It is important to look at things from God’s point of view. “Of the sons of Issachar who had the understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” (1 Chronicles 12:32) In the words of Paul, “Brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself as examples for you. I did this so that you could learn from us the meaning of the words, ‘Follow what the Scriptures say.’ Then you will not brag about one person and criticize another .” (1Corinthians 4:6) The sons of Issachar are famous for understanding what was going on around them. Ignorance, for them, was not bliss; they wanted wisdom. Ignorance is nor bliss for us either, especially as those called to be faithful citizens of His kingdom.
In this present world of turmoil, trials, and trouble on every hand, we have the opportunity to teach and offer hope through a different lens. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.“ The Christian life is a different life. It runs completely contrary to the way the world generally thinks and operates. Rather than glorifying God, the world rejects God, and His standards. Furthermore, the world has no hope, no remedy for evil. Society cannot transform a sinner into a saint. And despite all of its feigned optimism and confidence in itself, the world is limited, finite, and spiraling downward.
The world needs hope, and because the world is bewildered by those of us who do have hope we must be prepared to provide explanations for our confidence and joy. Why do we treat Christ so reverently? Why do we have hope in the face of such despair? Christians are confusing to this world! Simply put, this world is not our home and our peace comes from the inside out because of the saving grace of our Lord. We trust in the Lord’s unfailing love (Psalm 52:8(b). We cast our cares on the Lord and he sustains us and never lets the righteous fail. (Psalm 55:22) Oh what joy, peace, and hope that provides!
In closing, are we prepared to live a life that stands out in our fallen world? Are we ready to answer its questions?
We live in a world that often breeds anxiety and fear. When we come face to face with tough times, we may fall prey to discouragement, doubt, or depression. Our Father in Heaven has other plans. Our God has promised that we may lead lives of abundance, not anxiety. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” God's word instructs us to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). So the question is, how can we put our fears to rest? We can put our fears to rest by taking them to God and leaving them there.
As you face the challenges of daily life, you may find yourself becoming anxious, troubled, discouraged, or fearful. If so, you must turn every one of your concerns over to our Heavenly Father. The same God who created the universe will comfort us if we ask Him so let us ask Him, trust Him, and then watch in amazement as your anxieties melt into the warmth of His loving hands.
Worry is a complete waste of energy. It solves nothing and will not resolve the anxieties on your mind.
David states in Psalm 22:19, “But You O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to Help Me!” Psalm 22 immediately reveals that David was in trouble. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Have you asked our God this question as David did? David boldly complained that God was not hearing his prayers. Have any of you felt this way doing this pandemic? Maybe your circumstance does not look good right now. In times of crisis, however, what others are attempting is not as important as what God is doing. When we focus on God even in the worst of predicaments, we always discover that He is near and that His presence is our deliverance.
Right now, we need to focus on God’s presence right where we are. Due to the pandemic, a lot of us are restricted to home because of health, age, medical condition doubt, fear, loneliness, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or broken relationships. We must watch His work, His perfect plan in His perfect way in His perfect time. God is in control and let us nor forgot this! Amen!
The apostle Paul communicates in several passages the important truth that Christ only has ONE BODY (4 times in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 2 times in Romans 12:4-5, Ephesians 1:23, 4:4). His message is so radically different than what we see in Christianity today.
It was important for Paul to write this wonderful truth because he received it directly from God. Christ said He would build His church (Matthew 16:18) and that He will be the head of it (Ephesians 1:22-23 according to Paul) because God has given Him all authority (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus gave His blood for the church (Acts 20:28)! He willingly sacrificed Himself for His precious body. It is His blood that runs through the Fulshear church of Christ. As blood bought members of His body we must be active in doing His will and live in harmony with His word and people. Reaching out in love with HIs hands and walking courageously with His feet are essential to being the body of Christ. The body considers others first by living selfless and giving much. We must be active participants working and functioning as a healthy body.
There is only ONE BODY and there are many members that form is body. If you are not a part of His body then you can become a part by….BELIEVING IN HIM (John 8:24), REPENTING OF YOUR SINS (Luke 13:3&5), CONFESSING HIM AS LORD (Matthew 10:32-33), and by being BAPTIZED IN CHRIST FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS (Mark 16:16).
Everyone is welcome to be a part of the ONE BODY of Christ which is His church. Every part of His body is encouraged to be an active participant for the overall health and growth of the body. Everyone is also needed to help build a great church in Fulshear ....so let’s get busy working together!!
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.“ -- 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 & Ephesians 1:22-23
Faith is the power tool of a Christian. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)
Let me also share this with you, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” (1Chronicles 20:20)
Every life, including yours and mine, is a series of successes and failures, celebrations and disappointments, joy and sorrow. We all have experienced these things, and as long as we live in this life on God's good earth we will experience these things again. You see, every step of the way through every triumph and tragedy God will stand by your side and strengthen you if you have faith in Him. Jesus taught His disciples that if they had faith, they could move mountains. You can too! Do you have mountains in your life?
When you place your faith, your trust, and indeed your life in the hands of Christ our Lord, you will be amazed at the marvelous things He can do with you and through you. So strengthen your faith through praise, through worship, through Bible study, and through prayer. Trust God’s plan. With Him all things are possible, and He stands ready to open a world of possibilities to us if we have that unconditional faith.
In closing, sometimes this world can be a fearful place, full of uncertainty and doubt. However, our Lord can overcome any challenge.
Father, give us faith and let us always remember that with Your love and Your power, we can live courageously and faithfully today, tomorrow, and the rest of our lives. Amen!
“O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” (Psalms 8:1)
The key to understanding the psalmist’s words of praise is knowing that God’s name reflects His character. For instance, the name El Shaddai means, “All-sufficient” or “Almighty One.” Elyon means “The Most High God” and refers to God’s supremacy and sovereignty. The names of God reveal who He is.
The psalmist was truly delighting in who God is and what He is like. Let us look at the picture of God’s amazing creation that the psalmist painted -- “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalms 8:3-4 )
Within the majestic expanse of the universe, we are insignificant specks. Yet our infinite God sees us, knows us intimately, and loves us ceaselessly. Such divine consideration is truly beyond our comprehension.
In closing, “O Lord, Our Lord, Your love for me is truly amazing! Teach us to delight in You”. Amen!