Friday, August 30, 2013

Christians Are Led By The Holy Spirit

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."
Romans 8:14 (NKJV)

One thing that should be a distinguishing mark in the life of a Christian is being led by the Spirit of God.  As New Testament, New Covenant believers we have the Holy Spirit living in us.  One of the things that the Holy Spirit will do for us is that He will lead us and guide us in life.  What does it mean to be led by the Holy Spirit?  Saying we are led by the Holy Spirit simply means that we follow the direction that the Holy Spirit gives us.  As children of God we have the Holy Spirit inside of us but it is our choice whether or not we will follow His direction or if we will follow something else.

There are a lot of things that people use for guidance in life.  Some people live by their emotions, when they are feeling good then everything is great and they are ready to conquer the world.  But, when they are sad and feeling discouraged then they just want to hide away and quit.  Some people are led by their circumstances, they think that good circumstances mean they are doing the right things and bad circumstances and situations in life mean that they are doing something wrong.  Some Christians are led by other people and the advice that they get from their trusted friends.  Other people are led by experiences, their own and others, or they are led by logical reasoning and their thinking.

The Holy Spirit is always there to lead us and guide us, no matter how we feel, no matter what circumstances we face, and no matter what other people say or do.  So often we are dominated by all of the things going on around us that we are not looking for the guidance that God will give us by the Holy Spirit.  We need to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and become acquainted with Him and how He will lead us.  Make the choice today that you will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in every area of your life and allow Him to give you the direction that you need.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Our Words: Building Blocks Or A Wrecking Ball

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."
Proverbs 18:21 (Amplified)

Did you ever go by a construction site and watch as workmen built a building?  First a foundation is laid, then the floor, the walls, and the roof are all put in place; it can take some time to do it right but with diligent work it will happen.  Sometimes it is just laying one brick after another in a lengthy process that ultimately results in a fine structure.  Just like a building is built brick by brick we can build up the lives of others with our words; our words can be building blocks of life, strength, health, and encouragement.

Have you ever seen a building being torn down?  A building that took a long time to be built can be destroyed in a very short time with a wrecking ball.  The building may have had a good design and dedicated workers who took the time to carefully put together each part, but once the wrecking ball starts to swing it all comes crashing down.  When we use our words in the wrong way, when we speak negative, critical words, then we are using our words like a wrecking ball and we can tear other people down with the words we speak.

Sometimes the only words people have heard were the negative kind about how they are no good and they will never amount to anything, those are the kinds of words that are like the wrecking ball.  We need to choose our words carefully and build things into other people.  We can share words of hope and strength saying that no matter what is happening that we serve a God who will help us; we can use our words to encourage others and tell them that they can achieve great things.  We have the choice about the kind of words we will speak, let's choose the right words that will build people up and not the kind of words that will tear them down.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Value Of Stillness And Quiet

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

One thing that we do not have a great abundance of in this world is stillness and quiet.  Sometimes there is so much happening in our lives that we don't take the time to just be still, get quiet, and listen to what God has to say.  There are times when our mind and our body are so active that we have a difficult time listening to what God is saying to us in our hearts.  If we want to be successful in life and effective with what we do for God we must find time to close out all of the things going on around us, be still, and spend time with God.

We live in a world of mass communication and often we have so many sources of input and so many different voices speaking to us that we have trouble knowing what we should really listen to.  Sometimes it seems as though we have forgotten to use the "off switch" for all of the things going on in our life and we have gotten to the point where we just accept all of this constant activity as normal.  If we are always busy with phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, appointments, activities with friends and family, projects, and so on we will become more outward focused and less inward sensitive.

God will speak to us, but with all of the other things we have going on His voice might be hard to distinguish.  God is not going to shout to make Himself heard above all of our activities and noise but when we take the time to stop, to be still, and get quiet to spend some time with Him we will find that He is ready and waiting.  If you have been feeling stressed, overloaded with work and the concerns of life, or if you just need to get some clarification from God about how He wants you to do some things then it is time be still, get quiet, and spend some time with God.  Be still and give God the opportunity to speak to you today.

Friday, August 9, 2013

But Lord, What About Them?

... And when He had spoken this, He said to him, Follow Me.
Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?"
John 21:19, 20 (NKJV)
One of the greatest problems people have in life is distractions. It is so easy for us to lose our focus and get looking around to see what else is happening and not pay attention to what we ought to be doing.  This is especially true when it comes to our checking to see what other people are doing.  Once we start comparing ourselves and what we are doing with what other people are doing we are distracted; we can either be doing what we should do or we can be distracted.  If we let ourselves get sidetracked and distracted we will never really do the things that God wants us to do.
We can see this problem in the life of Peter when Jesus gave Peter some direction about what to do.  Peter did not stop and say "Oh, thank you Lord! Now I know what to do and focus on in my life and I can pursue that."  No, what Peter did is similar to what a lot of us do; right away Peter saw someone else and asked Jesus, "What about them?"  God has a plan and a purpose for each person's life and that plan is for that person and not subject to our approval.  God knows better than we do what people ought to spend their time doing.  If we are spending our time looking around and making judgments about whether or not someone else is doing the right thing then we are probably not doing our thing.

It is important for each one of us to put our attention on to the work that God has called us to do and not be distracted by looking around to see what others are doing.  The next time you catch yourself looking around at other people and wondering if they are doing what they are supposed to do put your focus back on the things that God has called you to do.  Comparing our lives with the lives of others and making judgments about whether or not what someone else is doing is right will only lead us into distraction and despair; doing the things that God has called us to do will lead to a successful, satisfied life.

Friday, August 2, 2013

God Gives You A Future And A Hope

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

No one has a perfect past, everyone can look back in their life and see some mistake or missed opportunity that they would change if they could.  It is good to know that it is not so important where you start in life but it is important what you do after you start.  Some people may have been born into a better situation than others, but whether or not someone succeeds in life is more about what they do with their life than the condition they were born into.  No matter where you are today, or where you have come from, you can go forward to something better!

There are some people who feel as though their life has no purpose, that there is no hope.  But with God there is always hope!  In Jeremiah God tells us that He is thinking good thoughts about us, not evil thoughts.  God is not thinking about all of the mistakes and problems we have had in the past but God is thinking about the possibilities we have for a bright future.  If we would just get connected with God and the plan He has for our life we would do great things for God.  God has bigger and better plans for us than we have thought for ourselves.

What we all need to do from this day forward is forget about the past and start looking ahead.  Maybe you are in a bad situation; maybe you do have some difficulties.  Jesus told us that in this world we would have problems but that He has overcome the world!  Get connected with God through His Word and talk to God in prayer.  Let Him guide you and direct you from where you are today to where you need to be tomorrow.  Allow God to help you right the wrongs and trust Him to show you the bright future and hope that He has for you!