Archive for July, 2016

Simply Believe, Fully Expect

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Sometimes we make complicated what Jesus made simple… When His disciples were arguing about which of them was the greatest, Jesus’ response was to set a little child before them as a picture of true greatness in His Kingdom (Matt. 18, Mark 9).

A “little child” certainly possesses no great education or ability, no great power or wealth, nor anything else that the disciples might have called “great.” But there is one thing that a healthy, loved little child typically does far better and more naturally than us adults:

A little child BELIEVES what their father tells them,

and EXPECTS it to come to pass.

SO I’ve been meditating on some of Jesus’ words (both questions and statements) about faith, belief, doubt, and fear… And I’m impressed by how little sympathy He shows toward unbelief and doubt! It’s as if Jesus is saying, “In the light of having a perfectly loving, caring, almighty Father in Heaven watching over your life – how could you possibly doubt or fear?”

So let’s feed our faith this week by simply meditating on Jesus’ words, and letting His encouragement renew our minds and refresh our hearts (this is a partial list of Jesus’ teaching on the subject – there’s much more in the Gospels):

“As you have believed, so let it be done for you.”

Matt. 8:13

“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

Matt. 8:26

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

Matt. 9:28

“According to your faith let it be to you.”

Matt. 9:29

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matt. 14:31

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matt. 19:26

“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

Matt. 21:22

“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Mark 4:40

“Daughter, your faith has made you well.”

Mark 5:34

“Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Mark 5:36

“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Mark 6:50

“All things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 9:23

“Your faith has made you well.”

Mark 10:52

A desperate father once cried out to Jesus in his dire need, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). I think most of us can identify with that father at times… We long to honor God with our trust, and to believe His promises unreservedly ~ but our hearts don’t always cooperate!

I pray that this week the Lord anoints you with fresh faith to simply believe His promises, and to fully expect that He will bring them to pass in your life in His own timing and way. Remember: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thess. 5:24 NASB)

Love and blessings to you in our precious Savior,

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2016

 

 

Speak, Meditate, & Celebrate

Monday, July 11th, 2016

One generation will commend your works to another;

They will tell of your mighty acts. 

They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,

And I will meditate on your wonderful works.

They will tell of the power of your awesome works,

And I will proclaim your great deeds. 

They will celebrate your abundant goodness

And joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Psalm 145:4-7 NIV

My, but that’s a lot of “action words” in those few verses!  Here, King David shows us a vital secret to maintaining and growing in God’s joy, regardless of our circumstances:  speak of His goodness, meditate on His faithfulness, celebrate His love! 

Doing so keeps us strong in faith, joyful in spirit, and ready to be used by God in whatever comes.  And God’s people in America need that spiritual readiness like never before.    

Heartbreaking mass shootings, countless political corruption scandals, military suicides increasing exponentially, flames of racial strife being fanned, and many more – no doubt, we are facing some heavy and painful issues in our nation. 

It’s good to be informed unto prayer and intercession for America and especially for those who mourn ~ but it’s so very easy to become consumed with the rapid-fire tragedies, the political posturing, the non-stop reporting and “social media reactions” of people whose opinions are truly irrelevant…

For the sake of our own hearts abiding in the Lord’s peace and presence, and for the sake of being effective in prayer for our nation in this season, we must resist getting sucked into the hopeless, man-centered mindsets being pumped out through the media.   

Fixing our hearts and minds too much on the cares of this world will attack our faith, hope, and joy – and that renders us powerless in prayer.  So let’s stay strong in God’s Spirit as we follow the example King David gave us:  talk about God’s goodness to you, meditate on the faithfulness He’s shown, and celebrate His unfailing love! 

I encourage you to limit your time in the media – only allow a certain amount of the bad news to fill your heart and mind – and then increase your time in the GOOD NEWS of God’s Word, enjoying His presence in worship, and interceding for the hurting ones in our country.  Doing so will keep you focused, refreshed, and filled with the joy of the Lord (which is our strength – Nehemiah 8:10).  

Let’s face it: until Jesus returns, there will always be more bad news somewhere to read about.  We must live in the joyful expectancy that a KING is returning to Jerusalem (Acts 1, Zechariah 14), and “of the increase of His Kingdom there will be no end” (Isaiah 9).  No more presidents and politicians, no more abortions and godless laws, no more strife and divisiveness, and no more twitter feeds. J

May the Lord fill and refresh you by His Spirit’s power this week

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2016