Month: May 2012

Hope Note: Come Boldly

“So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.  Do not correct me in anger, for I would die…”  Jeremiah 10:24

When we approach God, our failure, inadequacies, and shortcomings feel magnified, but we shouldn’t let those feelings keep us from coming to him.  I like how the writer of Hebrews encourages us to pray.  “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe… let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”  (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Jeremiah’s prayer had a childlike approach, and we should have childlike faith.  But no matter what you’ve done or how you’ve messed up, don’t allow anything to stand in the way of your relationship with God.  If you’ve messed up, be like Jeremiah.  Say, “God, I’m sorry.  Forgive me, correct me, change me.”   Don’t shrink back; no, step out in faith.  Remember, God’s not mad at you.  He’s madly in love with you.  He is a God of mercy and grace  You can shake off guilt and condemnation and approach His throne with great confidence because of what Jesus did for you.

Hope For Today: Humble Prayer

“Peter said to him, ‘Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”  Mark 14:29

Peter certainly had plenty of weaknesses.  And most of them were obvious.  He was kind of hot-headed, impulsive, and proud.  From time to time, he would say things that he probably should have kept to himself.

One day, Jesus was talking to His disciples about what was going to happen in the days ahead and how He was going to be crucified.  He said, “you’re going to be temped to deny Me and temped to go the wrong way, so here’s what you need to do.  Pray that you don’t give in to this temptation.”  And you would think Peter, since he had some obvious weaknesses, would be the first on to say, “You’re right, Jesus.  I’m going to take a few extra minutes to pray.”  But no, Peter was proud.  He thought he could overcome anything in his own strength.  He said in effect, “Jesus, what are you talking about?  I’m not going to deny you.  I know better than that.”  Jesus looked at him and said, “Peter, before the rooster crows, you’ll deny me three times.”  He did just that.  He not only denied Christ, but he started cursing, had a fit, and had to walk away feeling guilty and condemned.

Now that might have been avoided if Peter would have just had a more humble attitude and said, “You know what Jesus?  This is going to be difficult.  I can’t don this in my own strength.  I’m going to take Your advice and ask God to help me.  I’m going to spend an extra few minutes in prayer.”

The Scriptures tell us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (see James 4:6).  Let Peter’s example serve as a reminder to keep yourself humble before the Lord.

Hope Note: Just Do It

“Do whatever He tells you.”   John 2:5

In this passage, we read about Jesus’ first recorded miracle, turning water into wine.  Jesus’ mother, Mary, presented the problem to her son that the wedding party did not have enough wine.  Then she turned to the servants and said, “Do whatever He tells you.”  Mary already knew the importance of obeying God.  Notice that Mary didn’t question Jesus, “How are You going to fix the problem?”  She just trusted that obedience would bring the answer.

Notice in verses 6-7 that Jesus commanded the servants to fill the jars – and those jars held twenty to thirty gallons!  But the servants filled them to the brim.  What jars in your life is He asking you to fill so He can pour out abundant blessing”

“Filling the jars” in your life can mean giving it all you have on the job.  “Filling the jars” can mean pouring into the people around you – speaking life-giving words.  It can mean being faithful with your tithe and giving over and above.  Friend, you can’t out-give God – He’s setting you up for a miracle!  Remember, whatever He says, do it!  And then sep back and watch the power of God perform amazing works in your life!

Hope Note: The Trustworthy God

“True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful?”  Romans 3:3

There will always be critics and naysayers in life.  It’s not what’s said about you that affects your life, but what you say and believe about yourself.  Have the opinions of other people caused you to water down your dreams?  One of the most important things you can learn is that other people don’t have to believe in you in order for your dreams to come to pass.  Other people don’t set the limits for your life – you do.  In Romans 3:3, the apostle Paul is saying, “It doesn’t matter if other people don’t believe.  Their unbelief is not going to keep me from believing in His promises.  I can still trust God.”  When God puts a promise in your heart, it’s not up to other people to bring it to pas, it’s up to you!  You don’t need everyone to validate you.  You have to follow the voice of God for yourself and allow Him to order your steps.

God sees the hidden treasures that you’ve had buried on the inside of you.  He wants to bring those treasures out and make your dreams a reality!  As you get rid of old defeated thoughts and replace them with what God says about you, you will remove the limits and see more and more clearly God’s trustworthiness!

Hope Note: A Life of Peace

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15

As believers, God is looking for us to have a thankful heart.  Thankfulness will often automatically come when you allow the peace of god to rule your heart.  Did you know that you can choose to have peace?  You don’t have to let things upset you.  You don’t have to live anxious and worried.  That word peace means “to set at one again”.  When you set your mind to be at one with God and His Word, you will have peace – a peace that surpasses all understanding.

God also leads us by peace.  If you don’t have peace about a decision, wait and seek God until that peace fills your heart again.  And when you have peace, you can’t help but be thankful!  You will have a song in your heart and a spring in your step.  Choose today to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart and have an attitude of gratitude toward the Lord.  Even if you have things that are upsetting you, take a step of faith and begin to thank God for His goodness in your life.  Thank Him for working behind the scenes on your behalf.  Thank Him, knowing that He promises to work all things together for your good and His glory.  And always thank Him for the peace He makes possible for you through Christ.