Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Praise Him For Living Hope

"Praise Him For Living Hope"
By Zach Wood
1 Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading through this passage.  Peter is talking about the praise we should have to God for the living hope He offers.  Each time I read through, God shows me something new and challenges my faith.  What concerns me most about this passage is how far it seems to be from the life I find myself living.  We have a living hope in God, but I find myself not truly living out the appreciation and excitement in that God has given me hope.  

How about you?  Do you find yourself just going through each day trying to just get through the day and move on?  Are you appreciative of the hope God has given to you?  Do you even really stop to think about this hope He gives?  Many of us would probably have to admit that we do not.  This is not saying we never have appreciation, but we do tend to let our excitement for the hope He gives be lessened.  We do not necessarily mean to live this way, but it becomes a slow fade and we become distracted and forget just how awesome of a God we truly serve.

He gives great mercy!  He has given us new birth!  This new birth is in a living hope, not a dead hope.  We receive an inheritance that can never ever perish, spoil or fade!  Now that is exciting, is it not?!  We have this inheritance waiting for us for when we go Home to see Him!  That is really exciting!

So, how are you truly living your life each day?  Are you excited for the hope He has given you?  Are you truly thankful and giving Him praise for the living hope that is found only in Him?  

This inheritance we have in Him will never rot away.  It will never get mold or rust out on us.  It will be better than anything we can ever make on this earth!  Now that is an inheritance I would like to have!  

I pray, that as each of us end this year, we would stop to reflect on the awesome things God has done through us and in our lives.  Take time to reflect on the hope He has given to you.  

Have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Strive To Be Holy

"Strive To Be Holy"
By Zach Wood
1 Peter 1:14-16
As obedient children, do not comform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

I have been stuck on the this passage of Scripture for a week or two now.  Not because I do not understand it, but because I have been drawn into what Peter the Apostle is saying about following Jesus Christ and being holy.  Peter is strongly encouraging us to remember that we have been made alive with Christ and that our life is now in Him, not the past we used to have.  We all have a past and it is not now to go back to the way we used to live and model that life anymore.  It is done.  It is gone.  We are a new creature in Jesus Christ.  We are called to be holy and to live in away that brings glory to Him. 

Now, living holy is just not easy.  No matter how hard we try, we simply fail.  We are human and we fall short.  If we are to be obedient children of God, we must make the decision to live a holy life.  It requires much action on our part.  Yes, God gives us strength and the ability, but we must first make the decision to step forward and make the effort to move forward in walking with God to be holy.  He calls us to be obedient.  He does not want to see us going back and forth on our decision.  However, that is what being human is about.  We make bad choices and we end up going back to old ways and old habits that we do not mean to revisit. 

I look back on my own life and I see so many of the bad choices I made.  Some of those choices I still continue to drift back and do again and again.  Some I have learned to not redo and revisit.  Little by little, I can feel myself learning and trying to be holy and keep my focus on God so I will not keep going back to my old ways.  I must completely set my sight on God and focus completely upon Him so that I can be strong and continue my walk with Him.  We must all continue this walk and ask Him for strength. 

I would encourage you to read through this passage where Peter talks about being holy.  Take the time to read, re-read and let the Word soak into your heart and mind. 

I want to be holy in all I do.  I pray every day that God would give me the strength to be holy and be an example for Jesus Christ.  I find myself failing each day, but I get back up on my feet and ask for forgiveness and strength to try again.  I am so glad God gives us more chances in life to do things right. 

Remember, being holy and living a holy life is a choice we must all make each day.  It requires great effort and sacrifice.  We must all make choices to do away with whatever holds us back from walking more Christ and becoming stronger in our faith.  It is a daily battle.  It is a battle we cannot take on ourselves.  We have to rely on God's strength.  Alone, we will fail.  Together with Him, we can and will succeed if we strive to live a holy life and focus on Him.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Submit And Proceed

"Submit And Proceed"
By Zach Wood
James 4:7-8
Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

We have been studying through the book of James for our weekly small group bible study.  I have kept coming back to this passage of Scripture dealing with submitting to God.  It's the section talking about how we need to be submitting ourselves to God.  As I read through this passage over and over again, I cannot help but ask myself, "What is my problem?" 

This question challenges me to think of why I continue to desire to submit to God's direction, but fail to proceed with action.  I do truly desire to submit myself to God, but following through is so much harder than I realize.  I have good intentions, I really do.  However, my flesh is weaker than the spirit inside that desires.  I find myself not wanting to give up certain habits that inhibit my growth.  I am so human and desire to do things my own way instead of letting God take control. 

James is very clear in saying that if we submit ourselves to God, He will come near to us.  If we keep choosing the path of sin and following evil ways, we will not grow closer to Him.  He wants us to not only submit to Him, but proceed with living a life that is glorifying to Him and turning away from sin.  If we want the devil to flee from us, we must take action to do things that will bring glory to Him and that will direct our path away from the path of sin.

Choosing to submit to God requires action to be taken further on.  We cannot submit to God and then live a life we desire on our own.  He just will not work that way with us.  Either we submit and proceed, or we do not submit at all.  We cannot be in between.  I know for myself, I struggle daily in this area of submission.  I fight the daily battle of temptation that wants to take me away from my walk with Christ.  This is the struggle each of us face daily.  However, we must make the choice that we are going to submit and proceed with the way He wants us to.  We must submit all we are and allow Him to lead.  Period. 

Have you submitted to Him today?  Shall we all submit and proceed?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This will be the new site that I will be posting devotionals to from now on.  I decided to go with a blog page instead of a regular web domain.  Hopefully this will work out well.

Zach Wood