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Alpha Ministries, Inc

Church in the Woods at ....

Freedom Ranch

Choices

Dear Saints,

All of us are confronted with a multitude of choices to make daily. Many of them seem small and almost inconsequential while others seem overwhelming and life threatening. What makes life so complicated and hard is not just the choices we make but often it seems we really have no choice at all. Much of our confusion and frustration in life comes from the fact that we are not sure what choices we have, if we even have a choice, and exactly what choice we should make in any given situation. Welcome to the world of a control freak!

Seeking to control the people and circumstances in our life comes from a deep need to make ourselves secure in an insecure world. There is no guarantee that we will be unconditionally loved, accepted, and forgiven in this dog-eat-dog and often hostile world. In fact, chances are that we will be neglected, abandoned, or even abused. Likewise, unless we can control the people and circumstances in the chaos of this world it is impossible to find a real sense of importance, purpose, and competence. Wrong or bad choices seem naturally to lead to a meaningless and unsatisfying life.

Underlying all other choices we must make is the most important and basic choice. It is the choice the Bible urges us to make daily and describes it in a variety of terms. Jesus invites us to take his “yoke” upon us (Matthew 11: 28-30). Paul urges us to “present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God” (Romans 12: 1-2). James tells us to ask for wisdom from above (James 1: 5). Peter calls on us to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5: 6). All these directives (and many more) have one thing in common…surrender. We give up trying to make it happen and let God do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

In the AA program of recovery the 3rd step describes this kind of surrender as deciding to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. Making the choice to surrender all our decisions as well as our very lives to the control and care of God is the foundation and start of a new and satisfying lifestyle of grace in which God, through his indwelling Spirit, leads us, guides us into all truth, comforts us in our choices, reminds us who we are, and produces the very character of Christ in us. As Paul instructed the Philippians 2: 12-13, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and do of his good pleasure. “

The fundamental choice we all must make each day is whether we want to let God control our lives. It is really a no-brainer since he is the sovereign creator and sustainer of the universe and loves us so much he gave his life for us. For me it boils down to one simple prayer each morning, “Lord please remind me of who you made me to be in your son and guide me in how you want me to love others around me today”. I really do not have any other choice that makes sense.

John

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God of the Impossible

Posted on 13 May, 2014 at 14:45

Dear Saints;

 Lately I have been impressed with the fact that our God is the God of the impossible. He continues to do for us what is impossible for us to do for ourselves. Every aspect of our salvation is a miracle of God doing the impossible. He has saved us from the guilt and penalty of sin by crucifying the old, selfish persons we were and creating a new person in holiness and true righteousness. He continues to save us from the habit and power of sin in our daily lives by indwelling us with the Holy Spirit, who comforts us, teaches us, guides us, reminds us, and leads us to do the works he has before ordained that we should do. He will save us from the very presence of sin by giving us that glorified body that is already reserved for us in heaven and a mansion in his own eternal house.

 Even a casual knowledge of the Bible (which is an impossible book itself) proves our God to be the God of the impossible. To Noah he said to build an ark because he was going to destroy the world with a flood...impossible. To Abraham he said he was going to make a great nation through his barren wife...impossible. To Moses he said tell the people trapped between the Red Sea and Pharos army to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord...impossible. To Joshua he promised to bring down the walls of Jericho...impossible. To David he said go kill that giant with a sling shot...impossible. To the three Hebrew children he said walk with me in the fiery furnace...impossible. To Daniel he said relax and sleep in the lion’s den...impossible. To his only begotten Son, Jesus, he said heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind, cleanse the leper, feed the multitudes, and raise the dead...impossible. It seems our God delights in doing the impossible!

 The biblical record is all well and good, but what about my life today? Is our God still the God of the impossible? I know he’s done the impossible in saving me, but what about my everyday life and circumstances? Most of us run into situations in life that seem impossible. We worry and fret and rack our brains trying to figure out how we are going to get through this time or situation. Often we pray asking God to do this or that to make things work out for us and still find ourselves in a state of confusion. We are still facing an impossible situation.  

 Being a loving God he has promised us that all things, even this troubling situation, work together for our own good. Even though we may not know what to pray for we are encouraged to let our requests be known to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. By simply turning our worries into prayers God does the impossible...He gives us a peace, His peace, that is beyond our understanding. We don’t know why we have peace, but we do. Nothing has changed, but we have a peace about it now because our God is a God of the impossible and will do whatever is best for us. Whether he miraculously changes our situation or simply gives us the satisfaction we need to endure the situation is up to Him. Either way he will do the impossible.

 To maintain that miraculous peace God gives us we need to focus our attention on the positive things that are currently and could possibly happen. All too often our minds are filled with negative self talk especially in difficult times. It is easy to focus only on the bad things that are threatening us rather than the good things we have to be thankful for. Remembering our God is the God of the impossible will help us recognize the many ways he has already blessed us and provided for us in the past. As we meditate on the blessings in the past and present, we are more likely to think positively about our future. Trusting God’s promise gives us the hope (joyful and confident expectation of our future) we need to fulfill our calling to love others like Christ. No matter what it looks like now, we know we cannot lose!  

 John   

 

 

Categories: God of the Impossible