The story of Mary reminds each of us of God's desire to involve us in His plans. Each person who chooses to accept His call can be used in a remarkable way for God's use. We admire Mary because we see her as the insignificant girl she is but she was full of faith and trust in God. What about me? Why am I so cautious about being used by God; even fearful? Listen in as we discover how we can be our own worst enemy at certain times, but there is hope for those who want to overcome.
We've all struggled with doubt, but we tend to think we come to a point where we completely grow out of it. Should we not doubt the LORD? YES! The reality is this: we sometimes do. It is a continual battle for us to beat back doubt, so we can have faith in His character, ability, and will. Since this is true, doubt is not something only young believers must overcome, but also seasoned believers too! Listen in as we see in Luke 1 how people of great faith and character are prone to doubt, but there is a way out of doubt. If you want to defeat your doubts, you must understand more about who's you are, where you are, and who He is!
Disappointment comes in many forms, and it is difficult to bear. If you've tried to control the people around you, the lesson you've learned is, you can't. And people often are a source of our disappointment. We may think, "If only everyone else was more like me!" but the issue is more with us than it is with them. We each need to learn how to live above the affects of disappointment, and how to move on from difficulty, so it does not continue to influence us far into our future.
Your sight is an incredible blessing, but sometimes it can lead to more problems than it solves. Sight takes little effort and it reveals little depth. If you live by sight alone, you are missing so much in life because your eyes can only discover the surface of something, and not much else. Our walk with the LORD will be very shallow unless I understand who I am serving. This message is all about the unseen abundance we have in Jesus, and its going to take more than what you can see to comprehend His love for you.
Sometimes we forget life is a journey and not a sprint. You know what else it isn't? A series of sprints. We sometimes have the habit of defining victories and trials as moments of themselves and once we clear them they no longer have any meaning. If this is true, then there is no lessons to learn, and no wisdom to be gained to be used another time. We are on a journey and every moment of it is useful for the road ahead. Each of us must make the decision to go the distance, and we are able when we remain thankful in the journey.
Every parent would agree that when they speak, their children should listen. As a parent, they consider themselves an important voice in their child's life. Yet, there are times when a child doesn't hear a thing: playing a video game, texting a friend, or even listening to music with their earbuds in. They are already preoccupied with something else of importance to them. Maybe none of those examples are more important than their parent, but that's not the issue. The issue is they are maintaining their attention somewhere else. Maybe this is why we don't hear God, at times. When He speaks, do you stop what you are doing and give Him your attention? Like a child, maybe you don't even hear Him. If so, maybe you are just too preoccupied to hear what He has to say.
Even though we all use cellphones to text more than anything, you may remember a time when you actually called someone. If you ever took the time to call, you've probably had to leave a voicemail. You leave the message, and then you wait for a response. Sometimes that response never came simply because the message was never received. Like everything else, God is wanting to speak to us, but we may not be getting the message. It's time to give opportunity for God to speak to your life, and part I of our series deals with solving hearing impairments. Many times we are more willing to compensate for an issue rather than fix it. If you want to hear God clearly, you're going to have to fix the issue rather than try to compensate for not hearing Him.
Have you ever worried or been anxious? Of course, you have. Everyone faces hurdles of some kind in their lives, and we generally focus on how they slow us down, impeding our progress, and the cause of our failures. Some of that may be true, but most of it isn't. If you watch track and field events, you should notice that hurdlers focus on the finish and not the obstacle. They train to overcome the obstacles, so in a matter of steps they know how to jump and continue towards the finish. Sure, it is a little slower than running without the hurdles, but that isn't stopping them from finishing. If you are focused more on the hurdles in your life, this message will refocus your attention on the finish and why that's worth your attention!
One of the most frustrating aspects of life is being misunderstood. You could easily say something wrong, be quoted in a way which changes the original meaning of what you said, or your actions misinterpreted. The church can often be misunderstood. Sure, people listen to what the church, as an organization, has to say; but people are listening and observing the individual lives of the church. We must have a message based on God's Word, but even then, we must have lives based on God's Word. There's a way for a church to be stable, and we all must be following the same man!
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.