Applied Faith is Tough

“When faced with tough decisions, are we going to abandon or apply our faith?” Fearless

Adam Brown was in the top 1% of all Navy Seals. He overcame extreme challenges to achieve and stay at this level.

He battled drugs after high school and into his military career. He learned to hear it call his name and run to Jesus for strength to stay clean. Faith applied.

He lost an eye in a training accident. He learned to shoot his rifle using his non-dominant eye. Faith applied.

Four fingers on his right hand were severed and sewn back. He learned to shoot with his other hand. Faith applied.

Why would Brown keep going through such struggles? He knew Jesus wanted him in the Seals saving and protecting lives. And to Brown, “To fail at something was acceptable. To fail to try was not.”

A friend said this about him, “To truly live one’s faith, in word and deed, is a mighty, and a daily struggle; and Adam embraced that struggle and devoted himself to it.”

Faith is all about trying, even when Jesus is asking you to do something that goes against your current way of thinking, understanding, feeling and/or ability to do it.

Keep it small. Take a small faith step now. Repeat. Repeat again.

As you do, you’ll end up down the path of a changed life today and into eternity!

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Faith, not Age is Relevant

No one is too old or too young to experience the life Jesus has for them.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. It’s the same picture from last week. But it’s here for a different reason.

I recently read that “a team from the Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem sprouted six new trees from 2,000-year-old seeds of Judean date palms, discovered at various archaeological sites” throughout Israel.

The age of the seeds is absolutely irrelevant to the one eating the sweet delicious dates produced by those seeds once planted into the ground.

And just like those seeds, age is completely irrelevant to the Jesus believer. It’s what you do with those seeds that counts.

So don’t worry about your age. Grow your faith!

Keep planting the seeds of truth the Spirit gives you into the soil of your life in order to experience the sweetness Jesus has for you.

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Live as You Know Him

“Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place on their own accord.” J.I. Packer

The book of Ezekiel has a common thread: know that the LORD alone is God.

He lists a number of events that when they occurred, the observer would know it was the LORD doing them and it was time to put their faith in the LORD, not themselves or other gods.

One of those events was that a Temple would be built where each gate to the Inner Court had a picture of a palm tree.

Why a palm tree? Ancient Hebrew used picture symbols, which eventually evolved into the letter symbols used today, which was another way – a dead language coming alive – for people to know that the LORD alone is God.

The word for palm tree has three picture symbols – a cross symbolizing a monument, a squiggly line symbolizing water, might or blood, and the head of a man symbolizing the head, first or beginning.

Isn’t interesting that Jesus died on a cross where He shed both water and blood as the head of creation to cleanse humanity of their sins and to bring them into the presence of the Father, who was enthroned above the Ark in the first Temple?

Is it any wonder that Jesus calls Himself a gate in John 10:9 and said, “I am the way, the truth, the life and no one comes to the Father but through Me” in John 14:6?

Wait there is more! Ancient Israeli palm trees produced sweet dates! Want sweetness in your life? Jesus as God is the path to know God where sweetness is found and life’s challenges seem to melt into the background.

This means believing that Jesus died on the cross by shedding His blood and water to cleanse you from all your mistakes, even the tiniest of them, so you can enter the presence God today and one day to be home in heaven.

Haven’t done that yet? Take a moment right now to tell Jesus that you are transferring trust from yourself in doing more good than bad to Him and His death and resurrection to give you that sweet life today, tomorrow into eternity.

Done that already? Take faith steps each day to know your Father and the sweetness He has for you. His sweetness invigorates in a life sucking world.

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Today not Yesterday

“This is the day the Lord has made.”

The Lord gave Ezekiel a message for the Israelites living in what is now called Iraq. He told them not to focus on yesterday.

They were told to live in the presence of the living God and experience the joy only He could give, no matter their current circumstances, today.

Some of his listeners had willingly come to Iraq. While they were still living in Jerusalem, Jeremiah told them they would live as long as they surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar. They did and they were.

Some to whom Ezekiel was talking, however, unwillingly came. They deserved to die in Jerusalem. And yet, God spared them and brought them to Iraq anyway.

Some did the right thing while others did the wrong thing. This is who God was talking to through Ezekiel.

Yesterday is over. Don’t waste time living in the past by either focusing on your right choices or your wrong choices.

Today is all you have. Choose to live in the presence of Jesus right now. It’s the only choice you have total control over.

And, it’s the only choice that brings joy no matter what your current circumstances are.

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He Did and Does!

“When God is in control, I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.” Lysa Terquest

It was still dark on this early morning drive to southern Texas some forty years ago. I had two people fast asleep when it happened.

I was driving an unfamiliar road when all of a sudden my car went into a spin. No matter what I did, the spin only got worse.

I finally took my hands off the wheel and said, “Jesus take control.” He did. I hit black ice and didn’t know it. The car eventually stopped safely on the shoulder. Everyone was safe and asleep, though my heart rate was a tad bit on the high side.

So, every time I hear Carrie Underwood sing, “Jesus Take The Wheel”, I think of my own situation.

Yet lately, Jesus has had that song steadily running in my head. I sense He wants me to meditate on the chorus: Jesus, take the wheel / Take it from my hands / ‘Cause I can’t do this on my own / I’m letting go / So give me one more chance / And save me from this road I’m on / Jesus, take the wheel.

Maybe He’s wanting you to do the same? You’ve been trying to get through a certain task, situation or string of days without asking Him for direction and/or strength?

Let Jesus take the wheel of your life. Let Him show you what path to take. And, ask Him for the power to walk that specific path.

He will help you arrive safely to where He wants you to go.

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