October, 2012

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Fearless And Courageous!

Monday, October 29th, 2012

A friend of mine who surfs every morning on the beaches of Hawaii, told me a story about his buddy who came face to face with a large tiger shark. His friend said that what surprised him the most about the encounter was that he simply, froze!

Today with the erratic stock market, world economy, joblessness and the current season of American politics, many are frozen and paralyzed in fear. It is sapping their joy and strength – even among Christians. This is no way to live! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7)

Did you know that Christians come from a long line of fearless and courageous people?

In 180 A.D., church father Tertullian wrote, “The Lord challenges us to suffer persecutions and to confess Him. He wants those who belong to Him to be brave and fearless. He Himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by courage of the Spirit. This is the testimony of the apostles, and in particular of the representative administrating Spirit. A Christian is fearless.”


Ask yourself, “Is God bigger to me than my circumstances?” “Do I believe that God’s love is provisional and redemptive?” “Do I believe that the Lord wants to powerfully use me today?”

The Lord wants us to live fearless and courageous. Famed actor John Wayne put it this way, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway!”

Let me encourage you today to “Saddle Up” in three ways:

First, stand by faith that the same Spirit that indwells you is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead! (Romans 8:11).

Secondly, take in the reality that you are a child of the most awesome Being in the universe! Jesus taught us to absorb this reality in prayer and worship. He taught us to “hallow” the name of our Heavenly Father who is Omnipotent, Eternal, and our Provider and more! (Matthew 6:9).

Thirdly,  “Saddle up” by keeping your heart for, and on, Jesus Christ -knowing that He will supply what you need. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33).

Keep in mind that God is shaping you to live fearless and courageous in your outlook of the future, trusting that He will provide for your needs. He wants you to be freed up to to whole-heartedly live out your life as a Jesus Christ follower, no matter where that might lead you!

Saddle up!

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

A Message From Billy Graham

Monday, October 29th, 2012

“On Nov. 6, the day before my 94th birthday our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.”

Above The Circumstances

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Do circumstances have to dictate our sense of well-being and outlook? Is it possible to live above the circumstances? These are important questions because life is not easy. Life is a struggle. There are growing pains and there are a bunch of moving parts to life. There are relationships that involve differing age groups, cultures, past experiences that influence our outlook. Life and relationships require a lot of patience, humility and communication. But what about being a Christian? Do all our troubles go away? It would be a big mistake to think so! In fact, becoming a Christian presents many other challenges in life. It’s important that we understand this and that the Lord actually wants to capitalize on them in our life.

The story of Jesus walking on the water helps us see this (Mark 6:45-52).

We read that Jesus had instructed the disciples to get in a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. What happened? They faced a horrible head-wind. They fought it by rowing as best they could but it drove them to the middle of the lake. What did Jesus do? In their struggle and fatigue, Jesus came to them walking on the water.

I want to encourage you in four ways …

First, there will be times that the Lord will give you a directive that will result in a struggle. In other words, the Lord will say, “I want you to get in the boat of forgiveness … caring for another … remaining committed to your marriage … giving the Gospel away …” etc and in doing so, it will be a struggle. You will face a head-wind. It will not be easy! In fact, to expect otherwise can lead to incredible disillusionment. You might be thinking, “Why even get in the boat if it’s going to be a struggle?” The main reason for you to continue fighting the good fight of faith, is that it’s a demonstration of love for Jesus! “If you love me, obey me” Jesus said. (John 14:15)

Secondly, you need to know right now that Jesus is acutely aware of what is going on in your life, and what your struggle is. He is not indifferent. He cares. He is aware. He saw the disciples rowing against the head-wind from the mountain top as He was praying. He sees what is going on in your life. In fact the Bible says that Jesus, “lives to make intercession” for us (Heb 7:25).

Thirdly, Jesus is not only acutely aware of your struggle, He will involve Himself in your struggle and bless you with Himself! This is what Jesus did. Jesus came to the disciples walking on the water and stepping into their boat, blessing them with His presence and peace. I ask, are you struggling at this time? If, so, I want you to pause for a moment and get this: your struggle is the Lord’s footing. He’s walking on it. He is capitalizing on your struggle to bless you with Himself. It may be hard to see now, but He’s with you and He will work all things out for the good!

Now, put yourself in Peter’s shoes because I want you to think like Peter did. When Peter sees Jesus on the water the Bible tells us that he wants to walk on the water too. So what does Peter do? He seeks the Lord’s approval to step out of the boat. Peter figures that as long as Jesus “signs off” on approving walking on the water he’ll step out of the boat and walk on the water too!

I love this picture, and here’s why: God has not given us the spirit of fear/ paralysis/ “deer in the headlight” existence. Christianity is a “no-parking zone.” And there are many areas the Lord has already “signed off on” that we need to simply step out and lay hold of. We don’t have to wait for approval to love, forgive, share the faith, be generous etc. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he remained above the circumstances. He enjoyed walking on the water.

The final and fourth point is that in your struggles Jesus gets involved! He blesses you with His presence and you come to learn that your life is not dictated to by circumstances, but rather you find yourself above the circumstances as you keep your eyes on, Jesus! 

God Multiplies What You Give Him!

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Have you ever thought, “What do I have to give?” “What contribution can I make?” “Would it even make a difference?” We’ve all asked these questions at one time or another. But what are we really saying?

More often it is not that we don’t have anything to give, but we have concluded that what we do have to give, is irrelevant and perhaps even worthless.

Was this how the disciples felt when Jesus turned to them and said in effect, “Alright, I want you to feed the five thousand!” Feed the five thousand!? It would take nearly a year’s wages. Plus, when they gathered what they did have, five loaves and two fish, you have to wonder if they thought was it even worth mentioning. “Lord you want us to feed 5,000 people and here’s what we have, five loaves of bread and two fish.” Embarrassing, right? Wrong!

And here’s why: the Lord will work with what you give Him. In fact, He will multiply what you give Him! So, ask yourself, “Am I giving the Lord something to work with?”

The Lord is able to take what is small and do something great with it! Give Him your  availability. Your attention. Your resources. Your faith. Your life! He is able to do above what we could ever ask or think. God multiplies what we give to Him to His glory!