Monday, January 25, 2016

His Plans Or Yours?

“His Plans or Yours?”
By Zach Wood
Proverbs 19:21 NIV
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

If there’s one thing we are all extremely good at, it’s coming up with great ideas of how to spend our time doing things.  Whether it is at work, at home or out and about with family or friends, we have no problems coming up with great things to do.  We like to get creative and come up with some crazy ways to spend our time.  We can have some real fun and adventure with different ideas while around our family and friends.

If there’s one thing we are all extremely bad about, it’s taking a step back before we make certain decisions and allowing God to lead us.  In this day and age, we have become so programmed to do what we want, when we want and how we want. So often we claim that we want the Lord to be in control of our lives and we say that He is in control.  But, if we’re really honest, so much of the time He is not in the driver’s seat and is not really guiding us because we apparently have things under control.

Does this sound like any of your lives??  I’m sure it does if you really stop think about it.  And, it describes mine as well.  I am so guilty of going about my day and failing to stop and really ask myself if I’m letting God be in control at all.  I may think He is, but really I am just asking Him to sprinkle some “blessings” as I go about MY plans for the day.

This is a very wise proverb.  We would be wise to take heed of this statement and be encouraged.  Friends, we must let God be in control of our lives.  We have so many plans in our hearts that we think will prevail, but in the end, they just lead to more confusion and more pain.

God has plans for our lives that we are completely unaware of.  How often do we truly surrender and just let Him lead?  How often do we completely allow Him to take the throne of our heart and just be God?  Many times what happens is we do ask Him to be in control and we let Him…..until He starts doing things we don’t agree with or that don’t seem to make sense.  Then, we push Him aside and push full-throttle with our plans instead.  In a sense we are saying, “Okay God, You did pretty good, but now I’ll take it from here!  I can handle this from here.”

When will we just let God be God and lead our lives?  When will we truly let His purpose prevail?  Isn’t it time we really let Him lead?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Seek To Be Humble

“Seek To Be Humble”
By Zach Wood
1 Peter 5:6 NIV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

We all know there is a time and a place for everything.  There is a time to laugh and a time to cry.  There is a time to give advice and a time to just listen.  We could pick many different scenarios about when it’s a proper time to do this or do that.  Also a time when we should say this or say that. 

Throughout my years of life, I have regretted many times when I chose to focus on my needs and not the needs of others.  It’s not that my needs aren’t important, but Christ calls me to seek out the needs and concerns of others so that I can focus on them and reach out to them in their times of need. 

There have been times when I have been too proud of something I’ve done and have needed to be put in my place so that I scale down my attitude of pride.  It’s so hard many times to be humble.  So often I just feel the desire to think more of myself than I ought to and God reminds me of who I really am.  I am nothing without Him. 

There are so many times in our lives as Christians that we want to be recognized and rewarded for things we have done.  Not one of us would say we don’t desire to be noticed and appreciated for great things we have done.  However, we often want to be rewarded often for what we do and we would have to admit that we often also look for opportunities to do something for someone just to get recognized.

Friends, we must be humble.  Why?  Because Christ was humble and He calls us to the same life.  If we humble ourselves before God and allow Him to reward us when the time is right, He will.  He will reward us in a way or ways we’ve never dreamed possible.  However, we must submit ourselves to Him and release our pride and moments of selfish desires so that He can use us. 

We absolutely must be humble.  I am reminded of this song I sang all my years of growing up and into adulthood, “Humbly thyself in the sight of the Lord.  And He will lift you up.  Higher and higher and He will lift you up.”

Are we seeking to be humble so that God can lift us up in His time? 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Always There For Us

“Always There For Us”
By Zach Wood
Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

I am thankful that I have had so many people in my life, from the time I was a child until now, that I could look up to and rely on for support and love.  Whether it is a family member, a good friend, a mentor, or a teacher, I have always had people who would look out for me and help me along the way.  I am thankful for the caring people that God has put in my life to give advice and gently nudge me to help me make good decisions.

It is always a great feeling when we know people are there for us, loving and caring, helping us along the way when life is tough.  It feels great to know people love and want to help support us.  However, these people are human and they will let us down from time to time.  It isn’t that they don’t really care, but they are human and sometimes they just don’t say the right things or do the right things.  We end up getting hurt sometimes by people we really love and care about. 

While it is absolutely wonderful to have others whom we can turn to and rely on for support and strength, we must never forget Whom we can completely rely on every moment of every day and Whom will never let us down or break a promise.  He is always available when others are not.  He is always right there to hear us when we need to vent our frustrations.  He is always waiting to hold us when we are hurting.

As we enter this New Year, let us be reminded that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is always available for us and is there to guide and strengthen us when we need it most.  We can confidently approach God and know that He will never be too busy to hear us or sympathize with us.  In our greatest times of need, He is always ready and willing to walk with us and comfort us.  No matter what, He is always there. 

He is able, more than able, to sympathize with anything we are going through.