Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Comfort Like No Other

“Comfort Like No Other”
By Zach Wood
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

One of the greatest things about living a life for God is that we can hold onto a true hope when we are going through rough times.  There is no human being in this world that hasn’t experience some kind of difficult time in their life.  No one is exempt from disappointment, frustration, hurt, or heartache.  As much as we do not like to experience these times in our life, it is in these times that God does some of the greatest stretching of our faith.

It is amazing to know that God is our complete source of comfort in all times of trouble in life.  Whether or not we understand what we are going through, and many times we do not, God is always there to give us comfort and peace.  I could not imagine my life without the comfort that God gives through the hard times.  Whether it is a time that I am hurting, a family member or friend is hurting, or when I am trying to comfort someone else in pain, I know that God is there and will show His love and comfort.

It is not only amazing that God gives us His comfort, but also He uses us to extend that comfort to someone else who is experiencing the same pain.  I love how God works in that way.  What better way to comfort someone else than to share the personal experience we have had with the same pain? 

Paul sure knew what it meant to experience pain and sorrow.  He experienced more than most of us will ever have to go through and endure.  Through it all, he learned to rely on God for complete comfort and he extended his compassion upon others who also experienced hard times. 

Let us always be thankful to God for His comfort through all the hard times of life.  Then, let us look for ways we can extend that comfort to others who have experience or are experiencing the same hardships and relate with them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Passion To Share

“A Passion To Share”
By Zach Wood
Acts 20:24 (NLT)
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

Paul is one of my favorite characters in Scripture.  Not just because of the passion he had for sharing the Gospel, but also because of the transformation that happened in his life from being a persecutor and murderer of Christians.  It is absolutely amazing what God can do with a life and how He can transform someone.  Then, to watch the person build a passion in his or her life to do amazing things for the Kingdom. 

Paul not only had passion, but he was willing to do anything and everything possible to make sure the Gospel message was spread.  He did not care what threats came to him or what all he had to go through to get this accomplished.  He was passionate, dedicated and determined.  He was one bold man!  With all the accomplishments Paul could thrive on, he made it very clear that his life was worth nothing if He was not completing the work of Christ.  That’s a bold statement!

I cannot help but wonder why, in the church today, we don’t have the passion that Paul did?  What keeps us from not only being so passionate, but also having no other desire other than to make Christ known to the world?  Why do we care about so many other things that are really not important, but then focus so little sometimes on getting His Word out? 

My hope and prayer for us, as Christians bonded together in unity as the Church, is that we develop a pure passion for Christ and a mission in our hearts to share His love and that nothing else will matter to us.  There is no greater message we can spread, as the Church, than to share the Good News about our wonderful and awesome God.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Never-Ending Consistency

“Never-Ending Consistency”
By Zach Wood
Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

One of the most simple verses in the Bible to understand, yet it’s one of the most important messages we could ever remember.  So many things change in life, every single day.  And…..throughout the day!  We are surrounded by constant change in life.  It almost seems like nothing really is consistent, except for the consistency of constantly changing.  Everywhere we turn, there’s some new technology coming out or some new law being put into effect or something else happening.

It’s not a surprise to any of us that we live in a constantly changing world.  It’s hard to rely on anything and hard to rely on anyone sometimes.  While people do have good intentions at heart, they are fickle and sometimes surprise us with change.

With all the change going on around every day, I am reminded today to be thankful that Jesus never changes.  His love for me is constant and full each and every day.  He loves you as well and that will never change.  He is someone we can depend on, no matter what else in life seems to be falling apart or changing constantly.  Sometimes, we just need to stop what we’re doing, sit down and take in the fact that Christ is always there for us and His love will never change. 

We cannot do anything to make Him love us more or love us less.  He is all that we need and we can rely on Him when nothing else makes sense to us.  It is amazing to know that we have a Savior that we can fully trust to carry us through life and be there when it seems nothing else in life is going right.  And, when life does seem to be going well, He still there and still loves us just as much.  We can always rely on Him, never-changing and always by our side. 

He is the same yesterday, today and forever!  Amen!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

From Worry To Peace

“From Worry To Peace”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

If there is one thing we are all good at, it is worrying.  We all have varying degrees of how much we worry, but every human being worries at one time or another.  No one is excluded from this problem.  As much as Jesus told us not to worry, we still find it necessary, for some reason, to continue worrying and dwelling on things that haven’t happened yet or might happen.

You know what really feels wonderful?  When we finally give our worries over to God, let Him be in complete control and experience peace.  There’s nothing else like the peace of God surging through your body and taking away the worries.  When we focus each day on letting God be in control and not focus on our minds so much on the things of the day, there’s an unexplainable peace that fills us.

The first line of this passage is very important.  Paul says not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything.  I am ashamed that I have a past of being a worry-wart.  I don’t try to be, but it’s in my blood somehow and I have to daily put my trust in God and let Him be in control so that I don’t make my blood pressure sky-rocket!  I often let worry consume me and focus on things that haven’t even happened. 

I’m also ashamed that I often find myself not focusing on praying through things.  I encourage others to pray, but so often I myself fail at being faithful in my prayers life about things I’m worrying about.  I’m sure many of you, if not most, struggle with this exact same problem.  When we finally let go of worrying and pray that God will fill us and guide us, we feel a peace that we cannot explain.  The worries of the world then seem to fade from our minds and hearts.

If we want to experience true peace from God, then we need to let go of the worries we have and let Him be in control, every day, all day.  It is indeed hard to do, but it’s possible only through God.