If there's one attribute every family needs in order to be healthy, it is stability. Everything you buy is stabilized to endure the forces which will act against its intended purpose. A house must be able to stand up against the elements, your car is constructed to handle the imperfections of the road surface, and your dishes are microwave and dishwasher safe. What about your marriage and your family? There needs to be stability established to endure the circumstances, pressures, and disappointments which beat against it. If our homes lack stability, now is the time to establish what is necessary to withstand any storm.
We are people surrounded by people. Every day we come in contact with other people whom we do not know, and we do not venture to know them. We are a species of avoidance, as we veer away from others we believe we share nothing in common with. Yet how do we know? We think we know based on how someone else dresses, styles their hair, or carry themselves; simply stated, we make very superficial judgments about others as to whether we share any kind of common ground. While we are differentiating ourselves from others over our own personal reasons, God sees people very differently. While we look at differences, He sees what we each have in common. When we realize how common each of us is to the other, maybe we would reach out to others who need Him, and reach out to the LORD as well because we need Him so much.
If it is so easy to touch Jesus and be heard by Him, why does it seem I'm not being heard? Maybe you pray and it seems like your prayers are being rejected and even ignored. You've probably noticed how open or closed you are to people depending on how they approach you. It may not be much different with Jesus. There are two attitudes we can have when we approach Him. One approach will get us denied, but the other gives Jesus the opportunity to do a miracle with our life.
Genuine faith knows how to pray, and how to receive the power of Jesus. Yet, we allow our faith to be stifled and render ourselves powerless. Why would we do this? We know Jesus has power to change our lives, minister to our deepest hurts, and give us great wisdom for the challenging situations we face, so why would we stop ourselves from receiving that power? We probably do it without realizing, but in part 2 of our series, we find out how to keep His power flowing into our lives.
What does it take to get a response from Jesus? Unfortunately, there are those believers who think they must beg and plead with Him. It may be necessary to give someone a reason to help you, but Jesus is not someone. He knows you - loves you - and will answer your cry. Before you over-complicate your relationship with Him, this message is all about reminding us who simple it is to be heard and touched by Jesus.
Most believers know that they are supposed to love others. The Apostle John tells us how people will know us by our love for one another. We get it - love people, and many do it well. What we don't do well is receive it. If you've been hurt one too many times you know all about not letting others get too close, and if you keep them at a distance, you never really know how they feel about you. There are many people, even in the church, who are content to come and go and never develop any genuine relationships with others. They love others, but they do not receive love at all as they maintain very superficial relationships. We all want to be loved, so how do we progress to the point of allowing others to love who we are and in spite of where we've come from? It's a scary topic, but the reward of being love far outweights any anxiety.
There's all sorts of experiences in life which make us happy. If you're like most people, you probably would rather be happy than sad. There's nothing wrong with that, but we have to realize happiness is based in experiences and that is the problem with happiness. Happiness can be short-lived because experiences are unpredictable. What each of us needs is joy, but joy is found in a location rather than a situation. Listen in to part 2 of our series as we learn how to live in joy no matter what we may be experiencing.
It's amazing how much power we allow feelings to have over us. They can chart the course of our day, change in a moment, and cause us to live in our own reality formed only by feelings. Many complain they cannot 'feel' God at certain points in their life. So, how do we 'feel' Him? Is there even a way to maintain feeling with God? While many will say we have to serve God beyond feelings, it is possible to feel Him; we should and we can!
When the Israelites find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, or rather the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, we hear them establish a pattern we will witness through their time in the wilderness as they cry out to God. God's reaction to Moses in simple terms could be defined as, "Enough talk, more action." Between messages, teachings, and seminars believer's today are full of God's Word, but we may lack the experience of His Word because we aren't practicing it. We can find some encouragement in God's Word because it is His Word. Greater encouragement can be found when we follow His Word. This is where faith is developed in our lives.
One of the greatest gifts in life is being a Father, but it also brings great responsibilities and challenges. Dad's are up for it though.....aren't they? The godly men of today need to stand up and set an example for their families. That's not a new challenge, but it can be difficult if you focus on your mistakes, hang-ups, and your sins. Honestly, all three generally are found in the past, but because of what 'was' it affects what 'is'. David was not a perfect father to Solomon, but he still gave a charge to his son which would guarantee his success as a servant of God. Whether Solomon abided by his father's words is another story for another time, but David did his part, and its time for you, DAD, to do yours with the family God has blessed you with!