Psalm 92:1,2,4 (NASB): It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.
Your phone is powered by a battery. As you use your phone, you gradually lose power. The more you do, the more power you lose. So you have to plug your phone up to a power source so that you can charge your battery. Some people plug their phone up a night, unplug it in the morning and are good to go until they get ready to go to bed at night. But some of us have to plug our phones up 2-3 times a day to keep it charged. You are in class looking for plugs and trying to sit near a wall so you can plug your phone up. It is so bad that some people carry a power source with them so that they can charge their phone. And the reason why you keep it charged up is that you don’t want to lose power. If you lose power, you can’t communicate with your friends, you can’t see what’s going on, and you can’t post anything. You feel like you are in the dark because you have lost power.
Your spirit is like the battery on your cell phone. As you go throughout the day, there are some things that drain your spiritual battery: family members are trippin’; people are spreading rumors about you; temptations are being thrown at you, the wrong person says the wrong thing to you the wrong way at the wrong time.
But too many times we power down instead of powering up. Instead of plugging in to God, we plug in to things that drain our battery some more. But the example of the psalmist says to us, I need to plug in at least twice a day so I can stay powered up. I’m going to give thanks to the Lord. I’m going to sing praise to His name. In the morning, I will be powered up by His lovingkindness. In the evening, I will be powered up by His faithfulness. People will try to make you mad and life can leave you sad, but the Lord will make you glad by what He has done!
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:13-15 (NKJV)
It is important to understand that the world into which we live today is worse than the world into which we were born. People are more and more ungodly, immoral, abusive, selfish and just flat out buck wild than even a few years ago. The deception has gotten so bad, that the world says that those who still hold to Biblical standards need to get with the times, drop the archaic laws and move into the 21st century. Don’t fall for the deception and lies.
Remember that there is one who is behind the deception (Revelation 12:9). The influences of Satan are subtle. He doesn’t hit us with everything all at once. He eases us into it. He desensitizes us through over-exposure to that which is wrong, so that it no longer bothers us.
But what is happening in the world does not have to happen in us. We can be different. We can do differently. Paul instructs Timothy to stick with the path that he knows. During his life, Timothy had learned some things. And in learning those things, he embraced them as true and reliable. You are never too young to learn the Word of God. Know what matters most, and spend your time on what matters. The word of God is able to make you wise for salvation. I know that there are imposters and evil people in the world, but your story doesn’t have to be the story of the world. I know that 62% of 12th graders are engaging in sexual activity, but you flee fornication. I know that violence is overtaking our communities but you, be a peacemaker so that you can be called sons of God. I know that sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between people in the world and people in the church, but you make sure that you do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Thank God for dads! I am grateful for my dad and for the example of other men who have modeled fatherhood throughout my life. Here are just a few of the reasons why I thank God for dads.
Over the years I have heard many good analogies about marriage. A recent post by Minister Fate Hagood really speaks truth that empowers. He states, “Marriage is a lifelong attempt to harmonize the puzzle pieces from two different puzzles. Sometimes some pieces are missing. Some pieces won't fit unless they're replaced. And sometimes the only way to make them fit is to ignore the fact that they just don't fit. But in the end... With prayer and patience... They come together and make a beautiful and unique masterpiece.”
What a word for all couples! In successful marriages, couples make adjustments. They learn that things don’t have to be perfect for marriage to be beautiful. In fact, it is often the delusion that things will be perfect that leads to disappointment in marriage. We are so enthralled with the magic of the wedding day that we forget that the marriage will require the magic of sacrifice, dedication, mutual submission, humility, and compassion (Ephesians 5:21-33).
Are there some pieces in your marriage that just don’t fit? If so, ask yourself, “What adjustments do I need to make?” After you have asked yourself, share your reflections with your spouse and then ask your spouse to share with you which adjustments he or she would like for you to make. I admit this can be a scary conversation to have with your spouse. However it is often a necessary question to give us perspective. We know what it is like to be married to our spouse, but we don’t typically have a grip on what it is like for our spouse to be married to us.
Embrace making adjustments. Be open to replacing broken puzzle pieces with a renewed spirit. Find peace in knowing that God can fill the void of the missing pieces. Finally, appreciate the quirks and imperfections that make you a unique couple, realizing that even the most beautiful masterpiece has flaws.
Get ready for one of the best summers ever! This year’s summer series is all about Getting the Most out of Life. But why? So often the life that we will is far beneath that life that God desires for us to have. We fall into our routines and become comfortable with the monotony. We begin to settle and are satisfied with the status quo. We wake up, go to work or school, come home, go to sleep, and do it all again tomorrow. It is easy to get used to an average life when God Himself came to give us abundant life. Why spend eight weeks on getting the most out of life?
God has called us to greater. We have been called to greater works (John 14:12), a greater love (John 13:34), we have access to greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31), all because we have a greater power (1 John 4:4). With all of the greatness of the God who indwells us, how can we be satisfied with less than greater?
Life is short. We are constantly reminded that our life on earth is only temporary. In Isaiah 40:7, our lives are compared to withering grass. James says that our life is like a puff of smoke that is and then is not (4:14). Since life is short, we should seek to do what we can while we can. Why waste a moment on things that don’t matter? Why be miserable when joy is available?
The gospel is too important. The gospel has the power to save. We can be a barrier to others obeying the gospel when it looks like those without Christ are better off than those of us in Christ. People don’t need the church for them to live miserable lives. They can do bad by themselves. When Christians live in the fullness of the life that is in Christ, others will want the life that we have. So pray bold prayers, dream impossible dreams, and for the sake of the gospel, get the most out of life!
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.