Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sweet Trust in Bitter Times

Knowing God is an awesome thing.   I want to make sure you hear me correctly on this... I'm not talking about knowing ABOUT God... I talking about knowing Him.  There's something mindblowingly awesome, indeed, indescribable about the peace that grows up within the heart of a person who walks with God--for a long time... through multiple seasons of life... through good times and bad...

Of course----even the most devout Christ-followers stumbles and gets angry... and shouts at God sometimes, saying, "I"m hurting... I don't understand... I need you so desperately God..."  But for the one who is ALL IN with God---even those times are not moments of "rebellion" ... it's not like you're running out on God or choosing to not follow or trust... you're just hurting and so your bringing your hurts to THE VERY ONE WHO INVITES YOU to do so!

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

"Cast" means throw, hurl, dump... and it implies "leaving whatever you cast--behind you."  I.e. don't keep carrying it. Leave it with God.  God INVITES you dump on Him and move on in His grace.  It actually brings Him glory when you do this--when you trust Him like this... how awesome is this verse?!?

We have an awesome Heavenly Father.  He has immeasurably broad shoulders.  He can handle our struggles... His grace is abundantly sufficient.

I'm so glad!  Aren't you?

Whatever you're facing today---let me encourage you not to run away from God, or to think for a moment that He doesn't care about you... HE CARES so much... look at the cross... nothing says "I CARE" more that what Jesus did for you my friend.  So run to Him... pour out your heart... if you need wisdom, ask for it... if you need mercy/grace ask for it... and then trust and obey--for like the old song says, "...there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey."

Hope this encouraged you.  Remember to share!  And if you are looking for an awesome daily resource for quiet time with Jesus---definitely check out Streams In The Desert (below my signature).

Blessings,
Brad


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hold firm!

Hebrews 4:14 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.”

Friend, pause and just thank God for Jesus right now!  We are so blessed to have a Savior who chose to leave heaven and experince a reducule, rejection and a horrendously painful death FOR US... to pay for our sin---and after the price was paid--He didn't sit on His hands--he sat down beside His Father to be our advocate!

Romans 8:34 “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Amazing!  The very one who will judge all-mankind is the one who died to make salvation available to all who believe!  All who have received Christ HAVE NOTHING to fear and EVERYTHING to be thankful, for!  There is NO condemnation for those who are IN CHRIST (Rom. 8:1).

In light of that the Hebrew writer urges us "...to hold firmly to the faith we profess."  We profess that Jesus is our Lord, our King, our Advocate, our Savior---We hold firmly to our Lord's promise that He will never leave us or forsake us..." (Heb. 13:5)... He is our all in all... we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.  You are loved, embraced, adopted, lavished with grace and love---and on and on!

So....

In light of all of that, Hold firm!  Be strong!  Shine bright!  Live and love well!

Be strong and true.... share this with a friend!

Blessings,
Brad

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

There's No Turning Back!

Jesus was a master crowd thinner.  Jesus attracted massive crowds; crowds modern-day preachers would LOVE to attract. But Jesus did respond to these large crowds by saying, "Wow, Peter, dude--look at all these people following us, isn't this awesome?" Nope, instead, every time the crowds grew really large, Jesus would turn to them and issue a difficult challenge, like, "Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27). And every time--the crowd would thin--as people said, "Dude, I an't signin' up for that." 

On one occasion like this Jesus turned to the crowd and said, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink" (John 6:53-55).  As usual the next verses say that at that moment many turned away and no longer followed Him. A few verses later---Jesus turned to Peter and said (paraphrased) "Dude, are you going to leave too?" 

Peter's answer is KEY for us: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God" (John 6:68-69).  .I.e. There's no turning back; no plan "B"; no other option--Jesus is Lord, King and Savior... period.  As the old Hymn says, "Though none go with me--still I will follow, no turning back... no turning back."

If you happen to be a fan of 80s Hard Rock---I wrote a song inspired by this passage.  You can check it out below.

Thanks for reading... Be blessed.
Brad