Monday, December 28, 2015

Continue making God your first love

In Revelation 2:3-5, God tells the church of Ephesus not to let the hardness of the world and troubles of the ministry to overtake the love they had for God. He is and should always remain our first love, our main focus in all we do. 

Too often we allow the rough times to overtake our true faith and love we have doing God's work. 

This reminds me of Paul telling the Romans to offer our bodies as living sacrifices in all we do and not to conform to the world's ways. Instead, we need to renew our mind in Him so we can stay in His perfect will. (Romans  12:1-2)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

50K Revelation

While running the You Don’t Know Jack 50K, God revealed the different areas on the Ruby Jack Trail that compare to life.  

  • First, there are beautiful parts of the trail we ran across that truly made us appreciate the scenic view we had while running. These are the areas of our lives we accomplish beautiful things: graduations, awards, promotions, marriage, family, ect.
  • Secondly, there are areas of the trail that had a nice wide path making the direction to follow easy to find. Some choices in our lives can be no brainers and the path is wide and clear.
  • These same wide paths included firm chat making each step secure. This is similar to the areas in our lives we feel as if we are on stable ground due to good support systems God has provided us.
  • Then, there are some areas that aren’t so wide and clear.  In fact, weeds and roots have overgrown and covered the path making it difficult to not only cross but to clearly see the direction to take unless you focus on the light ahead. I was so convicted on this part of the trail, I began to feel ashamed of myself.  God revealed to me this was the area I allowed the world to cloud my relationship with Him.  In fact, those overgrown roots caused hurdles to jump to avoid tripping. My idols I place before him cause a stumbling block to see the path clearly.  
  • Even more difficult areas, such as the big, loose rocky paths that made each step difficult and unstable, reminded me of the areas in our lives that are problematic because we live in an imperfect world.  These times aren’t always our fault but necessary we endure fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3). He reaffirms He has already overcame this world (John 16:33) and provides our strength and assistance to endure the adventure to firmer ground (Isaiah 41:10).
  • On a nature trail like the Ruby Jack, there are wildlife as well as near by farm animals who sometimes share the trail whether seen or unseen.  Some may chase you as you see them clearly and others make noises staying hidden in the brush nearby.  Either of these instances causes fear and uncertainty.  God reminded me when I allow my fear to overcome my faith, the evil who one lurks to steal and destroy (John 10:10) uses the fear to block my view of how BIG God is and His protecting power over me. However, allowing my faith to be bigger than my fear reminds me God is with us everywhere we go (Joshua 1:9) and if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31).
  • While running, we came upon aid stations which were needed physically and mentally.  Volunteers gave their precious time to serve each runner with encouragement as well as nourishment. There are times in our life we have to allow others to lift us up so we can go forward (Exodus 17:12).
  • I passed a Marine with a 45lb. rucksack on his back he wore for the fallen soldier. He wore his combat boots and was completing the same 50K race I was running.  I was brought to tears over his sacrifice.  This reminded me of the great sacrifices our Lord Jesus endured for us. Each of us are fallen soldiers to sin but He carried the weight of our sins to Calvary where he endured the punishment on the cross to save each one of us from death (John 3:16).
  • Because the nature of the race, there are different types of runners each going different paces based on their experience, physical capabilities, past training, and whether or not they endured a race injury. It reminded me not to just listen or depend on my body or training. God is at work in all of us and sets our pace in order to fulfill His good purpose. It is easy to become discouraged if someone passes us or to think we may be the last runner in line for the finish, yet, God’s purpose for us is right we He tells us to be even if it means to hold the anchor in the race (Philippians 2:13).
  • The finish line could be seen from almost a half-mile back. There was a hill toward the end that made each movement forward difficult and more painful. Although every part of my legs ached and hurt, I moved forward asking God to give me strength for a strong finish. When I reached 100 meters from the finish line, I felt a rush and strength that could only have been from the Lord. I sprinted into the finish line praising God for the experience. Sometimes our difficult times are painful and it tough to see the finish but when we keep praying and praising God for His strength, He gives us a boost out of our trial and into a beautiful VICTORY (I Thessalonians 5:17-18, I Corinthians 15:57).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Co-Worker for God

The apostle Paul tells us we are all just co-workers for God ( 1 Corinthians 3:9 ) working together using our unique gifts as service work ( 1 Corinthians 12:5-6 ) helping fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12) to win the VICTORY of salvation of the Lord's children. Jesus already won the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57) but many of our brothers and sisters in Christ still haven't truly understood his great love and redemption. Therefore, we should encourage and be patient with one another in all we do (1 Thessalonians 5:14). What is your spiritual gift you are using for His kingdom? My gift he has given me is fitness training and education.