Eating Crow

If you’ve ever heard or used the term “Eat Crow” then you likely know where this is going, but it may not be exactly what you’re thinking…

That being said, I must first start off giving an apology to any, and every, one that I have ever offended by spouting off out of frustration before allowing God to form my thoughts into encouraging and worthwhile statements; meaning, I realize, and have come to realize that I have said a number of things that have caused regret in my life; saying things I have heard or reacting before giving myself time to even assess a situation, or if I have said something that wasn’t intended the way it was taken,  I am quite sorry.

This apology is extended to anyone who I have caused any type of heartache and difficulty to…no matter what it is or why…I ask for your forgiveness…

I say this, because for us to move forward in life we must find redemption…and over the past few weeks I have come to realize a need for myself to self-evaluate and truly examine the heart of the issue…my heart in the issue.

That being said…I also realize that we need not beat ourselves up over things that we realize were mistakes once the moment is passed…and believe me…we have all done this…we have all eaten crow at some point in our lives.

We are not unlike some of the closest to Jesus, however; just look at the story of Peter…How much Crow did he have to eat after telling Jesus that he would not deny him?

Take a lesson from Peter, or Paul…Or maybe look at Job, David, Noah, Adam and Eve…in fact, many of the Biblical accounts of those who we consider saints of the Scripture made mistakes, but it was through those mistakes that God developed them into who they became.

It is with this in mind that I have been thinking and praying on three verses out of the book of Ephesians:

“Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3, CSB)”

We must bear burdens, not cause them.  We must take account in our own lives for our own actions.  Live worthy of the calling you have received…or, as the KJV puts it, the vocation to which you are called. The only way we can move forward in life is with a unity of the Spirit, bonded in peace…let’s face it….Crow really doesn’t taste that good, so what do you say we remove it from our diets?

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Just Four Simple Words

Over the past few weeks we have been in the midst of a Sermon Series at the church about “Growing Pains” in our faith.  As I have been studying the topics for each week, I came across something that I honestly had never really caught before when studying the story of Moses…and that is, how simple the call that God laid on Moses was…and yet it was in this realization that I saw just how closely related to Moses we actually are.

God asked Moses to go back to Egypt and to say four simple words to Pharaoh, “Let My People Go!”

That was it, that was all Moses was having to undertake, just four simple  words…

“Let My People Go!”

And yet, it was in this that I saw how much like Moses we tend to be.  He immediately responded by saying that he “wasn’t good with speech and tongue.” Moses made an excuse….he questioned the calling because, as he put it, he didn’t speak well.  Sure sounds like a lot of us, making excuses as to why we can’t be involved in the church, why we can’t talk to our friends and families about Christ, or even why we can’t take a stand on social issues because we feel we aren’t good enough to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.

God’s answer to Moses is the same to each of us today, and it can be found in Exodus 4:

“Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”  So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” – Exodus 4:10-11

God responds to Moses by simply saying, “I don’t need your excuses, I am the one asking you to go.  I will be there, I will handle it, I just need you to follow my plan.” And He is saying that to us today!  God is calling us to do things for His Kingdom, He isn’t calling us because we are the most qualified…He’s calling us because He needs us to follow through.

In essence, God is simply asking us to say four simple words…He has a plan to carry out, and He needs us to accomplish the task when asked to do it….stop making excuses as to why you are not good enough to follow through.  God doesn’t want our excuses, he just needs our service…He will take care of the rest!

No Worries, No Problems

I know many have heard the old song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  That song popped in my mind as I sat down to write this because I have been thinking about the topic of worry for the past few weeks.  I know that scripture tells us not to worry, as many of us know, in the book of Matthew we see Jesus say, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (6:34, KJV)”

Don’t worry about the things that will come tomorrow, because you might miss out on the opportunities of today.  In Psalm 3 we see David mention this type of thought:

“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. (KJV)”

In verses 4-6, David lays out this beautiful schematic for living without worry.  He states that he cried to the Lord, and that he was heard.  David then does what we all must do when we cry to the Lord and trust in His power…David lets it go.  David then lies down and rests, resting in the knowledge that God had taken care of his situation.

We all need to have the same mentality as David when it comes to giving our problems to the Lord, if we have asked God to take care of it, we must trust God to take care of it.  Too many times we find ourselves continuing to worry about things that we have, “given to God,” and it is keeping us from experiencing the true joy that God intends us to have in our lives.

David then follows up by saying that he will not be afraid of the “ten-thousands” that have set themselves against him…No worries!  David knew that no matter what would come his way, he had given it all over to God, and he was safe from defeat…He would be saved because of God’s promises.

We all have this same promise today if we have given our lives to Christ…we can all rest in the knowledge that God has our problems handled and we can move on to enjoying the day that He has set before us while He is working on us.  Praise God that He doesn’t leave us alone during our times of need, Thank Him today for helping you find joy in times of trouble.  I challenge you today, if you have turned it over to God…leave it there; let Him do what He has promised you today.

Seeking Perfection

As a new year starts and everyone takes a deep look at their life to see what type of changes need to be made to better life as they move forward.  As this happens, one thing that many seek to do is perfect their goals, and as Christians, this is something we must do as we enter a new life with Christ.

This being said, we find ourselves sometimes getting comfortable in the early stages of a walk with Christ, but we never “grow up” in our new life.  There are many, as addressed in Hebrews, who get comfortable in the “milk” of the Word, but never push themselves to move into the solid “meat” that is needed to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)

The word translated as “full age” here is the word Teleios which is translated two different ways in the scripture…as either “perfection” or “coming of age”.

For us to realize all that God has for us to experience in life, we must challenge ourselves to dive into the deep end with God as our goal.  We must begin to keep our eyes on Him, so that we will adapt and begin to look like him.

It is like when we are younger and we watch our father and follow him around. We long to follow in his footsteps, at times even putting on his shoes and stumbling around in the oversized shoes just to feel what it is like to walk in his footsteps.

In the same way, God invites us to do the same – we are invited to put His shoes on and to begin to walk in His footsteps as we grow.  The thing is, just as with our earthly fathers, as we grow we begin to find a way to begin to fill those shoes a little better each day.  We grow into our own footsteps as we mature, and walking in this way ensures that we let go of the milk and begin to crave the meat of the message.

So as the year begins, I encourage you to seek perfection…seek to love one another as God loves us…show mercy and grace to each other.  Handle life’s situations with gratitude and grace, stop bickering with one another, and allow the love of God to shine through in the difficult situations. Show maturity in how you handle all things and allow yourself to grow up through the Spirit.  In doing this, we will do as Jesus states and become perfect or come of age, “just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:48)

Seek that perfection or maturity in your life today…allow the Spirit to guide you into a deeper relationship with God in the coming year.

New Year, New Plans

Face it, we’ve all found ourselves evaluating our lives at the end of each year, wondering what we could have done to make our lives better and figuring new ways to improve ourselves.

With the passing of each year comes the passing of old ways.  Many make resolutions in an effort to succeed in the coming months.  There are those who plan to lose weight, those that are dead-set on starting that new workout plan, and those that vow to make little improvements on their daily life.

The Christian life is one that is similar to the coming of a new year.  In the years of our lives, we face a new year when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior.  The old is passing away to the new, and our resolution is simple…to become like Christ!

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

— Romans 8:28-30 (NIV)

This statement to the Romans by Paul tells us as Christians that we all have the same “New Year’s” resolution.  God calls us His children; he has known each of us since we were in our mother’s womb.  David tells us in Psalm 134 who was foreknown –

“13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

— Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

So we know that God has made the resolution for us, and Paul tells us what that is letting us know that we are to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, and we are called, justified, and glorified according to his will.  So this year make the resolution to be what God has called you to be….put away the old, and let the new come in.

“17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

— 1 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)