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The roller-coaster ride of life (Part 5)

August 5th, 2009 Comments off

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything appropriate in its time.”

If you ever feel like giving up on this roller-coaster ride of life, that you just can’t keep the faith during the times of lows; remember 5 things

  1. God is sitting right next to on on that roller-coaster!  Deuteronomy 31:8 says: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  2. Focus on God’s faithfulness rather than your faithlessness.  2 Timothy 2:13 says: “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
  3. God doesn’t owe us an explanation for times in our life so we shouldn’t look for one, but He promises that the ride will get better.  Stay on the roller-coaster!  1 Corinthians 10:13 says: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
  4. God will produce good in ALL your circumstances.  Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
  5. Jesus AND the Holy Spirit are interceding with the Father for you!  Romans 8:26-27 says: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”  And Romans 8:34 says: “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

So I hope all these things in mind, giving up isn’t an option anymore.  This devotion has encouraged me to stay faithful no matter what, and even when I begin to lose faith or doubt, He Remains faithful and will produce good things out of those times!

Categories: Devotions Tags: ,

The roller-coaster ride of life (Part 1)

August 1st, 2009 Comments off

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything appropriate in its time.”

Sometimes it is just amazing how God allows things to happen at the right moment and at the right time…  It’s like a good parent who finds the opportune time to teach their children, and their children will be changed because of it.  Think about it…people don’t change unless they realize they need to change, and it would be pointless to teach someone who believes they are doing everything right.  But somehow, through experiences, their pride is stripped away and suddenly, they realize what they’ve been doing was walking down the wrong path.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason!  I know sometimes life has its ups and downs, and sometimes we wonder why in the world God would let bad things happen…  Why can’t we just experience good times, since God is a good Father.  Well, I think the answer lies within the first paragraph…  God IS a loving Father, no doubt, but the fact that he created such a wide variety of emotions that are conjured up doing events shows just how creative, unique and thoughtful He is.  He really has made everything appropriate in its time!  Imagine a perfect world where everyone had perfect and good-looking bodies, everyone is smart, nobody fights, no divorces, tempature is always at 72 degrees, etc…  (Why wouldn’t He create a world like that?!)  If God created the world like that, He would NOT be glorified because nothing will point back to Him.  Nobody will experience times of need, where God will swoop in and rescue souls.  No one will experience great joy because everyone is pretty much the same, and thus will not praise God for His hand working in situations.  People wouldn’t need God…  They wouldn’t have a teachable heart.  So while the ideal world sounds nice, it would really be a boring, emotionless, and pointless type of living…  As I am sitting here just thinking about this, I can’t stop thinking about how much God desires a relationship with me, and will use “drama” in my life to teach me,mold me, and ultimately to show me that He loves me.  So when I am on a mountain top (good times) in life, I will praise God, and when I am in the trough (bad times) I will still prasie God.  It’s like that song from Casting Crowns: “Praise You In This Storm”.  No matter what, we can’t give up in situations, because EVERYTHING happens for a reason!

Categories: Devotions Tags: ,

The Battle Within

July 29th, 2009 Comments off

Judges 1 – Israel Fights the Remaining Canaanites:

This chapter was about Israel battling against the Canaanites so they can claim the land that the Lord promised them.  Yet the Israelites failed to completely remove all of the Canaanites and the chapter explains that they did not drive them out, but instead turned them into slaves, and lived alongside the Canaanites.  If it is one thing I know about God, is if He tells you to do something and gives a promise if you do it… He is always true with His promise, so it is wise to follow His commandments.  Because the Israelites didn’t follow God’s commandment to completely drive out the Canaanites, they were going to be a nuisance to the them.

Let’s bring this a bit closer to home.  God promised us the gift of salvation, a great new life and an awesome relationship with Him, but the requirement was to “put off [our] old self” (Ephesians 4:22).  For many of us, including myself, we are charged to drive out all the bad areas of our lives (like the Israelites driving out the Canaanites) to put off our old self and put on the new…but the problem is we don’t.  Without driving out the old habituous ways, they will only be a thorn in our side, and a barrier to God’s plan for us.  So I was challenged to really look deep into my heart and identify the bad areas of my life so that I can calim God’s promises for my life!  I’m already seeing my old self being stripped away and witnessing the wonderful things He has in store for me!  Isn’t it time you take a look into your heart and fight off the remaining Cannanites in your life?

Do Hard Things

July 28th, 2009 Comments off

I know I always try to start updating my site on a regular basis…and time and time again I get busy, overwhelmed and push this site aside.  For the most part, I’ve always updated this site about pointless things, but this time it will be different.  Why?  Because I am seeking to glorify God in everything I do now.  The past 2-3 months, I’ve grown so much with Him, and my change of heart for Him is slowly beginning to to produce such sweet fruit, and I’ve seen Him at work numerous times.

I’ve actually had the privilege to read another book, as much as I don’t really like reading or even have the time to read, but it is called Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris (yup Joshua Harris’ little twin brothers author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  While the book was meant for teenagers, these two brothers challenged me to become greatness for God, and become a rebelutionary.  Yup, The Rebelution is the movement that really came out of their ideas, and the book gives so many inspiring examples of other young ones doing big hard things that change how the world will view teenagers.

I’ve been even more blessed when I got to take some of our youth’s to the day conference put on by this movement in Orange County last Saturday, and I was really captivated by all the messages, and challenged even more.  To become greatness, I think that is what we are all meant to be…  Too often am I complacent about the things I do for God, and realize that I could have done SO much more for Him.  That thought makes me feel guilty in a way, but it also encourages me to something about it now.

After the conference we had this amazing awesome time of fellowship where we really got to discuss spiritual things and how we were to make permanent changes in our lives.  Most of the changes that came out will be difficult challenges for those people because it requires time and lots of effort.  But no longer will I expect very little of them, but set my expectations of them at God’s high standard, just like that has become mine.  I actually almost cried when I found out someone who went to the conference challenged someone who did not go to do devotions and write about their thoughts online, and that person already started…  That type of response is like a wild fire that spreads, a passion that I envision for all the youth at my church to “spur one another toward good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

For those of you who were at the fellowship (I’m not really sure how many of you actually read this since I don’t update it often), I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that I will use every ounce of strength in my body to encourage you and keep everyone of you accountable to the challenges you made for yourselves.  Actually, I feel my own challenge for myself was too complacent, which was to give up “Lakers” entirely.  For some, that may seem like a big thing but, to me, once I realize how much time I’ve wasted by watching games that don’t really benefit me at all, especially when my time is precious and I can be doing better things with it – doing hard things for God!  So, I’ve decided one way I can help encourage those who have challenged themselves, is to have someone (me) doing it along by their side.  What that basically means, is I am going to take on pretty much everyone’s challenges (except the ones I’m already doing).  So, I’ll be waking up extra early in the morning to read and do devotions (I was going to start today, but didn’t realize how long this post was going to take), and blog about it.  I will at least once a week post a blog about anything that happened during the week where God deserves all the glory (This post counts!).  I will be encouraging to everyone at church and not be complacent.  I will cut out all gossip.  I will take someone new out once a month and use that opportunity to evangelize.  You might be wonder, “Nick, you won’t have time!”  And my response to that would be you are probably right…  But seriously, I have to put myself in situations that require God’s power and hand to guide me, because if I’m always comfortable, I will never see God work.  My standard for myself is to be come like Jesus, and that is a standard that is so high and pretty much unattainable by anyone, but yet I will continue to strive for it…

Alright, thanks for reading!

Two Trees???

May 22nd, 2009 1 comment

Why do we miss the fact that there were 2 (TWO) trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden?  If you understand why that is significant, it can change your whole perspective on a lot of things!  I will write up another entry about this later, and some other things I’ve been thinking about in relation to Christianity…but for now, I just wanted to throw this out there. :roll:

Categories: Thoughts Tags: