Saturday, June 15, 2019

His Faithful Love Endures Forever!


“His Faithful Love Endures Forever!”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 107:1 NLT
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  His faithful love endures forever.

This past week was a crazy busy week and I did not get a chance to send out a devotional like I usually do.  While last week and this week was filled with many good things that went on, it was exhausting and I found myself tired every day just longing to get some rest.  I know that all of us experience days and weeks like this in our lives often. 

While the weekend and week was very busy, I read this passage the other day and it filled me with refreshment to know that God is always with me and will sustain me.  Sometimes just the simple promises of God are a great reminder of His faithfulness in the midst of our crazy lives. 

We have so many things to be thankful for with God in our lives.  No matter what chaos enters our lives in any given day, week or month, we always have reasons for being thankful to God.  Sometimes, in my life, I can easily find reasons to complain and find dissatisfaction with life, but then God reminds me that He has given me so much and I have every reason to be thankful instead of feeling dissatisfied. 

The NLT states this passage in different way by saying, “His faithful love endures forever.”  Not just His love, but His faithful love!!!!  He is completely faithful, in our good day and our bad days.  We have so much to give thanks to God for what He has and continues to do in our lives! 

We definitely need to remember this passage on the days when we feel in despair.  We need this when we feel hopeless.  We need this when we feel like things are out of control.  We need this when we feel like everything around us is falling apart.  It’s important to remember this passage, and so many others, when we have bad days, weeks or months. 

It’s also important to be reminded of this when we are having good days as well.  Just to be reminded of the absolute great and loving faithfulness of God!  It is bigger than any feeling we can have.  He is so faithful and His love will endure forever!  When you are having a crazy day, week or month and you’re struggling just to catch your breath and rest, remember that He is always with you and wants to give you rest and refreshment from your crazy life. 

Give thanks to Him because His FAITHFUL LOVE endures forever!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Call Of Humility


“The Call Of Humility”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Humility is the word that has been coming to my mind the past few weeks.  Whether it is a preaching opportunity that I’m preparing for, a devotional article that I’m working on or reading a story dealing with humility, God has been reminding me the importance of staying humble.  I am thankful for the opportunities God has given me in various ways to minister for Him and He continually reminds me, in different ways, to stay humble. 

Even though He reminds me often, it is still challenging to stay humble.  It is so easy to become full of pride and think a lot of myself at times.  It is often tempting to become conceited and think boastfully, but God reminds me who I am and what He has done for me.  I’ve constantly been reminded, through various devotionals, of the importance to remain humble.  I am so thankful He is reminding me how important it is practice humility. 

I hope that we can all be reminded daily of how humble we should be.  Jesus became a servant and He taught the Disciple’s true humility by washing their feet.  He wants to teach us the same.  We need to think of others and how we can better serve others and not think about what we want so much of the time. 

We are all very guilty of being prideful and conceited.  Some lessons of humility are easier than others.  Sometimes we have to swallow a very large pill of humility or, as I’ve heard the saying, “eating a piece of humble pie”.  God will definitely find ways to teach us to stay humble. 

One of the reasons I am so thankful for God’s lessons of humility is that they remind me that He gives me the abilities to do what I love to do for Him.  I couldn’t write the devotionals I do if He didn’t give me the ability.  I couldn’t preach sermons if He didn’t give me that ability.  I always want to fee honored and humble for the opportunities He gives me and not take them for granted.  I want to constantly learn humility. 

I hope this will be a reminder for all of us that when God gives us opportunities, we will always be thankful for what He has done and continues to do.  Never take a boastful attitude and consider yourself better than others.  We all constantly need God to remind us how to stay humble.  Imitating Christ’s humility is so important in our daily lives.  I hope that we will all consider more how we can be humble to others around us. 

God calls us to true humility. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

One Thing You Can Count On!


“One Thing You Can Count On!”
By Zach Wood
Hebrews 13:8 NIV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

As I drive to and from work each day, one thing I take notice of is the gas prices.  I like to keep an eye on them often.  As we drive around from town to town and going various places, I often do the same.  I like to keep an eye on where gas may be the cheapest and it’s just interesting to see the fluctuation of prices.

As I was driving home today from work, I chuckled and thought to myself, “Wow, these gas prices just fluctuate constantly!”  And they do, often.  I thought about how so many things around us each day change from one moment to the next.  It seems we cannot find anything these days that stays the same.  Things are constantly changing and it’s very hard to keep up with. 

I don’t mind sometimes when things change, but I do like consistency in many things.  It’s nice to know when some things will remain the same and kind of creates a comfort zone, so to speak.  As I continued thinking through these thoughts, I thought about how crazy things are in the world with a continuous cycle of change.  It really does seem things are constantly changing and it just doesn’t provide a feeling of security.  Technology is one of the biggest things that change.  What’s new one day is old and obsolete in no time!  Crazy!

I am so very thankful to know that God never changes.  No matter what is going on each day of my life, I can count on the fact that God’s love will always remain within me.  He will never love me less and I don’t have to do anything to make Him love me more.  His faithfulness is always present.  I never have to be concerned that He will abandon me.  He is always there.  When I’m having a bad day at work or at home, He’s always there to comfort me. 

There is such a comforting feeling to knowing that God remains the same no matter what is going on around me.  I don’t have to worry about His love and faithfulness fading away.  With all the changes that happen around me daily, it’s a peaceful feeling knowing that I can rest in His presence. 

I hope you can be comforted today knowing that God loves you no matter what.  With all that changes around you, His love won’t abandon you and He will remain faithful in the coming days.  Rest assured you can count on God’s love to pour out on you every day of your life. 

One thing you and I can always count on is the great love and faithfulness of God!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Trust In The Midst Of Confusion


“Trust In The Midst Of Confusion”
By Zach Wood
John 14:1 NLT
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

Ever had someone tell you that you were going to do something together or go somewhere and, at first, it totally confused you?  But then the person said, “I know you don’t understand, but just trust me.”  You probably followed, wondering what in the world was going to happen.  You were a little hesitant and perhaps your heart was pumping fast, but you still followed close behind and waited to see what would happen.

There are many situations in which we become frustrated because we don’t “get” something and it takes a while for us to finally figure out what is happening or the leader/teacher doesn’t explain fully for a certain period of time.  Why?  Perhaps the person wants us to completely trust in their leading and not trust in our own understanding.

It is definitely hard to follow when we don’t get what is going on in life.  There are a lot of times we don’t get what’s happening and it causes frustration.  At first, we may have a really bad reaction and get angry at the person who is holding information back from us.  They have reason for it and won’t let us in on all the info until later.  Often we’re like, “Hey, don’t leave me hanging!”  It’s not fun when we don’t know all the details.  We feel troubled and unaware. 

If you’re anything like me, things can “throw you” when you first feel troubled and unsure of what’s going on.  I often don’t like when things suddenly change.  It depends on the situation, but often I don’t adjust well.  I have to stop and think and ask God for strength to adapt to the newness, whatever that might be.  I don’t like to be troubled by things unaware.  It can be very confusing at times when life throws me curve balls. 

Jesus tells His men not be troubled.  He wants them to trust in Him.  He doesn’t want them to fret because He’s got everything under control.  It is hard to trust in the midst of confusion, but He tells us to fully rely on Him and trust. 

I have learned in the past years that it’s vital to trust even when things seem to not make any sense.  He is always working in ways we cannot see and we just have to trust Him.

If you are struggling in life right now and in the midst of confusion, hang in there!  Trust in Him!  Don’t give up!  Don’t throw in the towel.  Trust in Him and He will not let you down.  Hang tight just a little longer.  Don’t be troubled.  Let Him lead and see what awesome opportunities He has for your future.  Trust Him in the midst of your confusion.

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Seeking Him Above All Else


“Seeking Him Above All Else”
By Zach Wood
Matthew 6:33 NLT
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

We all seek a lot of different things in life, don’t we? 

We seek to find a good paying job.
We seek to find a good house to live in.
We seek to find a good school for our kids to attend.
We seek to find a church that we can call home.
We seek to find good deals on products that buy.
We seek attend a great college where we can further our education.
We seek to find a mate whom we can spend our lives with.

We also seek a lot of other things in life.  The list could go on and on as to what we seek to find each day of our lives.  Sometimes, we look and look for days, months or even years to find a good deal on whatever it is we are hunting for.  It always seems we are seeking something.  We are always on a hunt for either something better that we want or getting something we need.  We want to bargain shop and get the best deals for the lowest prices.  My wife and I are totally like that!  We thrive on finding great deals and good bargains!

I cannot help but to think about all the time and energy that we put into seeking different things in life and often how little time we really invest seeking the Kingdom of God.  I know in my own life I often find myself seeking after a lot of things that don’t really seem to benefit my walk with God.  Not that they are bad things, but they just don’t really benefit my spiritual growth and I waste time on them. 

Jesus teaches on the importance of seeking the Kingdom of God.  He not only teaches on the importance of seeking God, but rather seeking Him above all else.  That’s the clincher!  We need to ask ourselves what we are seeking most in life.  It isn’t that seeking things is bad, but if we are constantly seeking things and not ultimately seeking what pleases God, then we’ve got issues.  Do we find ourselves waking up in the morning and then spending our day seeking tons of different things that don’t benefit our spiritual growth?  I think we all do much more than we want to admit.

I want to seek God’s Kingdom more than anything.  I am trying each day to do this, in whatever ways I can.  I want to find ways that I can seek Him and praise Him in everything I do.  He gives me everything I need, so why wouldn’t I seek Him ultimately?  This is my heart’s desire.  Seeking Him above all else.  We all need to make it our desire to seek Him and His Kingdom above everything else that matters in our lives.  He needs to come first, always. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Loving God, Loving People


“Loving God, Loving People”
By Zach Wood
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Last week, I was reading a YouVersion Bible App devotional by Danny Gokey and he made a statement that was simple, yet so profound.  He shared, “So many times I think we overthink our calling and over complicate the Gospel, when really our purpose in this life comes down to two simple things; loving God and loving people.”

It was so powerful and spoke volumes to me!  The more I thought about this statement, I considered how we so often do over complicate things every day of our lives when it comes to being a light for God.  What if we put this concept into practice from the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed and focus on nothing else but this?  What would our lives really look like if we simply focused on loving God and loving people?  What if that became our sole mission every day?

This concept has challenged my thinking in the past week and I continue to consider how I simply need to put this into practice as I live my every day life.  Loving God is actually pretty easy for me to do.  Even though I often don’t understand Him, I love Him very much.  However, loving certain people is difficult for me.  It is easy for me to love people who are easy to love, but very hard at times to love people who are not nice and who have treated me badly. 

Think about this passage and how important it was for Jesus to share it.  We need to not only love God with all our heart, but we must also love others.  We cannot say that we love God and then treat others like trash.  It just doesn’t work that way.  We absolutely must do our best every day to love others, regardless of how they treat us.  And, that is hard!

What would our world look like if we made it our passion every day to love God and love others?  We don’t need a seminary degree to do this.  All we need is a willingness to love and respect not only our Father, but also others who we come into contact with.  Let us not over complicate the calling God has given to each of us.  We all have different abilities, gifts and talents for sure, however, we all have the ability to love God and love others.  This is something we can all do, regardless of our education. 

Loving God and loving others.  It is not a hard concept to grasp, but it is a challenging concept to live out.  Why don’t we make it our mission and passion to fully love God and love others as we live every day of our lives? 

Who is with me?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Half Lived: Don't Leave Him Out


“Half-Lived: Don’t Leave Him Out”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 4:13 NLT
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

I have had this Scripture memorized for as long as I can remember.  I am sure I learned it in Sunday School when I was just a little guy.  I have used this Scripture in previous devotionals, in sermons and in Bible studies.  It is one of the most popular Scriptures quoted today.  Recently, I saw this verse in a new way and it really hit home with me. 

I thought about how so often we cut this passage off after “everything”.  We live out “I can do everything”, and then leave out “through Him who gives me strength.”   We live so much of our lives with the confidence that we can do most things all by ourselves and leave God on the back shelf telling Him that we will consult Him if things get a difficult.  We often think we can live life all by ourselves and in our own strength. 

We quote this passage so much and verbally proclaim that we can do always do all things through Christ, but then the actual ways we live out our lives shows the complete opposite.  We do our own thing and mentally convince ourselves to believe that we can do this life all on our own. 

I am so guilty of only living half of this verse.  I often live as though to leave God out of my life.  This is sadly true for so many of us.  We say that we can do all things through Him, but we only live half of the verse.  Jesus gives us a life to live that is unlike the life of our past.  He gives us true life. 

Is this verse half-lived in your life?  Are you trying to do everything all on your own?  Are you living solo?  We all know that we cannot live our lives without the strength of Christ.  We know we need Him.  We know He is the only One Who can get us through life.  However, each of our days is so often lived without us consulting Him and allowing Him to lead. 

We go to great lengths every day to make sure we have all we need to succeed through the day from the morning till the night.  Why not make certain that we go to great lengths to ensure that we are letting God lead our lives each day? 

My prayer is that we not only work to memorize great verses like these, but that we also remember to live them completely out, not leaving God out of what we do.  We can do all things, but we can only do them successfully through Christ Who gives us true lasting strength.

I can do everything…..through Christ…..Who gives me strength.