Wednesday, March 17, 2021
We live in a day in which people do not have firm values and convictions. We have people that just want what they want. It doesn't matter their beliefs, it doesn't matter their convictions, they just want what they want.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
We live in a day in which people do not have firm values and convictions. We have people that just want what they want. It doesn't matter their beliefs, it doesn't matter their convictions, they just want what they want. They will say whatever they need to say, believe whatever they need to believe, do whatever they need to do, to get there. We live in a day in which people lack convictions. So today, I want to talk to you about convictions.
What is a conviction? It is a concrete, immovable belief on a certain issue that you believe either this is the right way or this is the wrong way. It has the idea that you are absolutely determined and clear in your views on certain areas of life. In some areas of life that we talked about in our previous Life Lifter, you can have a personal conviction, but it's not an absolute conviction for everybody. Instead, here I'm talking about the convictions you have for your life. Do you have convictions in your life? Things that you will absolutely never do? Things that you will find acceptable to do? The Bible says having convictions will keep you from sinning.
I want to look at James 4:17. It says, "anyone that who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." Anyone who knows the good he ought to do—that is, convictions—and doesn't do it, sins. By the way, that tells us that there are sins of commission, sins that you commit, and sins of omission, sins of something you should do but didn't do. So sin isn't only something bad that you do, but it can also be something good that you withhold or don't do. Here's the point. It says when you know what to do, and you don't do it, it's sin. And here's the thing, we should all have convictions, and then our convictions should lead to actions.
So, do you have convictions? Do you live by them? Is there a line you will not cross? Or, is there a line that you write in pencil so that you can use an eraser to move it when it's convenient? It's really tough, isn't it? It's tough to maintain your convictions all the time. Perhaps its convictions like "I will not lie." That's hard. Or, "I will not steal". Or, "I will not talk behind somebody's back." We have to have convictions and we have to live those convictions. So what convictions do you have? Are you living them? I will tell you this: sometimes living with convictions is difficult in the heat of the moment, at least in the short term, but in the long term, it's the only way to live. So I hope you'll live with convictions and I hope you'll have good convictions to guide you.
With that, let's pray. Father in heaven, I pray that you'll help all of us have convictions, convictions based on the truth of the Bible, and that you'll help us live them out every day of our lives. Help us to have lines we will never cross. Help us to have convictions on the truth that we will only try to live by the truth and that we will not live in lies. And when we violate those convictions that we'd have very short accounts with them. And I pray that we'll have well-drawn lines, clear lines that we don't even flirt with. We don't even get close. We don't even tippy-toe over the line just to see what it's like over there, but that we will stay far away from them. I pray that you'll help us do that because we will live a more satisfying life in the long run even if in the short run, sin is pleasurable. We thank you for this in Jesus' name. Amen.
I hope you are a person of convictions and that people around you see it in your life. Thanks and have a great day.
Friday, March 5, 2021
As some of you know, I lost both of my parents back in November to COVID-19. I just think back to that time; there was so much communication going on when my parents were sick between my sisters and I and between the doctors and other family members.
Friday, March 5, 2021
As some of you know, I lost both of my parents back in November to COVID-19. I just think back to that time; there was so much communication going on when my parents were sick between my sisters and I and between the doctors and other family members. Then, when they passed, it was just a barrage of texts and phone calls, making funeral arrangements, and all of this is going on in the middle of a pandemic. But you know it became, at least for me, overwhelming (and in some ways, a good overwhelming) because people really loved on us and were checking in and caring for us. However, in another sense, it was a very busy time. Life was still going on. I was managing tensions at work, making sure that the kids were getting to where they needed to go, and there was a period of time from when they passed until we were able to actually have the funeral.
If I can be honest with you, I became very overwhelmed through all of this and I don't know about you and how you feel when you get overwhelmed, but it's in those moments that God really wants us to draw close to Him. We see this in scripture with Jesus and His disciples. In Mark 6:31 , they were in a very overwhelming situation. There were people that needed to be fed, people that needed to be healed of sickness, and people were coming and going. There were false teachers that needed to be rebuked, there were demons that needed to be cast out, and there were lives that needed changing. This is what Jesus came for, and all of this was happening in the shadow of the cross that Jesus was to face. So in Mark 6:31, we're given a glimpse of this. It says this: "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'”
You know, this is an invitation by Jesus for you to go with Him. To be with him, the Son of God, the Creator of the universe, the lover of your soul. He is inviting you in those times when you're overwhelmed to go away with Him. He wants you to be alone with Him. He doesn't want others around; it's time to forget about the kids for a moment, forget about your spouse, and maybe your parents that you're taking care of. He wants you to spend time with Him by yourself in a quiet place. Put the phone away. Don't worry about the office for a moment. I'm not saying that you totally neglect all of these things, but Jesus wants us to spend a part of our day with Him. May I suggest the first part of our day, and not a place where there's a lot of traffic, like a coffee shop or maybe your house at 8:30 when people are running here and there. Instead, go to a quiet place where you can listen for the voice of God. God can hear clearly from you what's on your heart. Why does God want us to do this? So you can get some rest and some peace, and so you don't feel so overwhelmed with the burdens of life. This is what Jesus has in mind for us to give us that rest. This is my go-to verse when life becomes stressful, when I'm overwhelmed, and when I can't focus. That happens often, but I have to remind myself to spend time with God. As I mentioned, for me, it's in the morning. Maybe for you, it's in the evening, you know, before the kids get up and people are showering and they have to get on a bus and go here and there. That's when I have to focus. That's when I can focus with God. That's my appointment with God.
When is your appointment with God? How do you get away and spend time with God? I'll tell you, my days tend to go more smoothly when I put first God and I listen to Him. When I have my Bible, I pray and I ask God to speak to me from what I'm reading so I can apply that to my day. When I do that, my day tends to go a little bit better. My days are still crazy, but the way I handle the craziness is markedly different than the days that I don't spend time in my Bible with God, by myself in a quiet place. How do you handle that craziness? How do you get away and spend time with God? Thanks for following along with Life Lifters this week. Don't just have a great day. Go and make a great day!
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
If you don't know your identity in Jesus Christ, you're never going to live a full and complete life. You're forgiven, you're going to heaven, but you want to live a full and abundant life. And you'll do that, when you appreciate your new identity. The seventh thing is that your new identity in Christ means that you are
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
We're continuing to talk about 10 new things that come into your life that form your new identity when you become a Christian, your identity in Jesus Christ. And so far, we've talked about six of them. And today, I want to talk to you about a seventh amazing thing that changes your identity and gives you a new identity in Jesus Christ.
Life will not make sense if you're living out your own will. Life only makes sense when you live out God's will. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven", according to Jesus Christ, and the Lord's Prayer, you're enlightened. You can figure things out through Christ. The Bible even says, you have the mind of Christ. Does that mean you're omniscient, and you know everything? No. It just means that you can begin to think like Jesus does. You can begin to think like God does and know his perfect will. You're enlightened. And when you're enlightened, you can figure out what God wants you to figure out. It's a great feeling.