You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘life’ tag.


Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3

“He made all things.” Let those words pause in your mind for a moment. The original languages give the sense of detail, not overall systems. Walk out on a star filled night and look up. How far can you see? In a sense you can see to eternity for there is no canopy.

Every star? He put it there for you. Scientists think that perhaps every star may have a solar system with planets. Does that mean there is life out there? Frankly, I don’t care. I’m more amazed at the enormity of space and the enormity of the God who created it!

“He made all things.” I love to look at newborn babies. Those tiny, tiny fingers and tiny toes. The newness of life. What a miracle. The complexity of life, of growing! Even the brain function it takes to read this sentence is utterly amazing!  And to think that the whole process of life from beginning to end is not simply set in motion, but guided, ordained by its maker. Astounding!

And when I think of the unseen world. The fact that our bodies are made up of so many different cells, each working together to bring us life; to help us think, reason, feel, be passionate.  The way love makes you feel when it grows and endures the tough times. Exciting!

The one who made the mountains with all their grandeur also made the fragile flower, so delicate to touch yet able to withstand ferocious winds. Soft to touch but able to endure the toughest drought. Saplings springing from the hardest granite.

Take some time to look around you. Look past the pain of life, just for a moment. Ignore the fear and worry of the future, just for a minute. Take a deep breath and enjoy the creativity of the many colors in the sunset; the beauty of the fallen snow; the creativity that surrounds us.

All this was made by Jesus and he did it for you. The bible tells us he came to his own and they didn’t take time to notice. Who were his own? Was it the rocks he created? The animals he formed? The water he separated from the land? Nope. It was the only thing scripture says was made in his image. You and I. He made us in his image because he knew that would be the best way to enjoy the world he created.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I’ve been so distracted of late by the worries of life. I see the pain others are going through. I feel my own agony. Just for a moment let me see the beauty you’ve created for me. Thank you for loving me enough to put me where I am. Amen.


So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NLT)

There are times in our lives when God seems far from us. Prayers seem to go unanswered. Relationships fail or flounder at best. We can’t seem to control our nasty sin habits. It seems like all of life is going down the tubes.

God loves each of us very much. He loved us enough to send His Son Jesus to die as an innocent man so that we can be forgiven. No matter how many times you fail, no matter how many times you make wrong choices that hurt you or those you love, He will always welcome you back.

That’s the good news. So why is it that even those of us who strive to follow Christ in each aspect of our lives have such a struggle with peace and resisting sin?

The problem lies with our mind. Our mind is a powerful thing that can control how we think about ourselves, others and God. If we allow ourselves to dwell on our failures and our sin, we will never break those habits.

If we allow ourselves to constantly think about the things others have done to us we will never be free to forgive and to move on with life. Forgiveness isn’t for the person that wronged us. Forgiveness is for our freedom!

If we let our desires, lusts and self esteem be controlled by our own desires we will continue to live a life of defeat and frustration.

Not only is the mind powerful, it’s trainable. But it takes lots of work and lots of prayer. Begin each day with a resolve that you will focus only on what God wants in your life. Ask His help in keeping you pure from the thoughts, frustrations and anger that keep you entrapped. Surround yourself with trusted, Christ-following friends that will support you, celebrate your victories and understand your failings.

We live in defeat as followers of Jesus Christ because we allow our minds to be guided and controlled by our own sinful nature and not the powerful, loving, Holy Spirit of God.

PRAYER: Holy God, I come to you today admitting that I’m frustrated and angry with my inability to live the life I want to live. I want your life and peace to control me on one hand, but on the other hand I want my own selfish desires to be satisfied. I live in guilt and shame knowing that I fail You and others so often and you are so willing to take me back. Please forgive me. Help me to start each day with the resolve to live in your peace. Empower me with the wisdom and power of Your Holy Spirit to live one day, one moment at a time learning to control my mind for you. Bring people and healthy relationships into my life that will draw me to You. Amen.


This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

For years Joshua had been Moses’ right hand man. He’d been chosen to survey the Promised Land. He’d become Moses’ spokesperson to the people. He’d learned how to lead, how to wage military battle and most importantly, how to trust God. Now Moses was dead and God chose Joshua to take the lead role in bringing Israel into the Promised Land.

Being number two in command is relatively easy. If you are an assistant to the director or an assistant coach you offer advice and do your responsibilities but the final decisions are all in the hands of the ‘boss’. As a child you follow the advice and wisdom of your parents or trusted adult advisors. As a student you listen to and adhere to the guidelines of your instructor. In each situation the final say is out of your hands.

The real challenge in life comes when you step from the role of assistant to the guy in charge. You suddenly realize that all the decisions and all the responsibility are now yours. As a teacher, the class looks to you for wisdom and guidance. As a coach, the team follows your direction and expects victory. As a parent, your children watch you in order to learn the basics of life and living.

It’s no wonder then, that when life changes occur we can become fearful, even as adults. When our parents die there can be a sense of loss and fear and the thought, “What will I do now?” when in actuality we’ve been on our own for years and have children of our own. The fear of going it alone is a powerful and sometimes crippling emotion. In whatever position we find ourselves in, when the opportunity comes to step up we can doubt our own abilities to carry on. We never really get over that need to have someone direct us and support us.

The most important thing any of us can do is to surround ourselves with a support system that won’t fail. That’s the offer God gives to Joshua and to us. A support system that will never fail us regardless of anything we do or others do to us. He promises to be our source of guidance, strength and encouragement.

People will fail you, but God won’t. Religion will fail you, but God won’t. Money will fail you, but God won’t. Education will fail you, but God won’t. Technology will fail you, but God won’t. Nothing you come across in life will keep Him from being your Go-to-Guy. As you grow in relationship with God you will find Him faithful and His wisdom unconquerable.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. There are times when I’m like Joshua. I look ahead at the task before me and am overwhelmed. I experience struggles and tragedies that discourage me. Friends and even family members have abandoned me and I feel so alone. Please help me to sense your presence. Empower me to draw close to you and learn to rely on your wisdom and strength to get through my days. Thank you for loving me. Amen.


Do you have eyes but fail to see and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? Mark 8:18

It’s the inner quality of life that matters most. Too often we become discouraged and distracted by the external circumstances of life and forget the important things. One day when Jesus and the disciples were on a journey it was discovered that they’d failed to bring enough bread for the trip. This shouldn’t have mattered to the disciples. In the past couple weeks they’d seen Jesus miraculously multiply bread and fish to feed 4,000 and 5,000 people respectfully.

Jesus tried to use this opportunity to remind the disciples of the danger of yeast in their lives. In the Bible yeast is used as a symbol of sin. Yeast isn’t seen but it takes very little to change the entire loaf of bread. It wasn’t the lack of bread Jesus was concerned about. It was the hidden doubts and worries that had overtaken the disciples that day. Doubt and worry keeps us from being all God intends for us to be.

I imagine it was with some amazement that Jesus asks the disciples. Don’t you remember what I’ve done in the past? Why are you focusing on issues I can take care of? Guard yourselves from the little things in life that can pull you away from me. Look back at what I’ve done for you. Haven’t I provided more than what you’ve needed in the past? It isn’t the things that you see that will cause you to stumble. It’s those little things, the hidden things in life that can sneak in and steal away your joy, your victory, your success.

Keep your eyes and heart focused on what you’ve seen Jesus do in the past. If He did that for you then, imagine the great things He has in store for your future! Measure tomorrow’s problems by the measuring stick of God’s provision in the past. He has never failed to fulfill his promises. Throughout history he has done just what he said he would do. God has promised us, as His children, that he will never leave you and never forsake you. He will always provide just what you need.

Prayer: Heavenly Father. Thank you that you have given me permission to call you Daddy. Thank you for the promises that you have given to me in the past. As I face the challenges before me help me to remember that you have given me everything I need to succeed in living for you. Help me to set aside my own strength so that I can rely on yours and trust your provision. Amen


Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

 “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”  Sven Goran Eriksson

 No one likes to fail. There isn’t one of us that begins our daily adventure planning to make a mess of our lives or the lives of others. Still, no matter how much we try to ‘get life right’ obstacles get in the way. It could be physical illness, or relational distress in the family or on the job, or any number of things that keep us from reaching our goals or becoming the person we want to be.

 King Dave wrote, “BE STRONG! BE COURAGEOUS! Your hope doesn’t rest in your ability to succeed. It comes from the hope we have in the Lord.” Success doesn’t come from your strength but from Jesus working in us and through us.

David knew what he was talking about. He likely wrote this Psalm shortly after he was exposed for having an affair and arranging for the murder of his lovers husband! Not something anyone would want to boast of, to be sure. Yet David experienced God’s forgiveness and went on to bring his nation to a position of power and be the mightiest King Israel had ever known. Not bad for a shepherd boy from up in the hills! He didn’t let his failure keep him from being all that he could be.

Don’t let fear of failure pull you down! Don’t let the failures of your past keep you from being the person you want to be or doing the things you want to do. Your hope doesn’t lie in your ability to succeed but in your willingness to let Christ work in you.

Prayer: Dear Jesus. Thank you for loving me even though I’ve made a mess of my life. Forgive me for my bad choices and for being afraid to press on. Help me to be courageous in the fight to be all you made me to be. Keep me from discouragement. In your name I pray, Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,986 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • The Restoration of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms." God will bring you — body and soul — through life and death to full and everlasting pleasure, if he is your safest refuge, and your supreme treasure, and your sovereign Lord, and your trusted counselor.
  • The Son as Chief Cornerstone
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms". We must not only accept Jesus foundationally (cornerstone) but must make him lord over our life (capstone).
  • The Divinity of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms". God has shown himself through Jesus so we can experience joy!
  • The Exaltation of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms: The forgiveness our High Priest Jesus grants us allows us the power to persevere.
  • The Suffering of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms". Jesus suffered more than any man so that we could enjoy forgiveness now and life everlasting.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

Archives

August 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: