Hey guys, I sure hope you are having a great week. I want to thank you for reading this “late” addition to my Sunday Reflections. The reflection is a accumulation of Friday’s chapel service and Sunday morning’s message. God is slowly teaching me that burdens are not mine to carry. I pray this weeks reflection will bring you some comfort.
‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: ‘
1 Peter 5:6-8
Sometimes it is the verses that seem to be so familiar that God uses within our lives to become so profound and life changing. God has really used this scripture to help me over the weekend and I truly believe he has used it to help others.
Many of us deal with worry. Some struggle with it more than others, but there is not a person that has ever dealt with life that has not dealt with worry. God has a remedy for worry. I am always thankful for the fact that when life gives us problems, God’s word gives us answers.
These three verses offer us a progression of personal principles that must be examined when dealing with the “cares of this world”.
- My Will: The thing about my will, is that it is sometimes contrary to God’s will. Pride hinders my access to God. Pride tries to justify my own ability to deal with the worries within my life. Pride tells God things like “I got this”, I don’t need to pray about this”, or “I can carry this load myself.” Truth be told, we were not intended to deal with the cares and worries of life on our own. They were meant to be cast upon the Lord. It is my will that must humble itself before the mighty hand of God. God will handle the exaltation…I must first deal with my own will.
- My Worries: If I do not deal with my will then I will never have the faith cast my cares upon the Lord. The word “cast” literally means to hurl or sling. So, when you deal with worries then you are just going to have to trust God enough to release them into his care. Just sling them.
- My Walk: My will, my worries will affect my walk. My walk must be vigilant, but when I am dealing with worry then it causes me to be tunnel vision and then I make myself susceptible to the work of Satan. The worries effect vision. If we can see then it hinders our ability to walk.
The fact remains that when we deal with worry, we must be willing and able to cast it upon the Lord. We must have enough trust to release it into his hands. That truly means we have to let it go. Are we ready to let them go?
- In what way does pride hinder our ability to trust God?
- When does a person realize they have truly released something into God’s control?
- How does worry play a part in the devil’s plan to destroy lives?
‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.’
2 Peter 3:18
God’s desire for every Christian is that we are to grow. The reason so many Christians have become cold and hard hearted is because they have failed to mature spiritually. Spiritual Maturity is not measured by a person’s age, but rather by the spiritual growth that is evident within their own lives. When a plant begins to show signs of maturity is when it begins to produce fruit. I would have to say that same goes with Christians. Spiritual maturity is exhibited when the believer starts to bear fruit. The question now is “how do we go about growing?”
First, we need to understand that our growth and spiritual maturity is based on the development and deepening of our relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is deepened and developed through three avenues:
- Trust: Our relationship with Christ will never go beyond the level of trust we have in him. Without trust there is no relationship.
- Time: The only way a person can ever learn about another is to spend time with them. We will truly know a person until we start spending time with them.
- Talking: Communication is the key to building any lasting relationship. Without communication relationships never deepen nor will they develop.
Second, I believe the foundation of our relationship with Christ is based on our prayer life. The prayerlessness of a Christian leads to a powerless lifestyle. Prayer is something that God just automatically expected a Christian would do. He put it in the same category as breathing. When we pray we need to implement three basic practices:
- We Schedule a Time
- We Select a Place
- We Script a Strategy
Those that fail to plan will plan on failing. Without a proper prayer strategy then we will become defeated. We must not take spiritual warfare lightly. Those who are not mature enough to handle it could possibly become a casualty of war.
- How would we recognize Spiritual Maturity?
- What are some of the most important aspects of prayer?
- What would a proper prayer strategy look like?
- What are some other areas outside of prayer that effect Spiritual Maturity?
Watching God call people is an amazing thing. I am truly amazed at how God has been working with our outreach team lately. Just recently Steve Battles shared his burden about reaching those that are in need. Many times those that are poor, homeless, or in need have to find a way to get to their resources. However, based on the message of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 we see that it is our job to get to those in need. Steve has discovered a unique way in which this can be done.
Steve is wanting to purchase an ambulance (pictures are below) and transform it into a mobile homeless unit. We have the ability to turn this ambulance into a portable resource unity that can actually go where those in need exist. This ambulance will be stocked with food, clothes, snack bags, hygiene items, and even medical supplies. This ambulance is $7000.00. Would you consider helping us purchase this ambulance so that Steve will be able to convert this ambulance into a mobile resource unit, move the stuff he has been using out of the back of his own truck and get started working with easier access to the resources people will need. All you have to do is go to http://www.mtpleasantbc.com and click on the “give” link. We have designated everything that comes in as a donation toward the ambulance. Please consider supporting this ministry opportunity. Here are some pictures:
Avoiding the Things that God Hates (Part 2)
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Looking over these seven abominations that disgust God we learn that the boundaries God set in our lives are actually demonstrations of his love. God shares the things that he truly hates so that we are able to avoid causing God’s anger to be kindled against us. Here is the list:
- A Proud Look– God hates pride. He resisteth the proud and gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). Pride is something that hinders the flow of God’s grace in our lives. Pride makes us unusable.
- A Lying Tongue– Lies are something that cannot stand alone. The opposite of a lie is truth. The word of God tells us that truth is what makes us free. Therefore, a lie is something that binds us. We must be people of truth and walk in liberty rather than lying and living in bondage.
- Hands that Shed Innocent Blood– God is the giver and taker of life. We must not try to take job away from him. We have to remember that hatred is at the heart of every murder. In order to keep from shedding innocent blood we must avoid harboring hatred in our heart.
- A Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations– The heart and the mind are woven together. The thoughts of the mind have an effect on the heart. We must guard our hearts and be careful as to what we allow to enter the gates to the soul. If we are not careful we will allow things we see and hear to effect our lives.
- Feet that be Swift in Running to Mischief– The steps of the life usually come from the attitude of our heart. The thoughts and imaginations from the heart have a direct effect on the steps of our feet. The attitude of the heart leads to the steps of our feet.
- A False Witness that Speaketh Lies– We know already that God hates a lying tongue, but this is where someone manipulates situations in order to bring harm or hurt to another. A person that becomes a false witness will disregard truth, damage trust, and destroy testimonies. I have seen a false witness destroy marriages, ruin lives, damage careers, and hurt others.
- Sowing Discord Among Brethren– People that sow division are everywhere among us. However; God promotes unity and downplays differences. It is much easier to be a cause of division rather than a creator of unity. It takes a lot of work to maintain unity. We must continue to strive for unity because God hates discord.
Please remember these three things about each of these:
- Each of these is a characteristic and practice of Satan
- God hates them
- Just because something is an Abomination does not mean that God can’t forgive it.