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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me.

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

In any given day there are numerous things that are apt to trouble our hearts. I found it interesting that in the gospel of John where Jesus is comforting His disciples that He mentions, Let not your hearts be troubled, twice in the same chapter. It is obviously a message that Jesus wants to hit home.

The disciples are given horrible news, their beloved Jesus will soon be leaving them, at this point they don't understand the magnitude of what he is saying, what to expect, or how to handle it. They are probably feeling distraught and grieved over the fact that Jesus won't be around to guide them and teach them and lead them any more. Though Jesus acknowledges their sadness He doesn't want it to consume them. He tells them to trust God and Himself. He gives them a promise of peace. not worldly peace but inner peace, A peace of assurance that all will work out if they keep there eyes and and trust on God. He says to not be afraid, God has it covered, they could not know what was to come but God did and does. His apostles ask " How can we know that what you say will happen?" Jesus answers very plainly that if they can't take Him at his word that they could look to the miracles He had performed. Basically saying haven't you been watching, listening and experiencing the very power of God within me? The Apostles saw these miracles first hand and STILL had a hard time believing that what Jesus said was as good as gold!

Our hearts can become troubled by many things, but we must keep in mind that God works all things for the good of those who love and place their trust in Him.(Romans 8:28) This doesn't mean a removal of suffering,pain, hurt, disappointment, or difficulties, but a guarantee of strength to get through it, when we choose to cling to Jesus through it. And what awaits on the other side is more peace, understanding, and opportunity to witness the goodness of the Lord.

How many times have we gone through difficulties in our lives, A death, unruly children, depression, marital discord, anger, abuse and on and on the list could go? What got us through. When we arrived on the other side what was it like? where did you gain your strength? We all have a choice how we will deal with life's disappointments? Some of us choose things that, though for the moment make us feel good, in the long run, cause us to suffer even more, like addictions, isolation, revenge, grudges, anger, etc... But Jesus says He and His Father are the only way. I am the way the truth and the life. (John 14:6).

My prayer for us today and everyday is that we make Jesus the focal point in our lives, facing all of life through the filter of His love. Seeking Him, growing in faith and celebrating that He has come so that we would have the opportunity to know Him on a deeper, more intimate level.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Giants In Your Land

I'm reading a book right now called "Embracing Your Freedom" by Susie Larson(an excellent book by the way) In this particular part, it was talking about reclaiming the stolen areas of your life due to fear. Susie gave the analogy of a basketball team that had practiced for an important game, they knew their stuff and were on the court and ready. When the other team stepped onto the court the first team just looked at eachother in defeat, this other team were seemingly from the land of the giants. Fear welled up in the team who had practiced and was ready, they were ready to give up before they had even begun...until their coach yelled to them to look at him, and told them to remember they are ready, they had practiced, they knew the drills...now play. they played their hearts out keeping focus on what they knew and ran circles around the mammoth team. (so here's what came to my mind)

Are there Giants in your land?
Threatening to take you down?
It's faith in God that helps you stand.
Bringing those Giants to the ground.

Look at Him... You know the drill!
Don't let those Giants cause distraction.
Do what you know... Follow His will.
With eyes on Him, spring into action.

Your equipped to win the fight.
It's for this moment you've been groomed.
Use what you've practiced...You know what's right.
Trust God in the battle, till every Giant is consumed.

Your strength does not come from your size
But from the One whom you believe.
He makes your courage grow inside,
When His direction you choose receive.

What are your Giants?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eyes On Jesus

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,the author and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1–3

How do I throw off that which hinders?
When it clings to me like glue?
When the sin that easily entangles
Masquerades as what is true?

How do I run with perseverance,
The race marked out for me?
Fixing my eyes on Jesus,
Is the only solution I can see.

When my eyes are focused on the Son,
And my mind is set on Him.
The perfect faith that Jesus authored,
Lives in me and chases sin.

For the joy of my salvation
He endured the suffering of the cross,
Scorned it's shame and took His place,
At the right hand of God, The Boss.

I think of Him, and what He did
To free me from my chains,
Just so I would not lose heart
Or grow weary in my pains.

How can You love me that much Jesus?
The sinner that I am.
That you would shed your blood for me
As a sacrificial lamb?

I surely don't deserve this gift
But accept it gratefully.
Humbly I receive Your grace
And my faith is set on thee.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

When I Am Weak...Then I Am Strong...

Hand In Hand

Wandering in desolation
Hopeless with despair
Couldn't see through darkness
Caught in evil's snare.

Entangled by the lies
Coiled up in sin
Engulfed by sheer deception
Advancing for the win.

I call out to my God
Reaching toward the sky
God puts His hand in mine
Quieting my cry.

God sees me in my weakest state
Renews me with His strength
Reclaims the land I've lost to sin
He goes to every length.

To assure my life in Him's restored
That I may rest secure
Under the shelter of His wings
Till I'm strong enough to soar.

He leads me by still waters
Walking hand in hand
He gently helps untangle sin
Helping me to stand.

I thank You God, that when I'm weak
I find my strength in you.
Your loving hand sustains me
in all I'm going through.

2 Corinthians 12:10 - That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stumbling Blocks To Stepping Stones

Obstacles, stumbling blocks, pitfalls appear
Seemingly out of nowhere, instilling great fear.
Will we clear them, or fear them?
Will they cause us to fall?
Can we maneuver around them?
Avoiding their call?

Blind sided, hidden, strategically placed,
These holes in the road of life must be faced.
Will we keep to ourselves or take hold of God's grace?
Will we stay in the pit, wrought with worry and shame.
Or let God's hand lift us
Back into the game?

Obstacles, stumbling blocks, pitfalls and such,
Can turn into stepping stones, used as a crutch.
To aid in the climb from the pit we are in
Helping to lead us away from our sin.
God sent His Son, Jesus to give us a lift,
Out of darkness to light, with His ultimate gift.

Isaiah 49:11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up.

Isaiah 57:14 [ Comfort for the Contrite ] And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."

John 16:33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."