When God Says ‘No’

I don’t know about you, dear friend, but it takes me a long time to learn the lessons God is trying to teach. It is undeniably a fact that I do learn the hard way. I never just sit in God’s classroom as a casual observer and take notes. It is like I don’t pay attention to what He is trying to tell me until I begin to hurt. Usually that ‘hurt’ is emotional in nature and it comes in the form of someone telling me “no!”.   
It seems that I forget that God is the One who calls and it is He who gets to decide. I am learning, and one day I will actually apply this truth that we can make plans but God always has the final say. And as His follower I give Him room to direct, to open doors and close them as He sees appropriate. 

We don’t know how the Lord closed the door for Paul the Apostle when he wanted to minister in the area of Asia and to Bithynia (Acts 16:6,7), we are not told the circumstances, only the result. We do know this, Paul was sensitive enough to the Spirit’s leading that he did follow where the door was open for him to serve and as a result many people came to know the Lord. I believe there is a correlation because Paul put God’s agenda first, not his own.  

There is no denying the fact that at times God does give us the desires of our hearts as far as where and who we serve in ministry. But it is on the anvil of the “no” experience that God does His best work in our lives. He uses these events and situations to form our will into His own, so that we begin to understand that we serve Him first and foremost above everything else.  

What is God’s best work in us? How can we identify it? It is when we say, “Not my will but Yours be done.” It is when we stop demanding our way and let God do in us what will ultimately bring Him greater glory. That type of attitude and action requires us to swallow our pride and admit we are not God! It is painful process when we have to tear ourselves away from what we think best. But at the end of the day, where we serve and who we serve is God’s responsibility. 

My goal today is to live in what God desires for me, not in what I think best. God does have my best interest at heart and I gladly submit myself to His good will because He is still working on me to make me what I ought to be! 

To God be the glory great things He has done and continues to do!

The Reality of the Storm

Human beings have the tendency to group together according to language, race, religion and even sports teams!  We like to be with people who think like us and like the same things we enjoy and experience. Resultado de imagen para storms

There is one category of experience that all human beings go through that ties us together. Every person passes through some kind of negative experience. From health, to relationships, to finances, to difficulties at the place of employment, or with the government,  or the sad experience when someone we love suddenly dies, and those who suffer persecution for what they believe.  Job 5:7 expresses it in the following way: “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as  sparks fly upward.”

Here is the question: How do we survive the trouble? How can we make it through? And, what is God after when bad things happen to good people? I think there are 3 things that we need to keep in mind:

  1. The storms of life are common to all people. They will come to everyone on the planet in one form or another.
  2. When we pass through life’s storms we learn who really is in charge.  Every human on the planet likes to think that he/she is in total charge of everything. We believe we are little ‘gods’ who rule and reign. When the storms come we learn quickly that we are not independent creatures left to our own design. We learn that God has a reason for everything that happens and for when it happens.
  3. We learn that when we do pass through the storms of life that we need God! The great biblical example is Job. He needed to know that God could intervene at any time for any reason. Job needed to know that God was God! The storms in life teach us that God is so good that He reminds us our need for Him everyday. So don’t try and go it alone! Ask for His wisdom to teach you the lessons He is trying to have you learn.

In Mark 4, the disciples are with Jesus in a boat! Wouldn’t you love to have Jesus in your boat? Suddenly a storm explodes around them, their become afraid, but Jesus is in their boat! Why were they afraid? They thought, like we do in the storms of life, that Jesus doesn’t care! Here are His words to these trembling sailors, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith.?”

Disciples should know their Master. You and I should know the Master. But we often forget who is in the boat of life with us. God is reminding us that He is always showing us how much we need Him. I am just beginning to learn that lesson. How are you doing with this, my friend?

God is Always Good

Have you ever made plans that were full of dreams and hopes? You thought to yourself, “This is it, it is exactly what I need tohappen!” Only to find out that for one reason or another it is not going to happen. Just this week, I am wrestling with just this topic. I find myself again sitting quietly before the Lord worshipping Him for His goodness and divine sovereignty.  

Many people wrestle with the question of the goodness of God in situations much worse than what ai am currently experiencing. I could spend the rest of the blog mentioning them but they are obvious to us, Life hurt, it is hard and sometimes, quite frankly, just stinks!
So I come back to Psalm 118 today and park my life beside it. I read that God is good and that His mercy endures forever, and that I should praise Him with that mercy in the front of my thoughts. I come to realize that what I need most is not to have my own dreams and desires granted but live in the wonder of being a sinner who has fallen short of the glory of God and been granted mercy! That is true goodness! That is a gift that I ought to meditate on and rejoice in everyday of my best life!

Today, the sun came up, and God continues to show His mercy to you and me. He invites us to cast our care upon Him because He cares for us! Today is a good day, my friend, because God continues to be God and His love endures forever! Therefore, if we apply 1 John 2:27 to remain in Him, we will be able to live rejoicing in His goodness!

Stuff Happens

Hello My Friend!

Please forgive me for sending our “Computer” language in my previous post! I am learning some new stuff and inadvertenly sent it out to you all!

Thanks for your time!

Bill Finch

Is God trustworthy 

Is it worth the risk to trust God? Or to put it another way…

Is common sense “common” in Christians?
It is often said, “I will not believe it until I see it for myself!” Even one of the most famous characters of the Bible said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Thomas has been severely criticized by preachers and other believers alike for his unbelief however many of us act in the same way when it comes to the practical issues of life. Can I trust God with my future? Can I trust God with my children? If I am faithful financially in my local church, will God be faithful to me?
More than 20 years ago, our family went out as fully supported missionaries. But when we started the project we didn’t have any money and no one who was going to pray for us. But we can share that because of God’s faithfulness to us, we never lacked anything in our service for God.  
We often want the guarantee first before we respond to follow the plan. But it never works that way with God. Even in the work of salvation, God says, “Trust in me, believe what I have said to you!”  
God is always faithful to His Word, Always! If you think there is something that He has missed, hang on, God has it all under His control. It is always worth trusting what He has said!

The Priorities of Life

The Priorities of Life
There are many demands in life. Demands for our time, our attention, call to us at the most inappropriate time. These things are not bad in and of themselves but at times distract us.
The great problem we face is that we have a limited amount of time available. We cannot be everywhere, and it is impossible for us to help all those who need our help. Everyone of us has a limit of 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. That is it, there is no more.
The question we face is, “How are we going to invest that time?” In Matthew 6, Jesus explains to the disciples what ought to be number one in our lives. In the midst of all the voices calling for our attention, there ought to be one that stands out.
Personally, I have decided to put God in the first place of priority in my life. 
 I have determined that I will serve Him as the Person of Priority. At the same time I will serve people out of that priority. There are certainly challenges but that is the line I have drawn.

How are you doing? Who has priority in your life?