On Wings Of Eagles

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

It Starts With Me Not Giving Up

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Who doesn't want to change the world? Who doesn't want to see every coworker at work give their life to the Lord or every single kid at their school give their life to Jesus? It seems simple enough. What if it were as easy as you walking into your office or school and saying, "Who wants to give their life to Jesus?" and everybody goes home a Christian. When it comes to changing the world, the first thing you're going to learn is it's really hard. You're going to have that one friend that would rather keep partying, who week after week gives you a million excuses for why they can't come to church.

The change that Jesus wants to do in them starts with you believing it and not giving up on them. When things are hard, we can trust in the promises seen in Isaiah 41:10 and Galatians 6:9. No matter how hard it seems, God is with you, and He will strengthen you and help you. God promises a harvest for those who don't give up. So maybe trying to change your office or school won't be easy, but it will be worth it. Maybe you've invited that friend 100 times, but what if they finally say yes? What if they finally give their life to Jesus? Ninety-nine times you thought you failed, and then finally you reap a harvest. If you're willing to never give up, congratulations, you just changed your office or school.

Dear Lord, place at least one person on our heart that needs You in their life. Help us to not give up on them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It Starts With Me Fixing My Eyes

Matthew 6:22-23 (ESV)
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

There is so much to see in this world; so many things that draw our attention. Whether it is a YouTube video, a mountain, your pet dog, or your friends doing stupid stuff. There is no telling where our eyes will end up every day or at any moment.

Genesis 4:7 says, “Sin is crouching at the door, its desire is for you but you must rule over it.” At any moment the temptation to sin can pop out in front of you, whether you were just trying to look through Instagram or walk through the mall. For this reason we must be ready to guard our eyes from anything that does not declare Jesus as Lord of our lives.

It is not sin to unexpectedly see something that you know you shouldn’t have, but it is sin to keep looking. We must have eyes that are aware of the traps of the enemy; we must have bouncing eyes. When the enemy throws something in your direct line of vision, look away. Realize the enemy's motives. He wants your life to be terrible. Do not let Satan's lies rule your life, because the “pleasure” he is leading you to is sin which leads to death.

When you have clear eyes, you will have a full heart and at that moment you can't lose.

Dear Lord, we ask You to direct our eyes throughout each and every day.  Help us to keep our eyes on the things that don’t cause us to fail. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Thoughts on surgery day

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Today is the day that I had surgery following the suspicious nature of my post thyroid cancer follow up. None of us like to hear the word “cancer” when getting a report from the doctor. After hearing the possibility, I dove into God’s word for the comfort that I needed.  Here are some thoughts God gave me.
Cancer is so limited...it cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot destroy peace. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot suppress memories. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot steal eternal life. It cannot conquer the spirit.

I love those words. They beautifully reflect the truth found in God's Word. Paul, facing physical challenges, could say with confidence, "We ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure" (2 Corinthians 4:7). The apostle, like you or someone you know, experienced suffering as an ever-present companion. Yet he chose to "fix his gaze on things that cannot be seen".

Paul's faith and confidence flowed from the treasure within him - God's transforming power - and the future that awaited him - eternity with Jesus. He knew that when this life was over he would be forever in God's presence, where there will be "no more death or sorrow or crying or pain" (Revelation 21:4).

When suffering comes, we can pour out our hearts to. He is with us in our pain. We can worship Him when He chooses to heal and when He chooses not to heal. But no limited thing like disease or suffering can ever separate us from His love. An ultimate healing, as Christian composer Wayne Watson puts it, lies just ahead. Today, fix your eyes on what can't be seen - what an awesome, breathtaking view!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are in control of everything. Give us the strength to look ahead knowing that the view is awesome. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, August 13, 2018

It Starts With Me Getting Uncomfortable

Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Has anyone ever interrupted you in the middle of something really important? Maybe you’ve been watching the newest episode of your favorite TV show, it’s just getting good and then your mom yells for you to go take out the trash or your son or daughter want help with homework. Or you’re walking into the mall and a homeless man stops you to ask for money. It can be extremely frustrating to be inconvenienced by other people and their needs.

In Acts 10, Peter is in the middle of praying and is interrupted by two men who are coming to ask him to travel from Joppa to Caesarea. The Lord tells Peter to go with these men on a 30-mile journey to another city. If you ask me, Peter was extremely interrupted and inconvenienced. Not only was Peter interrupted, but also was asked to travel 30 miles to another city for no reason other than they asked him to. Peter did not show anger. He did not get frustrated with God or the men that approached him. Instead, Peter stood up, pushed his needs to the side and started his way to Caesarea.

At the end of Acts 10, Peter has finally made it to Caesarea. You can imagine that after walking 30 miles, he is tired and exhausted, but Peter continues to share the Gospel with all of the people that are present. Because Peter did what was uncomfortable, many came to know Jesus and start a relationship with him.

Being a Christian isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes being a Christian means pushing everything on your agenda to the side to talk to that friend that’s having a bad day. Peter didn’t know the great outcome of traveling to Caesarea. Neither do we always know the great that will come out of getting uncomfortable. A moment of being uncomfortable for you could lead to life change for someone else.

Is your comfort more important than helping someone else?

Dear Lord, we ask that You would give us more opportunities to go out of our way.  Help us to take those uncomfortable opportunities when they arise and shine for You. In The Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

It Starts With Me Inviting Them.

Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Because Jesus promised to build His Church and has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us, we can have confidence and boldness when inviting people to church!

Most people would not attend a party they aren’t invited to. This applies to church too. While we know that the doors are always open and everyone is invited, most of the time people won’t feel comfortable coming unless someone has invited them. This is where we play our part. People hear the gospel and encounter Jesus at church, and because of this, evangelism starts with me inviting them!

We interact with hundreds of different people every week. The person who serves you at a restaurant, your coworkers, your teachers, your classmates, and your family all need Jesus. Inviting the person wrapping our burrito can be an uncomfortable moment for all involved, but when we invite people to church we are giving them an opportunity to hear and respond to the message of Jesus because church is a place where Jesus is celebrated and the gospel is preached. You don’t need a masters in theology, you simply need to be bold enough to let them know they are invited!

Imagine whose salvation is on the other side of an invitation from you? You might be afraid of them turning you down, but that’s OK. You have nothing to lose and they have everything to gain – it’s worth the ask!

Take a few minutes and ask Jesus to give you the boldness to invite someone to church. Also ask Him to soften their hearts so that when they hear the message of Jesus they would be saved.

Dear Lord, give us the boldness to invite someone to church.  We pray that their heart will be softened and ready to hear about Your great love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

It Starts With Me Looking Up

1 Corinthians 7:35 (ESV)
35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Our generation has great potential to reach and impact the world around us but this won’t happen as long as our eyes are looking down – fixed to our phones, our shoes, ourselves. If you want to make a difference in your family, at work, your school, your sports team and the world, then it starts with you looking up.

Technology is a great thing. It allows us to communicate with people all over the world at any moment. Imagine if we didn’t have the gift of technology and we had to communicate without it. Because we have such easy access to technology, it can quickly become a distraction. Instead of our eyes and hearts being focused on the people around us and on the opportunities, God gives us, we can become infatuated with our phones and spend most of our time scrolling timelines.

While Jesus faced many potential distractions (storms, hunger, critics, lack of sleep, betrayal, etc.), He didn’t allow these distractions to draw His attention away from what God had called Him to do or from the people God had called Him to minister to. With our eyes looking up, we will see more clearly the people God has brought into our lives who we can show the love of Jesus to. Only with our eyes looking up will we be able to bring change to the world as we recognize and respond to the people that God has put on our path.

Take the time to make a plan to prevent yourself being distracted by things that distract us from Jesus.

Jesus wants to use your life to impact and influence the world around you so start looking up!

Dear Lord, help us to look up to You. Help us to recognize the things that distract us from You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, August 10, 2018

It Starts With Me Having 20 Seconds Of Courage

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Telling a stranger about Jesus, your family about the Gauntlet, or your friends about Fuse can be an awkward experience for anyone. But evangelism starts with us just having 20 seconds of courage.

In the movie We Bought a Zoo, Benjamin Mee – played by Matt Damon – says to his son, “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

As you have probably have realized by now, your heart beats quicker and your palms get sweaty when an opportunity for evangelism presents itself. This is normal! So instead of looking for an escape route, embrace the awkwardness and go for it. On the other side of this conversation could be someone’s eternal salvation.

It’s not up to us to save people; Jesus saves, we get to tell people about it. The message of Jesus living a perfect life, dying on a cross, and rising again has been ‘entrusted to us’ by God (2 Corinthians 5:19-20).
Have 20 seconds of courage today and either take the opportunity of evangelism when it presents itself, or spend 20 seconds inviting someone to church. Trust the Bible that something great will happen because of your courage!

Evangelism isn’t for the experts. It starts with me, and it starts with you!

Dear Lord, give us that 20 seconds of courage today. Help us to rely on You and go for it when the opportunity is before us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.