What is your comfort zone?


Many of us have one and sometimes it extends to the point of making someone else uncomfortable. Is that your comfort zone? Would you extend your own story into someone’s life if they asked you about your life? What if they just wanted to start a conversation? Would you listen to them or would you walk away or make an excuse to get away from them?

VineandBranchesWe are tasked with getting out of our comfort zones each day. Some of us more than others, but at some point we do step out of our “zone” during the day either at work or at the grocery store on an airplane or a bus. We will come into contact with a person who needs to hear something from us and that is where the voice of God speaks up and tells us to talk to that person or this one!

Are you comfortable enough to say something to them? Will you say what God wants to say to them? Regardless of your feelings about talking to people, God has given you a voice to use for Him, so do that. While it is true that many of us are introverts and like to spend the day away from people, some of us don’t have that luxury. God loves you and the person sitting next to you on the plane or the bus. He also loves the drunk who is passed out on the corner and the lady who is pushing an old buggy around with all of her possessions in it.

Will you talk to them? Pray about it and if the chance comes up, don’t hesitate, tell them what Jesus did for you and for them too. It doesn’t take a long, King James prayer, just one like, “Lord, give me the words to say. Amen”, will be sufficient. That is the same prayer that I pray when I begin writing here! Surely you don’t think I have come up with all of this on my own? I am not that good!!

I don’t claim to be a prophet or some Old Testament-type writer, but I do ask that God give the words which He knows are needed and necessary for our world and those who might read them here. Are you comfortable with telling others about your Savior? You should be. Why do I say that? Because I was very shy when I was much younger, and when I began preaching about seven years ago I was still shy. But, for the most part, God has helped me to get over that.

I don’t mean that I would be comfortable preaching before a huge crowd, but I am a lot more comfortable than I used to be.

We are capable of doing more for God’s Kingdom than we realize, if we will let Him use us in this ministry. Sometimes we just have to step outside our own comfort zone in order to be useful in the ministry which He knows that we can do.

Faith


FAITH

focused – focused on a goal

attainable – possible, practical goals

individual – personal goals

trackable – trackable goal

heartfelt – heartfelt goal

Faith…it is a gift of God, indeed, but one which must be realized and cultivated as any other gift if it is to realize the purpose for which it is given. (A.W. Tozer)

Consider that faith is something which is given to each of us by God through the action of the Holy Spirit to bring our hearts into alignment with His goals and purposes. It is not a magic formula nor is it something unique to Christians. Many people have faith in their jobs or their religion or even in their government..at least to an extent.

Faith is the belief in something which is hoped for yet is unseen at this point. Just as Abraham had heard God tell him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. He knew that God has also promised him that through Isaac a people, a nation would arise. So, he followed God’s command to go to the mountain and build an altar to sacrifice his son upon it. He likely felt that if he did take Isaac’s life, God would raise him from the dead in order to fulfill His promise. God provided another sacrifice in the place of Isaac, but it was by the faith of Abraham that God did that too.

Faith is powerful in our lives today because it is by faith that we believe in Jesus and in the atonement granted to us by His death on the cross and His resurrection as our Savior. We couldn’t believe in this or any of the promises from God’s Word without faith. Also, faith in and of itself is not a “magic” word nor is praying in the name of Jesus. Even though you hear it and learn it in church, these words only have meaning in your walk with your Savior. 

If there is no relationship between you and Jesus then your faith and your prayers don’t accomplish much. Walking with Him, reading His Word and using the strength that you find in your relationship with Him to be more like Him is the best relationship that you can have! A marriage with Jesus holding the two of you together is also the best and most rewarding marriage that you can have as well.

God designed each of us to want a relationship with Him but many people try to fill that feeling of emptiness with other people or things and just like a puzzle piece in a jigsaw puzzle, only one fits in that spot. That is where Jesus goes. Don’t let “feel good” preaching tell you otherwise and don’t think of any book, other than God’s Word, as being your guide in this life or as a guide to eternity!

We have God’s Word for a reason. The acronym that best describes it is this: Basic Instructions for Believing and Living Everyday!

Read it, study it, pray about it and through it and live by its wisdom and your life will have a purpose which is given to you and ordained by God our Creator Himself. Living by His Word can only be accomplished by FAITH so make sure that yours is grounded in Jesus and His Word.

What do you choose to be like?


A.W. Tozer once said this:

We can choose to be like the Old Testament Israelites and look upon the pagan world with admiration and even envy, or we can choose to examine Christ and place all our admiration on Him. Either way, that which we admire most reveals who we are and who we want to be.”

Most of us don’t know most of the time what we would choose to follow or admire in today’s world. Many of us seem to follow the most talked about celebrity or sports figure or some other person or whatever that may be catching everyone’s attention today or maybe this week. It doesn’t seem to matter whether they are shallow, egotistical, or even in their right mind!

I know, I’m exaggerating a bit on some of that, but you get the point. We tend to be distracted by tweets and posts on FB and all sorts of other media these days, especially youtube, but real life is not part of these media outlets agenda! Your life is meant to be so much more than media consumption and tweets! This is not the type of life we were meant to have, particularly at the end of the age which we are coming upon.

What you choose to follow or be is your choice of course, but God made us to be more than what we are ready to do for Him. Today, we see and hear all sorts of things which get our attention and cause us to focus our attention on something or someone other than Jesus. When this happens we admire “those people”, whoever they may be or whoever they may be following, for their dedication.

Why can’t we be dedicated to Christ? There are so many who are fanatically following someone or some religion but Jesus is our Savior and He is worthy of our praise and our worship and we should be dedicated to Him! The number of truly dedicated Christians in America is far less than it should be. Many people claim to be His, claim to be Christians, but from the answers they have given on questionnaires they prove themselves to be “head-knowledge” Christians rather than changed heart Christians!

Knowledge of Jesus, even knowledge of God’s Word is great but if you haven’t repented of your sins and asked Him to come into your life and change you from the heart outward, then without a real change in your life, I don’t know if Jesus knows you or not. A repentant heart, one that is truly sorry for the life and the sins that they have been part of, will seek out the only One Who can cleanse it and make it completely new.

All of the stuff which we try to put into our lives and our heart in order to feel right on the inside just doesn’t work because it doesn’t fit! The only person that fits in that part of you is Jesus! No amount of work or money or sex or drugs or anything of this world will do, only Jesus fills that space and when He does then you will feel it and you will know it for sure.