Archive for September, 2010

The Illusion of Control


Then he said to his disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.  Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.  Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them.  Of how much more value are you than the birds?  And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?  Consider the lilies, how they grow:  they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Luke 12: 22-27.)


                Jesus commanded his disciples not to worry.  What is worry?  Worry is a feeling of discomfort in the present that is produced by the expectation of some future pain (By the way, this is the opposite of hope; hope is a present feeling of elation brought about by the expectation of some future pleasure.)  Many were worrying about not having what they needed in the future.  Jesus identified two sources of worry common to human beings; food and clothing.  He presented two animals victorious over their fear in these areas; birds and lilies.  Birds lived in nests, but stored nothing in them.  Birds foraged daily and took with them only what would fit in their stomachs.  Unlike birds, those whom Jesus was speaking too were run on fear; fear of not having enough tomorrow would drive them to horde and strive to gain as much as they could today; in their pursuits they had abandoned truly living life the way that God had desired them to live.  The second organism Jesus pointed too was the Lillie.   The Lilly was a commonly held symbol of beauty in the Middle East.  Jesus said, the lillies don’t toil (work hard), nor spin (sow on a sowing loom), and yet they were dressed more beautifully than King Solomon (Solomon was a king of Israel, and by many accounts the richest man who had ever lived.)  His clothing was the finest money could buy.  The least of God’s works were far better than man’s best efforts.  The people were so focused on providing for themselves, they missed out on what was truly important.  They were ruled by fear instead of faith.  They were focused on the excesses and not the necessities.  They believed they were in control.

                How can worry bring about sick and unhealthy living.  Many people have heard of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.)  The symptoms of the disorder consist of two parts.  First, there is an internal feeling of uneasiness or discomfort (anxiety) that arises out of fear (in severe cases the fear is completely irrational.)  The fear of some future calamity stirs the person to take actions (compulsions) that help them to avoid said calamity.  However, most of the time, the compulsive actions taken, serve only to give the person a false sense of security, or an illusion of control.  For example, someone may have a fear of getting sick, so they believe that if they wash their hands 18 times, they will avoid getting sick (but if a person breaths on them they may catch a cold anyways.)  Some people have allowed fear to rule their lives so much, they can’t even leave the house, or do fun things with others.  Some people work 80 hours a week, and put everything they have in to a 401K account, fearing they will not have enough for retirement, and two days before they retire they die.  Now there are others, who have come to know God, and to follow the teachings of Jesus, and they know a freedom from fear; they focus on today, and the person sitting in front of them.  The important things in life begin to be their focus, and they learn to place all of their trust in God, and in his mighty power, and not in themselves.

                Today, control is an illusion (almost all things are outside of our control), and if we desire to follow Jesus Christ, we need to give up seeking to provide for ourselves in areas where only He can provide.  If we focus on things that we fear we will lose the peace that Jesus provides to those who trust Him.  When you feel yourself getting scared, or anxious, simply step back, relax, and remember this scripture.  Praying can help as well.  God is in control of nearly every aspect of your life, and he handles your future so you can live in today.  Focus without worry on what today has for you, and you will know a peace that surpasses all understanding.  There is such a great freedom in knowing that God is your provider, and that he can always be trusted.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You help us to stop living in the fear of tomorrow, or the fear of anything other than You.  Help us Lord to know deep down in our hearts that You will provide for us, and use us today to do Your will.  Help us Father to focus on the basic things in life, and to not focus on the excesses that can distract us from serving You.  Give us Your peace, and make our hearts and minds still, knowing that we can trust You in all things.  We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Honoring God, is obeying God


                “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.  I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”  They answered and said to him, “Abraham is our Father.”  Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham” (John 8: 37-39.)


                The Jews were very fixated on, and blindly devoted too, their ancestors, whom they professed as being righteous and worthy of honor.  The fifth commandment said, “Honor Your Father and Mother” and Abraham was one of the original Fathers of the Jewish people.  Abraham’s children honored him by recognizing his authority.  They lifted him up as being wiser, stronger, purer, and holier than they were.  So his grandchildren, who honored their parents, honored Abraham twice as much.  As the Jewish nation continued onward through history, Abraham continued to be held in ever greater esteem by each successive generation.  They began to idolize him and put him in the place of God.  Many were outraged when Jesus proclaimed himself to be in a position of greater honor than Abraham.  Although many professed to honor Abraham they had no respect for him, because they lived lives in opposition to his obedient life lived for God.  Jesus told them they were descendants of Abraham, but not his children; instead, he identified them as Son’s of the Devil.  In their obedience to Satan, they sought to kill Jesus, the “Son of God.”  Although words can be used for self-deception and to deceive others, Jesus reminded them that their actions revealed the truth of whose children they were.

                Nowhere is this better illustrated than in many of the orthodox churches of today; the Catholic Church for example (not that everyone in this denomination is unsaved; this is simply an example of how a church in the past has claimed salvation could only come through allegiance to them.  This church is changing a bit today, and there are many Godly people in these churches, both in the church itself, and in the leadership, despite recent corruption.)  They replaced obedience to God with church affiliation.  Some people believe that if you tithe and show up to church, you’re secure for an eternity.  Unfortunately, sons and daughters of God aren’t those who attend a specific church, but whose actions are consistent with those of Jesus.  This behavior stems from a faith and an honor for God; not from an honor for a Bishop, a pastor, a priest or a pope; God and His Son, and the Holy Spirit, alone are worthy of honor…believers should be led by, and seek to follow, them.  A tattoo of a cross on the back or body means nothing (not that they are bad, I wear a cross, but they mean nothing in terms of my closeness with God.)  What good is a bible if the words aren’t manifested in your actions?  What good is church attendance if the night before was spent living in opposition to God?  Holding to symbols, and professions of faith are inadequate; living the faith is sufficient.

                Today, we have to let God use us.  How?  Give up honoring other things, and make Jesus Christ your God.  Open His word, and when you read a passage, don’t close the book and forget what you read, but seek to make that passage manifest in your life.  Jesus said to invite the lame, the sick, the outcasts to dinner.  Can you take your lunch break and spend it with someone who fits that description?  Is there someone who might want to eat lunch with you but can’t afford it?  Jesus said to give to everyone who asks; when you pass by a beggar who asks you for money and you’re in a hurry, stop and be a child of God; give what you can if you have it.  When you are talking to another person, how difficult is it to share with them how much Christ has done for you?  When your employer asks you to give 100%, give 200%.  When you’re on your way to work, turn off the radio and pray as he has taught you, “Our Father who art in heaven…”  There are so many more ways you can be like Jesus; but it begins with honor.  Can you give up what you think to be the right way so that you can follow his way?  Relearn how to live, and let him be your teacher, your guide, and your Father.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we ask and pray that You would mold us and shape as you will.  Father, Help us to honor You, and to lift up Your Son up.  Make us Your children, and help us to be doers of the word, and not just hearers only.  Remove from us Lord any hope in worldly things, or affiliations that are not of You.  Continue to manifest Your words in our lives, that our actions may bring others to You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Destination Jesus


             “And the Father Himself, who sent me, has testified of me.  You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form.  But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, him you do not believe.  You search the scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me.  But you are unwilling to come to me that you may have life” (John 5: 37-41.)


             The testimony concerning Jesus Christ is something that exists internally in the hearts of those who believed.  Those who didn’t believe, searched the scriptures, thinking that the scriptures themselves were eternal life, when in fact, the scriptures were simply a guide; a way to identify the true messiah; (this does not mean that they are not sacred, for they are the eternal words of God.)  Men wrote the bible physically as God inspired them to write; or God dictated to them verbally what to write (with the exception of the 10 commandments which God wrote with His finger.)  God, through men, identified when, where, and how the messiah would be born.  (The messiah was going to be the one that was going to bring peace once again between God and men; a forgiveness of sins.)  God revealed through scripture, the works that he would do; the miracles, the message; and the ministries.  He also foretold of how the messiah would be betrayed, would die, and be raised to life.  Knowing God and knowing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son are one in the same; for Jesus says, “But you do not have his word abiding in you, because whom He sent, him you do not believe.”  It is impossible to truly know God, and still doubt His Son.    

             When I was a child, we used to go sledding at a place called ‘The bowl.’  Basically, ‘the bowl’ was a small pond surrounded by high hills, and when the winter snow came, its slopes would be crowded with families and kids with sleds, inner tubes, and snowboards.  Since the hills stretched all the way around, there were so many different places to begin sledding.  Some were steep, and some weren’t; some had obstacles and jumps, and some didn’t.  Some started all the way from the top, some from the tree area, and even the young kids had a slightly less adventurous area to start from.  No matter where a person started from, they were all on a pathway to the same place, provided they chose to let go; the destination was a little patch of flat ice in the center about the size of ½ a football field.  This could get rather dangerous at times, because no sooner had one person stopped, than another was coming down right behind them, sometimes even from an different direction.  There was no shortage of crying children, that’s for sure.  The bible is very much the same.  A person can start reading in any book, but once they’ve started, all those who continue sliding, will eventually land up right in the arms of Jesus Christ.  The purpose of scripture is to testify about God’s plan for reconciliation in His son.  Some read the Old Testament, some the new, but all scripture relates backward or forward to Jesus Christ.  God has chosen to make His Son the focus, the main event, the person he desires for us to follow after, to be like, and to submit too; Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life,” and we are to be live and move and have our being in him.

             Today, many people stay away from scripture entirely, because they understand and know that it leads them somewhere, and having denied Jesus, they don’t want to take that journey.  There are others who have seen the very wonderful gift that God has given us in Jesus Christ, because their hearts contain the word of God.  To those who have allowed God’s testimony to enter in to their hearts, they come face to face with a messiah who embraces them and loves them with God’s love, and with God’s heart.  Continue to read the word, and you will continue to grow stronger in your faith and in your relationship with the Lord, through His Son.    

             “Lord Heavenly Father, give us further testimonies concerning Your Son, and the eternal life that we have in Him.  Continue to point us in the direction of our messiah, and give us a peace as we come to rest upon Him, and in Him.  We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

Two messages a week will be sent to your email address.

Join 6,155 other subscribers