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February 11, 2016, 10:21 AM

Nothing is to Big for God!

The task must have seemed overwhelming to Joshua.  It surely caused him some concern.  Filling the shoes of Moses was not small mission.  

By the grace and strength of God, Moses had led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, parted the Red Sea on their escape from charging armies of Pharaoh, Met with God face to face on Mount Sinai,  and guided them through the wilderness for 40 years until they were finally ready to enter the promised land.  Oh, and he did and all this despite the complaining and whining of a nation.  

Joshua must have wondered how he could follow in the steps of Moses.

Ever been there?  Your task in life seems monumental.  Living life with all the ups and downs.  Raising children, providing for family, obeying and serving God and doing so with an increasingly complaining world.  Hardships come, temptations come and yet we have a high standard of parents before us or God’s word in front of us to strive for.  It can be daunting.  Especially when we get knocked down and we don’t know how we are going to get up.  

Sometimes we need reminded of God’s Word to Joshua when he was facing his  great calling:

“No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.  I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.  I will not leave you or forsake you.”

-Joshua 1:5

Today listen to the words of God to Joshua and realize that it is not in your strength that you must face the challenges of today.  It is not alone that you must reach for the bar that is set high.  God goes with you.  

Those that have gone before you did so by their selves.  God went with them, guided them, strengthened them, and protected them.  God will do the same for you.  

Face today with the knowledge of God’s love and presence.  Be courageous as God leads you into the fray of the day to day.  Lift high the banner.  Allow God to allow you to reach new heights and raise the bar of expectations as God will work through you to fill the shoes of those that have gone before and leave a testimony to those that will come behind.

Nothing is to big for God, and as He works in you…Nothing is to big for you.

 




February 10, 2016, 10:57 AM

Why are you Weeping?

“They said to her, Woman, why are you weeping?…”

John 20:13a

Mary Magdalene could certainly remember the day that Jesus had delivered her.  That day she became His follower. (Luke 8:2)  She knew and remembered all that Jesus taught her and and done for her.  She served Him out of a deep love, because He first had loved her.

The tears began to flow.  Jesus had been her Master, Lord, teacher, Savior and friend, but now he was gone.  Not just gone but mercilessly tortured and murdered on a cross of Damnation!  Her beliefs, desires, dreams, wants, and even her very living appeared to be dashed forever on the rocks of life.  Of course the tears flowed.  

Have you ever been there?  Where something you love is taken away?  Where something you dreamed about suddenly is destroyed.  Where someone or something you care about deeply and are invested in is ripped away from you? Have you ever had things go just more sideways than you ever could have imagined?  Of course you have…we all have.

Life is not easy.  The Christian life is not easy.  Life is not fair.  Despite the preaching of some, God’s word never says it is going to be.  It will be filled with joyful moments as we walk with God and we live on a mountain top as well as points in life where nothing seems to make sense or go our way.  There is times of great discouragement.  That is life in the valley.  

Mary did not understand that Jesus, whom she loved, was risen!  He had suffered and died as He promised but He also had risen again just as he said.  When Mary learned that Her Savior and Lord was alive it put everything back in perspective.  There was joy and happiness again!  

Learning the truth about Jesus brought perspective and joy but it did not make everything fair or easy.  But it made it possible.  With Christ all things are possible.  

Today remember the reality of a risen and living Jesus Christ.  Let the perspective of the truth and hope in Jesus revive you and propel you forward.  Let it bring you joy and strength.  No, life is not easy, but because He lives, we can face the life we are called to live for Him!




February 4, 2016, 9:26 AM

Are You Hearing God Speak?


Are you hearing God speak to you? Do you hear His voice?

There are really only 3 reasons you won't hear God.

1. You are not listening. We must listen to what God is saying, not just listen for what we want to hear. Maybe God is speaking but you are just not wanting to listen to what He has to say.

2. You have strayed in your walk with him. Christians are not perfect. There are times we stray or backslide on God. We shouldn't, and we don't have too, but sometimes we do. Rarely does God shout. He speaks in a still small voice. He want to draw you closer to Himself. If you can't hear Him get closer to Him, walk with Him and He you will hear His voice.

Or could it be...

3. You don't really know Him. You do not belong to Him. The bible says that those that belong to Him will know His voice (John 10:27). Ultimately if you can not hear God's voice it is because you are not belonging to God.

John 8:47

"He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

No matter the reason you are not hearing from God, you don't have to be afraid. God wants to speak to you. He longs to speak to you and demonstrate His love for you.

Whether it be that you are not listening, have backslid, or are not really saved, turn to Jesus Christ. He loves you and died for you so that you can have a relationship with Him.




December 17, 2015, 1:50 PM

Flip the Switch!


Look carefully at the picture. Do you see it? Look closely in the background, behind the trees. It is Duke's Oconee Nuclear Power Station.

It is there all the time but in the late spring, summer and early fall you cannot see the power station because of the tree's or more specifically the leaves on the trees. The leaves on the tree had to die and fall off before you could really see the Nuclear power facility.

If you did not know it was there, and know to look for it, you could drive down this road, past this spot many times and never see the power plant, even if it was visible because we are so busy and rush by without realizing it is there. We are focused on the road ahead. But that would not change the fact that the power plant is still there.

God is similar to this power plant. We often cannot see that He is there but He always is. We often are to focused on the business of our own life and the road ahead to even realize He is there with us. Sometimes things have to happen and hardships have to come, like the leaves falling off the trees before we are able to see Him.

Something gets our attention and we notice that He has been there the whole time. We must realize that He has never left us. His power, grace, mercy, and love are there for us even when we don't realize them, acknowledge them or know that they are there.

Speaking of the power, I am sure I could not properly, and sufficiently explain how the electricity is produced and delivered to our homes, and workplaces where we need it. But yet when we flip a switch or plug something in, the power is there. But just because I don't completely understand the physics and science of electricity does not mean I refuse to flip the switch.

In a similar way we may not understand how God works or How will reach us with His power and love...but don't let that keep you from calling on Him and flipping the switch.




November 18, 2015, 12:30 PM

What is it that You Get Excited About?

What is it that gets you excited and makes you want to cheer, cry, or laugh?

What is it that really moves you, motivates you, or compels you to act?

Here in Clemson Tiger Football country, the success of Dabo Swinney, and the #1 nationally ranked Clemson Tigers is all the rage.  Flags are flying, Tiger Rag is playing, and Clemson Paws can be seen everywhere.  People are really excited! They tailgate, celebrate, and they pack the stadium to capacity with fans that can bring an ear deafening roar.  The national championship playoffs are coming and the Tigers are “All in” to win a championship.  Maybe it is not the Clemson Tigers, but another sports team where you live, and you are thrilled with exuberance every time they play, or your team is mentioned.

Maybe it is patriotic pride that moves you.  You are a red, white, and blue bleeding, American flag wearing American.  You are moved with emotion every time you hear the Star Spangled banner or God Bless America.  Maybe you served in our military, or maybe someone in your family did or does.  You love our God blessed United States and are moved with love for her.  You cringe when anyone talks against our great nation, complains about the direction she is going, and the divided nature of her population.  You know that life in America is not perfect, you see the problems but know that you are blessed to have been born here or even just live here.  You are filled with emotion when the topic of politics, terrorism, or God anyone ever mistreating the flag.

Or maybe it is family that moves you.  Parents you love.  A spouse you live for.  Children that you dream big dreams for.  You love to spend time with them, and God help anyone that would ever harm them.  You strive to be the best father, mother, sister or brother, son or daughter you could ever be.  You know that time with family is both shot and fleeting.  Time is precious and time is running out.  You know that you only have a limited amount of time to spend with family before the time is gone, and every moment is precious.  You are motivated to make the most of it.

Perhaps it is something else?  A job?  A home?  Hunting, camping, fishing or hiking?  Shopping, cars, or life on the water?  Everyone has something that they long for, look forward to and desire to be part of.  

None of these things are wrong to get excited about.  Without something to get excited and passionate about life would be dull as dirt!  Everyone needs something they get excited about.  Everybody has something they get excited about.  Something worth shouting about.  Something worth investing in financially and emotionally.

So why don’t we get excited about The Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Why don’t we get excited about the prospects of the Heaven?  Why don’t we get emotional about people who don’t know Christ and are on the way to Hell?  Why don’t we shout about the only truth that really matters when it is all said and done? 

Sports are great and a wonderful distraction from the realities of life.  Patriotism is wonderful and we should realize how blessed we are to live in this great nation.  Family is perhaps the most important entity on this planet.  We aught to be passionate about family.  Ultimately whatever it is that moves you on this earth will eventually pass.  It will end.  But The Gospel of Jesus Christ Endures forever.

Why don’t we get excited at church?  Why don’t we get excited about God’s word?  Why is it that we can get so excited about sports, or politics, or family, but we cannot get excited about Jesus Christ dying on a cross to save our souls and rose again proving victory over death, hell and sin?

Is it because we don’t see anything happening?  God is at work all the time doing miracles every day!  Just because you don’t see it or recognize it does not mean it is not happening.  

Is it because we have heard it so many times before?  Has it become common place.  Has “Jesus Loves Me This I know” become old to you and me?

That has to be it…unless…unless…that all that the Gospel is, all that church is, all that the Bible is…are stories.  Just stories.  

Have you heard it all before, so many times, that we see it as just a story?

I invite you to pray that God would enliven your heart for the first time, or once again.  I pray that your prayer is that God would give you a child like heart, so that once again you can be excited by the WORDS of God.  So that our church services can once again be exciting and fresh.  So that our walk with him will be lively and active.  

So that we believe and believing we will shout about the Glory of God and how He lives!  We can celebrate how he is coming again!  We can be moved to follow Him and be part of the exciting things He is doing!

What is that gets you Excited?  Shouldn’t it be Jesus!

 


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