Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weathering the Storm

Our congregation’s VBS was this week. One of the nights,a bad storm hit. With high speed winds and lightning, it knocked out a transformer nearby our church building. Soon after, the lights went out. When it became dark, the kids became excited rather than scared. 
Instead of being afraid, they had fun with it. The adults did the best they could to carry on with a grin on their faces with flashlights in hand. When the lights went out, they made the most of it.
These kids in the dark that night were real troopers. In the end, they had fun and learned more about God.  They made the most out of a not-so-ideal situation. They knew that things were going to be okay and that the ‘grown-ups’ would take care of them.
God, in the same way is looking out for us. As Christians, we must never forget that God is our Father and He is watching over us. That is where that peace and comfort comes from that the kids had this week: Trust and faith.
They trusted and had faith that they would be okay despite the storm. I think that may be one of things Jesus meant when He said we must be like little children.  (Luke 18:16-17.) Children are so trusting, and optimistic.  Part of being as 'little children' I believe is to be blindly trusting of God.
God is our Heavenly Father. How is it so easy for us to forget that He is going to take care of us despite our circumstances? I am not saying that human emotions won’t occur, because that isn’t realistic. Yet,  we shouldn’t allow our emotions to let us forget that God is taking care of us.  (Psalm 46:1, Hebrews 13:5.)
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33-34, “…But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Here, He is saying to focus on living for Him, and not to worry about anything else. Release your worries to Him and focus on His work.  It becomes a little easier to not worry as much when we throw ourselves into loving Him.
We know that in the end, God will see us through any storm we come up against.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Perfect Love Casts out Fear

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18.)
What are you afraid of? I am not afraid of much. On my list of fears I have include, centipedes, yellow jackets, and slasher films.  I have been woken from sleep by centipedes biting me. A sting from a yellow jacket led to a severe allergic reaction.  I can watch most horror films and not squirm for the most part; and I enjoy them. Yet, in a slasher film, the thought of people being hacked to pieces by a deranged psychopath is a little too much for me to handle.
I think most Christians, especially the babes in Christ, have a tendency to fear the Judgment of God. I did, for the longest time. I often doubted myself wondering if I was living good enough. I used to be very afraid of whenever that time would come. However, over time, you begin to learn that you’re not perfect. There are going to be times we mess up. There are times we feel further away from God.
In those times, we just need to dust it off and not allow ourselves to wander further away.  We need to stand up and keep moving forward and ask forgiveness for our mistakes. Then we need to resolve to do the best we can to not do those things again.(James 4:8.)
In 1st John 4:17-21, it talks about how Christians should never be afraid of God’s judgment. Should we have a healthy amount of fear (respect) for God and the judgment? Yes, absolutely.  Yet, when we have fear that cripples us, it makes us doubt ourselves. It makes our confidence in God dwindle. Faith can die when we develop this thinking. Many have fallen away because they feel that they just were not strong enough to hang on.
If you have been baptized into Christ and are following Him with your whole heart, don’t be afraid (Romans 6:3-7.) Examine your heart often and make sure you are doing what God would have you to do (2 Peter 2:10.) There is no need to fear. When we die, or when Christ returns, we will have joy and He will embrace us with open arms. Remember, “perfect love casts out fear”-with God’s love, we should never fear.