Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reaffirming your commitment

This year a couple in our church celebrated 15 years of marriage and tomorrow they will reaffirm their commitment to each other by renewing their wedding vows. 

This got me thinking about the commitments we make to God. How many times have we said, "God I promise..." or "God I am committed to..." only to find that those commitments fade and we forget about about the promises made.

Maybe it's time to reaffirm your commitment to God today.

Psalms 37:4-6 says, Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Commit all your ways to God and trust Him to do what is best. He always will!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What are you Expecting?

Disappointment – we all know the feeling of frustrated expectations. We want life to unfold in a certain way, but circumstances refuse to cooperate. God doesn't do what we hoped He would do. He could open a door; instead he sends a detour. What will we do? 

Maybe we begin to play church, pretending to follow God and His ways. Our love for the Lord may grow cold. We may drift, finding faith irrelevant to daily living. 

Whatever the cause and whichever path we follow, part of the solution is to consider how God’s detours lead us to places more glorious than we ever imagined. 

Consider how the people responded when they were finally introduced to the long waited Messiah.

In John 1:29 John see Jesus coming and says, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." In essence John is saying, “You have been looking for the Messiah, well here He is.” 

But as we read through the gospels we see that Jesus, the Messiah,  was rejected time and time again.

The people wanted a Messiah. But a Lamb was not what they expected. They wanted a savior for their success, not a Savior from their sins.

God did not provide what the Jews expected and they rejected the Messiah. 

What doors are you expecting God to open? How will you respond when He sends a detour?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Easy Yoke

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30  NASB)

The yoke was apart of the plow that two oxen put their heads in to pull the plow.

How many of you feel like you are pulling the plow by yourself? Maybe you are.

If you feel tired in your walk with the Lord, maybe you need to be yoked together with Jesus. When you are yoked together with Jesus, He does most of the pulling and you will find rest.

Jesus says, " Take My yoke upon you and...YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS ."

Don't bear the burdens you were never meant to bear alone. Let Jesus bear your burdens and receive the rest He offers.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Endurance for Running

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

These verses were running through my mind this morning during my 9 mile run. Some of you know that I am training to run a marathon. As I thought of these verses this morning, I couldn't help but think of the many comparisons between physical running and spiritual running.

1. We must run unhindered.

"...let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us..."

When I decided I was going to run again, I went out and bought some really nice, light weight running shoes, some light weight running shorts and shirts. I didn't want any extra weight to slow me down while I was running. 

In our spiritual race we must make sure that we get rid of the things that slow is down and keep us from running the way God intended. That certainly involves getting rid of the sin in our lives, but it also means that anything, even "good things", which distract us from being all that God wants us to be.

2. We must have endurance.

"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..."

A marathon is 26.2 miles. The longest I have run in my training is 9 miles, but  if I go out and sprint the first mile, I will never be able to finish the race, not the best I can anyway. I need to slow my pace down and run to finish well.

In our spiritual race it is not about starting the race well, but finishing well. Often times when we first come to Christ we are very excited, but if we are not careful, we lose the excitement and do not finish the race well.

3. We must keep our eyes on Jesus.

"...fixing our eyes on Jesus..."

While I run, I wear a GPS watch. This helps me to know how far I have run, how long I have been running, and what pace I am running. This goes back to the endurance aspect. I am able to run and run well if I can stay on pace.

In John chapter 1 Jesus is referred to as "The Word" and in Psalms 119:105 it tells us that the Word is a "lamp" and a "light". Keeping our eyes on Jesus helps us to stay on the right path and run the right pace. 

It is important to me to run well, both physically and spiritually. 

How are you running your race?