God’s Peace

Do you ever find your self trying to understand God? Trying to decipher His ways, and figure out exactly why it is that He would love you and do anything for you? I know I have!

Remember that God’s ways are not our ways (far from them! – Thankfully!) and we are not supposed to understand it all.  If you fully understand something then it doesn’t take much faith to believe it!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything , by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and you minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

God doesn’t want you to be worrying about things all the time, He wants you to put your faith in Him, to trust Him.  Then He will give you peace and protection in Christ.

Pretty awesome if you ask me!!

A quick thought for the day…

Here is something for you to think about today:  sin is not just doing bad things, it is not doing good.

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”  James 4:17

When that opportunity arrises to do something good for someone, take it!  Don’t make excuses for why you can’t, because they just might be excuses for why you are sinning against God.

God WILL give you more than you can handle!

I have always been under the assumption that God will never give you more than you can handle.  Whenever things are difficult I would know that I would get through it because, no matter how hard it seemed, God was using the situation to make me stronger, but I could handle it.

This is complete nonsense!

God will, and does give us more than we can handle on our own.  He will absolutely put us in situations that will completely break us and that are beyond our ability to manage.  Think about it; if we could handle everything then why would we need God?  Why would we need to put our trust in someone else if we could manage all the time?

God wants all of our trust, all of our commitment, all of our love.  He doesn’t want to be our backup plan when all else fails.  God needs to be the first place we go; no matter how difficult, or easy the situation.  We should not be fooled into thinking that we can handle anything on our own!  Without God we can do nothing, but through him we can do all things!

It was good to have my little bubble popped so that I would stop thinking that I was capable of so much and start thinking about how much I need to rely on God.  As men we are notorious for being self sufficient, or at least thinking that we are.  We don’t ask for direction, don’t ask for help, and don’t admit when we are wrong.

The reality is that we are completely messed up, flawed, and incompetent human beings just like everyone else.  Embrace it!  The sooner we realize that we can’t do it on our own, and turn to God and ask for His help, the better off we will be!  The sooner we will actually start living our lives focused on God and not on ourselves.

We can’t do anything without God, that is the reality!

In order to rest… you have to work!

Why is it that so often we see our work for God as something that we do on Sundays, and the rest of the week we just work at our jobs?  Is that really what God intended for us to do; to give Him one day a week?  I think not!

We as christians, and especially as christian men, need to start thinking of our work for God as priority and focusing on it every day of the week.  We get so caught up in our day to day lives, and especially our work, that we forget that we have a mission from God that we are supposed to be working on also.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy spirit, and teaching them to over eve thing I have commanded you.”  Matthew 28:19-20

That is a pretty tall order; make disciples of all the nations – WOW!  When you really think about that, and the size of that task, how can you possibly hope to accomplish that working on it only one day a week.

If we want to see God work in our lives then we have to do God’s work.  If we want to accomplish something in our lives, then let’s work toward accomplishing something with eternally significant outcome.

Please don’t misunderstand me to think that I am preaching some kind of salvation through works, absolutely not!  Out salvation, and God’s love for us, is in no way conditional upon us doing anything.  Which is a good thing because if it was, we would all be in real trouble!

God wants us to work hard at everything that we do, and to do everything for Him, and for His glory.  Not because we have to, but because we want to, because we love Him and want to feel his presence in our lives.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, nor for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the lord as a reward.”   Colossians 3:23-24

Don’t sit back and do nothing.  Get up and work.  Even if the task seems daunting, or you don’t think that you can do it.  All you have to do is ask God to back you up and help you, and you can do anything.  2 Thessalonians 3:10 says that if we don’t work we don’t eat.  Personally, I really like eating!  So I guess I better get up and work!

So go out today and work for God, as hard as you can, everyday.  You will see a difference in you life.

One last thought; don’t forget to take a rest!  We are commanded to get our work done 6 days a week and to rest on the last day.  Heck, even God took a break on the seventh day!

One Nation, Under God.

My boys and I were doing some reading last night to kick off Easter week.  We were reading in John and one of the verses that started some good discussion was John 17:22-23.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:  I in them and you in me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

I have heard some use this verse, and others like it, to show how God and Jesus are not one but separate beings. While that is a topic for another post, I think that more important Jesus is showing us how important it is for us, as believers and followers of Christ, to come together.  We have to show the world that we are united in our worship of God.

And it starts right in our homes.  If you are not working with your family to make sure that you are all on the same page how are you going to bring the message of Christ to others.  Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  Absolutely right!  This should be something that starts in our homes, our church, our community, our city, our country and eventually encompasses the entire body of Christ throughout the whole world.

Husbands and fathers, it is our job to make sure that our house is united under God.  It is our responsibility to make sure that if someone were to ask any member of our family a question about what our family believes about Jesus, they would get one answer, He is our saviour and we follow Him.

As the Easter week gets into full swing take a quick inventory of where your family stands and make sure that you are all on the same page.  Step up as the leader of your family and rally your troops.  Follow the example set by Joshua; “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

God speaks in unexpected ways.

The events of the last few days have really put life into perspective for me.  Our 2 year old daughter was air lifted to Children’s Hospital with a skull fracture and subdural hematoma.  Through the course of everything we were shown how awesome God is, and how blessed we are to have so many people who truly care for us and who are willing to step up when we need them.

A  verse comes to mind:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord  (Jeremiah 29:11-13) 

Perhaps it is through traumatic and life changing events that God gives us a little kick in the pants to remind us that He is still there, still watching over us, and still loving us.  We can’t forget that He has everything taken care of, everything planned, and everything thought out for His glory.

Don’t wait for something spectacular or miraculous to thank God for all that He does in your life.  Don’t wait for others to do something wonderful for you to thank your friends for being who they are and for being there for you.

Take the initiative and go bless someone today!

Men of God: Joseph

I want to take a look at some of the men in the Bible who were all-in for God.  These men are who you think about when you think of a man of God.  Men like Moses, Joseph, David, and Jesus (ok, so the last one is a bit obvious…).  I want to look at not only what these men did that made them Godly men, but also how they were Godly men despite what they did.

Let’s look first at Joseph.  As the youngest of 10 brothers and the favorite son of his father Joseph was a spoiled little kid.  Just look at his coat, in those days that would be like your dad giving you a Mecedes for your 16th birthday!

Joseph’s arrogance and pride as a young man would be his down fall when his brothers had finally had enough, took his clothes and threw him in a pit (not a good day for anyone!).

This is where I see Joseph’s time as a man of God truly begins.  This is also where we start to see a lesson from Joseph’s life.  Sometimes, even when you feel like you are doing everything right, playing by all the rules; God has another plan for your life that you won’t understand, and that may not seem fair.  From here on out that is pretty much Joseph’s life!  Despite some awful circumstances Joseph makes the best of his situation.

He does the best job that he can for his captor, and Potiphar’s household is blessed because of Joseph.  At this point I am thinking that God will reward Joseph for his positive attitude and hard work.  Does He?  No!  He gets thrown in jail because he won’t sleep with another man’s wife (makes perfect sense…NOT!).

Thrown in jail most of us would give up.  I mean, come on!  He made the right move to not fool around with a married woman right?  A fair and just God would reward him for that, not get him arrested.  Instead God put Joseph in exactly the right place at the right time, even if it was the last place Joseph expected to be.  He became a big shot in the prison, for all intents and purposes he was running the place.  He was perfectly positioned (by God) to interpret the dreams of the cup bearer and the baker, which led to him becoming a trusted confidant of the king.  Going from prisoner to the second most powerful man in Egypt isn’t too shabby!

The thing is he could never have done it if he had given up and walked away from God when things got hard!  We have to always remember that God wants good things for us.  He wants us to prosper and have a good life.  No matter how awful or desperate things seem at the time, God always has a good plan!  That is a truly reassuring thought!

Joseph’s life teaches us that all our actions are important, and all our actions have an affect on those around us.  Joseph’s actions as a young man; an arrogant, spoiled, full of himself young man; caused his brothers to sell him into slavery.  His actions later in his life caused those around him to trust him completely (because wether they knew it or not he had God at his side!) and to give him control of an incredible amount of things (what warden in the world is going to turn the prison over to one of the inmates…it would be suicide!).

I know that I am not the most eloquent and this is just my ramblings, but the take away message is this:  No matter what our situation in life; wether we did something wrong and are in a bad place, or wether we feel like we have done everything right and God is just punishing us for no reason; all we can do it to be humble before God, to thank Him for all that He has done for us, and to do the best we can in whatever situation we find ourselves in.  God always has a plan for us, a good plan, we just have to trust Him enough to follow Him no matter where He takes us!