Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: January 2, 2012            
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Philippians 3:12-14: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
2012 ~ “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life….and I’m feeling good.”   - Buble’                                             
Let’s begin with a common question, “how are you doing?” Now, I’m not interested in the “oh, I’m fine” answer, I would like a truthful response. It’s really ok to be honest. Like many of you, I get that life is full of challenges and sometimes it’s a real struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel. Could it be however that we can’t see it, because we’re not running toward it? Could it be we’re so stuck in the past that we can’t enjoy the present?  With all due respect, today is a new day! The past is over and we’re upon a new day of opportunity. How will it look for you? What must you let go of to really begin to enjoy your life? Are you willing to press on to really begin to feel good about life and the opportunities God has for you? Are you interested in living life the way your Heavenly Father created you to live? I am not asking you if you want to, I’m asking you, will you?
Friends, no one has the power to take something from you, unless of course, you’re willing to give it to them. I have no idea what that would look like in your life, but in mine, I am learning how to let go of my failures/mistakes to experience true joy. I am still very much a work in progress, I have not yet arrived, but I’m no longer stuck either. You see, for a very long time like some of you, I was unable to press past my past. Every opportunity that Satan had, he reminded me of my mistakes or the mistakes of others. He reminded me of betrayal, he reminded me of disappointment, and he often wanted to make sure that I pointed the blame at God for allowing it all. This way I would surely stay stuck within the emotions of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness and resentment. This is his signature cocktail that some of us enjoy sipping on. It would often soothe and keep me focused on “poor, poor, pitiful me,” and the canvas would stay dark.
God has a better plan for this new dawn and it’s a rescue plan. It’s a canvas with beautiful bright rays of hope. It’s a plan that pulls us out from that which we are under, and leads us onto solid ground. Please notice that I said “leads.” God gives us what we need in His Word to move toward a new destination. He doesn’t give us a roadmap, He gives us a compass. The rest is up to us. We can either choose to stay where we are today, or we can choose a better way. We can determine today that we will change our thoughts concerning our circumstances and press on toward the goal of victory through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. On our own, we’ll stay in our tunnel of discouragement. But with Christ, we can strain toward the light that is ahead of us. What will it be?
To remain in the dark, to let our emotions and our disappointments get the best of us, means we will forfeit God’s very best for our lives. We cannot change our past, but we can do something about how we view our future. Do we continue to see life through Satan’s lenses or will we choose to let God give us a new set of eyes? If you are a believer - this is a new day, seize it. If you have not yet taken hold of the Creator, there is no better time then right now. It’s simple. Just cry out to God. Tell Him you desire to change directions. Invite Him in to become your Savior and then start pressing on to claim your prize.
I have more good news. God is aware of every poor choice, every difficulty, and every wrong turn you have ever made. And, despite it all, He loves you unconditionally and He wants what is best for you. God knows your heart and He sees the hurt. He knows the mindset of some of you that it is “easier said then done.” He gets it!  However, please don’t overlook that God has a comeback plan waiting for you. Failure is not final. Mistakes can be corrected. Hurts can heal, disappointments can be forgiven and life can be enjoyed! Things may not have turned out the way you planned, but it doesn’t mean it can’t get better. It doesn’t mean you will never experience love, hope, peace or joy again. With God all things are possible! We have to live on the truth that faith is not about what God can do, it’s about what God will do. Our storms are temporary, our setbacks are just that. When we allow ourselves to have hope, we can begin to move forward. How about it? Can we leave some junk behind today? Can we experience forward progress together? I pray so.
Life’s Application Commentary: Paul said that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ had in mind for him. This goal took all of Paul energies. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off of our goal – knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. What is holding you back?        
Today’s prayer: Heavenly Father help us to keep our focus on you. This world is so full of distractions, difficulties and defeats that tempt us to doubt that you are a Sovereign God.  May we discard the lies and stand firmly on the truth of Your Word. You promise to never leave us nor forsake us. When we draw close to you with a genuine heart of repentance you are more than willing to direct our steps. So often we see you as some great magician and when you don’t deliver the act we expect, we are tempted to walk away.  Help us learn that your timing and Your ways are perfect. Help us to celebrate that You are working behind the scenes to bring about Your purpose for our life. May we become willing participants in our own stories?  The outcome is to be beautiful, let’s celebrate it today. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
In Christ by grace,

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