Friday, March 29, 2013

All Things New!

Springtime in Michigan--it really is here!

The other day, as snow was falling, I noticed a whole flock of Robins together. It almost looked as though they were huddling together against the cold! 

But I'll say it again...Springtime in really is here!

I've noticed increasing numbers of flowers poking their way up through the hard earth, I've heard the birds singing early in the mornings...and I've started to feel the desire within to get out and till the ground.

This is a GREAT time of year, because it reminds us again that the Lord is constantly causing new growth to come, even when on the surface things look dead, hopeless, lifeless. 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is 'THE' most powerful evidence ever that God makes "All Things New"!

...and I, for one, am sure glad He does!

When Jesus rose and conquered the grave, He ignited HOPE for each of us.

He had shown that the most hopeless, the most depressing, the most lifeless circumstance--DEATH--had been conquered! He--Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God and Son of Man--had conquered it!

And now, He offers US that same power!

The very same power which conquered sin and death raised Jesus from the dead, is now at work...within US!

Romans 8:11 says: "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you."

He IS making all things new--and He's starting with YOU and I!

Rejoice in that fact today, and celebrate it this Sunday.

The POWER of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than enough to give you New Life, and to enable you to live it out in VICTORY!

Let Him make you new today!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Wall

Have you ever felt so tired, so taxed and so worn out that you're tempted to give up?

Athletes face this every time they practice. 

They are pushed to the brink of giving up, and they have to make a conscious choice to persevere. It is difficult. Their muscles are weak, their lungs are screaming, and there's a voice in side that says "just take a break"! 

They reach "the Wall". Everything in them wants to stop.
Many do...and the wall gets more difficult to break through the next seems thicker and higher.

The good ones know, however, that if they listen to that 'voice', they'll never break through. 

When it comes to game time, they won't be ready. They'll have no advantage over their opponent...and they won't have learned a valuable lesson: When they thought they had to quit, they didn't! They could go on to new heights!

The Wall could come crumbing down!

A similar thing happens to us in our lives, I think. 

We may be committed to certain things--our school work, our corporate success, the health of our marriage and family, even our ministry...but oftentimes there will come a point where we want to 'give up'. There's a voice inside (sometimes aided by others on the outside) telling us to 'give up'.

Like the athlete, however, only if we DON'T give up, we will be able to 'push through' and reach higher heights!

So where do we get the strength to persevere?

In the really tough times, it doesn't come from 'just trying harder' or from clinching your teeth and giving your all...
In the really tough times, the strength must come from the LORD!

Isaiah 40 is one of the first passages I heard and studied when I came to Jesus. It speaks to this...

"Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Is your 'trust' in the Lord? Does your 'strength' come from your relationship with Him? 

If not, you're going to hit the wall and hear that voice...and give up.

If your commitment and your strength does arise from your relationship with the Lord, however...if the Holy Spirit is giving you the strength...if you're taking your direction from His Word...THEN you will be able to crash through 'the wall'. 

You will have the strength to go on and pursue His vision for your life.

You will experience what the Apostle Paul did when he wrote, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

If God has given you a task, a call, or a vision, DON'T GIVE UP!

Pray! Search the Scriptures! Ignore the 'voice' and Push Through!