Thursday, September 28, 2023

Rest Or Stressed?

"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His."
Hebrews 4:9-10 (NKJV)

Getting enough rest is important in order to live a healthy life.  However, getting enough rest is more than just getting enough sleep at night.  Many people today are not at rest, they are not at peace, because of the things they deal with in their own life and what they see happening in the world.  If, for example, we are not sure about being successful, if we are concerned that we will not be able to meet our needs, and we are anxious about the future, then we are more stressed than at rest.

In Hebrews 4, it talks about a rest for the people of God, and that we can enter into His rest.  When we are trusting God to help us in every area of our life, then we are at rest.  If we fully put our faith and confidence in God, and not in ourselves, then we are at rest.  If we are relying on God to guide us in the way we need to go and that He will give us direction about how to live our life, then we are at rest.  If we are not trusting God for these things and we are working to accomplish these things for ourselves, then we are in a place of stress rather than rest. 

Christians talk about trusting God, but often they are full of anxiety and they are stressed.  These people spend their time trying to figure out what to do, and they put all their energy and effort into making their own way in life without trusting God to help them.  There is a place of rest for God's people, and that place of rest comes by putting our faith in God and trusting Him.  If we are living a life of faith and trusting God in every area of our life, then we are at rest and peace, because we are confident in His provision.  Don't be stressed, but get into rest by fully trusting God in every area of life.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Travel Light

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)

When you take a trip somewhere, it is necessary to pack a bag with what you will need for your trip.  What you pack, and how much you pack, will depend on where you are going and how long you will be there.  People normally take these things into consideration when they are packing, because it would be foolish for someone to just grab some random things and put them into a suitcase without stopping to think about if what they are packing is really necessary for their trip.

Hebrews 12 talks about a race that is set before us, which is referring to the life that God has called us to live.  The Bible talks about how we should live a life that fully pleases God (Colossians 1:10), and we see how Paul said that what really matters is finishing the race that God has called us to run (Acts 20:24).  But we must consider not only how we are running, but what do we have with us as we run our race?  Are there things we are taking along with us on our race that we really do not need? 

In the same way that no one would pack something that is unnecessary for a trip they are taking, we do not want to have things in our life that are unnecessary and that could weigh us down as we run our race for God and do His will.  We need to be sure that we only add things to our life that are really necessary to run the race God has called us to run. If our life is filled with things that we do not really need to fulfill the will of God, then we are just adding unnecessary weights to our life that will slow us down and hinder us from doing the will of God.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Historically Accurate?

"And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.  And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Colossians 2:13-15 (NKJV)

When a movie is made about some actual event that took place, or if a book or article is written about the event, it is a good thing if the movie or book is historically accurate.  If the topic is some person, some battle, or some other event, the movie or whatever is written should check into all of the relevant facts about that person or event to be sure that what is portrayed is correct.  If someone was to make a movie, or write something that is not historically accurate, it could result in people having a misunderstanding of the real event and what actually happened.

Jesus was crucified almost two thousand years ago.  But even though this is a fact that has been historically recorded, some people doubt the authenticity of that event, while others talk, teach, and write about it in a way that is not biblically or historically accurate.  Completely doubting or saying the crucifixion did not take place is one thing, but for someone to misrepresent what really happened is something else.  Too often people have said, taught, and written things about what Jesus did that are not biblically or historically accurate. 

The Bible tells us about what Jesus purchased for us on the cross, and tells us about everything that belongs to us now.  Because of what Jesus did: we have been given a new spiritual life, our sins are forgiven, we have been set free from the Law, and the enemy has been defeated. If those biblical facts are not presented correctly, then we have not been given a biblically and historically accurate account of what Jesus did for us.  Check the Bible facts for yourself to learn what Jesus did for you, and don't accept any biblically or historically inaccurate facts about it.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Who Put You There?

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,
although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
1 Timothy 1:12-13 (NKJV)

Over the years, I have had several different jobs in various capacities.  In some jobs, I was promoted to an oversight and leadership position.  Sometimes, when I was first put into the position, people might ask me who put me into that leadership position and who gave me the authority to do what I was doing.  Once I explained to people who it was that gave me the position I was in, things worked well.  However, I was not able to just put myself into that position, someone else had to designate me as the person who would have that job with that company.

In 1 Timothy 1:12, Paul explained how God put him into the ministry, because God saw that he was faithful.  God placed Paul into the spiritual leadership position that he held, even though, as Paul explained, he did not have a wonderful past.  God put Paul into the ministry as He saw best, Paul did not place himself there, and Paul really could not have done that.  Paul could have taken some ministry position or office, but without God actually placing Paul into the ministry, what Paul was doing would not have succeeded.

God has a plan and purpose for every person, and just like He did with Paul, God still places people into the ministry today.  Paul's former life as a Pharisee, and the mistakes that Paul made, did not qualify, or disqualify Paul from what God had called him to do.  Yes, Paul needed to be faithful in following God's plan for his life, but it was God who put Paul into the ministry.  We need to discover the plan that God has for our life, and be faithful in it, allowing God to be the One who places us into whatever aspect of ministry He chooses to put us into, we cannot do that for ourselves.