Friday, September 21, 2012

My Dreams vs. God's Plans

Sometimes I hear Christians say, "My dream is to own this or live here or marry this kind of person".

Why is it that as Christians we tend to want things without putting in the hard work to achieve them? Material items such as a mansion, expensive gadgets, sporty vehicles, or the latest fashions in clothing. This could also apply to relationships. "He or she" has to be beautiful, have this income, drive this kind of car, etc.

And what's even more ironic we may happen to know or meet someone who has some of these things and they still want more. Not only that, they may not even seem anymore happy. So what does the Bible have to say about this?

The apostle Paul addresses this topic by addressing "contentment"

He writes in Philippians 4:12-13
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (NIV)

So Paul is saying he has learned to be content in every situation. He also mentions that he can do everything though Christ who gives him strength.

Isn't interesting that when we as believers decide we want something and want it now our obedience to God mysteriously seems to be less and less?

God wants to be the source of our lives 24/7. He wants us to give over those wants we store up and put them on his shoulders so the burden isn't ours anymore.

Ultimately he is the architect and has designed the blue print for us to glorify him with our lives. God deeply desires that we live a life where it's not about us. It's about Him and what the Holy Spirit does through us to advance the Kingdom of Heaven and bring him all the glory, honor, and praise.

God Bless.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

WTS A Simple Formula for Spiritual Growth

Here's a Biblical formula to grow spiritually in difficult circumstances.

Part One: Wait

Waiting is always hard because as humans we like things to happen right now. God's timing is the best timing for our lives but often it requires a great deal of patience which at times can be very enduring.

Isaiah 40:31 says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not be faint. (KJV)"

God has promised in his word he will give us a supernatural endurance when we wait upon Him. Our strength will be renewed. We experience an assurance as if soaring with wings of an eagle. We run and walk through trials with unbelievable energy. Energy that only God can give us through trying times.

Part Two: Trust

After waiting on the Lord we sometimes tend to have doubts. That's when waiting has to be kicked up to a whole new level. The level of trust.

Proverbs 3:5-6 states, " Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

So what God has called his children to do is with everything you have inside you, put your full trust in Him. Step away from your human understanding of a situation and acknowledge the God of the universe for his understanding. When we do this God has promised he will direct our paths in life.

Part 3: Stay Away From Sin

As Christians we sometimes have the tendency to doubt even when we have committed ourselves to fully trusting God in a situation. It's when we take our eyes off Christ we start to sink.

2 Timothy 2:22 reads, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

We cannot afford to be creating these doorways of evil desires in our lives. We must stay way from sin and pursue the qualities God would like us to have.

I like the definition a pastor once used to explain what sin is. He replied, "Sin is the very thing that wants to ruin the blessings that God has planned for our lives."

So in summary, First we practice a militant life of waiting upon the Lord. Next we trust the Lord fully. And if there are times of doubt we stay away from the one thing that is designed to ruin God's blessings in our lives - sin and pursue Godly qualities like righteousness, faith, love, peace, and pure hearts.

God Bless,
Be Strong

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Being Rejected for Christ

You know that as Christians we can't go more than a few days before we hear a psychologist or people on a talk show discussing the importance of loving ourselves or having high self esteem. One of the things that floats around society and makes it very difficult to hold a high self esteem is the act of being rejected.

I 'll be honest with you guys. I know what what it means to be rejected. But I know that I am being rejected for the words of Christ in my heart. Not for my human disposition. So how do we deal with perceiving ourselves positively when we are facing rejection?

Well first let's acknowledge that as believers we are in a war. We can't see it but it is still very much a war.

Ephesians 6: 10-12

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For 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.

So now we know something very important. When we are being rejected for what we believe in- the negativity towards us is nothing personal. Guys there's no better way to ruin someone's Christian testimony than to ruin their image before their peers. And Satan knows this well. He will turn family members against each other, people in church leadership, husbands, wives, children. He doesn't care. Anything to stifle the Word of God that has become so vocal and life directing in our lives. So how can we as believers prevent being wounded in this spiritual battle? Well, let's keep reading...

13Therefore 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. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And 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 saints.

These verses talk about some key pieces of armor that need to be in our lives.

Let's apply spiritual wisdom to each piece as it could relate to rejection in a Christian person's life.

The Belt of Truth

The truth as mentioned earlier - it's nothing personal. You have an enemy who is trying to take you out of the game. Don't move keep serving Christ.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Breastplate of Righteousness

Get this- it's important. DO NOT SEARCH. A trial is never a license to sin before a Holy and awesome God. You will go through a refining fire that will burn away some of your pride. The end result is an acknowledgment "it is wiser to live through Christ than to selfishly live through ourselves".

Shoes (or Cleats) of the Gospel of Peace.

Make no mistake about it. There is no peace in God when we turn our backs on him. That's a peace we can only experience when we choose to trust him for everything. And trust God no matter how tough things get- He has a purpose that will work for the good.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Shield of Faith

The Bible calls us to walk by faith not by sight. It also says the just shall live by faith. Look back on the last 5 years of your life and ask yourself this question? Were the tough times I went through impossible? Or did God give me the faith to keep going? And in the end I love him more with my life.

Matthew 17:19-20 "Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?' He said to them, 'Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

Helmet of Salvation

When all passes away we will only have one thing. Salvation in our
Lord Jesus Christ. And we will walk those streets of gold knowing our eternity in Heaven we will be forever and ever. Amen

Phillipians 1:5-6
5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Sword of the Spirit

God's word is vital in a spiritual battle. It's the words of truth amongst a den of lies. It's a also a very effective weapon.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Grab your Bible before your heart starts to buy into the Devil's "perfect" but very corrupt solution to dealing with the "cold shoulder".
Ask God to speak words of wisdom through scripture.

The passage ends by acknowledging the importance of prayer

Will you make a promise to God? When you feel people getting cold around you, will you pray for them? They don't know they are hurting you. It's deception from the Devil. Christ is your Rock. Stand on His foundation and Biblical principals. It's the best place you can possibly be. Don't move.

1 Peter 5: 6-11
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

God Bless

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Worrying is Not the Answer

Have you ever had someone respond to you with the words
"No worries"? What they're saying to you is don't worry right?
Well the Bible talks about not worrying as well.

Mathew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So the Bible is teaching we as believers not to worry about tomorrow.
Today is troublesome enough. So you say, That's not very realistic.
Do I just stop thinking about my problems? Do I just stop caring?

Let's look at verse 33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

It's not about "I'm going to just stop caring. It's about:

"God, I'm giving you and the Heavens and all that you're about my my undivided attention right now. I don't understand why this has happened or how it will be resolved but your Word promises me if I seek You first and your righteousness, your character God, all these things will be given to me including the remedy to the problem I'm facing right now.

You see guys, it's about redirecting your focus when worry strikes.
The sign of a man or women who is living a spirit-filled life is they never seem to be shook. Sure things happen and they have their concerns but on a whole problems don't shake them. This is because their hope is in the Lord. And their mindset is only upon Christ.

1 Thesselonians 1:5-10
For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and (with) much conviction. You know what sort of people we were (among) you for your sake.

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit,
so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and (in) Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

For they themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God
and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from (the) dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.

Guys, God has seen it all. And he watches over us daily.
Instead of spending time worrying we need to be praying for other Christians and their trials. We need to be praying for those who don't know the Lord and as of now will face the coming wrath on judgment day.

Let's remember we are only but earthen vessels being used to pour out what God is doing in our lives. And ultimately we are represenatives of Christ's power and the soul purpose is to bring him all the glory, honor, and praise.


God bless
No worries

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Peace in a Stressful World

I think we'd all agree that life can be stressful. Three that come to mind are in the areas of relationships, finances, and work. Is it possible if we apply Biblical principals to these areas we can reduce the stress level that each one brings? The answer is yes.


Relationships go sour when people stop talking. This is often when someone's pride is hurt from another individual. "I'm not forgiving that person. They hurt me. And now they're gonna know how it feels to be hurt back." And as the walls go up so does the stress. And the peace in your life diminishes. You'll get your peace back when you forgive them.

Matthew 18:21-30
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Let's be open to the fact that not all hurt is bad hurt either. A few years ago my Dad said to me, "You know, your money is your God." Did I believe him? No. But he was right. I was worshiping my money. It really hurt my pride to have him say that but the end result was I no longer worship the idea of having a large bank account. I can only serve one master. And that's my Lord Jesus Christ who gives me the wisdom and strength to write these devotions, and continually step into dangerous territory with other Christians so that when the dust settles He seems more real in their hearts.


Ever had a hard time sleeping cause you're stressed out about finances?
"This month I'm a little strapped for cash. How will I be able to buy groceries?"

It might be about clothes. "My jeans are wearing out. I can't wear these in public anymore. But where is the money going to come from to buy new ones?"
You can regain Peace and gets some sleep in these situations by understanding this simple principal in the Bible.

If God provides for the birds of the air, think how much he cares for you and is interested in your provision.

Mathew 6:25-26

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?


A person's place of work is a great example of a stressful area because it can involve many stressful dynamics. Work relationships with other employees, supervisors or the boss, money related politics, or the ethics of people you work with like dishonesty, gossip
or insensitive remarks just to name a few. And one day as you're coming home thoughts surface such as "It's not fair" or "I don't need this" And than you realize 'my Peace is gone.

You can get it back. Remember your focus. You serve Christ.

2 Corinthians 25-28

25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

Despite all of the Apostle Paul's sufferings he kept his focus. Grow the early church . And because of his sacrifice and perseverance I write to you today giving all credit to our Lord Jesus Christ and Savior. If you want your peace back ponder this thought. I now know the sacrifice and the sufferings Paul went through to serve Christ. What am I prepared to go through to serve the Risen Savior?

Philippians 4:4-9

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

God Bless

Sunday, September 2, 2012

God, What Do You Want for Me?

Ever wonder about God's will for your life?
It's really easy to see what his will is. It's what you're
doing right now. So say you are in a church ministry. That's God's will for you. Or you're at a job where you sometimes feel the Holy Spirit calling you to encourage others. I've been there. That God's will for you. Or say you are evolved with a Bible study group and you read the Word and learn to apply it to your life. Again that's God's will. Now you say, Yeah that's all fine but how do I know for sure? Let's dig deeper.

What do all three examples have in common? They all involve serving or learning how to serve.

Jesus upon ascending to the heavens gave this commandment to his
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mathew 28:19

Now we can't all be pastors walking into different nations spreading the gospel and baptizing people. But what we can do is be salt and light to others.

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Mathew 5:13-16

Jesus is talking about people with purpose. Just as salt and light have a purpose we need to let Christ work through our words. We need to make him the feet and the hands in our lives to show people the only true way is through the Cross and being redeemed through his blood. The world doesn't promote God. It promotes putting self first, getting ahead in life, and what ever works for that person works. People truly believe that these agendas will provide their lives with happiness or that joy they've been looking for. They won't.

Serge Leclerc director of Sask. Teen Challenge spoke at a breakfast
I attended. In his testimony he talked about the life he had lead and the new life he has found in Christ. I like the way he ended his talk.
"You'll never find it, he said. You'll never find it. It's only through Christ." read more on his official site

I want to encourage you let's live our lives for what pleases God.
Let's share our faith or how we prayed about something when God opens the doors to people we talk to and gives them an openness to salvation. Sometimes it just about acknowledging God in the small
day to day things that gets people thinking. Maybe just saying grace before a meal. As you're sitting at you're computer realize God loved you so much he sent his son to die for you. His will for our lives is to talk about him to others, pray for others, and spend time in the Bible training our minds and hearts for the things he wants for us and in turn the things that will bless others.