Go Ahead. Tell Jesus EVERYTHING!!!

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

I pray, not because God needs to hear my prayers. I don’t pray to change the mind or the will of God.

I pray because I need to talk with God.

I am just a guy. Yet, God’s placed me in a position where I am also your pastor. How am I supposed to handle that? How am I supposed to know how to lead? I am just a guy!

What I know about James is that you don’t want James leading, unless James is being led by God. You can take that to the bank.

There is so much that happens in the course of leadership that I have no clue how to handle and manage. There wasn’t a single class during all my seminary years that came close to preparing me and our staff to lead during Covid. There are people who don’t like me, who disagree with me. And God still calls me to pastor them. I don’t know how to do that!

I would be totally lost without God. I don’t pray because God needs me to pray. I pray because I need to pray.

I don’t know what I would do without my daily prayer times. I spend thirty to forty-five minutes everyday journaling my prayer. That is such a precious time for me. Whenever I come across a situation that I don’t know how to handle and manage, the first thing I turn to is prayer. I can’t wait to get into my journal and pray. It is in those times that God guides and leads.

J. C. Ryle wrote:

Prayer is the mightiest engine God has placed in our hands. It is the best weapon to use in every trouble. It is the key that unlocks the treasury of promises, and the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need. Show me a growing Christian, a going forward Christian, a flourishing Christian, and sure am I, he is one that speaks often with his Lord. HE TELLS JESUS EVERYTHING!

Go ahead. Tell Jesus everything!!!

Be Angry. Just Don’t Sin in Your Anger

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27).

The first thing I want you to see about the verse of the day is that you can be angry and be a Christian. There are times when anger is quite appropriate. When you see injustice, holiness being mocked, evil it would be wrong not to be angry.

It’s quite possible to be holy and angry. That’s why God tells us not to sin in our anger.

How do we do that? God tells us, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” What God is saying, is that instead of letting anger simmer, go to God in prayer and give it to him. Let God deal with your angst and anger. Give it to him. Don’t hold on to your anger. Your anger will do you no good as it simmers inside you. Let it go.

After you’ve given your anger to God, do everything you can to reconcile. If you were wrong, admit it and apologize.

When we hold on to our anger, not only is that unhealthy, but it gives the devil a powerful foothold in our lives. The thing about footholds is that they are almost impossible to dislodge. Don’t give the devil this opportunity.

When angry, go to God in prayer and give God your anger. Then seek reconciliation.

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher from around two thousand years ago. He wrote:

If someone tried to take control of your body and make you a slave, you would fight for freedom. Yet, how easily you hand over your mind to anyone who insults you. When you dwell on their words, and let them dominate your thoughts, you make them your master.

Epictetus is right. You would fight to the death if someone tried to enslave your body. Yet we give our minds over to others all the time. Take back control of your mind. Take control of your peace.

Give your anger to God in prayer. Seek reconciliation.

Life or Death? Blessing or Curses? Duh!!!

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Hmmm. What a tough choice. What should I choose?

Life or death? Blessings or curses?

Duh!!! Right? Why is this even a choice? Who wouldn’t want life instead of death, blessings over curses?

How is this even a choice? Of course everyone chooses life and blessings.

Hmmm. You think so?

We all know that our spiritual life and relationship with Jesus is of the utmost importance. We know we ought to pray, read God’s word, and spend time with God daily. We know that worship ought to be of the utmost importance. We know we ought to be serving God and his people.

We all know that good health is important. We know that we should watch our sugar intake, exercise regularly, and make sure we get plenty of sleep and rest.

We all know that good quality time is essential for a healthy marriage.

How are you doing on choosing life and blessing?

This is such a no brainer. Yet why do we keep messing around with stuff that will lead to death and curses? Why do we mess around with sin, laziness, selfishness? Why do we waste our time that will never contribute to health, life, and blessing?

What is wrong with us?

So, listen to God’s word again. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Choose life!”

It is in the small daily decisions of time management and priorities that we put into practice choosing life.

Friends, choose life! It would be ludicrous to do otherwise.