Tag Archives: Christ

Can you sleep through the storm?

30 Oct

Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along
the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed
applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. “Are you a good farmhand?” the farmer asked him. “Well, I can sleep when the
wind blows,” answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around
the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand‘s
sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!” The little man rolled over
in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he
discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were
barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired
hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm. We, as believers in Christ, secure ourselves against the storms
of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don’t need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the midst of the
storms. I hope you sleep well!

Matthew 8:34-27 23 Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us, we’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith! Why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”

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Do you post your faith, or live it?

25 Oct

One of the interesting aspects of Social Media is that it allows Christians to become more vocal about their faith, but at the same time, it also gives them an escape from being more active in that same faith. I know a lot of people are trying to figure out what I mean, but bear with me.

If you look at Facebook, you’ll notice that Christian Posts far outweigh secular ones (that is a documented fact). But yet for some reason, there are fewer and fewer people who claim Jesus Christ as Lord. Now how can there be such a huge medium to spread the word of Jesus all over the world, yet His name is shrinking from people’s lips? Easy, people are talking about Him, but not showing others about Him.

It’s easy to hide behind a keyboard and proclaim your love for Jesus while others around you are suffering but it takes pure faith to see the suffering and go out to do something about it. Now I don’t think there’s anything wrong with posting quotes and verses on Facebook, in fact I love it. What I a simply saying is that we need to combine it with active participation in the world. If we combine the power of social media, and active, personal evangelism, then we can rock this world for Jesus.

Take time to get out there today and practice being Christ-like by being the example of Jesus where others can see and feel you. Continue posting about Jesus for all the world to see, but let’s focus on practicing what we post. Star slow if you have to, but just do it… :)

 

James 1:23-25 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

 

James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

 

James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

The power of negative thinking

24 Oct

Have you ever thought about the negativespeech and actions we give off a day? As much as 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive and works against us. People who grow up in an average household hear “No” or are told what they can’t do more than 148,000 times by the time they reach age 18. Result: a negative, unGodly, and  a lack of belief or faith.

It’s always easier to see the darker side of the situation because it’s just the natural way for us to think. But I challenge you today to “Force” yourself to say and think about only the positive things that will lift others up. If you think this is some new-age thinking process, I give you this passage from the Bible that supports my challenge: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Our negative thoughts and actions not only work against what God represents, but it also works against ourselves and others. Have you ever sen someone that is always talking negatively? You’ll notice when they approach people, it’s like turning on a light in a bug infested room, everyone scatters. That only adds to their already low self-esteem. Remember that God made us in His image, so that should inspire and drive us to be positive and honored. In short, knowing that we have the Lord Jesus in our lives and on our side, should fill our thoughts with nothing but good positive thoughts, leaving no room for “Stinking Thinking.”

Go out there today and lift someone up. Be a “Positive Paul” and watch how people flock to you rather than away from you. For those people who are always trying to find the worse in a situation, pray for them. Let them see your Godly attitude, and I assure you it will rub off on them. If it doesn’t, then pray that they will find the joy of the Lord in their lives and to be able to experience happiness. Believe me when I tell you, it’s better to be known as Sparky rather than Sparkless.

Have an amazing day and live it for Jesus.

If I’m not healed of a sickness, does that mean my faith is weak, or I’m a bad Christian?

22 Oct

I recently had someone “Command my Lupus to be gone in the name of Jesus.” Well obviously it hasn’t gone anywhere, but the big surprise came when he said it wasn’t gone because of a lack of faith. My first instinct was to believe this false teaching and feel like a failure, but then I got a dose of reality and remembered that sometimes our afflictions are for a reason. In my case, “I consider it all jpy” so that I may minister to others with the disease.

Many Christians have firmly believed that God would heal a loved one only to become discouraged because they remain sick. or pass away. . They prayed in faith. Some believed that they had confirmation from other believers or from other miracles. So they were genuinely surprised, even dumbfounded, when the loved one died. What they had believed with such certainty turned out not to be true. Their faith could not heal the person — only God could heal, and he chose not to, despite their prayers, their faith, God’s love and God’s promises.

When such disappointments happen, a new trial sets in. If faith in the healing turned out to be a mistake, what about faith in Christ? Was it also a mistake? That is one of the dangers of the “word of faith” teaching — it links faith in our Savior to faith in specific predictions.

Did Jesus promise to heal every disease? He did not heal Epaphroditus, as least not as fast as they wanted him to (Phil. 2:27). Even in his earthly ministry, Jesus did not heal everyone (John 5:3-9).

Didn’t Jesus die for us, forgiving our sins? Doesn’t that mean that we have no reason to suffer? Some say so, but we should test this line of reasoning with another fact: Jesus died for us. Does this mean that we should never die? We already have eternal life (John 5:24; 11:26). But the fact is, every Christian dies. There is something wrong with the line of reasoning. We do not yet experience everything Jesus accomplished for us.

There will come a time when we will be raised imperishable. There will come a time when we never experience pain. There will come a time when we receive the full benefits of Jesus’ redemption. But that time is not yet. Now, we share in Jesus’ sufferings (1 Pet. 2:20-21).

Jesus promised persecution, not freedom from pain and sorrow. When Paul was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned, he felt pain. Paul had great faith, but also many sufferings (2 Cor. 1:5; Phil. 3:10; 4:12). Although Jesus atoned for all sin, Christians still suffer despite their faith — and sometimes because of their faith.

We suffer from persecution, and we suffer the incidental pains of living in a world in which sin is still common. Sin hurts innocent people, and sometimes we are the innocent people who are hurt. Sometimes it results in early death, sometimes in slow and pain-filled death. We may suffer physical damage from a burning, a beating, a car accident or asbestos fibers. Our health may suffer from exposure to cold, from smoke in a house fire or chemicals in our food. We may suffer from wild animals, large or small, or even microorganisms. God has not guaranteed to protect all his people from all possible problems.

Is it always God’s will to heal people who have faith in Christ? The biblical evidence is that he sometimes does, and sometimes does not. Stephen was killed, James was killed. Eventually all the first Christians died of something. Yet, how many times did God save them out of danger before they eventually died? Perhaps many times.

Have you ever wondered about preachers who claim to heal all infirmities, yet they themselves wear eyeglasses? There is no reason why biblical promises would apply to one kind of ailment but not the other. The scriptures sometimes cited in support of a universal promise of healing do not make any exceptions for eyesight, age, accidents or anything else. But both Scripture and experience tell us that these verses were not intended as universal guarantees.

Yes, some have been healed, sometimes dramatically. These are examples of special favor, grace and mercy. We should not take these examples of exceptional grace and create universal promises out of them.

And we especially should not imply that people who aren’t healed do not have faith. Sometimes their faith is demonstrated through their suffering — they remain cheerfully confident that God will do what is best for them. Whether they live or whether they die, whether they have prosperity or poverty, they trust in God. There is nothing wrong with their faith. What is wrong is a teaching that implies that they are somehow not doing enough.

Just a thought for today,

Pastor Mike