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Have you ever wondered what it is that keeps us from just letting go? I mean from the time we are little, we cling to what we know and have comfort in. Much like a child in it’s mother’s arms or a little blanky being drug around the floor, we cling to what we think keeps us safe. Little do we know, those things hold no protection. While yes, a mother can protect her child, feed and clothe it. Provide for it changings, a warm embrace on a tough day, she can’t protect us forever. And as far a the blanky goes, with all the slobber and other things we won’t mention, it can barely keep us warm.
So what is it? Why are we so afraid of letting go? Whether in life or love, we are scared little babies. Imagine if you will, your first roller coaster ride. You start by getting in the car. Then the lap bar closes in on our lap. Immediately, that is your new best friend. Then you start to go up the hill…. klink, klink, klink. With each klink, you are one step closer to your doom. Then woosh… down the hill you go, around the loops, up more hills… twisting and turning, up and down, all the while, holding on to that new best friend for dear life. Then you slowly roll into the loading area, knees wobbling, body shaking, hands sweating, you exit. Sound familiar? Does to me… sounds like most of my life. Always scared, always wondering what other people might say or think. Always trying to guess the outcome, rather that just living in that moment. The moment that my Creator has me in for a specific reason. The moment that could teach me, the moment that could draw me ever so close to my maker, or the moment that I finally break free from the chains that have held me captive my entire life.
Is this the way life is supposed to be? Are we to live in fear as Christians? What about non-Christians? How are we to live this life each and everyday as if were our last? How do we make the best out of every single opportunity we are given? And the hardest one… If you knew today was your last day on this earth, what would you do? What would you do differently in your past? While we are not to live in the past, we are supposed to learn from it. For it is said, and it is very true, those who fail to learn from their mistakes, are destined to repeat it! And oh how true that is!
So right now, I want you to stop reading for just a few minutes. No matter how rushed you are or seem. No matter what you have got to get to next in your crazy schedule. Ask your self these questions… What is holding me back from letting go? What is controlling you? Who is controlling you? What are you afraid of?
I hope you have been honest with yourself. Truth is, all of us have something we are afraid of. All of us are holding our little blankies down deep inside about something or someone. We have all bought into the lie that holds us in bondage. It is the lie of fear! Did you know that “Fear not” is mentioned in the Bible 365 times. Once for everyday of the year. Think that is by accident? I don’t! I know a God that is so Big and So Powerful and Loves us so much, that over and over again in His Word, He tells us that He is our guide (for those who are willing to follow Him). Over and over He tells us to fear not, I am with thee. Even as Joshua took the reigns from Moses to lead the Isrealites, He told Joshua, Fear not, be of Strong Courage.
So how do we get to that point? The point that we can completely trust in Him for our every need? My first suggestion would be to ask God to help you stronger in your faith. Ask Him to reveal the areas you are scared to death of in you own life. Then give them to Him… lay them at His throne. You see, as I said before, we are all scared to death about this Christian walk. We are all scared to screw up, in fear of failing. We are all scared of sinking if we get out of the boat like Peter did. But do you know what the difference is between fear and courage? Fear stops you in your tracks and prevents you from moving in any direction… much less forward. While Courage, it is being afraid, but choosing to move toward that fear with Strength and Power. Courage says, I might fail, I might go down, but if I do, I am going down swinging! Courage says, I might be scared, but the One who called me for His purpose PROMISES He is always with me! Courage tells me to FEAR NOT!
Moment of Truth
Are you going to continue to allow the enemy to deceive you and trick you into thinking God is powerless in your special situation. God sees all, God knows all, God is all! So do you believe that you situation will define you or will you define it? Are you going to continue to go through your life afraid of what everybody else thinks, is that really what matters? God is looking for Warriors! God is looking for everyday people just like you and I, to make a change and to be a light! Will you accept His call no matter what it is? Will you truly trust in His Plans for you? Bottom line is this… Jesus has paid the price for us. He has bought and paid for every sin, past, present and future. He is our Strength and He is our Courage! It is in Him and Him alone I find my refuge! I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! We must believe and trust that He infact has paid for us and has conquered hell for us! For if and when we truly believe that, will will find our strength in Him that no man, no army and no battle can take away from us. We will be able to stand in the face of any enemy with boldness, love and courage. We will be more than conquerors in this life but more importantly we will then finally be free of the fear that has kept us as a prisoner of war in our own bodies. We will be free to go and do what He has created us to do!
What are you waiting for…. Break those chains today and LET GO!
Giving God Our Best & First
Many people, especially in America, frown on or are afraid of Tithing. We make up every excuse in the book, such as, the church has enough money, I barely make it on what I got, God doesn’t need my money.. He is God. Or we see some churches taking advantage of tithing for their personal gain and set that as the standard for all churches. But mostly I believe it comes from fear of letting go of our hard earned money.
We must remember we are not giving to the church… We are giving to God out of obedience and honor for what He has given to us. No matter how little we think we have or how much we have, our offerings to the Lord should always be our first and our best.
How do we know this to be Truth? From the very beginning, we see from Cain and Abel, the standard God sets before us for giving back to Him. Cain was called to work the soil of the land, while Abel was called to keep the flocks. Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering. Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the FIRSTBORN of his flock.Then it says, v. 4 The Lord looked with favor on Abel, while Cain was not so favorable. Why? They both brought something to God as an offering. So why is one favored and one not?
Let’s take a look. It says that Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil. But notice Abel’s offering, it says that he brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. Do you notice anything different? Abel was given the flocks to watch over and care for, and it says that portions of his FIRSTBORN to God. Another words, right off the top, he gave back to God what God had given him to watch over. With Cain, it says that he brought some of the fruits of the soil. This means, it could have been the left overs, the bad ones, anything. God then sets the standard, by finding favor with Abel’s offering and not Cain’s.
God gives us everything we have. Even the things you think are toys, pleasures, work, money, extras… God has given them to you to watch over and for your enjoyment. He tells us in His Word that He will provide for all of our needs. Yet we don’t want to give Him back the little He ask for in return and then we expect to be blessed because we at least gave Him something. After all, we did work for our money, we earned every penny. Nevermind the fact that God also tells us that all things come from Him.
Have you ever been there? I have… I have had my pity party more than not, but if I am honest, I relate more to Cain than I do with Abel. Notice Cain in verses 5-6, He becomes angry and his face is downcast. Then notice God’s response to Cain in verse 7, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” What is He saying? He is saying that we have the power (through God and His instruction) to overcome sin. And not giving back to God as He has clearly instructed us to, is sin. But Cain, as many of us have done or will do, he let’s his bitterness and anger control him. In the very next verse (8), he tricks his brother and takes him out and kills him because of his jealousy, anger and bitterness, all of which come from not yielding to God’s clear authority in our lives.
Then God comes to Cain in verse 9, and asks him where his brother is. Do you really think God doesn’t know? But Cain, lies to God and smarts off, saying “am I my brothers keeper”. Then God lays it down on Cain. He tells him that Abel’s blood cries out from the ground and tells him that he is now under a curse. And listen to this… He says that when he works, his ground he was given will no longer yield crops from his hand.
Now, I can not say that your work is going to be cursed if you don’t tithe. That is for only God to rule on. What I can say is this, God is very clear in His Word about everything, especially with the Holy Spirit as our guide. Here, He sets an clear standard of what He wants back from us. Does He need it from you? No! Does He want you to trust in Him in all things, including giving back to Him what He has so clearly given to you? Yes! God does not want to harm us, He wants to bless us. You need to look no further than the Cross and Jesus to see that. If He wanted to harm us, He would have ended this a long long time ago. What He does want is us… All of us! Not just bits and pieces of us, not when we need a miracle, but all the time us. That is how we get to know His true nature, by trusting Him in all things. And let’s be honest… our finances, well that is the hardest thing for us all to let go of. We base our security, our future and our current situations on it. We need money for just about everything these days, including water. So why wouldn’t we be fearful? But God has proven to us that He is very trustworthy and will always provide for us.
In closing, what are you holding on to today? Are you tithing or giving back to God like He has commanded us too? Are we bitter, angry or even jealous? I want to remind you of this…
1) you can never out give God.
2) When we disobey God’s commands, it is sin and sin is the road to death.
3) Giving in anyway is far more rewarding than receiving, especially done with the right heart and the right motives, and especially when you give as if you are giving to God, not a church or person.
Trust in Him in all things… open up the door to faith and let Him show you just how faithful He truly is.
What would you do if you saw a house on fire? Would you attempt to rescue the people inside? What if your house was on fire? Of course I am not talking about an actual house fire, I am talking about a spiritual fire caused by sin. The flames from this fire, much like the flames of a real fire, can spread and destroy anything in its path. Do you know how to protect yourself from the fires of this life? Come listen as we try to help you equip yourself and protect you from these fires.
Let Freedom Ring! That’s what is said, it’s what we sing, but do we truly know cost, do we truly know what it means?
Freedom comes at a cost and if we don’t stand for it, it is sure to be lost. The Freedom I speak of is not wrapped with an American flag or the Star Spangled Banner. it is the Freedom that comes from heaven down to earth, the kind that pours out His Blood to save us who are called Sinners.
You see, just as a Nation that proclaims Freedom must stand at all cost to defend the weak and save the oppressed, we too must be Freedom Fighters, willing stand in the face of the enemy even if it means death.
We need more soldiers who are willing to fight, not just arm chair Christians, lukewarm and full of spite.
You see, Freedom comes at the highest cost, just like in our nation fighting for it in war, death must happen for it to be born.
Are you willing to die for your freedom you say you wear around your neck or better yet for the freedom of someone you have never even met?
Are you willing to stand no matter what the cost, even if it means friends or family might be lost? Or is Let Freedom Ring just something you say or something you sing?
Lip service is great if it matches the walk we say we are willing to take. If not, your nothing but a hypocrite, just another fake.
Christ died that we all might be free, but it cost Him His life hanging on a tree on Calvary.
So on this day that we celebrate our country’s freedom and you hear the song Let Freedom Ring, remember also the Savior who left Glory to be your King. Remember that True Freedom cost us all our death to self, for He tells us to lay it all down not to leave it on a shelf.
Share your story today, no matter what the cost. Stand for Freedom that more would be saved and God’s Army might grow.
When we know the true cost of Freedom and what it truly means, that is when we can truly say Let Freedom Ring!
It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. If that is true, who or what are we flattering?
I love how God uses the simplest things to teach us or to help us understand how He feels about us and how we should feel about Him. Often times, for me, this comes in being a parent. This morning was no exception… stand there getting ready for work, my son (2 1/2) standing there besides me watching me, as he does most mornings. While I was focused on hurrying to get ready, my son… was focused on his father. Having watched me many times before, he got himself ready. I looked at him in the mirror sitting on the edge of our bathtub, wearing my hat, my socks and my shoes…. I turned to look at him and he giggled and said, Daddy… I am ready! Wow… through the lips of a 2 1/2 year old, God spoke to me in a very powerful way.
If we would only start each day like that… focusing on our Father. We then could dress and arm ourselves with His Armor, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-20 and just as my son did. Then when we could say to our Father…. Daddy, I am ready for work! Anything that He calls us for that day, we would be ready to stand.
So as you get ready each and everyday, remember to flatter your Heavenly Father by imitating Him and dressing yourself with His Armor, so you too can say, Daddy… I am ready!
Verses used: Ephesians 6:10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Need some encouragement this morning? If you have been having trouble with the enemy lying to you about your past, THIS IS FOR YOU!
What would it take for you to completely sell out for God? Him proving that He loves you beyond measure? Him giving His One and Only Son Jesus Christ to die in our place and save us from an eternity in Hell?
We get so wrapped up in this world and all the distractions it has to offer that we often times forget why we were created and why God has chosen to leave us here.
While our jobs provide us with food and shelter, they should never be or become our God! Our toys, while they provide us with some measure of relaxation and enjoyment, should never be where all of our time is spent! And Our money, while everyone would love to have a little more than what they got, should never be what our goals are set towards or the race that we are running.
You see, God in fact paid much to high of a price for us not to give Him what He paid for, US! In fact, He has shown us His unfailing love, in the form of His One and Only Son Jesus Christ dying on the cross and taking our place, just so we would not have to spend an eternity in Hell, full of pain and punishment.
Let me give you an example. You would not buy the hottest, most expensive car in the world and leave it on the lot, would you? Well, God doesn’t want too either! He wants to get in and drive! He wants to take you on a ride of a lifetime. Still not convinced? How about this one… Suppose a person who loves to restore old cars, goes out and buys the oldest and most beat up car he can find. I mean this thing is a hunk of junk!! Everyone who sees it asks him, why in the world did you by this hunk of junk? He just nods and smiles and goes about his business. A while down the road, these same people are in complete awww. I mean this car is a priceless creation. It has been completely stripped down and completely redone and is absolutely amazing. You see, the restorer didn’t see the hunk of junk… He saw what God sees in us… a PRICELESS CREATION!
Many of us are just afraid! I get it, I really do!!! We think for some reason that God wants us to be perfect or that we have to have it all together to serve Him or to even come to Him. That is not true at all!!! God, just like the restorer, wants you, for you! That is it, nothing more! And just like the restorer, He wants to make you into that priceless creation He has created you to be. I mean, when is the last time you saw a car restore itself and fix it’s own problems? We are just like the car, we can’t do it either!
So I ask you again, what will it take for you to sell out for God? He has paid the ultimate price and He has promised to do all the work. He has even told you what to do, come just as we are and leave the changing and restoring up to Him. My friends, if He can change my heart and restore me… He can do it for anyone! Come to Him today. Let’s all sell out for God and see how this world changes!
Restored Priceless Creation
Challenge: I challenge all of you who read this, to repost this and sell out for God. Simply sign your name (in the place of mine) as a commitment, between you and God and repost on your wall, blog or any other forum to show the world by word you are selling out for God. Then commit to Him in prayer and offer yourself to Him completely. Revival starts one person at a time, one heart at a time… will you be next?