Thursday, November 21, 2019

More Than Thankful

“More Than Thankful”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 4:11-13 NLT
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

It is that time of year where people will be traveling to gather together with family and friends to share in the festivities of eating lots of food and watching football.  Many people will sit around the table and take some time sharing who and what they are thankful for.  It is a great opportunity to take some extra time off work and be around people you might not spend too much time around on a regular basis.

This time of year, we see commercials on TV, hear songs on the radio and see ads in various places about being thankful.  This is absolutely great to be reminded to be thankful.  However, these past couple of weeks, I could not help but think a little deeper and really ponder what it means to be thankful. 

As I have thought more about this, I have to wonder if expressing thanks is enough.  For many of us, we do share that we are thankful for things and people that we care about and love, but when hard times come, we seem to not express our thanks as much as we endure various trials.  It is easier to be thankful when most things are going well for us.  It is much harder to express a thankful attitude when life is not going so well.  Simply saying we’re thankful is easy. 

I really think we need to be more than thankful.  It is deeper than just taking time to say that we are thankful for different things and people.  It is more about being content, grateful and learning to find joy in what God provides when things are both good and bad.  This has been on my heart the past couple of weeks and I just kept thinking of the phrase “more than thankful”.  It was like God was laying on my heart the need for more than just saying “thanks”.  Again, being thankful is great, but it goes deeper than that.  Are we thankful, grateful and content every day?

Let these words from Paul sink down deep inside of you.  Through the years of his life, Paul learned how to be content.  Through his various experiences, he truly learned what it means to be content.  He wasn’t just thankful when he received nice things from others or when people were cordial to him.  Paul learned to not let his emotions dictate whether he was thankful at certain times. He learned how to be content and express his thankfulness because God always provided what he needed.

Are we going to be like Paul and be consistent in our thankfulness, gratefulness and contentment no matter what life throws at us?

Sunday, November 3, 2019

BEWARE Of The Enemy's Power

“BEWARE Of the Enemy’s Power”
By Zach Wood
Romans 6:11-13 NLT
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.  Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

We have a lot of examples of power every day in our lives.  We have power lighting our homes and allowing us to run appliances.  We have power in our vehicles that allow us to get from one place to another.  At our jobs, we have power allowing us to get work done in many various forms.  When we go to stores, power allows us to shop and purchase different items we need.

We are surrounded every day by so much power, and often, we don’t think twice about it.  It’s something we’ve become accustomed to having.  When we don’t have it, everything seems to “stop”.  We rely on power every day to do the things we need to do.  It is very important for power companies to do everything they can to continue give our homes, places of work and businesses the power we need. 

We definitely rely on power almost every moment of every day in some way or another.  If we really stopped to think about it and all the factors that go into powering our day, it would probably surprise us.  We are always surrounded by great amounts of power in one way or another. 

The one form of power that we don’t think about as much or consider as much as we should is the power of sin.  When I read this translation, the words “power of sin” catch my attention.  I start thinking about how we often we forget how powerful sin can become in our lives.  Do we realize how powerful sin becomes in our day to day lives?  Do we realize how easy it is for Satan to get a foothold in our day to day routine? 

God desires for us to be dead to the power of sin.  We have temptations throughout each day to do things that are not of God and so often we fall for them.  Sometimes, we are taken completely by surprise by the sin that crouches at our door because Satan has deceived us well.

I want to encourage all of us every day to consider the power Satan has so often in our lives and to combat that with the Word of God.  We need to strive to live for Him and Him alone.  The power of God is greater than any power in the universe!  No power is greater than His!  We need to plug in to that power and steer clear of Satan’s power.  Satan’s power is easier to follow and often satisfies the fleshly desire, but God’s power gives us true life and satisfies fully and in a pure way.