Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Action, Action, Action!

“Action, Action, Action!”
By Zach Wood
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 

As we begin this last day of April and look ahead to the month of May, I hope that each of you are encouraged that each day is a gift from God.  So many of our days it’s easy to be focused on the things we need to get done and our agendas for our jobs.  May we always remember that God is calling us to minister to those around us and to take advantage of opportunities that come our way unexpectedly. 

With that being said, we need to remember that not only are the words we share with others important, but also the way we live our lives to prove those words.  If our actions are not representing our words and enforcing them, we have gone wrong. 

It’s so easy for us to use words that sound great and promise commitment, but if we do not follow through and live those words out in our actions, we frustrate and confuse those around us.  It’s a constant lesson for us all to learn.  We may say we mean to do this or to do that or we say we mean this in a certain way, but if our motives are not where they should be, people will see right through us. 

As a husband, I want to make sure my words and actions align when I express how much I love and appreciate my wife.  As a father, I want to make sure that my kids know I love them through my actions and not just with the words I tell them everyday.  They hear daddy tell them he loves them, but if I don’t show it through my actions, then I need to change.  As a servant of the Kingdom, I can tell others that I’m committed to my walk with Christ, but if my actions don’t match my words, then they are just meaningless words. 

Words are great to express and share with others.  However, if those words are not followed through with actions that align and prove those words, then they are meaningless and others don’t see the truth lived out in us. 

May the words you and I share today, tomorrow and every day after with others prove to be true through our actions as well.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Call To Persevere

“The Call To Persevere”
By Zach Wood
James 1:4
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Here’s a word I’d like to put in our minds for this week.  The word is “perseverance”. 

When we see that word, we know it doesn’t mean anything that comes easy.  When someone has perseverance, they put effort into what they do.  People who persevere usually don’t give up quickly.  They try and try and try with determination and exhaust every option possible before going another route.  For many of us, perseverance is something we would like to obtain, but is often hard because it requires much more than we’re willing to give. 

This passage in James is encouraging and challenging for us in that it takes great effort often to last through the trying times of life.  Sometimes we give up too easily and expect others to help.  Sometimes we just don’t want to put forth the effort needed and we procrastinate what needs to be done.  All of us fall victim to this.  It is through perseverance that we learn and gain wisdom and experience so that we become stronger for future challenges that come our way. 

James is clear that we must have perseverance.  But, it doesn’t come through our own effort.  Jesus Christ gives us the strength we need to do the things we need to accomplish.  We simply cannot do it on our own.  We need perseverance, but we also must realize we need Jesus Christ to be our guide so that we can persevere.

Perseverance builds strength and character into our walk with God.  If we cannot persevere, we have little hope.  We give easily.  We don’t put in the effort needed to grow stronger.  It’s in the times of perseverance that we seem to grow the most and learn more than we ever have before.  God alone gives us the strength we need to persevere through all the situations life throws at us.  We all need perseverance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Please Him, Not People

“Please Him, Not People”
By Zach Wood
Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Every time I read this passage, I am reminded that I need to live my life in service to please God and be faithful to Him.  I am not called to impress others.  If I live my life trying to please other people instead of pleasing God, then I am failing.  I need to do my best in everything I do, no matter what it is I may be doing.  I need to show commitment, determination, and positive attitude in everything I do. 

No matter what we are called to do throughout our days, we need to give our absolute best so that others see a servant attitude in us.  No matter what obstacles we face or people that aggravate us, we are still called to be the best and do the best we can for God.  If we keep our minds on serving Christ, we will be successful because we are being faithful to Him. 

It’s quite easy for us to want to impress those we work with.  It’s easy for us to desire to impress our bosses so they will think great things about our work ethic and that we are determined to do the best we can for the company.  While there is nothing wrong with showing a great work ethic, we should be focused on doing our best and letting that be the impression we give our employers instead of just trying to impress them.  In everything we do, we are called to give our best as we seek to serve God. 

No matter where you, whatever you are doing, and whoever you are with, make sure that all things are done to glorify Him.  It’s what we are called to do.  By serving others in Jesus’ name, we are furthering the Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Attitude Control

“Attitude Control”
By Zach Wood
Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This passage came up today on the Bible app on my phone as the passage for the day.  It reminded me of the sermon on Sunday as we looked at how our attitudes can determine the day we have.  I find it easy sometimes to let my attitude become worldly and focus on things that are not pleasing to God.  It’s not my intention at all to be this way, but with the craziness of life and how Satan likes to get his foot “in the door”, it becomes easy to be negative. 

It’s often easy for us to become like the world and how the world thinks.  The Apostle Paul gives us a very important reminder that our attitudes and mind cannot follow the pattern of this world.  If we are to be a witness to people around us and be encouraging, we must go against the flow and be different.  It’s hard to do that, but exactly what Christ calls us to do. 

It’s important for us to be very intentional every single day to start with a Christ-like attitude and continue that through the day.  It’s challenging and often difficult, but Christ gives us the strength to carry through.  Before our attitudes can change, we must let God transform us.  Our minds and hearts need to be transformed before our attitude changes. 

It is my prayer that we all desire for a renewal of our minds to the likeness of Christ and not of this world.  It’s a daily renewal process for us to experience.  We absolutely must be intentional every day to live our lives for Christ.  If we are not intentional about it, the enemy will try to take over. 

Let us not conform to this world, but be transformed by God. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

His Continued Faithfulness

“His Continued Faithfulness”
By Zach Wood
Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”

My favorite word from that passage is “faithful”.  When I think of God and His faithfulness in my life, it makes me smile.  I am honestly sad when I think of all the times in my life when I’ve been unfaithful to Him in my relationship to Him.  No matter how many times I’ve gone my own way and done my own thing, He continues to be faithful and forgive me when I repent of my sins. 

I’m also thankful that God is so faithful when other people and things let me down.  So many of us put our trust in the things of this world to please and satisfy, but we end up getting left dry and searching for more fulfillment.  God alone fills that void and He is so faithful to us, even when we mess things up and go our own ways.  He forgives if we will just confess to Him and ask for that forgiveness.  He will pick us up and carry us on.  I love that about our Awesome God! 

I encourage you all to think each day about how God has been so faithful in your life and in His provisions to you and your family.  He is so faithful to us and we need to be faithful as we show Him our love through obeying His commands. 

Let us be reminded daily of His continued faithfulness and continue in our faithfulness to live for Him.