God reliance

You must trust God in everything. He will always show you the way in every situation. He will give you the tools to be who He created you to be. Learn to trust Him.

Episode 7:What Exactly Is This?

The simple answer is: I don’t know! And just as importantly, I don’t need to know!

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First things first… a little background about me. Not too long ago, I had a job that I loved more than anything. I think that was part of the reason I stood there four and a half years ago confused and baffled… devastated. It was more than a job. It was a calling; a mission. I was good at it! People loved me! I was a kids and youth pastor for 12 years. I didn’t know then but I do know now, I put that ministry before everything, even God himself! All in an attempt to feed my ego.

Episode 6: The Screwdriver

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As I glance at the clock in front of me, I see the seconds ticking by. It seems insignificant in the moment. What’s a few seconds? And in the grand plan of life, a few seconds will not change the course of a life. But string together a few seconds and then a few more and then a few more. If you expand this out and follow it logically, you will see that the seconds become minutes; the minutes become hours; hours become days… well I think you get where I’m going with this. If wasting seconds is a constant practice in your life then what eventually happens is that years of life get wasted. Time doesn’t stop. It continues to creep forward no matter what you do or fail to do. It is an impersonal reality that you can either master or serve. Remember this though: The choice is yours!

Are you moving with time or are you stuck? Are you stuck in the past with regrets of mistakes or things left undone? Maybe you’re stuck in the future, paralyzed by the “what ifs.’ Is the time that you should be working consumed with fear? Are you stuck in the present without clear direction?  Are you afraid to make a mistake because that biting criticism from the past is still lurking under the surface, waiting to take you down again?.

Make a choice: GET UNSTUCK!. Now! Stop allowing the time to aimlessly drift by while your goals and dreams fade into the sunset of this beautiful life you have been given. You were created to do and be more. Take hold of that truth. Embrace it and learn to recognize the wasted time. And most importantly, Do something about it.

A life of self-sufficient living requires you to become the master of your time. Sometimes it’s good to let the seconds drift by. In fact you should have a time every day where you do absolutely nothing. That is good… and healthy. Remember though what your objective is. You are trying to break free from the chains of a lost and dying world. You are learning to set yourself apart from the masses… those who aimlessly move through life, seeking comfort and pleasure. You are seeking to dismiss society as your source of dependence and turn towards God. The only way to do that is to become an efficient user of the hours in front of you. Get unstuck: Do something now!

Don’t let the next hour pass without you doing something to move you closer to your objective of freedom and independence. Do something no matter how small or unimportant it may seem in the moment. It will help you move in the right direction. I recently had a great experience with this concept and I want to share it with you. I have had trouble in the last few years keeping my garage organized.  I always intend to get it picked up and in order but I never did. I watched the clock tick by, unwilling to take action. I carried this seemingly unimportant burden with me, not realizing what It was doing to my God given destiny. I was very frustrated with my inability to take action.

Then, after listening to a podcast about a relevant topic, I decided to go out to the garage and put a screwdriver away. It felt good. I began to pick two things that I could do in the garage each day to move me closer to the objective. I began to develop momentum and over the course of about two weeks, the garage was organized. That momentum carried over to every single area of my life. All because I decided to stop watching the moments tic by and do something. You can do the same thing.

What will you commit to right now?

Now will be gone before you know it. Your chance to do something will fade into the past: What’s your something? What’s your screwdriver?

Time will continue to creep forward no matter what you do or fail to do. It is an impersonal reality that you can either master or serve. Remember this though: The Choice Is Yours!

Don’t let time pass without you doing something to move you closer to your objective of freedom and independence.

Thanks for joining me at renewed2win. Remember, maybe everything you have ever believed doesn’t actually matter to what is truly real.

Michael at R2W

The High Standards Required of Spiritual Warriors

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The standards required of spiritual warriors are much different than the standards of ordinary people. The common practice among Christians today is to drag yourself to church on Sunday morning and then live in turmoil the rest of the week. For the spiritual warrior, though it is different. We know that the chosen life is about much more than going to church for an hour a week and then walking out the door and forgetting about it for another week.

Accept Generosity and Ask For Help 

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This often is an overlooked aspect of generosity.  If you live life with a spirit of generosity, then you have the right and obligation to accept generosity from others.  

Don’t forget to accept generosity from others. Many times, people who have learned to give have a difficult time with allowing others to do nice things for them. It is perfectly ok to accept someone else’s generosity, as long as you continue to do good for other people.  In fact, it is an obligation, because by accepting someone else’s generosity you are helping them to develop this critical trait. 

“Self-Help” Programs Don’t Help 

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I remember when I was really young, probably my early teens, I read an ad in a magazine about being able to do or be anything I wanted.  So, like many other people, I decided to give it a shot.  Guess what?  It didn’t work.  I was out about twenty dollars, but even worse, my wallet was open.  I pursued these programs, buying new ones as they came out.  After all, once a publisher or distributor of “self-help” programs sells you one, you are then on their mailing list and you begin to receive catalogs describing how good things can be, if you only spend a little more money.  Like most people, I spent a ton of money, but got nowhere.   

Being Generous Without Spending a Lot Of Money 

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A discussion of generosity always comes back to spending money and material things.  So, I am going to discuss those things now.  It is important to note, however, that there are infinitely many ways to be generous and spread good.  We will discuss these in a minute.  “For the love of money is the root of all evil which: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”lxxii   It is what you do with money that determines how God views it. A hundred dollars that is used to feed a poor family has a different value than a hundred dollars used to feed a drug habit. Money simply makes you more of what you already were before you had the money. If, before you had an abundance of money, you were generous, then an abundance of money will make you generous in abundance. If you were greedy, before having an abundance of money, then an abundance of money will make you greedier. Money shows where your heart really is. If you want to find out what type of person you are, then take a look at where you spend your money. 

Who Was Jesus

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John 14:1-14 (ESV): I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: 14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; [a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it.

For non believers, the name of Jesus many times causes negative emotions. These emotions take many different forms.  It confuses them. It embarrasses them. It makes them angry. It makes them want to change the subject. It makes them want to argue. But why?

If you go to a friend and bring up the subject of god (lower case) then people are ok but when you bring up the name of Jesus people have a problem.

When Jesus started His mission here on Earth people began to realize that He was making many amazing and hard to believe statements about who He was, why He was here and what was happening. How could a simple carpenter from Nazareth be saying such things?

So what were some of these statements that He made:

  • He was making claims that would make Him equal to God.
  • He was the only way to salvation.
  • He was the only way to forgiveness of sins.
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Today we will begin looking at the claims Jesus made and decide if they were true. The truth isn’t about what you want to believe but what is real.I We live in a world were people believe in many different things and in many cases those things are not real.

So what about Jesus? Who did He claim to be? Are those claims true?

Let’s start at the beginning. He claimed to be God. Many different belief systems believe in a “god” or a spirit of the universe who created and is in charge of the world. Muslims, Jews, and Hindus all believe in a God that knows them personally and takes an active role in this planet’s affairs.

Believing in Jesus takes it one step further. God became man through Jesus. This is what makes being a Christian far different then the other belief systems. Jesus Christ is not a first and last name. In Greek the name Jesus means “the lord saves” and Christ mean “anointed one” which points towards a King and/or a priest.

The Old Testament promised His coming and the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus Christ is God. The references throughout the scripture could only apply to God.

These are so many scriptures in both the Old and New Testament referring to Jesus and how it had to be Him. The characteristics Jesus had can only be true of God.

  • Jesus is self-existent. (Existing independently of any cause, as God. –Dictionary.com) John 1:2 (NIV): 2 He was with God in the beginning.
  • Jesus is omnipresent. (Present everywhere at the same time.) Matthew 18:20 (NIV): For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
  • Jesus is omniscient. (Having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding.) John 6:64 (NIV): 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
  • Jesus is omnipotent. (Almighty or infinite in power.) Matthew 8:26-27 (NIV): 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

 

Jesus’ first followers were Jews who had very strong religious beliefs and only believed in one true God. Some of theses early believers included:

  • Paul  who was named Saul a Jewish Rabbi. Before Jesus changed his name to Paul, he was a violent persecutor of the early church. (See Acts 8:3)
  • Peter a Jewish fisherman, who Jesus called at the beginning of His Earthly ministry. (See Matthew 16:16)
  • Martha who was a personal friend of Jesus. (See John 11:27)
  • Stephen who was the first Christian to be stoned to death for his belief. (See Acts 7:59)
  • Thomas who first doubted that Jesus had rome from the grave. (See John 20:25-28)

 

Jesus made some bold claims about who He was. He also did some amazing things in the presence of many witnesses:

  • Jesus himself claimed to be eternal.
  • He claimed to be equal with God.
  • Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath.
  • Jesus was in direct conflict with the Jewish leaders.

 

As Jesus said and did these things, the religious leaders of the day became increasingly angry.and hostile towards Him. They sought to kill him several times before His actual trial. There were several attempts at stoning Him and in one instance they tried to throw Him off a cliff. Why were they so angry?

They understood the claims that He was making and the things He was doing. It drove them crazy. He claimed to be the Son of God. He claimed that He had the ability to forgive sins. He healed sickness. He performed numerous miracles. During His trial He made claims that further infuriated the authorities. They never stopped to consider if His claims were true.

Jesus was put on trial for who He claimed to be, not for anything he may have done. During the trial Jesus confessed to being God (Matthew 27:41-43). You must decide if that claim is true.

Jesus is the only one who has and can offer eternal life. 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV) says11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Will you accept His Offer?

Next time was Jesus crazy? Was He lying? Or is He God? There are no other choices.

Michael @R2W

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What Failure Isn’t

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As I previously discussed about what success is and is not, I think it is appropriate to have the same discussion about failure, before I move on.  If you are to experience any success in life, then it is almost certain that you will experience setbacks along the way.  In fact, the more success you have, the more “failure” you will encounter before, during and after that success.  Remember this and keep it in front of you continually.  Print it in big letters and keep it in front of you.  Refer to it often. 

Never Stop Giving 

You may hear other people talking about how giving “doesn’t work.”  You may begin to think these thoughts yourself. 

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You may even reach a point, where you begin to reason that you don’t have to give so much or that you have been giving long enough and deserve something.  If you allow yourself to adopt that pattern of thinking and begin to ease up on your giving, then all of your previous generosity would have been in vain.  Don’t ever stop planting seeds of generosity and giving.  I know from experience that: “The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference.  He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the later.”lxix 

What Success is: The Starting Point 

Photo: Emma Watson

Now that we know what success is not, how do we define what it is?  Maybe what you always thought was true has now been turned upside down.  That’s okay.  That’s more than okay; you are now at the starting point of an incredible journey.  One that may even take you places that you never dreamed you would go.  You may even see some old childhood dreams re-emerge.  One thing is for sure, if you stay on the path you have now begun, and work at it continually, you will have real success.  Most of all have fun!  Dale Carnegie once said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”