Saturday, January 28, 2012

He is with you!!

The last time we were together, I spoke about Footprints in the Sand.  Remember that the Lord is constantly walking beside you, no matter your circumstances.  The Holy Spirit continues to convict me that there are many out there that need to know even more that the Lord is with you.

A resounding theme in Men's Ministry this year is to be Courageous.  The movie being a great catalyst to jump start a fire in not only men but all of us to be accountable, prayerful, loving, and involved.  We are not put here to just float along or just get by.  God has a great purpose for each of us.  But often we are afraid.  I am a firm believer that God speaks to us but often times we do not listen or do not like what he is saying.  Even more, we are afraid to step out and do what he commands.

1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV) says "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of the rams."

There are multiple scriptures that discuss the theme that to obey is better than to sacrifice.  I have listed some of them here for you for your studies (Psalms 40:6-8, Psalms 51:16-17, Matthew 12:7, Mark 12:33, Proverbs 21:3)

What does that voice tell you to do?  What do the other things tell you in order to get you not to?  Do you heed God's word and direction or do you allow what life throws at you to stop the things that God has in store for you?

It is my belief that out of everything that can hold us back, it is our fears that are the most paralyzing.  What do you fear?  Do you fear being good enough?  Being forgiven enough? Smart enough? Pretty enough?  Fill in the blank, what are you afraid of?

God's promises and His plans are spelled out in the Bible for all of us.

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) - But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV) - Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on a tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Two different time periods in the bible - both Old and New Testaments - telling us about the payment made for us. If we accept the gift, if we follow God's work, that makes us good enough.

But sometimes we still are afraid.  We need more encouragement.  The Lord tells us in different spots that he is with us.

Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 1:5 - No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5 - Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8 - The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

The actuality of God's plan - the sacrifice of his Son.  The ultimate sacrifice given in love for you and I that we may draw close to God.

The promise of God's love and support - he will never leave you nor will he forsake you.

What do you have to be afraid of?  He is with you.  Right beside you.  Walking with you.  Carrying you when you need it.  Rooting for you when you are brave.  Whispering encouragement in your ear when you are not.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Be bold, branch out.  Be obedient to what he is telling you.  Seek his guidance in all things and do what he tells you. 

Hebrews 13:6 - So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?

What is stopping you today?

I pray for blessings in your homes and lives.  Know that God is with you.  He loves you and so do I.

Pastor Jim

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time To Ride Again

Let me start by apologizing for not writing for the last few months.  I could make excuses, but I won't.  The simple truth is that I had a bout of not knowing what to write or what to say.  Ultimately, I allowed myself to stop listening to what God wanted me to do and so I did nothing.  Please forgive me.  And to those readers who challenged me by reminding me that this blog is about God and the need for everyone to know Him...Thank You.

Let's ride again together!


One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.  
For each scene, he noticed tow sets of footprints in the sand;
one belonged to him and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.  
He noticed that many times along the path of his life 
there was only one set of footprints.
He also notice that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way. 
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, 
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most
you would leave me."

The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and would never leave you.  
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Often we feel alone.  We feel deserted.  This may be by those that we surround ourselves with, it may be loved ones, it may be God.  But we have to ask ourselves.  Have we really been deserted or in contrast have we actually pulled away from everyone else?
God speaks to us in numerous ways.  So does the enemy.  My last post talked about being courageous.  I can honestly say that after writing it, I got scared.  The last few months have definitely been ones where when I look back, I will see only one set of footprints...and they won't be mine.
But the good news, no the great news, is that when we trust in God, when we turn back to Him, he is ALWAYS standing right there waiting for us.  I heard my pastor say this week that God never moves.  He is right there where you left him.  In my mind, in my vision, that is right next to me.  Carrying my burdens, my doubts, my fears...and doing so with love.

If you have been afraid.  If you have turned away.  If you have been doing nothing.  God will always take you back.  Will you let him?

It is time to ride with the Lord again.  Whatever reason you haven't been doesn't matter any more.  I have included the following song for you.  Listen and remember that He is with you always.

I wish you may blessings this day.  God loves you and so do I.

Pastor Jim