Archive for March, 2011

March 20, 2011

Relevant:

“Lighten the Load”

Matt 11:28-30; Ps 38:4, 55:22, 68:19; Gal 5:1, 6:2

It always amazes me how airplanes that weigh so much are able to get off the ground and fly. Aerodynamics is absolutely amazing. I love the movie Pearl Harbor (Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Alec Baldwin).  We all know the story but there is a small but significant message in the movie that is so relevant to us today. In the movie, the success of the Army Air Corps’ bombing run missions into Japan depended on the ability to take off from an aircraft carrier. The carriers, however, had a very short runway and the planes had to be at absolute minimal weight in order to get in the air before the runway ran out. Failure meant crashing into the ocean. How often are our lives a direct reflection of those planes? We are so weighed down by the burdens of life that we can’t seem to get off the carrier except to…swim. There is a way to “lighten the load”. Christ tells us to “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28.  Ps 55:22 tells us to “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you: he will never let the righteous fall.” We serve a big God. And He can handle our burdens. All we have to do is give them to Him.

Challenge: For many of us it is difficult to cast our burdens on someone else, even Christ…the only one who can truly handle them. And despite how much we want to, we don’t. Jesus is patient, humble, and knocking at our door. He will always be there when we open it. If you can’t cast all your worries and troubles on Him right now, start by casting only a few. Watch how He will come through for you. Remember, walking with Christ is a marathon, not a sprint.

Prayer: Lord, I have all kinds of burdens that are weighing me down and keeping me from flying with you. And even though I want to, I have a hard time giving things over to you. Help me trust in you, that you can handle all my cares and worries, and that you will not let me fall. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Visit www.servantwarriorministries.org. Servant Warrior Ministries is a Real…Radical…Relentless…Relevant movement to reach men of all ages, where they are, and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.

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Relentless:

When the going gets tough, the tough get….

Matt 26:41; Rom 8:26; 2 Cor 12:9-10; Phil 4:13;

We have all heard the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It is right up there with “Pull yourself up by your boot straps.” As guys, we are very familiar with these sayings and attitudes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of relentless approach and tenacity when facing obstacles, hardships, or challenges. How many times have we tried to take things on ourselves, in our own strength, and come up short? How do we feel? Inadequate? Weak? Not up to the challenge? Even the fastest race car and most formidable land mover machines don’t finish strong without fuel and/or the right operator. I’ve never heard of something that can move tons of earth with ease referred to as ‘weak’ or ‘inadequate”. And neither are you. Jesus Christ said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9. Don’t feel you have to take on the challenges of life alone or in your own strength. Let the Omnipresent and Omnipotent God work through you and on your behalf.

This Week: I challenge you to lean on God and ask Him to help you with some of your challenges and obstacles. For many of you who find it hard to let go of things or feel the need to maintain control, rest in the fact that the Almighty is up for the task. He wants to show you how faithful and capable He is.

Prayer: Father, I am so thankful that You care about the challenges and struggles in my life. I am also thankful that you are capable of handling anything and faithful to never let me down. Please give me the strength, Lord, to allow you to work through me and on my behalf. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Visit www.servantwarriorministries.org. Servant Warrior Ministries is a Real…Radical…Relentless…Relevant movement to reach men of all ages, where they are, and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.

Action Required

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Articles

Hello, all. As we jump into March, I hope that 2011 is moving along in the right direction and bringing you everything you hoped for. If not…hang in there. Keep praying. Know that God has a plan for you and He is in control. As we continue talking about life on the road, we’ve come to the part that is the hardest for many of us…me included. We have thought about what we would like to do and, more importantly, what we need and are called to do. Now comes the hardest part…doing it. Literally stepping out of the boat…walking out of the door, getting in the car, starting it, putting it in reverse, actually backing out of the driveway, and then putting it into gear and hitting the road. It’s the point of no return. You know, I think of it like being at the pool or the lake. You say to yourself, “Man that water looks good. I’m gettin’ in.” You dip a toe in and realize, “Hmmm, water’s a bit chilly.” Here it is…the decision….the point of no return. It’s time to put up or shut up. You have got do decide whether you jump, or not, knowing that once you leave your feet and you’re over the water there is no turning back. Let’s say you jump. Splash! WOW! Man, that’s really cold! (Fret not, gents. I’m not going any further.) Yes, it may be a bit uncomfortable at first but after a while your body gets acclimated, and, it feels pretty good. In fact, you are glad you jumped in. It all starts with effort…action.

Anything we do in life takes effort or action, of some sort, on our part. Even breathing requires an exertion of energy. Some things are easier than others and some things we are more apt to exert more effort in doing. Let’s see. Guys, how many of us would say that more effort is made to get to a race or the ball field at 6:00 am on Saturday morning than is made to get to church at 11:00 am on Sunday? Ouch. Told you we would be hitting some truths pretty hard. Hey, most of us, if we’re honest, will admit we are guilty at some time or another. But I’m not here to throw holy bombs. I’m probably more guilty than most. Nevertheless, life requires effort and action.

God is always working on me and in my life…on all three facets – professional, personal, and private. Much of His work has come with little or no action required from me. However, there is quite a bit that requires me to do something. I pray daily that God will open and close doors as He sees fit. I pray that prayer with the full understanding that when He opens a door, He expects me to go through it. I’m really honest with you when I say there are times that I don’t. Thank goodness for grace. How often do we pray for something, for God to open a door, and then sit back and wait…and wait…and wait? While all the time the door was wide open. He was waiting for us to go through. It’s like praying day in and day out to win the lottery. Then one day we hear a voice say, “Buy a ticket.” I have never had the Holy Spirit literally pick me up by my belt loop and throw through a door that God has opened. I have to go through it myself. The cool thing about going through a God opened door is that we may go through with one perspective or expectation and what God has planned is completely different. Of course, we don’t realize how cool it is at the time. It sometimes takes a while to see it. But when you love the Lord, put your life in His hands, and allow Him to guide your steps, hindsight is pretty clear…and awesome. All those situations and circumstances that you thought were bad, painful, or completely whacked, many of them I’m sure were flat out awful, actually brought you to the exact place you needed to be…at the exact time…fully prepared and equipped to receive the blessing of your life. Now that rocks!

Let’s now take it a few steps further and from a different perspective. Up to now, all of the focus has been on us…the blessings we get from acting on God’s promptings and going through doors He opens. What about all those around us – our families, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc…? How does our responding to God’s call impact them…or others we may never even meet? What legacy do we leave? We might never know. But think about this. What, perhaps, would have happened if Abraham had not acted on God’s calling to pack up all he had and to take his family, leave his people and his country, and set out to parts unknown (Gen. 12)? What about Noah, before that (Gen. 6)? If he had not taken action and built the ark (let us not forget that he built it in the middle of the desert) where would we be? Let me bring it a little closer to home. What if all of the pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and believers in Christ throughout history hadn’t, at some point, acted on God’s prompting and call? Would you, or I, or people around the world ever have come to know or be shown the incredible love of God? Would you and I be visiting here together, today? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

So, hit the road. Go through the doors that God opens. Regardless of whether it makes sense or not…because often times it won’t. And, what we think we want…or don’t want…may not necessarily be what God wants for us. His plan is perfect and He knows exactly what He is doing. And what He is doing is the best for us…regardless of how many times we throw a look of utter confusion heavenward. If you have any doubts, pick up His Word. He gives us countless passages of reassurance. One of my favorites, which is also our family verse, is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV) What an awesome God we serve. Keep it real….and between the lines.

Published in Power Source Magazine March 2011 (www.powersourcemagazine.com)