Welcome to my Encounter Devotionals Blog Site. I appreciate you visiting the site out. Check out the devotionals I've written below as well as the archived ones in the column on the right.
I pray they help and inspire you to have a deeper and more personal relationship and encounter with Jesus Christ. If you would like to receive these devotionals through e-mail, please send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Suffering From The 'I'm Too Busy' Syndrome" By Zach Wood Colossians 4:2-6, Psalm 46:10
Busy-ness can seriously distract us from what is truly important in life.There are none of us immune to this problem in life. We all tend to say “I’m Too Busy” so often.We say this phrase often and many times to people who ask us to commit to something else that fills up our calendar.
Being too busy can hinder so much of the happiness and productiveness we try to attain in life.We want to be so productive that many times we get involved in way too many things and end up sacrificing more time and energy that should be reserved for family and other important matters.
We must be careful not to let ourselves get so involved with activities around us that we lose sight of what is truly important.We must make sure we are not so busy that we become distracted and forget about the needs around us: the needs of our spouses, the needs of our kids, the needs of our friends and the needs of those who have very little.
When we are distracted, we lose sight of what is important and that will drain us and make us weary.We must be careful because this can hinder the witnessing opportunities we have with people who do not know Christ.We must be careful and watch for those opportunities and not pass them by.
If we do not devote ourselves to prayer and keep our priorities in order, we lose focus and become distracted from what is really important.We become distracted from those who need our help.We become distracted from teaching opportunities with those who can learn from our example.We become distracted from teaching our children the values of life.We become distracted from opportunities we have to share Christ’s love with people who are trapped in a dark world.
Distractions are a huge struggle in my life.I have a hard time sitting down for long periods of time to do anything.I always think of “something else” I need to do and I get up and start on it.My problem is that sometimes I just need to focus my time on my kids and my wife and forget about the other tasks I need to do.I find myself missing out on things with them when I busy myself with needs around the house all the time.
We have the hardest time just being still and coming before God to just take Him in and enjoy the quietness.It doesn’t happen very often, but we all need that. What if we just took that time to sit down and be still?
It’s hard enough thinking about leaving our comfort zone, let alone going that distance and taking a huge step into the risk of the unknown.Leaving your comfort zone and entering the risk zone go hand in hand.I don’t know how you can agree to leave your comfort zone and not enter the risk zone.Anytime you leave the comfort of the known, you enter the unknown risk zone.
None of us knows the future and that can scare us.Really scare us!When we are headed down an unknown path and have no idea what’s coming, I think that’s when God has us where He wants us….completely relying upon Him.When we’re in our comfort zone, we know what to expect and we can usually sense when things are coming.We have an idea of what’s next most times.But, get us out of our comfort zone and into the risk zone, our palms get sweaty, beads of sweat trickle down our foreheads and we start to get a little panicky.
I really don’t see how we can totally be pumped about the Great Commission and not be willing to get out of our comfort zone into the risk zone.
The passage for this devotional is the story where Jesus walks on the water and comes to the boat where His disciples see Him walking on the water. Jesus walks on the water, calls out to Peter to get out and into the risk zone.Peter gets out and steps in a totally unknown world.People don’t normally just walk on the water.Peter took a huge risk.Yes, he started sinking once he looked around saw the crashing waves and had taken his eyes off Jesus, but he still at least got out of the boat!
We may claim that we want to be sold out for Christ and really live in the unknown risk zone, but are we just going to state that we want to do it or will we actually do it?
We gotta enter the risk zone if we're gonna get out of the boat.
"We Gotta Leave The Zone...The Comfort Zone!" By Zach Wood Matthew 28:16-20
We would all agree that we desire to minister to the lost.We want to have an affect on people’s lives in a positive way and share with them the love of Christ.None of us would say we don’t have a desire to do that.But the way we live our lives in these comfort zones, I can’t help but think the world sees that and wonders why we say one thing and do another.
We have great thoughts, ideas and intentions of saving the lost.But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, we have the hardest time actually getting out to minister to the lost because it takes us out of our comfort zones. We must leave our comfort zones if we are to be a part of changing lives for Christ.
This is one of the most powerful passages of Scripture we see in the New Testament.After Jesus’ resurrection, He tells His disciples they have a responsibility and a mission.Jesus is not leaving them with an easy task.They are called to win the lost.We are called to win the lost!
I am often scared to get out of my comfort zone.I want God to do amazing things through me and to me, but I am often so not willing to go the distance for Him to do so.
Most of us probably enjoy going to some kind of sporting event or some type of show where we are entertained.We enjoy being spectators, do we not?We enjoy watching a game or watching an entertaining show.It’s fun to just sit back and relax to watch a show.With a game, it’s fun to root on your team and give support.Now, what if someone from the game or from the show came out and grabbed you from your seat and said, “Let’s go, you’re on!”.Whoa!Would we be a little scared?Of course.Being pulled from the safety of being the spectator to actually being involved in the action!Completely different scenario!
Even though that may bring a laugh to some of us, it really portrays the truth with how we live our lives.We tend to want to be spectators and not be involved in the action of what Christ calls us to do in the world around us.We see things happen and pass us by and we just move on with life.Somehow, I think we expect others to take care of the dirty business because either we are busy or we just don’t have the desire to step out of the comfort zone.
If we are going to win the lost, we gotta leave our comfort zones.
"God Gave More Than A Good Enough Effort" By Zach Wood Philippians 2:1-11
What if God had a “good enough” attitude?Almost all of us use what if statements.We say “What if?” a lot, do we not?What if this happens?What if that happens?What if, what if, what if?We find ourselves sometimes buried underneath these statements.
Could you imagine how it would be if God would have used this phrase in His effort to come to this earth to save us?What if God would have looked down on us and said to Jesus, “Go to earth, meet some people, but don’t spend too much time trying to get them to understand who I am.If they listen, ok.If they don’t, don’t worry about it and don’t put too much effort into trying to reach them.It’s good enough if you just show them some of My Love.Don’t do anymore than you have to for them.”
If that would have been what happened with Jesus coming to this earth, I cannot imagine what life would be like right now.We would have no hope.
The wonderful news here is that God did not have a “good enough” attitude.He had so much more of a love for us that far surpasses that!Sending Jesus Christ to this earth to build relationships with people was not all He did.He went to the Cross of Calvary and proved His love for us!He hung on that Cross and died an agonizing death to show His love.There is absolutely no love greater than that!
How in the world can we read this powerful passage about Christ’s humility and continue to live with a “good enough” attitude?It breaks my heart to know that I have fallen to live a mediocre life at times with my attitude.Just doing things good enough to just live.Just doing enough to get through my day just to do the things I want to do.Spending a little time with my wife and kids so that I can write on my punchcard that I’ve done my time for the day with them.
I am so thankul God gave more than a "good enough" effort. He gave His all!