Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Preparing for the New Year!

Alright everyone, how many of you have already made your New Year's Resolutions that you know you will not be keeping?  HaHa...I know right.  This is a time in which we always seem to stress some sort of renewal in how we live our lives.  Most of the time they deal with losing weight, exercising more, reading more books, or managing our money better.  Maybe others set goals for their work and school.  But, no matter how hard we try in the beginning, we usually fail.  And you know what, that's ok.  We are human.

Is it not great to know that we have a Savior who looks beyond our imperfections if we truly belong to Him?  Even with all the things we try to do, we will still fall short of the glory of God.  But, the true message of Grace covers a multitude of failures.  The bible is full of individuals who strived to serve God to their best ability, and yet had their own shortcomings.  David's lust, Peter's denial, Abraham's lies, and Moses' inability to follow directions are just a few examples of true powerhouses for God, that were still human and made their mistakes.

There seems to be a misconception among some that Christians can reach a point to which they no longer sin.  I have had discussions with many of these individuals and still fall back to this verse:

Romans 3:10
"as it is written, there is none righteous, not even one."

and...

1 John 1:8
"If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us."

So what do we do?  Do we just give up because we will mess up?  Absolutely not!  Our purpose in life is to serve God, and to try to be Christ-like as much as possible.  We still must push forward to the prize that is before us.  This life is short compared to the eternity that we have before us, and the reward in heaven is great.  We have a job to do, and even though we will make mistakes, we must continue on in our witness of Christ to the world.  If we sit back and do nothing, think of all the opportunities we will have to share Christ that will never happen.

So.....what does all of this have to do with the new year you ask?  How about a New Year's resolution that focuses on something you are going to try to do for God, instead of yourself.

Psalm 98:1
"O sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him."

I challenge all of you to come up with a new year's resolution for the Lord.  Even if we fail, He will still win the victory.  It can do nothing but strengthen us and our witness for Him, and bring honor and glory to Him.  And not because we are anything great, but because who we serve is!

Thanks for reading, and I pray God's blessings on you all in 2015!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Am I Thankful For?



God has blessed my family and I more than we deserve in this life.  Is my life perfect?  Not hardly.  We face many trials and tribulations as everyone else does.  There is a misconception going around in which people believe that Christians all live wonderful lives.  In a way that is true, but not in the sense they believe.  We deal with sin, suffering, shame, loneliness, and heartache on a regular basis.  However, the difference is the grace in which we live, compels us to the hope of more to come.  Our faith in Christ Jesus provides the foundation of this hope.

When I struggle, I think of the ways in which God has blessed me.  It really is true, that when you count your blessings, you begin to forget the things that make you feel down.  One of my greatest blessings is my children.  God has seen fit to send my wife and I three beautiful children.  Even more, they are growing in the love of the Lord.

There are numerous verses that speak of how God blesses us.  But, today I want to thank God for the bad in my life as well.  My wife told me once, "With each trial we face, we get a chance to see God in action!"  Every bad thing that comes, shows me more of who I am, and gives me a chance to grow in my faith.

Romans 5:3-5
"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

So in this time of Thanksgiving, I pray you will be thankful for everything you have experienced in this life.  Because God is always in control.

Thanks for reading, and God bless you all!
Happy Thanksgiving.