As you may know, our church has a Christian school. Today is the annual Jog-a-thon Fundraiser. This is where kids have gathered pledges for participation and/or laps run. Investment in this day is not only expected, but fun for all the participants and volunteers who help.
There’s something about running.
Running not only wears you out, but it makes you stronger — how does THAT work, right?
In the spiritual lifestyle, we MUST run! We MUST get stronger in order to make it to the end. And the big thing about running the spiritual life for God’s Kingdom is to keep Jesus in FOCUS. And to RUN!! And to NOT GIVE UP!
If you’ve been around this faith life, this is a FUNDAMENTAL — you already know this. But do you actually DO this? Do you actually have a dietary spiritual theme in YOUR life that includes this? It is truly a challenge for EVERYBELIEVER.
Prepare to RUN — get those special shoes on, get up early, discipline yourself, and by all means — DON’T BE LAZY — “Just Do It!”
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
I love to plan, dream, and imagine what God can and will do through my gifts and influence in ministry. And He actually designed me to do this. I am prompted and sometimes mandated in scripture to “flow in my gifts.”
When I think back to the lives that have been changed as a result of being obedient to my gifts and callings, it is so humbling. TO GOD BE THE GLORY, right?
Note this: In EVERY CASE where I have helped someone see God more clearly — there is ALWAYS a point where HE DETERMINES what happens next. It’s a personal decision to move forward in faith — or not — and when one does move forward, it is GOD, not ME that thrusts them into the strong direction of HIS ULTIMATE PLAN.
Our responsibility, dreams, organization, and gifts — turn into GOD DIRECTED STEPS. Pray right now to get out of the way and listen to the Holy Spirit’s ultimate — and sometimes last minute (re)direction and then watch GOD astound — YOU.
The inconsistency of the NFL Referees has once again become the conversations of this week. (Pittsburg Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers) And though I’m those who are on the fields are trying to do their best, something is surely lacking.
We know what this feels like, right? If you have a chance, check out the first chapter of the Book of James in the Bible.
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. ~ James 1:8
When we come together in the corporate sense to a church service, we must remember — It is not made up of AUDIENCE, PERFORMERS, and DIRECTORS. It is not a show and was never meant to be a show.
We get it wrong so often, WE are not the AUDIENCE, God is!
Here are a few bullet points from today’s talk on WORSHIP.
When I think about WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE’s Done?
I have only ONE RESPONSE.
That response is not just 20 minutes of song, but my very life!
MY ONLY REASONABLE RESPONSE IS WORSHIP
Hebrews 12:28-29 …since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe . . .
Thoughts: When is the last time you’ve been speechless before the presence of God? When you have been overwhelmed by His presence — because He is so big and so good and so loving and so holy and so pure and so righteous?
Remember, God gives someone righteousness who is like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) He (GOD) is our AUDIENCE of ONE and we worship Him with REVERENCE AND AWE!
. . . for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29
Throughout humanity, people bring us hope through their words. But hope without purpose is somewhat empty. You can accomplish many goals in life and it can still be meaningless. That’s why God gave us HIS WORD!
We can desire to win a race, raise good children, or move into our dream home. Ultimately TRUE HOPE in life can still be missed.
The most powerful message is out there. It is found in the SON OF GOD! Jesus came to RESTORE us to our heavenly Father — and that message comes very clear when you begin to explore the words found in the Bible.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus addressed this issue of the heart to a the woman at the well who had many questions about life, too.
John 4:13-14Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
I encourage any reader to find out what it means to pursue a “relationship” with Jesus.
I have personally found that living my life with these Bible teachings in place has changed my life’s goals. Hope is now woven into every day of my life!
I love this picture I took at Alcatraz. First, any operating table has so many stories. Then, you can add a multiple to this — it is at a maximum security prison. To have surgery here is to perhaps extend your life to what? For many more days in prison!
Plus, no family or friends would have been present here.
Plus, the sounds and smells of a prison are constantly in the background.
Plus, you must feel like just another number.
I thank God that no matter where we are — when we need surgery, physical or spiritual, he is THERE! And not only is our heavenly Father present (ever present), there is a love and security that brings us peace and hope.
So look at this picture, and then remember that YOU are AN IMPORTANT part of GOD’S PLAN.
Allow God to OPERATE on your SOUL and know that HE IS GOOD!
Come back to the place of safety,all you prisoners who still have hope!
I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. Zechariah 9:12 (NLT)