No Worries

June 5, 2014

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

No Worries

We have entered into what can be stressful times for many as the unemployment and foreclosure numbers increase with a struggling economy. Even in good times there can always be reasons for worry and concern. It is one thing to have someone say don’t worry about it and another when you’re in the midst of the fire.
I remember when we were first married. The company that I was working for went into bankruptcy and I was laid off of work. Sharon, in particular was stressing over the loss of the job and the Lord gave this scripture out of Matthew 6 to us.
What is Jesus saying to us in this scripture? Is He saying I just need to go through life singing “Que. Sera Sera” whatever will be will be? He is not telling us to have a careless attitude, but again, not focusing upon the circumstances, but upon His promises and His kingdom. Isn’t He telling us that if we are walking and living according to His will and purpose that He will see that our needs are met? We don’t always know what form that will take or even how He will do it, but He does tell us, “Don’t worry”. God is not one of anxiousness, but of rest. Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is lean back into the arms and love of Jesus and just rest. Sometimes our nature is that I have to be doing something to solve this problem, but it is so often with our efforts and intellect that we seek the answers. God’s ways are often so contrary to our flesh. While the flesh wants to be doing, God is wanting us to be resting. It doesn’t mean that we are not knocking, or seeking, or asking, but rest that God will open the doors that He has for you and don’t be anxious about it.
The apostle Paul speaks a similar word in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Come to the Lord with all of your needs, but come with an attitude of thanksgiving, knowing that your needs are met already in Him. Don’t allow your circumstances to rob your joy. The circumstances will pass, but the Word of God and His promises stand forever. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
If you are in anxious times, quiet your soul, walk by the Spirit and enter into the rest of God. Just fellowship with Him as He begins to give you new direction or meet the needs that are pressing upon you. He often works in different ways than we might imagine, but then that is what makes Him uniquely God. What can we lose that God is not able to restore in greater measure and abundance? Our position and identity in life is not determined by the job or title or credentials that we hold, it should be determined by who we are in Christ. Standing in the perfect will of God should be the only position that we seek. In that place we can not fail.

Blessings,
#kent

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Welcome to Enter In

June 4, 2014

Welcome to Enter In
John 10:9
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Have you ever had an experience in life where there was something you were going to get around to doing or a place you were going to go sometime and then suddenly the opportunity was gone or unavailable? Most all of us have missed opportunities in our lives where we took for granted what we had good intentions of taking advantage of and then it was suddenly gone or unavailable. Often it wasn’t till it was gone that it was impressed upon us what we had missed and sometimes it was with great sadness and regret that we missed out. We take so much for granted in our lives. We just assume that life will go on tomorrow the same as it did today. We assume that our loved ones or friends or neighbors will be alive and well. We often assume that we will have further opportunities to make relationships right or share Christ with a friend or neighbor, or visit that person who is sick, lonely or in prison. The reality is none of us have assurance of what tomorrow will bring or who will be here to share it with us, or if we will even be here.
The most important reality we can come to is that Christ came, sacrificed His life for our sin and extended His arms to welcome us into the kingdom of God through placing our faith and trust in Him. While many of us have accepted His invitation there are those who may be riding the coattails of religion or other Christians, but have never made a personal commitment of their lives to Christ. It may be that they have a mental agreement of who Christ was and what He has done, but they have never made the commitment of their lives to Him in faith, asking Him into their hearts to be the Lord of their lives. They take for granted that there will always be time for that or perhaps they just haven’t really taken the time to consider that their life really isn’t where it needs to be in relationship with God.
In Luke 13:13-28 Jesus gives a rather sobering account that might really touch at the heart of many of us who take our relationship with Christ for granted. “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all [ye] workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.” Here Jesus is describing the type of scenario that we have been talking about. We may have attended church or have been around Christians or even thought of ourselves as being one because we ascribe philosophically and mentally with a Christian point of view as well as being a relatively good person. Just because I can bark like a dog doesn’t make me one. Jesus says a man must be born again. That event takes place when a person takes an action of faith and asks Jesus Christ to enter into their heart, forgive their sins and be the Lord and Savior of their lives. Jesus is standing before us today with open arms, saying, “Welcome, enter into the joy of my salvation.” That door will not always be open. Jesus says one day it will be shut. What you took for granted or procrastinated on will no longer be available and with deepest regret and despair you may find yourself on the outside knocking to come in, but it is too late.
The Lord is exhorting each of us today to take stock of our lives. What relationships are we neglecting and taking for granted? Foremost, what is our relationship with Jesus Christ today? Do we have the peace and confidence of our salvation or do we need to get things right with Him? What relationships are wounded and broken that we need to take the initiative to heal? What relationships are we neglecting and taking for granted? If those relationships were suddenly gone out of our lives would we have the peace that we enjoyed and made the most of them while they were there? Throughout our lives doors open and shut. We need to do all that we can that if and when they go shut we are not living with regret or that no man’s blood is upon our hands because we didn’t extend the love and gift of salvation. Enter in while the opportunity prevails.

Blessings
#kent

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