Posts Tagged ‘believe’

When you feel anxious (Part 2 and 3)

August 14th, 2009 Comments off

Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything”

As we looked at anxiety two days ago, these next two devotionals focused yet again on anxiety.  Tomorrow’s devotion is also on anxiety.  I think they spend so much time on anxiety for good reason, because it has such an enormous impact on many of our lives, and simply put, we can live a better life without anxiety.  That is much easier said than done, but the fact is we must choose to have anxiety, or to have faith. 

All situations can be viewed two ways, we can or we cannot.  Sometimes we feel we cannot because we don’t have faith that we can, or more importantly – God can!  Here’s what the Bible says: “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).  That tells us that courage has a lot to do with facing anxiety.  Courage doesn’t eliminate anxiety, it rises above it!  I took a quote from the “Do Hard Things” book I read recently and it was: “True courage is not the absence of fear.  It is refusing to allow fear to control your actions.”  It has been on my AOL Instant Messenger profile since I read it, and the reason why I was so drawn to that quote is because sometimes we believe that courage wipes out all fear and anxiety, but the truth is, courage actually only overshadows them.  Fear and anxiety that we cannot do it are still there, but they seem insignificant compared to our courage.

So if we take up courage and not let our actions be controlled by fear, we won’t ever retreat to this “safe zone” that we always go to when we fee anxiety and fear, but we take steps forward and begin to “Do Hard Things” (Shameless plug…).  Sometimes all you can do is leave it in the capable and loving hands of God!

Anxiety also affects our health.  John writes: “I pray that…you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2 NAS).  It’s interesting how there is a correlation to what John said about our physical and soul.  Studies even show that when you are anxious, you immune system drops, blood pressure rises, and cholesterol levels begin to build up and block arteries.  No wonder we are most vulnerable when we are super stress because of work, school, etc.  I can pin point exact moments when I became ill, and they were always times of high stress because of school.  Thankfully, my job has not stressed me out and I’ve been prospering in good health the past year.  I can credit not stressing over anything for my good health!

Are you anxious about your health?  Here are four verses that will guide you

  1. “Worship the Lord your God and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you…I will give you a full life span” (Exodus 23:25-26 NIV)
  2. “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17 NIV)
  3. “Listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body” (Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV)
  4. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV)

There is no reason to be anxious about anything.  There is no reason to stress over situations in your life.  There is no reason to fear.  The bottom line is God can, and “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27)

BTW – This is really only for my personal gain and God’s glory:  Henry, I know you are out there!  Be ready to be touched by the finger of God!  He wants to show you how much He loves you and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for His child. :wink:

Don’t keep your love in a box!

August 7th, 2009 Comments off

Mark 14:3 – “She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.”

Imagine…someone who went out of his or her way to do something for you that you can never repay them back.  How would you feel?  Would you try to repay them in some way or another, even though you know anything you do will never be equal the thing that that person did for you?  That is, in fact, what Jesus did for Mary (the sister of Martha and Lazarus).  We know in Luke 10:38-42 that Mary was captivated by Jesus’ teaching and cared deeply for him.  But the thing that Jesus did for both Mary and Martha was He rose their brother from the back from the dead!  How awesome that must have been especially for Mary who loved Jesus and her brother, because that is certainly something we do not have the power to do by our own strength.  How could she repay Jesus, or show Him her appreciation and love?  It was through her deep devotion that led her to take expensive perfume and anoint Jesus with it.  It was pretty much all that she could do! (Mark 14:8)

Jesus did something even greater than raising Lazarus for you and me.  He took the punishment for OUR sins on the cross, and there made atonement between us and God.  He tore down the curtain separating us and God, and now, we get to worship God freely, because we are made righteous in His eyes through the blood of the perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ.  Not only that, we receive the gift of salvation if we believe in what Jesus did, acknowledge how sinful we were, and place your faith in God.  If you don’t understand what that means, I think it is time that you understand that God loves you so much that “he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  He did all this for you and me.  What can we do to repay him?  How can we repay him?  Simple (even though it is quite hard…) – we must follow Jesus’ greatest two commandments that he gave us in Matthew 22:37-39 ” ‘Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”  It is quite interesting how we can repay God for what he has done for us out of his great love for us, by loving him and others…

Actually, I feel I’m using the wrong word here, the word repay…  repay means something we do out of obligation…  We have to repay back all the money we took out from a loan from a bank, or repay damages done from our own accidents, or repay borrowed money from a friend.  Those are all obligations that we don’t do out of love, but a sense of guilt almost, because we are indebted to them.  If you understand that we don’t NEED to repay God back for what he has done for us, then you understand grace, something we’ve been given but do not deserve! (Not to be confused with mercy – NOT getting what we DO deserve…punishment for our sins.)  Once you understand grace, you’ll have this sense of love within you and devotion like Mary had when she poured out perfume on the Jesus.  Our actions are a result from devotion, and NOT obligation, and that is the type of love Jesus commands us to love our God and our neighbors with!  It’s the type of love that builds a deeper and stronger relationship with God and others.  It is the type of love that causes conviction and change in people’s hearts.  It is the type of love that cannot die… so don’t keep THAT type of love in a box!

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