Hot on your Heels

precWltWhat’s coming up fast chasing you? Monsters? Your past failures? Bill collectors? Family members?

Well, if you’re in Christ, the Word of God makes it clear something very Good is coming up fast behind you.

Isaiah 51:11 Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (NIV)

Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)

Throw off the Weights- Spending time with the Lord

precIltIf you’re like me,  your time is consumed by all the busy ways of modern life, work, chores, events, family.  I really don’t spend enough time with the Lord to listen to Him and read His word in the Bible.  But this is something we must do.  It is a matter of priority.  If you are a believer in Christ, then by Christ we are the daughter and sons of God, and we are commanded to spend time with Him.

Paul, in Hebrews 12 exhorts

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

The term “everything that hinders”  in this verse in the original Greek is “ogkos” and this means a burden and heavy weight.  This includes our worries and the many “to dos” we have.  It is good to be responsible and a good worker, but let’s remember the Lord is more important than these things.  One hundred years from now, you and other people won’t care about today’s “to dos”  But I can guarantee you that you wish you had spent more dedicated time with the Lord.  Spending time with the Lord is an eternal investment.

A Word of Encouragement

Are you low?  Does this statement resonate with you? “For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draws close unto the grave.”  Psalm 88 begins with this statement, and it clearly written by someone pouring out their heart to God in a time of deep despair and affliction.  But there is a word of encouragement in this Psalm.  I invite you to listen to this three minute audio message on how this Psalm spoke to me during my hard times.

 

Listen to: Word of Encouragement (mp3)

Remember what God has done for you

Yes, I’m in the midst of another crises – this one of employment and career. There are many pressures and worries that are attacking my mind and many hurts that have cut my heart. However, the fact remains is God is in control and he loves us.  It’s good during these times to remember all the ways God has come through for us in the past. This time is no exception. Consider this Psalm of David:

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. – Psa 103:2-6 NIV

The fact is we can’t live life alone.  We would have been destroyed and killed a long time ago without His help.  God will fight for you, but he wants your trust.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
– Exodus 14:14 NIV

God leads us into impossible situations

With all the relationship trials and other tribulations, you are no doubt looking forward to God bringing you out of the trials.  But did you know he brings us into trials?  But God will have a victory, and your testimony of faith is what he wants.

James MacDonald looks at the famous story of how the Israelites were brought out of Egypt right into a situation where they were blocked between the might of Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea.  God lead them right into a dead end, before he delivered them with a miracle.  The fact of the matter is God leads us into our problem as part of His plan.  It is a hard thought that a good God would lead us right into trouble, but it is our faith and trust that he wants.  He is in complete control and will lead us out in His time.

Audio – James MacDonald – I am your victory

 

Putting on the full armor of God – everyday

My friend LA Marzulli has a great mini-sermon about taking seriously a critical element of the Christian life – putting the full armor of God.  We are living in a fallen world, full of all kinds of influences and attacks, physical, emotional, and spiritual.  Keeping Ephesians 6:13-17 in mind everyday is critical, and having peace in the daily chaos is possible!

Listen to this brief audio- LA Marzulli on putting on the full armor of God (mp3 – 4 min.)

 

 

 

Hope from your failure

The sting of failure hurts.  In relationships, in our career, in ministry there is often failure.  The harder we work, or the more we pray, it seems the more we can miss the mark.  Then there are the expectations we have of burdens and hopes we’ve prayed months or years about only to see things not progress or even get worse.  Dear ones, everyone experiences this discouragement, and  including the giants of faith, such as Moses, Elijah, David Livingston and, most importantly, Jesus.  God does take us down roads where things get worse before they get better.  But the accusations of failure are the lie from the pit of hell.

Isaiah 49:4 Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;
Yet surely my just reward [is] with the LORD, And my work with my God.’ “

 So give a listen to David Wilkerson’s great sermon:

Audio: “I Have Labored in Vain: A Message for All Who Carry a Sense of Failure

Here’s the text of the sermon as well.

 Learn of the Hope in God amid a temporary sense of failure.

He’s greater than you

John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Not only is Christ greater than the world around us, He is greater than ourselves  in our weakness.  He is building a new person inside of us; a new person and yes a new personality.

So as  we stumble at times in our lives with broken relationships and job (or lack thereof)  pressures, the wilderness journey will be fraught with impossible battles only the Lord can solve.   If you are saved in Christ, you have the Holy Spirit of God living inside of you.  Invite him to take over, don’t listen to the old voices of failure, for the Lord can and will do great things for others through you.  For “Philippians 1:6: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

 

Don’t take the easy way out

The Lord spoke a strong word tonight via a  sermon he directed me to.  David Wilkerson’s “Standing Steadfast in Christ” spoke about not seeking the easy way out.  As the Lord shows us in scripture through nature, those who choose to avoid conflict, people and the inevitable fires of life will suffer spiritual apathy.  It’s clear my trials at work and at home most be met head on with the grace of Christ.  So “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” combined with the fact Christ will see me through my storms outside and my emotional pains within is absolutely necessary for me to grow.

And growing means not focusing on my own self but on how I can serve Christ and others.  Wilkerson reminds us of Peter, who after he returned to the Lord and the risen Christ told him “Do you love me?  Feed my sheep?”

Lord, help all who read this know that we must face life with your grace to grow and bear fruit for you.  Let us not shrink from the spiritual battles at home and at work, but let us focus on helping the least and the lost of this world, in Jesus name.

Listen to Standing Steadfast in Christ>>