Rock Solid

It’s happening…fall is here.

Wind.  Rain.

Lots of wind and rain.

Flooding.  Fallen trees.  Landslides.

Disruption.  Frustration.  Detoured lives.

In extreme conditions, the elements expose us.

The elements reveal what’s underneath us.  The elements strip us to our core.

Take everything away and what do you have left?

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Kind of reminds me of something Jesus said about building a house.

Rock.  Sand.

Big difference between them when the storms of life start coming.

Turns out that a life built on rock is a life that doesn’t just listen to Jesus.

A life built on rock listens… and follows Jesus.

Sand listens too… but doesn’t move.

When your next “storm” comes and beats against you, what’s going to happen?

Will your life come crashing down…or will you be rock solid?

It all depends on what’s underneath…

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 

Matthew 7:24-27  (NIV)

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One Ton Day

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One ton day.

Ever had a day that felt like it weighed a ton?

Ever had a week or a month full of days that felt like that?

Relationships.  Jobs.  Homework.  Practice.  Meetings.  Activities.  Carpools.  Projects.  Deadlines.  Overtime.  Busyness. 

Expectations.  Anxiety.  Temptation.  Guilt.  Depression.  Fatigue.  Assumptions.  Pain.  Sickness.  Gossip.  Sin.

It all adds up to a weight that you can’t lift alone.  

Imagine that all that weight is piled high in a wheelbarrow and you’ve got to somehow get through another day.

And, the day in front of you is like a long, steep hill.

Go ahead… keep lifting.  Keep pushing.  Keep straining.  

The alternative is to ask God for help.

To acknowledge your need for Him.

To swallow your pride.

To let go.

Today, you can choose to focus on the weight in front of you.

Or, you can choose to focus on the only One who is able to carry the weight for you.

Stop pushing and start praising.

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.  Our God is a God who saves.” 

(Psalms 68:19-20a)

   

Rescued

Rescued.

The word means “to free from danger, harm, or confinement.”

Delivered.  Redeemed.  Ransomed.  Reclaimed.  Saved.

All words that share meaning with rescued.  All words that describe exactly what God has done for you as a Jesus follower.

To be rescued implies that you were living in danger…out of place.

Stuck.  Helpless.  Vulnerable.  In a kingdom you didn’t belong.

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But, then God came in and ransomed you.

He reclaimed you.  You belong to Him.

Are you living like it?

Or, are you living stuck in the mess of your sin?  Out of place…

Every day is choice.

Live stuck or live rescued.

How will you choose to live today?

“We…pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need.  May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light.  For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.  God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins.”

Colossians 1:11-14  (NLT) (italics mine)

Transformation

Transform.

A word that screams “change.”

Change in appearance.  Change in character.  Change in the status quo.

Conform.

A word that hides fear.

Fear of looking different.  Fear of standing out.  Fear of rocking the boat.

Two words…two very different ways to live as a Jesus follower.

Paul lays it out like this in Romans 12:2…

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”  (NIV)

So, it boils down to this…

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Every day, you are either a conformer or a transformer.

Which one are you?

Which one do you want to be?

Be Strong

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Be strong.

Fall is here…summer is in the rear-view mirror.

Be strong.

School is here…so are practices, homework, carpools, old friends, new friends, meetings, games, concerts, temptations, late nights, jobs, tests, projects, expectations.

Be strong.

Church ministries are here…so are meetings, events, volunteer opportunities, small groups, new friends, old friends, busyness, temptations, expectations.

Be strong.

The devil is here…creating doubt, fear, pride, selfishness, cynicism, jealousy, arguments, compromise, hypocrisy, discouragement, expectations, busyness, temptations.

Be strong…God is here.

“Be strong and courageous…study this Book of the Law continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.  Only then will you succeed.  I command you–be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:6, 8-9 (NLT)