Hey guys, I want to talk to you today about living a life that is consciously aware of God’s presence in our lives. It is kinda what I named my blog after. It is really easy in life to live every day chasing dreams, watching tv, spending time with friends and family, etc. But something that we need to realize is that God’s presence is with us, God is with us every second of every day. He will never leave us or forsake us. We need to make a conscious effort to be aware that he is there. Talk with him, ask him for guidance, praise him, thank him, these are all things that we can do on a consistent basis even when we are busy running errands and facing the trials of the day at hand. We can choose to walk life with God, and to include him in our everyday decisions and learn to dwell in his presence. When we are aware of God’s presence with us constantly, it will give us the strength to overcome temptations, it will give us the faith to make hard decisions, it will give us the trust that God will get us through it, it will give us the peace that God is working for the good of those who love him, it will give us the belief that miracles are not to far fetched. God is with you! How amazing and awesome is that!?!? When we learn to be aware that God is with us we can be encouraged in life in all areas. When we learn to be aware that God is with us, eternal things become more important than the little let downs that life can bring. If God is for us, who can be against us? Learn to live a life so aware.
John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
God is with us and in us! His presence is all around us! Learn to be aware of the little things and the details that God works in your life and be thankful. Also be aware of the big miracles in your life and answered prayer. Be aware that God is with you when you face trouble, God is with you in every present moment, spend time with him and let him in on every occasion.
My challenge to you today is to make the effort to be consciously aware that God is with you always. Trust in him, cling to him, have faith in him, be thankful to him, love him, be obedient to him, be aware of him!
So at the end of 2012, I want to talk to you today about reflection. Not getting down on yourself about all the failures, mistakes, or shortcomings of the year. But about looking at the past year reflecting on it, taking it in and learning from it. Something that I always say as a joke, but also very true is that “You live and you learn”. You mess up once, understandable, but take that experience and learn from it. Learn not to make the same mistakes over and over again. Really apply yourself, your will, and the strength and grace we have to overcome from the Holy Spirit to not making the same mistakes over and over again. Just like in life, when you overdraft by using your bank card when you don’t have any money, you learn not to do it again, or you get kicked in the hinder with a overdraft fee. A lot of times it is easy to get down on ourselves when trying to live this awesome Christian life for God and we screw it up by some sort of sin or mistakes, but since you made the mistake, go to God to ask forgiveness and he will give you a fresh start. Not only that, but you now have an experience in your life to learn from. Remember, God’s mercies are new every morning. He is always there to run to and to forgive any time we screw up (that’s not an excuse to sin, that would be another story, his grace isn’t a license to sin, but his grace is there to make us strong and to overcome.) This is a great time to reflect on the past year and learn from our mistakes and shortcomings and make the decision to change some things around whether that be overcoming an addiction, setting priorities straight, or just simply making more time for God and his call on your life. Yes, forgive yourself for your mishaps, but learn from them to not do them again. Ask God for grace and strength to keep strong and in pursuit of him. Know that when you do mess up, not to run from him further into darkness and sin, but run to him for he is there with open arms to receive you and love you and direct you.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Phillipians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,”
Forget the sins the you have committed, don’t dwell on them and let them drag you down, instead, you have learned from your mistakes, now strive forward towards God and keep your eyes on him. We all have a past, maybe even the past year that we want to forget, and we can do just that, give it to God and let his mercies cleanse you and make you clean, now that you are clean, run towards God and his plan for your life.
My challenge to you today is to reflect on what you have learned from life’s experiences this past year and declare this new year a time of dedication to God and his plan for your life. You have learned you can’t always do things on your own, you need God leading the way. You have learned that certain sins lead to certain results, but with God’s help we can over come that sin. You have learned that you feel emptier inside, because you haven’t given God the time of day when it comes to spending time with him and you aren’t pursuing his call in your life, so set aside that time daily to spend with him and follow where he leads. I challenge you to learn from this past year and decide what is right for you this year as it pertains to God and his calling and desire for you!
Today I want to talk to you about perception. About the way we look at life and what our mindset is going into life and all it’s different situations. Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person. I think it really is an important thing and the Bible the tells us so as well. Think about the kind of people you like to be around. Do you like to be around someone who is always complaining, dragging their feet, and someone who knows how to turn a typically normal situation into this big drama, or something negative to complain about. Or do you want to be around someone who is always looking for the best in people, someone who is looking to spin a bad situation into something that really isn’t that bad after all if you look at it a certain way. I mean you can take both of those to extremes and a lot of times extremes can be dangerous and unreal. You want the positive person, unless you are one of the negative extremes people. Of course be sympathetic to someone who may be going through a hard time and try and relate to them, but don’t let them bring you down or drag you into negativity. Do your best to look at life with the eyes of love and the way God looks at people.
Phillipians 4:6,8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God…….Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Matthew 15:11 “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
I could go on and on with verses that God is telling us to look at life positively and with love and kindness. These are just a few encouraging verses to you on just that. We need to really take a look at our heart life and our mind life, what kind of voices are talking to us in any and every situation? Are they voices that scream negativity, doubt, fear, hate, and so on or is it a voice of peace, love, kindness, forgiveness, and positivity? One of them is the right answer, the second one is the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us and the negative one is either your own negative attitude that you have adopted as your own, or it could be the devil and his evil temptations that are sly and may come off as a normal response, but are just temptations to give in to those negative attributes that we talked about. I’m not saying that any time you are negative, it’s the devil, but watch out for it. And plain and simple, looking at life one way or the other is a choice. You have the power to change and to be a light and to walk in love.
A lot of times when you fill your heart and your mind with negative thoughts, that is a direct line to what words come out of your mouth. If your heart is filled with God’s word and his direction and love, you’ll find that his word and love are the type of words that will come out of your mouth in conversation. Same with that dirty negative attitude, if you are always dwelling on the negative of life, those are the type of things that will flow from your mouth in conversation.
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”
My challenge to you today is to try and see what kind of heart and mind you have taken on as your own. Do you find yourself thinking negative a little too often or do you find yourself full of positivity and God’s word? Be honest with your self evaluation, if you want, ask others which category they would put you in. Once you have determined what you were, now you have the choice to make a change, now you can determine what kind of person you want to be. Learn to fill your heart and mind with God’s Spirit and direction, and then choose to put away any negative thoughts that may want to overwhelm you and give them to God, for he cares for you. I challenge you today to start thinking positive and start speaking positive no matter how bad life may get, it’s only worse if you let it be, by your outlook and perception of it.
Today I want you to ask yourself “Who am I”? As believers a lot of the time we can get caught up in all the big name pastors, evangelists, missionaries and churches. We can find ourselves dreaming of one day being like that person or having a ministry like theirs. I want to encourage you that it is good to dream big, after all God can do more than we ask or think and his plans and ways are higher than ours, but it is also very important that we don’t lose sight of what God has already done in our lives, what he is currently doing in our lives and what he may have planned for our lives. We need to realize that we may be right where we need to be, especially if you know that you having been seeking God and his kingdom first in your life. If we are truly seeking God’s kingdom first, then we are where we are supposed to be. We can’t be afraid of the “whys” and the “hows”, you follow after God, his word, and his spirit, then God will guide you step by step where you need to be. You may be the only person that can reach that relative of yours that no preacher ever could, you may be that blogger that shines a light so bright and real that can reach someone across the globe to a person who has never heard about God in the way you write, you may be that good example in this world to a child who gets inspired to follow after God and do great things all because he or she looked up to you. Who are you? You are a light, you are an example, you are a disciple, you are God’s child, you are a witness to the world, you are the only Jesus some people may ever experience because of Christ’s love through you. You may not be called to be that mega church pastor or that evangelist that travels the world, but you are who God called you to be, and it’s important that we realize God has a plan for our lives and that we can really truly walk that out daily by seeking God’s kingdom daily and following the leading of his spirit. Seeking God and following after his plan for your life, seeking God and finding some small outlet to be used in any way you can, whether that be at church in any way, whether that be being a team leader and example, whether that be using your social media to be a positive light in this negative world. God has a plan for you, you are a Somebody in God’s eyes, you were made just the way he wanted you, so use “Who you are” and your personality and your skills and your drive to pursue God and to pursue being a light to the world. BE YOU!!!
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
My challenge to you today is, Realize that God has you right where he wants you. It is up to you to seek him daily and find outlets to be a light! I challenge you to get involved, make a difference where no one else has stepped up. Be the best possible you you can in God’s eyes and follow him!