Sunday, January 31, 2010

Boundaries of Fear

It almost sounds like an oxymoron to hear fear has a boundary, especially to those who are overwhelmed by them. But fear can be extinguished given the right information.

Fear is a natural reaction to the unknown. The first example of fear is given in Genesis after the fall of man, “Toward evening, they heard the Lord walking about the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. The Lord called to Adam, “Where are you?” He replied, I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”” (Genesis 3:8-10NLT).

Fear, if used properly can save your life, removing you from a dangerous situation, but fear used improperly can rob you of your life. The sin that entered into all of creation brought with it the wrong kind of fear, the kind that breeds shame and confusion. This fear separates us from God, from his healing power to restore and renew our purpose.

John wrote, “Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us.” (1 John 4:18).

John spoke of the godly love we should possess in our lives and reflect to others, but fear will disarm that love. When we live in fear, we become immobile and cannot grow and develop godly character.

The Fear of Failure plagues many of us as well as the Fear of Disappointing God. Both are detrimental to your emotional well-being and your spiritual life. There is only one remedy for the fear of disappointing God, are you ready? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have pleased God! It may sound odd but that is the only thing God the Father asks of you.

If that is true, you might ask, then why are so many suffering from this fear? The suffering continues because they have not understood nor believed this foundational truth. You cannot please God outside of Jesus Christ and to please God you must believe what he said is true otherwise, you are calling him a liar.

Next, let us disarm the Fear of Failure. Have you placed your faith in Jesus’ finished work at the cross? Then you cannot fail! The life and blood that Jesus paid on the cross is the complete atonement for the failures of men. Once you trust in his completed work, you reap the benefits! “Therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Condemnation means: to declare unfit for use, useful for nothing, to be judged, cast off and the like. In Christ Jesus you cannot fail, his blood secures you.

The true meaning of failure is never attempting anything! Those who try and do not accomplish what they set out to achieve have not failed, they simply are continuing to grow. Are you continuing to grow? It takes time to learn how to overcome these fears and many others. No one is immune and we must constantly trust Jesus to lead us in his victory march. Let him show you what he wants from you. Grow in his love and live the life he gave you in complete victory over fear.

Further encouragement read Psalms 34 aloud, may the words encourage your heart and strengthen your faith!

Copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Boundaries of the Physical

Our eternal God became a man, talk about physical limitations. He surrendered his omnipotence to become a servant, and his omnipresence to seek and save those who are lost. The Bible helps us to understand why our Lord would choose this route, but I don’t think our minds can fully understand all the eternal implications behind this great event.

While Jesus physically walked the earth, he submitted to the same boundaries that we are bound to, whereby he could identify with our weakness and frailty. That should bring comfort to those whose lives are so full with raising a family and caring for the needs of everyone the Lord brings across their path.

The Lord truly knows how it feels to be tired, hungry, pulled,pushed, hassled and not given a moments peace. More than once his ministry took a toll on him and his disciples. (Mark 6:30-34). The scriptures note that Jesus often sought refuge alone to pray. (Mark 6:45-46) If Jesus needed that time of refreshment, we do also.

I have known many dedicated; loving Christians who refuse to take a break, thinking it is a weakness and not a godly attitude to say they are overwhelmed. Sadly, some of those have walked away from serving because of extreme burnout.

I have also known those whose devotion is so strong, and have become so caught up in serving, that they neglect their families. Years down the road, they may lose their most precious from gifts of God, their children. Unfortunately the Bible calls this “walking in the flesh” seeking our own ways of serving God.

Finding balance in ministry is the key to a life filled to overflowing joy the Lord wants us to have. In that balance, we will produce godly fruit and have more of an impact on the world around us. Remember it is “the good things he has planned for us” (Ephesians 2:10), not the things we want to do.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33 KJV). The Lord knows that the balance of a fulfilling life is dependent on our relationship with him. He wants our lives to be joyful, not a painful pilgrimage.

Copyright©2010 –tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Boundaries of Time

“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclestices 3:1 NLT). We live in the confines of time, we can only remember our past but we cannot see the future the way God does. Time is part of God’s creation whose purpose is defining the physical realm.

Outside of time, there is another dimension known as the spiritual realm, where God lives, that is why he can be everywhere at any moment. With this understanding, we can know that prophecy of the Bible is reliable because God sees everything as if it has already occurred.

Only God controls time, it is his personal possession. When the disciples questioned Jesus about his return, he replied, “The Father sets those dates” (Acts 1:7NLT). The scripture frequently uses the phrase, “at the appointed time,” that should tell us that all things occur on time and on schedule according to God’s plan. Even the time and place of our birth has a purpose. We may never know how intricately our lives intertwine with the rest of creation, but our God is multifaceted and glorious beyond our comprehension.

The Lord also brings comfort to us in the confines of time, when he said, “For I know the plans I have for you declare the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). The Lord clearly sees the plans for our life. He understands that we live without the clear knowledge of the future, because sin clouded our vision. In order for us to receive all that he has for us, we must trust him to guide us. He has given us time and placed desires in us to lead in that fulfillment. When we enjoy this gift of time, our lives give him pleasure.

There is nothing in all creation that does not exist without purpose. Time has its purpose and it has brought glory to God.

Copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Resolve

Every new year is looked upon with hopeful anticipation, especially if the last twelve months were filled with pain, disappointment and hardship. We long for change, to start over which is the promise of the new year.

Many, myself included, ponder the past year and resolve to make certain plans to get rid of bad habits and begin new beneficial ones. By the end of January, I find myself failing miserably at the attempts of change I have made on my own.

Paul’s statement to the Galatian church should ring in our ears when we seek to implement change. He said, “After starting your Christian lives in the spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human efforts?” (Galatians 3:3 NLT). He was speaking of pursuit of religion, but we can apply that to our own lives. We belong to Christ and our lives are to bring him glory.

I believe that the evil one looks at January with an amount of pleasure. Remember his purpose is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and that means everything, all our hope, faith, purpose and joy. When we fail at our attempts of change, he wins another battle. He knows we live in an instant gratification world and it affects Christians just like anyone else. We must remember where our life comes from. Jesus said also in John 10:10 that he came to give us life to the full.

So how are we supposed to make changes? The Lord is the one who inspires change. Have you heard him lately? Listen quietly for that still small voice, He will tell you what you need to do. “If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9 NLT). His faithful love endures through all circumstances.

Let’s make the resolution to seek his face, listen for his voice, do as he says and confess our sins when we fail. If we can resolve to implement this lifestyle, the Lord will make 2010 a year to remember!

copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-