Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Building Up Storehouses

Have you ever been in a drought in your spiritual walk? A good friend of mine I meet with periodically will ask me about how my quiet time has been. This is such a good question to ask cause the reality is, there are times that it is not a matter of "if" but "when" we will have dry periods in our quiet time with God. 
Sometimes drinking in His word feels like it's not doing any good. I love what a brother said this weekend in talking about dry seasons of being in His word, he said, "sometimes we are just building a storehouse for those tough seasons we will face in the future.  
So, if you are having a dry season these days in the word, stay the course my friend. God is faithful to use it somewhere and sometime. All He wants is for us to spend time with Him even when it doesn't feel like we are getting anything out of it.  Keep building up your storehouse my friend!  
"God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
    his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He's all I've got left." Lamentations 3:22-24 (MSG)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Say YES to Living

How are you doing today? How are you responding to the things being thrown at you? When tough things get thrown at you, how are you answering?
Let's face it, when things are going our way, it is much easier to respond in the right way isn't it? It is when we are facing fatigue, busyness, and messiness of ministry and life that the tough part comes in huh?
Titus 2:11-12 reminds us when faced with opposition and struggles, that the same "grace of God" that "has appeared and that offers us salvation to us" also, "teaches us to say "NO" to ungodliness and "YES" to "a self-controlled life in Him."  Part of that self control is in the way we respond to the verbal attacks thrown at us too.
Three things that seem to be a common denominator for good people falling into old unhealthy traps is busyness, fatigue and a lack of devotional.
The only way we have the power to say "NO" in those crazy times is to say "YES" to staying connected with the One who gives us the power thru the Holy Spirit to keep maintaining self-control. Only He can give us that 'eagerness' to keep living a life holy and pleasing to Him.
"...while we wait for the blessed hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." Titus 2:13-14

Monday, March 10, 2014

No Longer A POW

"Have you heard? It’s over!”  I sometimes wonder what that would have been like in 1945 to hear the conversations going on amongst people as World War II ended.

What a relief that must have been for them to know…the war is over!  Unfortunately, in most wars there seems to be some that remain in the aftermath of the war as POW’s.

As believers though, unlike POW’s in war, incredibly, we have a choice to remain prisoners or walk out free and alive.

I was thinking about this thought this morning in relation to my life and forgiveness.
Jesus is saying to us in John 19:30; ‘Have you heard? It is over, finished, and paid in full.’
The war is over!!!

How often do we forget this big news in our life?  When Jesus said ‘it is finished’, he meant it. We don’t have to continue to fight the war with the wrestling of shame and guilt in our life for things we have done in our past.
Once we believe and receive Him, confessing our junk to Him, then that’s it. No more shame. No more living in the spirit of sin and death. Now we live in Christ, with the Spirit of NEW LIFE.

How are you doing today? Are you choosing to remain a POW from not receiving forgiveness from our Father, not forgiving others or not forgiving yourself? We no longer have to hold onto the shame from our mistakes, nor the resentment for wrongs done to us any longer either. He wants to take that away too.
Maybe it’s time to surrender, not to the enemy, but to the One who defeated the enemy for us.

The battle is no longer ours to fight. Christ’s words, shouting from the cross, as a broken, battered and bruised Savior, saying, “It is finished!” reminds us of this Good News.

“But by the free gift of God’s grace we are all put right with Him through Christ Jesus who sets them free.” Romans 3:24

 Have a great day alive and free in Him.
Rodney Holmstrom