Category Archives: Faith

Jeremy’z Journey: Lock your doors! But why?

Have you ever contemplated why we have locks on our doors?
Let me phrase that a better way: Have you ever stood outside your car door, beating your fists against the doorframe and window, checking the handle again as if beating on the door magically unlocked it, all while watching the keys dangling in the ignition?
Now, we’ve set the scene.
At that moment, did you scream and ask yourself, “Why in the blankety-blanking bleepety-bleep did I lock the door?”
Well, I have. I’ve been there, several years ago, luckily. It hasn’t happened to me in awhile.
After a few enraged minutes, mostly enraged at myself although displaying it outwardly, I thought to myself: Why do they even put locks on doors? Why do we even need locks at all?
Like a burst of intelligence, God answered me with one word: “Sin!”
Think about it. If there were no sin – that is, if sin didn’t exist on Earth – there would be no reason to lock your doors. There would be no reason to shut your windows other than it being cold outside. Your wallet, purse or your kid’s Nintendo DS would be safe in plain sight between your car seats.
As a kid, I remember hearing adults’ comments of, “Lock your doors and windows, so-and-so got out of jail.”
For that matter, if it wasn’t for sin, so-and-so wouldn’t have a jail to go to, because there wouldn’t be a crime committed by a so-and-so. Even further, the rest of us wouldn’t be gossiping or watching the news about the so-and-sos, if not for the existence of sin in our world.
“For every living soul belongs to Me, the father as well as the son, both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die,” – Ezekiel 18:4 (New International Version)
Some religious groups have begun an inner-crusade against preaching that mentions “sin.” Some can’t handle the pastor talking about Hell – aka the devil’s home address, aka the place where sin was crafted before it was introduced to humans here on Earth.
Someone very close to me recently told me, “That’s why I don’t go to church, because as soon as you walk in the door, they start preaching at you.”
Well…. They don’t call him a preacher because he paints fences.
If a discussion about sin and the mention that God can forgive your sin makes your feet feel hot – let me tell you, man – the heat your feeling is the heat coming from 666 Satan’s Lane (I don’t know his real address, just guessing here). It means that things are not “ok” with you and God.
If a man, who happens to not be a fence painter, mentions sin and you get twitchy. That’s your soul – your spirit – hemorrhaging as it is trying to leap back to where it belongs, which is near God’s side.
Now to those who need to come closer to God and ask for forgiveness of your sin, which is given through the free grace of Jesus Christ, I want you to know that I’m not “preaching at you.” But you should understand that I’m not painting a fence either! I am concerned about your soul and where you will be when your earthly flesh gives out.
Back to my question: Why do we have locks? It’s because we have sin. Sin keeps us from being able to grab both door handles, jerk the church doors open and step into the full love and grace and fellowship of God.
“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine,” — ! Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV).
If not for sin, we wouldn’t need locks, or laws, or jails. But you cannot guard yourself from the sin of others, nor should you allow the sin of others to interfere with your relationship with the One who made you – God. Do not let someone else’s choices “bring you down.” Do not let someone else influence you to “do as they do.”
In the words of your mother – and all mothers, “If so-and-so jumped off a bridge would you?”
It doesn’t take a burst of intelligence to know right from wrong, and it doesn’t take a Wiseman to follow the guidance God puts before us.
If all were righteous, there would be no fear of leaving our doors unlocked. Sin may find its way into your home and steal your DVD player. Sin doesn’t care about locks, because sin has no regard for anything but sin itself. Sin doesn’t care about locks because it has a crowbar. Sin doesn’t care about locks, because it will smash your car windows to get your stereo, or your innocent child’s video game.
But there is one lock that sin can’t break. There is one lock that sin always tries to get around – one lock that sin wants to pry open with a crowbar.
That is the lock God puts on your heart when you accept Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that can only come from Him.
“Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).
That verse isn’t talking about eating a fat-free diet. It isn’t talking about lowering your cholesterol by eating Cheerios.
That verse is a warning to all of us to “above all else,” guard your heart from sin.
We pray to God to forgive our sin and ask Him to lock sin out of our hearts and lives. We pray God that you will help us to not allow sin to pry its way back into our hearts. Guard our hearts, Jesus, and protect our “wellspring of life.” For without our wellspring, we have no connection to you Lord. Amen!

Jeremy’z Journey: The truth is in me, only because He is in me

I recently visited a local Chinese Restaurant, and as is customary, I received a cookie at the end of my meal. Of course the waitress bringing the cookie in one hand and the bill in the other served as the signal that it was time to pay and leave.
The cookie had a small piece of paper in it, which didn’t taste very pleasant. Come to think of it, the paper tasted a little better than the cookie itself. But seriously, I could’ve paper-cut my tongue!
Anyway, the paper I discovered in my mouth was like a message from my teeth. (I guess you have to imagine that I was completely oblivious to the ritual of the purpose of the Chinese cookie in question.) It instructed me to “Learn Chinese.”
What a profound thought. I should learn another language, perhaps Chinese. Not because a cookie told me to do so, but for the knowledge and ability to communicate with people from another country.
As I flipped the secret message from my teeth over, I discovered some words that could’ve come straight from a pastor’s sermon.
“Truth is an unpopular subject because it is unquestionably correct,” it read.
No I don’t put faith in fortune cookies, or their writers, but rice is good. And they give you a horrible tasting cookie to wash down the good rice, I guess.
But this statement (not a fortune, a statement) cookie made me think of some friends and family members I have recently tried to witness to and share with about what God has done for me and members of my immediate family. To some people, God’s Word and the mention of Jesus Christ is “unpopular” because God is “unquestionably correct.” And in being correct, mention of such topics, points out our faults and inadequacies. It shows that without God, we don’t have “truth” in us. The subject makes some people feel very uncomfortable, which as we all know, feeling uncomfortable is “unpopular.”
Now let me share some truth from my own life, or in the words of David: “Come and listen, all you who fear God, let me tell you what He has done for me,” – Psalms 66:16 (New International Version).
At this time last year, Valentine’s Day we’ll say, I was not near to God, but He was near to me, although I wasn’t aware. God was already working to draw me nearer to Him, even though I was trying to remain in control of my life. Jesus saved me at age 14, but as I graduated High School and was allegedly becoming a man roughly four years later, I quit talking to Him. I quit listening to Him. I stopped reading His Word and started making my own decisions.
I can tell you the truth, it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. The proof of that is in the very ignorant decision-making that followed that first asinine decision.
There were times I tried to return to God’s side, because I missed His embrace, His love, His grace. But I wanted to hold onto the control my control of my life.
“I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened,” – Psalms 66:17, 18.
I did cherish my sin. I did want to hold onto my life and my ways, and had plenty of justifications for my sin. I even used those justifications to convince others to sin with me, and if they wouldn’t, I scoffed at them and made fun.
For thirteen years, I was in complete control of my life, and man, were those some rough times. Sure, I made some money; sure, I gained some awards and recognition, and I had some friends. But I made really bad decisions and committed terrible sins daily.
God’s first commandment, I broke on a daily, hourly and minutely basis: “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me,” –Exodus 20:3.
I put everything before God. My job, my car, my actions, my attitude, myself. Everything! It didn’t matter what it was, I put in between me and God.
But over a short period of time in 2011, I was reminded of the “truth.” The “truth” was always in front of me over these years. The “truth” is: I’m a terrible person without God. And I always make a mess of my life without His help.
I don’t remember what was preached that Sunday. But I could feel God pulling at me with every uttered word. During the invitation, I answered that call.
As I got to the front of the church and neared the altar, Bobby Ray Wilson, the Pastor at Cumberland View Baptist, asked me, “Is it sin in your life?”
It was as if God had told him exactly what I had done. It was as if the Pastor was Joshua and I was Achan, needing to confess that day. Bobby preached from Joshua this past week and it reminded me of how I felt that day.
The passage reads: “Then Joshua said to Achan, ‘My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give Him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.’
Achan replied, ‘It is true! I have sinned against the Lord,” – Joshua 7:19. 20. (NIV)
The “truth” is that’s what I should’ve said. That’s what I needed to say. But part of me still wanted to hold on to my sin. I wasn’t ready to turn it all over to God.
“I just need to be closer to God,” I told the preacher. He prayed over me as I wept and prayed for myself.
God may not have heard my prayer, because even as I was praying to be closer to the one who made me, and you, and the world, I was thinking of sinning again. In fact, I thought to myself that I would sin again as soon as church was over.
But I know God heard Bobby’s prayer for me. And I know He heard the prayers of others in the church who were praying for me also. While I still wasn’t ready to confess to God, I could feel their prayers working in my life, as they prayed for me over the next couple of weeks.
The “truth” is I really wanted to be closer to God – I did not lie to the preacherman. But I honestly wanted to continue my favorite sin, too. The “truth” is you can’t have it both ways.
So over the next couple of weeks, as God heard the prayers being lifted up to Him for me, God really began to show me that the only way to be closer to Him, was to give up my sin and to trust Him to take care of it all: To take care of ALL of me!
As I prayed for forgiveness, and to be able to let go of my sin, He did just that. And when I gave up my sin, God gave me what I had prayed for; what I truly wanted: to be closer to Him!
“But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer, or withheld His love from me!” – Psalms 66:19, 20.
Father God, I thank you for hearing my prayers, but I especially thank you for hearing others in prayer for me. I thank you for the man who is so near to you, that he saw through me, as you allowed him to, and knew that I needed your forgiveness. I thank you for answering my prayer to be closer to you by first showing me what I needed to let go of. But most of all, I thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for my sins, that I could be forgiven for them and let go of them. Amen!

P.S. “Truth” for your life: Put your faith in Jesus Christ people, not in other silly things like horoscopes and fortune cookies. Everything and everyone will let you down except God.
A couple of weeks after my cookie reminded me that the “truth” of God is “unpopular,” I got another message from my teeth that said, “Some fortune cookies contain no fortune.”
For someone who believes in their fortune, that would’ve been a rip-off; a let down. I don’t have to believe in fortunes, because the “truth” is, Jesus Christ, and His Word, will never let me down! It won’t let you down either

Jeremy’z Journey: Going Postal reminds me of our last lesson

Have you ever had one of those days that everything seems to frustrate you? And no matter how positive you try to be, it just seems to get worse! Of course the outside world helps by being extremely more frustrating than normal on those days also.
On those days it also seems increasingly hard to remember to ask myself the two or three questions brought up in my last writing:
1) Will this action benefit my life (soul) or will it benefit the lives (souls) of others?
2) Is this action constructive for my life (soul) or the lives (souls) of others?
And of course:
3) What Would Jesus Do?
(If you didn’t read the last writing, “Jeremy’z Journey: ‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is beneficial,’ it gives insight as to how I arrived at these questions.)
So in the midst of an extremely frustrating day, in which nothing or no one seemed to be going easy, I had a package to mail. A replacement cell phone had come to our house the day before and with pre-paid return postage. I nominated myself for the simple and easy task of taking the package to our local U.S.P.S. (United States Postal Service for those who may have never mailed anything in our country) office.
Simple! Easy! Not even I could mess up this “honey do” task, that again, I nominated myself to carry out because it would be so simple and so easy. And hopefully, would gain me a few extra brownie points.
Easy and simple that is except for the extremely frustrating day that sprang itself upon me without asking.
The local postal representative not so politely informed me that, “The next time I send a package, it has to be taped shut before I bring it.” She said she would tape it for me “this time.”
Pre-stamped envelopes: check. Stamps: check. Boxes for those who were not provided a return box and pre-paid postage: check.
Piece of tape the length of my hand: CAN’T DO IT!?!
Of course I was puzzled. I’m sure that my puzzlement was truly visible on my face. I had expected to pay less than a buck for the clear piece of tape I needed for my package. It would’ve saved me about $4 for the roll of tape I would’ve had to buy elsewhere, and I just assumed there would be a lesser charge for the piece I needed.
So I had already mentally justified the small expected-expense for the piece of tape I needed, instead of spending more money for the roll of tape I didn’t need. So, minimally frustrated by this, and trying to remain calm for the sake of my package not getting lost, I said, “Charge me for the tape.”
I was informed that wasn’t possible because unless I bought priority shipping I couldn’t get tape because the tape says “priority” on it. Also, the computer system doesn’t allow them to enter a purchase for a piece of tape. Again, I remind you that I had a pre-paid U.S.P.S. shipping label already affixed on the box and that she was affixing “clear” tape on my package as she was explaining this impossibility.
At this point my already extremely frustrating day was reaching an ironic “near-Postal” level of frustration, which was probably evident by the new look on my face, especially to the stereotypically helpful postal worker.
At this, I said something that was neither beneficial, nor constructive.
“No wonder UPS is winning,” I said as I left with my two boys.
While saying this made me feel better for a minute; while it is true that UPS is winning; while it is true that the U.S.P.S. should, at least, be able to sell me a piece of tape that local UPS workers have previously “given” me along with a smile, my action and statement was neither beneficial nor constructive.
Plus, I had left her in charge of my package, which had at least gotten taped shut.
After buckling the boys into car seats, getting back in the truck myself and pulling away even more upset than before I went in there, I thought of many things I should do. I should formally complain about the service I received. I should go back and tell them how I feel. I should contact the Postmaster General and tell him/her how to save our nation’s financially failing mail system: Have tape and friendly customer service readily available to customers, even if customers have to pay for both!
Then I thought of what I should really do: stop and pray!
So I did. I prayed to relax and be less-frustrated. I thanked God for allowing me to be alive on this day. Even though the day was irritating me greatly, I was still thankful to be in it… Then I prayed that the unnamed postal employee would forgive me, mail my package without throwing it on the floor and kicking it into the delivery truck and especially that my irritability would not stay with her the rest of her day.
For the next few minutes God gave me several thoughts to think about. First, I thought of the scripture in my last writing – a lesson God had previously shown me.
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ,” – I Corinthians 11:1.
Not a good example of Christ was I that day. Then I thought of the other scripture in that same lesson, I Corinthians 10:23: “’Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.
At this point, I was shamed by my unbeneficial/unconstructive/unChrist-like behavior. Then God gave me another, kind of ironic thought: Maybe the postal worker was having a “Postal” day also. Maybe she was having an extremely frustrating day, too.
For the record, I love my residential postal delivery man. He is Awesome! You know about eight-years ago he saved a man’s life while delivering the mail. It’s true!
My mailman saw a man in his yard having a heart attack, stopped his mail truck, administered CPR, called 911 and waited for paramedics to arrive before returning to his regular mail delivery duties. Aside from being a nice, friendly guy… He is Awesome!
When I moved into my neighborhood and saw that he was my mailman, I honestly felt safer just knowing that he would be driving through my neighborhood everyday.
Trying to forget my horrific day and trying to get closer to God for a better tomorrow, I continued reading my Bible later that night.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God,” – II Corinthians 1:3,4.
That day, and I’m sure other days, I have failed to show the compassion and comfort that God has shown me. Even though I believe that tape should be part of the “S” in U.S.P.”S”ervice, I offer a belated apology to that particular postal employee.
The statement in the song is very true in my case, “He’s still working on me.”

God I pray that you would help me to show others the compassion and comfort of your Son and my Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that in the future, I will be a better example of the comfort and compassion that He first showed me. Help me to shine your light to others who may be having extremely frustrating days and may need to see Your compassion and comfort the most. Help me to learn Your lessons and keep them in my heart and show them in my life… Amen!

Jeremy’z Journey: “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial

Fast cars, fast food and fast internet, it doesn’t matter what it is, in our country – “today’s modern world”- it just has to be fast. We even have fast-acting mobile phones and other devices so that we can get fast news and information on any whim or “down” minute we may have.
I recently read a book in which America was described as “the country of more.” The book, Hector and the search for Happiness, eloquently describes America — without calling it America — as having more cars, more swimming pools, more natural parks, more Nobel Prize winners and more newspapers. The author also states, not in this order, that America has more cheerleaders, more raccoons and more serial killers than other countries. (I’m sure those last three are just coincidental.) But he’s right. American is, and always has been, caught up in having “more.” And don’t hold us back on how fast we can get it, because in “today’s modern world,” “instant gratification” is seemingly the only way to be gratified.
While the author describes “the country of more” as having “more of many more things,” he points out that we – Americans that is – have more freedom than found in other places described in the book.
Freedom: Our “country of more’s” basic founding building block, which coincidentally, is our nation’s biggest double-edged sword.
Tis true that we have the freedom to open our own business, freedom to decide what that business will be, freedom to decide whether or not to pay our business taxes, and then of course, the freedom to lose our freedom when the tax collectors catch up with us if we failed to choose wisely on the second-to-last freedom mentioned.
We have the freedom to live our own lives, to choose who we will be. And should we not be happy with ourselves, we have the freedom to “re-invent” ourselves.
We have the freedom to complain, and yes, even complain about our freedoms, as well as, the freedoms of others.
Americans have the freedom to choose their individual choice of sexual partner, their choice of sex/gender for that matter, and of course, the choice to tell the rest of America about their personal choices. Americans have the freedom to procreate/reproduce as often as one, or two, would wish, change his/her, or both, of their minds and terminate that procreation. And of course, once again, can tell/defend their choices, their personal choices, to the rest of us Americans.
If this column has gained readers over the past several weeks of what some might consider personal ramblings, I’m sure the last two freedoms I mentioned will undoubtedly force some to invoke their freedom to complain. I’m not being judgmental – although it probably sounds that way to some. Judging a person’s life (soul) is not a right or freedom that any of us have, for that position and freedom lies solely with God.
There have been other societies to try to embrace freedoms such as these. While there are many failed civilizations who have embraced these immoralities, I have chosen to mention Corinth. In one Biblical analysis, the writer states that every large city has a pocket, or place, where prostitutes, gamblers and drug dealers hang out. In the ancient world, it was the entire city of Corinth. The Greek had a verb, which I can’t say or spell, that meant: to Corinthianize, which means to live shamelessly and immorally.
The double-edged sword of freedom is that we all individually have the freedom to live as upright or as shameless as we would choose. Again, I’m not judging, but surely we – Americans that is – can agree that some of us choose to live more shamefully than others.
The Apostle Paul helped start many early Christian churches, one of which was in Corinth.
The Corinthians had a saying, “Everything is permissible.” Paul used that saying to point out a great truth that is still relevant today.
In his attempt to teach these immoral and sometimes corrupt Corinthians to be more like Christ, Paul wrote to them about many of the perils they were facing at that time. Many of those perils also face “today’s modern world.”
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tried to guide these young followers of “The Way” on issues like division in the Church, lawsuits, marriage and even eating food sacrificed to idols/false gods. He also offered ways the Church should conduct themselves in worship, such as maintaining propriety, the use of spiritual gifts and remembering the Lord’s Supper. He also spoke of how to conduct orderly worship within the Church. But what I found most discussed in this letter was sexual immorality of all kinds.
While many of these mentioned in I Corinthians apply to “today’s modern world,” I feel his writing about the Believer’s Freedom, directly speaks to our society today.
I Corinthians 10:23 – “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. (NIV)
Paul used their freedom saying to make them think about whether or not such a lifestyle is truly beneficial/constructive.
A similar saying I have heard in our local community, on television and elsewhere goes like this, “It’s all legal if you don’t get caught.”
Lawsuits against fellow-believers: permissible. Sexual immorality: permissible. Immorality in general: permissible. Having no ethics: permissible. Not thinking about or helping those in need: permissible. Drugs and drinks: permissible. (Fill in the blank): permissible.
I reiterate Paul’s words – but not everything is beneficial… but not everything is constructive. Drinking and drugs might help one to momentarily forget life’s problems, but is it constructive for continuing life? Not helping someone in need might save a few minutes or dollars, but is it beneficial to your soul?
In the 1990s, followers of “The Way” – or Christians as we are now called – came up with a saying to help us maintain freedom and morality. After all, God gave us the ultimate freedom of free will. The saying: ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ or ‘WWJD’ has been inscribed on notebooks, bracelets, necklaces, etc. since its inception.
Paul also suggested we should follow Christ’s example, otherwise, to stop and ask ourselves WWJD?
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” – I Corinthians 11:1.
Paul, after his conversion to “The Way” tried to follow Christ’s example, as we all should. He tried to help the churches that he founded along his path to do the same. Many of the things Paul wrote to his churches are still very relevant to “today’s modern world.”
In the same way that some of us ask ourselves, “What Would Jesus Do”? Paul posed a statement to the Corinthians, and through mass-printing, that statement can ring clear in all of our ears.
In Paul’s day, he wanted people to think ‘WWJD’ in other forms. If you’re not sure what Jesus would do, then follow the line of questioning that easily can be assumed Paul was asking his fellow-believers:
1) Will this action benefit my life (my soul) or will it benefit the life (soul) of others?
2) Is this action constructive for my life (my soul), or the lives (souls) of others?

Sorry, no cartoon themes this time. I guess if you liked those, now would be the time to invoke your freedom to complain. However, as God is teaching me, complaining isn’t very constructive or beneficial.

Jeremy’s Journey: Don’t worry with resolutions! Just Pray

Everybody worries! Some less than others; others more than some. But everybody worries.
I’ve heard it all my life: “Don’t sweat the little stuff.”
But I’m probably one of the worst worriers among us.
“Oh Dear,” Winnie the Pooh’s friend Piglet says. “Oh, D-D-D-Dear.”
I worry about everything. From where the keys are lost, to where money is coming from, and politics of all types – local, state, national and international. I worry about things I can change, like how quickly clothes get washed and when can I have supper on the table for my family. I also worry about things I can’t change, things on the other side of the planet like Kim Jong Un, Iran controlling nukes and gasoline, among other worries. I can’t change it. I can’t even affect it. So, why do I let it worry me so much?
(There is a whole lot of “I”s in this writing which isn’t correct writing style and also isn’t good solving problems beyond myself.)
Having severe digestive and intestinal disorders, I often worry about what I eat and the amount of what I can eat. Doctors have changed my diet, limited things in my diet, eliminated other things from my diet and completely turned my diet into dust trying to find ways that I can ingest nourishment. It worries me when I sit down to a plate of food, especially at a restaurant or someone’s home who may not know what I can and can’t eat.
So what is different about my worries and the worries of others? I’ve found a way to limit my worries: I pray.
As children, we would fall, skin our knees, and cry to mom/dad to fix it because we didn’t want all of our blood to come out. But as adults, skinned knees are the least of our worries. Well, except for our kids’ knees.
For believers, we turn to God and ask Him to heal our hurts, both physical and emotional. We also ask Him to heal the hurts of others, both physical and emotional, as He would deem appropriate according to His will. He doesn’t always answer those requests as we see fit, but He does answer them nonetheless.
We have a Heavenly support system that helps us to know that God can, and will, take care of everything that we are willing to put in His hands. However, I am concerned for those who don’t believe in Jesus, and have no one to turn their problems over to.
“P-P-P-Pooh,” Piglet cries out in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. “Oh-Oh-Oh. I’m unraveling.”
How many times do we worry ourselves and stress ourselves out to the point that we find ourselves unraveling. Lucky for Piglet, it was only his scarf. But for us humans, stress can really make you feel like your brain and your body is going to rip apart at the seams, and that nothing short of a human implosion will correct the situation.
Children of God stop, take a breath and pray. Turning these things over to Him, who created all things, is what gives us the strength to make it through all things with our heads held high.
In fact, Paul understood this when he wrote to the Philippians.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,”– Philippians 4:13. (NIV)
Paul also addresses stress in that same writing: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,”—Philippians 4:6, 7. (NIV)
But if you don’t yet believe in Jesus and God’s power, who do you turn to? Who calms your worries and stress?
To you I say the peace of God is at hand for you also.
The answer from our worrisome cartoon pal Piglet, “Oh-Oh-Oh…H-H-H-Help… S-S-S-Save Me.”
And for you, the someone reaching out to save you is Jesus. He- and He alone- has the power to come to you and intervene in your life. He wants to come to you. He wants to help you with your worries, fears, stress and problems.
If you’ve tried to get past your worries with drugs or drinking; or women/men; or other things the world can offer to distract you for a little while, only to wake up to the same worries, the same problems and the same stress, I say, SO DID I!
I tried to solve my problems. I tried to look at things logically and I tried to comfort my worries. I tried. (There is a whole lot of “I”s in this writing which isn’t correct writing style and also isn’t good solving problems beyond myself.)
But when “I” got tired of all the “I can’t”s, “I” quickly saw that “He can!”
I cross in our local Christian Book Store – Gifts From Above- says it all: Where Faith begins Worry Ends.
You too can find the end of your worries as simple as A, B, C.
A) Admit that you’re a “sinner”- that you have problems that you can’t fix on your own.
B) Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who came to Earth to live among men. Believe that He died and that God brought Him back to life three days later to forgive your sins and to carry your burdens- your problems, worries and stress.
C) Confess that He is Lord of your life.
If everyone who is still reading this has now, or in the past, allowed Jesus to enter your life and save your soul, your biggest worry is gone.
I will re-write what Jesus said about worrying (Luke 12:22-34) to help those who may not have a way to read it. As usual, I will use the New International Version (NIV).
(22) Then Jesus said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. (23) Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. (24) consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (25) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (26) Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
(27) “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (28) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith! (29) And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. (30) For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. (31) But seek His Kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
(32) “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (33) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in Heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (34) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Piglet said, “I don’t worry about the leaves that are leaving, it’s the leaves that are coming.”
After reading what Jesus said about it, I was comforted more than ever before by His wisdom, love and graceful words. I still worry…. A lot! But I know that there isn’t a worry in the world that He can’t handle.
I worry… A lot! But I say: Pray for God’s guidance for the leaves (or problems) that are leaving, and pray for His help with the leaves (or problems) that are sure to come.