Saturday, January 23, 2010

Man or God?

Acts 5:38-39 "... if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

I've probably read over this verse hundreds of times, but I've never thought of what it meant until we discussed it in youth group on Wednesday night. Have you ever tried to make something happen on your own? For those of you in school/college, maybe it's taking a test or trying to get together with friends. Adults, it could possibly be job or family related. Whatever the situation might be, you know that your plans don't always work out the way you would like them to. Even if things are going exactly the way you want, there's always a strong possibility that someone may come along and ruin your perfect plan.

Now think of when you've done something but have asked the Lord for His strength and guidance first. Many times we ask God for things that aren't right (like wishing for that one person to walk into a tree...). Seriously, a lot of what we take to the Lord are not things of God. Sometimes it may not be clear whether or not it's the right thing to ask for, but most times we know if it's wrong. Just think though. If something is meant to be, if it is God's will, there's absolutely nothing man can do to change it. Nothing! "But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it." The things of man can be altered; the things of God cannot! Once again, what a wonderful truth - to be able to go to our Heavenly Father and know that we can leave all in His hands. To trust that our Savior knows best and wants the best for His children. To be comforted by the fact that He won't "mess up" - that He is perfect and has His own perfect plan.

Knowing all this, how could you want to be anywhere else than in the center of His will? It thrills me, as I hope it does you, that I can have such a personal relationship with the One Who created everything. He cares for me. He cares for you. I've chosen to follow God. Which way will you choose?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Simple verses are packed with meaning

Psalms 103:8-11

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him."

From a previous study on another verse, I found that the word fear doesn't mean to be scared of the Lord, but rather to completely submit to Him. Read the bold words now: "... so great is His mercy toward them that completely submit to Him." Knowing what this verse, as well as others with the word fear in them, really means has helped me to better understand how to have a closer relationship with God.

Just a thought... .

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bigger than ever

Happy new year to each of you! I trust it's been a good one for you so far, as it most certainly has been with mine. But before I get into all the things I'd like to for 2010, let me back up and fill you in on December 2009.

The first word that comes into my mind when I think of last month is crazy. I was literally stretched in every which way and, to be honest, I liked it. True, there were some activities I could have done without, but the Lord guided all aspects of my life. I took each decision I needed to make to Him first. You will have no idea what a load off your back it is when you do that unless you make it a habit. The Lord works in ways you can't even imagine when He's involved in your daily routine ... and sometimes not so "routine". One of the biggest ways God blessed me in was allowing a friendship with someone I met in Mexico last summer to be more than that. We are always praying about everything that's said or done and taking things slowly. At times it can be a bit fuzzy with what to do, but whenever that happens I again take it to my Heavenly Father and He shows me the way. There were other fun Christmas activities I was able to be involved in. You can look through the pictures below:

The teens at my church had a lock in on New Year's Eve. It was a great turnout with at least 20 teens showing up. Mr. Unger and his son-in-law Ben brought their snow mobiles and pulled the teens and adults around in the snow. I - of course - stood by and took pictures =) The tempurature had to have been only single digits, as we were all freezing. Still a blast though. We played lots of games inside and out, had plenty of snacks thanks to Elizabeth and Lori (and probably others I'm not aware of), and Joe gave a short challenge before midnight. There were many unsaved teens at the event who were able to hear a clear presentation of the gospel.

I know of people who make only one resolution for the upcoming year, some who make many, and even those who don't make any. I try to make at least one goal for myself each year and came up with two areas in my life in which I need to work on, the first being patience. This is something that's not come easily for me in the past few years and I'd like to change that. Second and more importantly to me is reaching out to others. A few months ago I would have told myself that I reach out plenty and that isn't an issue for me... but in reality it is. I noticed that when I try to help others, I end up only wanting that person to help me. I myself don't totally understand how that works, which is frustrating. But I want others to focus on Christ and see Him through my actions and words. Many times when I've helped someone, I want praise and for everyone to notice what I did. That's not what it's about though. The only reason why I even have the ability to be there for others is because of the Lord, so shouldn't all the credit go to Him as well? Certainly!

I'd appreciate your prayers for me this year as I try to better my life for the Lord. Each morning I am in God's word and in prayer. Quite often I have no idea what to pray about for specific friends, and yet God still puts them on my heart to pray for. It's neat how later on I find out that I was praying for someone at the exact time they needed it. Praise the Lord for His goodness, for the fact that He knows everything about everyone, and that we can call Him our Father!