We look for joy, but can never seem to find it. If and when we do find it, then we can’t manage to hold onto it. Joy is that miraculous and fulfilling gift that the Holy Spirit flows into our lives that enables us to face whatever life throws our way with hope, optimism, confidence and excitement. Joy is that special gift of God that everyone wants, but that so few are willing to really work and live for.
The past is good and tradition is good, as long as we do not get stuck in it! The good thing about the past and tradition is that they can instruct us into a better and more productive future, if we are paying attention and learning for what they are teaching.
It is very easy to get “set in your ways”. We restrict ourselves from the forward progress that God has for us because we get stuck in our personal perspectives. If we are not careful, we will find yourself in a rut of our own making, because we have gotten stuck in our own thinking!
Remember This! It is very important to remember that our God is a Creator! As a creator, God is always doing something new. But God can’t and won’t accomplish something new in and through our lives, if we are not willing to change. We must be ready to enlarge our vision and expand our thinking – if we are to experience the new creation of our Amazing Creator God!
Don’t Miss It! In Isaiah 43:19 God says: “Behold I am doing a new thing! Do you not perceive it and know it?” God wants to grow you! God wants to promote you! God wants to give you increase! God wants to do something new, magnificent and unexplainable in and through your life. God wants to do a new thing in and through you! Did you notice the question in Isaiah? It says: “Can you not perceive it?” If you can’t from your perspective, see the new thing that God wants to do in and through you, then you need to change your perspective!
Learn And Grow! Learn from the past and appreciate tradition, but don’t get stuck there, because if you do, you will miss the new thing that God is doing!
A Pray To Pray! Thank you God for our past and for helping us to learn from our mistakes and failures! Thank you for tradition and for how it reminds me of Your faithfulness, goodness and grace! Help us Lord to appreciate, but not get stuck in these places. We don’t want to miss the new thing that you are doing. Please let us be right in the middle of Your perfect will!
Problems! Do you ever have any problems? I know that’s a crazy question. Of course, we all have problems! God has been showing me some things about problems as I have been working through some of my own problems. I hope my thinking out loud in this blog might help you with any problems that you might have!
Here are a few of the things that I have learned about problems:
I have learned that problems are everywhere! There is no place that you and I can go on this earth to escape problems. The lesson to learn: You can’ t run away from a problem, because as you run out of one, you will run into another!
I have learned that everyone has problems! It does not matter how much money you have or don’t have. It does not matter how smart or dumb you may happen to be. It does not matter which side of the tracks you live on. No one is immune! “I got problems, you got problems, all God’s children got problems!”
I have learned that problems don’t just go away! We have to work on them and through them! A problem worked through can make us better, stronger and more effective. A problem ignored can make us bitter, weaker and render us ineffective! Don’t ignore your problem – deal with it!
I have learned that all problems have a solution! Some solutions come quickly and easily, while others take time and hard work. If we will work for the solution, then God will use our problems to take us to a place of growth and blessing.
Here are a few steps to help you work on and through your problems! 1.) Talk To God! I am not talking about just going through the motions. I am talking about really having a conversation with your Creator and Sustainer. God loves you and He has an amazing plan for your life. You will be amazed at how taking a little time to talk with Him can reveal solutions to so many things that you are facing! 2.) Don’t Give Up! As I look back on my life, I can see many times where I was just one decision away from break-through, but because I gave up and gave in – my problem got the best of me, instead of me getting the best of it! Stay with it, work through – you will be glad that you did! 3.) Stay Focused! One of the biggest challenges to my working on and through my problems is all of the distractions that life seems to want to throw my way. Know your problem and do whatever it takes to get through it!
You Can Do This! You can do this, because you are God’s special Creation. Your life matters and you can make more of a difference than you know or realize. So when your problem smacks you up side the head today – take it on, take it out and grow on to the next thing!
For the past several months, God has been teaching me a lot about Himself and the amazing love that He has for me! It is a very humbling thing when you begin to realize and gain understanding of this most incredible reality! I have always known that God loves me, but in recent days it has become more than knowing. The experience of God-loving me has become more powerful and more real than I have ever known it before. It is absolutely awesome to be loved by Him. I cannot even come close to coming up with adequate words to try to explain to you what I am talking about – simply amazing!
This is where I need your prayer help/support! I want to love God back! I don’t just want to say that I love Him back. I want to really love Him back – with the most incredible, powerful and pure love that I can come up with. I feel so inadequate. Pray for me – that I will totally open up my heart and life to receive all that God has for me and that I will stay open, so that His love may flow to and through my life. It does not matter if you understand what I am talking about – just pray that I will love God back -more and better than I ever have before.
I want to love my wife and children! I love them, but they deserve so much more and I want to be the man of God that can give it to them. Pray that I will be the loving husband that God created me to be and that I will love my wife as Jesus loved the church! Pray that I will love my children with the “Father Love” that the Heavenly Father loves me with!
I want to love my congregation! One of the amazing things about God’s love is that even when I mess up – He still loves me. God’s love for me is not based upon what I do or do not do! He loves me, simply because He is love! Pray that I will love the congregation of people who He has blessed me with the opportunity of teaching and leading with a sacrificial and restorative love!
I want to love my family and friends! God has been very good to bless me with an incredible family and some amazing friends. I have tried to be there for them and tried to love them, but I know that I can and should do better. Pray that God will help me to love them with a deeper, purer and more unselfish love!
I want to love strangers and enemies! I know that I honor God when I love the un-loveable, so pray that God will help me to love others as He loves me – with an unconditional and unselfish love!
Thanks for reading today and thanks for praying for me! The bottom line: I want to be a Mark 12:30 Christian and love God with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my mind! I do love you and with your prayers and with God’s help – I will love God and you in an even greater way in the days ahead!
Prayer Talk! Let’s talk a little bit about prayer! Everybody knows that they need to pray, but most never get around to really doing it. And those of us that do take the time to pray, often do not do it right! I am not being critical, just stating a reality that we need to accept, so that we can change and grow in our communication with our Creator!
God’s Answers Prayer! When I read through my Bible, it becomes very clear that God answers prayer! I think many times our failure to get a response from God is really our failure to talk to Him. You see – a lot of times we talk at God instead of to God! We talk at God by giving Him our list of request, demands or deals – whatever you like to call them. Prayer is so much more than just talking at God. Prayer is talking to God, which means that we talk and listen. To talk to God is to have conversation. To talk to God, we have to know His will. To know God’s will, we have to spend time in His Word. If you don’t feel like God is answering your prayers, then make sure that you are talking to and not at Him!
Let’s Work To Grow In This Area! We look at this a little more tomorrow and hopefully it will grow our communication with our Creator!