Saturday, December 29, 2012

A New Year

Happy New Year
We had a wonderful Christmas Season this year. At Calvary Chapel our services were truly a blessing. The Lord did some amazing things to which we give Him all glory. As a family we enjoyed the return of our oldest son from Bible College. It was so wonderful to be a family again. Now that Christmas is over, I always start off with a time of reflection. I look back and I am reminded of what the Lord has done, and what He has brought us through. I am so thankful for the Lords continued faithfulness. Over the last year there have been some difficult things that have happened. Like everyone else, I also face challenges. As a Christian Pastor I am certainly not exempt from pain. There are things this last year that have tested my faith and caused me to grow. But I will tell you this, I praise God for them. There have also been some incredible opportunities and blessings that I am grateful for. Now coming into 2013 I am looking to Jesus once again to lead me and guide me into what He has. There are prayer requests that I have brought before the Lord, and trust that His will is going to be done. I have an expectation of coming good this year. I have hope in the faithfulness of my Lord. 

Every new year many people make resolutions, and mine remains consistently the same. To walk closer with the Lord, to love my family, and to enter into all that the Lord has for me this year with faith. I pray that your year will be a blessing as you continue to seek the Lord for His direction. Also the Lord has impressed upon me the thought of Contentment. Learning to be thankful for what the Lord has provided. To be content with Jesus. For to have Jesus is more than anything else I could ever desire in this world. And if that weren't enough, God in His loving grace, has blessed me beyond what I deserve.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Willing

Genesis 22:12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only [son], from Me."

The promise that the Lord had made came to pass. Abraham had waited his whole life for a son, and he finally arrived. Isaac was the joy of Abraham and Sarah's life. However there came a time when Abraham's faith was tested. The Lord called Abraham to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice. Obediently, Abraham went to Mt. Moriah to carry out the command. Yet right before he was going to follow through with it, the Lord stopped him. For the Lord knew that Abraham would not hold anything back from Him.  Abraham had passed the test. 

Perhaps you have been tested by the Lord in your own life. I know that I have. Even in recent months, the Lord has caused my faith to grow, and be refined through circumstances that were beyond my control. The Lord brought me to the place where I was willing to do what He asked. I even took steps of faith in a particular direction. Then when I had come to the definitive moment, the Lord directed me a different way. There is the temptation when God redirects you to think, "Did I even hear from the Lord to begin with? Was that striving in the flesh, or the leading of the Spirit?" For me, this was a test of faith. A test to trust God when He tells me to go forward, and a test to trust God when He tells me to stop. Ultimately it all comes down to trusting in God. To believe that He has my best interest in mind. Someone said that both the "Steps and Stops" of a good man are ordered by the Lord. I am thankful that the Lord Jesus is in control of my life. My good Shepherd promises to lead me, and He will lead you as well. 

Don't be discouraged when God redirects you, He knows what He is doing.