Posts Tagged ‘strength’

  

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

On Aug. 8, a Starkville, MS, couple was arrested for conspiring and attempting to give material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL (now being called the Islamic State). Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 20 and Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, were charged with the crimes. When residents of Vicksburg, MS, found out, people were shocked. How could Young, a hometown girl, become a terrorist sympathizer? She was one of us!

All around us are people looking for something to live for. Even in the Bible Belt, some have grown weary of weak religion and are looking in other places. At the same time, Jesus is continuously reaching out to bring them home. But He needs real hands, real hearts, real Christ Life relationships, and real churches to bring them to. Are you that kind of person? Is your church that kind of place?

Be that person that creates life personally and in your house of worship! People are dying for something to live for. Lift Christ up honorably so He can draw them in Himself! You are loved today! (8/31/15)

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“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans‬ ‭8:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

In 1998, tests on a scarab jewel that once belonged to King Tut proved that the glass it was made from was produced before the earliest Egyptian civilization. Curious for answers, scientists discovered an area in the Sahara Desert, near Libya, where mysterious shards of glass litter the sand. Scientists’ best guess was that a meteor, slamming into the desert, produced such heat that glass was formed.

Tragedy strikes every life. But it leaves behind something more than just pain and scars. Tragedy can also bring realignment of priorities, beautiful new relationships, and testimonies of how God cared for us through the dark valleys. And these same exquisite jewels that we gain from life’s slamming furnaces are what will get us through the next round of valleys that come our way. 

If you ever wonder if good can come out of a tough time, just look at an Egyptian scarab jewel. It’s beauty was made in an accidental furnace! And so will your life be! You are loved today! Find the beauty!

  

“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.” (Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭13‬ NIV)

In his book, The Blue and the Gray, James Robertson shares a story about a cowardly Confederate Chaplain:

“We got into a little row with the Yankees a few days ago and our parson, deeming, no doubt, that discretion was the better part of valor, took to his heels when the shells commenced flying and I have not seen him since. A New England officer who had witnessed the same misbehavior insisted that ‘undue susceptibility to cannon fever were ample grounds for the disqualification of a chaplain.'”

Standing our ground can be tough to do. While we may not face a barrage of Civil War cannons, we do face public pressure, peer sentiment, and relational confrontations. The last thing God needs is cowards on the front line, caving in to popular opinion or flat-out false beliefs in order to save face or keep a church pew filled! The right thing will always be the right thing, regardless of pop culture’s windblown preferences!

Being brave isn’t always easy, so let God help you. He gives you the strength to do it, the backing to stand with you, and the healing of the heart afterwards. But caving in to cowardice will always lead to heartache! Stand your ground! You are loved today! 

  

…For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah‬ ‭8‬:‭10‬ NKJV)

“Susan” was an incredible woman. She had already outlived two husbands and one of her children. She had every reason to give up in her late season of life. Yet, every Sunday, she was in my church, worshipping with a smile and participating in what activities she could.  The joy she found in Christ gave her daily strength. 

In Nehemiah’s day, he was having to teach Israel the very lesson we need to achieve today: Move beyond fleeting happiness to a grounded joy! Israel had been on an emotional rollercoaster of emotions, up one minute and down the next. The high of returning from captivity to the low of tedious rebuilding; the up from having a Deliverer come to rebuild to the down of being threatened with terroristic violence. As they hit another low by hearing how they had failed God through sin, Nehemiah had to help them get past unstable emotions to a place of stability found only through a consistent walk with God. 

If you are living to find happiness, then you’ll find life to be one continual frustration after another. Susan got it when she found her joy in God and not in emotion. And as God blessed her with another loving man, she found an unexpected 11th hour blessing from the God of her joy! You are loved today! Live on it! 

  

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Yesterday I preached a sermon about the extravagant love of the alabaster box offering. One year ago, I preached an illustrated message of Jesus’ last hours called “The Whip, Hammer & Cross”. Ten years ago, I preached a message entitled “The Prayer of Evangelism”. Fifteen years ago, I preached “The Corruption Of Good Character” to my first church in Hereford, TX. There’s been a lot of sermons I’ve both preached and heard in my lifetime!

As believers, you and I are not the product of a new ministry or a word come lately. We stand firmly on the shoulders of men and women that have preached, taught, and labored to share the Gospel since the days of Jesus Himself. We can trace this hope through history all the way back to then! We stand on the shoulders of a long legacy of faith!

So don’t let this word become dormant in you. Remember that yours is an ancient and strong faith, passed down from generation to generation, all the way to you. Be sure to do you’re part and keep passing it on! Continue the legacy by standing firm! You are loved! 



As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭51‬ NLT)

At this moment in Jesus’ life, He had just prophesied twice that He was about to be put to death for His teachings. His time was drawing short. To get to Heaven and be with the Father, the Son had to pass through a severe moment in Jerusalem. So, instead of ducking and avoiding it, He made up His mind and headed into it. Now that’s courage!

There are many times in our lives that for us to enjoy certain activities or moments, we must first go through some difficulties that loom in front of us like Judgment Day. And the more we see it, the more we want to procrastinate and avoid it. Be it goals, deadlines, unpleasant meetings, or a lot of piled up hard work, they sit there in the middle of our path, waiting to be conquered. Trust that God can give you the courage to take on the inevitable, which leads to better days. 

As you come to church today, relinquish your plans to the Father. We don’t see the whole picture, but He does. Where God leads you, whether toward bright mountain tops or dark valley floors, is the best of places because He is with you! Got a “High Noon” moment in your path? Then be like Jesus and set yourself towards it, knowing that God has this and you will overcome! You are loved today! Have courage! 

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You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?” (Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬ NLT)

According to statisticbrain.com, of all persons that set New Year’s resolutions, only 8% are successful at achieving them, 49% have infrequent success, and 24% never accomplish a single one. Wow! And 1 out of 4 are done with them after the first week! By now, 1/3 of resolution setters that hit the gym, cut back spending, and attempted to stop a bad habit have given up and are back to their old ways that they didn’t like beforehand.

No matter what the endeavor, good things require hard work and sacrifice. A better marriage, healthier body, and a powerful spiritual life require for diligence on our part to keep doing the things that we know we are supposed to be doing. Then when those stumbling moments come and we question the “effort vs reward” factor, we must keep choosing “effort”, knowing it is worth it!

What is keeping you from a healthier body, stronger esteem, wealthier wallet, more intimate marriage, or a dynamic spiritual life? Ask God to help you conquer these or any other goal worth pursuing. Then when you stumble, and you will, He is there to pick you up and keep you going! You are loved today! Keep at it!