Tuesday, May 31, 2016

No One More Amazing

“No One More Amazing”
By Zach Wood
Hebrews 1:3-4 NLT
The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.  This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.

I enjoy watching amazing things that people do.  Whether it’s on TV, a Netflix series or in a documentary, I really enjoy watching people do bizarre and amazing things.  I like when someone does something and my jaw drops and my eyes become as wide as saucers and I just say, “How did they do that??”

We have all been amazed by different people and different things in life that we see people do.  We get a thrill from watching people do some amazing stunts and perform tricks that totally blow our minds.  I enjoy watching magicians perform.  I know they have a very simple trick to what they do, but it really amazes me when I see them do what they do.

What amazes you?  What makes your jaw drop?  What makes you say, “Wow!  Did that really just happen?”

As much as I like to be amazed by things and people, I often wonder how much more I should be completely amazed by the things God has done and still does.  I wonder how much I focus so much on the amazement of things in this world and how little I sometimes focus my attention toward an amazing God.  That breaks my heart.  I often find myself more amazed at what people do than what God can do and still does. 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who was sinless and radiated God’s own glory, came to be an exact replica of God.  He was God in the flesh. After all these years of being a Christian, it still baffles me how God can be 3 in 1, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It’s just amazing!  I cannot wrap my mind around it!  Jesus radiates His Father’s glory perfectly.  Everything is sustained by His command.  Wow!  Does that amaze you?

Not only did He represent His Father’s glory, but He cleansed us from our sins.  He died for those sins.  These are all things I should be totally amazed by every day in my life, but so often my actions reveal that I am not really that amazed.  I find myself waiting for the next thing I can see with my eyes on this earth and not in anticipation for what God will do.

There is absolutely no one more amazing, incredible and majestic than our Creator God.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sometimes We Forget

“Sometimes We Forget”
By Zach Wood
1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

If you’re anything like, you forget things often.  It doesn’t seem to matter what age you are, you forget things all through life.  It is easy to be forgetful.  We tend to forget the simplest things in life and then we do a smack on the forehead when we come to recall what we’ve forgotten and we say, “I cannot believe I forgot that!”  You wouldn’t be a human being if you didn’t forget things.

Sometimes we forget important dates.  Sometimes we forget promises that we’ve made to others.  Sometimes we forget to pickup the kids after an activity if we’ve had a crazy day at work.  Sometimes we forget we’ve left stuff in the yard and rain comes to soak it down. 

We often forget, sadly, how destined we are to death if Jesus Christ hadn’t come to give His life for us.  We get so wrapped up in life that we often forget we cannot do anything without Him.  We tend to think so much of ourselves by all the things we can do on our own and in our own strength and we forget how destitute we really are when we take life on our own.  If we really think about it, as Paul describes here, we are the worst sinners.  Paul didn’t think highly of himself.  Even though he became one of the greatest influences in the NT and in the church, He was easily reminded that he was the worst of sinners.

Sometimes, we certainly need a reality check to remember and realize how far off from God we really are and how desperately we need Him.  Jesus came to save us because we are filthy.  We have turned away from Him and gone our own way so many times.  But we often tend to just go through life thinking we are pretty awesome.  We get pretty full of ourselves and think we’re doing pretty good.  God looks at the prideful heart and sees a sinner who desperately still needs Him.  He sees through our beaming attitude of arrogance and knows that we really need Him more than ever.

God is certainly patient with us.  He wants us to completely rely on Him and most of all to never forget how very much we need Him.  Paul considered himself the worst of sinners.  How do we see ourselves?  Do we think more highly of ourselves than we ought?  Or do we see ourselves as filthy rags that need His cleansing?  We are nothing without Him.  That’s blunt, I know, but it’s the truth.  Jesus saves us from our life of disgust and we need to be reminded of the wonderful cleansing He has given us. 

Sometimes we forget.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Take Time To Just Praise Him

“Take Time To Just Praise Him”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 103:1-2 NLT
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

This past Sunday, the pastor at church read this passage and brought something to mind that really challenged me.  How often do we come to God each day filling our time alone with Him with many, many requests?  Don’t get me wrong here, God does ask us and longs for us to bring Him the concerns of our heart and the many things that weigh us down.  However, as I was listening to the sermon and thinking about these verses, I couldn’t help but think of how often I bring my needs and wants before God, but rarely just take the time to be in His presence and just praise Him.

I’d like to ask that you think back over the past week, month or year and consider how much you’ve just taken time to do nothing but come before God to praise Him and thank Him for Who He is and what He has done?  I know for myself, I am so guilty of turning my quiet time with God into endless requests and very little time of just giving praise to Him. 

Does God invite us to bring our requests before Him?  Absolutely!  Again, He is always there for us, no matter what is on our mind and heart.  But just think about how amazing it would be if we took a morning that we usually lay out tons of requests and, instead, just focused on giving Him praise and thanking Him for all the good things He has done and continues to do. 

Take time to praise Him when you get up.  Take time to praise Him on your way to work.  Take time to praise Him as you drive the kids to school.  Take time to praise Him as you take your kids from one activity to another.  There are so many times that we can stop and take in His beauty around us and praise Him. 

May we always be mindful of what He has done for us, wherever we are at and whatever we are doing.  Our God deserves and longs to hear the praises of His children.  He cared enough to send the very best to us, Jesus Christ. Shouldn’t we take time out of our way, not only to bring our concerns and needs before Him, but also to just praise Him because of Who He is?  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Living To Harvest A Spirit-Filled Life

“Living To Harvest A Spirit-Filled Life”
By Zach Wood
Galatians 6:8 NLT
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Have you ever taken a bite out of a piece of food that appeared to look good on the outside, but then it tasted rotten once you sunk your teeth in?  Yuck!!!  The only thing you can think of is spitting all of that gross stuff from your mouth and getting some water to rinse your mouth of the horrible taste.  Not one of us likes taking a bite of anything only to discover something rotten on the inside. 

How many of us would ever choose to pick up something rotten and eat it?  We wouldn’t because we now only know it looks and probably tastes gross, but we could also very likely become sick.  It would be dumb to eat it and expect to enjoy it and have our bodies nourished from it.  We would throw it away and get rid of it. 

I cannot help but think of how often we do this in our lives with our walk in God.  How often do we take a “bite” from the things of this world thinking we will reap some benefits by chasing after our desires of the flesh?  We chase for so long thinking that the next “bite” will finally satisfy.  We only find ourselves, unfortunately, continuing to bite the same spoiled or rotten things and wonder why we aren’t growing in our relationship with God. 

If we get up in the morning and go through our day and only seek to satisfy our selfish desires, then we will only reap decay and death.  There is no life found in chasing after what we think will make us feel good.  If all we wish to do is go after what we think is good or what makes us feel good, we will find no growth in our faith.  However, if we wake in the morning and do all we can to seek Him and turn away from worldly desires, we will be amazed at the life we find in the Spirit. 

So, my question for all of us is this, “Why do we keep repeatedly chasing after the same desires day after day when they do nothing but leave us dry and longing for only what the Spirit can give us?”  My hope and prayer is that each of us will live each day with no other desire than to harvest everlasting life by chasing after fulfillment from the Spirit of God.  There is no better refreshment.