Sunday, May 20, 2018

Middle of the Road




How long will you hesitate between two opinions? 1 KINGS 18:21

Barbara was driving into town from home one day when, topping a hill, she spotted a two-year-old boy standing there in his diaper--smack dab on the yellow line in the middle of the road. Without enough time to brake, she swerved wildly onto the shoulder, coming to a screeching stop a good distance past the child.

Flinging open her car door, she ran back up the street to retrieve the toddler from danger, when the mother--having heard the squealing tires and commotion--raced out into the road herself. She scooped up her crying child into her arms, trembling with shock and fright at what might have been if Barbara hadn’t been driving so carefully. Truly, the middle of the road is no place for anyone to be. But sadly in our culture today, far too many Christian families are parked in the middle. Not sure what they believe. Not sure what they expect of their children. Not willing to take a stand on certain issues that are clearly biblical. Basing their lives on “near beliefs.”
I believe that God is calling families like yours today to be counter-cultural--not in a weird, obnoxious way, but establishing a lifestyle that communicates at a glance, “This family is different. They’re distinctive in their beliefs and practices. They represent Jesus Christ.” There is no reason why so many Christian marriages should end in divorce. There is no reason why people who call themselves evangelicals should account for one in every six abortions performed in America. There is no reason why more than half of our Christian teens are engaging in some form of sexual involvement to the detriment of their own hearts and futures.

We’ve spent enough time in the middle of the road. It’s time to get in gear in the right direction and head for home.

DISCUSS
How would an outsider tell the difference between your family and one who didn’t claim to be Christian?

PRAY
Pray for the courage to determine and live by your convictions--biblical convictions--no matter the cost.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Troubled Comparisons

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. - 1 Timothy 4:4
 
Why is it that we don’t accept who we are? I don’t know about you, but I look at others around me (friends, people in the news, in movies, athletes, co-workers) and compare how I look . . . my clothes, my physical features, my sense of humor, my speaking ability, my communication skills, my car, my cell phone, my glasses, the color, length and fullness of my hair, and my experiences. 

If you’re like me, you always come up short and feel intimidated. You never measure up so you clam up. You don’t offer to use your gifts and talents because you’re feeling inferior. So your gifts and talents die inside you. You stop living, stop loving, and stop feeling. Some of you may have turned to things to numb the pain and shut down the lying, hounding voices of your past hurts, mistakes, disappointments, and your failure to measure up to others.
But it’s all a lie. God created you just as you are. Satan wants to shut you down. He doesn’t want the uniqueness of you to shine forth.  When you stifle who you are, you’re giving Satan a victory. When you allow your personality, your experience, your gifts and skills to shine forth, you’re giving God a chance to use you just as he made you. It’s only then that you’ll grow more and more into who he created you to be.

Accept who you are in Christ. He accepts you. Why don’t you accept you? There’s no reason good enough. Work through your insecurities and let God use you, starting today, just as you are.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)