Friday, March 23, 2012

Follow Your Heart

What would you do if you could not fail? Take a moment to ponder this question, what is the dream of your heart?

Would you open a shelter? Would you feed the hungry? Would you clothe the needy? Would you encourage those who are discouraged? Would you speak up for those who have no voice? Would you go on that mission? Would you start a school? What would you do?

Ever wonder why those things inspire you? They’re the seeds planted in your heart by the Lord. You might even consider them the mission statement of your life.

Then why have these dreams not been realized? Mostly because we’re afraid of failure, money issues cloud our thoughts and we just load too much on our plates. “Someday, I’ll…..” might keep the dream alive, but someday never seems to come.

We've come to the notion that life consists of going to school; getting married; having children; caring for the family and growing old; end of story. Somewhere in that time we carve a few moments to spend with the Lord, maybe serving in a ministry for a few years, and think our work is done. I don’t think we have been properly instructed in spiritual things.

Jesus purchased life for us, the life we were created to have, but somewhere we've missed the message. Our life has more meaning and purpose than going through daily routines. So how do we get this all turned around?

It begins with the original desire. What speaks to your heart? What would you do if you could not fail? The Lord has planted a special purpose in our heart and that seed will never grow if we don't cultivate it.

Begin today by thinking about that desire. Ask the Lord to help you develop your gifts to produce the outcome. It may take some time to realize this dream, but it will never come to pass without pursuit.

“Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart's desire. Commit everything to the Lord. Trust him and he will help you” Psalms 37:4-5 NLT

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Blog Chain

Welcome to the March edition of the Christian Writer's blog chain. If you have followed along with us we have different topics each month- this month topic Savor has proven to be educational as well as challenging. Please follow my fellow bloggers on the list on the right sidebar. Thank you for your continued support!

Savoring Time

In my youth, time was my enemy. It caused me to wait for this and that. The weekend seemed like an eternity away and Summer, well it never seemed to arrive. Time was the thing holding me back from my goal of a certain adventures, vacations, sleep overs and birthdays. As time continued forward, it seemed to gain momentum, the days seemed to end more quickly, weeks and months followed suit. The next thing I know, I'm attending my twentieth year class reunion. Where did it go? What changed?

Time is a relative constant within a blink of an eye, difference. I know I didn't blink that much! So if time didn't change, then I am the variable, I must have changed. But how? I've thought about this and the only reasonable explanation I can conceive is familiarity. I knew what to expect, but that really doesn’t explain the speed.

“The Lord remembers we are like flowers, here today and gone tomorrow” (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Isn't that the truth, at this speed, my time will be over. Many have tired to manipulate time in many ways, either by ignoring it or being trapped by it. Our memory of times past can be a blessing or a curse. 

Some people get trapped in bad memories, which destroy their future. Those who have received the Word of God and believe the truth of our lives, cast all their cares upon him. They have trusted the Lord to do all he said.

Those who ignore time are often caught up in self destruction. They wonder blindly thought their time refusing to believe for anything better. Time is consumed in bitterness, despair, anger towards God and other people. I lived this way for many years. My time was consumed in self indulgence. Once I came into this wonderful relationship, I discovered how much I didn't understand and how much time I wasted.

The Apostle Paul came into this same realization. Many times he mourned his past mistakes of persecuting the church. He testified about this in many letters he wrote to the churches, I believe as encouragement to those who mourned their ignorance of God and his ways.

“No, my dear brothers and sisters, I am not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ is calling us up to heaven” Philippians 3:13-14

I believe time is a great gift and a testament to the wisdom of God. In whatever time he allocated for each of us, we have a special purpose to give glory to God in the time and talents he has given. It is a shame to waste one moment- but to savor the gift.

“All my days are written in your book” Psalms 139:16

Today, time is no longer the dreaded enemy that caused me trouble in my youth, it's become an old friend. I race to keep pace to accomplish the things the Lord has for me to do- it's a focus, a goal something to be enjoyed.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Keeping Commitments

Nowadays fulfilling a commitment seems be something of a novelty. Divorce rates are skyrocketing, business failing and bankruptcy on the rise, but it wasn’t always this way. In years past, a person’s word was their sacred bond and a sign of integrity. This evil trend has even made its way inside the church body. No one considers it a sin to break a promise or walk off on a commitment, treating the church body with the same ideology as the rest of the world.

We are call to live in the world, but not become like the world (Romans 12:2). The cornerstones of Christian life, marriage and family stability have suffered. Christian marriages and businesses fail at the same rate as those of the secular society. Paul instructed Timothy, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3NLT)

There are many who call themselves Christian, thinking themselves as “good” or charitable” people, but that is not what Christianity is. It is a life of servitude and submitting their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You may find some who never crack open a bible or attend church, but still claim to be a Christian. Still others attend church on Sunday, maybe serving in some ministry, but live like everyone else the rest of the week, stealing from their employers, lie and gossip about their neighbors, all claiming to be Christians.

Jesus identified these people in his sermon on the mount. Jesus said, “A healthy tree produces good fruit and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit” (Matthew 7: 17-18NLT). It should be easy to see, but people judge by appearances not by the integrity of an individual.

There are still others, who have ignored the warnings of the Holy Spirit for so long that their consciences are dead. They come to church week after week, not hearing or understanding a single word of God. Sadly, they have sealed their fate. (Hebrews 10:39). Paul wrote, “Evil people and imposter's will flourish. They will go on deceiving others and they themselves will be deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13NLT).

For those of you who have been playing Christian, it is time to get serious. The writer of Hebrews warned, “If we deliberately continue sinning, after we have received the full knowledge of truth, there is no sacrifice that will cover these sins. Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the new covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit, who brings God’s mercy to his people” (Hebrews 10:26, 29 NLT). The choice is yours to keep your commitments.

What can I do? If you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you need to accept him the Lord of your life. Confess you have been living on your own terms as ask for his forgiveness and restoration. He will do it. The Holy Spirit will help you along the way of spiritual growth and you will discover that life with Jesus is as exciting as it is rewarding.

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