Monday, February 22, 2016

Don't Give Up!

“Don’t Give Up!”
By Zach Wood
Galatians 6:9 NIV
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I have heard countless stories through my many years of life of kids and teens who have been told over and over again that they won’t amount to anything.  It breaks my heart when I hear these stories of parents and/or peers who constantly tell young people to give up and stop trying.  Talk about destroying self-confidence!

Just as it’s horrifying to think people do this to others, we have an enemy who is also great in telling us we will never amount to anything.  We try so hard to be good at many things we set our minds to.  We find a challenge in our life and we decide to give it our all.  Somewhere along the line, something happens to discourage us and that voice comes to haunt us, “You’ll never do it!  Just give up!  Anyone else can do it better than you!  You really think you can climb that wall?  You really think you’re cut out for this?  Who are you kidding?” 

The negative voice comes out with many discouraging thoughts and many times paralyzes us with fear of what may or may not come next.  We tend to lose our ambition and forget Who gives us strength.  We start listening and believing the voice and the many things it tells us.  The enemy starts winning and we become defeated.

How many of us deal with this every single day?  We’re all pumped to take on a challenge and to do something great for the Lord.  Then, out of nowhere, that discouraging voice comes and strikes us and we feel defeated.  We become tired and want to give up because he is telling us it’s no use and we’re dumb for even trying. 

The great news is that Jesus is our greatest encourager!  He walks right beside us and tells us how wonderful we are doing as we strive to serve Him.  I think Casting Crowns song “Voice of Truth”.  When will we stop listening to the negative voice telling us how much of a loser we are in life and start listening to our Savior’s voice Who is telling us we can do all things through Him?  He is our encouragement and is cheering us on all the way!

When life gets hard, He always encourages us to not give up.  We will reap a harvest if we do not give up!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Greatest Gift

“The Greatest Gift’
By Zach Wood
Isaiah 53:5 NIV
But he was bruised for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all enjoying receiving gifts in life, don’t we?  We enjoy getting gifts when our birthday comes around each year.  We enjoy getting gifts when Christmas rolls around as well.  Sometimes, we receive gifts from other people when we least expect them to come.  Out of nowhere, a mysterious wad of cash shows up in an envelope when we need it most.  There are other times when an unexpected check shows up in our mailbox. 

There are so many different times through the year when friends or family doing something totally unexpected and surprise us in some way and that usually leave us speechless and with tears in our eyes while emotions surge through our body.  It is really cool when people do such incredible things for us and surprise us in ways we never thought they would.  Why do people do these things?  Because they love us.  We have people who love us and look forward to doing things for us because they want to see us react and how overwhelmed we’ll become.

It is amazing to think about how much our friends and family truly love us and want to do amazing things for us.  Why it is truly great to be overcome and overwhelmed with emotion and excitement when someone does something for us, how often are we truly overcome and overwhelmed when we consider what God did for us through Jesus Christ?  God gave us the most amazing and greatest gift we could ever receive through salvation in Jesus.  And yet, honestly, so often we become so much more excited about earthly gifts and less excited when we consider what Christ did for us.

How does it make you feel when you think of what Christ did for you?  Do you feel a deep sense of gratitude and does it bring you to your knees in awe and worship?  Do you carry each day with you a deep gratitude just knowing all that Christ has done?  He did what He did for you and for me?  He was bruised and He was crushed.  He was punished.  He was wounded.  All of this for you and me.  He did this because He loved us more than we’ll ever know.

We must consider what we get more excited about in life?  The gifts we get from people on this earth or the greatest gift we’ve been given to give us eternal life?  Nothing on earth should ever give us more joy than knowing Christ and His gift of life to us.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

No Greater Wisdom

“No Greater Wisdom”
By Zach Wood
Proverbs 2:6-8 NIV
For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

There is not one of us who would ever say that we don’t like getting good advice.  There are so many different situations we find ourselves in through the course of our years where we seek out people we trust and look up to and ask their advice.  The advice may not always be the most exciting news we want to hear, but it’s what we need to know so that we can learn, glean wisdom and become smarter and more successful. 

We all want wisdom.  Whether we are inspired through a song, by a movie, a book, talking to a family member or friend, we seek to find wisdom so that we can learn everyday to make good decisions and continue living with the determination to be better stewards of our time and resources.  Most of all, we should desire to be better about the time and resources that God gives to us each day.

No one disregards wisdom, unless we really hear something we don’t want to do.  We often cringe when someone gives advice to us we really don’t want to hear.  Deep in our hearts we are hoping to avoid what we know we have to do.  Many times, God puts people in our lives to give us wisdom and when we hear it, we honestly know we must move forward with those words of wisdom or we will dig ourselves a deeper hole of pain and frustration.

Consider this passage of our search for wisdom.  When God gives us direction through whatever means He chooses, are we opening our hearts to his direction and allowing Him to move in us and through us?  Are we going to be faithful in what we do so that He can better use us to do His will?  Or we do choose to follow Him only for a certain time only until we think we know how to live life better?  Our human wisdom will never keep us going very long.  Our understanding won’t last long. 

We desperately need the guidance and wisdom of our Savior.  He alone knows where we need to go, what we need to do and how we need to go about living the life He has called us to live.  We simply cannot do this life on our own.  We do and then we fail.  We follow Him and extraordinary things happen!

There is no wisdom greater or more powerful than that of our Heavenly Father.