On Wings Of Eagles

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Down hill skiing and trust

Psalm 13:5 (ESV)
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are winding down. Quick question: What is your favorite winter Olympic sport? A recent Google search showed that nearly every pole asking that question had a different ranking of the sports. Consistently ranking in the top 10, however, is alpine skiing,  which brings us to our subject: trust.

Veteran skiers will tell you that often there is a moment in learning to ski when it all just seems to click. You've had your lessons; you've memorized your analogies (pizza slice, French fries, carrying a tray); you've gotten frustrated because you can't make your body do your analogies; you're thinking of too many things at once. Then. Suddenly. Ahhhh…maybe it's making a nice turn, or recovering (without falling) from going too fast, or simply making a good stop. Something clicked between mind and body. This click can be summed up in a word: trust.

You may not realize it, but in that moment, you trusted your learning, your skis and your legs to do what you were telling them to do. You let go of your instructions and analogies.

It's this same type of letting go that we need to practice with God. As we seek to grow in our relationship with Him, the last thing we give up is control. Maybe we want to hang on to reason or logic or keep our hearts and minds in a realm of what we know, but we are told in Hebrews 11:6 that it is impossible to please God without faith. Impossible. A leap of faith always will be required.

Take a step of trust to allow God to do what He loves to do: heal, redeem, give grace, strengthen. Accept the kindness and generosity of God, and let Him do the work.

Dear Lord, Help us to take the steps we need to to trust You completely. Help us to accept the kindness and generosity of You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jean-Claude Killy and being set apart

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.

Jean-Claude Killy, the French ski champion, did more than work hard at his sport.

When he made his nation’s ski team in the early 1960s, he was determined to be the best. He decided vigorous training was the key. Up at dawn each day, he ran up mountains with his skis on – a very painful activity. Weight training, sprinting…Killy was determined to do whatever it took to reach peak physical condition.

Other team members were working just as hard, and in the end it was a change in style, not conditioning, that set Killy apart.

The goal in ski racing is to ski down a prescribed mountain course faster than anyone else. Killy began experimenting to see if he could pare any seconds off his time. He found that if he skied with his legs apart, he had better balance. He also found that if he sat back on his skis when executing a turn, instead of leaning forward as was customary, he had better control, which also resulted in faster times. Rather than regarding his ski poles as an accessory for balance, Killy tried using them to propel him forward.

Killy’s style was unorthodox. But when he won most of the major ski events in 1966 and 1967, including 3 gold medals at the Winter Olympics, skiers around the world took notice. Today, the Killy style is norm among downhill and slalom racers. Any other “style” would be considered odd.

As Christians we are not called to conform to the world’s standards, but to God’s standards. Our lifestyle should challenge people to come to Jesus Christ and live according to His higher ways and purposes. The Christian “style” may seem odd to the unbeliever, but in the end, it is the style that will previal!

Don’t be afraid to be a little “unusual” today in the eyes of those who observe you. Your example may help win them over to a championship lifestyle.

Dear Lord, help us to be the one that brings someone to You today. Help us to conform our self to Your standards and not that of the world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Well done Billy Graham

Matthew 25:23 (ESV)
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

This morning one of the greatest ministers of God’s word took his last trip to his final retirement home. As he arrived in the presence of His Savior I am sure he heard this words.  Tonight I wanted to share the words that Billy Graham’s son Franklin shared after the passing of his father.

My father Billy Graham was once asked, “Where is Heaven?” He replied, “Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!” This morning, at the age of 99, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world—whom he proclaimed for nearly 80 years. He will be missed by our family, his colleagues, faithful ministry partners, and, yes, many around the world. But what joy he has to be welcomed by God the Father, and be reunited with my mother in the presence of Jesus who speaks peace to eternal souls.

What about you? When you depart this world do you know with certainty where you will spend eternity? You can know this today. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The One who comforts weary souls has given us this promise, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me … I go to prepare a place for you … I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Dear Lord, we thank You for the ministry of Billy Graham. We thank You for the many lives that he touched for You. We pray for his family at this time of loss that You would comfort them and hold them in Your loving arms. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I must become less

John 3:16 (ESV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John’s Gospel tightens the camera angle, closing in on a few individual faces—a woman at a well, a blind man, a member of the Jewish ruling council—to compose an intimate, in-depth portrait of Jesus’ impact on others.

Consider this conversation with Nicodemus, who comes to Jesus at night possibly in order to avoid detection. He risks his reputation and safety by meeting with Jesus, whom his fellow Pharisees have sworn to kill. But Nicodemus has some burning questions, the most important questions anyone could ask: Who are you, Jesus? Have you really come from God? Jesus responds with the image of a second birth, using words that have become some of the most familiar in the Bible.

One of Jesus’ statements has probably been memorized more than any other in the Bible. In a few words it tells the story of salvation: God’s love for the world, God’s gift of his Son and the opportunity for anyone who believes to be saved.

Evidently some of Jesus’ words to Nicodemus sink in, as his later behavior indicates.

John follows this conversation with a report from John the Baptist. People are questioning the radical prophet about the new teacher across the river who is drawing all the crowds. In words that echo Jesus’ own, John confirms that Jesus holds the keys to eternal life. Jesus is indeed the one John has come to herald. A great prophet still in his prime, John nonetheless bows to Jesus: “He must become greater; I must become less”.

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your Word and the lessons that we can learn from it. In the Name of Jesus, Amen

Monday, February 19, 2018

Don't look down on the young

1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

After high school, Darrell Blizzard left the orphanage where he grew up to join the US Army Air Corps. World War II was in full swing, and soon he faced responsibilities usually given to older and more experienced men. He told a reporter years later that a four-mule plow team was the biggest thing he’d driven before he became the pilot of a four-engine B-17. Now in his late eighties, he said, “We were all just kids flying those things.”

In the Bible, we find accounts of many people who followed God courageously when they were young. In a situation of corrupt spiritual leadership, “Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child” (1 Sam. 2:18). David faced the giant Goliath in spite of being told, “You are not able to go against this Philistine . . . for you are a youth” (17:33). Mary, the mother of Jesus, was most likely very young when she was told she would bear the Son of God. She responded to the angel’s announcement by saying, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Paul told the young pastor Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers” (1 Tim. 4:12).

God values each one in His family. In His strength, the young can be bold in their faith, while those who are older can encourage those who are “just kids.”

This is a great reminder as we watch our youth take lead in different parts of our church life.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be the encouragement to all those that serve you no matter their age. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

God is faithful

1 Samuel 15:29 (ESV)
And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.

The great thing about God is how faithful He is. He’s not a person that would change His mind. He doesn’t all of the sudden decide that He doesn’t like someone or something. He doesn’t change His mind based on trends or fashions. He’s steady, steadfast and unchanging.

Unlike people who will let you down, bail on you, or change their mind, God will always be there for you. And His love for you will always be constant. This should cause you to be really excited.

You can live a life of peace and comfort when you begin to realize how trustworthy God is. As you realize that He will always be there for you, that He’ll never let go or let you down, you can find comfort in even the worst situations. You can also know that God loves you in an amazing way and that will never change. God thinks you’re amazing. So take some time to think about the faithfulness of God and realize how awesome it is to serve such a great God.

Dear Lord, we thank You for being faithful. Help us to learn from You and be faithful to those around us. Help us to not let them down. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Our true value

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I recently read an article about an Apple computer that someone threw away. The crazy thing about the computer was that it was worth about $200,000. The computer the person threw away was one of the first Apple computers made and only about 50 of original computers exist still today.

The lady who threw the computer away didn’t realize the value of the computer. She thought it looked like junk and she discarded it. She had no idea she was getting rid of a $200,000 computer.

Lots of times this is a lot like how we view ourselves. We often get down on ourselves because of something dumb we said or did. We might not feel that we look the right way or have the right friends. This leads us to want to treat ourselves like junk, instead of realizing the true value we have.

See our value isn’t in what we do, what we wear or who we hang out with. Our true value comes when we realize what we’re worth. We find that worth in what the Bible says about us.

The Bible has lots of great things to say about your value. You’re important and created to do good things. So when the feelings come that say you’re not worth much or that you’re junk, remember that to God you have great value.

Dear Lord, help us to realize that we have great worth because if You. Help us to not get down on our self but instead be positive. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.