Sunday, May 29, 2011

Never Look Back

How fast can you run when you are looking back over your shoulder - looking at where you came from rather than where you are going?  No matter how great an athlete you may be, we all run faster looking straight ahead at where we are going. 

The point is that it is much better to look ahead to our future rather than dwell in the past.  Just as Lot's wife learned when she and her family were getting away from Sodom before it was destroyed by God, you should never look back.  Although I doubt that any of us will turn into a pillar of salt like Lot's wife did, I know from experience that goals cannot be reached if the focus is on past failures, disappointments and mistakes.  We can never change our past, but we can change our future.  At the most we should take the life lessons that we have learned from our past to make a better future for our lives.

Do you feel like your past mistakes and shortcomings are holding you back from moving forward in your life?  If some, below are a few verses that may help you start moving forward without looking back:

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

New Life Today
So what can you today to have a new life? Remember that no matter what mistakes or troubles you have in your past, you can have a brighter future. Rather than looking back, take five minutes to visualize where you are heading in your future.  Once you have the picture in your mind, write down what it is going to take to accomplish your vision.  Will you need to go back to school?  Do you need help fighting an addiction?  Do you need to make amends with a family member?  Whatever it is that you need to do to accomplish your goals, don't get hung up by all the mistakes and missteps you have made in the past.  And as Philippians 4:13 proclaims, remember "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nothing's Too Hard For God by Michelle Lawson

Yesterday morning I noticed that someone I know very well was looking sad. I asked her what was wrong, and she did not reply.  I asked her again.  And she still would not reply.  Then I said to her, "Whatever you are going through, remember that nothing is too hard for God."

And as I said it aloud, I had an epiphany - a realization of how true that statement is.  We will all go through trials and tribulations.  Whether it is sickness, grief, lack of finances, marital problems, what should keep us going is that God is in control of this world.  Through God, as Mark 10:27 proclaims, all things are possible.

When I look back over my life, I am amazed at how I made it through some really tough times.  But I know the answer is through God's grace and mercy.  Even during the times when I had lost my faith in God, He still watched over me and protected me.  And during those times in my life when I was so mad with God and myself that I just could not bring myself to pray, I know that my mother, grandmother, and others had me in their prayers.

When we look over our lives and remember all the times when God made a way out of no way, we all realize that Nothing, and I mean Nothing, is too hard for God! Don't get flustered by your current situation.  Remember that no matter what is happening around you,  God is in control. If we have faith, pray, believe that God  is able and willing to help you, and you step out on faith and take action toward a solution,Maybe it a time when you were unemployed, or when you were in an abusive relationship and you just couldn't see a way out, or maybe it was a time when your body was sick and you didn't have insurance to get the medical attention you needed?  Well, let me tell you, all three of those situations happened to me.  And I am so glad to say that thanks to God, I made it through.

So how do we know that nothing is too hard for God?  Because The Word says so.  If you are going through some trials and tribulations right now, the following are a few verses that might bring you comfort:

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV)

1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)
Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV) 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

James 1:2-4
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (NASB)
A website that might help you is

New Life Today
What can you do to have a new life today?  Just take 5 minutes out of your day and think of a time in your past when you just didn't know how you were going to make it, but you did. Remember that God created the heavens and the earth.  So whatever problem we have, no matter big it seems for us, it is not too hard for God.Use those past experiences to give you hope for a current challenge.  And as Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (NIV)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Faith Without Works Is Dead by Michelle Lawson

The verse that has been coming across my mind in the last few days is James 2:17 "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."(NIV)  As I look at my life, and examine myself, I feel compelled by God to do more, to be more, to give more - not for myself, but as evidence of God's goodness.
I have a new found confidence that is coming from the realization of what being a Christian is all about.  It is not pride, or ego, but assurance of what God can do, and has already done in my life.

God does not want us Christians to live a downtrodden life on Earth. He wants us to have life more abundantly.  And although we often think that means having more money, what life has shown me is that an abundant life is one filled with love, joy, happiness, and a positive relationship with friends, family, and God.  I have learned that if I "... seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)

Some of us believe if we just pray long enough that eventually God will answer our prayers.  But what I have learned is that in order to get blessed, I have to do something.  For instance, I never got a job by just praying.  I had to get an education, write a resume, look for openings, send cover letters, tell people I was looking for work, and interview for the position.  And when it was all said and done, and I got hired, I knew the job was a blessing from God.

By starting this blog, finishing my website, and working on some other projects, I am taking action to be blessed.  I want my works to show my faith.  It is great to say that you are a Christian and that you have faith in the Lord.  But each day I am now committed to take actions that show God and the world how great my faith in God is.  Stay tuned, because I have faith that God's blessings for my life for doing His will is going to be amazing.  God has already blessed my life beyond measure.  So I trust that His future blessings will be wonderful.

Want to have a New Life Today?
Today take a positive step that you would not otherwise have the courage to do if it were not for your faith in God.  I have learned that God blesses action - he blesses faith with works.  Be Bold!

As Psalm 27 says, "The Lord is my light and salvation.  Whom shall I fear?"  There is no reason to fear.  Pray for God's guidance.  And once God has spoken to you about what He knows you should do - in the words of Nike, "Just Do It!"  Step out on faith and don't look back.  We have nothing to fear.  As I tell my daughter, "God got this!"