Today's guest post comes from Pastor Steve King, senior pastor of Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington, VA. Pastor Steve has faithfully served in the ministry for close to 40 years and has become both a friend and mentor to me personally. Below is a letter he wrote to a group of ministers about "losing heart." While the letter was written originally to people in full-time ministry, I think it has tremendous value for all who call themselves a servant of Christ.Read More
"Not good enough... not pretty enough... not smart enough... not spiritual enough... not patient enough... not loving enough... I AM NEVER ENOUGH!"
My guess is that everyone knows what it feels like to be "not enough." That's exactly why I'm so excited about the new series that we kicked off yesterday, "I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME."
We're talking about the silent killer that we all must deal with... the enemy of all that God wants to do in you and for you and through you this year and all the days of your life... INSECURITY.
We all go through it… we all try to hide it… and we all think we're alone. But in this series, we’ll see what God’s Word says about some of the common struggles we all face.Read More
There is a genuine and real joy in trials.
Genuine because it is an experience that involves the whole of your being - spirit, soul, and body. It is holistic, not partial. Full, not empty.
Joy - for the simple fact that there are myriad of gifts ready to be given, to those who endure to the end. There are revelations that He desires to reveal in the depth of your soul. About His Person, about who you are, and about your neighbor. To those who wait on the Lord and have there strength renewed.
It intensifies the intimacy between you and the bridegroom of your soul.
But many of us fail to discern this. If your eyes were opened to the working of our good God, you will begin to realize, as Father, He desires to continually give. Pour out. Think about it. If the Father of the Beloved has given us His Beloved, to be incarnate, die, rise, and ascend for you and me.Read More
“Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9
DISCOURAGEMENT - a feeling we're all familiar with. Why does God allow us to get discouraged when we're trying to serve Him and follow Him and obey His commandments? Shouldn't God be helping to make our lives easier? Shouldn't He be taking care of those things are causing us to be discouraged? Or is that possible that God would allow us to be discouraged to bring about some good for us?
That's the topic of Round 4 in the Fighting Failure series. In the message, we look at the Apostle Paul - a man of incredible faith and strength who one day found himself "despairing of life." How could this great man of faith feel so discouraged? And more importantly, what message was God trying to him through the discouragement?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
"Come to me" God says and you will have "rest for your souls". Ok, great. Sign me up! This is a direct promise from God and we God never lies, right? Go to Him and you will have rest. Simple and straightforward, right?
Not exactly. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself at times being tempted to call God a deceiver. I’ve found myself angry that the simple truth found in a promise didn’t seem apparent in my life – even as I watched others seemingly delight in the very same words.Read More
I'll be honest; the past few weeks have been tough for me. Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything seems dim and nothing seems to go your way?
You're tired and lacking sleep. You forgot to pay a bill and now have to pay interest. Your friends are angry with you because you don’t have the time to sit and talk with them. Your family is dismayed at your inability to complete daily tasks at home. Your boss and coworkers are making you feel inferior. Your next assignment is due tomorrow and you have no idea how it will get done in time.
You feel exhausted and long to get away from everything…forever. And on top of all that, just when you don't need to add anything else to your plate, you feel that God isn't there either! You're tired and frustrated and you just want to complain and let out a loud SCREAM!
Do you ever get tired of waking up tired? Sounds like a silly question right? Well, about two months ago I decided that I was tired of waking up feeling like life was somehow too hard. I know in my head that, as a follower of Jesus, my life SHOULD look different, feel different, and make a difference, right?
But instead, I felt tired, distracted, and very broken. Where was the joy? The strength? The healing? I felt like I was missing something important, and that even though I might have had it once… I lost it, whatever IT was.
I struggled to pray, to read my Bible, or to serve othes in any capacity. In the brief moments I actually tried to pray, I had nothing to say. All I could muster up was someting along the lines of: “Lord, I need healing – I don’t know why I feel so defeated, like life is too hard and I’m too broken to do anything about it…I need to be healed.”
That single prayer carried me for what seemed like forever.Read More
Discouragement: we've all been there. We've all faced it. We know how it feels and how paralyzing it can be. The only people who avoid discouragement are people who never attempt to do anything hard/great in this world.
So what happens when a kingdom builder gets discouraged? Is that even allowed? Aren't the "spiritual" people always supposed to be upbeat and positive? What happens when the "good guys" get down?
That's this week's topic in the Build Your Kingdom series. Check out the video above and watch as I share how I personally went through some discouragement recently and how I dug my way out of it. Trust me, if you're feeling down or discouraged, you MUST watch this message.
And I pray that God uses it to pick you up as He did me as well.
No one wants to admit it. You don’t want to admit it. I don’t want to admit it. No one wants to admit. But it’s a fact of life and we all must face it. And that fact is this…WE ALL GET DISCOURAGED.
We feel guilty admitting it but we shouldn’t. It doesn't mean that we don’t love God or the service we’re doing. It just means that we’re human and that we sometimes get tired.
I know you are happy to serve God at church, at a non-profit, in your home, in your high-powered career, or in the line at Starbucks. I know that you don’t do it because it’s the cool thing to do or because a celebrity told you to. I know that you do it because you have experienced His “unfailing love… [and] great compassion” (Psalm 51:1) and want to demonstrate this love and compassion to others.
I know you do all these things for the glory of God, and that the opinion of others doesn't matter. But I also know that you – like me – are human and that sometimes you get discouraged. Our strength and abilities may come from God, but that doesn't mean we don’t at times need some simple encouragement from our fellow man.
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)
So here is my good word. Listen carefully…WHAT YOU DO MAKES A DIFFERENCE!Read More
Did you ever stop and wonder why Jesus was born at night? Why would God send His Son into the world in the middle of the night? It was bad enough that the Son of God had to be born in a small stinky manger in the middle of nowhere. Why make it worse by making it dark? So dark that Joseph and Mary probably had to hold a candle in order to even see their newborn baby!
A few days ago, I read “A Christmas Prayer” by renowned author, Max Lucado, written in response to the tragic events that took place last week in Newtown, CT. In it, he spoke about why Jesus was born in the dark and helped shed some light on the subject (pun intended – HA HA!).
He begins by saying “Dear Jesus, it’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately…But you were born in the dark right?”Read More