4_1196909807_baseball_playerEach day we are faced with choices and opportunities in this game of life.  We have days where the game seems to go easy; the bats swing and we hit the “sweet spot” and life comes off like a base hit, homerun, or grand slam. Sometimes each moment of each day is an active struggle to choose the right play as we hit foul balls,  get hit by a wild pitch, or we just plain strike out. Depending on how life is going, can often times determine how a person will respond in the game.  Choices, choices, choices.  How we choose is just as important and what we choose.  Day by day we have an active choice if we are going to be a Player, Bench Warmer, or Spectator.

The world screams for “fans” but being a Spectator really doesn’t require much.  You just come watch the game go by and yes you may get excited about something but there is no real involvement or personal expectations. You can choose to stay with the same team or root for another team that might get your heart rate up for another day.  When the game, day, is finished, you have nothing more than what you started with and you wait to watch another day.

As a Bench Warmer, member of the team, you have at one time put in some practice, learned some play books, played in some minor league or major league games but now most of your days are filled with sitting and watching.  You can still talk the game up, you still have a closer seat to the action but sitting in the dugout huddled up with the active players is thrill enough for you.  You occasionally dream of what it “used to be like” when “you made the big play” but reminiscing is about as much action as it gets.

As Christians, God has called us to a lifetime of fulfillment and purpose.  He has called us to active roster duty as a Player or let’s put in another term, Disciple. He has given us the playbook and the game is really very simple.  In Matthew 28:16-20 the clubhouse talk Jesus gives, as our Life Coach, says:  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Did you see it in the passage?  The disciples went to the mountain where Jesus told them to go.  They were already there dressed and ready for practice and action.  Being a Servant/Disciple of Christ is active and intentional.  Christ tells them that there is more to this game of life.  The entire game is played out and the playbook is written and it says “Go and Make”, “Baptizing and Teaching” and “Obey”.  Then Jesus promises that He is with them always.  Since He is with us always, then their is no reason to throw in the towel and give up on the mission.

Often times life seems so hard because we have lost touch and not stayed connected to our Coach.  We have strayed from the mission/game plan that Christ laid out for us. We can fall back into what the world says and be a “fan” or “bench warmer” and in doing so we miss out on so much.  Being a member, or on the team roster, doesn’t fulfill the Coach’s direction.  We are called out to play with all our might and be of the nature of a Servant/Disciple.  Another way to say it is: A disciple is a mind though which Christ thinks. A disciple is a heart through which Christ loves. A disciple is a voice through which Christ speaks. A disciple is a hand through which Christ serves.  It’s all about living for Jesus.

We never know what living for Jesus is going to be. Living for Jesus may be “business as usual” today – sacrifice and suffering tomorrow. A disciple remains faithful through good times and bad. A disciple takes the lowliest job just as joyfully as the high-profile job. A disciple is just as happy doing what only God sees as he is doing what everyone sees. The logo for the Baptist Missionary Union makes this point very well. It pictures a bull standing between a plow and an altar. The caption reads, “Ready for Either.”

Over the next six weeks we will take a deeper look into what Disciples/Players are and what attributes they possess.  My prayer is that we stay in God’s Word and fulfill His mission as He has called us.  May the Holy Spirit move our team mightily for Jesus.  In the areas we are weak, may we exercise and practice in Worship, Bible, Study, Giving, Serving, and Witnessing.  May we truly be more than a bench warmer or fan and be the Great Commission in our homes, neighborhoods, and cities.  May we follow Jesus, our Coach, and master the life of Discipleship.  May we be faithful no matter what comes our way in good and bad times.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

 

brokenhearted-4If you have ever been a parent, I know you have heard your child or children say “that’s not fair!”  Yourself, as a child, undoubtedly said the phrase more than once.  In looking at things in your adult life, I know you have expressed these sentiments.  You might have not used the exact words, or maybe you have, but when you suffer injustice or it is done to a loved one, you have expressed the concept.

When that job is offered to someone else, when the raise doesn’t come, when the spouse goes looking and grazing in “greener grass”, when your children have walked off into a lifestyle so different from how they were raised, when you get that diagnosis…it often times sends people off into the land of “It’s not fair!”  Let’s face it, what happened on September 11, 2001 was definitely not fair!

In our scripture reading for this week, Paul is writing to the young preacher, Timothy.  Timothy is facing some major things in life that are just “not fair”.  He is being looked down upon, discriminated against, because he is too young.  30 is just too young in human eyes of the day.  He was dealing with false teachings by false teachers inside the church.  He was dealing with disruptions and disorder in worship.  To top it all off, he was dealing with a lack of true leaders to step up and help him carry Christ’s full message.  So what does Paul do?  He takes the time to stop, encourage, and give a personal testimony and witness to Timothy.  Let’s take a look at 1 Timothy 1:12-17:

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul takes time out of his very busy ministry life to lift up Timothy and is explaining to him that God is the one who qualifies someone.  Sometimes the best way to lift up someone, who is being beaten down by the injustice of this life, is to remind people who you were before Jesus Christ knocked you off your horse and started you down a new road.  It’s good to take the blinders off and be honest with yourself and with others that you, on your own are a sin-filled, opponent of Jesus Christ. That you before Christ saved you, you lived a life that was far from being holy, set apart, for the Lord.

You might be thinking, “but I was raised in the church and I have never been against God.”  In all honesty, yes you have.  We all have been an enemy of Christ.  Scripture tells us for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, ESV) and but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, ESV).  We like Paul, are the worst of sinners before Christ.  We deserve all of God’s wrath, justice, and punishment. That is what is fair!

The best part, the part that Satan doesn’t want you to understand and latch onto is that because Christ came into the word to save us, because Christ died for our sins, because Christ is the Perfect Lamb Sacrifice, because of Christ’s love; we get grace, forgiveness, new life, peace, and the Holy Spirit to live out bold lives for His service.  God calls us to live each day for Him.  When we look at who we were, and sometimes who we are in our actions, we can do nothing more than fall down and worship and praise God for His abundant grace that is greater than all our sins.

We are called to live out new lives.  Lives changed and set apart for the work of the Lord.  Don’t hold your testimony to yourself. Share it with people and tell them that in this world much injustice is done but thanks be to God, we also get to say “because of what Jesus has done for me, “it isn’t fair” I get the rewards of what Jesus has done and I am His willing servant!”

surferI can already see heads cocked and hands scratching foreheads on the title of this week’s blog.  Some are thinking where on earth is this going to go?   How can this game have anything to do with surfers?  How can these things have anything in common with one another?  Better yet, how can a game focused on battles, wars, and conquest having anything to do with my life as a Christian?

First of all for those that don’t know the basic concept of the game of Risk it is loosely like Monopoly with the exception of you battle for countries.  There is strategy involved and one either loves the game or hates it.  The deeper side of Risk is the fact that just like in real war, there is a risk factor when you go into battle.  You can become land locked by other forces and you are the only one standing in the middle of the battle.   Playing it safe doesn’t win the game and even in real world battles, the war isn’t won playing it safe.

So with that thought in mind, how is this like the Christian life?  Well to answer that let’s take a look at Luke 14:25-35:

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Christ, in this intentional contact with people, is explaining that there will be a battle for what takes first place in your life.  Mind you, at this point, Christ knew He was headed to Jerusalem to fight the ultimate battle that would lead Him to Calvary to die for us.  Christ knew the risks and did it anyway.  He is telling people that nothing, not even your family can have first place in your life.  See in this time, the Jewish people esteemed family at all cost and what Christ was saying by “hate” isn’t how we use the word hate.  He was saying I must be first and family after.  In today’s culture people are striving for the perfect family time, after work, they want the perfect family vacation, and others just want the perfect family.  Even the courts put emphasis on family at all cost.  The concept creeps in and we can put family activities and functions ahead of God and His ways.  We can be found putting sports and family activities on the front seat on Sunday and kick Christ to the back seat and not attend worship in His House.  Christ is still telling us today, that we must be risk takers and He must be first, even if that means we have to disappoint family and turn their requests and invitations down.  It even means we might have our children hate us , and we have a battle because we say no to their Sunday extra curricular activities that would take them out of Sunday School and Worship.  This teaching is a total concept shift just as much today as it was all the way back in Christ’s time on earth.

So what about surfers?  Well, they can be obsessed over getting to the risk taking and heading out to catch the big one.  They have to ride because they have experienced the thrill, excitement, and challenge of riding the waves.  They are on fire and ready for the challenge and they battle through until they can catch the right wave.  They find joy and exhilaration in the quest and journey.  What surfers have that often times Christians can forget is that meeting Jesus Christ is a life changing event!

It’s not just a one day thing.  It’s not that I was brought to the waters of baptism and now I just float on the board of life waiting for eternity to get here.  It’s more than making my confirmation and kicking back on the beach waiting for the sunset to roll in.  Surfing on the water and living the Christian life takes training, planning, practice, perseverance, and risk taking.  Just like Jesus pointed out it’s more than laying a foundation and then not having enough to finish the building.  If you have ever built a building, you now how much effort it takes to raise the walls.  It’s hard, heavy work.  The foundation is the easy part, but still must be precisely laid or the whole house is off.  Building a home with your own hands is exhilarating and life changing.  As Christians, Christ and the Cross and Resurrection is the bedrock foundation of our faith.  It’s where we must start to make sure the rest of the walls of our earthly lives will be built upon.  It’s living out each day with Christ at the center and all other plans and actions taking their lead from there.  It reminds me of the old song Living for Jesus by Thomas Chisholm:

Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.

Refrain: O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

The first verse shows us a good glimpse of what Christ was telling us in Luke 14.  As long as we live on this earth, there will be a deadly battle that is waged because of sin and Satan and our selves.  Satan wants us to die in the battle to him.  Battle is ugly.  Battle is hard.  Battle is risk.  So my prayer is that you will be anchored to Christ and ride His surfboard and conquer the battles and waves of this life putting your allegiance to Christ first and head boldly out into the world sharing the daring, bold message to a world that is drowning in the currents of this sinful life.  The risks God calls us to are worth every bit because Christ and eternity are waiting for us as we build on the firm foundations found in Christ and Scripture.

lighthouse

In the tidal waves of life, what is competing for our soul and time?  Are our moorings anchored in the faith harbor of Christ? Are we bright beacons of God’s light?  Are our role models and heroes from God or from the world?  These are tough questions that each of us are faced with on a daily basis as well as, sometimes, a minute by minute moment.

When things are going smoothly and the waters of like look like a smooth piece of glass, and we think life is perfect, we are easily lulled into the concept that all is well.  However, there is always a storm brewing somewhere. As with most storms, we don’t always see them on the radar of life, nor are we often even looking for them.

But, if we are honest there is always work to be done in the area of our faith and that takes a lot of the “old heave ho” and swabbing of the deck of our souls and lives. These storms , that come from God calling us to faithfulness and holiness can be bigger and rougher than other life events.  Actually, our faith is the only real life event that matters because our faith is the foundation to eternal life.  So how do we handle the storms of life?

We always have two choices in a storm.  We can pay attention to the “Light”house of Jesus Christ where we know the harbor of real rest and peace is, or we can be tossed about on the rocks of life looking to worldly anchors and hope for a hero.

The world would like you to look to it to define what is perfect and what is a “hero” but the world never gets it right.  Most of whom the world lifts up as heroes today might play a sport exceptionally well, or they are a high level, successful, rich guy.  Another worldly hero is found in the fame and posh of the stardom of Hollywood and the rag mags at the grocery store checkout aisle. If you look at many TV heroes, today ,the lines are blurred and they tell you that a “good” hero can do bad things if the end justifies the means.  These type of anchors from the world will also drag you to bottom and drown you.

To successfully maneuver the waves of life takes looking to the faithful of the past, in Holy Scripture, and to those God has given us as positive heroes, role models, mentors and encouragers. It takes hard work to row against the current and without the bright beacons of the faithful we can easily get off course.  And if you have ever rowed a boat in strong current, you know it’s hard, sweaty, dirty work.  Can you do it?  Absolutely!  How do I know?  Because I  look to Scripture for my answer.

You see, the waves of life brought persecution and calamity to Paul and the Thessalonians.  The odds were stacked against them.  Many waves could have over taken them but God lifted them up as people to be followed, as examples, to be banner bearers of faith, to be bright beacons of His light, to be our heroes and role models.

From Paul, Silas, and Timothy. To the church in Thessalonica, the church in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and mention you when we pray. We continually recall before God our Father the things you have done because of your faith and the work you have done because of your love. And we thank him that you continue to be strong because of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, God loves you, and we know he has chosen you, because the Good News we brought to you came not only with words, but with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with sure knowledge that it is true. Also you know how we lived when we were with you in order to help you. And you became like us and like the Lord. You suffered much, but still you accepted the teaching with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. So you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Southern Greece. And the Lord’s teaching spread from you not only into Macedonia and Southern Greece, but now your faith in God has become known everywhere. So we do not need to say anything about it. People everywhere are telling about the way you accepted us when we were there with you. They tell how you stopped worshiping idols and began serving the living and true God. And you wait for God’s Son, whom God raised from the dead, to come from heaven. He is Jesus, who saves us from God’s angry judgment that is sure to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:-10 NCV

Did you see it in the passage?  These beacons of light were bright because Jesus Christ was and is their LIGHT.  Christ is the only Light that will house all we need for this life and into the next.  Christ always provides safe harbor. He shines brighter and fairer and gives us what we need.  He gives us examples to follow and look to as we row through this life.  May you not only have faithful examples to guide you along the way, may you in turn, be a beacon of His light.

 

4577acda4bb3fb9aedb5097cb97eb514Right now, depending on the setting you are in, the word faith is being bantered around. Olympic Athletes are talking about the faith their parents, coaches, and/or teammates have had in them.  Others are talking about their lack of faith and confidence in the US political system and the Presidential Nominees.  Still, others use the words “just have faith” as feel good comment to try and encourage people who are going through difficult and tryng times.  So what is this “faith” thing and what might it look like?

To get a better handle on things, we first need to define what we mean by faith. The dictionary has several explanations and depending upon if your eyes are world focused or God focused will determine the outcome.  If you take faith in a simple explanation, faith can be a strong belief in someone or something.  In other words strong conviction and/ or loyalty.  If you take a higher definition, faith is belief and trust in and loyalty to God:  firm belief in something for which there is no proof:  complete trust.  There is quite a contrast between the two.

The worldview will always leave us short because people fail, convictions and loyalty are often sacrificed to get the next promotion, more influential circles, or higher positions of power and politics.  Even in the Olympics you hear of athletes and coaches who will sacrifice their faith in the system of hard work and perseverance and throw it away to “juice” and try and beat the system to get a medal.  When your back’s up against the wall and there is no where to turn, will a piece of metal part the pathway for you?  Will that “golden calf” deliver you?  When your body is failing and your heart is broken under the weight of trials, will that medal sustain you?  This is not the faith we want to aspire to.  We want to talk about God’s Gold Medal of Faith.

Faith, loyalty, and trust in God is a firm belief, for eternity, that will never leave us wanting more.  God never disappoints and more than a gold medal, He promises and delivers so much more.  The Lord not only gives us more than we deserve in faith, but He is the one who gives us the faith in the first place.  Once faith is given to us, what we do with the faith is up to our own free will.

Will we work at faith and relationship with God?  This work that we are talking about is like an athlete that learns the routines, exercises faithfully, eats right, submits themselves to the coaches teachings, and continue, to strive even when it gets difficult.  As Christians this means we should desire to move beyond the infant stage of only wanting the “milk” and move on to the solid food of all of God’s Word. We should desire our faith to impact every area of our lives and rid us of those sins and actions that are not in line with God’s Word.  Our lives should reflect the abandonment of the world and show the signs of loyalty to God at all worldly cost.  Faith that is rooted in God and watered by the Word produces stronger faith so we can continue to run the race of Jesus with endurance.

This life on earth is hard on Christ Followers and that is nothing new. This has always been the case because Satan wants us to fail and lose the crown of glory that God has waiting for us at the end of this race that finishes in heaven.  All we have to do is look at Scripture and see the difficulties that the faithful have endured.  When we look at this same Word of God we see what a rich reward faith offers.   By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 11:17-12:3 esv

As you can see, Faith in  Jesus is “Risk Taking” by worldview and it will stretch you, but just as Jesus was big on the walk in loyalty to the Father’s plan of Salvation, may we follow in His footsteps and be ever faithful even unto death for His namesake.  No matter what comes may faith be our defining moment. 

Want an extra shot of encouragement?  Take a listen to New Songs’ hit “Defining Moment”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF64-zFONzk

shout

 

Alfred E Neuman was known for the phrase “What Me, Worry?”  If you don’t know about Alfred, you might want to look him up for a blast from the past.  He might have said this phrase but if you know the history of this comic, fear and worry and obstacles were a big part of his life.   There is nothing different from our real, non-comedic lives.  So, let’s take a spinoff from Alfred and ask “What is it that gives you anxiety, fear, and/or worry?”  Why do we struggle so much, even as followers of Christ?  Where can and do I go when fear sets in?  What does the Bible have to say about fear?

To tackle the first two questions we need to understand that fear and worry is very personal and it varies.  Some people seem to be calm, cool, and collected in times of trials and others seem to fall apart and are consumed with what seems to be just simple, ordinary tasks.  What might not worry one person can just rock the foundations of another.  Often times, in our situational anxieties, we seek out people to help console us and many times that backfires.

In our sinful humanness fear starts kicking in because we look at our situation/s expecting all of God’s promises to be fulfilled right now and when our expectations don’t meet up with God’s action we start to worry and fear and mistrust.  We are looking for the invisible with only human eyesight.  In our quest to have the answer to “Where can and do I go when fear sets in”  We often times go seeking a human answer to something only faith can do.  This is where our faith comes in to practice.  As C S Lewis said in A Grief Observed “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?”   Faith is believing in God’s full promises when we can’t see or feel them.

In our times of fear and doubt we cling to the rope of faith as we hang off the precipice and life dangles us.  As much as we seek people to comfort us, it so often times ends up backfiring with one simple sentence. The phrase “Don’t Worry” is like a sledge hammer crashing down on you.  We have all been guilty of trying to pacify someone, or our own uneasiness about a situation, and we throw out a cliché response.  Trust me, these have all visited my home,  when you offer false hopes or easy answers to someone in a crisis situation like  cancer, divorce, and death, the “Don’t Worry it will be ok” phrase is just adding to the fear and worry.  Instead of balm for the soul and mind it’s like dousing a fire with gasoline.

The balm we must offer to ourselves and to others is God’s Word.  God’s Word is the only answer that fits our first question as well as all of our others questions. There are said to be 365 pieces of scripture to help us combat our fears and frustrations.  The verses cover the things in our lives that just seem impossible.  If we look at our scripture text we see God being with Abraham in a time of fear. God always meets fear in scripture with words of comfort and peace.  After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. -Genesis 15:1-6    God stepped out and gave comfort and reassurance to Abraham that though he did not see the answer yet, the answer was still there.

You see, our God is the only God of the Impossible.  He sent His only Son to buy us back from sin, Satan, and ourselves. Paying the impossible debt that we cannot ever pay.

He hands to us the Incredible.  There is nothing more incredible and powerful than the Holy Spirit sent to each of God’s children to give them the power to understand God’s Word and empower us to fight and ward off fear.  Other gods rule by fear but not the Triune God.  He wants us to fear/respect/have awe of Him.  When we truly grasp the Holiness of God and how sinful we are there should be a healthy fear but He assures us that He alone is with us.  Our God is the only god who dies for His people.  That is more than Incredible.

So the next time fear knocks, and it will knock, let Faith answer the door instead of human frailty and reasoning.  Put on the full armour of God and let the Holy Spirit fill to you with God’s Word and cling to the rope of faith.  Stay connected to worship, prayer, and Bible study so you can be strengthened and seek out caring Christian friends who will encourage you with God’s love and Word when you don’t have the strength to fight.

All Powerful Lord, in these uncertain days, strengthen Your peoples’ faith to Trust You in the impossible, to be our invincible, incredible power to fight all fear.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

To help you in your journey, here are seven verses to look up, memorize, and cling to.

Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 56:3, Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18, Isaiah 43:1, and Psalm 23:4.

God has been actively working in the hearts of His people and we have been blessed in the Backpack for Back to School project. Gifts of love have been flooding in to Prince of Peace.  The packs will be distributed to Rev. Morales next week, so filling and distribution can begin in time for school.  Keep a watchful eye on the blog for upcoming pictures.

You still have time to participate.  Pick up a new backpack, several places have really nice packs for $5 and under right now, and drop off during this week. Better yet, drop off when you come and join us on Sunday, for time with God, at 8:15 am and 10:45 am.