Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Life Is Better In The Light

“Life Is Better In The Light”
By Zach Wood
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

Does anyone out there enjoy walking through a dark house at night?  Whether it be a bedroom, living room or basement, none of us enjoys walking through a dark place with no light to guide the way.  Why is that?  Because we might trip over something or bang into something and cause some serious injury from what we cannot see.  Whether that light is coming from the ceiling fixture, a flashlight or a match, we prefer to have a light to guide our way.

Not only do we not want to walk in a dark place because we might hit something, it can also be just downright spooky at times.  If we’re blindfolded to do some sort of “faith-led” obstacle as we might do in a youth group or a church camp to teach us to rely on the person who is guiding us, we get a little nervous.  If we cannot physically see what is in front of us, we get nervous and a bit shaky. 

Why in the world would we not want to walk in the light?  We want to see our way.  We want to know where we can step and where we shouldn’t.  One wrong move and we can be in serious pain or even lose our life.  The light is so vital for us to see.  Not only is physical light vital for us each day to be guided in what we do, the spiritual light we have each day from God is important as well. 

Again, why would we not want to walk in the light, especially the light God gives to us?  Each day, we have the choice whether to walk with God in the beautiful light of life He shines or we can choose to walk in the terrible darkness that the enemy wants us to wander off into.  Not only does this affect our lives, but it also affects the witness we can be to others who also need to see God’s light.

When we choose to walk in God’s light, there are so many blessings and abundance of life to enjoy, especially in fellowship with others who also walk in His light.  Then, we can take that light and shine it for others to see who don’t know God.  Let us walk in that light so that we can live fully for Him and shine His light for others to see.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trusting & Resting In God Alone

“Trusting & Resting In God Alone”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 62:1-2
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

We often say to others that we trust fully in God.  We often share that we are placing our lives in God’s hands and that He’s in control.  We often proclaim to others that we are fully trusting in God’s provisions and know that He will carry us through.  However, honestly, how often are we really sincere in these things we share about trusting in Him?  Are we truly and fully trusting in Him?

Lately, I have noticed in my own life that it’s so much easier to say this and quite another thing to actually live this out.  As a minister, I often encourage others to trust God and to put their faith in Him to guide them.  Sometimes, it almost seems hypocritical because I look at my own life and I don’t find myself resting in God alone.  I am encouraging others to do this, but I am struggling to do it myself.

It’s in these times God reminds me that I am human and no different than anyone else who lives in this world.  When people share with me that it’s hard to trust in God, I nod my head in total agreement and share how so often I find myself saying I trust Him, but not fully living that way.  I am learning more each day that life is a continual process of trusting in God and learning to trust more. 

As we have experienced some health issues in our family recently, it’s been convicting to me that I am not putting my full trust in God alone as I should.  I find myself often focused on everything else but God’s provisions.  He has reminded me through His Word, through my family and through friends that I need to constantly be trusting in Him. 

This passage is so refreshing in that my soul needs to find rest in God and Him alone.  No other is going to give me the peace and rest I need.  My salvation is in Him alone, not in anything or anyone else.  He alone needs to be my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer.  I cannot depend on anyone else to be the support He needs to be for me.  He alone must be my source of true strength. 

I hope and pray that each of us finds true peace, trust and strength in God alone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

His Love Never Fails

“His Love Never Fails”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Fail.  That is a word none of us likes to hear.  It’s not a positive word by any means.  I don’t know how anyone could see that word and get filled with warm fuzzies.  That just doesn’t happen. We don’t like to fail.  When we fail, we feel completely defeated and useless.  When we fail, Satan hits us with one of his greatest tools, discouragement. 

When we have a relationship with God, we know we should rely on His strength and not our own.  However, saying and doing it are two different things.  We know what we should do, but doing it requires effort.  As humans, we try to rely on ourselves so much.  We think we know the answers.  We think we know the best way to get something done.  We think we know what we ought to say to someone.  We rely on our own wisdom and our own strength. 

Thankfully, we have a wonderful and awesome God who gives us another chance to rely on Him when we try on our own and……fail.  Failure can do terrible things in us.  We become very negative at time and feel we have no hope anymore.  That’s a lie from Satan.  There is hope and it’s solely found in God.  In our flesh, we make so many mistakes.  We have human flesh and human hearts.  We fail, but God never does.  And when we fail him, He offers forgiveness and a new start if we come to Him and ask. 

Nobody likes to be reminded of their past failures.  That is one of the worst things that can happen to us when we do fail.  We become reminded of the awful past, whatever that may consist of for each person.  Failure can drag us down quickly.  In these times, God wants to restore us so much.  His heart breaks for us to experience restoration so that we can continue to experience His love and the reminder that He still loves us.

Our heart and flesh may fail, but God is the ultimate strength in and through our lives. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

From Obligation To Desire

“From Obligation To Desire”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

This is a very encouraging passage from David.  Remember back to when you were a child.  You had chores, you had homework and other duties you probably didn’t really look forward to doing.  Not many kids I knew when I was that age or even the ones I know now like doing those things.  They are things we are told we need to do.  What kid likes taking out the trash?  I’ve yet to find a kid that does.  Okay, maybe I’ve met a few that don’t mind. 

We do many things, as we grow up through childhood and adolescence, out of obligation.  We have to take care of certain things we don’t enjoy doing.  Sadly, many times, this can spill into our relationship with God.  He has rules and guidelines for us to live by, but these are not for us to feel obligated to follow.  His instructions and commands are given so that we can experience the fullness of life He is offering. 

When we obey God out of a desire to serve Him and glorify Him, we experience a joy and light that is not of this world.  His instructions and commands do not jive with this world at all and at times we want to do another way instead of His way, but then we soon find out there is no joy or light in following those ways.

King David sure experienced a lot in his relationship with God.  He came to have a pure desire to follow and to obey God’s commands.  This desire was so far from feeling obligated or that he had to obey.  He knew following and obeying God was where true joy and true light of life was really found.  I hope that you and I today and every day forward will desire the same as David did.  Experiencing joy like no other and light like no other in our walk with God.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Always Loving & Faithful

“Always Loving & Faithful”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 117
Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.  For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord.”

One thing I always like about reading the book of Psalms is that I am encouraged and lifted up.  It seems no matter what chapter or verses I read, I am always inspired by the words that come through.  We all need inspiration.  We all need to remember that God is awesome and that life is truly precious.

This past weekend, I was reminded how precious life is.  I’ve had some heart conditions in the past year and it resurfaced again this past Saturday, sending me to the ER to get my heart shocked/cardioverted back to regular rhythm.  The whole morning I just couldn’t believe what was happening and that I was now a patient.  I’m usually the one going to visit people. 

While the procedure went well, there was still risk and I was reminded of how precious life is that God gives to us all.  His love is great and amazing to us and His faithfulness is always present.  He brings us through hard times and strengthens us.  Hopefully through these times, we also grow wiser and change whatever issues in our lifestyle that may be causing us problems.

God’s great love and faithfulness is present, no matter what we are going through.  We don’t always understand why we experience some of the things we do, but that never changes the fact that He is Lord and that His love endures forever.  We are to praise Him always.  He is always loving and always faithful.  

I hope we are all thankful for God’s great and amazing love and faithfulness today.