Honor Your Father and Mother
A woman was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon when she thought of how much she loved and admired her own father. She wondered, “Why isn’t there a similar day to honor fathers?” That’s how the whole concept of celebrating Father’s Day got started. Proverbs states, “…the glory of children is their fathers.” The hero of children is their dads. Unfortunately, many times, Dads are less than heroic. Telephone Companies say they process the same number of phone calls on Father’s Day as on any other Sunday in June. On the other hand, Mother’s Day is the busiest phone day of the year. The Bible says, “Honor your father and mother…that it may go well with you
and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:3, NIV) Wouldn’t today be a great day to honor your dad or mom and give them a call.
Going After Your Future
Sometimes you need to leave where you are in order to get to where you need to be. The Bible says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise…” (Hebrews 11:8-9a) Abraham went after his inheritance. We have to go after our future. It’s not going to come to us. We’ll have to leave the security of the known for the unknown. Sure, it will take obedience, faith, and courage, but in the end we’ll see that what God had in mind is better than what we can imagine. Take a leap of faith into God’s will. It’s the safest place to be.
The next time you think you’re really smart or powerful remember this scripture, “This is what the Lord says: ‘don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things.’” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NLT) Life is all about knowing God…knowing the One who loved us so much He was willing to take the punishment for our sins and die in our place. Everything that distracts you from knowing Him keeps you from your future. Get to know Jesus. He’s what life’s all about.
God Will Provide
God will meet you in your darkest hour. Abraham had an amazing trust relationship with God and his 12-year old son Isaac. When God asked him too, Abraham laid his son willingly on a wooden altar, and Isaac fully submitted. “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.” (Genesis 22:13, NKJV) When we look to God in the middle of our darkest hour we’ll see His plan is greater than our concern. “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide…” (Genesis 22:14a, NKJV) God will provide for you but it takes surrendering everything. And everything, at times, means the 1 thing we don’t want to surrender.
In 1970, an 18-year old, Russian soldier knew he would be persecuted if he continued to profess Christ. For his punishment he was ordered to stand for five hours at night in below zero weather. He did this every night for 13 nights. A few days later his body was returned to his family, severely beaten. Those who were there said he died continuing to profess Jesus. In his final letter he wrote, “Do not grieve for me, my dear parents. It is because I love Jesus more than myself. I do this because I do not value my life as much as I value Him.” The Bible says, “…everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2Timothy 3:12, NLT) Don’t be more attached to this present world than eternity. For only Jesus can give you everlasting life.
Reject the Rejection
A high school senior received a letter of rejection from the college he wanted to attend. He wrote them back, “Dear Admissions Officer, I received your rejection of my application. As much as I would like to accommodate you, I find I cannot accept it. I have already received four rejections from other colleges, and this number is, in fact, over my limit. Therefore, I must reject your rejection, and will appear for classes on September 18th.” A funny story! But there’s a good point. Every day we face thoughts of rejection. The accuser, the devil, tells us we’re worthless, but our advocate, Jesus tells us we’re priceless to Him. Who will you believe? Reject the rejection, and accept the love and acceptance of Jesus, the One who died so you could spend eternity with Him.
Trust and Obey
A Vietnamese Christian once said, “Suffering is not the worst thing that can happen to us. Disobedience to God is the worst thing.” Queen Esther knew this when she stood up to protect her people. She knew her obedience to God might even cost her life. But after much soul searching, she came to the conclusion, “…I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16, NKJV) Faith is being boxed in a corner, but you are willing to trust God no matter what happens. For… “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him..” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV) When we trust and obey Him, we make God smile.
Losing Your Spiritual Interest
Have you lost your interest in spiritual things? The point you lost your spiritual interest was the point you didn’t do something you know you should do. That opportunity is still before you. There are seasons when God will talk to you, and there are seasons when He won’t. There are times when you’ll know what God is doing, and there are times when you won’t. But, there’s never a time or season when we don’t need faith to obey God. Go back to that point of disobedience, ask God’s forgiveness, and commit to step out and obey Him. God will meet you there. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6, NKJV) We all, at times, miss God. But the God of the 2nd chance always invites us to return and be healed.
We Are Accepted
Are you enjoying your life? One of the greatest hindrances to enjoying the life God has given us is our misconception of His heart for us. It’s absurd to believe that God could accept or approve of you more then He already does. His death on the cross enables you to have complete peace with Him, and even with yourself. God’s at peak-approval! He’s always approved of you. Not everything you do, but everything you are in Jesus. God’s at peak-love! He’s always loved you, and always will. Fixating on your own imperfection distracts you from focusing on His perfection. The key to enjoying life is not working harder; it’s resting more in God’s love and acceptance. “You are accepted…” (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV) God wants us to be in Heaven with Him far more then we do.
Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator was a man named A. A. Milne. His son Christopher Robin had the privilege of having the lead character in the Winnie-the-Pooh series named after him. But it didn’t impress him. Christopher Robin didn’t want his name in lights. He wanted his father’s love and affection. But he never got it. When Christopher Robin died in his 70’s, his obituary said that his father spent little time with him. He was too busy making other children laugh and smile. Every day we have an opportunity to show our love and affection to those closest to us. They are waiting for us to reach out and express our love and care for them. It’s really what God did for us. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8, NLT)
Learning to Be Content
Why are so many people dissatisfied? Because the world wants you to be discontent. You’ll never hear a commercial say, “You’ve got to be content with what you have. Our product won’t give you contentment. Save your money and buy only what you really need.” Trying to find contentment by buying things is like eating pretzels to quench your thirst. The more you buy the more you want: even if you can’t afford that kind of house; even if you can’t afford that kind of car: even if you can’t afford those kinds of clothes. Make it look like you can. There’s nothing wrong with having nice things: If it’s God’s will for your life; if they don’t have you; and if you can afford them. Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” (Philippians 4:11, NRSV)