Monday, December 31, 2012

Living With Purpose – Live It

Living the life of faith includes risk. We don’t like to think of what it might cost us to step up and step out in faith, moving in a direction where we can't see the result, but that is exactly what the life of faith is all about. For some, life is quite the adventure, for others life takes on a more foreboding tone, something to be maneuvered and controlled. Most of us find ourselves somewhere in between wanting the adventure but dreading the risk.

I think on the words of Jesus, when he said “I have told you all this so that you will have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart because I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33 NLT).

The writer of Hebrews explained it this way, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of the things we cannot yet see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). We rarely move in a direction that we can not see the result, mostly fear of the unknown works in our heart and become paralyzed, seeking only the safety and security of the known.

I guess the question we have to ask ourselves is, “Do we believe God is good?” a simple question, but the answer will challenge us. If we truly believe that God is good then living the life of faith should be quite simple. Whatever we are called to do, we do it. Whatever challenge comes our way, we immediately overcome it. Fear would not prevent us from moving out. We would be an unstoppable force on the planet. The reality is in our minds, we know God is good, but we sometimes struggle with it in our heart.

We suffer devastating losses, plans fail, people disappoint us, things happen to us that we did nothing to deserve. We did step out in faith, we believe, we behave according to the standards God has called us to and still we suffer. Shaking our heads in shock, wondering where God is in all this?

Jesus knew the cross lay at the end of his path on earth, but he walked boldly and with purpose each and everyday, including the long walk to Golgotha, where his mission would be complete. Even God’s own son suffered as we do and he lived a perfect and pleasing life to the Father. Never once did he sin in mind or body, yet he was rejected, threatened, lied about and abandoned in the hour of his greatest agony. Jesus knew without doubt that God is good.

Living the life of faith is the only way we can please God. We must trust him no matter our circumstances, whether deserved or not. We must train our hearts to believe that anything that comes our way is filtered through our loving Father and know that everything he does is good and for our good.

“So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Celebrate the New Year

Hello everyone

To celebrate the New Year, I am offering  "Am I Really Saved? Answering Questions of Christians" as a free download on Amazon.  December 31 - January 2, 2013 Please follow this link

Don't have a Kindle? Free Kindle software for PC
MAC  Link


I have planned a series for January called "Living with Purpose"  I hope you join me.

Peace and Blessings

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where's the Joy?

If someone spent too much time in the Old Testament, it is easy to get the impression that God is a merciless taskmaster, one looking to punish for any infraction of the rules. Throughout scripture, there are many references to God's command to destroy, like the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and others, which makes it hard to understand the compassionate heart of God as revealed to us in the New Testament.

If you know the story of Job, you’ll remember that everything he had was taken in one afternoon, all his livestock, servants, including his sons and daughters. The only survivors of that fateful day were his wife and a couple of servants that broke the news to him. With all this devastation, he maintained his joy. But, later as the trial intensified, when his health was affected and his good friends gave him bad council, his faith wavered. Job had lost sight of the loving-kindness of God when he said:

“Yet your real motive-I know this by your intent-was to watch me, and if I sinned, you would not forgive my iniquity. If I am guilty, too bad for me, And even if I am innocent, I am filled with shame and misery so that I can’t hold my head high. And if I hold my head high, you hunt me down like a lion and display your awesome power against me” (Job 10: 13-16 NLT).

Those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior or have a limited knowledge of him, believe Job’s statement to be the truth of how God feels about all humanity. I think that is why so many stay away from the Lord, believing he is just waiting for them to stumble under some heavy ritualistic demands. I love this statement of Jesus, exposing the lie that God is waiting for us to fail.

“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30 NLT)

This reminds me of a loving Father calling to his children. It's like a breath of hope for those seeking safety, security and peace that the Lord offers and another proclamation of God’s original plan and design.

We were not designed to carry the heavy burden of sin on our shoulders. Our purpose was to be in relationship with God and he would supply all our needs. If we let him, he will carry all our fears, correct all our misunderstandings about him, and in turn give us rest. At the end of Job’s story, the Lord restored twice as much than what Job had before.

True joy comes from a right relationship with our Heavenly Father through our Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus explained it this way, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9-11).

Where is your joy? Are you remaining in the love of Jesus? Can you sing with David, “May all who search for you, be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation, repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” (Psalms 40: 16 NLT)