WOL Newsletter 179:This Is My Story
March 13, 2016
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Edited by Stacie Thomas

"'Where are you? Why aren't you doing something? Do you even love me anymore?' In the times you've felt like asking those questions of God- do you ever think that even though He's God, He's already given you everything that is precious to Him? Do you realize how much He's given you if He never does anything else? 

We are bought with a price; we are here for Him. We agreed to the purchase.
Maybe He's the One asking where we are through all of it... 'Where are you? Why don't you have the faith to do something? Why don't you just show Me that you love Me?'

Maybe it's your turn to show Him you love Him; He's done His part- it's time for us to do ours.

Matthew 16:23-27

Jesus owes you nothing more than He's already given you."
Thank you Pastor Doss. Phenomenal introduction!

Side note: Doug finally admitted out loud that he brings the same topic back in 10 different ways hoping we'll get it one of these days... Will we?

This Is My Story

For most, our thoughts are on us, our goals, friends, relationships, plans, time, fun—until we run into a road block, and suddenly are very spiritually minded; citing verses about God’s love and mercy, His promises and character. Matthew 16:23-27: Do you desire to go after Jesus? Once we become a disciple of Christ, we have told Him that we’re ready to deny (aparneomai: deny utterly, disown, abstain) our lives and serve Him. He doesn’t expect you to deny yourself in a legalistic, miserable way, either. He expects you to be so in love with Him that you want what He wants, above anything you want for yourself. Most of us don’t deny ourselves; we don’t lose our life in the search to see and please Him; and He sees through our emptiness.
How to love God with our lives: 1) Do you keep God’s Word or make your own way? John 14:15, Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:21, John 14:21-24. People come to church, sing praises, claim to love God and seem content with their Christian life, until something comes into their lives that require denial of self in order to follow God; to obey His clear Word. It is identical to the rich young ruler who came to Jesus telling of all the great ways he has honored God in pursuit of eternal life, and Jesus simply brings up the one thing that has his heart so securely and refuses to let go; showing that he didn’t really love God, but self all along (He is good at pinpointing that one thing!): Mark 10:20-22. 2) Do you seek God’s Will or choose your own way? Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 3:6-7, Proverbs 16:3. You have a purpose bigger than your plans; you serve Someone who knows more than you about the future; with motives and desires beyond what seems logical or successful to our limited knowledge. Always consider what you feel God has planned for your life when making every major decision; don’t try to persuade God or justify your wants, with His Name. Make the priority of every decision be to find His Will, not get your way. 3) Do you continue God’s Work or choose to walk away? Galatians 6:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:13. Don’t stop your calling when you’re tired, or stop getting attention and approval of others, or it doesn’t go the way you planned, or you meet resistance, or it becomes difficult, demanding, not pleasurable at times. Where’s the Cross in these scenarios? Where’s the love and sacrifice? What if Noah (Moses, David, Paul, etc.) had gotten tired and quit? There is no greater way to show God you love Him, than to persevere daily in your fight for His Kingdom; take joy before no one but Him in your job done daily; let it be your private gift. 1 Corinthians 15:58. 4) Do you show God’s humbleness to the world or choose your own self-righteousness? Ephesians 4:1-2, Romans 12:16, Colossians 4:5-6. We should recognize that what we owe can’t be paid; we know the worth of the lowest sinner. If we want to show our love for God, we can please Him by showing heart-felt love and affection for believers and especially the lost. Stop showing anger and disgust towards a broken world that doesn’t know Christ. You are everything they are, just covered by the Blood. Be the light they have never seen, and love them on their level, not with self-righteousness. 1 Peter 3:3-4. Our humility should be the first apparent trait in us; show God your love by seeing the world with His love. 5) Do you give God personal worship and praise or live self-sufficiently? Do you spend time with Him ‘just because’, not asking or seeking, but in praise and thanksgiving? Psalm 46:10, Psalm 148:1-13, Psalm 42:1-2. Psalm 63:1-8, Luke 17:15-19, Psalm 26:7, Psalm 35:18. Allow time to reflect on the wonders of His creative ability. Think of the unfathomable work He’s done to create this world for us to rule and enjoy. Count your blessings. Don’t let embarrassment, pride or guilt hold you back—be what God created you to be. Much of our depression and anxiety comes from not recognizing all we have been blessed with every day.
Where are you? Are you living your life like Peter was, when Jesus said that he was under the influence of Satan (mindset on the things of the world)? We are called to be different; to fellowship with Him differently. Don’t be the rich your ruler who is too caught up in his possession to love Jesus like we should (and go away sad and lost). What have you yet to surrender to Him? Matthew 16:25-27. Are you in love with our King? Or have you lost your soul, in chasing the world? Your ‘Life song’ tells the unmistakable tale to God. Obey His Word, seek His Will for the future, get back into the walk you started, start seeing others as precious, realize God’s worth and worship humbly and freely; climb out of your hole and see the thousands of blessings you and thank Him. What is ‘Your Story’?

Upcoming Events:

March 20: Easter Egg Hunt @ Culloden Elementary: 3p-5p
March 26: FLOCK Youth Ski Trip- see Jay
March 27: Sunrise Service (leave church 5:15am); breakfast at Teays Valley truck stop afterwards
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