Archive for June, 2010

Trying, or Trusting?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 

“Commit your way to the Lord;

Trust in Him and He will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

The justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Psalm 37:5-6 NIV

I have been marveling recently at how easily we slip from trusting to trying from trusting in His love, power and protection, to trying to figure it out, keep ourselves safe, and solve our own problems.  We never mean to make this error, but it is common to us all (perhaps more often than we realize).  I love what Psalm 60:11 says:

 

“Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.” 

Worthless!  That’s pretty strong language, but an accurate description of how much good we can accomplish when we’re fighting battles in our own strength.  When Jesus told His disciples, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), He didn’t mean, “Apart from Me you can do less,” or “Apart from Me you’ll solve the problems but it will take longer.”  He said we could do NOTHING profitable or productive apart from His presence, mercy, love, and Holy Spirit’s help. 

This leads us to the obvious question: “SO WHY DO WE TRY SO OFTEN?!?”  If we all know that we can do nothing good apart from Him, and if we’re convinced that His power is made perfect in our weakness, why do we waste so much time striving in our own efforts to solve our problems, resist the enemy, and do His will?

I’m not entirely sure of the answer… I guess we’re slow learners sometimes.  🙂  But I DO know that it’s tremendously helpful to return to the Lord’s Word, remember what He has promised, and cast all of our cares at His feet again!  Bring Him your weakness, and thank Him for filling you with His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9; Isaiah 40:29).  Bring Him your problems and your need for guidance, and thank Him for filling you with wisdom and counsel to see the wise course of action (James 1:5; Proverbs 3:5-6 & 20:18).  Bring Him your temptations and trials, and thank Him for a fresh empowering of His Holy Spirit by whom (alone) you can crucify the misdeeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13) 

His grace is sufficient!  He is MORE than we need, His Blood is MORE than enough to forgive and cleanse, His power is GREATER than every battle and foe, and His love is PERFECT to cast out every fear and to heal every hurt.  Our God is more than enough… and He has promised to help, guide, protect and provide for His own.  Let’s rest in His love today, and receive by faith all the help we need. 

 

 

Love and blessings in our Mighty Savior, 

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2010

 

Nothing Else Matters

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

If I could sing like an angel…

prophesy and reveal every mystery…

move mountains with my faith…

give all I possess to the poor, and even die a martyr’s death in the flames –   

But have not love – 

I gain nothing, I accomplish nothing, I am nothing.

 

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.

John 15:9 NIV

It’s not only easy for us to get distracted away from God’s love, it happens without our even noticing it!  Ironically, even good things can be the enemy of the best.  Oswald Chambers said, “The greatest competitor to devotion to Christ is service for Him.”  We are by nature “doers,” and we often create a comfort zone based on what we do, while forgetting that all we do must flow out of our love for Christ. 

Our greatest goal, highest calling, and deepest passion must be to LOVE HIM with all we are (Matthew 22:37-39), then to give His love away to the ones He places in our lives.  Any lesser goal – regardless of how good it looks to man – is less than what our Savior deserves, and less than what He desires; for He truly desires our friendship.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

John 15:13-15 NKJV

Jesus desires friends who obey Him because they love Him; yet we are all too often content to be mere servants who define themselves by what they do. 

There was once a church that did nearly everything right, and received Jesus’ words of commendation for their works, labor, patience and perseverance.  And yet He followed those words of affirmation with some of the most sobering words in Scripture: 

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.

Revelation 2:4-5 NKJV

My friends, let us remember to make our first love our first priority in our lives.  Let’s make time to enjoy His friendship every day, to be in His Word, to pour out our hearts before Him and listen to that still, small voice of His Spirit as we wait on Him.  And let’s let all that we do for Him flow out of that heart of love. 

 

Rejoice in His love today,

 

Pastor Matthew Casey

©2010 Springs of Life Ministries