Thursday, October 29, 2015

Attitude In The Morning

“Attitude In The Morning”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 59:16-17 (NIV)
“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.  You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.”

My day just never seems to feel right unless I have my quiet time in the morning.  For many years, I have had this routine as I start my day.  It’s the one time I have to myself each day that is completely quiet and peaceful.  I wake up early before getting my girls up for school and before I head to work.  I want to have this time in the morning, otherwise the rest of the day just seems “off”.  I don’t feel like myself.  My attitude is always somewhat different if I haven’t had time with God.

My attitude in the morning and throughout the day can be determined by whether I’ve had that quiet time with Him.  It doesn’t mean I always have a great day just because I have that quiet time, but it really helps knowing the Holy Spirit is there to guide me and lead my thoughts and my heart to do what is right and what is best.  Does that always happen?  No, of course not.  I don’t always make the best decisions or do the right things.  But God seems to be directing me a little more through the day when my thoughts begin with Him each day.

How is your attitude in the morning?  How is my attitude in the morning?  Do you start your day spending time praising Him?  Do you go to Him for the strength you need for the day?  Is He your fortress and do you completely rely on Him?

God desires for us to spend time with Him each day. He longs to hear us and for us to bathe in His presence as we contemplate the day before us.  Can we choose another time of the day to spend with Him and not the morning?  Well, of course you can.  However, I really don’t know how you can’t start your day out with prayer and expect the day to go well without first having spent time with Him.  It just has always seemed like the best time that I can get my thoughts right with Him and ask His guidance for the day.

I highly encourage you to consider, if you don’t already, spending some quality time with Him for a few moments to start your day.  Help your attitude in the morning.  It doesn’t have to be long.  Start small and work your way to more time each day.  This Psalm is intentional about how we need to spend our time each day giving praise to God and relying on Him to be our fortress in times of trouble and hardship. 

How do you start your morning?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More Than We Deserve

“More Than We Deserve”
By Zach Wood
Romans 5:1-2 (NLT)
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”

We spend a lot of time in our lives acting like we deserve things.  When we work hard at our jobs, we feel like we deserve a raise or some other promotion or recognition.  If we do something nice for a family member, many times we want to be shown thanks for that.  If we help out a friend, often we hope deep down inside that the person will do something in return. 

If we bend over backwards for someone else and do many things to help them out, we honestly do expect something in return.  We might not say it, but we honestly many times hope something will come back to us in return.  What human being has never felt these ways? 

So very often in our lives, we really feel strongly, for one reason or another, that we deserve something for what we have done, whether at work, at home or somewhere else.  When I think of my faith in Christ and how far He has brought me through the years, I’m often reminded that I don’t deserve anything.  He has given me so much more than I’ll ever deserve and only because He truly loves me.  I need reminded that I don’t deserve anything I have. 

Why do we so often think we deserve so much?  Think about what Christ did for us so that we could be righteous before God by the blood.  We have forgiveness from a Savior Who gave His life for us.  Look at the word “undeserved” in the above passage.  That’s a big word!  Everything we have in our lives is undeserved.  We deserve nothing, yet Christ gave us everything when He died for us. We have everything we need in life, yet so often we feel like we are so deprived. 

Are you thankful for the undeserved blessings in your life with Christ?  We definitely need to be thankful a whole lot more rather than spending so much time thinking about how we deserve more in life.  Christ gave us His all.  That’s all we need.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More Than Anything

“More Than Anything”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 73:25-26 (NLT)
“Whom have I in heaven but you?  I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”

Think back to all the years of growing up in your childhood when people asked you what you wanted for your birthday and for Christmas.  Maybe you can think back to many times when you shared how you wanted a toy that had just come out.  Perhaps it was a video game that you couldn’t wait to own.  Whatever it was, you probably spent a lot of time and many days just thinking about it.  No, that isn’t the right word.  You spent many days daydreaming about it.

I think we can all testify to this in our childhood at one point or another.  We had years where we couldn’t wait to get on our hands on a present to see if what we really wanted was behind all that wrapping paper we quickly rip off.  The sheer joy of the mysterious gift, whether it was at Christmas or on our birthday, took hold of us and we just wondered what we might get.

I personally remember many years of excitement of presents and how anticipation built up and I lost sleep just thinking about what might be under the Christmas tree.  As years have gone by, I don’t lose much sleep now and that excitement I had as a child has worn off.  However, I do still enjoy presents!

As I consider the excitement so many people have toward getting gifts, which is a fun thing to witness for sure, I cannot help but think about our anticipation and excitement that we have for God.  God surely wants us to enjoy what we have on this earth, but how often do we build up anticipation for things of this earth more than our desire for God Himself?  That’s a tough one.  Again, He wants us to enjoy what we’ve been given here in this temporary life, but not at the expense of making these things important in themselves.

I am so guilty of not desiring God each day in so many ways.  I say I love Him and even share with others that He means more to me than anything else, but is my life really reflecting that?  Is He really my hope and my strength?  Do I look to no one but Him to provide the strength I need each day?  My health could go up in flames and my spirit may grow weak, so do I long for Him more than anything else in this life that I have on earth?  Do you?

We certainly need to examine whether or not God is ultimately Whom we desire more than anything this world offers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


By Zach Wood
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

There have been many times in my past years in which I have taken things way too seriously.  There have been times that I should have laughed, but I got bent out of shape.  There have been times when a joke was cracked, but I was in too serious of a mood and didn’t laugh. 

The opposite is also true.  There have been times when something serious was going on and I chose to goof off and got in trouble.  There have been times when someone needed a friend to talk to and I just laughed and didn’t care.  Sometimes, we all goof off when we need to be serious.  Other times, we are too serious when we need to lighten up. 

Imagine the life of Jesus as He walked this earth and talked to so many people about His loving Father.  He was all about getting the message out to people.  Nothing was more important than His mission to share with others and to share with His closest men how to go about this mission of making disciples.  I think there are times of course that Jesus and His men had a great time laughing and telling stories, but there were so many times when He was very serious about the mission He was teaching them.

Friends and family, it seems these days we hold too loosely the mission that Christ gave us.  We “laugh” it off and go about our daily routines.  Sure we believe in Him, but are we really dedicated to a life of sharing with others the Great Commission?  De we really take His command seriously to share with others the greatest news we’ve ever known?  Are we committed to reaching others with the love of Christ and helping them to come and know Christ?

Jesus sends us on the same mission He sent His men on.  He wants us to seriously take this message to heart and share with others.  Teaching them and baptizing them into Christ so that their lives are never the same.  But it doesn’t end there. We must continue to encourage and help them understand.  It’s a lifelong process and we need to be better about it. 

Jesus wants us to have fun and enjoy life for sure.  But He also wants us to take this mission seriously and share with others.