Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

from the staff of North Side Baptist Church

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Launch Out"

"Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."  Luke 5:4 NKJV
Someone has said that mediocrity is just the best of the worst and the worst of the best.  Is that what you want this year?  If not, you must be willing to leave the safety of where you are, and go where God wants to take you.
After fishing all night and catching nothing Jesus told His disciples, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."  In other words, leave the safety of the shoreline and be willing to face the fury of the storm, knowing that God is with you.
Helen Keller, who overcame incredible challenges, said, "Security is a myth. The reason we don’t experience it is because it doesn’t exist. Avoiding danger or failure is no safer in the long run than outright risk. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” 
Launching out means setting goals, establishing a plan to reach them, and becoming accountable. It requires staying in sync with God's will, confronting your fears and discovering the rewards that lie on the other side of them.  It demands looking in the mirror, and either respecting or correcting what you're becoming.  All of these steps are birthed from a belief that I can be better, my family can be better, my church can be better and life can be better.
It calls for devoting your life to something greater than yourself, even when others don't understand.  It's having an "l will fear no evil for Thou art with me" (Psalms 23:4) attitude, and attempting great things for God.  The comfort of the known is one of the greatest anchors to growth, success, victory and abundance.  Too many spend a great deal of energy trying to maintain instead of move forward.  It’s hard to believe, but the same energy we expend on trying to stay where we are can actually enhance our lives when redirected to growth.
Launching out does require leaving a known place.  It may mean developing new relationships, going to some new places, accepting some new challenges and committing to new areas of service.  All of these are not the normal most people are accustomed to.
As you enter this New Year, stop and recall Gods goodness. Check the price tag on His will for your life against what you're already paying, and compare the rewards of both. Then, "launch out" and don’t look back!  The rewards are great.

Scripture to Claim
Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants,
And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;
Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce,
And our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;
Let our cattle bear without mishap and without loss,
Let there be no outcry in our streets!
How blessed are the people who are so situated;
How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

Psalm 144:12-15

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Will Go Bravely With My Eyes Wide Opened!

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? Psalm 27:1
Here we go into another year!  In many ways you may feel like you are starting at the same place you began last year; still in debt, overweight from the holidays, and so on.  Hopefully this New Year will hold some exciting new times for both you and me.  But whether it proves to be exciting or not, God has a plan for me for this year.  He has a job for me and He needs me to put one foot in front of the other and go. There are a lot of people who feel the same way and there are many examples in the Bible of people who felt the same way.  Look at Moses:
Moses was scared to death of what God wanted him to do and he certainly did not feel qualified. The tremendous responsibility of his task, his innate humility, and his own feeling of unworthiness evoked a hesitancy and lack of confidence, but with God’s help he fulfilled the task that God had designed him for.
God gives us many tasks in life that are bigger than we are. We may want to sit down in the road and not budge.  In reality, God is saying this is what I am going to do through you. He doesn’t expect us to strike out on our own. The greatest privilege of man is to be used by God to perform His work.  God is not interested in man’s ability but rather his availability.  He can give us what we need to perform the task at hand. 
There is a word that describes how life can be at times...Daunting.  The definition of daunting is to abate the courage of; discourage.  There are times we just want to close our eyes and not see what is coming at us.  But that is not how God wants us to handle the hard things in our life.  He wants us to be courageous.  The Bible says He does not put us in any situation that we cannot handle with His help.  Therefore, take courage!  Be brave and open your eyes!  Face life head on and brace yourself.  You can handle what is coming your way with the help of your Heavenly Father just as Moses did. 
The word courage means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery.  Let’s face it. Life is sometimes difficult, dangerous, and painful.  It can be scary and often wearisome.  We might not want to go on and our confidence might waver.  All of the fears distract us from our God’s promise and our purpose.  But open your eyes and look straight ahead.  Exercising courage we can be brave as we advance.  Remember, God will never leave you or forsake you.  He carries you when your strength is gone.  He lifts the burdens if we let Him and He will see us through. 
Omar Bradley said, Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. That’s what life sometimes requires for us to perform properly even while trembling in fear.  We don’t know what this year holds and that in itself can inspire fear in us; fear of the unknown.  But God knows our future. Psalm 1:6a tells us that, The LORD knows the way of the righteous.  Surely this means, in part, that the Lord watches over the way of those who seek Him. He guides us in His paths, guards our ways and protects us from the evil one.  But this verse also relates to God’s plans for us: He knows the way He will lead us, how He will take us from our present situation until we stand perfect before His throne. He knows His plans for His people; just as with the Israelites in Egypt.  So persevere!  Hold on!  Trust in the God Who Knows!

Scripture to Claim:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Devotional Archive