Mother’s Day

MONDAY

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

For Women: How easy is it for you to get caught up in what society’s definition of what it means to be a woman of value? How will you seek to ignore the temptation to fall into society’s trap and become the woman that God is calling you to be?

For Men: How can you encourage the women of your life to live lives pleasing to God? (note the emphasis on encourage…not force)



Are We There Yet?

FRIDAY

Charles Spurgeon once said, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark. There is great encouragement in that thought for us. It may seem like it is taking a long time for God to open the next door of His plan for you. Maybe it seems like it is taking a long time to overcome a sin in your life that is keeping you from becoming the person God desires. Do not give up! By perseverance even the snail reached Noah’s ark. By perseverance and your eyes turned towards Jesus, following His direction, you can become the person that God is calling you to be and fulfill the purposes he is calling you to accomplish.

In The book of Revelation, Jesus told John to write seven letters to seven different churches. In each of those letters Jesus told them, “To he who overcomes…” (Rev 2:7,11,17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21 NIV1984)  There is two good reasons why we are to remember to overcome. First, we are going to face trials, difficulties, tribulations, and other things that will try and keep us from running the race we are called to run. This is inevitable. Secondly, all those things will not compare to the time when we stand before Jesus and hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:21) No matter how difficult the journey may be for you at this time do not give up. Look to the one who desires to give you strength, endurance, and direction to you as you run and continue to become the person He is calling you to become. See you Sunday!

THURSDAY

Sometimes we make things more difficult than they have to be. Having a complex life is not a sign that you are necessarily being faithful in what God is calling you to do and who He is calling you to become. Being busy does not equate to being faithful. Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.” Our lives do not have to be complicated. God is calling us to simply be faithful in following Him and faithful with what he has given us do today. Sometimes that calls us to evaluate the unnecessary things we do that keep us busy but not fruitful.

Proverbs 3:5-7 teaches us, “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.  Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! (The Message) You cannot hear God’s voice if you are always too busy to stop and listen. As you go about your day today do not make following God more complicated than it is supposed to be. Spend time in His Word, listen to where He is leading, follow Him and turn away from evil. May God continue to lead you as you become the person he is calling you to become.

WEDNESDAY

There are times when we stumble or lose track of the purposes that God has for us. Sometimes it might seem like every day we wander from the things we know that God is calling us to do. In the face of failure the temptation to give up is strong. What should we do? Where can we turn to? A.W. Tozer commented on this when he wrote,

“The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One.  While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do.”

If we are to become the people that God want us to be our focus must be on Him. He is the One who transforms our lives and helps us become what we were originally created to be. There will be times when you stumble and fall. But don’t stay down or give up. Remember the instructions in Hebrews 12:2 says, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Keep your eyes on Jesus, follow where He leads you and continue to become the person he has created you to be.

 

TUESDAY

As we seek to run our race what is one of the greatest dangers that stands in our way from finishing it? Distractions. Distractions are dangerous things if we hope to accomplish the purposes God has for us. One thing that makes them so dangerous is that they are not always obvious. Some can be and we can easily identify them…though not as easily ignore them. Others are cloaked and more difficult to recognize. They may look like good things but if they keep us from accomplishing our purpose they become destructive. We cannot lose sight of the purpose that we are here for, nor allow something else to keep us from pursuing that purpose.

Pastor Craig Groeschel wrote, “Normal people live distracted, rarely fully present. Weird people silence the distractions and remain fully in the moment.”  The more we remove distractions in our lives the more effective we will be in living out the purpose that God has for us.  The epistle to the Hebrews encourages us to, “…lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1b:2a) We are to lay aside the things that keep us from running our race and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. As we fix our eyes on Jesus we can have confidence that we are running in the right direction and by keeping our eyes fixed we will not allow distractions to keep us from becoming the people God is calling us to become.

MONDAY

Francis Chan once wrote, “It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.” As we ask ourselves the question of “Are we there yet?” we have to deal with this issue of comfort. It is a temptation that we all face. We get to the point where life is good and things are going smoothly and we are tempted to stay right where we are. During Sunday morning’s sermon I mentioned that one of the purposes that God has for us is to continue to grow in our faith; to become more like Christ. God desires to see every area of our life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit working inside of us.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” In answer to the question we will continue to ask this week, we are not there yet. God is not calling us to a comfortable life, but a Christ-like life. That will involve us continuing to grow in our faith. That requires that we not settle for the peaceful, comfortable American-Dream type life. It calls us to continually be transformed in the way we think, the words we say and the things we do by the power of the One whose plans for us and for the communities around us are much greater than what we often settle for.  As this week goes on continue to ask yourself this question. Have I continued to become more like Christ or have I settled for something else, something comfortable?