Scriptures: Hebrews 12:16-17, Romans 9:13
Esau decided to be godless. He forsook the God of his father and grandfather, and found a replacement for God in his life: himself! Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup; his godlessness led him to make foolish decisions.
Was Esau a bad fellow? He was a good son. He forgave his brother. He seemed to be a person that would make a good neighbor and he was even financially successful. Yet Esau was godless because he kept God out of his life. We never read of Esau praying, we never read of him seeking God's will, because Esau felt that he could take care of himself.
Some might feel that people who live godless have some advantages, they think that there is extra time for pleasure, extra funds, no moral restraints and no worries. It seems like a guilt free life, but there are consequences to living godless!
A godless person has no savior, they are their own only hope. When things got out of control the only person Esau had to depend on was himself, he was not a stable man. People without God tend to make bad decisions. Esau married a Hittite woman who caused his family much grief: he essentially "bought the car without looking under the hood."
People without God trade their future away: Esau robbed himself of what God wanted to give him. He robbed his family of the blessing of God, because without God we live without a future. It is living without hope. A godless person has no boundaries: their actions cause others severe pain and they have no voice to point out how hurtful their actions are to others.
In the Old Testament we read about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was Esau's brother. Jacob was not a perfect man, but he was a man that had God in his life. God said: "Jacob have I loved."
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God." Hebrews 10:31
There are many ways to fall, you can: fall in love, fall flat on your face, fall apart or even fall asleep. The concept of falling can sound fearful: an out of control state. 2/3's of our lives are spent sleeping. Falling asleep has many benefits:" a sleeping body can undergo repair and detoxification, a decline in blood pressure, a slowing down of the digestive system, grown of skin cells, repair of damaged skin, increases in production in the immune system, attack of infections, and drops in body temperature." God created a way for our natural bodies to regenerate, which we have labeled as sleep. God calls it rest.
Today you can fall into the hands of the living God. Experience rest for your soul. Allow Him to repair your spirit. The symbol of hands is a metaphor because God is a spirit: His hands symbolize His compassion, His strength and His authority.
In life you can find yourself in other's hands: in the hands of a spouse, children are in the hands of their parents until they are old enough to take care of themselves, we can be in the hands of our employers or place your spiritual life in the hands of your pastor. All of these hands are human: therefore they are fragile. It is important that we understand that the hands of God are not like human hands.
God's hands are saving hands: in our most desperate conditions God can reach us. We can find grace and mercy in God's hands. We must not neglect His salvation: at this time His hands are gripping the mercy seat, but there is a coming day that His hands will have a grip on the judgment seat.
In God's hands you are not in the hands of men: God's hands are keeping hands, helping hands and strong hands. A soul in God's hands is saved, blessed, redeemed, secure, watched over and looked after. God's hand are not limited to time, space, circumstances and human understanding. In God's hands He is still molding and shaping us: His new creative process is underway. In His hands we are clay and He is the potter. The Bible tells us: "it does not yet appear what we shall be," He is modeling us into His image.
Are you ready to fall and let Jesus catch you?
Scriptures: Jeremiah 29:11-13
No matter what road blocks we face in life God has a plan: He can guide you through it, lead you around it, take you over it or help you go under it.
Road blocks are lesson builders. Sometimes in life we need to slow down and recalculate where we are and where we are going. Tough times can make us bitter or better. We choose: do you want to be bitter or better?
Road blocks help us to see the big picture. It's not about how fast we get to our destination, but it's that we reach our destination! Sometimes in life we are moving forward so fast we forget where we were headed to begin with.
Road blocks can keep us out of danger. The long way around could be the safest course to take. Our desire to accomplish something quickly can cause us to neglect the caution signs right in front of us.
Ask yourself the question could the obstacle you are facing just be a detour? Jesus is saying: slow down: its time to chart another course. You've been moving too fast and have sped right past God's purpose for your life. Danger was ahead so Jesus sent you another way.
Scriptures: Ezekiel 47:1-5
There seems to be a fear among people today that God will require more from us than we are willing to give. So many of us decide to settle for the same things the world around us is facing. There is a fear of getting in the water, when water is: refreshing, cleansing, powerful, life-giving, supporting and even mysterious.
The goal of our enemy is to make our spiritual journey dry: he wants to keep you out of the water. He wants to keep you on the bank of the river to never experiencing the benefits of the water. If you stay on the sidelines, you never experience the joy of the game! In these scriptures we read that: Ezekiel did not get in the water alone: God carried him out into the water. God took him through a process: ankle deep, knees deep, waist deep and finally it's over our heads. As we go deeper we must learn to depend more on God and let Him lead us through the growth process.
Ezekiel said: "God brought me through the water." God will never let you drown! Ask yourself: where am I living spiritually? Are you standing on dry ground: residing on the banks? Are you in the shallows: where you have experienced some of what's available but not everything God has for you? Or maybe you want to go to the deep: Let Jesus go with you and He will take you through! There are blessings in the deep for your life if you are willing to let Jesus take you in the water.
Scriptures: Luke 14: 15-24
There is one thing humans will never run out of: excuses! Humanity has a huge problem with admitting anything and we constantly seek to justify everything. But if we want to be successful, its time to move beyond excuses.
The first excuse we must overcome is: I am nobody, I am just not qualified. In the 1800s there was a church that gave each family a candle on the wall of the church and when they came to church it was their responsibility to light it and keep their area of the church lit. If they did not come to church that area of the church would remain in darkness: when we miss church our light is missed. You are not nobody, you are somebody. We may not feel qualified on our own, but Jesus makes provision for our inabilities. He goes with us and gives us the words.
The second excuse is: I do not know enough and I have no authority. If you are a child of God, you go in His name! You are not arrogant, you are commissioned by God. Jesus has all authority and we are His ambassadors! Our knowledge and authority comes from the supreme authority,
The final excuse we need to get rid of is: I do not have the ability and they will not believe me. Always remember: God will confirm His Word. You may never have knowledge of His confirmation in another person's life, the Word tells us some that some plant, some water, but it's God who gives the increase. You just have to share, let God convince them. You are not in the convincing business.
God sees through all our excuses and He is more interested in forgiveness than excuses. The prodigal son came home prepared to give excuses about his journey, but his father interrupted him with forgiveness and acceptance. Are you ready to lay down your excuses?
Isaiah 43:18-19: "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
God wants to do something new in your life! You are probably asking: "how is a new beginning possible?" Today we will look at how, if we allow Him, God can start something brand new in our lives!
First we must forget missed opportunities! Opportunities always look better from a distance, but let's be honest: past glories were not that glorious. A previous victory will not set you free in your present situation! Past failures do not belong in the present. It's time to move on.
We must remember that Jesus slays our dragons: it was Jesus who dealt with your sins and was not afraid of your failures. Jesus is saying that He will do a new thing in your life. You must understand the present: "Behold, I will do a new thing." Maybe your present life seems dry, like a desert or a wasteland, but Jesus promises "a way in the wilderness...rivers in the desert." You might be seeing a wasteland but Jesus sees a new beginning.
It's time to look like an eagle and not like a chicken! We need to lift up our heads, look up and stop pecking around for the crumbs left behind. It's time to soar! Remember the story of Abraham and Lot? Lot chose the watered plain and Abraham got the dry and lost desert. God told Abraham to "Lift up your eyes...look North, South, East and West it is all yours." All the land beyond the desert belonged to him. Ask yourself: what does God have for me beyond your dry desert place?
God wants to start something new for you: move beyond your past. Your future is in Jesus' hands, which are full of hope! Fly like an eagle and stop squawking like a chicken!