I’m not one to keep a diary or journal. I’ve found that it’s too easy for me to slip in to negativity, so I avoid writing regularly unless it’s in … Continue Reading The Power of Gratitude
Are you stressed? overwhelmed? fearful? The incredible promises of peace in God’s word are for YOU. Unfortunately, even though we know this, there is often a disconnect between what we know and what we do; a disconnect between what we want and what we’re actually experiencing. God has promised us peace; we want peace, we need peace — but we’re not getting it. Why? What can we do to get it? Listen to this sermon by my late father, Pastor Mike Ellis, to find out how to be blessed with peace.
We like control. We crave control. Our first reaction when life starts to spin is find a way to fix it. Control. Manage it. Control. And when we can’t fix it, and can’t manage it, we block it out and begin to focus on what we can control in the moment (or at least, what we think we’re controlling).
I have discovered that God doesn’t just “allow” pain – he uses it, on purpose, in each and every one of us. There are some lessons that cannot be learned through ease and comfort. And there are some things we’ll never change, some sin we’ll never forsake, until God uses pain to get our attention. Therefore, pain is not just inevitable; it is necessary.
Our response to pain reveals what we truly believe about God.
[EXCERPT] Anything that you search for peace, happiness, or satisfaction from apart from God is an idol. So which God do you serve? Are you serving the god of yourself, searching for pleasure and happiness, regardless of the cost? Or are you serving the God who made you, loves you, and is fully able to satisfy you?
God perfect, and therefore is the only one who will never let us down. He is the one who made us, so He knows exactly what we need. He loves us, and wants to give us what will make us holy and happy. And because of His power, He is fully capable of doing it. If you’re not experiencing peace, happiness and satisfaction in your relationship with God, it’s not because of Him.
It’s time to make God your portion. To make Him enough. To learn to let Him satisfy us fully. And until you do that, there is not a single relationship in your life that will result in happiness. Your insecurity and need to take from those people will ruin any chance of it. Because the more you take, the less you get.
[EXCERPT] Did you know that the average evangelical Christian spends only 3 minutes a day in prayer? And evangelical pastors spend 5. There is something very wrong with this.
I think it’s worthwhile to note that there’s a reason prayer and Bible study are called spiritual disciplines. The first is that they are the most spiritual things you can do – and prayer is THE most spiritual thing you can do. Secondly, consider the meaning of the word discipline: “training to act in accordance with rules; drill.” I think we can all agree that training and drills are challenging – and that’s the point. Our time spent in spiritual discipline is training us, equipping us, and making us strong and competent for the troubles ahead – regardless if those trouble are the daily pressures we face or a major trial that may be around the corner.
[EXCERPT] Have you heard the phrase, “Giving the devil a foothold?” It comes from Ephesians 4:27, and it’s in the context of holding on to hurt and anger. When you indulge in those things, it’s like taking your armor off while you’re at war – it’s going to kill you. And not just those sins, but any sin that you indulge, or as Romans 13:14 says, that you make provision for, opens you up to be destroyed. And the devil does not wait for you to have a vulnerability to come up with an attack – he’s already pursuing you. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to be alert, because the devil is on the prowl, and he’s looking at us for his next meal.
I think too many people dismiss the importance of cultivating their relationship with God through personal worship simply because they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture of spiritual warfare going on in our lives on a daily basis.
[EXCERPT] How did Jesus know what to do? The Father told him.
How did Jesus know where to go? The Father told him.
How did Jesus know what to say? The Father told him.
How did Jesus know when His time was up? He had finished the work His Father gave him.
You know what we don’t see in Jesus’ example? We don’t see Jesus being reactionary to the people around him. He doesn’t do what the people ask him to; in fact, there are many times when he did the opposite. The people wanted him to stay, and he left. The people wanted him to perform miracles, and he refused. Why would he do this? Because He was getting direction from His Father. It didn’t matter what people said or did to Him, because His purpose and identity were tied to His father, not his friends, family, peers, or enemies.