Author: The Journey

The Fight

Image result for fight winning the battles that matter most

“Most men don’t want to fail…even once. We want to measure up and be successful at anything we try. That’s why we don’t like to play if we don’t think we can win. A man’s greatest fear is failure and his greatest pain is regret.

Have you ever failed? If you answered yes cheer up! You’re in good company. Failure is an event, never a person. Don’t internalize a failure until it starts to ferment into regret….Learn from it. Pain can be a great teacher. 

Just because you’re down doesn’t mean your out. Not by a long shot. Even in our failures, God can still accomplish his purpose. It’s through our weaknesses that he shows himself strong.

What results? Then you’re going to have to do something different…If you are a Christian, you have resurrection power within you. Tap into it…God loves making weak men strong. Don’t just try to “be a better man.” Be God’s man. Stop trying to tell your story. Start telling his. It’s not about you. It’s about him.”

This blog was taken fromFight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most” 

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The Red Planet

anger

If someone from another planet were to visit planet earth and observe the behavior of the inhabitants, they would come to the conclusion that we are angry race! Every where we look we see anger or the consequences of someone’s anger.

  •  An Olympic athlete refuses to participate in the opening ceremony. Why? He is angry that HE was not chosen to carry the USA flag!
  •  Politicians refuse to stand during the State of the Union message. They are angry that THEIR candidate was elected and THEIR party is not in control.
  • Road rage is a common occurrence on most highways. (And parking lots!)

For many people, anger is a default emotion. When someone embarrasses us, rarely do we feel embarrassment. Most of the time, that  embarrassment also makes us angry! If you want to read a case study in anger, read the story of Samson in the Book of Judges. I do not have space to elaborate all the ‘incidents’ that caused Samson to be angry but in reality, almost everything that happened was his own fault. At any point, he could have backed off, even just a little. If he had taken a minute to cool off, maybe he could have turned things around. 

If you are angry at those around you, where is your responsibility? I have often heard people say, “They make me so angry!” But the reality is we allow people to make us mad. We choose [sometimes unconsciously] to be angry. It is time to stop making excuses for our behavior and own our part. Ask forgiveness if you need to. And not just from God but from the people you may have hurt. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. 

Bushels of Seeds

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”        2 Corinthians 9:6-7

I have always enjoyed history, especially American History. One part that captured my attention involved a man named John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. He traveled through the Midwest planting apple seeds for 45years. It is estimated he spread more than twenty bushels of seeds, each bushel contained an estimated 300,000 seeds!

In the Bible there is the principle of sowing and reaping. You plant corn, you harvest corn. (Not potatoes) One ear of corn planted, will result in a harvest of several ears of corn. The more seeds you plant the more produce you harvest. While this principle  always hold true, today’s “prosperity preachers” have mistakenly taught if you give $20 to their ministry; God will bless with a $100 reaping!

This doesn’t mean we’ll come into lots of money if we give to the Lord’s work. As many people have experienced, wealth can be fleeting, but if we sow into His Kingdom, we will reap blessing in both time and eternity far beyond our original gifts. Choose an investment that is reliable, is guaranteed to never fail and yield great rewards. Invest in the Kingdom of God.

Pro-Motion

I have been a Christ-follower for over thirty years and I have thought a lot about why the Church has lost its effectiveness in impacting and changing our culture. Today, I think I have found the answer. I wish I could say that it was due to my own intellectual prowess but the truth is my “discovery ” came from watching a message by Andy Stanley (http://yourmove.is/episode/pro-motion/)

Allow me to share the truths that I have gleaned from his message.

Christians for the most part have substituted devotion for action. We have a tendency to believe all the right things, so that means me and God are good because I believe all the right things. Believers are often content to believe something rather than do something.

We are good at making a point; showing what is wrong but if all we do is make a good point and don’t make a difference; we are not good Christ-followers.

It is NOT enough to believe, you have to DO something with what you know! We need to “put some motion in our devotion.” James 2:27 “…faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.

Your devotion to God is authenticated by love for others. When my faith stops at “How am I doing God?” we are telling the world “we know it all and are better than y’all.”

A Depraved Nation

Just when you think our society cannot get worse, a news headline proves us wrong.

  • This week we were all shocked when police found that 13 children and young adults had been held in horrific conditions was listed as a private school. We cannot understand how parents could ever abuse their children in such a matter. 
  • A USA Gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 175 years in jail for sexually abusing children 
  • Most recently, a video was released showing a daycare worker hitting a child on her head because the worker did not think the child was obeying.  {Warning: graphic images} 

We have become so calloused to events that we see and hear every day. How much lower can a man sink into his depravity? The Prophet Jeremiah was correct in saying, ““More than anything else, a person’s mind is evil. It cannot be healed. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

If we are upset with the culture around us, how do you think God feels?  “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” 

There is coming a day (?) when God is going to bring justice to all the earth. “…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

 

God’s DNA

Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch and heal him. After spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on the man, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” Mark 8:22 

Can you imagine the people’s reaction when Jesus spat on the man’s eyes? [Mark 8:23]  “We asked You to touch him; not to spit on him.”  Most of us think of spittle as disgusting. But in actual sense, your spittle is one of the most intimate things we possess. God does not see spit the way we see spit. Inside your saliva is your DNA. By spitting on the man Jesus was saying, “This is what I am made up of and I am giving it to you.” Because His spit carries His DNA and He is applying it for healing because Jesus’s DNA is the DNA of God. That is if God has a DNA. 

The spit also contains white blood cells and white blood cells control the body’s defense system against diseases. The man’s vision defense system was weak, so Jesus strengthens it with His system. When Jesus spat we say, “How can He be that gross?’  Heaven said, “How can He be that intimate?”  Jesus was not disrespecting the man but was honoring him.  God’s was is not always our way. 

When you come to God asking Him to do something in our lives do not worry about how God will do it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Real

Mark 8:22 “…and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. vs. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village…”

See the source imageAmazingly the first touch from Jesus was not for the man’s physical healing but for his emotional and psychological healing. Jesus could have told the people to take the blind man out of the city. But instead the Bible tells us that Jesus held his hand and lead him out. Jesus did not drag him out; He led him out.

This man literally followed Jesus blindly. He could not see and he didn’t know where Jesus was taking him. As Christ-followers, where we literally follow Jesus blindly. You cannot tell where He is taking you. It may not feel right, He is taking you out of your comfort zone. All you need to know at such times is that Jesus is leading you and you follow. 

Mark 8:24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” The blind man could not see the people clearly. Your life in Christ is a process. (“…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”) You will not reach spiritual maturity overnight. Jesus understands you are a “work in progress.” You must be totally honest with Jesus and yourself. He loves you and wants you to tell it like it is. 

Prayer: Lord, as You show me Your way, I make a commitment to walk with you no matter how uncomfortable it is.