Thursday, June 30, 2016

Let Me Tell You!

“Let Me Tell You!”
By Zach Wood
Romans 1:16 NLT
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

We all enjoy telling others when great things happen to us, don’t we?  We not only get excited about telling people about something cool that we’ve done or that happened to us, but also we get excited about things we have seen and places we have been to. 

Most of us could go on for hours and hours telling others about different things we like and dislike.  We often find ourselves getting excited and telling other people about so many things that are fascinating to us in this world. 

We get excited about sports.  We get excited about going on vacation.  We get excited about the newest movie that has come out.  We get excited about so many things and we cannot wait to get out to work, church or school and tell our friends and family about what we’ve experienced, seen or heard.

Friends, I cannot help but think that it saddens God’s heart that we get excited about so much in our lives, but then when it comes to the opportunities where we can share about our faith and we clam up.  When we get so excited to tell others things we often say, “Let me tell you!” and then we go into a long explanation.  However, when we have the opportunities to share Christ, how long do those conversations last?  Do we take the time to tell or do we clam up and lose our excitement to continue the conversation?

Are we really excited to talk about our faith in Christ?  Is it really exciting to us?  Are we itching to tell others of the wonderful salvation we have experienced in God?  The Apostle Paul was definitely not ashamed of the Good News.  He says that it is the power of God at work!  Is the Good News the power of God at work through us with others?  Are we excited to tell others, more than anything, about how awesome God is?

I must admit that I get into many conversations with others, most often in my workplace, and I find myself seldom bringing God into the discussions.  I’m not purposely looking for ways to beat people over the head with the Bible, but I also so often am not intentionally looking for ways to open up and share my faith.  I want to be different for sure and show Christ’s love, but sometimes that needs to come through my conversations.  I need to be more bold and open to sharing.  Not only sharing, but being excited about what I’m sharing. 

Let us be more like Paul, who wasn’t ashamed of the Good News and said often to people “Let Me Tell You!”

Monday, June 13, 2016

He Could Have, But Didn't

“He Could Have, But Didn’t”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 2:5-7 NIV
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus; Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

I want you all to ponder something for a few moments.  Imagine if you were promoted in your job to the highest position possible and given authority over everyone you used to work with.  How would that change the way you feel about everyone who works beneath you?  How would that change the way you feel about yourself?  There would be a feeling of celebration for sure!  We would all probably be filled with many emotions at the thought of being in charge of all the employees.

With this new position of authority, there also may be some temptations to take advantage of the people who work under you.  Would you treat them as you would want to be treated or do you think you’d be tempted to boss them around and make them do everything you want?  Don’t answer that too fast.  Even if you couldn’t imagine yourself like that, strange things can happen if we were ever given the highest position in a company and the complete authority to tell people to do what we want and how we want it done.

I hope that if we were all given this situation, that we would choose to do our best to make employees feel respected and appreciated, but never to take the advantage of bossing them around in a mean way.  Many people in high positions do just this because it gives them a feeling of power and boosts their ego big time!

Think about Jesus for a few moments in this way.  We know He never would have done that to people, but He had all authority from God.  He could have really taken advantage of the authority His Father gave Him and treated people terrible.  Imagine how that would have changed how we look at the Bible??  He did NOT use this authority and power in His position of Son of God to treat people wrong.  He did just the opposite!  He became a servant.  Why?  So that people would see just how the character of God really is and what love truly looks like in serving others.

I find it amazing that Jesus could have abused His authority, but that’s not what He was sent to do.  He was sent to love and serve and die for us.  He could have chosen to treat us as slaves and boss us around, but instead He loved us.  He loved us enough He went to the Cross to prove it. 

He was the epitome of love and servanthood.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

He Knows And Understands

“He Knows And Understands”
By Zach Wood
Hebrews 4:15 NIV
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.

I imagine that at some point in your life, you’ve told someone “I know exactly what you’re going through.”  Maybe you’ve told many people that throughout the years of your life?  Perhaps you have heard many people say that to you?  You know they mean well and are concerned, but often we wonder if they really know just exactly how we feel.  While it’s great in life to do our best to relate to people, we really don’t exactly know how someone feels, even if we’ve been in the same situation.  We can’t truly know just exactly 100% how someone else feels.  Maybe close, but not completely.

When we get into discouraging times of life, it is a great comfort to know others are there to share with us in our pain, even if they don’t know exactly how we feel or what we’re going through.  It gives us a great relief to know someone can relate to us.  However, no matter how much others are able to relate, there is no one who can relate more than Jesus Himself.  In the times that you are all alone by yourself and your friends and family are not around, He is the One Who understands and sympathizes completely with what you’re going through.

It is such a comfort to know that no matter what we deal with or what pain we experience, every time we come to Jesus, He can give us comfort like no one else can.  He has experienced every situation of temptation, yet He never fell to it.  He is our High Priest, the One Who gave His life to save ours.  You think if someone would give up His life for ours that He would know what we go through? 

Have you gone to Him lately for your ultimate comfort?  Do you go to Him more than you go to your friends and family?  It’s wonderful to get comfort and support from friends and family, but we can’t rely on them to give what only God can give.  There are times when God just wants us to come to Him and bask in His presence and comfort instead of always running to family and friends.  We need to be alone with Him and know that He always knows and understands our pain.  As much as others are able to relate to us, only Jesus truly knows how we feel and what we’re experiencing.