Sunday, October 25, 2015

A2G: When Second Place Beats First!

Imagine yourself ready to run a race for the gold medal.  You know you are the fastest person on the track and that the next fastest runner will have a tough time beating you.  The race is already won in your mind, but then the next fastest runner comes to you and asks you to let him win.  Imagine your reaction; perhaps you might respond with no way, are you nuts, what drugs are you on, or why in the world would I let you win?  It seems irrational to have someone ask you to be second when you know you can be first, but that is precisely what Christ is asking each of us to do.  

When we surrender ourselves to Christ, we take a step of faith conceding He needs to be first and we need to be second.  His word teaches us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, that it is not by our will but by his will, that we are to surrender to the Lord and wait patiently on him, and that we can trust his purpose without understanding the circumstances.  When we put him in the first place we confidently believe that regardless of what may come, we will be victorious.  The trick is to step out of first place and into second, recognizing that in Christ second place is first!  Just a little advice to go!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How Much Is Too Much?

How much is too much?  How much can any one person bear?  When trouble comes your way do you find yourself asking the question, how much more can I take?  If you do, let me provide a synopsis of the troubles Job faced.  Job was a blessed man with all that one could desire.  He had wealth, a healthy family, and a wonderful relationship with the Lord.  Life was good.  Satan took particular note of this and declared to God that Job's faithfulness was due to the many blessings God bestowed on him.  God took the opportunity to honor Job and his faithfulness by allowing Satan to take away all the blessing so long as he did not take his life.

Satan, proceeded to cause Job to lose his wealth, his workers, his loved ones, and all he possessed. Job's world was turned upside down for no apparent reason and he struggled to understand why God would allow this.  He battled the same as much of us; through self doubt, self pity, the "why me" syndrome, and the fear that can overcome us when bad news comes.  He quickly learned his friends were more interested in blaming him for his misfortune than supporting him, finding himself challenged to dismiss their input and not allow them to cause him to turn away from God.

In the end, Job learned trusting God was all he had to do.  His willingness to stand up for God and to remain faithful enabled him to exit from his misfortunes into God's renewed blessings.  He learned what we all all need to learn; there is never too much for us to bear so long as we remain stedfast in our faith and love for God.  He will never leave us or forsake us, all we need to do is stay the course and he will multiply our blessing beyond what we can imagine much as he did for Job.  Just a little advice to go!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Faith Always Trumps Works!

This morning as I read and caught up on some of my devotional readings, God reminded me that it is not how hard I work at applying His teachings to my daily living practices that matters most.  It is my commitment to simply believe, without evidence of his existence that He is truly God!  Wow!

How often do we pray for God to reveal himself to us in some way and often He does.  But the reality is this request is without merit as he does not have to reveal Himself, we simply need to practice faith.  The bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 the following:  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  It goes on in the same chapeter, verse 6 to say: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

In the end, it is our commitment to believe in God's existence regardless of any evidence of it, that truly defines us as believers.  If you are like me, someone who has always been taught to find the evidence and proof of the truth; to get the facts (my law enforcement training), then you need to remember this does not apply to our faith in God.  When it comes to Him, we simply believe!  Just a little advice to go!