Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remember the Promises

This post will be short. I saw a rainbow today. It reminded me of God's promises. Not so much the promise that the rainbow represents, but the personal promises that have yet to come to fruition. If you believe in God, what are the personal promises that He's made to you? If you do not (and I hope that someday you will), what promises have you made to yourself--promises that seem so far away or as if they will never become a reality?

In both cases, remember the promises. It will help you to continue on this path of change.

"God is not like people, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks, and it is done." (Num 23:19 GNB)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is It In You To Finish? (Part 1)

[Edit on 10/4: Okay, I realized that my original post was a tad long in the tooth for one blog post. Lol (or laugh out loud). I'm going to break it up into four parts.]

This entry will take a different route than the ones posted previously. Last Sunday I was permitted to be one of the speakers to address our church's congregation for Teen Sunday. I am thankful to God for the opportunity. This was the message that was presented. My question for you today is, "On your path/journey of change, do you have strength to see it through to the end?"

Hoping the best for you,

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” - Matt. 27:46

Topic: A God-Ordained Hurt
Subtopic: A Monumental Blessing.

A monumental blessing can come from a God-ordained hurt. First, let’s look at the word monumental. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, definitions for monumental are very great or massive, and a definition for massive is impressively large. Let’s hold these definitions in mind and move to the phrase a God-ordained hurt. What does ordain mean? It means to issue an order. Why would God issue an order to bring hurt into our lives? What benefit could we receive from this hurt? God wants to bless you in such a monumental way that not only will you glorify Him, but those around you will glorify Him as well. However, in some cases, in order to give you that blessing God needs to remove those mindsets that confine Him, thereby preventing Him from moving as greatly as He desires in our lives.

Take the story of Lazarus’ death found in John chapter 11 as an example. Lazarus was sick unto death, and a message was sent to Jesus that the one He loved was sick. When the message was delivered, instead of immediately leaving the town He was in, Jesus stayed for two days. By the time Jesus arrived where Lazarus was, Lazarus had been in the grave for four days. In his death, Lazarus left behind two sisters, Mary and Martha. Both sisters believed that if Jesus had been there Lazarus wouldn’t have died. What caused Jesus to stay behind? Why did He not move sooner? Why did He allow Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, to suffer through a time of mourning when He could have easily healed Lazarus? Because this was a God-ordained hurt meant to bring about a monumental blessing. As Jesus says in vs 4, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” In the town of Bethany, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Before Lazarus’ death, there were people that believed that Jesus had the ability to heal. However, after Lazarus was raised from the dead, these people understood that Jesus was more than a healer; they knew that He was the very Son of God. Mary and Martha’s hurt and pain through the death of their brother was deep, but it was his death that brought about a monumental blessing that expanded the confined mindsets of the people and brought glory to God.

To read part 2 of this entry, click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Break Is Over

Okay. If you've been on a break, it's time to end it. What type of break am I referring to? The one where you've grown tired of fighting, of struggling, and simply of waiting. You're tired of fighting with those around you or you're tired of fighting with yourself by continually wondering why you're not changing (or why you've stopped changing). You're tired of struggling with the old habits you're having to break and the new habits you have to learn in order to change. Finally, you're tired of simply waiting. What is taking so long anyway? Something, anything, substantial should have happened by now, right?

Well, it's time to remind ourselves that change takes time. Anything that is rushed has a shoddy result. Even if the result isn't shoddy, it isn't as good as it could have been if more time had been taken. Have you ever seen a building that was built too quickly? On the surface it may be beautiful, but soon you start to notice the beauty is superficial. The roof leaks in spots, the floorboards weren't glued down well, and you're starting to see a crack or two in the ceiling. If a little more time had been taken during construction, maybe these problems would have been avoided.

The point I'm trying to make is that during out times of waiting we get a chance to develop as individuals. This is a time for our personal issues to be corrected or for the emotional baggage we've carried to be healed. In turn, our character is strengthened and things that once bothered us no longer do. This is good, because this strengthening brings about a greater determine and resolve that will be needed for the next leg of our journey. In other words, this is our preparation time for what lies ahead.

So let's get off of our break and get back to this journey of change.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; (Ecclesiastes 3:1,3b KJV)