All The Time

Read: Psalm 34:1-9
 
Perhaps you have heard or experienced the saying “God is good, all the time; All the time, God is good.”  This is often used in churches and among Christians as a reminder that God does not change despite our world situation or individual circumstances.  In the midst of difficult and trying times we can always turn to God for help, even when we may not understand things.
 
In Psalm 34 David was writing those verses while experiencing some very hard times in his life.  Yet, in verse 8 he proclaims, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”  We sometimes wonder why we go through certain things or why God doesn’t just change our circumstances.  I have been there before, and I’m sure you have too.
 
Our faith in God and in his Son Jesus Christ is what gets us through.  We know that God is with us at all times and will watch over us even through the hard things the world throws at us.  David reminds us in this Psalm to take refuge in God during those times and seek his love and deliverance.
 
In the biography or her life titled “The Hiding Place”, Corrie Ten Boom writes about the horrors she experienced in the Nazi concentration camp of Ravensbruck.  Some 33 years later, after some friends had provided her with a very nice home in California, a friend said to her, “Corrie, hasn’t God been good to give you this beautiful place?”  Her reply? “God was good when I was in Ravensbruck, too.”
 
That is a great reminder of how we can respond when our next challenge or adversity comes along.  God is always good, even when the world hits us with its bad. Our help comes from God and so did David’s.  In verse 4 he writes, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”  Your faith in the goodness of God will see you through!
 
Make it Personal:  When we read the Psalms it often feels like we are reading a prayer.  Many of those poems or songs are actually prayers for help, hope, assurance, and thanksgiving.  Take time this week to pray about your circumstances and proclaim the goodness of God. Read this Psalm and others to be reminded that you are not alone.
Have a great week Everyone, Pastor Glen Rhodes 


Are You Satisfied?

Read: Isaiah 58:11-14
 
Satisfaction is sometimes hard to find.  Perhaps a certain rock song from the 1960’s comes to mind?  “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” sang the Rolling Stones.  Often times the problem is that people look in the wrong places for satisfaction.  People spend a lot of time and money trying to find things and buy things that will bring satisfaction and happiness.  It may do the trick for a moment, but those feelings of being satisfied are often fleeting.

In his classic book “Mere Christianity” C.S. Lewis wrote, “If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”  The suggestion that Lewis is making is that finding satisfaction in this life goes beyond pleasing ourselves.  It is found in God and in being part of something bigger than just us.

The prophet Isaiah is addressing this in the Bible when he says, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen you.” (Isaiah 58:11)  King David said, “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:9)  Jesus himself said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

The answer to finding satisfaction in life hinges on where we look for it.  Lasting joy and satisfaction can be found in the eternal things of God, not the temporal things of this world.  Yes, life will still have storms that come along, but focusing on our eternal hope and joy in Jesus can see us through those circumstances.  As Isaiah said, the Lord will satisfy your needs in that sun-scorched land, and God will strengthen you.

Make it Personal:  I recently heard someone say, “As you do whatever you’ll do today, make sure to invest in your connection with your Creator, with an eye toward that other, eternal world for which you have been made.  That’s how you’ll find real satisfaction, no matter the circumstances.”

Have a blessed week Everyone, Pastor Glen Rhodes



Renew, Restart, Reboot

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:16-20

Well, the New Year is upon us.  2019 has started. One of the things I like about the beginning of a new year is the opportunity it gives us to bring renewal, change, and transformation to some things in our life.  It’s a time to remind myself to restart my phone, restart my computers, restart the copy machine, and change the filter in my Keurig coffee machine. I often forget to do those things even though it’s recommended.

The beginning of a new year is also a reminder that our God is a God of new things, new starts, and new creation.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!” There are also many other references in scripture that remind us that God is about making old things new.  Isaiah 43:18-19, Isaiah 65:17, Ephesians 2:15, and Revelation 21:5 are just some of those.

So the question as we begin this new year is… What do you want or need to renew, restart, or reboot in your life?  When I ask that question I am not asking about your phone, computer, or other things. I’m asking what you would like to change in your life this year:  Your spiritual life, your family life, your marriage, your work life, your church life, or any other area.

Jesus can and will help you make those changes if you will call on him to help.  The old regrettable things of 2018 can be made into the new transforming things of 2019.  The best part of being a follower of Jesus Christ is that he will help you with this. He will forgive you for those times you failed, and encourage you to leave them in the past.  It’s time to embrace the message of Jesus, “The old has gone, the new is here!”

Make it Personal:  Take time to look up the other verses above and learn more about this new change the Bible speaks of.  Yes, it’s important to restart all of those devices. But it’s most important to give your life a renewed outlook and a fresh beginning in this new year.

Happy New Year Everyone, Pastor Glen Rhodes