Faith Is Big

 

faith messageI remember digging into this word faith many years ago. I have faith in many areas of my life. It takes faith to ride an elevator. It takes faith to ride an airplane. It takes faith to drive across a bridge that was built in half the time originally projected – or any bridge for that matter. Faith is a part of the fabric of my life. I choose to cultivate my faith in God. I see Him in my everyday life. I’m looking for His activity in my every day, regular life. My faith in the Lord has grown over the years because I seek Him daily in His Word. I don’t dig in His Word to earn my way to Him, I get to see Him more clearly through His Word. I don’t believe that I earn “points” because I study His Word – I’m just hungry and thirsty to know Him deeper. My faith in Him grows as I seek Him. I could NEVER earn my way to Him. Check this out…

13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the promise nullified, 15 because the law produces wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

16 This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of Abraham’s faith. He is the father of us all. (Romans 4:13-16 CSB)

I am stunned by His Grace.

He made a way to save me without me.

He made a way to the Lord that only requires my faith in Him.

I believe in God the Father. I believe in His Son Jesus. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in eternal life. I believe I am saved NOT because of what I’ve done, but because of what He has done. Jesus made a way for me. My faith in Him grows deeper the more I investigate His heart. My faith seems small at times, but it’s getting bigger the more I know Him.

I recently heard this song by Elevation Worship out of Charlotte, NC.

O Come To The Altar

Are you hurting and broken within,
Overwhelmed by the weight of the sin,
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself,
do you thirst for a drink from the well,
Jesus is calling.

O come to,
the altar,
the fathers arms are open wide,
forgiveness,
was bought with,
the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes,
come today there’s no reason to wait,
Jesus is calling.
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy,
from the ashes a new life is born,
Jesus is calling.

Oh what a savior,
isn’t he wonderful,
sing hallelujah Christ is risen,
bow down before him,
for he is lord of all,
sing hallelujah Christ is risen.
__________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Longing Eyes

 

Blue woman eye macro shotI really try to look people in the eye when I’m speaking with them. I feel like our eyes are the windows to our soul. My eyes communicate compassion, fear, hurt, anger, love, joy and a myriad of emotions. Sometimes when I pray, I close my eyes to keep other distractions out, because I can easily become distracted by people, or other activities around me. The Lord wants my gaze upon Him. The gaze of my soul is very connected to the gaze of my eyes. He wants my minds attention and my hearts affection focused upon Him. The Psalmist in another psalm written on his way to “church” (aka The Temple) really speaks with longing eyes. Check this out…

I lift up my eyes to you,
    to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
    as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    till he shows us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
    for we have endured no end of contempt.
We have endured no end
    of ridicule from the arrogant,
    of contempt from the proud. (Psalm 123:1-4 NIV)

I look up to see the Lord.

I look down to see the Lord.

I look around to see the Lord.

I look under to see the Lord.

The Lord loves longing eyes looking to Him. I believe longing eyes represent seeking hearts. It is important for me to keep in check why my longing eyes are focused on. I’m tempted profoundly with pleasure seeking eyes instead of serving eyes. If I can start my day with eyes that are longing for fellowship with the Lord, I can resist looking too long at other distractions along the way.

I’m turning the focus of physical vision and my spiritual vision upon the Lord Who made me and Who saved me. He will direct my path and my eyes if I will trust Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

See His Face

bifocal glassesI can remember faces way better than I can remember the names that go with the faces. This drives me nuts, because I realize the importance of remembering someone’s name. I was at a gathering just yesterday and it seemed like our whole town was there and I saw a lot of people I know. There were several people that I knew their face and I would ask my wife if she knew them and could help me with a name. I’m sure that there is a finite number of names that I can remember, but I remember faces. I wish that could count.

King David penned a lot of the Psalms speaking of seeing God. I came across one this morning where God is also seeing us. Check this out…

1 In the Lord I take refuge.

    How then can you say to me:

    ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.

2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;

    they set their arrows against the strings

to shoot from the shadows

    at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,

    what can the righteous do?’

4 The Lord is in his holy temple;

    the Lord is on his heavenly throne.

He observes everyone on earth;

    his eyes examine them.

5 The Lord examines the righteous,

    but the wicked, those who love violence,

    he hates with a passion.

6 On the wicked he will rain

    fiery coals and burning sulphur;

    a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the Lord is righteous,

    he loves justice;

    the upright will see his face. (Psalm 11:1-7 NIV)

I believe that I’ve seen the face of God. I see His face in the face of a child. I’ve seen His face in the eyes of an elderly person. I’ve see His face in the eyes of many other people that He created and built. He wired all of us to honor Him with our lives. He built us to serve and love one another. I believe He sees what I do and where I go. I believe if I will look with eyes of faith, I can see His face everywhere I go. The Lord looks upon my life and He wants me to look upon Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Stop

Stop HandI’ve grown up knowing exactly what a Stop sign means. I also learned the silly phrase that makes the word STOP an acronym after I started driving. Someone told me the word “Stop” on the sign meant “Step Toe On Pedal” or “Squeal Tires On Pavement”. The dictionary says, “Stop means to cause an action or activity to end”. I’ve learned to stop what I’m doing and be present when one of my agents/friends needs me. I also need to learn to stop and notice things that if I’m going too fast, I might miss. Mac Davis, a singer songwriter back in the 70’s had a song that I learned as a kid called: “Stop and Smell The Roses”. The song reminded me to notice things around me every day and do not take life for granted.

Balaam was a character in the Old Testament that on one hand seemed to follow the Lord’s leading. He also liked the prestige of being sought out by kings and princes. The Lord spared him by using a donkey to stop him. Check this out.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’

29 Balaam answered the donkey, ‘You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you here and now.’

30 The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?’

‘No,’ he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell face down. (Numbers 22:26-31 NIV)

There are times that The Lord says, “Stop”. He doesn’t always give an explanation to His instruction. I have learned over the years that He’s looking out for my best interest and me when He tells me to stop. I remember a friend of mine who barely missed a flight that he was trying to make only to learn later that the flight had crashed and everyone on board died. I think that there are times when the Lord closes a door for my protection. I need to notice when the Lord is saying “stop” or “slow down”. There could very well be a reason why He’s directing my path. I don’t want to be so “hard headed” or “hard-of-hearing” that He has to use a donkey to speak to me.

My journey with the Lord really requires me to listen to His Spirit speaking into my heart and prompting to do or not do certain things. His Spirit will actually shape my words and my activity if I will learn to listen and let The Lord lead. Today I want to listen to the Lord today as He directs my path and also guards my steps.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Ears & Eyes

eareyesight test

 

This could be subtitled “hearing and seeing”. These are two really keen senses that help me discern most any situation when I walk up. My ears are listening devices, but so are my eyes. I can assess quickly using both these senses. As I was reading this passage this morning, the eyes I was thinking of was the eyes of the Lord. He not only hears me – He sees me. Check this out…

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,

    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,

    but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,

    keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life,

    but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:1-4 NIV)

 

What I do speaks so loudly that you can’t hear what I’m saying. I can use my words to calm a situation or pour gasoline on it and watch it explode. The Lord gave me wisdom to weigh my words carefully and use them appropriately. I shouldn’t talk too much, because I will be held accountable for my words as they reflect my heart.

Not only does the Lord hear everything – He sees everything. The proverb write offers encouragement to watch my words as the Lord watches over me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne 

See

FieldMy heart goes out to people who have been blind since birth. They are missing one of the senses that let so much light into our soul. It seems to me that the senses that they have are heightened due to the fact they can’t see. For example, a blind person seems to hear better or be more sensitive to touch than a person who can see. I think it’s because they are not distracted by what they see, they just listen intently. Their sense of touch is actually how they read faces, books and other parts of their surroundings.  I have struggled with my eyesight getting weaker as I get older, but with the help of contact lenses or glasses I can still see pretty well. Jesus forever changed the world of two blind men turned beggars. Check this out…

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34 NIV)

There are a couple of interesting pieces of this event that struck me as interesting. First, these two blind guys are shouting, “Lord have mercy on us!”. It seems obvious what their need is, but Jesus asked them anyway – “What do you want me to do for you?” Second, when Jesus touched their eyes and restored their sight, they followed Him.  I love that picture of the person healed following the healer. I could really learn something from this.

The two blind guys were not the least bit embarrassed to ask Jesus for help. They were even rebuked and told to be quiet, but they cranked it up even more asking for Jesus help.

I need to ask Him to sharpen my eyesight so that I can see things that I’ve never seen before. I need my vision to be healed daily. I think some of the things I’ve seen really hurt me. Other things I’ve seen have really helped shape my perspective. I really just want to see life through the eyes of Jesus. I want His eyes to be my eyes. I want to be laser focused on Him and His call upon my life.

Pressing On!
Dwayne