“We do it because it’s hard, not because it’s easy,” I heard the speaker say. This statement resonated within me as I thought about my walk with Jesus. I want to be so near the giver of true living (versus existing); and yet, it seems I’m constantly picking myself off the ground.
It’s at times like these that my Father reminds me that I live in a fallen world and have a sin stained flesh, both of which resist change big time! I wish I could be like the pastor who said, “Just stop!” in mimicking an old sitcom TV counselor. I’m glad it works that way for him, but that sure hasn’t been the reality in my life.
Though it’s no easy task to screen out the thousands of voices, including my own, I hear each day to hear and follow the only one that counts, the Shepherd’s (Jn. 10:27); it’s the only task that brings real peace and life.
Yes, it is hard. Yes, it takes a tremendous Spirit empowered faith effort to do it. But as a Jesus lover, what choice do I have, quit? It’s the hope in the promises and truths of Scripture that keep me getting up and trying again as one day He will finish the job He started (Heb. 12:2).
My fellow Jesus sheep, never give up yourself, your Shepherd doesn’t, no matter how hard it gets.
A doctor friend once said, “Doctors are not to cause harm, but they may hurt.” I had to pause and think about that for a moment. Surgeons cause pain when they cut through tissue to fix a problem. Hurt leads to healing. Harm leads to damage.
This brought to mind what the writer of Hebrews stated in 12:6, when he quoted Proverbs 3:11, “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.” The writer goes on to say that God allows challenges as discipline in order to make us more like Jesus or holy.
God allows challenges, hurt, to draw us closer to Him and away from stuff that will damage our lives, sin/harm. Discipline hurts but does no harm. The Proverbs passage goes on to say, “Do not be weary of His reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Challenges are a sign of love. Your loving Father simply wants to cut out the damage of sin to allow the healing of His love to make your life better, which is being like Jesus. Don’t resent challenges, embrace them as a way of surrender.
For years, my daughter heard me answer people who asked, “Are you afraid of going to Israel? Isn’t it dangerous?” My answer was and still is, “No, I’m not afraid as the safest place to be is where God wants me to be.” This doesn’t mean physical harm won’t come. Many in Scripture were physically harmed for following what God told them to do. Yet, I love Jesus and want to walk where He walks. And, if that’s in Israel, then there’s no other place I’d rather be.
My daughter is now faced with the same question. “Are you afraid of being in….” Suffice it to say, it’s a current world hot spot. And her answer, “I know I’m where God wants me to be. I’ve prayed about coming here for years, have tried to get here many times; and finally, I am.” She’s had countless opportunities to share about her love for Jesus.
Yes, as a dad, I want to protect her. But, as I’ve always told my kids, “You have two dads. One, who will fail you and One who will not.” This dad, couldn’t be prouder of my daughter and of the Dad that my daughter is trusting. In these uncertain times, are you?
Implant Parties…no I’m not talking about cosmetic surgeries, but a monthly event at a Swedish company where workers get “chipped” for free. A small chip, the size of a grain of rice (AP photo), is inserted into the fleshy part of the hand, which allows its employees to “open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.”
This implant is not the mark of the beast (see Revelation 13:16), but it is another step towards fulfilling Scripture. You will not be able to buy or sell anything without first declaring loyalty to the Anti-Christ.
Having a Sunday only faith will not prepare you for what’s coming, quite possibly in your lifetime. A little compromise here and a little compromise there and before you know it, you’re part of the future.
Want to know you’ll be ready before something like this choice – to implant or not implant – comes your way? Love Jesus today, which is seen with every choice you make to listen to and follow Jesus. Being involved with a group of people making choices that bring them closer to Jesus in a Bible Impact Group or real church gathering will go a long way to giving you an everyday faith that is prepared to stay loyal to the true Christ…Jesus Christ.
There is a track of land by my house that’s been completely graded and ready for homes to be built. They’ve even put water channels on the hillsides for water to be routed away from the property.
Problem, the property is sitting there gathering weeds. And with the recent rains, these water channels have been filled with two feet of dirt! The next rain will bring serious erosion to these housing pads.
What a picture of our walks with Jesus. We are told to keep in step with the Spirit and to follow Jesus. You’re taking an active part in this journey. If you don’t, you can become like that vacant property – full of weeds and in danger of evil making huge inroads into your life.
Active means being in and with the Word, Jesus. Let Him speak truth into your brain. Active means asking the Spirit for the faith and strength to choose to put those truths into action. Active means filtering out the lies to keep the water channels, your protective shield of faith, operating.
Be active today. Your life depends on it, now and tomorrow.