Friday, January 28, 2011

Faith that overcomes discouragement

Last night I had the privilege of screening a new movie that will be released in theaters on April 8th. The movie is called Soul Surfer. 

It is a true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and through her faith in God overcame discouragement and defeat to become a champion surfer once again.

As I watched the movie I couldn't help but think of  the "sharks" in my own life that would try to steal my joy. It is all too easy to become discouraged when my plans don't go my way. But it is during those times that I have to remember that God's ways are not my ways.

God has a wonderful plan for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

So do you have enough faith to trust that God knows what He is doing, even when things don't make sense?

To see the trailer for Soul Surfer, click HERE

To meet the real Bethany Hamilton, click HERE

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Part of the Body are you?

I've been preaching through Nehemiah and this last Sunday we were in Nehemiah 3. Now if you read through that chapter you will find that it is filled with a lot of difficult names to pronounce. But you will also notice that with every name there is a description of the job that person did as they rebuilt the wall together.

This reminds me of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

You can read the whole passage here.

Basically what Paul is saying and what Nehemiah understood, is that we are all different and all have a job to do. 

Just like our physical body has ears that hear, eyes that see, and feet that walk. The body of Christ has different parts that perform different functions. 

When was the last time you said, "Boy I wish I could see with my feet, or smell with my ears." Nor do we say, "I wish I was one large foot, or one large eye."

Diversity isn't just an accidental attribute of the human body, it's all part of God design. And the same is true when it comes to the body of Christ. We are all different and have different jobs to do. God designed it that way!

So the question has to be, "What role will you play?", "What member of the body are you?", How will you help to make the body what it ought to be?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Are You Successful?

How do you define success?

Webster's Dictionary defines success this way: (1) Favorable or desired outcome; (2) The attainment of wealth, favor, or a position of prominence or superiority.

I believe a better definition and a biblical definition would be: Finding and doing the will of God for your life, for the glory of God.

How often we look at others around us who have more money then we do, are more popular that we are, or who have reached a certain level of prominence and we think, "if only I could be like them or have the things they have, then I would be successful".

I guess it all depends on your perspective. Do you want to be considered successful in the eyes of the world? Then yes you need to have money, friends, and prominence. But if you want to be considered successful in the eyes of God, all you need to do if follow His plan for your life and do it for His glory.

Are you ready to be successful in God's eyes? Seek Him and His plan for your life, then do it with all your heart for the glory of God.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Waiting on the Lord

I remember as a child singing the song "Have Patience".

Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient
You only start to worry
Remember, remember that God is patient, too
Just think of all the times when others
Have to wait for you.

This song immediately came to my mind this week as I was studying Nehemiah 2. 

If you read my blog last week, you will remember that Nehemiah received some bad news in chapter 1 and as a result he was burdened for the people of Jerusalem and began to pray and seek the Lord as to what he could do.

Now as chapter 2 opens, it has been four months of waiting on the Lord and finally God gives Nehemiah the ok to proceed with the plans.

How about you? Have you been seeking God about a problem or a concern, only to have God say, "wait"?

We need to learn to have enough faith to wait on the Lord. Perhaps God is preparing you for something big or perhaps He is preparing someone else to join you in the plans He has for you. Either way it is better to wait on the Lord and His timing then to do things on our own.

Psalms 27:14 - Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.  (NASB)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The "TATER" Family

Have you met the TATER family? Let me introduce you.

Some people never seem motivated to participate, but are just content to watch while others do the work. They are called Spec Taters.

Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others do the work. They are called Comment Taters.

Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but don’t want to soil their own hands. They are called Dick Taters.

Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too sweet. They are called Agie Taters.

There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get around to actually doing the promised help. They are called Hezzie Taters.

Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are not. They are called Emma Taters.

Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will. They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others. They are called Sweet Taters.

One thing I have discovered as I am preaching through the book of Nehemiah, is that Nehemiah was one who cared.

God doesn't saved us just so that we can slide through life watching everyone else do all the work. God calls us to get involved and make a difference.

Read Nehemiah 1 this week and see if God just might be calling you to make a difference in someones life this week.

God is still looking for people who care, people like Nehemiah, who cared enough to ask for the facts, weep over the needs, pray for God's help, and then volunteer to get the job done.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What are your New Year's Plans?

We are now 5 days into 2011. Have you made any New Years resolutions? Have you kept them so far? Many people make New Years resolutions, here are some of the more popular ones:

Getting into Shape
Getting More Organized
Giving up Bad Habits
Get out of Debt
Spend More Time with Family

What ever your New Year's resolutions many be, keep in mind the reason why we do the things we do.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says. Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NASB)

Are you glorifying God with the things you do?

Have a happy new year!