Dear Church, I know you are tired

Tension is part of our life. Tension if not confronted and dealt with will wear your out. If you are a believer, you have tension between right and wrong, good and bad. If you are a believer, you have tension between the flesh and the Spirit.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,

and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh,

for these are opposed to each other,

to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

(Gal. 5:17)

Let’s look at the life of Job. in the first couple of chapters, he loses his wealth, his children and his health.

His wife’s advice: “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” (2:9)

Job’s lament: ”After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” (3:1)

What I find interesting is the word “hope” is used 19 times in 18 verses. Hope is used in both a positive sense and also in a sort of mocking sort of way.

The tension of Job’s life is between

hope and surrender –

belief and doubt –

staying and leaving –

trust and anger –

truth and feelings –

living and dying.

Hope & Surrender

  • Hope – patient endurance with great expectation.
  • Surrender – declaring defeat

Belief & Doubt

  • Belief – holding on to faith.
  • Doubt – second guessing everything.

Staying & Leaving

  • Staying – remaining spiritually grounded.
  • Leaving – looking for something else.

Trust & Anger

  • Trust – resting in God’s hand.
  • Anger – running from God’s presence.

Truth & Feelings

  • Truth – what has God promised?
  • Feelings – emotional responses.

Living & Dying

  • Living – continuing to get up everyday and being who and where God wants you to be.
  • Dying – removing yourself from God’s purpose.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today,

that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.

Therefore choose life,

that you and your offspring may live,

(Deut 30:19)

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Why Lord and Savior?

Why is it so important that Jesus be your Lord and Savior?

Here is one of the most clear ways of understanding this. We are all sinners for the Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We also know the problem is self is our God. Paul in writing to the Romans wrote, “ but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Rom 2:8) So, it is clear that there are two issues for all of us – sin and self.

If my only problem was sin, all I would need is a Savior.

If my only problem was self, all I would need is a Lord.

Jesus as Savior solves our sin problem.

Jesus as Lord solves our self problem.

So, today make sure you have repented of sin and self and are following Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Tolerance and Excess – 50 @ 50 – Quote #4

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“What one generation tolerates the next will do in excess.” 

John Wesley said it like this, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” So the quote that I have heard and used must find its source in Wesley. This is a principle not a truth. A truth never changes while a principle generally applies. The only way this does not become a truth is for someone to break the chain. I am only 50 years old but this world has drastically changed over the past 50 years. It is extremely clear our nation has succumbed to this principle. However, our nation is only a reflection of our homes.

Parents Please Wake Up

It is within your power to be the exception, to break the chain. Don’t pass on a weaker faith, weaker home, weaker marriage, weaker leadership, weaker authority, weaker belief, weaker work ethic, weaker example to the next generation. The next generation is at stake.

Do you have the courage to make the Word

of God your basis for life and family?

Also read 50 @ 50

Life Lessons

Lesson #1     Lesson #2     Lesson #3     Lesson #4     Lesson #5

Quotes

Quote #1     Quote #2     Quote #3 

50 Quotes That Have Stuck With Me – #3

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Beauty is the battleground on which God and Satan war for the souls of men.

(author unknown)

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Think about it. We are presented with the beauty of God everyday and Satan is trying to slip us counterfeits.

God presents truth, His Son, His Spirit,  inner integrity, character, love, grace upon grace, mercy, humility and more to us as He wages war with Satan. He offers us real lasting beauty.

Satan presents greed, revenge, hatred, rejection, sex, drugs, alcohol, power and more and then covers them with lies to make them look good. He offers beauty that rots and ruins us.

Who is winning the battle for your soul? 

You can find other items in The 50 at 50 Series by clicking the links below.

Quote # 1    Quote #2   Lesson #1     Lesson #2     Lesson #3

Hold Your Rabbit – 50 Life Lessons – #2

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Winter time, putting on my coat and rabbits taught me much about how systems work as a child. My wonderful mother would be helping me, as her baby boy, put on my coat before going out into the cold. As I would raise my arm to put it in the sleeve, she would say, ” Hold your rabbit!”. If I did not hold my rabbit, it would run up my arm every time. Translation? If you don’t hold the cuff of your shirt sleeve, you sleeve runs up you arm. A simple lesson on how systems work. You probably hold your rabbit without even knowing it.
How this helps me today?
When life gets tough and I’m trying to make it through safely, I must hold onto what I believe or things will get out of place.

If I don’t hold onto the truth that Jesus Is A Big Deal, He shrinks in my life practice and things get out of order.

If I don’t hold to the truths of Scripture, the rabbits (things that tend to run where they don’t belong) of my life run, so I must hold on to them so my life don’t get screwed up.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

50 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years – #1

ImageI plan over the next several days to write about 50 things I have learned in 50 years. Not sure what all this is going to include or the order in which I will present them, so welcome to my randomness. Those who know me know I am a little weird and somethings think a little differently, so laugh with me, cry with me, but don’t always try to understand me. These 50 days are dedicated to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wonderful wife, Mary Anne, my amazing children, Blake (Kristine), Luke, Hannah, my mother who I miss every day Anne Reynolds Williams and my dad who taught me so much W. Jack Williams (Pat), my crazy brother Stan Williams (Tamara). Also to the churches I have served and the great friendships I have enjoyed. Beware your names might be mentioned. This is not going to be a theological debate and everything is not going to be “spiritual” in nature; however, my spiritual journey has been the defining element of my life. I hope this list helps someone.

#1 – Jesus Is A Big Deal

I would say this is the real #1 of the 5o. Jesus really is a big deal. I remember through the years, as my parents had me in church, learning about Jesus but mostly I remember learning songs as a kid. As many of you know the musical ability has stayed with me through the years. I remember singing, “Jesus Love Me” and many others of the old favorites.

Jesus Is A Big Deal Because…. Continue reading

I Think We Are Fools When We Do This!

To be in Christ is a win, it is good, it is right, it is where we were created to be. It will cost you. However, staying at a safe distance does not work. You cannot look at Christ from a distance and find the fulfillment that is found in Him. Looking at Christ from a distance brings conviction and dissatisfaction with life, so most people choose to walk away.

Clarity is aways beneficial. Clarity might should help us to see better and make need adjustments. I think God gave some clarity into the mind of many Christians during the sermon. In an effort to demonstrate a grace gift I held up and asked who wanted $5. Only a few hands went up and this is where God began to speak into my spirit. I felt impressed by the Spirit to ask, “Why would you not want it?”. The few answers that scattered the room were that their was some catch or trick. WOW! Great clarity.

Why do we not accept the gift of our sanctification with surrender the way we accept salvation through surrender? At salvation, you prayed a prayer that probably had this line in it somewhere, “I give you my LIFE.” We are called to salvation and it is given by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). We stand in the same gospel by grace through faith (1 Cor 15:1-2). What keeps us from receiving the gift of abundant life that come by grace through faith that are found in Christ? I abandon self, follow Christ and enjoy His abundant life.

Our mind begins to think, “What’s the catch?”

If I abandon my life to Christ and live by the truth, principle and precepts of God’s Word, there is going to be a catch somewhere. Jesus is tricking me into something else.

I believe it goes back to our instinct of loss aversion. Loss aversion “refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Some studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains” (wikipedia). Thus, if I decide to surrender my life to Christ and live in Christ it is going to cost me something, I am going to loss something. Therefore, we stay a safe distance just as the disciples did as Christ began His journey to the cross.

I cannot tell you what surrender will require of you, what it will cost you or what the exact reward will be. Jesus simply said,

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Matthew 16:24, ESV

So, we don’t follow Christ with all our our because the risk it too high. We avoid the risk that following Jesus entails. We would rather take the risk of running our life in our way. I think we are fools when we do this. To take no risks is the greatest risk of all.