Wednesday, December 30, 2015
There are a lot of great books that have been written on success and how to achieve it. Andy Andrews recently came to town and he does offer a fresh perspective on how to be successful. But out of all the books that I have read the number one principle for success is this: Seek God’s kingdom first for your life. Jesus taught his disciples this: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) This principle can be seen at work even in the Old Testament. King David was a man after God’s own heart and he sought the Lord in everything and when he didn’t we know of his sin it is written out for us in the Scripture. King Solomon who followed his father King David, walked with the Lord but then strayed from the Lord and the Lord disciplined him. Now after these two kings there are two phrases that will catch a person’s eye when reading 2 Chronicles. Those kings who did not seek the Lord and did not experience success will have this phrase in common: ‘And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.’ (2 Chronicles 12:14) So those kings who did not seek the Lord did not experience God’s blessings or his presence, instead they experienced his discipline and in most cases and untimely death. But there are other kings in King David’s line who sought the Lord and they experienced God’s success. King Abijah called on the Lord as did his son, King Asa in time. This is written about King Asa, ‘And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.’ (2 Chronicles 14:2) The key to having success in your life is seeking the Lord. Let me explain, when you are seeking the Lord, remember you are seeking a relationship with a person, his name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Second, to experience success, you will want to bring your heart in line with what’s on his heart. In another word’s you will want to do His agenda and not yours each day. Third, we must take responsibility for what the Lord has entrusted to us. This encompasses your whole life not just a portion of it. So how do we bring our heart in line with what’s on God’s heart, how do we seek this relationship with the Lord and take responsibility with what he has entrusted to us? Spend time with him daily in his Word. If you have never read the Bible before, start in John’s Gospel. If you would like to learn more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ this year I invite you to attend a local Church this Sunday. If you have a question just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, December 18, 2015
Today I want to share my heart with you concerning God's love for us. This one verse of Scripture really captures it all, 'He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? What type of love is this that God just pours out on us. The type of love that God pours out on us from heaven is better than any parent's that we could receive. It is in his nature to give you and me the best. Everything he wants for you is the best that you can have. It is in his nature and character to do so. The best part of his love for you is that he is always present to give you and me help. Some people struggle this time of year when God is present to help them. So if you are struggling with life this holiday season you are not alone millions of people struggle along with you. Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden mankind has struggled with life because of the separation that has taken place between God and man. Life was not intended to be this way. God gave Adam and Eve freedom of choice. Choices have consequences. Adam and Eve’s choice led to humanity being born separated from God. The good news is that the Lord gave a promise in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” God was able through this promise to restore the relationship between himself and his creation. This promise was fulfilled when Jesus Christ was born, laid down his life for the sin of mankind and rose again on the third day. This gift of salvation is available for all to receive. This gift of salvation is a gift that not only saves us from sin but also the presence of the Lord through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The Lord is present in your daily life’s struggles. Even the Apostle Paul knew what it was to struggle in life. He explains his struggle here, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 ESV) When the Lord says to you, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” how does that make you feel? Understanding the meaning of this passage will help you in your struggle. In the New Testament, the word grace comes from the same Hebrew word hesed, which means tender mercies, steadfast love, loving kindness that are new every morning. So this gift of grace is sufficient. This is enough to see you through. His presence and power in your life will see you through the struggles of life. Israel had to learn to depend on the Lord after the exodus from Egypt. So in Exodus 16 we read about the manna. The people had to learn to depend on the Lord, that his presence and provision was enough for the day. Just imagine if you will that each day in your life God has provided himself, his presence and power to see you through the struggles of the day.