On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

50th anniversary of the moon walk, We can worship God anywhere

John 15:5 (ESV)
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

The launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969, resulted in astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin stepping foot on the moon on July 20 and famously placing an American flag on the moon’s surface.

Armstrong delivered the famous line, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he stepped onto the moon’s surface in one of the most significant scientific achievements in history.

Discovery and exploration, Nettles noted, can lead to a greater amazement and worship of God.

“As we gain more understanding, we, as Christians, should stand in even greater awe and have a deeper sense of not understanding our world,” Nettles said. “To put it another way, as Christians we need to realize that the more we learn, the greater the number of things that we don’t know. That’s because the mysteries of God are unfathomable, but we can have deep joy in that thought.”

In addition to the importance of the moon landing as exploration of the created world, Christians also can view it as an opportunity to worship God both for what He has allowed mankind to discover and for who He is.

An act of worship related to the moon landing involves one of the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin paused for a moment to take communion on the lunar module around two hours before stepping onto the moon.  Aldrin took communion while reading the words of Jesus from John 15, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

This moment of Aldrin thanking and worshiping God, is a great example to all Christians that no matter where we are we can praise and honor our God.
 Where are you today that you can worship and praise our God?

Dear Lord we thank You for the world that You have given to us. Help us to remember that no matter where we are, we can praise You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Google maps and Following God's Plan For Your Life

Proverbs 3:5-7 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you were in a new town and you didn’t know your way around. Let’s say that you’ve got a smart phone, and you know that you’ve got Google Maps on the phone. You know that Google maps can give you turn by turn instructions on how to get to your destination.

The interesting thing about your Google maps on your phone is that it is up to you to use it. You can keep your phone in your pocket and never use it and wind up lost. If you don’t ever consult the directions, or look to see where to go on the map, you won’t get to where you want to go. You’ve got to consult something smarter than you…Google Maps to help you get to your destination.

The same is true in life. Whatever path you take in life, you’ll find success in that by letting God lead. Success is consulting God on each turn, like you would Google Maps on your phone to help you get to your destination and to get which way to go.

So to be successful in life, we need to do what today’s verse says and let God lead your life. Don’t run around life without direction and lost. Find success in your endeavors by letting God lead. Seek God’s direction in the decisions you make…include Him in what you do.

Self- sufficiency & self dependence have been the ruin of man-kind since Adam. The grand sin of the human race is their continual endeavor to live independently of God – Adam Clarke
Just like Adam said, living independently of God, just doesn’t work. It doesn’t bring happiness or fulfillment. When you try to live your life in your own strength and ability you will always fail, be unhappy or feel like something is missing.

The foundation for happiness and success in your life is knowing Jesus and letting him lead in your life. As you go through life, as you make decisions and as you make choices for your future, consult God in everything you do, and you’ll find true success!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are here to lead us in our life. Help us to make the right decisions and choices in our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Who are you copying?

Hebrews 6:12 (KJV)
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Most actors who play the part of a real-life person will study to get into character of the person they are playing. For example, a professional actor who would represent Abraham Lincoln would study his life by reading books to get all the facts of his life. Then they might read his writings to get an idea of how he thought. In other words, they study the person to understand them to the point that they almost become like him in order to “act the part” .

This word “ followers”  indicates acting or copying someone. Like the good actor who studies and tries to mimic the person he is depicting, we are told to do that too. Who are we to mimic or copy?

The Bible says those who spiritually are our leaders. Those who have faith and character and have stood up morally in hard times. Jesus certainly is that leader to want to replicate. Your pastor or a leader at your church might be such a person.

Study them and listen to what they say. Study what they do in difficult situations. The more you study good examples of godly people, you will begin to talk like them and act like them. In fact, we are told to do that! Study how they treat their other people. Study what they do under pressure. You can learn to follow or replicate them.

If you follow many celebrities of today, you will see they are in trouble with the law and their relationships don’t often last. These are not the people you want to follow because you don’t want the failure they have experienced in your life.

True heroes may not be on television- they may be in your church or in your own home.

Dear Lord, show me the people around us that have your promises and blessings so me may learn from them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What We Learn About God from The Force

Ephesians 6:10  (ESV)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

A long time ago in a movie theater far, far away… I went to see the original Star Wars movie. I was a young kid at the time, but in retrospect it has become one of my most cherished memories. Up until the unveiling of this film, the whole genre of fantasy/science-fiction/adventure was a veritable wasteland of cheesy endeavors that made you want a refund.

Ah, but in Star Wars we have an opening scene with a rebel ship being pursued and fired upon by an Imperial Battle Cruiser, and from that moment on, your eyes and senses are glued to this fantastic universe where good battles evil in the context of The Force.

“There is a God and there is a good and bad side.”—George Lucas
Then, 38 years later (like I said…a long time ago), one of the biggest movie release perhaps in the history of the celluloid industry is The Force Awakens. A whole new generation of Star Wars aficionados will be generated, and we will anxiously anticipate the final two installments of this immortal series.

But in the meantime, have you ever thought about what we can learn about God from The Force? Many may quickly dismiss even considering this possibility, but I would like to offer a few thoughts that might alter that perception.

First, if you look deep enough into the dialogue of the series, there are some really cool parallels with Biblical truth. For example:

Luke Skywalker: May The Force be with you.
The Bible: May the Lord be with you.

Obi-Wan: The Force will be with you…always
Jesus: And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

Watching and reflecting on Star Wars through the years, and particularly focusing on the constant and abiding presence of The Force has been an ongoing reminder of the great truth that God will never leave us or forsake us.

Still, there are some stark and significant differences. One of these is the personal nature of the God of the Bible vs. the impersonal nature of The Force. By this I mean that it is one thing to be comforted by a Force that “surrounds us and binds us together,” but it is a much greater and more profound thing to know that our Triune God indwells our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and because of that, we are never abandoned or alone in this world.

Our Triune God indwells our hearts and because of that, we are never alone in this world.
And speaking of dark and light, that is the other critical reality that the Star Wars series has brought to center stage. That’s why George Lucas made this statement: “All I was trying to say in a very simple and straightforward way is that there is a God and there is a good and bad side. One of his motivations in making the Star Wars series was to counter the pervasive morally relativistic thinking of that generation—which obviously is still alive and well.

And the Bible makes it very clear that there is a “good side and bad side” as well, and you are either engaged in one or the other at all times. Check out Jesus’ words to the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus:

“I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me” (Acts 26:17-18, The Message).

As we enjoyed The Force Awakens I hope you realize that we have a God who is with us…always. And we fight in an intense battle between darkness and light. So as you step out of the theater or turn the DVD off, step into the very real story line that makes a very real difference both for now and into eternity!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the fact that You will never leave us and as we fight the battle that is before us, You give us the strength.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out?”

Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I am sure you have heard those well-known words of Dr. Seuss many times before, but have you ever thought about their meaning?

Those famous words of Dr. Seuss are a perfect motto for Christians in today’s world. With all the temptations and peer pressure of everyday life, we often try to base our definition of right and wrong by those around us instead of God’s word. We do this because we want to fit in with the crowd.

However, fitting in with the crowd is not what God has called us to do. Followers of Christ should not follow the ways of the world, but instead they should follow the ways of Christ. Doing this will not always be an easy task, you may feel rejected at times when you stand up for your faith and do what the Bible says is right. You may feel like an outsider when you don’t participate in things you know are wrong but your friends do them anyway.

There is a long list of things that the world can make you feel different for, but what is important to remember is that if you have put your faith in Christ, you are not of this world.

John 15:18-19 says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

It may seem like “standing out” in the world comes with a lot of unnecessary problems, but those problems will seem like nothing compared to the incredible rewards you will receive when you follow Christ’s example.

Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate that leads to life, and only a few find it.” We must continuously choose to make Christ-like decisions such as spreading kind words instead of swearing, or standing up for someone being bullied, even if it could lead to you getting made fun of as well.

Many people choose the easy way out…they will do what the crowds do.

Most people will follow their friend’s example without truly thinking about what Christ would think of their actions. However, as the verse above says, doing this will only put you on a path of destruction. Choosing to take the narrow road and follow in Christ’s footsteps may come with multiple obstacles to overcome, but Christ will be with you and ready to help every step of the way so that you can stay on the path that leads you to eternal life with Him.

Dear Lord, give u the strength and courage to take the narrow way.  Help us to follow in Your footsteps. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Be still and know I am God

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

We are so busy with our lives: working, school, friends, family, sports and tons of other stuff….which we try to cram into a 16 hour period.

Sometimes it can feel like we’re so busy that we hardly have time to breathe!
Most of the time, we’re busy with so many activities that we don’t have time to hear God.

Today’s verse challenged me and is worth re reading  Psalms 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

When we have a few minutes to spare, do we fill them with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or texting someone? Usually.

Not only do these things take up our time, but they can easily lead us to dwell on ungodly thoughts. While we can learn from our mistakes, often those mistakes knock us down and hurt us.

A better way to learn and grow strong is to have God show us where we need to change.
God is always wanting to speak to us, guide us, and encourage us. And many times, we forget to let God do that.

Lately God has been showing me how to be still and let Him guide me.
Not just to sit still, but to trust Him more and more and to keep my eyes on Him because He has a plan for me.

If we don’t keep our eyes on the Lord, we won’t have a solid relationship with Him.

So let’s slow down and let God speak into our lives by taking time to read God’s Word and let it correct us and show us the best way to live. Let us meditate on it.

Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

God wants us to live a plentiful life. He knows what’s best for us and that is why He has given us His Word.

Trusting God is all about not leaning on our own understanding but His. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

So my Challenge is: Let’s take time to be still and just listen to God. Instead of going to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc when we are bored, consider taking ten, twenty, or thirty minutes alone with God.

 “God is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6b

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your word. We pray that we would take the time to spend time alone with You so that we will see what You have for us.  In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Prayer – What’s the big deal?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)
Pray without ceasing.

I came across this quote that inspired me to think more seriously about prayer. “If we don’t consistently fall on our face in prayer, we shouldn’t be surprised when we consistently fall on our face in sin.”

Prayer is a pretty cool tool.  Most Christians pray before meals and some before going to bed as a routine.  But why does Paul say in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we should “pray without ceasing”?

Well, the easy answer is because God said so, and that is a very good reason!
But it isn’t the only one.

To start off, prayer is a humbling action.  By praying, we acknowledge that we need help.

It’s yet another way to acknowledge that God is sufficient to fulfill our every need.
We pray to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness.
We pray to thank God for our blessings and to ask for guidance.
All of the different reasons that we pray ultimately come back to one central idea—we need God’s help, and that’s awesome!

Also, as with any human relationship, communication is very important.  Through prayer, we can literally talk to God and He can even give us feedback!  How amazing is that??

However, this great privilege comes with a great responsibility.  While we are supposed to “pray without ceasing,” we are also supposed to be careful what we say.

In the Old Testament, the High Priest could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year and had to do so with extreme caution and reverence.  He would enter the presence of God and if there were sins that he was trying to hide or sins that hadn’t repented of, he would die.

So while it may seem like an easy thing to say a quick, mindless prayer before bedtime or when you’re really hungry, it is nothing to be taken lightly.

Prayer is a powerful tool which God has given us to help combat the powers of this dark world.  While we are told to pray constantly, our prayers should also be serious.  Developing a solid prayer life may be one of the most important steps someone could take after accepting God’s grace. 

The bottom line is that our lives are meant to give God glory and prayer is just one more way that we can do that.  Prayer not only helps us grow closer to God but also is an avenue to see Him work in your life.

Dear Lord, we thank You for all that You do for us. We especially thank You that we can come to You in prayer. Thanks for listening to us and help us to listen to what You have to say to us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.