Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Laying Down Our Fears

Ask yourself and WRITE DOWN what are the anxieties, fears, regrets or doubts that have paralyzed you?

Matthew 14:22-31 (New Living Translation)

Would you take the invitation to take on a risk for Jesus and get out of the boat? The Message says that "Peter jumped out of the boat". Peter started out walking on water. Sure he was not successful but he was willing and he took a risk.

When we trust God we can receive God's power to make it through the storm. As long as we hold onto our faith and keep our eyes on Jesus, we will not be overcome by the storms of life.

It is when we focus on the troubled waters around us and forget God's assistance that we start to sink. If our hearts are hardened by problems like sin we will be unable to understand what God is trying to teach us.

What can keep you from seeing and appreciating the mighty works that God does in and through your life?

Mark 2:1-5
(New Living Translation)

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

When Jesus announced that the sins were forgiven, many thoughts probably stirred in the mind of those nearby. The friends of the paralyzed man may have wondered how Jesus could have overlooked the man's more obvious need.

We often come to Jesus with dire problems, whether it be anxiety about being alone, fears of the future, past regrets, or doubts of our abilities. He does not overlook these; but he also does not overlook our most critical need of all - the need to receive forgiveness of our sins.

Romans 12:1-2 (New Living Translation)

A Living Sacrifice to God

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, (The Message says "Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking") but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We are called to offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices. We are asked to make the decision to lay our lives on the altar before God so he can use us for his work. We are called to follow God's plan. As we do this, we will become a showcase to others of what God can do. And as we grow, we will discover the joy and meaning that can be experience when we offer our lives to God.

Ask Jesus for forgiveness, love, and peace to take the place of those things and to help you change.

Are You Mary or Martha?

So over the last few weeks I have really been struggling with many things.

Today, Thanksgiving Eve, I concluded my first Thanksgiving basket season. What an amazing experience it has been. Prior to leaving we prayed for the community, Christian Services, and each other.

God spoke to me in the midst of this time and reminded me of the story of Martha and Mary. During this holiday season who do you most look like? Are we busy running and doing like Martha or are we sit at Jesus feet listening to every word?

Read Luke 11:38-42

38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I would challenge you to be more like Mary tomorrow and not be "distracted by the big dinner". Let tomorrow not be about what society tells you it is about and let it be a time to rejoice and thankful for our Heavenly Father.

YouVersion just announced starting today they will have a 30 day reading plan called "Rediscovering Christmas". Why not start this holiday season diving into the word.

Jamie and I will be running a 5K down in Detroit and enjoying time with an awesome couple tomorrow. I wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!