Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thankful For His Perfect Faithfulness

“Thankful For His Perfect Faithfulness’
By Zach Wood
Isaiah 25:1 NIV
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how faithful God is to me and my family.  I’ve been thinking about how faithful He has been in my personal life and how He has been faithful with my wife and kids.  No matter what seems to be going well, frustrating us or giving us some stress, He always seems to be faithful.  Some how and in some way, He always comes through to teach me and to teach my family about continuing to trust Him.

Every morning I wake up, I know I have a decision to make.  I can either worry and try to handle life that day on my own or I can trust in God’s faithfulness to carry me through, even if I have no idea what He is up to.  I know that I should trust in His faithfulness every single day, but honestly there are so many days that I start out that way briefly, but then concerns and worries flood my mind and heart and I worry all day. 

Consider these powerful words from Isaiah.  He makes a powerful statement.  He declares that God is faithful.  He says that he will exalt God and praise Him, because in perfect faithfulness wonderful things have been done for him.  What an amazing statement from Isaiah!  More like a loud praise! 

What if we all, when we get up and start our day, begin by saying these words that Isaiah spoke directly to God?  And what if we not only said them, but truly meant them with all our heart?  What if we continued to repeat them, write them down and place them where we’d see them often?  We need reminded of this.  We need reminded that God is perfect in faithfulness……ALWAYS! 

God has been so faithful to remind me every day that He has things under control and that I need to stop doing things in my own understanding and the way I think they should be done.  He reminds me that I need to let go and let Him lead.  He will continue to do wonderful things if I just let him lead and stop running ahead of Him.

How about you?  Are you finding yourself believing these words of Isaiah and praising God’s name from morning till night?  Are you letting Him lead with His perfect faithfulness?  I know we all need to be so much better in truly letting God lead as He is always faithful. 

As we take time to focus on our thankfulness this week, let’s do more and continue to be thankful every day of our lives for His continued perfect faithfulness!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What Are We Holding On To?

“What Are We Holding On To?”
By Zach Wood
Matthew 19:16-22 NIV
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”  “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”  “Which ones?” he inquired.  Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”  Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

I was thinking about this story the other day while reading a chapter in a book.  I was challenged in the chapter about how this wealthy man couldn’t let go of his possessions to be obedient to Christ.  As I’ve considered this story so many times through the years through bible studies and sermons, I’ve often wondered why he was so selfish and could not let go of these things he held on to so tightly.  He had so much and yet he turned away and didn’t follow Christ.

As I’ve considered this story more, let’s hold off on raising our eyebrow at this guy.  Most of us are not wealthy I would guess.  I don’t think many of you own a mansion or have houses in several states or countries you frequently visit.  I’m sure most of you don’t have to split up your wealth between many banks because you have so much.  However, even though most of us aren’t wealthy, we are rich indeed.  We have many things. 

While we wouldn’t consider ourselves to be like this rich young man, ironically we are just like him in so many ways!  I thought the other day how much I am just like him.  I am not wealthy compared to people who are loaded with money, but I am rich compared to others who live with a lot less than I do.  As for possessions, I don’t think I have a lot, but when I look around at things I do have, I notice that I do have a lot of “things”.  These things can easily take away from my time with God and my allegiance to Him.  I am often times very distracted and finding myself filling time with other things than focused on Him.

So, before I pass this rich young man off and raise my eyebrow at him, I need to realize I am so like him in so many ways because there are things that I find hard to let go of if He asked me to.  I want these things in my life and often find it hard to get away from them to focus on Him. 

How about the rest of you?  Do you have things in your life that you’d rather not let go of or get away from just to have some focused time on God?  If you think about it for a while, you will agree.  My question is…..what are we holding on to?