Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How We Dress

How we dress can say a lot about who we are. Some people like to dress extravagantly. Others dress more conservatively. There was one lady in our church who used to wear these beautiful hats. There are others who wouldn’t wear a hat if you paid them. All this said, it shows us that we are each unique in how we dress. For the most part, we have much freedom in how we dress.

In the spiritual realm we have a way that we are called to dress, and we should be diligent in dressing this way every day! We read about it in Ephesians 6:10-17, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Just as a soldier wouldn’t go out to battle without putting on his armor, so we too must wear our armor. We do this because ‘our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ We need to understand that we are indeed in a battle. Satan is at work, trying to deceive us, and dissuade us from God’s truth. If we stand strong, dressed in the armor of God, we can be victorious each and every day! Blessings.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why Are You Telling Me This?

When I was in school I know I thought it of the teachers, and now that my children are in school they think it as well: Why are you telling me this? Hasn’t every child, at some point in there life, wondered why they have to go to school and listen to the teacher tell them all these facts?

One reason why we wonder this is because we think that we don’t need to learn much to be happy in life. But as I tell my children, if you continued to age, but didn’t learn anything more than you know now, you would struggle to get by in life as the years went by!! Learning is one of the fundamental purposes of our lives. This is why God has given us the kind of functioning brain that we have. There are many scriptures that teach us this, but one good one is from Proverbs 3:13, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.”

Second, at some point in life (for most of us it is around 12 or 13), we get to that point where we think we know everything. So we think: Why are you telling me this? Especially when we feel like we know it already. But we are reminded that we are to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

The truth is, we don’t know it all, but God does. Because we are God’s children, God’s followers, we can receive wisdom from God, which will help us in the way we live our lives, respond to others, and be prepared for the uncertainties of life. In John chapter 15 Jesus told the disciples that He considered them friends, because He was telling them how He was going to die and be raised to life and be waiting for them in heaven.

Know that Jesus is your friend, and that the things of the Bible are told to us so that we might have life abundantly. With this in mind, let us be wise in how we live, and thank God for all that He tells us. Blessings.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making the Most of Gross Things

Our blog group has some interesting and challenging topics. As I thought about this week’s subject, I remembered a verse we were studying at our Wednesday Bible study from Isaiah 14:11, “All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.” This verse is talking about the judgment God will bring upon Babylon for their wickedness. Of course, when you reside in the grave, maggots and worms will be your company! As we read it we talked about how gross that would be.

But the truth is, this reality came upon Babylon by their own wrong behavior. And the truth is, many of the “gross” and messy things in our lives happen because of our bad choices. How are we to make the most of the “gross things” in our lives? The truth is, it is difficult on our own, but with God’s help it can happen. As we are told in Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God can take the gross and messy parts of our lives and bring good out of it!

This whole concept can sound trite. It can seem like just a pleasant thought that isn’t reality. But those of us who have walked in this truth, and trusted God, have seen God do great and wonderful things in and through our lives in the midst of the struggles we have experienced. Relationships are restored; financial struggles fixed; gloom turned to joy…and on it goes.

To make the most of gross things we really need to give them to the Lord, and trust that God will act. This is a truth that is real. Sincerely believe, and you will see. Blessings.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

You’re Making it Too Difficult

Today we had a heater repairman come to the church to look at our heaters. The last couple of weeks the heaters have worked some, but not worked consistently. Of course this is an issue because it has been extra cold these days. After looking over the heaters and the system, the repairman decided that the problem was a faulty thermostat. Even when the heaters came on, which was a big maybe, they would only stay on for a while before they shut off. As he looked at our thermostat he noticed that it was a fancy one, which could be programmed for the days and times you want it to come on. The truth is, we only turn our sanctuary heaters on from 8:30 a.m. until around 10 a.m. in the winter months. We didn’t need a programmable thermostat. We were making it too difficult. So he changed out the old thermostat for a newer, simpler one. You set the temperature, turn the heat on, and voila, you have heat!

I think too many people make their spiritual life too difficult as well. We think to be spiritual we have to know the Bible inside and out. We think we have to give up our job and become a missionary. We think we have to go into “full time” ministry mode. That is not true. I think it is a simple process. In the book of Joshua, 24:15, Joshua says: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Simply put, Joshua was making a commitment to the Lord. Joshua was saying that he was determined to live for the Lord. That is what the Lord desires. Or as Micah 6:8 says: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” God wants us to commit to seeking Him each day, so that we will do what is good, love others, and walk in humility. So, let’s not make it too difficult; just walk with the Lord. Blessings.