Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Daily Pursuit

“Our Daily Pursuit”
By Zach Wood
Proverbs 21:21 (NLT)
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

What have you found yourself pursuing in life lately?  What are you striving for?  What are you working so hard to accomplish?  What has consumed your mind and heart lately?  Are you working hard to provide a better life for your family?  Are you working hard to achieve some goals you’ve listed in the past for yourself and your family?

These questions should fill our mind daily and be a reminder to us of what we work hard each day to achieve.  We all want to achieve so many things in life.  There’s nothing at all wrong with wanting to achieve and accomplish certain things in our lives.  It’s great that we want to be the best in whatever we set out to do.  God certainly wants us to do the best wherever we go and whatever we do.

Are we pursuing God and His Kingdom more than anything else in our life?  Is it our daily goal to do what He wants to do in us, through us and with us?  Do we awake in the morning and ask God to help us do what He wants to accomplish through us?  Or do we awake and go through most days pursuing selfish things, only considering our needs? 

If we want to live a life of righteousness and honor and love, then why would we not pursue God completely?  Why would we choose to chase after other things in life that have no lasting meaning?  This is a daily battle we all face.  Do we long to fill our selfish desires or do we long to serve God and be used by Him to do what He wants?  We know what the right answer is, but do we really live that way?

We definitely want to strive to pursue God and His righteousness.  We want to strive to show His love to others in all ways that we can.  I know this sounds cliché, but if we study His Word daily and let Him truly lead, then our lives will look more like Christ. 

Are we pursuing Him each day?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Days Filled With Encouragement

“Days Filled With Encouragement”
By Zach Wood
Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What if you went through your day and everywhere you turn, someone gave you encouragement?  How would you feel if every conversation you had through the day had an encouraging word for you to take with you?  What if all we heard all day long from people, no matter where we would go or do, was encouragement?  Would we feel different?  Would we be able to endure more than we do now?

Is it impossible to even consider that we could fill our daily conversations with constant, encouraging words?  Some days, it certainly seems so.  There are often days when all we hear is what we aren’t doing right and what needs to be done better.  No doubt we want to hear encouraging words from others, but we should also be people who wish to give encouraging words as well.  How can we expect to be encouraged if we aren’t giving encouragement?

The Apostle Paul knew what it meant for the church and people’s lives to be filled with unity and encouragement.  Paul made it a point to encourage others to be unified.  This attitude starts by watching the things we say each day to others, no matter where we are.  We can’t expect to be encouraging to one another in the body of Christ if we spend our days dishing out discouragement to others in our attitude.  This attitude of encouragement must become a daily habit.

Each of us makes decisions each day of what we are going to say to others and how we treat them by our actions.  It’s imperative that we keep in mind how God wants us to treat others and how He calls us to love others.  He wants us to be encouraged so that we can endure.  He encourages us through His Word and through other people.  We must also make it a point each day to strive to be encouragers to others.  When we do this, we spread a message of unity in the body of Christ that is contagious for the lost to see and hear.

God desires a spirit of unity among His children so that encouragement will flow through conversations each day as we grow in Him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Words Of Love

“Words Of Love”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

What’s the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning?  What immediately consumes your heart as you awake?  Some of us are morning people and others are not.  Some of us it takes quite a while to “wake up” and be completely alert while others just pop up out of bed and are ready to tackle the day.

What is first and foremost at the top of your mind and on your heart as you get up?  Is it all the worries, cares and schedules for the day at hand?  For many of us, it sure is.  Or, do you awake and look forward to first spending time in God’s Word and meditating on the things He wants you to do?  So often, we get up and start hurrying through our day before we even get out the door.  In such a fast-paced world today, it’s often hard to get up and not get into a rushed routine. 

When we get up and start rushing through our day, it’s so much easier to not be focused on asking God to guide and direct our way.  It’s also so much easier to not be alert about what we say to others.  How many of us have gone through the day and messed up our conversations with others because we have not asked God to guide and direct our words through the day? 

This Psalm from David is amazing.  What a prayer David has to God that he would use words that would bring glory and honor to God.  All of us want to encourage others and bring glory to God with what we do and say.  However, how many of us specifically ask God, as we begin our day, to give us loving and caring words to share with others?  It’s a simple concept, yet so hard to live out each day because we are faced with so many pressures.

Be encouraged today and everyday after to pray these words of David as you go through your daily routine.  May the words we say through our day bring encouragement and light to others so they may see Christ through us.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Purchased & Restored

“Purchased & Restored”
By Zach Wood
Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”

I have admired people, through the years, who intentionally go to garage sales and other sale places to look for things that don’t appeal to most others.  They look for broken things.  They look for items that possibly have been through much use and have been left to not work.  I find it amazing, whether seeing it in person, on the news or reading about it in the media, when these people have taken these broken or worn down items and then restored them.  It is amazing how they look. 

If you or I walked into a store today to purchase an item, the chance of us intentionally buying something broken would be very small.  We usually do not walk into a business and set out to buy something broken?  Why?  Because we are paying money for a new item, not a broken one.  If we do see an item that is broken, we pass it up and possibly show it to a store employee to take it from the shelf.  We don’t usually like buying things that are already broken or worn down.

The passage today describes what Jesus Christ has done for us and how amazing that is.  He came to this earth and bought us with His blood and redeemed us.  Why would He do such a thing for us sinners?  Because He loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.  He sees broken and worn out people and wants to give them life.  He intentionally looks for those who are broken to pieces and wants to restore them.  He is in the business of restoring lives.

It is often easy for us to forget how broken we were before Jesus rescued us from our sin.  We are all broken, but thankfully we’ve been bought by the blood of Jesus and we can now be restored in Him.  Isn’t that amazing?  Through Jesus and Him only do we have restoration.  Because of the great love He has lavished upon us do we have life now so abundant.  He takes our brokenness and restores us.  We have been redeemed through His blood.