Friday, April 11, 2014

If You Feel Persecuted, You Are Not Alone!

Perhaps you are experiencing a level of criticism and attack from friends, family, or co-workers and are wondering, why me?  Jesus tells us in the book of John, Chapter 20, verse 15 that "if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."  Yes, living for Jesus doesn't free you from persecution.  I won't walk you through the many biblical leaders persecuted for their faith in God or service to Christ.  Too many were persecuted and killed simply because they believed.

Saul once hunted believers down, judging them guilty and executing them on the spot; talk about persecution.  God transformed Saul the persecutor into Paul the promoter who would take the lead in spreading Christianity to many and in the end, he would suffer persecution up to his death.  Because of his leadership a number of churches were planted and numerous church leaders were developed helping to spread the gospel.  He would go on to author 14 of the 27 books of the new testament helping memorialize the story of Christ for all to read.  He was a Jew who converted to Christianity but used his Roman citizenship to overcome the obstacles and persecutions he faced as he lived a life of service to Christ.

Like Paul, we as believers are not exempt from persecution and for some that persecution can even result in death, yet they continue to preach the gospel come what may.  We must recognize, as difficult as it may seem, persecution as a reality of our faith remembering the attacks and the consequences do not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father.  He assures us in the end, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and he will never leave us or forsake us.  In Christ, we can do all things and focusing on Him will help us overcome any attack of the enemy.  Feeling persecuted, simply call on Jesus and He will take it from there!  Keep on Keepin on! Just a little advice to go!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Live the Gift of Life!

Recently I participated in a basic yoga training class, a gift from a friend.  The first thing they taught was the importance of controlling how I breathe.  Sounded silly at first but little by little I began to practice controlling my breathing; taking deep steady slow breaths learning to relax my body, making it easier to focus my mind and thoughts.  I thought of Adam, the first man God created and how he breathed life into his body.  His lungs expanded and posture straightened as he began his first day of life, exploring all that surrounded him.  How awesome!

God spoke to my heart reminding me to take the time to slow down, breathe deeply, straighten up, relax and look around.  Like Adam, I began to notice the awesomeness of all that God has created the natural world that surrounds me.  Acknowledging the awesomeness of all that breathes and lives is important and requires that we stop, take a deep breath, relax, and open our eyes wide.  Value each moment of each day and celebrate the gift of life.  Love and care for those God has placed near to your heart, they are a gift to be valued and cared for.  Live!   Just a little advice to go!