Throw out the Old Testament and keep Act I in play.
The Bible is one book with one message written by One Author. Therefore, here is another statement that should never come off a Jesus believer’s lips – the Old Testament.
There is no such thing as an Old Testament. No, the Bible is a two act play with the same message: God loves each person and wants a personal relationship with them. This message is seen in both Act I and Act II.
For example, Act I Scene Psalm 71:19-24 states that God uses life’s challenges to make us more like Him, which results in joy and praising Him for doing it. Our God takes broken people and heals/saves/makes them whole. Act II Scene Hebrews 12:7-11 says the exact same thing. God uses challenges to make broken people whole, which results in praise.
We have a God who is the same yesterday, as He is today and will be for an eternity full of tomorrows.
This is why the Israelite nation could sing, “Give thanks to the LORD for His love endures forever” as they were marching into battle. They were told the battle belonged to God, who would bring about the victory. All they had to do was count on God to be God in the midst of that battle.
Give thanks for today’s challenges. Your God is in the change life business. He’s done it before and you can count on Him to do it again…in your life.
The following phrase should be stricken from the mouth of a Jesus follower, “I don’t do that because I’m a Christian.” This statement is so far off the mark, it’s pathetic. Why? It’s simply not true!
God Himself calls our relationship with Him a covenant or an agreement of love, not a list of dos and don’ts. He shows us how to chart a course through life that will keep us from crashing onto the rocks of disappointment, despair and disillusionment.
He created the world; and thus, knows how it works. Thus, His life course will be the only way to experience true and lasting love, significant and security. He also knew that once Adam and Eve made their disastrous choice to navigate life apart from Him, the rest of us would follow their ill-fated course.
Therefore, He wrote down that agreement in black and white. He states that if we choose to stay true to His course, we will be protected and provided for in ways we could never anticipate until we get to the other side of the choice we must make. That’s His agreement or covenant with us.
And this agreement is made in love, which means His ways always have our best interest in mind – even if steering His way doesn’t feel right or seem logical to us at the moment. They will work.
So what should a believer in Jesus say? “I love Jesus so much and trust His judgment better than my own that I choose to listen to and follow Him in this situation. And you know what? His way works every time.” Now that is a reason Jesus could agree with.
I heard the story of a dad chasing his dream because of his family. He and his wife adopted children who were without hope. It was a chore for these kids just to survive, let alone dream. This dad wanted to set an example. If he could chase his dreams so could they.
Our Father set the example for us. Before the foundation of the earth, before there was one mistake ever made, He chose to send Jesus to give us lasting hope, true freedom and endless love.
He knew life on this planet would be tough to get through, let alone for us to hope and dream. But when we placed our faith in what Jesus did for us, our Father made us into masterpieces with a purpose…the good work that He has for us.
Notice it is good! What He has waiting for you to discover is good for you. So it’s time to dream. What does the Father have in store for you? You won’t find out unless you walk with Him and let Him show you the wonders He has in store for you.
My friends, it is indeed a time to dream with your Dad.
“Let the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.”
I was listening to a crisis manager explain why training is so important. He said when a crisis hits, adrenaline starts flowing to focus the body on the event. Without going into great detail, he said adrenaline shuts down one part of the brain while heightening another.
In this case, the part that stores ingrained habits kicks into high gear during a crisis. This is why those who deal with such instances constantly train and why athletes mentally rehearse their routines.
I immediately thought of meditation. God tells us to repeatedly think about a truth He gives us before we actually need it. As we mentally rehearse this biblical truth, we’re preparing ourselves to love Jesus by following Him in any given situation.
Dress rehearsals take place before the play goes public. The time to mentally rehearse scripture is before you need it. So what are you waiting for, what truth is the Spirit asking you to meditate on?
“The essence of surrender is getting out of God’s way so that He can do in us what He also wants to do through us” – AW Tozer.
The Israelite army was engaged in a battle with the Philistines. As the battle grew fierce, everyone fled except a few men who stood their ground in the middle of a barley field. And “the LORD brought about a great victory” through them.
Barley was the poor man’s bread flour. Was it worth fighting for? Yes. The battle wasn’t about the barley, but about who was God – Dagon, the god of the Philistines or the LORD, the God of the Israelites. What an awesome witness for the LORD that victory was!
Romans 5:3-4 states as a Jesus believer, you will also face fierce battles. And the reason is the same, who will be God – you or Jesus. The end result of going through rather than fleeing from the struggle is Christlike character.
Each battle you face can bring about Christlike character. As this happens, people will see Jesus in you; and hopefully, will want the Jesus they see and hear about from you.
Jesus gives new meaning to life’s daily struggles. These struggles are worth fighting through for the person you’re becoming – more like Jesus. The world could really use seeing Him in you right now.