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April 4, 2016, 12:56 PM

Victory over our Failures

Have you ever failed? We all have.  If you have never failed in life it is only because you have never tried. 

No one knows how to help you in your times of failure as Jesus does.  Jesus will not overlook your shortcomings, sugar coat the truth, or just pat you on the back and encourage you to do better next time.  He can give you victory over your failures. 

 "And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.“ - Luke 5:5 

Peter had been fishing all night without any success. It wasn’t that he had only caught a few; he had caught nothing!  Peter was a skilled fisherman.  Jesus could have said, Peter don’t worry about it.  He could have said don’t feel bad, it happens to everyone at some time or another.  No, Jesus told him to go out deeper and fish again in another place.  When Peter obeyed, he caught so many fish that he had to get help to drag them in!  How humbling that must have been for Peter! Here was this carpenter’s son telling this outspoken professional fisherman how to fish!  Failure stings.  It hurts and it is not something we like to dwell on or for want for others to know about. 

However Jesus often gets our undivided attention when we fail.   We turn to Him wondering where we went wrong, what happened, and why. He does not just move on, or distract us from our failures.  He often takes us back to the place of our failure and defeat in order to build something good into your life.  He takes your failures and turns them into lessons in victory!  Maybe you have failed so miserably that you want to just forget about it. Maybe you attempted a task in your own strength.  Maybe you took the wrong path, turned right when you should have turned left.  Maybe you thought you did everything right, but did not get the result you thought you would get.  No matter the reason, what we must understand is that it is not the failure that is the focus, but rather what we do next after the failure.  Will we look to the master?  Will we obey the master?  He will not just abandon us to abandon all hope at our failure.  He will help you learn from your failures and experience the difference He makes when He guides your life.  When you try in God’s strength you find that success is always possible. 

When you fail, don’t give up.   Look up to the Master.  

When you fail, don’t give up.   If you give up you missed the teaching moment of the failure.

When you fail, don’t be afraid of failing again. Instead Look to Jesus.  Ask Him to pick you up, get you going, and guide you to the place where He wants you.  

When you do, you will find that you are on the brink of major victory over your failure.  Because that is what He can do if we let Him…He gives victory.

 




April 1, 2016, 10:19 AM

Great Moments from Quiet Moments

The greatest moments this world has ever known, where preceded by quiet moments.  

Jesus Christ payment in full for the debt of sin by dying on the cross was preceded by a quiet moment of fervent prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Peter preaching at Pentecost and the resulting salvation of 3000 was preceded by the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples as they gathered in an upper room for a time of quiet prayer.  

The feeding of the 5000 by Jesus multiplying 5 loaves of bread and two fish were preceded by Jesus praying and blessing what was given.  

Peter, in prison and scheduled to be executed was delivered by an angel in the midst of the prison.  But his delivery was preceded by a group of people gathering together to pray for his release.

Over and over again great moments have been preceded by quiet moments of prayer.  The power of Heaven is opened with a quiet moment of honest prayer.

Prayer is not a substitute for hard work…Prayer is the work!  God does things in and though our lives through prayer that he does in no other way.  Turning to God through honest, pure, and fervent prayer releases by faith the power of God to do the mightier things than we could ever imagine.  As we pray and our attention is turned to God, we are receptive to aligning our lives with His will.  

God does not equip us and work in us to do His will with power as we are racing off to our next appointment.  His power in our lives only comes through prayer. 

There used to be a time when there were certain special people who were known to others as Prayer Warriors.  Perhaps they were your grandparent, parent or Sunday School teacher.  Maybe it was a pastor, missionary, friend, or an elderly neighbor.   Almost everyone has known someone like that who never would have claimed to be a powerful prayer, but everyone that knew them would ask them to pray for them even they asked no one else, and prayers got answered!

While those people seem to be fewer and farther between, they don’t have to be.  The same God who answered the prayers of those precious, humble warriors of prayer is the same God who lives, reigns, and answers prayer with power to day.  The significance of those prayer warriors was that they lived a daily relationship of prayer and obedience to Him.   If we are willing to surrender to God and walk with Him with all our heart we can be such a prayer warrior.  

It begins by being a child of God and continues by spending time with Him in prayer.  The greatest moment of your life is when you become a child of God through Jesus shed blood on the cross and becoming a child of God is preceded by a heart prayer of repentance and belief in Jesus as Savior.   

The same heart of prayer will lead to other great moments just as they always have.  

Won’t you stop for a quiet moment of prayer today?  Trust God, call on Him and just watch as God does great things in and around you!




March 31, 2016, 2:06 PM

But on the Other Hand

Do you ever find yourself caught up in a mindset of negativity?  Do you ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed?  Or are you a person who only sees the glass half full, the dark side of the silver lining, and your peaches and cream have curdled?

A depressing negative mindset is easy enough to fall into, and before you know it you can find all sorts of things to complain about.  

Just today on the way to work:  I woke up late, and ran outside to a gray and overcast rainy morning.  I got caught behind a Sunday driver and had another car pull right out in front of me.  I seemed to catch every red light on the way to work.  I will go home to kids who are noisy and will demand my attention and I will go to bed without much fanfare or celebration for anything that I tried to accomplish today.  

But on the other hand…

I woke up this morning. I have legs to carry me where I want to go.  The clouds and overcast sky allowed my eyes to adjust more slowly than if there had been bright sun.  I have a  car to drive to work, in fact I have two.  I have a job that I can be late too without getting to much of a scolding from my boss and my brakes work on my car.  When I get home I am blessed to have children to go home to that love and adore me.  They want to spend time with their daddy.  Oh and I have a home to go home to.  My wife who loves me and supports me will be there to spend time doing the things that parents and spouses do.  And she is there for me every day.  

Are you seeing my point?  There will always be things to complain about.  There will always be things that don’t go the way we think they should and their will always be mundane things in life.  

But maybe we should learn not to focus on the negative and depressing.  Maybe we should focus on the many good things that God has blessed us with.  Maybe we should realize that we are far more blessed than we often realize.  

Today don’t dwell on the bad.  Instead soak in the good.  Change your perspective and embrace the day that the Lord has made.  Rejoice and be glad in it. 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” - Philippians 4:8




March 16, 2016, 2:03 PM

Let Your Life's Light Shine!

We live in a day and age where people often bark worse than they bite.  They talk more than they do and they do less than they would have you believe.  
It is a world with big talk, big mouths and often much ado about nothing.  In respect to politics, we hear much talking, but we have learned by experience that those talking rarely if ever actually do what they say they are going to do.  

In today's world, when somebody does do something that (they feel) is good or noteworthy they often feel the need to draw attention to themselves so that others can pat them on the back.
We life in an age where it seems everyone wants to be affirmed or congratulated for doing the right thing, when the right thing should be the expected action.  

We live in an era of social media, polls and survey where people want to know the reaction to their action before they ever act so they can be sure they are going to get the desired reaction.  
Before many people will act they want to be sure they are going to get the praise, attention and adoration they crave.  In short, they want to be glorified for doing what should be expected.  
We live in a time of "positive re-enforcement", where people have become conditioned to be bribed into action.  We have learned to look for the assurance of re-enforcement and reward before we will ever act.  

As Christians we are to be people of action.  We are to be obedient to God's will and God's word regardless of any anticipated outcome.  We are to do the right thing no matter who or who is not watching.  At the same time we must never be afraid of being seen doing what is right.  We are to lead the way for others as we follow the lead of our Leader, Jesus Christ through the compelling of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says in Matthew 5:16

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

However lest we stray into the trap of arrogance and pride and are accused of doing good for our own reward we must remember that the key to letting your light shine before men, is so that they will glorify God the Father...not you.  We don't do the right thing for earthly reward, we do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.  Dwight Moody may have said it best when he said.

It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it.  Lighthouses do not ring bells and fire cannon to call attention to their shining - they just shine.

Christian, live your life in a Godly fashion.  Be a person of action, a doer of what is right regardless of consequences or who is watching.  

Less bark and more bite is what we need so that the world can see our Lord and Savior through the light Jesus Shines through you and me.  

Let your life's light shine for Jesus, for His Glory.




March 15, 2016, 1:49 PM

What is God Doing in You?

What is God in the process of doing in your life?  

What does God want to do in your life?

If you answer is “probably nothing” or “I don’t know,” then don’t you think you should check again and find out?

Whether you have invited God into your life or not, God is at work in your life.   Whether you believe in God or not, God is at work in your life.  God loves you too much to not be working in your life and in your heart.  God cares too much about you leave you to your self and the consequences of leaving you to your self.  God desires to know you and for you to know Him too much for Him not to work towards that end.  

Now, God will not force you to accept Him, believe in Him, or follow Him.  That is your choice.  He gives you a free will.  But that does not mean that He is not at work in you nor does it mean He is not working to get your attention.

Perhaps you believe and have have invited God into your life, and you even believe that God is at work in your life but you don’t believe what He is doing is anything significant, big or important.  Or perhaps you believe that your life is to insignificant for God to do anything in you.  

Either way, you could not be more wrong.  

God often speaks in a still small voice, but He never does anything that is small or insignificant.  Everything God does is necessary and important for both now and the future.  God made you, and He made you in His image.  He made you for a reason and a purpose.  He has big plans for you big His love for you is big.    God’s love for you is endless and His power is infinite.  He could do anything He wants but He wants to do it in and through you.  

Understand that You are important to the God of all God’s and King of all kings! 

Now, let me ask again…What is it God is in the process of doing in you?  

Don’t you think it is time to ask Him and find out?


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