Saturday, October 22, 2016

God's Timing

Regardless of how I would like to view myself sometimes, I am not a patient person.  One of my biggest pet peeves are long, and unnecessary lines.  They always seem to be the worst when you are in the biggest hurry as well.  For example, I walked into the local Wal-Mart last week to pick up two or three items.  (Yes, I made it in and out without anything extra)  It took me maybe four minutes total to find what I needed, and I thought to myself, this is going to be a quick trip.  Boy was I wrong.  Out of over 20 registers at the front of the store, only four were open and checking out customers.  FOUR!  The lines were long, and I waited almost half an hour before I got out of the store.  I am proud to say that I kept my cool, because I did realize that it was not the poor girl's fault who checked me out, and she did not deserve some of the comments that she was receiving about the lines.  But, it was still ridiculous.  Then, on the way home I pulled up to a red light, when it turned green five cars got through before it changed back to red.  And guess who was the first one to have to stop, THIS GUY.  I did not think it would ever turn green.  I especially got fed up when there was at least a full minute and a half when no traffic was coming through the green light!

I wonder sometimes if we have this same attitude towards God as we experience things in our lives.  It seems like we are always in a hurry to be in a relationship, to get that new job, or buy a new home.  And when it does not happen, we either try to force the issue or question God as to why.  Not only this, but we tend to demand answers of Him.

Psalm 46:10
"Cease striving and know that I am God;"

Some translations also use the phrase "Be still."  We can also look at a point of being patient.  We should not put so much in making things try to happen the way we want, and just be patient.  And what should we do while being patient.  Know that He is God.  Know that He knows what He is doing.  Trust in the fact that He is sovereign over all things.  Have faith in His will for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

We must seek His will in our lives, and trust that He knows exactly what to do in our best interest.  Through this, we draw closer to Him.  What do we do in the time being, we serve.  We stay faithful in the areas in which we currently find ourselves, and we work hard until He is ready to move us where He wants us to be.

Thanks for reading, and I pray that God will continue to bless you all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Praise You in This Storm

This has been a devastating week for my home, and community.  On Friday, October 7th we started seeing the early rain bands of Hurricane Matthew.  This rain and wind continued until Saturday night.  All in all, we received around 15 inches of rain at my house, and some areas around us received more.  Dams have give way, and many of the communities in my county are underwater.  Many have been without power for almost a week now.  Many of our roads are closed due to flooding, and some have even been washed away.  And even more sadly, there have been some in my community to lose their lives as a result of this storm.

With all of this loss, I know many people would ask the question of why these things happen?  Why does God allow things of this nature to occur?  Let me give you my humble opinion to these questions.

#1 - My God is always in control.
It is not my place to question why things happen in this world.  I serve a wonderful loving God who has a perfect will, and a perfect purpose for all things.  And, it is not my place to understand until he is ready for me to understand.  He knows everything in my future, and has a reason for the here and now.  Maybe, just maybe, what I go through now is preparing me for what may come in the future.  And because of this moment, I will be prepare for what He needs me to do when that time comes.

Isaiah 55:8-9
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."

#2 - We seek the Lord through humility.
Do we really live our lives with the true understanding of who our Lord truly is?  God is not a buddy, nor a relative we only speak of during certain occasions.  He is our Lord, and our Creator.  Regardless of how we may see Him, He is the Almighty.  It is only by His grace that we have the right to His forgiveness, the right to pray to Him, and the right to be His children.  When we come to Him, it should be done humbly, without pride.  I believe that sometimes God allows things to happen to get our attention.  Maybe He is trying to show us how much we really need the peace and comfort that only He can give.  We when become proud and comfortable, we lose sight on our need for our Savior.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

#3 - A chance to witness
One thing I have been amazed of in this time of struggles, is the number of Christians I see reaching out to those in need.  I have seen where many are volunteering to help with damage to homes, offering hot showers and meals to those without power, and others taking their own boats into flooded areas to rescue those that were stranded.  As Christians, we have to understand that our actions are our greatest witness.  Many people can quote scriptures at the drop of a hat, but the real question is, can you show them in your life?  As we said when I was growing up, you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?  Times like these give us a real chance to show the love of God that lives inside of us.  Are we taking the chance to share that with those around us?

James 1:22
"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves"

I choose to praise God for this storm that we are living through.  Because I know, that even in the midst of struggle and loss, my God is right there beside me.  He never left my side.  And I know that He has a perfect purpose.  I choose to look for the opportunities He has provided me, instead of looking at all the bad that is around.  I choose to trust in the one who knows what my future holds, and who has ordained all of my steps.  What do you choose?

Thanks for reading, and I pray that God will bless you all!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Feeling Far Away From God?

Life is always full of unexpected turns.  We never know where we are going next, or how we are going to get there.  Along with this journey are times of joy, and times of dread.  It is in the times of dread that we begin to question what is going on in our lives to make it so bad.

I think all of us at one time or another have experienced rough times in our lives and questioned where God was during our suffering.  My response to all believers when I here this question is:

Who moved?

Deuteronomy 31:8
"The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Those that trust in God have nothing to fear from Him leaving us.  When we feel a thousand miles away, we are the ones that have caused that distance.  Not Him.  He is always right there.  We just have to reach out.  His mercy and grace has no end.

So, the next time you feel far away from God, all you have to do is lift your eyes to Him where you are.  I promise, He is right there.

Thanks for reading, and I pray that God will bless you all this week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ready for the Unexpected

Today was an interesting day for me.  Upon reaching work this morning, I arrived to the main office of the school in which I work with an inch of water covering the floors.  Earlier this morning we had a huge downpour, and there were two buildings with water coming in.  I called in an extra custodian, took my dress shirt and tie off, and went to work with a mop and a bucket.  I will say this is not something I was expecting to find when I got to work today.  The other Assistant Principal and I worked for almost two hours with the custodians to get the water out of the office.

Life has a way of throwing us a twist when we are not expecting it.  We just have to be ready, and deal with them as they come.  Something similar happened to Abraham in Genesis 12.

Genesis 12:1-5
"Now the Lord said to Abram, Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse.  And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”  So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan."

Abraham was probably not expecting this when he woke up that morning.  This is even more extraordinary being his advanced years.  However, without question or complaint, he trusted and obeyed God's command.  This is true faith in action.  He did not know exactly what laid ahead of him on this journey, but he had the assurance from God that he would be fine.

Do we have the faith of Abraham when God puts us in unexpected?  Are we ready to serve when called upon?  It is easy in this day and time to make excuses for why we cannot do what God asks of us.  Most of them come in the form of fear, or just plain selfishness.  To combat this, we need to strengthen our faith so that we are ready for whatever comes our way, whenever it comes our way.  To do this we need a healthy prayer life, devoted study time, and focus on the work that God has put before us at the current time.  Hopefully, if we truly work in this manner, we may have a time to shine for God like Abraham did.  What a witness that would be.

Thanks for reading, and I pray that God will bless you all this week!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Am I Too BUSY????

Being that I have not posted any devotions on this blog in over a year, I feel that this may be an appropriate question to ask on this post.  Life has a way of getting in the way of our spiritual walk.  I have personally seen this over the last few years.  My children are in school, I have worked on and completed a Master's Degree (yeah), and my wife has gone back to school to finish a degree after a six year absence from college.  Our lives got real busy, real quick.  This does not include my new job as an Assistant Principal at a high school, and all of the things my children participate in after school.  My wife and I joke about when we will see each other on the weekends.  The question then becomes, have I become too busy for God?

John 15:5-6
 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

Our personal relationship with Christ is a crucial part of our daily lives.  Just like any other relationship, we need to devote time to the other individual to make the relationship a success.  I have been a Christian for almost 20 years now, and I still find that I struggle with devoting quality time with my Savior.  When we do not put in the time for that relationship, it becomes strained and our life is not as fulfilling as God wants it to be.  The same is true in a marriage.  If you want the marriage to work, you have to put the time into it.

So, what is it that we use to fill our time?  Are those things a part of God's plan for my life?  Do we spend an adequate time in study, prayer, and worship?  Hopefully, answering these questions will give you some perspective as it has me.

Thanks for reading, and I pray God blesses you all this week.