What Is God Calling You?

 Scripture: Romans 4:

17As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Romans 1,2,3,4 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: God sees your potential above your present circumstances.

Application: Our God is a God who calls things that are not as though they were.  In other words, God sees in you your highest potential and that is what you are to him.  You are the best that you can be in God’s eyes.  Some people who are not preachers, God already knows to be a preacher.  Some people who are not teachers, God already knows to be a teacher and calls you as such.  God is calling you something – What is it? 

You have a purpose, and that purpose is to serve and glorify God with the talents that He gave you and with the hopes dreams and ambitions that He has placed in your heart.  You may not be living up to the highest potential that God sees in you at this moment, but that doesn’t mean that you can not.  To God you already are what He knows you’re going to be and what you can be.  He said to Abraham.  I HAVE (Past Tense) made you a father of many nations.  At the point in time when He said this to Abraham, he was not then the father of many nations, and even though Abraham got to live to see the birth of that nation in Isaac, he didn’t (during his earthly life) see the fulfillment of it as we can today.  From our perspective Abraham indeed IS the father of many nations.  

God sees you as the best and highest that your potential can take you to, even though you may not be able to see that from your perspective now.  One day you will know that God is right. 

Listen to the calling that God is placing in your heart and follow that calling because God knows what you are!   What is God calling you?   Think about it.

Prayer: Father of my highest potential,

Thank you for seeing those things in me that I can not see.  Thank you for believing in me more than I do myself, and thank you for enabling me to answer the calling that you have set me to.  I ask for strength, courage and wisdom to carry out the work that you set before me.  Let me not turn away, back down, or be discouraged beyond my endurance.  Forgive me when I fall short and set the path aright in my heart and in my actions.

Love Michael

Advertisements

With The Lord Forever

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:

16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4,5; 2 Thessalonians 1,2,3 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: This life, for all of us is but a passing breeze in the scope of our eternal lives, it is but the beginning of a never ending strand of existence.

Application: These words are meant to be a comfort for those who have lost loved ones.  It is so difficult when someone we love passes away from this life, and even more so when it seems that their time was cut short here. This past week a young man that many of us across the state and beyond have been praying for passed away after being severely burned.  He held on for several days while every person of faith who could be reached prayed.  On Friday he went home to be with God.

Did God desire this young man of only seventeen years to be with him?  Is this why he took him at such a young age?  I have thought about this kind of thing many times before.  I don’t think God makes bad things happen like this just so a person can be with Him in heaven.  I don’t think God caused the accident.  I don’t think it’s part of His plan.  But it is evident that many things in life happen that are not part of God’s plan.  Does that mean that He is not there, not involved, not active in our lives?  No – He is with us. 

Even though God didn’t stop the accident, and didn’t heal the injuries, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love him, it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love his family.  It just means that bad things happen in this life.  Jesus told us that this life would be full of trouble, sorrow, bad circumstances and rough roads but the good news is that Jesus overcame this world and opened the doors to the next for us.  Many times I think the ultimate healing for us is to bring us on home to Heaven. 

Once we are all together with the Lord forever and we look back on this life we will understand much more than we ever can while here.  But until then we should take comfort in the knowledge that we will have much more time on the other side of eternity to connect and fellowship with the loved ones that are taken from us too soon, we will have all of time

Prayer: Eternal God,

Thank you for the time that you gave here in this life to those whom you have brought home quickly.  Thank you for the impact that they were able to have upon us.  Teach us God of how precious our time here is and help us each to take advantage of every opportunity and to make the most of every day.

Love Michael

Jesus Saves

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians:

7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

Matthew 28; 1 Thessalonians 1,2,3 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: Jesus Rescues Us.

Application: The scripture today reminds me of the importance of Jesus.  A lot of people get the notion that accepting Jesus makes their lives better.  This is not really the truth.  Accepting Jesus will definitely improve your eternal life, but just because you are a Christian in no way means that all your problems on earth will be solved.

Paul gets to the heart of Christianity when describing the faith of the Thessalonians when he says  "you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."   Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath.  That is what it’s all about. 

We don’t spread the gospel in order to make peoples lives smoother in this realm of existence.  We spread the gospel so that they may be saved from eternal wrath – and welcomed into eternal bliss in the realms of God beyond this world.  Do you remember how many of the bumper stickers and T-shirts we used to see with the simple observation "Jesus Saves?"  We need to get back to this simple message.  Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior because He will Save you from the coming wrath of God!

Prayer: Lord God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is and Who was and Who is yet to come,

Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins.  Help me to share the good news that you have made salvation available to all who accept him as a free gift of your grace.  Help me to serve you and love others and care enough about them to speak to them of your Son.

Love Michael

Black Friday

Scripture: Matthew 27:

45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,[c] lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"[d]

47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He’s calling Elijah."

48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him."

50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son[e] of God!"

Psalms 125; Matthew 26,27 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: It was a black day for the disciples, but God had a plan.

Application:  They call the day after Thanksgiving Black Friday.  I’m not sure exactly what the originators of that term meant but I know it has to do with the biggest shopping day of the year.  All the sales are on today.  I’ve already gotten several big deals via E-mail this morning even before I woke up very good.  But I title this message Black Friday for a different reason.  It was definitely a Black Friday for the disciples and it seemed like it was for Jesus to, but there is good news on the way on Sunday!

I personally don’t plan on going ANYWHERE today.  I don’t like trying to shop on these days, it stresses me out too much.  I’ll do my shopping online thank you.  :)  But if you’re part of the masses that are out there getting deals today, I wish you well, I wish you peace, and I hope you find all the deals you need for your shopping this holiday season.  Don’t let yourself get too stressed out – and be sure to take time to think about the Friday that looked blackest for the disciples, the terrible price that was paid for you on the cross at Calvary by Jesus seemed at first like defeat.  But victory was on the way.

Prayer: Lord God,

Thank you for being able to take the blackest of days and turning them into victories in my life.  Thank you for taking this black Friday that is in our scripture this morning and bringing about the greatest victory that mankind has ever known.  Help me to know that when things seem hard, stressful and hopeless that you can turn it all around in a matter of days.

Love Micahel

Serve Him By Ministering To His People

Scripture: Matthew 25:

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40"The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 23,24,25 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: When we serve and minister to God’s people, we are serving Him.

Application: It is a simple thing to understand, Jesus taught that by helping others we are in fact serving Him.  We are to love God and love others these are our greatest tasks.

Today is Thanksgiving and I hope that you are aware of your blessings today.  Take time out to intentionally bless someone else and you will be serving Jesus.  Take time out to be thankful that you have been given the ability to bless others and use that ability.  You have been blessed so that you Can bless.

Prayer: Father,

Help me to serve you by ministering to others.  Grant me the ability to bless those who I come into contact with.

Love Michael

When He Calls, Do You Answer?

 Scripture: Matthew 22:

1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

5 "But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Matthew 20,21,22 – Passage Lookup – Today’s New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: It’s easy to let our own agenda get in the way of what God is calling us to do.

Application: Don’t tell me that I’ve not done everything God wanted me to do in this!  I’ve prayed, and cried, and done everything I could and Nothing has changed.  You don’t know what I’ve been through, you don’t know how much trouble this has been for me.  Don’t you tell me that God wants to use me still, I’ve done all I know how to do!

These are words of defense and anger that you get from people who have given up and decided to go their own way rather than to follow God’s plan.  Sometimes we start out with good intentions, thinking that we are going to be obedient to God, but after a season we decide that God is not working fast enough and that we need to take matters into our own hands.  It’s a subtle change, one that often we don’t even recognize, and once we are there we lock ourselves into this destructive mindset with our own pride. 

So we busy ourselves with our own agenda, going about still convinced we are following the right path and then sometimes God will send a messenger to help move us back in the right direction.  Woe to the messengers who come to us at these times because we fight back at them with all we are.  "You’re not a true person of God!" They will say, "God wouldn’t try to stop me from doing what I’m doing, I’m doing it FOR God!" 

Saul, Saul, why do you kick against the goads?

Messengers of God are sent to bring you into a place that God is preparing.  It is a place of feasting and happiness.  Do not continue to plow the same old fields just because you’ve done it for a long time now.  Don’t let your pride keep you from the true blessings that God is trying to give you.  Life is about change, and if we are listening for God’s call we Will be called to change from time to time.

As you are preparing for Thanksgiving tomorrow – I hope that you are hearing the good news that God is sending you.  The banquet is prepared!  Come!

Prayer: Father,

Thank you for your guidance and love.  Thank you for calling to me even when I have gotten into a rut and went my own ways.  Please grant me the soundness of mind to hear your messengers and to recognize them for who they are.

Love Michael

Forgiveness – Spread It Around!

Scripture: Matthew 18:

32 "Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive a brother or sister from your heart."

Matthew 17,18,19 – Passage Lookup – Today’s New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: No matter what I see as fault in another, I am obliged to forgive it because I have been forgiven so much by God.

Application: There are people in my life that I feel have done me wrong, and I confess that I have sometimes wished that they would get what was coming to them.  I can not count the number of times that I’ve thought "Yeah – well what goes around comes around buddy!"   But if I look at my own life before I think about what they have done to me,  I begin to realize that I have been forgiven of so much by God that I am obliged to forgive all of those who have wronged me and much much more.

I am the man who owed a thousand bags of gold and was forgiven of every one.  Who am I to toss someone into prison over a few pieces of silver?  All I can do is point the way for others to the one who is so rich in mercy that He forgave a debt as large as mine.  Look, I am but a sinner like you, but God forgave me and chose to use me as a friendly face along the road to point toward that great celestial city where He resides. 

Follow the path of peace, the path of love, the path of forgiveness and you will find Him.  As you travel, don’t get misguided by your own pride or selfishness, for things like that will surely lead you off the path.  Focus your eyes of faith on The God of Peace and Love, for you are worth more to Him than all the debt you owe.

Prayer: God of Heaven,

Thank you for forgiving me of my great debts.  Thank you for showing me that you are full of mercy and truth.  Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to pay the price that I could not pay and allowing me to be clothed in His righteousness.

Love Michael