Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Our Main Pursuit

“Our Main Pursuit”
By Zach Wood
Proverbs 21:21
He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

We tend to pursue a lot of things in life, don’t we?  We pursue a job that we long to have and perhaps further our education in order to be considered for the job.  We long for a house that will be perfect for our family and we look and then pursue a plan in order to get the house.  Our hearts long for someone to share life with and we start the dating process to pursue a relationship that will hopefully both bring a companion into our lives and bring glory to God. 

The list could go on and on, depending on what all we choose to pursue in life.  We choose to pursue many things throughout our years.  Some of those things we end up finding out aren’t a great choice after we pursue them.  It’s a learning process.  Sometimes we have a wonderful adventure while other times we experience much pain from the pursuit.  This is the journey of life. 

It’s no surprise to any of us that our ultimate pursuit should be in following a life that is dedicated and committed to Jesus Christ.  He is our ultimate pursuit.  We should desire, above all other desires, to pursue a life of righteousness and love.  When we pursue that kind of life, nothing can prepare us for the wonderful blessings and adventures God has in store! 

Sometimes, we fall into the trap of pursuing earthly desires more than pursuing a committed life to Christ.  It’s not that we don’t love Him or want to follow, but the things of this world seem better and more promising and we lose our main focus.  After a matter of time, we come to find out that Jesus Christ truly needs to be our ultimate pursuit of life.  There is no greater life to pursue than the life we have in Christ.  No life is more promising.  He promises a crown that cannot be obtained by following the desires of this world.

May our ultimate pursuit in life be to attain a life more like Jesus Christ each and every day. There is no greater pursuit!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

His Many, Marvelous Wonders

“His Many, Marvelous Wonders”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 40:5
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.  The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, the would be too many to declare.”

I always feel so inspired after reading from the book of Psalms.  This is a powerful passage explaining how marvelous and wonderful the wonders God has done all around us!  It’s so easy for us to become bogged down and overwhelmed by everything going on in our lives that we often forget and neglect the little and big things God is doing all around us and all that He has already done. 

We easily become so focused on things we need to do, plans that need to be made and all the responsibilities we have that we neglect to take the time to see what is all around us that God has given and the many wonderful things He has done.  I know I become so consumed with my daily routines that often I just pass right by a marvelous wonder God wants to show me.  Sometimes, I just stop and take a quick look and go back about my routine and I don’t really take the time to soak up the moment and let it sink into my mind and heart. 

I believe so often God is trying to get our attention, amidst our busy days, and redirect our focus to the wonderful wonders all around us that we seem to be missing.  It’s not that we purposely are trying to ignore what He wants to show us, but we are so wrapped up and consumed with our agendas that we simply forget to just stop for a while and take a look around at what’s happening.  Possibly a beautiful sunrise or sunset that will soon fade or something happening with one of our kids that we might miss and not be able to cherish if we just continue on our way. 

I encourage all of us not only today, but every day, to take the time to look around and just stop what we’re doing and take it God’s wonders that are all around us.  Are we paying attention to all the marvelous wonders He has done?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

May Our Love Truly Abound

“May Our Love Truly Abound”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 1:9-11
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

What an amazing prayer that Paul had for the church in Philippi.  I think back to the 1 Corinthians 13 where Paul talks so highly of love.  Love is important as we seek to shine Christ’s light everywhere we go and in all we say and do.  Paul’s prayer here is that the church abound more and more in love.  When we love others sincerely, we really take the time to get to know them, pray for their needs and see what we can do to encourage them.

When we practice loving others as Christ loves us and gave Himself for us, we develop a stronger love and a more dedicated love through servanthood.  Our hesitation and reservation to help and love others becomes less because we become more dedicated and committed to serving.  This is a journey and a process we grow through as we come closer to God.  How could we possibly live a life of servanthood and devotion to Christ and not be a dedicated follower? 

As our love grows stronger for God and for others, we develop a desire to seek out needs and how we can encourage others more.  As our love continues in depth and insight, the desire in us should grow even stronger to do all we can to shine His light and spread that love He gave us.  It wouldn’t make sense that our love for God grow, but not for others.  It doesn’t work that way.  When we come to understand more of His love and how we need to show that love to others, the desire should naturally grow as well to love those who don’t know Him and share that love and light with them. 

The prayer that Paul has for the church in Philippi applies to us just the same.  God desires for our love for others to grow so that we can discern what is best and be pure and blameless as we continue to grow and shine for Him.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Desire To Encourage

“The Desire To Encourage”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

One book of the Bible I always enjoy reading through is the book of Psalms.  The pages are filled with inspiration and encouragement.  These words from David are no doubt amazing.  How often you do you find yourself going through your day and asking God for your words to be pleasing and encouraging to others?  Do you start your day asking God to give you strength and guide your tongue through the day so that you will share encouraging words with others?

We’ve recently looked at this idea of how we need to be positive and not negative toward others in our relationships each day.  Why would we have any other desire than to be encouraging, uplifting and beneficial in what we say?  I don’t’ believe our intent is ever to discourage others or tear them down.  However, we have an enemy that knows where our weaknesses are and how to shoot us down so that we become negative and begin using discouraging words.

I really believe it’s important to start out the day with prayer asking God to give us strength, perseverance and loving words to share through the day with others.  We need Him to guide our day and to help us live our day to be pleasing to Him.  It sounds simple, yet very hard to actually live out. 

Go back and read this passage again.  Will you choose to make this a prayer from your heart each day with sincere desire to do everything you can to please God by encouraging others?  May the words we use each day and the thoughts and attitude of our hearts be pleasing and glorifying to Him.  We surely want the Lord to be pleased with all we do, right? 

Be intentional to start your day with the desire to please God by encouraging others and a positive attitude in your heart.