Friday, October 27, 2017

Why Are You So Fearful?

Why Are You So Fearful?

Mark 4:35-41 
... And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Jesus was preaching before a large crowd but needed space between Himself and the crowd of people surrounding Him. He stepped in a boat and pushed off into the water a little bit giving Himself room. Christ, being exhausted by all He had done that day, went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to rest. While Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat, a fierce storm arose filling the boat with water. The disciples, being afraid, awoke Him and said to Him, “Master, do You not care that we are perishing? How can you sleep when we are going through this?” They panicked. The disciples knew Jesus had power over the natural world as well as the supernatural world but questioned His ability to save them from the storm.

Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea saying, “Peace, be still.” The wind died down and became perfectly calm. He said to the men, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Immediately, they became exceedingly fearful and said to one another, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” 

Why are we afraid of the storms of life when the Creator of this world lives within us? How can we be fearful of any circumstance when Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, dwells in our mortal bodies? The strong winds of fear may invade our anxious minds but, when Christ, the Creator and Captain of the sea speaks, may we surrender full command of the storm to the One who can calm the raging sea and bring PEACE to our troubled soul.

Lord, I surrender full command of the storm in my life to You.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Given His Name

Given His Name
Working in a Pregnancy Resource Center brings three possible decisions into view. Will the client carry the baby, adopt, or abort? The decision to adopt seems to be the hardest concept for some women to accept. The statements I personally have heard are: “I could never do that!” “No, I have heard such terrible stories about children that have been adopted.” “No, I don’t want anyone to know that I was pregnant.” “My parents will disown me.” “No, I would rather abort than adopt.” “This was not in my plans, I have things I want to do with my life.”

Life or death is the final option here. What will the young woman’s verdict be for this innocent human life? Why is adoption viewed as a stigma with dishonor, disgrace, shame and reproach credited to it?  The definition for the word adoption: “the giving to any one the name and place and privileges of a son who is not a son by birth.”  There is no stigma in adoption. It is the banner of love over their life. Adoption means that they were loved with a special love that very few people will ever experience.

To those that have been adopted, your mom and dad loved you before they knew you existed. Not merely the idea of you, but you. If there is any shame in the word “adopted” – it has been covered in the gift of giving you their name. 

SPIRITUAL ADOPTION: An act of God's grace by which He brings men into the number of His redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings He has provided for them. He has granted to them His precious and very great promises, and through them many may become partakers of the divine nature––having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3,4). Clearly, adoption is conveyed in a favorable light through God’s Word. Those that have been adopted physically have received a tremendous blessing, a privilege exemplified by our adoption into God’s family.

Lord, thank You for giving me Your name.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Have You Lied to Yourself?

Have You Lied to Yourself?
Matthew 7:1-5
. . .  hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; . . .

It’s not easy coming to terms with your sinfulness. Seeing the beam in your own eye is like coming out of a bad movie and realizing that you were the featured actor/actress. Your part, judging and condemning people. Oh, the pride, in all of it’s corruption protrudes from the realization that you are guilty of being negative, disapproving and judgmental. You have been blinded to your own sin, yet others could not help but see who you really are. The lie you told yourself is finally played out and the truth emerges. You ultimately see the critical, fault-finding spirit that lives in your heart.

When our well kept secret is finally uncovered, things begin to crumble.  Because our foundation has been resting upon a rotten core, the supports of a previous arrogance and confidence will crack and then collapse. The safe covering we enjoyed behind our sin is gone. The more we convince ourselves that we’re better than most the more painful the revealing becomes. Who we are is now in plain view for all to see and we must be wholly dependent on His grace.

As we arrive at this level of conviction, we can no longer pretend or make believe. We thought our sin would never come out, but it did. We have been acting like this for years and it has become a practice that seems impossible to stop. We are under some illusion that through mere methods we have the power to change our path from sin to righteousness. True repentance brings our sin to the throne of grace where real mortification takes place. 

Psalm 51:1-10 says in part, Have mercy on me, O God, . . . blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, . . . I know my sin is ever before me. Against you only, have I sinned . . . Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Lord, I have sinned against You, I repent!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Who Am I?

Who Am I?
Psalm 139:17 
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

Our identity in Christ is “precious” according to Psalm 139:17 and His thoughts towards us are immeasurable, “. . . they are more in number than the sand” (Psalm 139:18). Oh, how marvelous are Your works for we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). There are many truths about who we have become through faith in God’s Son. How powerful a picture to review when our hearts are discouraged and in need of His grace.

I am a child of God (John 1:12) and a friend to Jesus, no longer a servant to sin (John 15:15). The old man has been crucified with Christ that sin in this body might be destroyed (Romans 6:6). I have been justified and redeemed by His wonderful grace, a gift through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 3:24). I will not be condemned by God because there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). I have been accepted (Romans 15:7), adopted by Christ (Romans 8:14-17) and sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13).

I have been made complete in Christ and my life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 2:10; 3:3). He supplies all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and the peace of God guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Ultimately, I am and forever will be, a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). These are only a few illustrations of who God says that I am! Only the life-giving blood of Christ can set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). In John 19:35, John writes that what he has seen and heard of Christ is true so that we might believe in the Word that came to dwell among us (John 1:14).

Lord, thank You for who I am.