Thursday, October 25, 2012

God Has Called Us To Be The Church Outside Of Church

"God Has Called Us To Be The Church Outside Of Church"
By Zach Wood
Colossians 4:2-6

Because of the Good News God has given to us, we are told to share that good news with those who are lost.  Jesus gives us a mission to fulfill.  The Great Commission sends us out to share the good news and teach people about Christ’s Love.   

The Apostle Paul talks about how we, as the church, need to live our lives so carefully each day so that others will see the Good News not only through our speech, but also through our actions and the way we live.  It's one thing to talk about sharing God's Love.  It's another thing to actually do it and get out there to make it real for people. 

When we praise God through our tough times, it sends a very positive message to those who need to hear the good news and many become inquisitive.  And through those inquisitive times, people are more open to us being able to be the church outside of the church walls.  We can minister to people and share God's Love in ways we've never been able to before.   

Now, more than ever, people need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.  It’s great to have our fellowship within the walls of our church, but God has called us to do so much more.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Lord Should Be Our Ultimate Want

"The Lord Should Be Our Ultimate Want"
By Zach Wood
Philippians 4:11-13
God is our Shepherd and we should not want other things more than wanting Him.  Many of us bang on the cell doors of the “want” prison that we have created for ourselves.  The reason we can’t get out is we want to hold onto the things of this world.  God stands outside and tell us, “If you want what I have for you, then you must let go of everything the world offers you.”

We must ultimately desire what He offers us.  We have to desire to go after what He is giving.  Is your desire for Him and Him alone?  Or are you following after a temporary idol, offering you promises that will only last a short time instead of eternity?

Remember that the world doesn’t look in your heart to see what you have inside.  The world only wants to see how fancy you could make your outer appearance be or how much you can collect to make yourself feel good.  The world says the more you have and the more you want, the better life will be.  The more you have does not show who you really are.  Your heart determines and shows what is truly important.

I want to be very clear in sharing with you that God is not against us wanting things in life.  We all like to have certain things and save our money up for things we'd like to buy.  Nothing at all wrong with that.  Our wants become hazardous in our walk with Christ when we are constantly focusing on things we want and not appreciating and realizing the needs Christ has filled and the things He has done for us. 

It all comes down to what we truly desire.  Do we want the Lord to really be our ultimate want?  Do we trust in Him to supply our needs?  Are we fully satisfied to the point where we can live without what we do not need?  Can we trust in the Lord to provide what we need when we need it?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our Constant Wants Can Lead To Constant Discontentment

"Our Constant Wants Can Lead to Constant Discontentment"
By Zach Wood
Psalm 23:1

As I begin this week's devotional, I'd like to share a few different translations of this Scripture.

(New International Version)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

(New Living Translation)
The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need.

(The Message)
God, my shepherd!  I don’t need a thing.
We tend to face many phases of discontentment in lives.  If something fails or doesn’t hold up to the standard we set in our mind, we look elsewhere for the next promise of happiness or satisfaction.  Some look for a new “high” when the buzz wears off, some seek out the nearest bank to rob when money troubles leave them desperate, and some resort to other means of false hope and desperation. 

Has God not promised to supply every need we have in life?  It’s important and vital to realize God fills our needs.  I think so many times in life we fail to realize our needs are always met, but not always our wants.  It’s because our hearts are being lured by what the world wants us to have.  The promise of happiness from some of the wants turns out to last about 1 night, 1 day, 1 week or 1 month. 

The ultimate entanglement that the prison of “want” leaves us in is constant discontentment.  Satan will make sure we are never fully satisfied.  We just want more and more.  It feels like a need, but Satan has disguised it well in our mind and heart.  

Placing too much importance on things we want has a huge effect on how we view our eternal needs.  When we reach a point where we see our lives being filled with constant wants, we should take a step back and see that our soul desire and ultimate want should be our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

It all comes down to what we truly desire.  Do we want the Lord to really be our ultimate want?  Do we trust in Him to supply our needs?  Are we fully satisfied to the point where we can live without what we do not need?  Can we trust in the Lord to provide what we need when we need it?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Is Your Story?

"What Is Your Story?"
By Zach Wood
2 Corinthians 5:17

I would encourage each of you to consider what your story is.  How did you come to know Christ?  Do you have an experience that could be shared with someone else that would speak volumes into their life of how Christ can change a life?  Think for a while about how you came to know Christ and how you became a new creation.  The old is gone and the new has come.  What has happened in that time?

Everyone has a story.  Some people think because they don’t have a dramatic story of events from how horrible their life was before Christ to now knowing Christ, that their story isn’t important.  Everyone’s story is important.

You have a life you once lived that was once lived in sin against God.  You had your own ways of doing things.  You had your own idea of what life should be like.  You didn’t know any better because you didn’t realize all that God had in store for you.  But now you live for Christ and you look back and see a life that was once all yours, but is now led by Christ alone.

There comes a time when we must make our faith our own.  We must come to terms with who we believe Christ is.  We cannot live by our parent’s faith.  We cannot live by our grandparent’s faith.  We cannot live by our friend’s faith.  These people have had great influences in our lives, yes.  But there comes a time when we must make the decision for ourselves why we have chosen to follow Jesus Christ. 

What is your story?  How has Christ changed your life?  He asked Peter and the other disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”  Jesus didn’t want to hear answers of what other people thought.  Jesus wanted to know from their own heart and mind who they thought Jesus was.  This is vital for us to come to terms with.  Who do we think Christ is?  Who do we say He is?  Don’t just give an answer because of what someone else has told you about Christ.  What do you believe?