Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Beware Of Over Self-Confience


“Beware Of Over Self-Confidence”
By Zach Wood
1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.

We have all had moments in our lives where things are going just fine and we think there is nothing that can ruin the moment.  We might sail on for days, weeks or even months without anything pulling us down.  Then, all of a sudden, “wham!  We’re not too sure what happened or what exactly hit us, but all we know is that life came crashing down, so to speak. 

There is not one of us that has not experienced this in life.  Life seems to be plugging away and then some tragedy or temptation takes us down and we feel like we’re down for the count.  We ask ourselves, “what just happened???”  We often times cannot figure out what went wrong or why all of a sudden things just spiraled south.  And, most of us don’t usually react the best way to these sudden changes.  We feel a wide-range of emotions.  We wonder what we did wrong and how this all happened.  Sometimes life simply takes us by surprise.

It’s in these times that we do some deep thinking and examine our life choices.  Many people in these situations question God and His goodness.  I know in all my years of vocational ministry and volunteer ministry, this is one of the toughest situations to deal with.  This goes both for seeing people experience this and myself having dealt with it.  We get very frustrated and wonder why God allowed bad things to happen to us.

There are many times we need to realize in life that we do make bad choices.  We make decisions to follow temptations and we fall hard.  We don’t mean to, but we do and then life comes crashing down.  We must remember that we cannot do life on our own, period.  We need God 24/7/365.  Not a moment goes by each day that we don’t need Him.  We tend to get a little cocky in life, if you will, and we think we are doing pretty good.  We feel pretty good and can’t imagine anything spoiling our mood.  Before we know it, but something goes wrong and things seem to spiral out of control in one way or another.

As I study this verse, I think of all the times when I get to feeling pretty good in my life and how I wish things could just stay good and not go sour at any time.  As much as any one of us would like that, life just doesn’t work that way.  This is not to say we should live life expecting bad things to happen, but that we just need to be prepared at all times.  We need to strong in the Lord and be prepared, so when things do start spiraling down, we can remain confident, not in ourselves, but in the Lord.  God definitely wants us to have self-confidence in our lives, but not so much that we forget that He is in control and depend on our own strength.  Beware of over self-confidence because we always need Him!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Undivided Loyalty


“Undivided Loyalty”
By Zach Wood
James 1:5-8 NLT
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

We all have different stores and food places that we frequently visit.  For me, there are certain stores and certain food places where I know that I will always get a good deal.  I want to go to certain stores where I know I will get good quality products and great service.  I also like to go to certain food places where I know I will enjoy the food and the service that is provided.  I am loyal to these places when we choose to go out to eat and go to buy certain products.

You all have certain places, just like me, that you like to go frequently.  The places have given you a type of service that keeps you coming back.  Even if you get a bad experience here for there for whatever reason, you’ve had enough good experiences to know that you will still get good service if you go back.  We have all had bad experiences at places.  Sometimes, we choose not to go back, but other times, we know it was just a bad day or what not, so we still choose to go back because we have had good food, good products and good service in the past.

We all have developed undivided loyalty in one way or another with these different places.  Even with the occasional bad experience, these places have gained our trust enough to keep us coming in.  Loyalty is a big word.  When people develop loyalty not only with places, but also with people, that is a big thing as well.  We want loyal people in our lives so that we know we can trust them. 

How about our loyalty to God?  We all have great experiences with God, but we also have times in our lives where we get frustrated with the so-called “service” we think God is giving us.  We get frustrated when life gets tough a lot of times.  We wonder what He’s doing.  We tend to forget He has wisdom beyond our understanding.  He knows what He’s doing.  We need to remain loyal to God, through the good times and bad times.  God wants undivided loyalty in our lives. 

When we seek after God for wisdom, do we seek with undivided loyalty, no matter what the journey brings?  Do we continually seek Him when the going gets tough and when we aren’t getting answers?  Is our loyalty unwavering?  These are tough questions, but ones we must ask as we consider our loyalty to Him.