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Encourage, Challenge, Inspire

Complicating The Message Of Jesus

Last night at Good Friday service they showed a short, yet very powerful video. It grabbed me and shook me to the core. It stated everything that I already know about what happened to Jesus in such a way, that has re-energized me. It has been a renewing of my spirit.

It simply broke down what happened to Jesus in the last hours of his life. He was betrayed by a friend. He was arrested and denied by a friend. He was mocked and beaten. He had a crown of thorns place on His head.  Nails pierced His hands and feet to hold Him to the cross he would be crucified on. After all of this happens, He utters the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Even until His dying breath, Jesus is looking out for us. He is preaching His message of forgiveness till the very end.

It made me realize that we can make it so complicated sometimes what Jesus did for us. We can let are own personal feelings dictate how we act, but that isn’t following His example. That isn’t showing the world how we are different.

If we truly believe in what the Bible teaches us about Jesus, then we need to forgive. I am not saying it is easy, look at what happened to Jesus in the end and He still forgave. I know some will say it was different because He was God. Okay, there are plenty examples out there of people who have lost someone or something, and have shown forgiveness.

Tomorrow is Easter, the day of His resurrection. Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone you need to share the message of Jesus with?

Let us show the world why we believe, let us the light shinning into the darkness.

Focus over Balance

If you are like me you usually have way to many things on your plate. You are trying to balance work, family, friends, activities, projects and so on. It isn’t easy to always make sure you give enough attention to everything you are do so there is balance. Well I’m personally am not a fan of the popular phrase “Work-life balance”. In no way does it provide any peace to my life.

The word balance means a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. That makes it sound easy doesn’t? But, if you picture a balance scale with all you have going on in life split between the two sides so that they are equal, that is a bit more challenging isn’t it.

So what are the correct proportions for all the things that you do in your life? How can you give each item enough of your time and energy? I know that there are many books out there on this topic and they probably go into extensive detail on how to balance your life. I am just not interested in some balance method, I am choosing to focus. Focus my life on the plans that God has for me.

Now I am sure there are people who will say that it is an easy way out of dealing with life by saying I will follow God’s plan for my life. I don’t think it could be farther from truth. If it was easy to do I believe more of us would do it.

To focus in on what He has planned for me and not all the things I want to do with my life is a struggle, but one that I know is worth it. The choices I end up making with be more meaningful. I will not be looking just to please myself.

The more I pray and stay in His word the easier it get’s to see what He has planned out for me.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

 

 

 

Using The Gifts You Were Given

We have just come off the Christmas holiday, a time where we exchange gifts with family, friends, co-workers and so on. Some of the gifts may be unwrapped but not even opened yet. Whatever the reason, they remain there in the package. We might not even use the gift until the next time we see the person that gave it to us.

Sometimes we are just too scared to use the gift that was given to us, because we don’t feel worthy of it. I’m not talking about that over the top gift you received, I’m talking about the gifts God has given to us through the Holy Spirit.

Everyone who has put there trust in Jesus has been filled with the Holy Spirit who gives each of us unique gifts to use. Some of those gifts can be wisdom, faith, healing, shepherding, hospitality, and giving. These gifts help draw us closer to God.

Use of the gifts will also allow us to help others draw nearer to God. We are the hands and feet of the church, and God uses us to carry out his mission. We don’t have to worry about when or how we will use the gifts, we simply need to follow the prompts of the Spirit.

Next time you are thinking that how can this world be a better place, why doesn’t God step in and fix things. Remember that God has chosen to work through us. He has even equipped us for the mission. No matter what your gift is, it was given to you for a purpose because you were created with a purpose.

God works through his people who work-Perry Noble

Don’t Fear Worship

 

 

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Why is it that when people go to church they hold back during worship? What is it that makes them feel uncomfortable worshiping God?

I know that some people feel they don’t have a great singing voice and they don’t want to embarrass themselves. Trust me I don’t have the world’s greatest voice, as much as I wish that I did, I don’t. I don’t let it stop me from worshiping. I like to keep these Psalms in mind, Psalm 95:1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation(ESV)! Or Psalm 84:1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises(ESV). There a numerous scripture passages that talk about singing, and praising God. It is something we are called to do.

Now we shouldn’t just do it out of commitment because that probably means that our heart isn’t in it. That is though a part of worship, getting our heart ready to hear from him. Sometimes we just have to let go of whatever is holding us back.

Also we are not doing this for others to see or hear, but for us to connect with God. I know for myself when I just go through the motions of worship, I don’t have a good encounter with God when the message is preached. When I let spirit lead me in worship, man is my encounter with God so much better.

It is not about how great of a singer you are, God doesn’t focus on that. He just wants you as he made you to sing out to Him, to connect with Him, so he can fill you up with his love.

I encourage you the next time you are at church worshiping to maybe sing a little louder, open your hands with you palms facing up, close your eyes and feel His presence. What ever it is that you do, let the spirit lead you.

 

 

Stop Digging That Hole

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I’ve heard a saying a few times recently that just makes so much sense. “If you want to get out of a hole, stop digging”. This is one of those simple but profound statements, that when you sit and think about it your like “well duh that makes perfect sense”.

What is the hole that you are digging for yourself right now? Do you even know if you are digging yourself into a hole? Maybe it’s time to take some time to sit and evaluate your life, or maybe have someone that you really trust help you do it.

We all have something in our life that we just keep doing that just has no benefit to us. Most of the time it is an escape from something else that we don’t want to face. Until we face it and name it we can never stop digging and get out of the holes that have been created.

Escaping to things of this word will always leave us empty and searching for something to fill us up. The thing is that we will never be content with all the stuff we do while trying to fill a void in our lives. There is only one thing, one person that can fill that void, and that is Jesus.

Once we take all the holes we have dug to Him, He will show us how to stop digging and fill them up. He will give us the purpose in our lives that we are looking for.

No matter how big you think the hole you have dug is and can’t be filled, Jesus is able to fill it and than some.

Matthew 11:28-30   28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Psalm 16:10-11   10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life;  you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Proverbs 3:5-7  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

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