Friday, February 13, 2009

Do Not Worry

In these troubling times, God reminds us He is still with us and He is our provider in times of trouble. The economy is a mess. Only God can truly restore it. We have many people losing their jobs, their homes, and unemployment is steadily rising. Financial institutions are struggling. We are definitely living in uncertain times. We must rely on God.

My husband and I are facing the possibility of another layoff. A few years ago, he was laid off twice within a 3 year period. He works a full time job as a computer programmer along with being the Youth Pastor for our church. He just found out yesterday that his work will be cutting 3% of the work force (more layoffs coming) and that they will lose 2 weeks of salary pay for the year. In other words, he will lose 2 weeks salary pay over the year. He will gain 2 weeks extra vacation but it will be unpaid. He will know something by March 15 concerning his job. We are going through the hard times even now as we face the financial struggles. We have no savings, that was drained over the last layoff. We have our daughter's wedding coming up in May. I am beginning to feel the pressure and the worry setting in now. After praying and speaking to a close friend of mine, who is such an encourager, God truly works in amazing ways. God reminded me of a scripture and I am going to share it with you. I know that we are not the only ones going through hard times and I hope this brings encouragement your way.

Matthew 6:23-27 says,
"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? Look 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Matthew 6:31-34 says,
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."


He provides for the birds and He will provide us. He got us through the tough times years ago and I am reminded that He will get us through this storm. If you are facing a storm, don't give up just give it all to God. My prayer is that God would bring restoration upon our economy. I am asking that all the prayer warriors really begin praying for our economy and all those are in need and struggling to make ends meet. May we reach out even in the tough times to help our neighbors in need. God reminds us that He is always with us even when we feel alone, He is still there. He is with us during our darkest moments and in our happiest moments. God is faithful, he will see you through the storm.

I am reminded that anytime I feel down or discouraged, go to God in prayer and give it all to Him. He will take care of it. I know that worry has been something I have always struggled with but I serve an awesome God who knows all things. He created me and you. He knows everything about us and what is going to take place before we even know. His will is perfect. Don't let the worries take over your life, give it all to God. He will make a way when there seems to be no way out. Blessings to all and God be with you!!!

Matthew 7:7-8 says,
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Love

Do we really love God? Do we love others as Christ loved us? Sometimes we put God on the back burner and we forget our purpose here on earth. Are we really living for God? Are we going to church to grow closer to God or just for the fellowship? God should be our main focus not our friends, our boyfriend or girlfriend. Our desire should be to grow closer to God and have that personal relationship with him. Do others see Jesus in you? Do they want what you have? If we really love God, our lives will reflect the love of Christ towards others. We are to love God not be lovers of this world.

Romans 12:9-21
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. It it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."


We are to love others. We are to be the example of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are to be devoted to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We should help one another in our spiritual walk. Scripture reminds us that we are to treat others with respect. Let us not be conceited but be willing to help others of low stature. We should do whatever it takes to help those in need. We should do our best to live at peace with others. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is love others, especially those who have hurt you the most. But we are reminded to love one another as Christ loved us. Christ paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross for our sins. We are sinners and it is by the grace of God that we are here. We need to do our part and love those who have hurt us and forgive them as Christ forgave us. As others see you living for Christ, they too will desire what you have, the gift of salvation. We can be a witness for Christ by following His example of love.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

God's Discipline

Discipline is a tough topic. I have felt compelled to write what God has given me concerning God's discipline in our lives. We are constantly faced with the matter of disciplining each day. Neither one of us likes discipline but it is for the best. Just as parents discipline their children, God must discipline us. When you are in a leadership role you will be faced with disciplining others. When the matter of disciplining comes and you know it must be done, listen to God and be obedient to how you feel He is leading you to act upon it. One thing I have learned in youth ministry, discipline is a must, especially for their spiritual growth. When you are faced with a situation and you must discipline a person, it doesn't mean you don't love that person, you do it because you do love him or her and it is required for his or her spiritual growth. I have had my share of experiences with disciplining and have found that you cannot take it personally. If anyone knows me well, I tend to do that. I have learned over the years, you cannot do that. I have heard the negative comments from different members of our youth at one time or another that were faced with disciplinary actions. It is very hard not to take it personally but I have learned that is best for them and it is biblical. If we truly love God, we will understand why he brings discipline upon us. We also must be respectful to others, especially those that God has put in leadership roles. God has set for us some rules for holy living and we are to do our very best to follow them. You may find the rules for holy living in Colossians, chapter 3. God puts people in leadership roles for a reason and he has a plan for them and we are to show them the proper respect. I have learned over the years that discipline is one of the hardest things to do. As a parent, it is not fun disciplining your child. You know it has to be done for your child to learn from it. God disciplines us in the same way. We must be willing to learn from our mistakes. We may not like the punishment or discipline but God knows best. He loves us even though we are sinners. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It is through God's grace and mercy we are here.
1 Corinthians says, " When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world."
God disciplines us because He loves us.
Revelation 3:19 says, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."