With the big game coming up this weekend I thought I would go ahead and make a prediction. With all the "deflategate" talk it almost seems that the focus has not been on what could be a great game between two very good teams. The Patriots and Seahawks both earned #1 seeds with strong regular seasons and then held steady through 2 playoff games. Now they get the chance to see who is best. Let's hope the game is a little more competitive than last year.
Have you ever worried that you worry too much? Maybe you have, maybe you haven't, but all of us have experienced worry. Some of us more than others, but if we are all honest it is something that we have all experienced. Maybe you particularly struggle with worry. The dictionary defines worry with this description: to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Worry by definition is a choice we make in our mind. We yield to it. Often we try really hard not to, but it seems so easy to give in. Jesus spoke about this tendency we have.
Matthew 6:25 "So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life -- whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not." 28 "And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.30 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!" 31 "So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32 Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern." 34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
I read a great article on the subject of worry a few weeks ago. I think it is worthwhile read as we think through the issue of worry. It's something we all deal and through Jesus it's something that all of us can conquer.
Have you ever felt like quitting? Wanted to throw in the towel? We all have felt that way at some point. When we come up against difficult circumstances, face seemingly impossible challenges, or find ourselves stuck on a certain project we can be overwhelmed with the urge to give up, to quit.
I want to encourage you today to not give in to that urge! If what you are doing is a worthy pursuit, if it something that God has called you to do, then don't quit! Don't give up! Step back, reassess the situation,seek God's strength, enlist the help or encouragement of others who support you and believe in you, then keep going!
Consider this exhortation from Paul in Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Yes it might be hard right now, and you feel like giving up and quitting, but you don't have to do what you feel. Feelings are good, just don't let them behind the wheel of your life. Make them ride shotgun. Don't give up. Keep pressing on! You'll be glad you did!
If you are a follower of Christ, nothing is more important than spending time with your Savior. It's in His presence that we find our joy, our strength, and our hope. Yet, many times, we find ourselves going through a day, or even a week without spending any appreciable time with our Savior. As we start of a new week I want to remind you of the great privilege and blessing of spending time with Jesus. He invites you to seek Him, and know Him deeply. This song from Meredith Andrews is a beautiful prayer that helps remind us of both the invitation we have to spend time with God and the need we have that can only be met in His presence. Take a couple minutes to listen to it, and then take some time to enjoy the presence of your Savior today - the one who loves you with an inexpressible love!
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Draw Me Nearer - Meredith Andrews
For your nearness Lord I hunger For your nearness Lord I wait Hold me ever closer Father Such a love I can't escape
For your nearness I am hoping For your nearness Lord I long Have no need of any other I have found where I belong Yes, I have found where I belong
So draw me nearer Lord Never let me go Closer to your heart Draw me nearer Lord Draw me nearer Lord
In your nearness there is healing What was broken now made whole Restoration in its fullness Lasting hope for all who come
In your nearness I take shelter Where you are is where I'm home I have need of only one thing To be here before your throne To be here before your throne
And keep me here, keep me here Theres nowhere else I rather be So keep me here, keep me here Theres nowhere else I rather be Theres nowhere else I rather be
In today's world of technology we all have nearly constant and instant access to communication through multiple mediums. Have a question? Just google the answer. What effect does all of this have on our brains and ultimately our lives? This article was fascinating to me and something we should probably all think about. Check it out when you have a few minutes. How do you manage the upside of technology without letting it become something harmful?
If you are a follower of Christ, understanding your spiritual identity is crucial to living out the life that God has called you to. He redeems us from the slavery of sin so that we can live a new life. That new life is the life of Jesus lived out through us. It's so easy sometimes to forget who we are. Take a few minutes today and let this powerful song from Jason Gray remind you who you are in Christ!
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? This verse has been a challenge and an inspiration to me for many years - ever since high school. Today I came across a short, but thoughtful article on what it means to "do justice". It is a quick read, and I it does a great job of helping us think about how we can live out the command to "do justice" in a way that is Biblical and honroing to God. Check it out and so some thinking about how you are going to "do justice". http://dailykeller.com/what-does-it-mean-to-do-justice/
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom for our lives. In it we find principles and truths that offer us God's direction for day to day living. This nugget of wisdom is a needed reminder. It's easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is what we are called to do. It's good to dream, to brainstorm, and to plan, but we can't stop there. We need to put those dreams and plans to work. This reminder is important to me, because I love to dream and plan, but those dreams and plans won't matter if we don't get to work. What is it that God has put in your heart to do? The "profit" will only come if we put in the work! Solomon reminds in Ecclesiastes that the opportunity to do the work is limited. Let's get started today!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.