitimate excuse.  You made the choice to sin. No matter what anyone else did first. You are still responsible for you!  Therefore, we must accept responsibility for it and the consequences that follow.  This marks the beginning of our faith and the transition from sinner to saved.


 Only upon recognizing our sin and acknowledging our need of a Savior, can we truly repent of it. Repentance is not only a change of mind; it is a change of direction. Unless you change your behavior, you haven’t really repented, no matter how many tears you may have shed. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. II Corinthians 7:10 Do you find that you dodge responsibility for your actions or sin? Do you ever blame someone else for your sinful actions? 


This is my Prayer:  God teach me to be broken.  Lord help me accept responsibility for my own actions and not blame others. Lord reveal to me why I don't take this path very often.  Jesus give me have an attitude of true repentance.  God reveal the steps I need to take to change my direction and follow you.  In Jesus name, Amen.

March 23, 2017, 5:00 AM

We cannot let grief stop our walk with Christ!

What or who are you grieving for today? Has your grief stopped your walk with God? Has it taken you further away from Him? Grief can manifest itself in our lives in many ways; the loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, a friendship, innocence lost, the loss of one’s health, or even the loss of a pet or something we cared deeply about.  Grief is a different process for each person. Have you ever been deep in grief, almost paralyzed, and felt guilty for a smile or a giggle, feeling shamed for one moment of joy? It's okay to grieve differently than others. It's okay to grieve for longer than someone thinks you should, or deeper than society says is “normal.”  But we cannot let grief stop our walk with Christ.


"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." 1 Peter 1:6 In this scripture Peter tells us "for a little while you may have had to suffer grief". "A little while" can be days, months, or years. Some grief will stay with us for a lifetime, but God will change the level and depth of the pain over time so that your life can still bear fruit and have joy.


"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." John 16: 22  You can rejoice and have joy even in grief because we have know that God is with you and He is powerful enough and understands you enough, to comfort you in this moment.  God is our Father who grieves alongside us. God understands loss; after all, his only Son was hated, rejected, and ultimately killed for you. Only He can give you the strength to stay faithful through your grief, and only He can turn our grief into joy, bring triumph out of tragedy.


This my Prayer: God strengthen my heart and allow me to feel You comfort in my times of grief. Lord show me Your purpose in these situations and help me to continue seek You.  Jesus give enough faith and strength to follow Your will at all times in my life. God teach me to not let anything stop my walk with you.  In Jesus name, Amen.

March 22, 2017, 5:00 AM

We find a Real God in times of Waiting!

Has the plan for your life ever changed?  Coming out of high school I had life all planned out. I was going to study computers and play football in college. Then maybe go pro, when that was done I would fallback on computers. Then the walls came crashing down, when in practice the day before my first game tragedy struck. Going through a play someone fell taking out my knee and tearing my Acl and Mcl, and bam in an instant my plans are gone. I began to ask God what I was to do now. I began to wait and wait and wait, and wait for him to show.

Those years of waiting, watching my friends having the time of life's living out their dreams, when I could not was excruciating. It was a great desire in my heart to know what God's plan was! Why did God make me wait so long? Better yet, why don’t some people ever get to live out their dream, while some do?

During that time I struggled with faith, grew angry, and questioned why I had to wait. Over and over again God has revealed to me that He is sovereign and I am not.

I believe that during that time God developed some character traits in me that otherwise might not have been developed. He knew every thought and feeling I had during that painful time. I became truthful with Him.  You see no longer did I think of God as some mystical being to talk to as when I was a child. He was now a real person for me to be angry with, talk to (yell at).  He was someone I wasn’t afraid to be real with.  I knew I could cast all of the hurts and pain I had onto him. After all, the Bible says in 1 Peter 5 to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I did just that and you can, too. I threw as hard as I could at Him every hurt, pain, anger, sorrow i had, and in return I received no retaliation, no wrath, just peace, understanding, and love.  My relationship with God grew deeper than ever because He truly became real to me.


"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Are you in a time of waiting right now? Waiting is not fun for me at all. Probably not for you either. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Man, I am so excited about what God is going to show me and how I’m going to change during this time of waiting. I can’t wait to wait some more!” But, as I’ve talked with countless people after their time of waiting and everyone has said that they wouldn’t trade the relationship that they now have with Jesus for the one they had before. You see, it’s in those days, months and years of waiting where we start Jesus as real, we can become real with Him, and He can reveal His plan for our lives.  Have you asked God, “What do you want me to learn from this?”  I learned in waiting that God revealed that He had already given me His plan as a teenager when He called me to preach and that my plan for my life was never His. 


This is my Prayer: God give me patience in my time of waiting. Jesus help me to see You as real, someone I can talk to, someone I can share my feelings with, and someone I can rely on.  Lord show how to be real with You and grow closer to You during this time.  God teach me Your ways and help me learn the lesson You want me to learn from waiting.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58   Entries 236-240 of 286