Thursday, January 25, 2018

Shine Some Light On That

"The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple."
Psalm 119:130 (NKJV)

Have you ever noticed the difference between how some things look in the light of day compared to how they look at night, or how things become easier to see when you turn on a light?  Pretty much everyone has had some experience like this.  When something is in the dark you can't always see exactly what it is, but once you shine a light on that same thing it is not only easy to see, but you also have a clear view of what it actually is.  The worst thing would be to have something obscured by darkness with a light at your disposal, but never using that light.

In Psalm 119:130 we are told that God's Word will give us light and understanding.  This can apply to many different situations.  God's Word can give us light and understanding about the questions we have, about which direction to go and what to do in our life.  God's Word can give us light and understanding about how to deal with people, and how to be successful with our family and business.  Psalm 119:130 gives us some information about the light and understanding that God's Word gives to us, it is the entrance of God's Word that will bring the light and understanding that we need.

God's Word is wonderful and the Bible is filled with many great things, but if we don't allow it to have access into our lives, if we never spend time with it, we will not have the light and understanding we need and we will continue to stay in the dark.  We need to have a regular and consistent time of reading and studying the Bible, as well as attending a good Bible-believing church that teaches us about God and His Word.  No matter what situation we face, what we are dealing with, or what questions we have, God's Word can bring us the light and understanding we need.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Follow The Leader

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 14:6 (NKJV)

When I was a child, there was a game we used to play called, "Follow the Leader".  The way we played this game was to choose one person as the leader and then as they ran around and did different things we had to follow them and do everything that they had done, the way they had done it.  While you may or may not have heard of that game before, in some way we are all doing this same thing today because everyone is somehow following some "leader" of some kind, and the way those "leaders" go and the things that they do can have a great influence on us.

Some people have money or popularity as their leader, some people choose a set of rules, a religious leader or an organization as the thing that they follow.  Then, no matter what direction their "leader" takes, they will blindly follow them because they feel that somehow, someway, by doing this they will ultimately find the happiness and success that everyone desires.  Unfortunately, many of these people will just end up following their leader down a dead-end street that ultimately leads them to hell.  But, this is not to say that money, popularity, rules, or even religious leaders or organizations are all bad.

If our main leader is not Jesus and our main goal isn't knowing Him better and fulfilling His will, then we are following the wrong leader down the wrong road.  Because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, He must be the One we follow if we are to have the good life that we all desire.  We must always follow Jesus, which means listening to Him and doing what His Word says in every area of life, that way we can be sure we will be following the right leader.  No matter what people do or say, and no matter what we want to accomplish in life, Jesus must be the leader that we choose to follow.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

You Choose Or You Lose

"He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed."
Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)

There are many choices that we make in life.  Some choices we make daily, like what to wear or what to eat, while other choices we only make at certain times, like where to take a vacation or what car to buy.  Some choices are not so important and others are very significant.  But, no matter what type of choice it is, a choice must be made.  When we face a situation where we have to decide something, we of course always want to make the right choice.  And one of the biggest and most important choices we will make in life is about the people we spend our time with.

We may have coworkers, neighbors, or even family members that had we been given the choice we may or may not have chosen, but we can make choices about who to build long-term relationships with.  We should not just latch on to the first person that seems nice to us, has something that we admire, or who even seems to be popular.  But, instead, we need to examine the lifestyle and standards of the people we have contact with to determine who to spend our time with.  We can walk in love and be friendly with everyone, but, there are some people we should be friends with and some that we should not.

It is a sad but true fact that many people put more thought into the food they will eat than they do on who they spend their time with.  One easy guideline for us in developing relationships is to be sure that the people we spend our time with have a relationship with Jesus Christ as the focus of their life.  In Proverbs 13:20 it says that the companion of fools will be "destroyed".  This word, "destroyed", literally means "to mar", which refers to something being damaged, possibly beyond repair.  By being around the wrong people we can bring damage to ourselves.  We need to pick the right kind of companions who will help to build us up in life and in our walk with God.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Don't Let The Dream Die

"Then the Lord answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.  Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV)

People often make some kind of resolution at the start of a New Year.  Sometimes these resolutions are people just having a "spur of the moment" idea about doing something, but a New Year's resolution can come from a desire that a person has had for some time.  During the previous calendar year, someone may have noticed a certain thing that they want to change, or it could be that the resolution comes from a dream that someone has had for a long time.  The saddest thing is that like many other dreams and desires, people often give up on their New Year's resolutions and the dream fades away.

New Year's resolutions are not necessarily life-changing, but they are an example of how most people have hopes and dreams for things in their life improving and getting better each year.  But, some people have had hopes and dreams in the past that never materialized, so those people give up on their dreams.  Some people have had a dream or desire to accomplish something that seemed to be too far off, so those goals were abandoned and they too let go of the dream they once had.  Whether it is some natural thing, or more importantly, a desire to do something for God, there are things we can do to make our dream a reality.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 gives us good guidelines for what to do when we have a dream.  First, we are told to write down the vision, our dream.  We need to clarify exactly what we hope to achieve and consider what steps we should take to bring it to pass.  Secondly, we need to exercise patience and hold on to our dream no matter how long it seems to take.  In my own life, there have been dreams that I was sure were going to come to pass in a short amount of time that ended up taking much longer.  By having a plan for our dream, being persistent, and following God's direction for our life, we can see our dreams come to pass..