Archive for the Trust Category

At Your Word – I Will – Part 1

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Expectation, Family, God's Will, God's Word, Jesus, Luke, Trust with tags , , , on January 28, 2011 by Lee

I actually outlined the next two post a few weeks back – I am finally getting around to writing them.

My family and I are on a journey through the Gospels over the next 40 days. (Our pastor at Paul Ann Baptist has challenged the congregation to read through the Gospels in 40 days.) We are a couple of days behind – but we are having a good time doing it – at least I am anyway.

A couple of weeks back during his sermon, our pastor called our attention to Luke 5.

Jesus has been teaching the people, the crowd begins to press in on him to “hear the word of God.” (Luke 5:1). Two boats are near by, He (Jesus) hops into one of the boats (the one belonging to a fisherman named Simon Peter). He asked Simon to push him out a little from the land. Jesus sits down and begins to teach the people.

Simon and other fishermen were near cleaning their nets from a previous fishing effort. Jesus, “when he had finished speaking” says to Simon. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4).

Jesus request of Simon the use his boat for the sermon of the day so to speak and then ‘invites’ Simon to go fishing in his own boat. Talk about inviting yourself over!

But it’s Simon’s response I find interesting. Luke 5:5 says, “And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Simon, at first, does what I do when I really don’t want to do something – protest. “We toiled all night.”

Ever offer your protest or excuse to God to his request of you. ‘I already tried that God.’ ‘That will never work.’ ‘I’m tired.’ ‘I’m too busy.’ ‘They won’t listen to me.’ ‘I don’t have the answers.’ We have a ton of them – excuses we use to justify our unwillingness to trust God “at his word.”

God calls us to many things specifically, but two things always – to love Him and to love others. If what we do fits into one of those two commands then we should be on solid footing.

But I find myself offering excuses and not stepping up to God’s command on me way too often.

However, Simon steps up and responds with, “I will.” Matter of fact, his statement is, “but at your word I will.” We don’t know for sure – but I’m willing to bet Simon was tired (from the earlier fishing excursion) and a bit frustrated (Jesus wanting to fish after the failed excursion and the nets were cleaned). But because Jesus requested so Simon said yes.

Simon exhibited a level of trust and expectation in his response to Jesus. Do you trust and expect God to do what He says He will do?

What do you think? (Part 2 – Later)


Sarah’s story – Voice of the Martyrs

Posted in Christianity, Persecuted Church, Sacrifice, Trust with tags , on January 14, 2010 by Lee

This video was sent to me by one of my students. A powerful example of the plight many brothers and sisters in Christ face because of their faith in Christ.

God is at work, right?

Posted in Christ, Christianity, Devotional Thought, Faith, God's Will, Obedience, Trust with tags , , on July 25, 2009 by Lee

God is at work. A statement I am sure many who claim a belief in God would agree with most of the time. It is one I believe in whole-heartedly. Or do I?

It is easy to believe when I hear the story of a friend who returns from a mission trip or conference. The experience has been life changing and the results of the trip are amazing. This gives proof to God being at work, right?

Here are some examples for me this week. A friend shares about the things God has been teaching him over the last few weeks as he read and studied his Bible. Another friend calls and shares about the amazing mission trip she has been on and gave specific examples of what God did during her visit. Or how about this example: A person post on facebook how God spoke to him this week through the message of his pastor. Are these not proof to the reality that God is at work? I would have to say YES, it is!

But today I find myself asking, is God only at work in the villages we visit in Africa or in any location we take a mission trip? Is he only at work in the heart of the one who reads and studies the Bible? Is God only at work in the midst of those who hear His word being expounded from a pulpit or in a small group meeting? I would have to say, no. No, He is not?

If I really believe God is at work I have to believe He is possibly working in the hearts of people I randomly meet by “chance” or mere “circumstance?” Could God be at work in the heart of the girl who checked out my groceries at the store today? Could God be working in the heart of the guy who helped me find the auto part I needed? What about the person who served me my sweat tea today, is God working in Him? Or what about the people who worked with my kids this month in the summer program they participated in? Or how about the school teachers my children interacted with this past school year? Is God working in their life? How about my vet, my doctor, co-workers or even my own family? Could God be up to something in their hearts? I would say the odds are pretty good – He is.

I think the question needs to change. It’s not “is the hand of God working?” It should be “how and where is the hand of God working?” I don’t know of every place God is at work – only He knows. But I can trust He is at work drawing men and women to himself. I can trust I have been commissioned by God to go to the ends of the earth and all points in between making disciples in God’s name and under His authority. The reality of His hand moving and the commission of going given makes the odds pretty good God is at work in the hearts of those I will come into contact with each day I am given to live. Therefore, my actions need to scream, “GOD IS AT WORK!”

Trust – Part II

Posted in Devotional Thought, Disobedience, Jonah, Trust with tags , , on October 24, 2007 by Lee

tight rope walker “We have to be able to trust in order to have good relationships on any level. The same is true of a relationship with God. We have to be willing to trust.”

I want to use the lives of two people to talk about trust – Jonah and Daniel. I see elements of their life stories painting a great picture of trust that can teach us to trust God and others.

Let’s start with Jonah. Jonah may not be one you think of when it comes to an example of trust. Honestly, he is a great example of what not to do. But I think Jonah’s life story (the part recorded for us) can teach us some vailable things about trust.

The first chapter begins with “the word of Lord” coming to Jonah saying, “Arise and go to Nineveh.” God gives Jonah a very clear command to go. Jonah delibrately arises and goes the other direction (Jonah 1:1-3). Why would he do this?

Jonah Running

Chapter 1 does not give us any reason why Jonah turns and goes the opposite direction of where God wants him to go. (Chapter 4 gives some indication to the ‘why’ of Jonah’s fleeing “from the presence of the Lord.”) But we are not completely clear on the motive – but I think we can gather some real indications from the story.

I think Jonah’s disobedience is rooted is his unwillingness to trust God. This is the principle to see: Disobedience is rooted in unwillingness to trust God.

Often, areas of disobedience in my life are chained to my disbelief that God’s plan is better than my own.

More to come

Trust – Part One

Posted in Devotional Thought, Trust on October 19, 2007 by Lee

Trust fall Have you ever participated in a trust fall? I have. On most of the occasions I have done trust falls – it was always to demonstrate, obviously, trust. And they were done from a height of about 4 feet in the air – nothing more. Just high enough for a good fall and catch can take place.

One year, while on a mission trip, there were a group of students doing trust falls from a retaining wall. The retaining wall was about 6 feet up. Students were lining up left and right to take the “fall” from this height. I remember sitting there watching students rotate from catching to falling for a good 10 minutes. Every one proving their trust in their peers as the fell from the wall into the waiting arms of others.

Then things changed. One student decided he wanted to fall forward rather than backward like everyone else. (Not the smartest thing in the world.) So he took his position, closed his eyes and fell forward (this is where he learned how wise his decision was). This ‘faller’ leaned a little too much to one side while falling. When coming down his nose collided with a shoulder of one of the ‘catchers’. This immediately created a bloody nose. And it produced the end of the game. I guess the free flowing trust of the experience left when a nose began to bleed.

I learned a lesson that day and I saw a very vivid picture painted of how the experience of trust is for many.

The Lesson: I learned – never fall facing forward on a trust fall.

The Picture: Have you ever trusted someone only to have your trust broken and having your “nose bloodied” in the process? Now the thought of taking that trust fall again scares you and reminds you of past bloodied noses. “This person has hurt me – how can I ever trust him again. Or anyone else for that matter.” So we quit playing the trust game.

I am sure many of us have experienced a broken trust and the pain that goes with it. Trust becomes a fleeting arrangement. Especially in relationships. But trust is big. It is not a game. We have to be able to trust in order to have good relationships on any level. The same is true of a relationship with God. We have to be willing to trust.

More later….