Stewards4Christ

February 20, 2010

Waiting on God

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 4:41 pm

“Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31, HCSB)

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31, ESV)

Over the past few days, God has been ministering to me through these two verses of scripture. For years, my favorite Bible verse has been Isaiah 40:31. I’m fascinated with eagles and I love this scripture and the promise of renewed strength from God when we wait on Him.

Waiting is VERY HARD for me. I’m not a very patient person. There are several things in my life that are “fast” and I start thinking that FAST needs to carry over to my spiritual life and to the speed with which I’d like to see prayers answered. However, I know this isn’t always God’s plan or will.

For example, I have a BUNN coffee maker which will make a pot of coffee in about 3 minutes! It is the best coffee, especially if you use Dunkin’ Donuts coffee!! That is awesome—an entire pot of fresh brewed coffee in 3 minutes…that is FAST. Also, I have Road Runner TURBO internet…this means I can download files, videos, and web pages at a very FAST pace! I love it!! Of course, since I’m a software consultant / computer geek, I like my computers to be FAST as well.

However, when it comes to knowing God’s will or seeing God answer prayer – I realize that FAST is not always the speed at which God operates. His timing is totally different from what we are used to here on earth. “Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: with the Lord one day is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years like one day.” (2 Peter 3:8, HCSB) “For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by, like a few hours of the night.” (Psalm 90:4, HCSB) The following is from the Life Application Study Bible: “Moses reminds us that a thousand years are like a day to the Lord. God is not limited by time. It’s easy to get discouraged when years pass and the world doesn’t get better. We sometimes wonder if God is able to see the future. But don’t assume that God has our limitations. God is completely unrestricted by time. Because he is eternal, we can depend on him.”

I have felt God calling me to put the brakes on a little bit when it comes to spiritual matters. I think He wants me to slow down, stand still, and let Him move in His own way. The words of this song are powerful and well-written:

Stand Still – By The Isaacs

The Father has a plan. Though it’s hard to see it now
You feel you’re walking all alone. But He is there no doubt
When the storm around you rages, And you’re tossed to and fro,
When you’re faced with life’s decisions, Not sure which way to go.

Stand still and let God move. Standing still is hard to do.
When you feel you have reached the end, He’ll make a way for you.
Stand still and let God move.

When the enemy surrounds you, And the walls are closing in
When the tide is swiftly rising, And you wonder where He’s been
Friend, there never was a moment, That His arms weren’t reaching out.
You can rest assured and be secure, God is moving right now.

Stand still and let God move. Standing still is hard to do.
When you feel you have reached the end, He’ll make a way for you.
Stand still and let God move.

 

 

The Bible and Technology

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 2:24 pm

Recently I was challenged by an individual that said there was no difference between the appliance typically called a television and our computers!  This got me thinking about what I believe are differences between these types of technology and also thinking about what God’s Word teaches us about technology.  I’ll save my opinions on the differences for some other time, for it does not really matter what Michael thinks, what God thinks and what He requires of each of His children is what really matters.

The following is my testimony of what God has shown me in this area.  These are some of the principles that Shawna and I live by and we use these principles to govern our use of any and every form of technology.  One thing I know is that the technology in our world is changing very rapidly.  I believe every sincere Christian will desire to build on principles that will stand not only in 2008 but in 2018, 2028, 2038, etc!  My goal is for my children to build their personal convictions upon solid Bible principles that will guide them when they grow up and leave home.  I’m trying to do this in my life, and by God’s grace I’m trying to pass this desire on to each of my children.

First of all, the Bible doesn’t specifically mention any particular technology.  Sometimes I wish it were very plain what was acceptable and what was not acceptable for individuals serving God, but God in His infinite wisdom did not choose to have the Bible written in this way.  So, we have to take the principles it contains and carefully work out our own salvation, with fear and trembling, and believe me, it is sometimes very fearful (Philippians 2:12).

The following scriptures are taken from The Living Bible.   I’ve found this paraphrase to be very helpful when trying to apply God’s Word to my life. 

Psalm 141:4, “Take away my lust for evil things; don’t let me want to be with sinners, doing what they do, sharing their dainties.”

Psalm 101:2-4, “I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should.  Help me to refuse the low and vulgar things; help me to abhor all crooked deals of every kind, to have no part in them.  I will reject all selfishness and stay away from every evil.”

Philippians 4:8-9, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.  Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others.  Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.  Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Keep away from every kind of evil.”

These four passages of scripture contain principles that I am trying to live by personally, and also principles Shawna and I are trying to adhere to in our home.  The beautiful thing about this is that these principles give us FREEDOM to use technology of all sorts as long as we are not violating the principles of holy living.

For us, we decided to not own a television, but we did decide to try and carefully use the internet, computers, and DVDs in a controlled manner.  We had a pastor that once said (back before DVDs were so popular) that a VCR had better be a Very Controlled Resource!  I think that is very good, and it is so applicable to every form of technology.

Personally, I believe God has given me the gift of using and understanding technology.  My children are growing up in a world heavily influenced by technology, television, and movies.  As their father, I have the HUGE responsibility of helping to guide them and teach them these biblical principles.  In addition to this, Shawna and I have assumed the responsibility of educating them in all areas of life by also homeschooling them.  The technologies that we use help us accomplish these tasks.  We are very thankful for what God has entrusted to our care and we are striving to be good and faithful stewards.

One of my Bible heroes is Daniel…he was such an excellent example of living with integrity.  You can read some comments I made about him recently on my blog.  I want to live like Daniel…I want to be willing to remove anything from my life that would interfere with my living a life of integrity.

Several years ago I tried to adopt the Christian Internet Code of Ethics from the Church of the Nazarene.  I would challenge anyone who is using the internet to adhere to these guidelines.

Finally, when I stand before God I want Him to be able to say “Good work!  You did your job well” (Matthew 25:21, The Message).  I’m doing my best to serve God and live out the purpose He has for my life in the 21st century!  Technology isn’t going away, and as long as the Lord tarries we are going to increasingly live in a technology saturated society.  When I die, and when someone closes the box on my life, I trust they will be able to say the words that were written about David in Acts 13:36, “For David, after serving his own generation in God’s plan, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and decayed” (HCSB). 

Are you serving your generation in God’s plan?  Are you using the talents that He has given you and the resources that He has allowed you to have in your life to help advance His Kingdom?  I trust that you can answer YES to these questions.

One of my favorite song writers, Haldor Lillenas, wrote these words:

I desire that my life shall be ordered by Thee, that my will be in perfect accord.  With Thine own sov’reign will, Thy desires to fulfill, my wonderful, wonderful Lord.

All the talents I have I have laid at Thy feet; Thy approval shall be my reward.  Be my store great or small, I surrender it all to my wonderful, wonderful Lord.

 
 

April 12, 2009

Easter Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 8:05 am

Sixty-four years ago on Thursday of this week (4/9), Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged for his part in the conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Bonhoeffer died at my age (39) – but yet he left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.  Here is the context of his most famous quote:

 The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call. (The Cost of Discipleship, 99) [Source: www.desiringgod.org.]

 Here is a quote from Wikipedia regarding Bonhoeffer’s book: 

One of the most important parts of the book deals with the distinction which Bonhoeffer makes between “cheap” and “costly” grace. But what is “cheap” grace? In Bonhoeffer’s words: “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” Or, to put it even more clearly, it is to hear the gospel preached as follows: “Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness.” The main defect of such a proclamation is that it contains no demand for discipleship.

In contrast to this is costly grace: “costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” “

Bonhoeffer argues that as Christianity spread; the Church became more “secularized”, accommodating the demands of obedience to Jesus to the requirements of society. In this way, “the world was Christianized, and grace became its common property.” But the hazard of this was that the gospel was cheapened, and obedience to the living Christ was gradually lost beneath formula and ritual, so that in the end, grace could literally be sold for monetary gain. 

I find these thoughts to be very thought provoking and appropriate as we celebrate Good Friday and Easter.  The cost of being a disciple is the same as it has always been, see Luke 9:23-27.  I’m thankful that my heart says “yes” to His will and to His way.  I have no desire in my heart other than that of pleasing our Holy God…all of the days of my life.

The thoughts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer make me think about the old hymn, Am I a Soldier of the Cross, written by Isaac Watts:

Am I a soldier of the cross,

A follower of the Lamb,

And shall I fear to own His cause,

Or blush to speak His Name?

 
 

Must I be carried to the skies

On flowery beds of ease,

While others fought to win the prize,

And sailed through bloody seas?

 
 

Are there no foes for me to face?

Must I not stem the flood?

Is this vile world a friend to grace,

To help me on to God?

 
 

Sure I must fight if I would reign;

Increase my courage, Lord.

I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,

Supported by Thy Word.

 
 

Thy saints in all this glorious war

Shall conquer, though they die;

They see the triumph from afar,

By faith’s discerning eye.

 
 

When that illustrious day shall rise,

And all Thy armies shine

In robes of victory through the skies,

The glory shall be Thine.

 

May we all do our best to be soldiers of the cross of Christ…may God help us all to pay the price – to bear the toil and endure the pain, knowing we’ll be supported by His word! This morning I received a newsletter from Kim Collingsworth (www.thecollingsworthfamily.com), Kim provided this quote from her Dad which is excellent, “I’m glad to be an Easter Christian in a Good Friday world!” Those are my thoughts as well…what a blessing to be a Christian today and know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and soon coming King!

Happy Easter!

March 31, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 10:31 pm

Today we visited The Alamo.  Wow!  What a moving historical event transpired on that spot back in 1836.  Prior to visting the actual site, Luanna and I viewed the IMAX film on the Alamo.  This film really helped us understand the significance of that historical battle.  I was moved as I learned of the sacrifice that men made for the freedom I enjoy today in America.

William B. Travis was quite a hero.  I love the determination that he had for freedom and for his country. On February 24, 1836, during Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo, Travis wrote a letter addressed “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World“:

Fellow citizens and compatriots;
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis, Lt. Col. Comdt.

Oh that we could have more men and women today who would live their lives with this this kind of determination.  Determination to serve God, even if they are the only ones serving Him – and determination to fight for the freedom  we have in America.  I was very moved emotionally after seeing the film and walking around the site that has been historically preserved.  We do have some men who are still willing to fight for our freedoms.  I’m thankful for them.  I desire to be a soldier Jesus can count on!

We left San Antonio at 3:40 and arrived in Kansas City about 7:40 PM.  We made it home to our house in Gardner, KS around 9:15 PM.

God was very good to us and we thank Him for His protection and provisions during our vacation.

March 30, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:18 pm

Today we visited the San Antonio Zoo.  What a great day for a “zoo trip.”  The weather forecast called for a high of 83o F today.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The zoo here is very nice.  We spent most of our day there.  The girls absolutely loved the animals.  They’ve always been animal lovers, so I knew the zoo was a good pick.  The zoo was also the thing that gave us the most “bang for the buck!”  We rode the train around Breckenridge Park.  Karson was absolutely a doll again today, and Julianna was quite the little trooper.  She did a good job walking around the zoo.  When we finally got on the train, about 16:30, she fell asleep on the train ride!

I left the zoo long enough to take Charity to the airport for her flight home.  Shawna and the kids stayed there to make sure they could see everything there was to see.  Poor Charity – her flight was delayed, which made her sit at the airport in SAT for quite awhile and it also gave her a longer layover in Dallas!  I had done my best to get her a ticket that would get her to KCI as soon as possible!  My best plans failed.

Travis called Shawna this evening.  He was moved today to a different squadron.  He is now “stuck” with bunches of guys who are “held over” for some reason. He is what is called a “medic holdover.”  Today was a very rough day for him.  These guys that he is with are not supervised near as closely as they were before graduation.  This means, the language is much rougher and the environment is totally different.  We do need to continue praying for Travis and Charity.  The separation and her departure this weekend was very hard for both of them.

Tomorrow will be the last day of our trip!  What a bummer.  I don’t want it to end, but that is part of life.  We hope to visit the Alamo and the Rivercenter Mall before heading to the airport.  Our flight to KCI leaves SAT at 15:40 and we are scheduled to arrive at KCI by 19:50.  We do have about 1 ½ hours of layover in Dallas.

God has certainly been very good to us this past week.  I give Him all of the praise for His goodness to us!

Thanks to each of you who have prayed for Travis and our family.  Thanks also for those of you who have read our blog and sent us kind responses.  It is always a special treat for me to hear from others!

With love, Michael

March 29, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 6:54 pm

Today we went to church with Travis at the AFB.  They have 5 Protestant services every Sunday…identical service each time.  It takes that many services in order for all of the interested participants to have an opportunity to attend.  The Chaplain preached on the Family of Believers, using 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 as his text.  He made many comparisons between the body of Christ and the military.  The Chaplain preaches the same 8-9 week sermon series over and over for those in training.  The Sunday after graduation marks the last church service for the trainees.  Travis will now attend a different service in the future since he has graduated.

It was quite moving to look across a sea of service men and women…Shawna and I estimate 400-500 in this service that we were attending.  Most all of these men and women were dressed in their fatigues…many of them were lifting their hands in praise to God.  I’m very thankful that our US Military sees that there is still value in allowing our young men and women to worship God and have services on Sunday.  Unfortunately, Sunday is basically just about like any other day of the week on the base.  Travis said they did have a more relaxed schedule but there are still details that must be taken care of, even on Sunday.  We did see some flights out working on their drill routines today and marching around the base.

Following church, we ate dinner with Travis and Charity and spent the afternoon at the base hanging out with Travis until he had to go back to his squadron by 6 PM.  Saying goodbye to Travis was an emotional time for us.  We shed tears as we hugged him and told him bye.  At this time, Travis has no idea when he’ll be able to return to KC for a visit, nor when he’ll get to see Charity again.  We need keep both Travis and Charity in our prayers.

Travis told us today that he found out the very first week that he might not be able to continue a career with the Air Force.  So, for almost all of the 8 weeks of basic training he’s not known from one day to the next if he would be able to finish BMT or even continue once he graduated.  However, he continued with brute force, passionate about finishing and pursuing the military if it is God’s will.  I think that is commendable.  Obviously he is not a quitter!  Way to Go, Travis!

We are enjoying a relaxing evening at our motel.  Shawna and I are listening to Rev. Paul Gray preach from the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness).  We may listen to Pastor Paul Wolfe from Hobe Sound Bible Church later this evening.  Thank God for the internet and those churches who are using it for God’s glory!  It is sure a blessing for us to have access to these church services while we are on vacation.

Travel Blog – Days 3 & 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 7:39 am

We are enjoying some beautiful weather down here, deep in the heart of Texas!  I’m very thankful God is allowing us to have such an enjoyable vacation.  Our hearts were warmed as we learned of the winter storm that hit our hometown of Gardner, KS!  They had freezing rain and snow on Saturday while we enjoyed the beach along Padre Island!

Day 3 of our vacation was on Friday.  We started the day by attending the official graduation ceremony at Lackland AFB.  The ceremony lasted for about 50 minutes and started at 9 AM.  Following the ceremony, we were able to tour the squadron where Travis has stayed for the past 8 weeks.  It was very interesting to see how many beds they stack in one room!  It reminded me of my days at God’s Bible School as a dorm student.  I used to think dorm life at Bible College was rough, but there is no comparison to what Travis has had to experience in BMT.  Travis had a Town Pass for Friday afternoon.  We all went down to the historic San Antonio River Walk.  We ate supper along the river before Travis had to return to the base by 7:30 PM.   We also gave Travis the family gift from us all for completion of BMT.

Day 4 was on Saturday.  Shawna and I decided to spin off from the rest of her family and take the girls down to the beach.  We drove about 170 miles down to North Padre Island.  The northern end of Padre Island has been preserved as a natural, uncivilized beach.  It was very interesting to drive along the Gulf of Mexico and see the beach as God originally created it and as it has been allowed to change over the years.  We learned that the beach is constantly changing by Mother Nature.  Luanna, Esther, and Julianna enjoyed wading in the water, collecting sea shells, and playing on the sand dunes.  Karson even had a blast sitting in the very soft sand and running his hands through it!  We drove around Corpus Christi Bay and even got to ride a ferry at Port Aransas!  Shawna wanted to eat at Whataburger, so we did that for supper.  They have kind of an interesting story and they first opened in Corpus Christi!  We logged over 400 miles, but had a beautiful day for traveling.  Again, the kiddos were fabulous little travelers.  However, by the end of the day, Shawna was very thankful we hadn’t decided to try and drive all the way to San Antonio from Kansas City!

I purchased my first ever Garmin GPS system for use on this trip.  Now I’m wondering how I lived this long without one of these handy little gadgets!  We found our GPS very helpful as we navigated through areas we’ve never been before.  When we wanted to find the Whataburger, we were able to look it up right on the GPS and it guided us to the nearest one!  Very cool!!  In addition to navigation, the Garmin serves as a high-tech trip odometer.  It tells you your current speed, average MPH, fuel use, etc.  Very attractive to a geeky accountant!

As always, my brain never stops working.  I thought about the “GPS” system that we as Christians have access to every day.  Thank God for His Word and the Holy Spirit who is there to guide us through the constantly changing pathway of life.  One thing my Garmin would do when I made a wrong turn is recalculate the route.  The voice of “Samantha” in the GPS would gently tell me how to turn around and get back on track.  I thought about the gentleness of the Holy Spirit and His patience with me every day.  I did notice that if I ignored Samantha long enough, she would just give up and let me go the way I wanted to go!  Yes, God will also do this if we insist on doing things our own way.  However, that isn’t His will.  He desires to guide each one of His children and to keep us on the straight and narrow way which leads to heaven.   “Enter through the narrow gate.  For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, HCSB).

I’m very thankful for God’s faithfulness to my life and for His patient guidance on this journey towards heaven.  May God help me to be among the few that find the narrow gate and the narrow pathway that will lead me and my family safely to Heaven!

March 26, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:01 pm

Today we visited Lackland Air Force Base for the first day of graduation activities for Travis (my brother-in-law).  The weather presented some challenges for part of the day with thunderstorms and steady rain.  However, in spite of that, it was overall a very good day and very interesting to see the pride and precision with which the Airmen performed their various ceremonial duties.  I was very impressed.

Lackland AFB specializes in basic military training (BMT).  You can read an overview of each week’s activities here.  I’m very thankful that God calls some to serve in our military, but I’m very thankful He didn’t call me!  My hat is off to anyone who has, is, or will serve our country by being in the military.  After learning more about what Travis has gone through I have a brand-new level of respect for military personnel.

The graduation events we saw today were the Airmen’s Run and the Coin Ceremony.  Travis was unable to participate in the run due to his recent health challenges.  However, we got to see others run and at least we know what it is all about.  The Coin Ceremony marks the time when the trainees become official “Airmen.”  Following this ceremony Travis was an official member of the United States Air Force and he was able to see his wife Charity and his family for the first time in 8 weeks.  He was granted about 5 1/2 hours of Base Liberty which meant he was able to go anywhere on the Base.  We had a very good visit with him.  We are very proud of him and his accomplishments.

Our children have been excellent little travelers!  Shawna and I are so blessed to have such well-behaved, flexible, and cooperative children.  The evening turned out beautiful here deep in the heart of TexasTomorrow morning we will attend the Graduation Parade after which we will tour Travis’s squadron (dormitory) and he will have a Town Pass until 7:30 PM.  We hope to spend some time together in the San Antonio area tomorrow afternoon.

Today my mind kept going back to the little children’s song I’ve known all of my life:

I’m in the Lord’s army.  I’m in the Lord’s army.  I may never march in the infantry, ride o’er the Calvary, shoot the artillery – I may  never zoom o’er the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s army!

What a privilege to serve in the GREATEST army that has ever existed!  We heard them say today that the USAF is the “most powerful air army in the world” (or something to that effect).  Well, the army in which I’ve enlisted with the Lord is absolutely THE most powerful army!  I’m blessed to be able to serve my God and be in His army.

I’m thankful for those who fight for our freedoms every day all around the world.  God has recently shown me in a new way the importance of fighting for religious freedoms and our rights as U.S. citizens.  Oh God, help me to be a faithful and disciplined member of Your army!

March 22, 2009

Listen To God

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 7:00 am

Two of my devotionals from this week were especially meaningful to me.  I”m going to share those thoughts from The Word For You Today and let them speak for themselves.

“Your ears will hear a voice…saying, ‘This is the way.'” Isaiah 30:21 NIV
03.19.09
Listen to God (1)

Any time you step out in faith and try something, a voice within you will whisper, “You must be out of your mind. You’re not capable of this. Those little accomplishments you had before were pure luck; you just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Now you’re in over your head.” That voice will waken you in the middle of the night, sick to your stomach. You can hear it in every boardroom, living room and sidewalk. It’s the voice of fear, and it doesn’t play fair. It pulls the file on your past failures and preys on your deepest insecurities.

      But there’s another voice – God’s! It says: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa 41:10 NKJV). Attuning your ears to God’s voice doesn’t mean your problems are automatically solved or that the other voice just fades away. No, it’s more like having an intimate conversation with a close friend in a noisy, crowded place. There may be other voices around you but you don’t hear them because you’re so focused on what your friend is saying. That’s how it is with God’s voice. Whether He speaks to you through the Scriptures, through a friend, or through your life’s circumstances, He’s always communicating with the heart that seeks Him. His promise to you is, “Your ears will hear a voice…saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” One word from God, just one, can change your entire outlook. So today, take time to listen to God’s voice.

“Fear not, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
03.20.09
Listen to God (2)

      To be successful in anything God calls you to do, you must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit within you and learn to recognize when He speaks to you through the Scriptures.

      When the pressure is on and you’re tempted to move too quickly you’ll hear His voice saying: “You shall not go out with haste…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isa 52:12 NKJV). God’s got you covered – front and back. How good is that? When you’re about to make a wrong turn or a bad decision He will remind you, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Pr 16:9 NIV). When you don’t have the ways and means to get the job done His voice will whisper: “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isa 58:11 NKJV). You have an unfailing supply. When you run out of answers and don’t know what to do He will reassure you: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Ps 32:8 NIV). When the load becomes too heavy to carry you’ll hear His voice saying, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Ps 55:22 NIV).

      Hearing God’s voice may mean you have to sacrifice lesser things and tune out other voices, but you must do it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than learning to recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you.

February 24, 2009

Refreshing to hear!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:00 pm

Honesty and integrity…these are values that seem to have almost totally disappeared in America. What a shame! I once heard a Christian person say that it “is impossible to be totally honest all of the time!” I disagree. I believe God requires honesty and integrity…at any cost…and it is not impossible if a person really wants to be honest!

You may not be a Glen Beck fan…I happen to be one of his fans and I was encouraged this evening to hear his monologue on this subject. Take a look at this clip: http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=videolandingpage&streamingFormat=FLASH&referralObject=3723221&referralPlaylistId=playlist. I’m thankful that Glen Beck is still willing to go on a national television program and proclaim the truth! Thank you Glen for being faithful to what is right.

I remember when I left Sprint, about 12 years ago. Sprint continued paying me after I quit and was no longer one of their employees. I could have not said a word…and it would have been nice to have the extra $$. However, my desire to be honest all the time caused me to call my former boss and let her know about the error. It was my responsibility to do what was honest…all of the time! I didn’t get to keep the extra $$, but I did get to go to bed that night knowing I had a clear conscience. That was worth much more than the extra $$.

The Bible contains hundreds of verses that tell us that God requires that His children be completely honest. Here are just a few:

“The Lord loathes all cheating and dishonesty” (Proverbs 20:23, TLB).

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 12:22, NASB).

“The Lord hates…a lying tongue” (Proverbs 6:16-17, NASB).

I grew up being taught this principle, honesty is always the best policy, and I believe that to still be true – even if the whole world seems to be dishonest!!

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