Posted tagged ‘Jesus’

I’VE BEEN TRYING TOO HARD!

November 9, 2015

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)

Faith

Growing up, I was taught that I had to please God to earn my way into heaven. I was taught that I needed to spend more time in church, that I needed to go on mission trips, that I needed to place more money in the collection plate, that I needed to quit sinning, that I needed to become perfect! I always felt I had to do more. For six decades, I have tried to become a better person to please our Father, and for six decades I have fallen flat on my face. I am still the same sinner that I was thirty years ago. So if I believe what I was taught as a child, I’m never going to make it into heaven. I’m never going to meet the One who sent His Son to die for me. How in the world am I ever going to be good enough, to please God enough to spend eternity with Him?

I have finally come to realize that I will never be good enough. I am a sinner, and no matter how hard I try, I will always be a sinner! So does that mean I should just give up? Should I just live for myself and forget about pleasing God?

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6, NIV)

Maybe it’s time to look at my faith instead my behavior. Perhaps God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Maybe He made me imperfect for a reason. Maybe He made me the way I am so I would have to trust Him, to allow Him to be present in my life, to give Him the authority to direct my path. Perhaps He doesn’t need me to please Him. Maybe He needs me to trust Him, to have faith in him. Even by trusting Him, I will still be a sinner, but because I belong to Him I will start to love others the way Jesus loves me. No, I will never be good enough, but that really doesn’t matter. God will never love me more than He loves me right this minute – no matter what I do or how hard I try to please Him. My salvation and His love for me have absolutely nothing to do with trying harder! It’s all about FAITH! I simply need to surrender my life to Him and trust that His way is the right way to live my life.

Perhaps you, too, should take a closer look at your faith today!

Have a blessed day, “Working for Christ!”

TODAY ISN’T OVER YET!

May 28, 2014

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40, NIV)

Calming the Storm

Our days are filled with stress. Most of us wake up at about six o’clock in the morning so we can be to our jobs by eight. Not only do we have to get up and be ready to go, we need to make sure our spouse and kids are up and ready to go, too. It seems that when we are rushing around, trying to get ready, nobody in the house wants to cooperate.  “I want cereal,” the youngest screams out.” “I want scrambled eggs,” replies the middle one. “I don’t want to eat today. I’m too fat,” says the oldest. “I’m making pancakes and everyone is going to eat them,” commands mom! Then, the cries and arguments begin. It’s only seven o’clock and my day has just begun.

After dropping my third grader off at school, I sit back in my car and take a deep breath. Ahhh! Finally I can relax. I put on some nice, relaxing blues and get ready to make the rest of my drive to the office. As I get ready to enter the freeway, I notice that the traffic is moving, but at a snail’s pace. It looks as if my forty-five minute commute may take a little longer than expected. Cars in front of me are stopping and starting as if they’d never been in a traffic jam before. Cars behind me are honking, and those around me are cutting in and out of traffic trying to gain an advantage any way they can. There really isn’t any apparent reason for the delay. Nobody can handle it. Horns are honking, fingers are raised and flying at each other, and words are being said that would embarrass even the nastiest of drunken sailors.

Traffic Jam

Finally, at eight thirty, I make it to my office. I’m exhausted. I haven’t even grabbed a cup of coffee before my secretary says, “There’s a call on the line. They’ve been holding for ten minutes, and they really sound upset.” Are you kidding me? I can’t take any more! How am I supposed to show others that I am living for Christ if I can’t get a handle on anything that’s going on around me? What am I supposed to do?

Perhaps when I woke up at six o’clock and made sure my wife and kids were awake, I should have taken a few minutes to “wake” Jesus, too! Maybe I should have invited Him to breakfast with us. I’m sure He would have enjoyed my wife’s blueberry pancakes, and I know He enjoys having breakfast with the kids. I could have even asked Him to sit next to me on the freeway and to protect me and those around me. Before getting out of my car at work, I could have asked Him to bless my day and to show me ways in which to glorify Him as I meet the various challenges that I will be facing today.

I could have and I should have, but I didn’t. Lucky for you (and for me), today isn’t over yet. It’s not too late to “wake” Jesus up and invite Him into your day. It only takes a few minutes. When your storms are raging and you think Jesus is asleep, He’s not! He’s just waiting for you to come to Him! There is no need to worry. He’s got your back!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

A PRESCRIPTION FOR OUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH!

February 14, 2014

Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17, NIV)

Doctor Jesus

If we didn’t need to be saved from our sins, God never would have sent His Son to this earth. He knows each of us personally. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows what builds us up and what tears us down. He knows what we do every minute of every day. He knows what we do when we are alone – when no else is around. He knows our struggles and all of our shortcomings. He knows each and every one of our many sins. The fact is, He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows that none of us are worthy to enter His Kingdom. But, He has provided a way for us to live with Him in eternity.

It is important to recognize and confess our sins. Just as a doctor prescribes antibiotics to help us when we are ill, Christ prescribes His love to maintain our spiritual health! Spend some time with the “Doctor” today. Allow Him to nurture you back to health!

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

GOING UP?

February 12, 2014

“For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”  (Luke 14:11, NIV)

UP

In the business world, you hear people say they are trying to “make it to the top.” But God’s view of our world turns everything upside down. Jesus was exalted – after volunteering to give up divinity. Jesus was lifted up – after going down to the grave. Jesus was honored – after submitting to the Father. Jesus was glorified – after dying.

Exalting God is pressing the DOWN button on the ego elevator.

We were made to serve others! No matter what our position or title, our job is to serve!

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

ARE YOU RICH (Toward God, That Is)?

December 27, 2013

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15, NIV)

Seeing Dollars

And He (Jesus) told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.” He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21, NIV)

Jesus warns us about the peril of a life lived without God – one that worships self, work, and personal comfort. This parable is a damning indictment of a man who lived as if God did not exist, who thought that he had it all, but at the end of the day he found his way of life was a destructive force that really didn’t accomplish what he had intended.

The sin of a hurried, harried, and preoccupied life is rampant in this fast paced, competitive world. To survive, we need someone to lead the way – someone who has seen what’s on the other side and someone who can teach us right from wrong. We don’t need just anyone. We need Jesus.

Jesus teaches, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV)

Keep these words close to your heart as you begin each new day in this upcoming year. Remember, nothing can get accomplished unless it is the will of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Be prosperous in the New Year – prosperous toward God, that is!

Treasure

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

IS GRACE A “FREE” GIFT?

December 12, 2013

“My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30, NIV)

Grace3

We are taught early in our relationship with Christ that grace is given freely – that Christ died to free us from our sins. His grace has set us free. And His grace is free.

Am I to understand that since Jesus did it all, we don’t need to do a thing – other than to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior? But doesn’t that mean we can keep on living the way we always have? We can continue to sin and not worry about the consequences? Some people would say that’s the way it is. They accept Christ so they’re on their way to live with Him in eternity! Nothing in their lives needs to change – other than the fact that they now believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior!

But wait! What about confessing your sins? What about living a “transformed” life – one that mimics the way Christ lived? What about giving up your old way of life and living (and dying) for Christ? In my mind, there is a price we must pay to receive the grace that Christ gives us so freely!

True grace has a cost. It’s found when people go and sell everything they have in order to develop their relationship with Christ. It’s found in Christ’s sovereignty, when we are willing to tear out an eye if it causes us to stumble. It’s found in the call of Jesus Christ which causes a person to leave his “net” and follow Him.

Yes, true grace has a cost. It’s found in the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which has to be asked for, the door at which one has to knock.

It’s costly because it calls us to discipleship; it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs people their lives; it is grace because it thereby makes them live a transformed life. It is costly because it condemns sin; it is grace because it justifies the sinner. Grace is costly because it was costly to God – because it cost God the life of His own Son and because nothing can be cheap to us which is costly to God. Above all, it is grace because the life of God’s Son was not too costly for God to give in order to bring us to everlasting life!

So the next time you consider the gift of grace, consider the cost – it really isn’t free. But when we accept it, and we live under His “yoke”, we become free – free to love like never before!

Free to Love

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHAT A COINCIDENCE!

December 3, 2013

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:11-14, NIV)

Break the Chain

December 3rd. One year ago today my wife and I woke up, said a little prayer, and checked into Florida Hospital here in Orlando to have my prostate removed. Along with my prostate all of the cancer that had been eating away at it was also removed. Today marks one year of living without that nasty disease living inside me. Praise the Lord!

December 3rd, 2003. Ten years ago today marks another milestone in my life. Although I grew up in a Christian household (at least that’s what we called ourselves), I never really made a connection between living and dying for the Lord. Just like the slow-growing cancer in my prostate, my life was slowly being eaten away by the cancer called “worldly living.” Although I told myself (and others) that I was a Christian, I wasn’t living for Christ. I was living for myself. I was working sixty hours a week, meeting clients in “not-so-Christianly” establishments, taking the Lord’s name in vain on a regular basis, and taking advantage of business clients in order to increase my bank account. In effect, I was feeding the cancer that was living inside my soul – a cancer that was turning me away from the Lord. I was giving Satan a reason to hang around and to use me for his purposes. I never realized how deadly that cancer had become.

But, on December 3rd, 2003, something finally “clicked” inside my brain (and in my heart). I can’t pinpoint exactly what happened, but it was like turning on a switch that allowed me to see what I was doing to myself and to those around me. I realized that just because I grew up in a “Christian” household that doesn’t mean I was a Christian or that I even had Christian values. It simply meant that I had heard about Jesus. Obviously I had no idea how to follow Him and I had absolutely no idea how to die for Him. Thank God, I had heard about Him! I began to look for Him in my everyday life. I looked at the way I was treating others and where my priorities had taken me. I realized that with God’s help, I could make changes to myself. I could become aware of the things that were bringing me down. I realized that I could reverse the kind of choices I was making. I could choose to give up living for myself and start living for Christ. I could make a choice to “die” to my old way of life. And that’s exactly what I have been trying to do for the past ten years.

The cancer has been removed. I can finally live again – free from those things that once brought me down. Just as I struggle with my prostate cancer recovery, I will continue to struggle in my battle with Satan. But in both areas of my life I have Someone who loves me and who will continue to strengthen me.

December 3, 2013, and December 3, 2003 – a coincidence? I don’t think so!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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